MOSCOW, Russia – An updated version of the Mi-28NM Nochnoi Okhotnik (Night Hunter) combat helicopter will be delivered to the Russian Army soon.
The aircraft has been enhanced with increased stealth and target detection capabilities, increased engine power and the installation of high-precision missiles.
Advanced technology on board
Considering there are more advantages than disadvantages in the “dual” pilot system of the previous version of the helicopter, military experts have decided to maintain this constructive solution. However, the new version has one more control and pedals assigned to the co-pilot sitting behind the commander, which increases the possibility of survival of the aircraft if one of the crew is injured in combat.
Cabin equipment has also been modernized: pilots can gain more complete information about the environment and the operation of all aircraft systems, thereby facilitating interaction and decision-making efficiency in a combat situation. The armor is also reinforced: the crew is now protected from bullets and calipers up to twenty millimeters. In addition, the helicopter has greater resistance to damage due to the special materials used and design solutions. For example, rotor blades are made of composites that allow the completion of the flight safely, even if they are struck by a 20-30 millimeter gauge. Likewise, the modified design of the fuel system eliminates the explosion or ignition of the fuel.
The Mi-28NM should be equipped with a modern laser defensive system capable of deflecting missiles fired by an enemy helicopter. At the same time, the radar antenna was moved from the nose to the center of the rotor and covered by a spherical fairing. This change helps to more effectively use precision weapons on board, including missiles, as it broadens the pilot’s panoramic view and reduces the time to search and destroy targets. The Mi-28NM has become a machine capable of facing any weather conditions and destroying any targets, including tanks and drones.
Along with the new electronics, the Mi-28NM received a Russian VK-2500P engine. The power in emergency mode increased from 2,700 to 2,800 horsepower and from 2,400 to 2,500 at takeoff. What’s more, the maximum speed of the helicopter has increased to almost 325 kilometers per hour.
The aircraft will be equipped with 9M123M Khrizantema-BM antitank missiles. In addition, the installation of pumps is being considered.
Position against competition
Several experts comment on the significant superiority of the Russian helicopter over its main US competitor: the AH-64D Apache-D. In particular, the representative of the Mil Helicopter Plant, Yevgeny Poluyanov, points out the great effectiveness of the Russian helicopter in reaching aerial targets with the latest missile system.
It should be noted that Apache has been in service for the longest time – since the 1980s – and has gone through several stages of modernization.
However, according to aviation expert and editor-in-chief of Vzlet magazine, Andrei Fomin, it is still premature to compare the Mi-28NM with the latest versions of Apache, as the Russian helicopter has yet to go through several stages of testing.