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Analysis: Russia launches batch production of Mi-35P helicopter


Rostvertol plant of Russian Helicopters Holding launched batch production of Mi-35P combat transport helicopter. It is the latest Mi-24 modification which inherited all advantages and got rid of drawbacks and acquired new capabilities, Rostec said.

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Analysis Russia launches batch production of Mi 35P helicopter 925 001Mi-35P combat transport helicopter. (Picture source: Savvas Petoussis on Wikimedia)


Mi-24/35 design was so successful that it became one of the most widely used helicopter gunships in the world and is operated by over 60 countries. Upgraded Mi-35M gave a second breath to Mi-24 and its batch production began in 2006. The Mi-24 option was initially produced for export. The supplies to the Russian armed forces began in 2011.

Mi-35P is the latest modification of Mi-24/35. The helicopter gunships debuted at Army-2018 forum. In 2020, it completed flight trials and Rostvertol is now producing the first batch for a foreign customer.

There are minimal exterior differences from Mi-24. The construction and armor remained unchanged, as they proved reliable during many years of operation. Mostly electronic equipment was upgraded. Mi-35P received equipment which expanded control and combat capabilities.

The sight with third-generation matrix long-wave heat imager is below the body. The heat imager with a color high-resolution TV camera, a laser ranger and night vision goggles of generation 3+ help Mi-35P destroy targets at night at a distance of 10 kilometers.

Passive protection is provided by an armored cockpit and windows. Mi-35P can also carry active protection - onboard defense complex with a laser station.

The above-mentioned equipment can be installed on Mi-35P on customer request. The basic option is equipped with an exhaust-heat shield. It cools the exhaust gasses and thus decreases the signature and complicates guidance of heat homing missiles.

Mi-35P rotor is equipped with aluminum blades protected against icing and destruction. Current-conducting heated fabric is in charge of icing and nitrogen gas monitors blade destruction. The blade is filled with the gas and a technician can see the smallest cracks and replace the blade. Mi-35P blades are replaced by single units in contrast to other helicopters which replace the whole set of lifting rotor blades. The replacement takes close to one hour. Mi-35M has a fixed landing gear to compensate a landing shock, and a shorter wing. The helicopter is fit to destroy large armored targets. Mi-35P is a speed option which preserved Mi-24 capabilities to destroy site targets and troops. Its retractable gear increases speed. The helicopter is effective in local conflicts where no heavy hardware is engaged. The helicopter can operate in high temperatures and in mountains. Mi-35P can be engaged in situations where Mi-28N and Ka-52 capacities are excessive.

Mi-35P crew comprises three men. The commander seats in the back cockpit and controls the general flight mission. The operator pilot stays in the lower cockpit and is in charge of guidance and destruction. He can also fly the helicopter. The technician stays in the cargo cabin.

Mi-35P automatically approaches the target. The cruising speed is 260 km/h, the maximum speed is 335 km/h, the flight distance with the main fuel tanks is 450 km, ferry range is 1000 km, dynamic ceiling is 4.5 km. Two engines of TV3-117VMA power plant of UEC-Klimov develop a takeoff capacity of 4400 HP.

Mi-35P is armed with moving two-barrel 23mm gun, unguided S-8 missiles, and can carry suspended containers with 23mm guns, unguided S-13 missiles, antitank Ataka guided missiles with two-channel controls, or Vikhr-1 and Vikhr-1M missiles. The arms can be expanded upon customer request.

Mi-35P helicopter gunships combine combat engagement experience of Mi-24/35 and the latest achievements of Russian helicopter designers. The powerful, quick and protected rotorcraft with a broad range of functions enjoys a good export potential. Experts believe Mi-35P is of interest to the countries already operating Mi-24 and having the resource for the transition to the new helicopter, Rostec said.


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