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Weapons of KA-52 TA: The weapons selection is one of the best areas in the sim. You can choose anything from cannons, anti-tank missiles, rockets, air-air missiles, 500kg bombs and even a large air to ground missile.

Cannons: The KA-52 has a 30mm cannon that it has mounted on its right side. This cannon does limited tracking but still requires you to have the helos nose pointed close to your target. It can also be mounted with 23mm cannon pods. These pods are mounted directly forward requiring you to line up the helo completely to make your shots. While the 30mm is a good weapon to use on all but the hardest of targets the 23mm are best used for soft targets and infantry.

Bad news, Hind hiding behind a hill and I am out of ammo.
Fig. 3. Bad news, Hind hiding behind a hill and I am out of ammo.

Anti-tank missiles: The Vikhr-M is a laser-guided weapon that uses a HEAT tandem warhead. They launch off a UPP-800 launcher that can depress -12 degrees to help make the shot. In the sim these guys are spoofed or just plain miss a fair amount. Trying to shoot through the front armor of a tank will be tough with these. I do not know if the real deal misses like these do but it sure makes you work for a nice clean shot. You have the option of using a MFD full color sighting system. The Shkval displays magnified images of targets on the screen. The magnification field of view can be cycled to better see your targets. I have seen some issues with the max zoom, at times trees and other objects will disappear giving you better LOS then you really have. This will cause even more misses then you already have so be sure to look through at least two zoom levels to be sure there are no trees in the way.

Rockets: You have three types of rockets to use on the enemy; they are the S-8, the S-13 and the S-13-OF. The S-8 is a 20 per pod (2-4 pods on the helo) 80mm HEAT rocket. This is a very useful weapon in the sim, I will often take nothing but these on a mission since you get 80 on a full load-out. The S-13 is a 122mm-demolition rocket used to take out those enemy buildings that are part of the mission. Each pod only carries 5 but they work very well on those missions that have building on the target list. The S-13-OF is another 122mm rocket; these are anti-personnel rockets that use a fragmentation warhead. They are one of the only rockets I do not bother to carry much since the 23mm cannons will kill far more infantry for the same weapons space. All of the rockets need you to line up the shot very well before you will be given the shoot cue. Some people are finding it hard to do this but with practice I have no problem side slipping at high speeds and getting kills. It may be very tough if you have no pedals or at least a stick that twists.

The aftermath of my Hind run in.
Fig. 4. The aftermath of my Hind run in.

Air to Air missiles: The KA-52 can use 2 different A-A missiles, the 9M39 Igla and the R-60M Aphid. Both use infra red tracking and are best used at shorter ranges. The Igla has a range out to 5km and is a lightweight missile that is carried at all times. These work quite well to take down other airborne targets. The Aphid is a shorter ranged heavier missile, it weighs in at 65kg (143lbs) but packs a heavy-duty 6kg (13.2lbs) fragmentation warhead. You will have no problems dropping enemy air units out of the sky when you score a hit with these. You're a-A shots will take the enemy out in a way that I wish your own helo would take damage at times. They will go down in one or two hits every time while I have flown away from three or more with not too many problems.

A convoy caught in the open, it will not last long.
Fig. 5. A convoy caught in the open, it will not last long.

Big air to ground weapons: You have 2 of these as well. They are quite different from one another but a welcome addition to the sim. The first is the Kh-25ML Karen ASM (air to surface missile), it is a laser guided 300kg (660lbs) monster. It packs a 90kg (198lbs) warhead that is used for destroying hardened bunkers. Its biggest limit is that you need to be at least 2km away from the target for it to work leaving you exposed and using the Shkval to be sure you are locked on to the correct target. The other half of the big ground pounders is the FAB-500-M54 500kg class bomb. It weighs in at a hefty 474kg (1043lbs). You had better be high in the air when you drop this bad boy. You can carry two of them and leave big scorched craters in your wake. If you use these in the first single mission (Enter the Gator) you can finish the mission objectives in short order. Remember to leave the wingmen behind and to climb high before attempting to use these. I do wish that some form of training mission could have been given using these weapons. The bombs are one of the toughest weapons to use and they are left out of the otherwise very nice training missions.


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