New Sovietskiy Modified Kamov Ka-31 Helix AEW Helicopter:

Originally the Soviet Navy planned to develop an aircraft for their first carrier similar to the American E-2C Hawkeye for the AWAC role. For a stopgap design, it was decided to modify the tested and reliable Kamov Ka-27 helicopter airframe. This became the Ka-31 design. The aircraft was canceled however and the stopgap designed ended up soldiering on for far longer than originally intended.

The Soviet Union fell but a the Ka-31 entered service in the Russian navy in 1995, operating the helicopters off their carrier and destroyers. The Indian navy decided to purchase the helicopter for their own carriers. In addition, the Chinese navy purchased a number of the helicopters for evaluation purposes. In the end, the Chinese navy developed their own helicopter to fill a very similar role.

When the Communists retook power in 2027, there was a vast rearmament program. At the same time, there was a revolution in new material sciences including new high strength composites and allows. As a temporary solution, it was decided to refit a number of these older helicopters with the new high strength materials. The Indian navy followed suit soon afterwards. These helicopters

At the same time, it was decided to develop an aircraft similar in design to the American V-22 Osprey which became known as the Yak-228 Minstrel. In the meantime, it was decided to simply copy the Ka-27 and Ka-31 in the new high strength composites and alloys. The refitted helicopters were really reaching the end of their useful life so they were quietly replaced by new helicopters. There was not much call for the Ka-31 unlike the Ka-27 so they were largely scrapped.

There were a series of delays with regards to the replacement aircraft. While waiting for the new design to be developed, it was decided to replace the original engines with fusion turbines. This gave the helicopter virtually unlimited range. The Soviet navy first replaced the last remaining refitted models and then began replacing conventionally powered models which had been build already using the new high strength materials even though they were relatively new.

At the same time, India needed replacement for their own old Ka-31 which had been refitted with the new materials. In part, these were replaced by relatively new conventionally powered aircraft from the Soviet Navy as they received fusion powered models. In addition, the Indian navy purchased a number of fusion powered models. A handful of other militaries also purchased a small number of the Ka-31, both conventional and fusion powered models.

With the Yak-228 finally entering production, the Soviet navy began retiring the fusion powered models although most went into reserve squadrons instead of being retired. The Indian navy ended up with a number of them as well, replacing their remaining conventionally powered models. Unlike the New Soviet navy, the Indian navy decided to retain them instead of investing in new aircraft. Only the improved models with fusion plants, upgraded phased array radar, and improved communication suite were retained in active service in the Indian Navy.

While it is unknown how many survived the coming of the Rifts, a larger number still remained at that point in time. Most, being built of high strength composites and alloys have a reasonable chance of still surviving. The materials themselves are almost immune to corrosion. The biggest danger in internal damage from the elements but if properly seals, there should not be much of a problem. Few converted models are believed to have survived with the vast majority already scrapped.

As with most Kamov designs, the main exceptions being the Ka-60 series, the Ka-31 has a pair of counter rotating main rotors. It makes it very distinctive in appearance compared to most Western helicopter designs. The Ka-31 shares many components with the Ka-27 but there are also a number of major differences in the design. The folding radar is the most significant but other features include a wider cockpit, a smaller electro-optical suite, and fully retractable landing gear.

When not in use, the radar array is generally folded up against the fuselage. When in operation, the radar system rotates and gives 360 degree coverage. The original radar system was the E-801M OKO or "EYE," developed by Nizhny Novgorod Radio Engineering Institute. It had a range of around 200 kilometers and could track and target up to forty targets. All of the refitted Ka-31 were fitted with this and most of the conventional were fitted with this radar.

Later an upgraded E-910M active phased array replaced the original model with a range of around 50% greater and able to track and target twice as many targets. It was also harder to jam and even had some limited able to jam on its own. Otherwise, the system looks similar and has a rotating array (actually each side is its own array.) The later Soviet conventional powered models and all Soviet fusion powered models were fitted with this system. Early Indian fusion models were fitted with the older system but were later refitted to the E-910M radar.

In many ways as important as the radar is the communication suite. The helicopter originally mounted a sophisticated sixteen channel digital communication suite with a range of around 400 kilometers. This was later upgraded with twice as many channels although range is not increased. Later new built conventional powered and all fusion powered models were fitted with the improved communication suite.

Otherwise, the Ka-31 is unarmed. There are no positions for gunners and the aircraft is not designed to carry any missiles. Even the light armor is only design so it can withstand a little abuse, not any real damage. The only measure of self defense is chaff and flare. It is the job of aircraft to protect the helicopter and it usually stays pretty close to the ships it is operating from. Due to relatively slow speed, cruise speed of only around 205 kph, it cannot keep up with fighter / attack groups.

Model Type:Kamov Ka-31-MUpgraded pre-M.D.C. Versions
Kamov Ka-31-PNew Material Versions
Kamov Ka-31-RNuclear Powered Versions
Class: AEW / Radar Helicopter
Crew: Two or Three (Pilot, Co-Pilot, Electronic's Officer)
Troop Payload: None

M.D.C. By Location:Upgraded Models:New Construction:
Forward Sensor Array:1025
Radar Array (Folds against fuselage):4060
[1] Main Rotors (2, one above the other):30 each (10 each Blade)60 each (20 each Blade)
[1] Tail:2035
Landing Gear (4):5 each10 each
Reinforced Cockpit:40 each60
[2] Main Body:120150

[1] Destroying one of the main rotors will cause the helicopter to fly at half speed, wobble and is -3 to parry, -2 to strike, and -30% on piloting skill/maneuvers as long as the tail is intact. If the tail has been destroyed, -6 to parry, -3 to strike, and -40% on piloting skill/maneuvers. Smart pilots will land as soon as possible. Destroying both main rotors will knock the helicopter out of the sky. Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing.
[2] Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.

Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing.
Flying: Conventional: Hover to 155.3 mph (135 knots / 250 kph) with 127.4 mph (110.7 knots / 205 kph) cruise speed and has a ceiling of 11,483 feet (3,500 meters). The helicopter has great maneuverability and VTOL capabilities.
Nuclear: Hover to 174.0 mph (151.2 knots / 280 kph) with 149.1 mph (129.6 knots / 240 kph) cruise speed and has a ceiling of 16,404 feet (5,000 meters). The helicopter has great maneuverability and VTOL capabilities.
Range: Conventional: The Ka-31 has a non combat range (Radar array folded) of 372.8 miles (324.0 nautical miles / 600 kilometers). Can operate for a maximum of 2.5 hours without needing to be refueled.
Nuclear: Effectively Unlimited but does overheat when operated for long periods of time. The Ka-31 engines will overheat after 4 hours of continuous operation when running at top speed and 8 hours when run at under 93.2 knots (81 knots / 150 kph)

Statistical Data:
Height: 18.37 feet (5.6 meters)
Length: 41.01 feet (12.5 meters)
Rotor Span: 52.17 feet (15.9 meters)
Weight: 12,169.5 lbs (5,520 kg) empty and 26,896.4 lbs (12,200 kg) fully loaded.
Power Source: Conventional: Two Isotov TV3-117VMAR turboshaft each rated at 2,220 hp, Nuclear: Nuclear Fusion turboshafts, Should have an average life-span of 8 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment)
Black Market Cost: Kamov Ka-31-M (Converted Conventional): 1.5 to 3.0 million credits, Kamov Ka-31-P ( New Material Conventional): 4 to 6 million credits, Kamov Ka-31-R (Nuclear Version): 10 to 16 million credits.
All prices can be as much as double normal prices under some conditions.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser: Use the same effects as the TRIAX model. However, each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half.
    Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: 20 chaff, 40 flares. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares.

Special Equipment:
Consider the military versions of the helicopter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2012, Kitsune. All rights reserved.