DUBROVICHI RANGE (Ryazan region), August 4. /TASS/. Deliveries to the troops of Russia’s Mil Mi-28NM modernized heavily-armed combat helicopter with dual controls will begin no later than 2018, Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces Viktor Bondarev told journalists on Thursday.
"I think that the Mi-28NM will begin to enter service in late 2017 or in 2018," Bondarev said at the Aviadarts international contest of military pilots.
The commander said that the upgraded helicopter has become easier to control and more convenient for pilots. "It is more heavily armed, it has increased engine power, plus the helicopter is fully protected against man-portable air defense systems and, of course, has dual controls," he said.
The Moscow-based Russian Helicopters helicopter design and manufacturing company reported previously that the completion of the Mi-28NM state tests was postponed from 2016 to 2017.
Mi-28NM is an upgraded version of the Mi-28N ‘Night Hunter’ helicopter. The work on the new version of the aircraft started in 2009. The Mi-28NM helicopter will be equipped with a principally new radar system for all-round field of view, a new control system and other equipment, as well as will be able to use precision-guided weapons.
Mi-28NM is known to be equipped with new above rotor-based N025 radar and advanced rotor blades to increase the helicopter`s maximum flight speed. The chin-mounted weapon station armed with 30mm Shipunov 2A42 automatic cannon has been enhanced. The upgraded 'Night Hunter' has received an advanced suite of optical-electronic sensors mounted in the new nose turret that has replaced the Mi-28N`s missile guidance system dome and thermal imager. The prototype of the Mi-28NM combat helicopter is not equipped with the onboard Vitebsk electronic protection system. However, the system`s jamming station is supposed to be installed on the upgraded helicopter`s tail boom later.
Mi-28NM is reported to be equipped with dual-control system. The Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (Russian acronym: KRET, a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation) is developing a laser suppress station to protect Mi-28NM against guided missiles. The trials of the helmet-integrated sighting and control system intended for the upgraded 'Night Hunter' are to be completed by the year-end.
The Mi-28NM helicopter is designed to fight hostile soft-skin and hard-skin vehicles, low-flying aerial targets and manpower at day and night.