Russia's upgraded Mi-28NM attack helicopter took to the skies

World Aviation Defense & Security News - Russia
Russia's upgraded Mi-28NM attack helicopter took to the skies
The development model of the modernized Russian attack helicopter Mi-28N made its maiden flight, TASS reported from the site of the event. Flight tests of the helicopter began in the middle of the year and it took off and hovered for the first time in early September.
Russia MI 28NM performs first flight 640 001Russian Helicopters' Mi-28NM attack helicopter
(Credit: Dmitriy Serebriakov/TASS)
The Russian Helicopters Holding said the experience of designing Mi-28UB training and combat helicopter was used in modernized Mi-28NM. The front cockpit got a second control panel. The cockpit was upgraded so that the pilot and the operator can receive information on surrounding situation and performance of the craft in bigger volume and a more accessible form.

Besides, the helicopter received a new targeting, piloting and navigational complex. The armored cockpit will protect the crew from armor-piercing bullets and shells of 20-mm caliber.

The helicopter is equipped with mast-mounted radar and has increased capabilities of using high-precision weapons, including self-guided missiles. The craft has minimum signature for ground air defense.

Mi-28NM has an integrated onboard radio-electronic complex which detects and identifies ground and air targets, determines their coordinates and transmits targeting data to ground and airborne command posts. The helicopter is armed with guided and unguided missiles and a 30-mm caliber gun.

Attending the machine’s first test flight in Tomilino, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said that the Mi-28NM Night Hunter attack helicopter’s development built on the lessons learnt in the Syrian operation. "This is an example of upgrading the Army Aviation’s Mi-28 helicopter family based on the results the type has produced in battle as part of the Syrian conflict," he said after the sortie had been over.

According to Borisov, the Defense Ministry is intent on buying the helicopter, which production will be launched by Rostvertol after the aircraft passes its tests.

According to Alexander Mikheyev, director general of Russian Helicopters (a subsidiary of Rostec), a low-rate initial production (LRIP) batch of upgraded Mi-28NMs is due to the military in 2018. "We are going to deliver the LRIP batch of helicopters of the type in 2018," he said.

Previously, Russian Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Victor Bondarev said the fielding of the advanced Mi-28NM would begin 2018 at the latest.
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