Russia’s most advanced military helicopter prototypes are in pre-production now, with delivery slated for no later than the end of 2018, according to Andrei Boginsky, CEO of Russian Helicopters Group. In a statement made to TASS on Tuesday, March 6th, Mr. Boginsky said that two helicopters are stipulated in the current contract.
This helicopter began its life in 2009, but the new machines are significantly different than the original models. The new Mil Mi-28NM features a helmet-mounted target designation and display system as part of its onboard radar equipment. Essentially an augmented reality interface, this system ties in to the N025 all-round surveillance radar and warfare system. The helicopter is specified as a gunship, with the capability to locate and destroy low-speed air targets as well as tanks and armored and non-armored hardware at any time of day, and in any weather conditions.
The Mi-28NM was compared favorably with the US attack helicopter known as the AH-64-D Apache. The NM model is billed as a fifth-generation gunship, with an anti-jamming system and a laser array that can deflect incoming heat-seeking missiles, according to Yevgeny Poluyanov, speaking for the Mil Experiemental Design Bureau.
The exact specs on the Mi-28NM are not known, but the previous model Mi-28N can provide us with some idea of the capabilities of the new model.
- Crew: Two: 1 pilot (rear), 1 navigator/weapons operator (front)
- Length: 17.91 m (58 ft 9 in)
- Rotor diameter: 17.20 m (56 ft 5 in)
- Height: 3.82 m (12.5 ft (150 in))
- Disc area: 232.35 m² (2,501 ft²)
- Empty weight: 7,890 kg (17,400 lb)
- Loaded weight: 10,500 kg (23,150 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 11,700 kg (25,800 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Klimov TV3-117 turboshaft, 1,636 kW (2,194 shp) each
- Maximum speed: 324 km/h (175 knots, 201 mph)
- Cruise speed: 265 km/h (145 knots, 164 mph)
- Range: 435 km (234 nmi, 270 mi)
- Combat radius: 200 km (108 nmi, 124 mi) ; with 10 min loiter and 5% reserves
- Ferry range: 1,105 km (595 nmi, 685 mi)
- Service ceiling: 4,950 m (16,250 ft)
- Rate of climb: 13.6 m/s (816 m/min, 2,677 ft/min)
- Power/mass: 0.31 kw/kg for TV3-117 ()
- Hovering ceiling: 3,600 m (11,811 ft)
- Guns: 1× chin-mounted 30 mm Shipunov 2A42 cannon with 250 rounds (±110° horizontal fire)
- Hardpoints: Two pylons under each stub wing to mount bombs, rockets, missiles, and gun pods. Main armament configurations include:
- 16 Ataka-V anti-tank missiles and 40 S-8 rockets, Or
- 16 Ataka-V anti-tank missiles, and 10 S-13 rocket, Or
- 16 Ataka-V anti-tank missiles, and two 23 mm UPK-23-250 gun pods each containing a GSh-23L with 250 rounds.
- Other ordnance: 9K118 Sheksna, 9A-2200, and 9M123 Khrizantema anti-tank missiles, 8 Igla-V and Vympel R-73 air-to-air missiles, 2 KMGU-2 mine dispensers
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.