In a significant move to bolster its aerial capabilities, the Russian Defence Ministry has placed an order for additional Mil MI-8AMTSh-V Terminator helicopters from the Russian Helicopters Holding company, a subsidiary of Rostec State Corporation. The contract was formalized at the prestigious ARMY 2023 Forum, where Lieutenant General Anatoly Gulyaev, Head of the Main Armament Department of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, and Oleg Gulyaev, Deputy Head of the Russian Helicopters holding, signed an additional agreement to the existing state contract. Manufactured by the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant JSC, a proud member of the Russian Helicopters holding and Rostec, the Terminator boasts a suite of upgrades that enhance its performance and versatility. Labeled as the “Terminator,” the “Sh” in its designator alludes to “Shturmovik,” or “Stormer,” signifying its role in assault operations. This moniker was fittingly unveiled at the 1999 Farnborough Air Show in Great Britain, capturing international attention for its imposing presence and formidable capabilities. The helicopter was formally adopted by the Russian Air Force in 2009, further cementing its position as a staple of the nation’s aerial arsenal.
The MI-8AMTSh-V Terminator helicopter, a modified version of the Mi-8AMTSh, a design first commissioned in 2009, stands as a testament to Russian ingenuity and technological prowess. Key among these enhancements are the new Klimov VK-2500-03 gas turbine engines, which provide increased power and efficiency. Moreover, the helicopter is equipped with a more robust TA-14 auxiliary power plant and modernized avionics equipment, ensuring optimal performance across various operational scenarios. The Mi-8AMTSh-V Terminator represents the armored armed assault transport variant of the Mi-8AMT, an esteemed member of the Russian Ministry of Defence’s fleet since 2009. This formidable aircraft has played a pivotal role in the Russian Federation Air Force Modernization program, with the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant successfully delivering 10 Mi-171AMTSh helicopters to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. These helicopters, marked by their resilience and advanced capabilities, were officially accepted by the Customer in early December 2010 and swiftly integrated into the Air Force’s operations.
The Terminator’s armament is a testament to its combat readiness. Armed with S-8 unguided missiles, 23-mm cannons, and a variety of small arms, including forward and aft PKT machine guns, AKM submachine guns, PKK and PKT machine guns on the sides, the helicopter boasts a diverse and potent array of weaponry. Notably, the Shturm-V anti-tank complex with Ataka guided missiles equips the Terminator to engage heavily armored targets, demonstrating its proficiency in both offensive and defensive roles. The formidable firepower of the Terminator is further underscored by the inclusion of double-barreled Tula guns GSh-23L, designed by Gryazev-Shipunov. These awe-inspiring weapons discharge an astonishing three thousand rounds per minute, asserting dominance over adversaries within a three-kilometer radius. Capable of utilizing high-explosive fragmentation, armor-piercing explosive, and armor-piercing incendiary projectiles, these guns solidify the Terminator’s reputation as a formidable combat platform.
With a maximum take-off weight of 13 tonnes, the Mi-8AMTSh-V Terminator boasts an impressive carrying capacity of up to 4 tonnes or 36 personnel. Its practical ceiling of 6,000 meters and a maximum speed of 250 km/h grant it remarkable versatility, allowing it to excel in a wide range of mission profiles. Notably, its flight range extends to 580 km, ensuring its effectiveness over substantial distances. Combining its remarkable striking potential with its capacious cargo hold, the Terminator emerges as a versatile amphibious combat unit, uniquely suited to clearing bridgeheads and executing landings under hostile fire. Its operational prowess is matched only by its speed, capable of reaching 250 kilometers per hour, and its range, extending to an impressive 610 kilometers. Furthermore, with its capacity to transport up to 36 individuals, the Terminator is a complete combat solution, consolidating power, mobility, and adaptability into a single remarkable machine. The Russian Defence Ministry’s decision to acquire additional MI-8AMTSh-V Terminator helicopters underscores the nation’s commitment to modernizing and enhancing its defense capabilities.