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Russian combat helicopter crashes in Syria — defense ministry

April 12, 10:41 UTC+3
The helicopter was not downed
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Mil Mi-28N

Mil Mi-28N

© Alexander Ryumin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. A Mil Mi-28N strike helicopter of the Russian Aerospace Forces has crashed in Syria, two its crewmembers have been killed. The helicopter was not downed, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service reported on Tuesday.

"At 01:29, Moscow time on April 12, 2016, a Mi-28N helicopter of the Russian Aerospace Forces crashed during a mission in the area of the city of Homs [in the Syrian Arab Republic]. Two crewmembers [of the helicopter] were killed," the ministry said in a statement received by TASS.

"According to a report from the crash site, the helicopter did not come under fire," the press service said.

The Defense Ministry added that rescuers have evacuated the bodies of the pilots to the Khmeimim airbase. According to the ministry, a team of flight investigation experts was dispatched to the helicopter crash scene for a probe. The causes of the flight accident were being ascertained.

A high-ranking source in the Russian defense industry told TASS the helicopter's home base was the Budyonnovsk military airbase in the Stavropol territory of Russia. 

"This aircraft is from Budyonnovsk," he said, answering a corresponding question.

Mi-28N Night Hunter is a strike helicopter armed with a 30-mm cannon, guided missiles and free rockets. The Night Hunter can locate and destroy armored vehicles, personnel, small surface ships, and low-speed air targets and fortifications, as well as lay mine fields day or night in adverse weather conditions.

Russia's attack helicopters Mi-28N Night Hunter used against militants in Palmyra

The recently provided footage showed the military hovercraft make its debut in Syria. The footage shows the usage of at least one Mi-28N helicopter in fighting against the Islamic State terrorists near the city of Palmyra (Homs province). The rotor-wing aircraft used both types of 'Ataka' (AT-9 Spiral 2) guided missiles, namely, 9M120 with anti-tank shaped-charge warhead and anti-personnel 9M120F with combined high-explosive/aerosol-explosive warhead. Mi-28N eliminated hostile infantry fighting vehicle and destroyed a small building with terrorists inside. The helicopter`s gunner was guiding the missiles using radio command guidance system. The footage also shows image from the helicopter`s TV camera.

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