Squadron Leaders Tarun Dagar and Ashish Rajpoot will take you inside the Indian Air Force’s flying gunship MI-35. The Indian Air Force currently operates two Mi-25/35 Helicopter Squadrons (No.104 Firebirds and No.125 Gladiators) and has a requirement for at least another unit. The first unit to fly the Mi-25s was No.125 Helicopter Squadron, “The Gladiators”, raised in November 1983. This was followed by No.104 Squadron, “Pioneer Rotarians aka Firebirds”, in 1990.
The multirole Mi-35M attack helicopter is a comprehensive modernisation of the Mi-24V. The Mi-35M was developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, and has been series produced at Rostvertol since 2005. For round-the-clock combat use, the Mi-35M is equipped with the latest navigation and avionics suite with multifunction coloured displays, target sights system that includes a thermal imager and TV channels, laser range finder and location finder. The Mi-35M is distinguished by its improved construction. It is equipped with the latest Klimov-produced powerful VK-2500 turboshaft engines, fibreglass main rotor blades, main rotor head with elastomeric joints, a new swashplate and X-type tail rotor. The Mi-35M’s fuselage boasts shortened stub wings and fixed landing gear.
The Mi-35M boasts enhanced flight capabilities, and can be operated at high temperatures and in mountainous terrain. The Mi-35M’s design ensures low noise levels, greater combat resilience, and reduces the workload on maintenance staff. Mi-24/25/35 helicopters have proved their high levels of operational efficiency over many years in service. The Mi-35M combines this unique experience of combat operation with the latest achievements and developments in helicopter building.