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New Russian Helicopter Designed To Support Special Operations Starts Test Flights

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New Russian Helicopter Designed To Support Special Operations Starts Test Flights

The new helicopter could be ready for batch production later this year

An advanced Mil Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter for Special Operations Forces has entered flight tests, Russian Helicopters Group (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec) said on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the construction of the helicopters is proceeding according to schedule along with additional R&D work. The national helicopter-building centre announced that it has already started conducting test flights.

Rostec Aviation Cluster Industrial Director Anatoly Serdyukov said that the Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter had been technically designed taking into account the combat experience of employing helicopters in present-day armed conflicts.

“The high-altitude engines of increased power, the new rotor system, the expanded weapons suite, the enhanced protection and other specifics of the upgraded helicopter increase its combat capabilities and allow employing it for special operations in the most adverse conditions. The first stage of the trials is due to be completed in November. Eventually, two more helicopters of this type will join the flights.”

Russia’s Defence Ministry signed a contract with Russian Helicopters rotorcraft manufacturer at the Army-2019 international arms show for the delivery of ten of the latest Mi-8AMTSh-VN special-purpose helicopters. The gunships are due to be delivered during 2020-2021.

The modified helicopters are based on the Mil Mi-8 airframe (NATO reporting name: Hip), a medium twin-turbine helicopter which was originally designed by the Soviet Union. In addition to its role as a transport helicopter, the Mi-8 is also used as an airborne command post, armed gunship, and reconnaissance platform. LINK

The new helicopter has been developed taking into account the experience gained during Russia’s combat operations in Syria. The Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter has additional firepower provided by two side-mounted 12.7mm forward-firing machine-guns. The helicopter is also outfitted with new flight control and navigation equipment, a gyro-stabilized opto-electronic system, a searchlight with an infrared emitter, dual-band lighting equipment and is adapted for using night vision goggles.

In order to increase its combat survivability, the Mi-8AMTSh-VN is outfitted with a digital autopilot system and a defensive aids suite that automatically detects missile launches against the helicopter, jams missile homing warheads and releases heat flares.

The crew’s cabin and the helicopter’s main systems are protected by an advanced armour made of titanium alloy. The floor of the cargo compartment and the helicopter’s sides are shielded up to the windows with the removable lightweight Kevlar armour to provide additional protection for the crew. LINK


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  1. Assad must stay says:

    very nice all the best

  2. Lone Ranger says:

    You know its good when SEAL and Delta are using similiar helos in Afghanistan.

  3. Swift Laggard II says:

    this chopper was shown several years ago. it’s strange they claim they are still working on it. Russian arms manufacturers are very slow to bring products to the market, they just take inordinately long for whatever reason. Same story with the Mi38 which has been in prototype testing for more than a decade

    1. Lone Ranger says:

      In aviation developement a decade is relatively a short time.
      Lets not forget these are very complex systems.

      1. Swift Laggard II says:

        Mi38 first flew in December 2003. Seventeen years later it is still in prototype testing. Russians are jokers

        1. Lone Ranger says:

          Thats why they are winning…
          YF-22 flew first in 1990 entered service in 2007.
          Eurofighter Typhoon flew first in 1986 entered service in 2004.
          YF-35 flew first in 2000 entered service just recently.
          Better luck next time…

          1. Swift Laggard II says:

            No luck required. Unfortunately the world does not stand still for Russia to get it’s act together. And F22 entered service in 2005. the rest i did not bother to check. And a helicopter is not as complex a machine as a fifth generation stealth fighter. In fact what the Russian’s have put together in the Mi38 is nothing spectacular – it’s very much an ordinary chopper. The world moves on and buys elsewhere if the Russians cannot get the product to market in good time

          2. Lone Ranger says:

            So from 1990 to 2005 thats 15 years…
            The Mi-38 is already in service by the way.
            Aside from that Russia is selling more helos than does the U.S.
            In fact U.S. helo production is slowly strangled to death by Airbus Helicopter and Russian helos.
            Better luck next time…

    2. Assad must stay says:

      does the west do it faster? faster job may mean ending up like an f-35

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