Ka-31 Radar Picket Airborne Early Warning (AEW) helicopter of Russian Navy was spotted in Jeblah (20 minutes South of Latakia), Syria. That was reported by Hammer Head.
The Ka-31 is a Russian-made military helicopter, designed to play the naval airborne early warning and control role. Its visually distinctive feature is the large antenna of the early-warning radar, rotating or folded and stowed under the fuselage.
The main mission of the Ka-31 is a long-range detection airborne and naval threats. This helicopter can track targets over much larger horizon than ship’s radars. It makes it an important completion for naval task force, whose ships are too small to operate carrier-borne early warning aircraft. In the Russian Navy the Ka-31 is mainly used on the Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and Sovremeny class and Udaloy class destroyers.
All four landing gear units are retractable, making space for the movement of the E-801E Oko (eye) surveillance radar’s antenna, which is a large rectangular planar array that rests flat under the fuselage when inactive.
Radar of the Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopter has a 360° coverage and can spot aircraft-size target from 150 km range. Surface ships are spotted from 100 – 200 km range. Radar can track 30-40 targets simultaneously. Helicopter has a datalink to transfer the target tracking data to the command post. The Ka-31 is fitted with GPS and digital terrain mapping systems.