Military Review

"Sapsan" based on the "Terminator". Testing of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter has begun


Experienced Mi-8AMTSh-VN. Photo "Russian Helicopters"

After several years of waiting, the Russian Helicopters holding began ground and flight tests of the promising Mi-8AMTSh-VN attack transport helicopter. In the near future, the experienced equipment will pass all the necessary checks and enter service in the armed forces. Helicopters of the new type will be able to provide a wide range of operations.

Way to heaven

The attack transport helicopter Mi-8AMTSh-VN or Mi-171Sh-VN (code "Sapsan") was developed by the Mil company on an initiative basis on the basis of the Mi-8AMTSh-V machine, also known as the "Terminator". Subsequently, the project received the approval and support of the military department. An experienced helicopter of this type was first shown three years ago at the MAKS-2017 exhibition.

Subsequently, this machine was demonstrated several times at other specialized events; in parallel, the improvement of the project continued. The developers revealed the main features and advantages of the helicopter, and in addition, they mentioned that flight tests would begin in the coming years.

At last year's Army-2019 forum, the Ministry of Defense and Russian Helicopters signed the first contract for the supply of Mi-8AMTSh-VN. It provides for the construction and transfer of ten helicopters in 2020-21. The construction of equipment was entrusted to the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAZ). Then it became known about the plans to begin flight tests before the end of the year, but later they were postponed.

Updated nose of the helicopter. An additional optoelectronic unit is noticeable (left). Photo

On July 22, Russian Helicopters announced the start of complex tests. An experienced helicopter, built at UUAZ and modified by the Mil and Kamov National Center for Helicopter Engineering, has been tested on the ground and has already taken off. The tests were started by the NCV, and then the car will be transferred to the jurisdiction of specialized institutes and centers.

The first phase of testing with the existing prototype will last until November. Then a new stage will begin, which will involve two more helicopters. During these events, three Mi-8AMTSh-VN will have to confirm the calculated flight, maneuverable, combat and operational characteristics.

Complex of improvements

The promising Mi-8AMTSh-VN is a new development variant of the Mi-8AMTSh serial helicopter. In the new project, measures have been taken to improve all the main characteristics and combat qualities. Replaced part of the units, incl. key, and also introduced some new systems. The result was a helicopter capable of transporting people and cargo, as well as employing a wide range of air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons.

The Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter uses a pair of VK-2500-03 turboshaft engines connected to an upgraded transmission. The main rotor has been redesigned and received new composite blades. The tail rotor is now X-shaped for improved performance. The increase in thrust-to-weight ratio and characteristics of the carrier system made it possible to increase the carrying capacity and maximum flight speed. Altitude performance has also improved.

The variant of the combat load is a machine gun, an aerial bomb, unguided missiles and ATGM. Photo

The new complex of flight and navigation equipment includes a combination of analog instruments and a "glass cockpit". There is a digital autopilot. In addition to the existing optoelectronic unit under the nose of the fuselage, an aiming and survey system was introduced. A new radar with improved characteristics is being created.

For flights in the dark, the use of night vision devices is provided. Some of the navigation, aerobatic and combat missions can be performed automatically or with minimal human participation. One of the main objectives of the project as a whole was to reduce the workload on the crew.

Various measures are envisaged to improve survivability. The Mi-8AMTSh-VN is equipped with the LSZ-8VN airborne defense system - it automatically detects missile launches and uses false thermal targets. The cockpit and vital components are covered with titanium armor parts. Lightweight Kevlar bulletproof protection is installed inside the cargo-passenger cabin.

The helicopter is capable of carrying various weapons for work on air or ground targets. On the external sling, two 12,7-mm course machine guns, cannon containers or unguided rockets are stationary; the use of unguided bombs is possible. The sighting and sighting system is integrated into a guided weapon system that allows the use of Ataka anti-tank missiles.

Combat load - 1400 kg on six hardpoints. Depending on the tasks and the chosen weaponsThe Mi-8AMTSh-VN is capable of fighting ground-based structures, armored vehicles and even other helicopters.

Serial army Mi-8AMTSh-V. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The possibility of using personal airborne weapons is provided. For this, in the doors and windows, installations are provided for machine guns or machine guns. At exhibitions, an experienced helicopter was shown with a large-caliber machine gun in the doorway.

The main task of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN will be the delivery of troops, incl. special forces to the place of the combat mission. The disembarkation can be carried out both by the landing method and with the help of ropes through the side doors and the tail ramp. At the same time, the machine is capable of providing fire support and attacking the enemy with all available means.

Obvious advantages

The Mi-8AMTSh-VN project once again demonstrates the highest modernization potential of the base platform. Updating or replacing some systems, as well as the introduction of other components, can improve tactical and technical characteristics and gain new capabilities.

According to Russian Helicopters, the ways of developing the existing platform and the required innovations were determined taking into account the experience of recent conflicts. Helicopters of the Mi-8 family are widely used in various theaters of military operations, and do not always fully meet specific requirements. Due to a number of innovations, the Mi-8AMTSh-VN meets the expected tasks and conditions.

The resulting helicopter can fly faster and higher, as well as take on more cargo. At the same time, he is able to work at any time of the day, better protects the crew and troops, and also carries more advanced weapons. The advantages over existing helicopters of a similar class are obvious.

Park renewal

The promising Mi-8AMTSh-VN is not the first strike-transport representative of its family. A few years ago, the serial production of the Mi-8AMTSh machines in "normal" and arctic design was started. The troops have mastered this technique well and are quite active in exploiting it.

Arctic helicopter Mi-8AMTSH-VA. Photo "Russian Helicopters"

According to open sources, to date, the Russian army has received at least 60 Mi-8AMTSh and Mi-8AMTSh-V helicopters. The number of arctic Mi-8AMTSh-VA has not yet exceeded ten. The production of such equipment continues, and in the near future its number in combat units will increase. It was previously mentioned that the armed forces represented by the Aerospace Forces and aviation The Navy needs at least a hundred of these helicopters.

The production of a new modification of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN is underway right now. The first helicopter of this type has entered trials, and two more will join it this fall. The ongoing contract provides for the delivery of 10 vehicles by the end of next year. Probably, the production of new helicopters will not stop there. It has not yet been reported whether the Mi-8AMTSh-VN will replace the equipment of the previous models in production.

Thus, according to the results of current tests, the Russian army will receive new attack transport helicopters with wide capabilities, which will have to supplement the existing fleet of similar equipment of previous models. A high degree of unification, as well as different designs and different capabilities will make such a helicopter fleet a convenient and flexible tool for a wide range of tasks. However, before that, it is necessary to complete the tests of the experienced Mi-8AMTSh-VN, which have just begun.
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  1. Gloomy skeptic
    Gloomy skeptic 27 July 2020 05: 13
    A universal helicopter - for most countries this luxury is beyond the reach of the word AT ALL.
    Good luck to the new car !!!
    1. Snail N9
      Snail N9 27 July 2020 12: 23
      Still, the Soviet Mi-8 in "body kits", that's all the "achievements". Where are the new helicopters? So are we going to pass off the next "modification" of the old, still Soviet armament, for some "breakthroughs", "without analogues"? It's not funny anymore.
      1. Bersaglieri
        Bersaglieri 27 July 2020 12: 33
        Just like in the USA - UH-60 "in body kits" - well, yes, it will be 8 years younger :)
        "Why change the frame if it works great"?
        1. Bersaglieri
          Bersaglieri 27 July 2020 13: 17
          Again, "youth army" minus ... Children, teach "materiel", eh? :)
      2. 5-9
        5-9 27 July 2020 15: 38
        Show me the "new helicopters" in this class, which were not developed under Reagan or even Candy?
        And if you find what has been done with Kolya and Mitterrand, explain why they are better than the current versions of Soviet and Reagan turntables
        1. Bersaglieri
          Bersaglieri 28 July 2020 12: 15
          What are we talking about. New ones will be in 10-15 years - the same Defiant or Kamovskiy or Milevskiy "rotorcraft" - not earlier.
      3. ermak124.0
        ermak124.0 17 October 2020 21: 32
        You must have read the article badly. New NV, transmission, engines, BKO, weapons, booking, updated glider and avionics, automatic equipment .... Uncle, what is here from the good old tashka or emteshka ???
  2. Nikolay R-PM
    Nikolay R-PM 27 July 2020 05: 56
    This article illustrates one very noteworthy trend - new modifications of mi-8mt, namely mi-171a2 / a3 and the mi-8amtsh-v line, are created on the basis of the Ulan-Ude base mi-8amtsh. At the same time, the Kazan helicopter is considered as a supplier of units (HB blades for the mi-171a2, possibly for the mi-8amtsh-vn, but in the photo to the article I did not notice the blades from the mi-38 and the old three-bladed rv)
    The Kazan helicopter plant turns from a loss-making asset (((after the Afghan and Indian orders were completed, no new ones followed. It is a pity that the powerful enterprise fell into the trap of increasing production volumes and did not pay due attention to updating the base MI-8MTV.
    It is curious how, after so many years, the MI-8AMTSH-vn show individual elements of the "Afghan" modifications - course machine guns of 12,7 mm caliber, bulletproof armor of the cargo compartment. moreover, in terms of the development of VN booking, these are already the next iterations, they started back at mi-8amtsh
    1. And Makarov
      And Makarov 27 July 2020 07: 24
      Quote: Nikolay R-PM
      new modifications of mi-8mt .... are created on the basis of the Ulan-Ude base mi-8amtsh. At the same time, the Kazan helicopter is considered as a supplier of units (HB blades for the mi-171a2, possibly for the mi-8amtsh-vn, but in the photo to the article I did not notice the blades from the mi-38 and the old three-bladed rv).
      Kazan helicopter turns into unprofitable asset

      Earlier, it was noted that Kazan Helicopters rested on their laurels and did not make proper efforts to improve the main characteristics of the Mi-8. Well done in Ulan-Uda, they looked at the future, hence the result.
      1. Captain45
        Captain45 27 July 2020 08: 52
        Quote: A Makarov
        Earlier, it was noted that Kazan Helicopters rested on their laurels and did not make proper efforts to improve the main characteristics of the Mi-8.

        The Kazan helicopter is obviously focused mainly on spare parts and repairs of civilian "eights", in any case, helicopters from our a / company pass the capital there and received a new one from there.
        1. Nikolay R-PM
          Nikolay R-PM 27 July 2020 09: 38
          I assume that Kazan Helicopters at one time, as a prospect, was guided by the Mi-38 for which it was a production site, and the program of the 38th buksuet
      2. d4rkmesa
        d4rkmesa 27 July 2020 09: 02
        Kazan Helicopters is now slowly "eating" Rostvertol, apparently so far - in terms of aggregate production.
  3. sen
    sen 27 July 2020 06: 48
    The Americans are installing six-barreled 7,62 mm Gatling machine guns in the doorways. Maybe we can use the four-barreled GShG (Tula KBP) chambered for 7,62x54R, giving up to 6 thousand rounds per minute.
    1. Bersaglieri
      Bersaglieri 29 July 2020 11: 36
      By the way, yes, both the turret with it and the remote control module are available.
  4. swzero
    swzero 27 July 2020 06: 49
    Something I think the effectiveness of rigidly fixed machine guns is low. What prevented you from making a remotely controlled installation like on all normal attack helicopters?
    1. Aag
      Aag 27 July 2020 11: 13
      The same question arose.
      Apparently, it was necessary to attract subcontractors, and the car, as they say, was developed on an initiative basis ...
  5. silberwolf88
    silberwolf88 27 July 2020 07: 51
    a wonderful helicopter turned out ... and from modification to modification it gets better and better ... it is good news that the positive experience of use has been taken into account ...
  6. d4rkmesa
    d4rkmesa 27 July 2020 08: 59
    Handsome. I'm glad for the Siberians.
  7. Bersaglieri
    Bersaglieri 27 July 2020 12: 35
    An excellent helicopter for your tasks.
  8. Shopping Mall
    Shopping Mall 19 October 2020 23: 40
    We've almost done it ...