Russian Ministry of Defence Approves Upgrade of Mi-28 Attack Helicopters

The Russian Ministry of Defense has green lighted a plan to upgrade its existing Mi-28 helicopters to Mi-28NM standard. The upgrade envisages outfitting Mi-28N/Mi-28NE helicopters with dual control, individual protection kits and a modernized optoelectronic target sight system similar to that on the Mi-28NM. This effort also stipulates installing a next-generation onboard radar station and expanding the armaments with light multi-purpose missiles, bombing weapons and rockets, and adding an option to operate in conjunction with unmanned aerial vehicles.

In their work on upgrading the ‘Night Hunter’ combat helicopter, specialists of the Mil and Kamov National Helicopter Center (part of the Russian Helicopters Group within the state tech corporation Rostec) also used the experience of developing the Mi-28UB combat trainer. The helicopter’s crew cabin has also been modernized. The gunship’s commander and operating pilot will now get all the data on the situation and all the onboard systems that will enhance the crew’s situational awareness, and increase the quickness of making decisions in a complex combat environment.

Mi-28 Attack Helicopters (Photo by Russian Helicopters JSC)

The Mil Mi-28 (NATO reporting name “Havoc”) is a Russian all-weather, day-night, military tandem, two-seat anti-armor attack helicopter. It is an attack helicopter with no intended secondary transport capability, better optimized than the Mil Mi-24 gunship for the role. It carries a single gun in an undernose barbette, plus external loads carried on pylons beneath stub wings. The Mi-28 is a new-generation attack helicopter that functions as an air-to-air and air-to-ground partner for the Mi-24 Hind and Ka-50 Hokum.

Mi-28NM is an upgraded version of the Mi-28N under development since 2009. The helicopter has redesigned nose hull due to removal of its nose antenna, new H025 radar station for all-round visibility, more powerful VK-2500P engines with FADEC instead of the previous Klimov TV3-117VMA engines and improved rotor blades to increase its maximum speed by 13% and cruise speed by 10%. It has an upgraded fire-control system and new “Izdeliye 296” onboard data processing system. It will be equipped to carry the 9M123 Khrizantema-V and 9M127-1 Ataka-VM anti-tank missiles.

Mi-28 Attack Helicopters (Photo by Russian Helicopters JSC)