The Kamov Ka-60 Kasatka (lit. Orca or “Killer Whale”) is a medium transport helicopter created by the Russian Kamov helicopter company.
The Ka-60 was originally conceived as a replacement for the Mil Mi-8. The Kasatka is used today mainly as an aerial reconnaissance aircraft. It also serves as a transport for aerial assault units, radio-electronic jamming and special operations. The Ka-60 first took flight in 1998 on the 24th of December.
The Ka-60 is notable as being the first Kamov product to have a single-rotor design. Kamov has been exclusively associated with coaxial rotor design up to the Ka-60.
The Ka-60 has a civil variant with the model number Ka-62. The production of that variant has been stalled due to engine production issues. A revised Ka-62 with a new engine has since been approved, but only small numbers of the civil craft have been built.
Indeed, to date there are six variants of the Kasatka. The 60, 60U, 60K, 60R, 62 and 64 Skyhorse. The Sky horse is the export model of the Kasatka.
The Ka-60 houses a crew of one or two and the civil model can carry between 12 and 15 passengers. The military variant can carry either 14 infantry or six stretchers.
The internal load capacity is 4400 pounds with the external capacity sitting at 5500 pounds. The maximum takeoff weight is a hefty 14 300 pounds.
This is made possible by the twin Turbomeca Ardiden 3G turboshaft engines, each producing 1776 shaft horsepower.
Despite it’s weight, the Ka-60 consists of 60 composite material, which make it tough and durable on a pound-for-pound basis. The main rotors are resistant to anything up to 23mm shells. The eleven-blade tail rotor is made from carbon-reinforced Kevlar.
In addition to this the Ka-60 has infrared absorbing paint and low thermal signature exhausts, so that it can enter and exit landing zones in hot areas with a lower change of detection. Radar absorbing paint has also been put to use with this model to cut down its radar cross section.
Not only a purely defensive craft, the Kasatka can be outfitted with 80 mm rocket pods or two guns. Either 7.62mm or 12.7mm.
The Russian military alone provide a potential local market of 200 units for the various Kasataka variants. Although not many have actually been built, the Russian defence ministry have indicated that they need 300 units in total, but the financial crisis at the end of the 90s delayed such a major purchase.