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Mil Mi-35M

Attack helicopter

Mi-35M

The Mi-35M is an upgraded export night attack version of the famous Mi-24 gunship

 
 
Country of origin Russia
Entered service 2010
Crew 2 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 17 m
Main rotor diameter 17 m
Height 6.5 m
Weight (empty) ~ 8 t
Weight (maximum take off) 11.5 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x GTD TV3-117VMA turboshafts
Engine power 2 x 2 200 hp
Maximum speed 310 km/h
Service ceiling 5.7 km
Range 435 km
Ferry range 1 000 km
Payload
Passengers 8 troops
Internal payload 2.4 t
External payload ?
Armament
Cannon two-barrel 23-mm cannon
Missiles Ataka-V or Shturm-V anti-tank missiles or Igla air-to-air missiles
Other 57-mm, 80-mm, 130-mm or 240-mm rockets

 

   The famous Mi-24 (NATO designation Hind) saw action in many hotspots, local wars, armed conflicts and special operations all around the world. Despite its age the Mi-24 remains in service with at least 50 air arms.

   The Mi-24 made its name for being easy and cheap to maintain. This helicopter also proved to be reliable. However refurbishment, upgrades and modernization is necessary in order to keep these ageing gunships operational. Especially its electronics needs to be improved to meet modern demands and competitiveness in modern warfare.

   Upgraded Mi-35M (NATO Designation Hind-E) was first revealed in 1999. It is an export version of the Mi-24VM. This helicopter is intended only for export. The Mil Helicopter Plant introduced a more modern Mi-28 back in 1990s. However many countries, including Russia, can not replace their ageing fleet of Mi-24 attack helicopters due to funding problems. So refurbishment and production of helicopters such as the Mi-35M continues.

   Production of the Mi-35M commenced in 2005. This attack helicopter and is derivatives are in service with Azerbaijan (24), Brazil (12), Iraq (24), Venezuela (8) and possibly some other countries.

   The main role of this helicopter is destruction of armored vehicles, enemy troops, UAVs and other helicopters. Its secondary role is delivery of troops and special cargo, evacuation of wounded. It can operate at night and in adverse weather conditions.

   The Mi-35M has a number of improvements. It differs from the basic model by main rotor system of the Mi-28 and X-shape tail rotor. Main rotor's fiberglass blades have new aerodynamic profile. These are lighter but stronger due to titanium details. Helicopter also has upgraded turboshaft engines. Flight performance such as altitude and maneuverability improved due to these changes. Stub wings were shortened in order to reduce weight. Wings have a number of hardpoints for weapons and other uses.

   Electronic core of the helicopter underwent fundamental modifications. A whole spectrum of new electronic systems were adopted in the cockpit. The Mi-35M is fitted with upgraded avionics and improved sensor package, including night vision system. Helicopter is also fitted with electro-optical rangefinder/targeting system with thermal imaging guidance channel, satellite positioning and navigation system, electronic multifunction displays, onboard computer and new generation jam-proof communications equipment.

   This attack helicopter can carry different weapons, including podded guns, 8 Ataka-V or Shturm-V ant-tank missiles and Igla-V air-to-air missiles, unguided rockets or bombs. Armament depends on customer requirements. A nose turret is fitted with a GSh-231 23-mm twin-barrel cannon. The cockpit and vital components of this helicopter are significantly armored.

   The Mi-35M has a payload capacity of a whooping 2 400 kg. It can carry a full infantry squad of 8 fully-equipped troops. This feature makes this helicopter unique comparing with Western attack helicopters. A large-caliber machine gun, as well as general purpose machine guns can be installed in the cargo cabin.

   Landing gear of the Mi-35M is no longer retractable. This reduced overall weight of the helicopter. Also in case of the crash the landing gear absorbs some of the energy.

   It is worth mentioning that other countries also offer their refurbished and upgraded versions of the Mi-24 Hind with modern avionics, weapons, engines and night operation capability. South African company Advanced Technologies and Engineering (ATE) proposes its Superhind upgrade programme. It is estimated that 1 500 Hinds remain in service so market for upgrades remain substantial.

 

Variants

 

   Mi-35M1 baseline night attack version;

   Mi-35M2 updated version for the Venezuelan army. It is fitted with VK-2500 engines for high-altitude operations;

   Mi-35M3 version with updated avionics. It has improved night-time operation capability. Weapons of this gunship include Ataka, Shturm, Igla-V missiles. There is also a 23-mm cannon. A number of changes were made to increase life-cycle and simplify maintenance;

   Mi-35M4, also known as AH-2 Sabre. It is an updated version with Israeli avionics for Brazilian Air Force. Brazil ordered 12 of these helicopters. Deliveries were completed in 2014.

   Mi-35MS is a VIP transport helicopter with enhanced command, control and communications capabilities. It is intended to transport Russian military command. This helicopter carries no armament. In 2014 it has been reported that 3 of these helicopters will be built.

 

Zaal Tchkuaseli

   Article by ZAAL TCHKUASELI

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Video of the Mi-35M attack helicopter

 
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