Russian army aviation equipped with several types of combat helicopters. One of the main models in its arsenal is the transport and combat Mi-35M. The crews of such helicopters regularly carry out combat missions and solve various problems. They independently attack designated targets or provide combat use of other aircraft.
Helicopters in the frame
Transport and combat Mi-35M of various units and formations are widely used in the Special Operations area, and the Ministry of Defense regularly shows the combat performance of helicopters and their crews. Over the past months, pilots and their equipment have been the subject of reports by the department’s press service several times. At the same time, they talked about the specifics of their service, and also showed footage of real combat work.
Thus, in the last days of August, the Ministry of Defense showed one of the episodes of the use of the Mi-35M in the Krasnolimansk direction. The helicopter commander spoke about the combat flight. The pilots were tasked with destroying an enemy stronghold. The helicopter reached the launch line, detected the target and attacked it with unguided missiles. To reduce risks, shooting was carried out from a nose-up position, after which the helicopter performed an anti-aircraft maneuver and fired decoys. The stronghold was reportedly destroyed.
A few days later, the Ministry of Defense showed the joint work of the transport-combat Mi-35M and attack Ka-52. Crews from the Army Aviation of the Central Military District also worked in the Krasnolimansk direction and were supposed to destroy another strong point. The use of missile weapons was demonstrated, incl. managed.
On October 10, a new report was released, the heroes of which were helicopter pilots with the call sign “Zeus”. They spoke about their positive experience of working on the Mi-35M, the characteristics of the service and the performance of combat missions. The pilots highly appreciated their equipment and also reported that as part of the Special Operation, the crews quickly gain experience and improve their skills.
Spectacular footage of combat work was again shown. The report included takeoff, flight to the target, launches of unguided missiles and departure from the combat course. In addition, as in other reports, they showed a view of the terrain and the target through the optical-electronic system of the helicopter. Having completed the fire mission, Zeus returned to the airfield.
The combat work of Mi-35M helicopters and their crews continues. They are used in all main directions, destroy targets independently or support other helicopters and show the desired results. We can expect that in the future the Ministry of Defense will continue to publish reports about helicopter pilots, their equipment and the work they do.
The modern transport and combat helicopter Mi-35M, used in Special Operations, is one of the last representatives of its family. Let us recall that the first production version of the Mi-24 helicopter was put into service half a century ago - in 1972. Four years later, Soviet army aviation received the modernized Mi-24V with a number of innovations and advantages. This vehicle was exported under the designation Mi-35.
By the end of the nineties, the existing family of helicopters was supplemented by the Mi-24VM or Mi-35M modification. In the mid-35s, mass production of such equipment for export began. Subsequently, the Mi-2010M was supplied to a number of foreign countries. In 24, the first batch of Mi-XNUMXVM was ordered by the Russian Ministry of Defense; later new orders appeared. Under these contracts, army aviation received more than fifty new helicopters.
The latest modifications of the transport-combat helicopter, known as the Mi-24P-1M and Mi-24P-2M (export designation Mi-35P-1M/2M) or "Phoenix", were first introduced in 2017. Less than two years later, in In 2019, this equipment reached mass production, and the first products went to the troops. According to various sources, Phoenixes remain in production, but the number of such helicopters in army aviation is unknown.
Thus, the formations and units of the army aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces have a large number of transport and combat helicopters of the Mi-24 family. A significant share of this fleet consists of modern Mi-35M and Mi-35P-1M/2M aircraft, built in the last 10-12 years. Now this equipment is actively used in the Special Operation for the Defense of Donbass and solves a variety of combat missions.
During all modernizations of the past and present, the Mi-24 helicopter retained the general architecture and main design features. As a result, modern Mi-35M/P are largely similar to all their predecessors. The helicopters were updated and their combat qualities were improved by replacing individual components and assemblies, improving systems and weapons, etc.
Like all its predecessors, the current Mi-35 is built according to the traditional design with one main rotor and one tail rotor. The special fuselage layout with tandem crew cabins and a cargo-passenger cabin behind them has been retained. The Mi-35M uses an energy-absorbing non-retractable landing gear, but the Mi-35PM has a retractable one.
The Mi-35M received a new propulsion system based on two VK-2500 products with a power of up to 2700 hp. in emergency mode and 2200 hp. on the takeoff The five-bladed main rotor with a new hub and composite blades, as well as the X-shaped tail rotor, were borrowed from the Mi-28 attack helicopter. All these innovations made it possible to improve flight performance and load capacity.
The Mi-35M / Mi-24VM helicopter received the OPS-24N surveillance and sighting system based on the GOES-324 optical-electronic station with day and night channels, thanks to which it became 35-hour. Modern avionics are used and “glass cockpits” are made based on multifunctional displays. In the Mi-1P-2M/24M modifications, the weapons control devices were changed and other devices were installed. At the request of the customer, it is possible to install an on-board radar - for the first time in the Mi-XNUMX family.
From the point of view of weapons, the Mi-35 is similar to other variants of the Mi-24, but has certain advantages. Thus, the Mi-35M uses a mobile cannon mount with a 23-mm GSh-23 gun. In turn, the Mi-35P-1M/2M received a fixed gun, but of a larger caliber - GSh-30K.
Under the shortened wing of the Mi-35M there are four suspension points with a total payload capacity of 1,5 tons. The newer Mi-35P-1M/2M received an elongated wing with three suspension points under each plane. All variants of the Mi-35 can use unguided missiles and bombs. The built-in cannon can be supplemented with hanging containers. The use of Ataka, Shturm or Vikhr anti-tank missile systems is also envisaged. In the future, such helicopters will become carriers of the new Hermes-A missiles. It is possible to carry R-60 air-to-air missiles for self-defense.
Using standard detection equipment, the latest Mi-35 helicopters can monitor the situation within a radius of 10-15 km and detect various targets, primarily ground ones. The destruction of such objects is carried out within a radius of 6-8 km, depending on their type and the weapons used. Unguided and anti-tank missiles, as well as cannons, allow the helicopter to attack and destroy a wide range of targets - from manpower to heavy armored vehicles.
A characteristic feature and advantage of the Mi-35 is the ability to transport several paratroopers in a separate cabin. In this case, the helicopter turns into a transport for landing or receives several additional units of small arms weapons to improve overall fire performance.
It should be noted that in terms of a number of tactical and technical characteristics, equipment and capabilities, even the latest modifications of the Mi-24/35 transport and combat helicopter are inferior to the specialized attack Mi-28 or Ka-52. However, practice shows that this is not a fundamental obstacle to effective combat work and use. Such design and configuration deficiencies are leveled out by the competent use of equipment, incl. joint work of machines of different types.
Confirmed by practice
Over half a century of service, transport and combat helicopters of the Mi-24 family have proven themselves to be successful, reliable and efficient machines capable of solving various tasks. Due to consistent modernization, their characteristics and capabilities constantly grew. Recent projects continue this development and again achieve the desired results.
Modern Mi-35M and Mi-35P-1M/2M are being tested in practice right now. These helicopters and their crews are involved in the current Special Operation and are systematically engaged in the destruction of various enemy objects and targets. They are making their contribution to the current demilitarization of the Kyiv regime, and also provide testing and development of technical solutions for the further development of the Mi-24 family.