The Kamov Ka-29 (NATO reporting name "Helix") is an assault-attack variant of the Ka-27 naval helicopter. The Ka-29 was upgraded to carry the required guidance and control systems for multiple different weapon options, including a 2A42 autocannon or Shturm ATGMs, in addition to unguided rocket packs and gun pods. The Ka-29 has an odd appearance, even by the standards of Soviet helicopters. It has the signature Kamov coaxial rotor arrangement that eliminates the need for a tail rotor, but also the boxy fuselage and wide cabin are evidence of its roots in the standard Ka-27 anti-submarine/search-and-rescue model. First introduced in the late '80s as a support gunship for naval operations, over 60 examples were produced before being deactivated after the fall of the USSR. As of 2020, a majority of the Ka-29 fleet has begun re-activation, although not much else is known about the fleet since.
The Ka-29 (NATO reporting name "Helix"), introduced in Update 1.97 "Viking Fury", is the first member of the "helix" co-axial rotor family and a great stepping tool to the ultimate successor of the Kamov lineage, the venerable Ka-52. The Ka-29 has unique flight performance characteristics differing from the preceding Hinds, but it mostly retains most of the same ordnance as the Mi-24P before it. It acts as a great learning tool to handle the flight characteristics of a coaxial rotor helicopter and the offset mounted 2A42 autocannon before moving on to the Ka-52. The Ka-29 is best played somewhat aggressively due to its lower ordnance amount, decent manoeuvrability, and deadly 2A42 autocannon. One must be wary of the vortex effect when hovering for too long, which is more common on co-axial rotor helicopters and can result in a crash.
In flight, it is found that the Ka-29 is surprisingly quite manoeuvrable and fast for its size. It can do all sorts of manoeuvres thanks to its powerful Klimov TV3-117V turboshaft engines, thin profile, and coaxial rotor design. The Ka-29 is more than capable of quickly avoiding enemy fire due to this. Oftentimes exceeding 300 km/h, the Ka-29 is also quite fast too. This allows you to get into good positions with 9M114 Shturm missiles or set up for the perfect rocket strike.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 1,000 m)
| Max altitude|
Survivability and armour
The survivability of the Ka-29 is quite effective, especially in terms of fire control. There is a lot of empty space behind the cockpits and under the engines. Nothing critical lies in the tail either, allowing you to keep flying even if some control surfaces are damaged. Being able to take multiple rounds, the helicopter is great for those lightning quick in-and-out styled missions.
One thing to note in the Ka-29 are the fuel tanks. There are 8 of them stored under the cargo bay, in the belly of the helicopter. While they are self-sealing, it is not uncommon for multiple of these fuel tanks to catch on fire from enemy hits. Only a substantial amount of fuel tanks on fire will result in critical components being damaged, so most of the time, the fuel tanks will just burn their capacity of fuel off, and the fire will be put out. Engine fires however are a different story. Similar to the Mi-24 family, the Ka-29 boasts great survivability for its profile.
As for armour, the helicopter is equipped with bulletproof glass in front of the pilot and gunner, with a thickness of 22 mm. On the doors and surrounding the frontal portion of the helicopter, 8 mm thick steel plating can be found; 3 on each side. The helicopter is not armoured in any other aspect aside from this.
Modifications and economy
|CCIP (Guns)||CCIP (Rockets)||CCIP (Bombs)|
The Ka-29 is armed with:
- A choice between five presets:
- 1 x 7.62 mm GShG-7.62 machine gun (2,000 rpg)
- 1 x 7.62 mm GShG-7.62 machine gun + HIRSS
- 1 x 7.62 mm GShG-7.62 machine gun + HIRSS + 256 x countermeasures
- 1 x 7.62 mm GShG-7.62 machine gun + HIRSS + 256 x countermeasures + IRCM
- 1 x 7.62 mm GShG-7.62 machine gun + HIRSS + 256 x countermeasures + IRCM + 1 x 30 mm 2A42 cannon (200 rpg)
The Ka-29's internal gun consists of a GShG-7.62 gatling gun mounted in front of the gunner. It is the Soviet equivalent to the US M134 Minigun and boasts a high rate of fire suitable for hosing down nearby aircraft. However, its rifle-calibre bullets cannot do meaningful damage to ground vehicles and contemporary jets can soak up many stray hits, so it is not nearly as threatening as the heavy machine guns and autocannons available to the Hinds. In addition, it does not have a proper turret, instead firing through a cutout in the nose, so the horizontal sweep of 15 degrees to the left and right is very limited.
The Ka-29 can optionally mount a much more threatening 30 mm 2A42 autocannon on the left side of the fuselage. It only has 200 rounds, but that is enough to do some serious damage to light vehicles. It even has access to APDS rounds, which can penetrate the roof and side armour of MBTs without too much trouble.
The Ka-29 can be outfitted with the following ordnance presets:
- Without load
- 80 x S-8KO rockets
- 2 x 9M114 Shturm missiles
- 8 x 9M114 Shturm missiles
- 4 x 23 mm GSh-23L cannons (250 rpg = 1,000 total)
Custom loadout options
|23 mm GSh-23L cannons (250 rpg)||1||1||1||1|
|9M114 Shturm missiles||4||2, 4|
The Ka-29's primary anti-tank weapon is the 9M114 Shturm missile, just like the Hinds. They are rather weak, with poor raw penetration and no tandem warhead, but have great flight speed and decent range. They will struggle against enemies with composite or reactive armour, so they should be prioritized for use against softer targets. The Ka-29 has better optical zoom (15x) than the Hinds (10x), which makes it easier to target weak points when using the Shturms from standoff ranges. The ATGMs are mounted only on the outer pylons.
Also like the Hinds, S-8KO rocket pods are available. Swarms of 80 mm HEAT rockets are helpful for rocket rushes or sneaky flanks and are the Ka-29's main weapons during the stock grind. The ballistic computer provides CCIP, making aiming a breeze.
Finally, there are gun pods containing GSh-23L cannons. Although they pack a much bigger punch than the Ka-29's gatling gun, they are not nearly as useful against ground targets as the S-8KO rockets and are still much less effective than the 30 mm autocannon. It is best to leave the hardpoints to other weapons.
The Ka-29 is still missing several important fixtures of the Hinds' arsenal, most notably the S-24 heavy rockets and R-60 air-to-air missiles. Not having S-24s makes it hard to engage enemies outside of close range without ATGMs (and the associated higher spawn costs), and the lack of air-to-air missiles seriously hampers the Ka-29's ability to defend itself against aircraft.
Usage in battles
In Ground RB, with its armament, speed, and manoeuvrability, the Ka-29 is the perfect support helicopter. With the 9M114 Shturm missiles, you'll be able to pick off targets from a distance, more importantly high-profile targets in good positions that may be giving your team a hard time. Eight Shturms is more than enough to destroy a great amount of enemies. If you run out of ATGMs, it is advised to return to the helipad and re-arm. If you feel that you can still fight and be supportive to the team, you have 40 S-8KOs and, if unlocked, the 30 mm 2A42 cannon.
The S-8KO unguided rockets penetrate up to 420 mm of armour at a 0° angle. They are great for destroying light tanks and critically damaging MBTs from range. Up close, they destroy anything. Since the Ka-29 has access to the ballistic computer, this allows for great accuracy with both the rockets and the gun. As for the 7.62 mm GShG-7.62 minigun operated by the gunner, it is only really useful against helicopters you may encounter early game. As your degree of fire is limited with the GShG-7.62, helicopters are easier targets than fast-flying jets. Generally, it is recommended to leave destroying air targets to your teammates. The Ka-29 lacks effective air-to-air capabilities, though the 2A42 may be able to ward off any incoming jet aircraft eager to shoot you down.
With no RWR on board, it is advised to check each spawn for any SPAA that could be lying there. Going up high and attacking tanks from above, while still holding your altitude, is a great strategy, though it is imperative that you watch the skies for inbound enemy aircraft. If a MANPADs is spotted, using the 'Periodic countermeasure release' button can come in handy. As FIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles oftentimes prove to be invincible to countermeasures once in the air, so-called "pre-flaring" at the sight of a MANPADs vehicle using the periodic countermeasure release seems to be one of the only options to defend against these threats. There is a chance that the missile will go for your flares right off the launch, but this is not guaranteed to happen every time. Being very flare-resistant missiles, defense against MANPADs should be a top priority, alongside destroying enemy ground units.
In Ground Assault Arcade, the Ka-29 also functions well in its support role. The best loadout to take is the 9M114 Shturm ATGMs and the S-8KO unguided rockets. In this mode, your munitions automatically reload once spent, allowing for more longevity on the battlefield.
In Helicopter EC, the gun shines in this mode in an air-to-air capability, though it is recommended that you watch your ammo. Bringing Shturms is a must if you would like to engage enemy helicopters outside 1km range. The S-8KOs are a comfortable platform in this mode, as you fire each one of them individually. Paired with the ballistic computer, the Ka-29 can rack up multiple ground kills.
Pros and cons
- Surprisingly nimble
- Coaxial rotor design increases stability, especially in fast dives
- Effective anti-tank capabilities
- The 30 mm 2A42 cannon is incredibly potent, especially with the 'Armoured targets' belt
- Large amount of countermeasures, including HIRSS and IRCM
- Ballistic computer allows for precise shooting
- Rotary machine gun is rifle-calibre, making it useless against heavy armour
- Rotary machine gun has limited degrees of fire, making usage difficult
- No air-to-air missiles, highly vulnerable to other aircraft and helicopters
- Lacks thermal vision, can only use basic infrared image intensifiers
- Low ammo count for the 30 mm, some trigger discipline is required
- Lacks an RWR, making spotting ground-based air defences like SAMs and MANPADs difficult
Development of the Ka-29 began in 1973, after engineers at the Kamov Design Bureau decided to create an attack transport variant of the Ka-27, which itself had successfully undertaken its maiden flight that year. Initially, the machine was to be designated Ka-252TB, but was later changed to Ka-29. The Ka-29 was intended to support amphibious naval operations by providing fire support for advancing troops.
After some development work, the prototype of the Ka-29 was ready for testing and conducted its maiden flight in July 1976. Testing was successfully completed by 1979, with the Ka-29 entering mass production in 1984. Shortly after, the Ka-29 entered service with the Soviet Navy in 1985, serving aboard the newly commissioned Ivan Rogov-class landing ships.
Production of the Ka-29 lasted until 1988, with about 60 units of the type being built. This helicopter saw combat in Chechnya in 2000-2001, and a few units served in police special operations branches. The Ka-29 is still in service with Russian and foreign navies more than three decades after its initial introduction to service.
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the helicopter;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|Kamov Design Bureau|
|Attack||Ka-29 · Ka-50 · Ka-52|
|Hip||Mi-8AMTSh · Mi-8TV|
|Hind||Mi-24A · ▂Mi-24D · Mi-24P · Mi-24V · Mi-35M|
|Havoc||Mi-28N · Mi-28NM|
|Hokum||Ka-50 · Ka-52|