Serial Mi-28 in flight
One of the expected new equipment for the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation is a promising attack helicopter Mi-28NM. This machine has already been brought to mass production, and soon the helicopters will go to the troops. The transfer of the first batch is scheduled for 2020. Next year, large-scale deliveries await the VKS.
Tests of the upgraded Mi-28NM helicopter started in 2016 and ended relatively recently. Even before their completion, plans for future mass production were identified. In the early summer of last year, domestic media, citing unnamed sources, wrote about the need to purchase about a hundred cars. In the future, such data received official confirmation.
At the end of June, the leadership of Russian Helicopters spoke about the latest developments and specified plans for the Mi-28NM. At that time, two pilot helicopters had already been handed over to the Ministry of Defense for state tests. For 2020, it was planned to supply an installation batch of six cars. Just a few days later at the Army-2019 forum, the public first showed the first production Mi-28NM, built as part of this party.
Soon, details of the further construction of helicopters became known. Under the signed contracts, the Ministry of Defense ordered 98 Mi-28NMs in total. Under the terms of the contracts, the first 18 vehicles will be delivered to the VKS until 2021 inclusive. Then the pace of construction will increase, and until 2027 the army will receive another 80 helicopters. Procurement is carried out as part of the current State Arms Program for 2018-27.
Last year, the media repeatedly raised the issue of disagreements between the Ministry of Defense and industry in the field of equipment prices. According to some reports, the military even planned to abandon the purchase of helicopters with an excessively high cost. Subsequently, the leadership of the military department indicated that the new Mi-28NM turned out to be about one and a half times more expensive than the existing Mi-28UB, but this did not provide a proportional increase in capabilities.
Fortunately, all these problems have been successfully resolved. Participating enterprises have optimized their costs, and the signing of a contract for 98 helicopters has reduced the cost of a series. The consequences of this are obvious. The industry has a fairly large order, and the Ministry of Defense will be able to get all the desired equipment of a new type.
According to updated data ...
On January 24, 2020, Izvestia published new data on the progress of work on the Mi-28NM. The publication managed to get a plan for the supply of components for this equipment, which allows to draw certain conclusions. Data on the future operation of equipment received from sources in the Ministry of Defense is also provided.
It is reported that in 2020 the first six helicopters will be handed over to the army. The next 2021 is scheduled to supply twice as many helicopters. Thus, in 2020-21. The previously mentioned plans for the purchase and delivery of 18 new machines will be fulfilled. Only after this, deliveries to combat units are expected.
The first-party helicopters will arrive at the 344th Center for Combat Training and Retraining of Flight Personnel (Torzhok). This organization has to master new equipment and provide training for pilots from combat units. By the time the first helicopters are delivered to combat regiments, the training of personnel will be completed.
Serial production of Mi-28 helicopters was launched in 2006. For a number of reasons, early modifications of this machine were not mass-produced, and a full-fledged series began only with the "night" version of the Mi-28N. The first serial helicopters were handed over to the armed forces at the beginning of 2008. The 344th Pulp and Paper Mill and PLC in Torzhok received this technique.
Subsequently, supplies of equipment to combat units of the armed forces began. In 2010, the first squadron fully equipped with the Mi-28N began full service. By this time, dozens went to serial helicopters. Continuation of mass production, including under new contracts, allowed to rearm several more units.
Until recently, in the interests of the domestic customer, the Mi-28N helicopter and its version Mi-28UB with dual control and some special equipment were mass-produced. To date, the army managed to get about a hundred helicopters of these modifications. This equipment is operated in several parts in all major strategic areas.
Recent contracts provide for the supply of 98 helicopters of the new Mi-28NM version until 2027. The implementation of these plans will double the number of modern combat helicopters and accordingly increase combat efficiency aviation. There is also information about the planned modernization of the already manufactured Mi-28N to the “NM” state.
It is important that the Russian army is no longer the only customer of the Mi-28 family helicopters. In the recent past, helicopters of export modification Mi-28NE were acquired by Algeria and Iraq. In recent years, Iraqi machines have been actively used in various military operations and show all their capabilities.
The Mi-28NM helicopter is a modernized version of the existing Mi-28N. The update was carried out by replacing a number of units and introducing new devices. According to the results of such processing, the helicopter retains the main potential of its immediate predecessor, and also receives new functions, including borrowed from the combat training Mi-28.
The power plant and helicopter control systems have been modernized. Based on the experience gained, the booking of the most important sites and sites has been updated. It provides for the installation of a full-fledged airborne defense complex capable of identifying threats in a timely manner and taking necessary measures. The idea of double control was borrowed from the Mi-28UB project, but other training equipment is not used.
The Mi-28NM receives the N025 radar with over-sleeve antenna placement, which has proven itself in other projects. The sighting and navigation system has undergone a deep modernization. Now it provides the use of both modern and promising weapons. There is information about the possibility of using guided missiles of new types, such as Chrysanthemum-VM or Hermes-A. Communication equipment provides both data exchange and UAV control.
In general, the Mi-28NM is an improved version of the existing Mi-28N, but with several important differences. It retains all the benefits of its predecessor, and also receives new ones. As a result, the aerospace forces will be able to get a modern attack helicopter capable of solving a wide range of combat missions at any time of the day and in different conditions.
The launch of mass production of new equipment will allow for several years to re-equip a number of combat units and partially abandon obsolete models. The appearance of new helicopters with higher performance and wide capabilities will lead to an obvious increase in combat readiness. The training of personnel and the operation of equipment will also be somewhat simplified.
According to current plans and signed agreements for serial production, until 2027 inclusively, almost 28 new MiNMs will be at the disposal of the aerospace forces, which will almost double the fleet of modern attack helicopters of this family. And the first results of mass production of a new modification will appear this year.