All Mi-35M assault helicopters equipped with Vitebsk onboard defense system

Experts of the Moscow Helicopter Plant named after M.L. Mil (MVZ, an affiliate of the Russian Helicopters holding company) have installed additional Vitebsk onboard defense systems at all Mi-35M assault helicopters, which are in service with the Russian Air Force judging from the MVZ presentation materials, which have been received by TASS.

All Mi 35M assault helicopters equipped with Vitebsk onboard defense system Russian Mi-35M (Picture source: Yevgeny Volkov)

"All the Mi-35M helicopters were equipped with the Vitebsk onboard defense systems and put in operation. At present, they are accomplishing combat missions in Russia and beyond its borders safeguarding our country’s interests in airspace," the document said.

The presentation materials say that the arms department of the Russian Aerospace Forces set the task to equip Mi-35M helicopters with the Vitebsk systems in 2016. "The installation of onboard defense systems will enable army aviation helicopters of this type to apply them at night and protect them from man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems," the presentation’s authors explained.
The Russian Defense Ministry said back in March 2017 that the Vitebsk onboard defense system would be upgraded seriously on the basis of combat experience gained in Syria and would be installed on army aviation helicopters.

The KB-7 design bureau of the MVZ was in charge of the modernization effort. A contract for fitting out Mi-35M helicopters with additional equipment had been executed by September 2018, the presentation documents said.

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