Czech Republic gives Ukraine Mi-35 gunship attack helicopters


According to Drew Hinshaw in The Wall Street Journal on May 23, the Czech Republic has donated attack helicopters to Ukraine, and along with Slovakia, has allowed Ukraine’s army to send armored vehicles across their borders for repairs before they are returned to the conflict.

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Czech Republic gives UkraineMi 24 Hind attack helicopters  Czech Mil Mi-35, export version of the Mi-24V (Picture source: Czech MoD)


On April 7, Army Recognition reported that seized Russian tanks and military vehicles along with damaged Ukrainian military vehicles might end up at repair companies in Slovakia. As a result, the military aid provided to Ukraine might not be limited to the supplies of fuels, ammunition, air defense and anti-tank missiles.

The Mil Mi-24V gunships (actually, Mi-35, the export version of the Mi-24V) donated by the Czech Republic were deployed to Ukraine in recent weeks, part of a broader effort to help the country reclaim parity in its own airspace, Drew Hinshaw writes. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin thanked the Czechs for their donation during public comments after a meeting of allied defense officials on May 23. The gifts make the Czech Republic—which in April became the first NATO country to report donating tanks to Ukraine—the first to give Ukraine attack helicopters as well.

The Mi-35 (export version of the Mi-24V) was manufactured by the Rostvertol company based in Rostov on Don. The Czech Air Force got Mi-35s with several of its upgrade packages. Improvements applied to the Mi-35:
• Engines: TV3-117VMA
• EVU exhaust cooling system
• Modification of the cockpit and outer lights to facilitate night vision systems, including personal night vision goggles
• Satellite navigation system GPS (type Garmin-155 XL)
• Standby horizon (type LUN 1241, of the Czech make)
• Storage batteries VARTA
• Civilian Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) responder system
• New systems for signaling and flight data recording
• Altimeter in feet

Upgrading the Mi-35 for the ACR:
• Stabilised platform with optoelectronic FLIR night vision system
• Multifunctional displays with a sliding map system
• Upgraded communication and navigation equipment
• NATO-standard flight responder
• Camouflage in accordance with ACR and NATO standards
• Planning and combat support system

Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have all donated major weapon systems to Ukraine, in part because, as former members of the Communist bloc, the three militaries still retain spare parts and shared expertise for Ukraine's Soviet-designed equipment. Their governments also generally view Ukraine’s fight with Russia as existential for their own security and independence.


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