Production of the Ka-50 ‘Black Shark’ helicopters has been recommenced in Russia’s Far East. In the late 1990s when Russia experienced a default, the production was suspended as finance appropriated for armament was not enough at that time. Now, ‘Black Shark’ is ready for serial production again. Soon after it begins, assembly of the Ka-52 ‘Alligator’ is to be started at the Progress enterprise in the town of Arsenyev, Russia’s Far East.
Aircraft assembly fitter of the Kamov enterprise Vladimir Plotnikov first came to it forty years ago when production of Mi-24, that day’s most modern helicopter was launched there. Production of ‘Black Shark’ was just started in the mid-1990s but a long crisis forced workers of the enterprise search for a new employment.
Now, Vladimir Plotnikov is back to the enterprise and ready to start assembly of ‘Black Shark’ helicopters. He says Kamov workers are eager to work and hope that this new work will secure good life to them and their families.
Kamov Chief Designer Sergey Mikheyev is also enthusiastic about recommencement of the production. The first helicopter ‘Black Shark’ is ready for tests. In the nearest time, the Russian Army will be able to adopt a series of ‘Black Sharks’. After that, an export variant of the helicopter will be made at the enterprise for foreign partners. Sergey Mikheyev says that Russian helicopters have gained the advantage over those of other countries.
Placement of the Defense Ministry’s order at the enterprise Progress in the town of Arsenyev has breathed new life into the place. Bankers open new banks there, and the whole of the town hopes that steady production at Progress will change the life of citizens for the better. Civil production has been already started at the enterprise. The first batch of sporting airplanes Yak-54 is being assembled there.
Translated by Maria Gousseva