The Pakistan Army Aviation Corps (PAAC) has begun receiving the Mi-35M attack helicopters ordered from Russia in 2015. Footage shows a Mi-35M in Pakistan Army Aviation (PAA) colours flying in Pakistan. In addition, Pakistani import-export logs show Rosoboronexport (Russia’s state-owned company responsible for managing Russian defence exports) making various helicopter-related deliveries to Pakistan in the first week of April. In particular on 04 April, the Pakistan Army took delivery of ‘helicopter equipment and ammunition’ from Rosoboronexport.
Pakistan bought the four Mi-35Ms in a $153 million US deal including training, spare parts, ground support equipment and – as per the import registries – munitions. The Pakistan military has expressed an interested in procuring up to 20 new Mi-35M helicopters in years ahead. “Given the cost of building the necessary Mi-35M logistics and maintenance infrastructure, expanding the fleet beyond four aircraft would financially be a sound decision for the Pakistani military.
The Mi-35M is a modernized variant of the Mi-24V Hind, the Mi-35M incorporates a series of improvements over the Mi-24, most notably an integrated countermeasures suite and compatibility to fire guided air-to-surface munitions. The Mi-35M can be powered by either two TV3-117VMA or VK-2500 turboshaft engines, thus providing a measure of commonality with the Mi-17/171. In addition to its two aircrew, the Mi-35M can also ferry up to eight personnel in its cabin and ferry cargo weighing up to 2,400 kg using its external sling. The Mi-35M is armed with a mounted twin-barrel GSh-23V 23 millimeter cannon and 80 and 120 millimeter rockets, as well as anti-tank guided missiles.
The Mi-35M attack helicopter, the export version of the Mi-24 gunship, was developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and has been produced in Russia since 2005. Next to serving in the Russian military, the aircraft has been exported to Azerbaijan, Brazil, Iraq, and Venezuela. he Mi-35 is particularly suited for mountainous terrain and can be deployed “round the clock” in adverse weather conditions. The website notes that the helicopter offers “combat use of guided and unguided weapons in regular and challenging climate conditions” and is “operational for attack flights at altitudes of 10-25 m daytime and 50 m at night over land or water.”