As part of the training of crews to control the Kamov Ka-31R, the pilot-instructor conducts training flights together with the trainees at the first stage – at the helm, and then on the Navigator’s seat, giving the trainee the opportunity to acquire independent piloting skills. During the flights, helicopter pilots practice taxiing, takeoff, helicopter control, use of radar, and landing of the Ka-31R. The next stage of flight crew training will be performing training flights with takeoffs and landings on the helicopter deck of a ship performing tasks at sea, both anchored and on the move.
Due to the significant differences between the Kamov Ka-31R and Ka-27 and Ka-29, the Black Sea Fleet has developed a program for retraining existing crews of naval aviation helicopters for a new type of aircraft, and training activity for pilots is included in the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s combat training plan. In addition to the flight crew, the new equipment is also mastered by the technical staff, which conducts pre-flight training of the aerial early warning helicopter before departure.
Russian Black Sea Fleet aviation unit, stationed in the Crimean Peninsula, has received a Ka-31R aerial early warning helicopter. The radar that this platform has been fitted with can be utilized for the purpose of enhancing effectiveness and range of the anti-ship missiles deployed to the peninsula. The aircraft may be used to guide 3M14 Kalibr subsonic missiles, 3M55 (P-800) Onyx supersonic missiles and 3M22 Zircon hypersonic missiles towards the enemy vessels. The E-801M Oko (Eye) pulse-Doppler radar, according to the Russian media, can detect small-RCS targets such as cruise missiles, at distances of 150 kilometers, while standard naval targets can be detected at distances of more than 250 kilometers.
The Kamov Ka-31 (NATO reporting name ‘Helix’) is a military helicopter developed for the Soviet Navy and currently in service in Russia, China and India in the naval airborne early warning and control role. As with all Kamov helicopters except the Ka-60/-62 family, the Ka-31 has co-axially mounted contra-rotating main rotors. The airframe of the Ka-31 is based on the Kamov Ka-27. One visually distinctive feature of the Ka-31 is the large antenna of the early-warning radar, which is either rotating or folded and stowed under the fuselage. The second is the reduction of the bulky electro-optical sensory suite beneath the cockpit. The landing gear retracts in order to prevent interference with the radar.