First Mi-28NM helicopters to be supplied in 2020

The Russian Aerospace Forces will receive the first batch of the latest Mi-28NM helicopter gunships by the end of the year. The rotorcraft will be used to retrain pilots, the Izvestia daily writes.

First Mi 28NM helicopters to be supplied in 2020 The Mi-28NM helicopter gunship is designed to search for and destroy low-speed air targets, tanks, armored and non-armored vehicles as well as enemy manpower in daytime and at night, in all weather conditions (Picture source: Army Recognition)

According to the delivery plan obtained by the newspaper, six helicopters have to be produced in 2020 and another 12 in 2001. The first Mi-28NM will be supplied to the 344th combat training center, sources in the Defense Ministry said. Pilots will be retrained to operate them and regiments will be later rearmed with the latest helicopters.

Formally, it is an upgraded option of Mi-28N. However, numerous improvements make it a completely new helicopter which exceeds the predecessor in all parameters. It has more powerful engines and controls. The helicopter ensures a high crew safety. The cockpit and critical units are protected by armor capable of resisting large-caliber bullets. Manpad fire warning system detects a launched missile, analyzes its trajectory and recommends the pilot either to escape or fire heat traps. The laser jammer can make guided missiles deviate.

Shock-absorbing chassis and seats can save the crew in a crash from several dozen meters. At a major altitude, the crew can leave the cockpit and land on a parachute. The side doors will automatically eject.

One of the Mi-28NM innovations is the above-the-rotor radar. Its antenna is located over the lifting rotor and is covered by a ball-shaped cowl. It helps obtain terrain images while hiding in the relief.

The navigational and sighting complex has been remade for the engagement of long-range antitank guided missiles Khrisantema-VM. The new communication equipment can control drones. The helicopter is also to be armed with the latest antitank guided missiles with laser munitions. The onboard electronics are operating dozens of times faster.

The production of all components, including VK-2500 engines, has been localized. The onboard self-defense complex has been upgraded to protect the helicopter against antiaircraft missiles. Mi-28NM received double controls to train pilots and refrain from acquiring Mi-28UB training modification for the purpose.

Mi-28NM is to replace Mi-24 gunships whose life cycle has expired, former Commander of the 4th air force and defense army, Hero of Russia Valery Gorbenko said. "Mi-28 belongs to the next generation of helicopters. It is a modern craft and its modifications can be engaged in various conditions. Mi-28NM is excellently fit for combat missions also at nighttime," he said.

The supplies of helicopters capable of operating at night is due to the specifics of the latest local conflicts, Gorbenko said. The militants usually hide in daytime and move after the sunset.

Mi-28NM for the first time took off in 2016. Designers did a lot in an intensive manner to prepare batch production, merited test pilot and Hero of Russia Igor Malikov said.

"A specific and a big number of flights is envisaged to test each system of an airplane or helicopter. The troops need such a rotorcraft due to the military-political situation emerging in the world. Therefore, the designers had little time," he said.

In 2019, Mi-28NM was engaged in the Syrian combat in mountains and desert. It was decided the helicopter was fit for operations. A hundred Mi-28NM have to be supplied by 2028, the Izvestia recalled.

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