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Russian Forces Improved Electronics Of Mi-28 Thanks To Experience Obtained In Syria


Russian Forces Improved Electronics Of Mi-28 Thanks To Experience Obtained In Syria

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Chairman of Committee on Defense and Security of the Russian Federation Council and former Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces Viktor Bondarev evaluated the upgrades of the Mi-28 helicopters.

“Mi-28s were improved thanks to Syria. Well, [the pilots] say that some things became better, but not all things — the electronics are severely lacking: pilots can’t see, pilots can’t hear a thing. The pilots call the goggles they wear “pilot’s death”. If the sky is clear, then it’s fine. If there’s some smoke, then you get red eyes for three days,” the senator said.

Bondarev voiced these criticisms at a hearing regarding the military-industrial complex and military trade laws as a reaction to the industry’s complaints of insufficient support to experimental developments.

The Mi-28 is an all-weather, day-night, military tandem, two-seat anti-armor attack helicopter. It carries a single gun, plus external loads carried on pylons beneath stub wings.

In April of 2016 a Russian Mi-28N crashed in Syria with two pilots dead. It was not shot down, the main reason for the crash was cited as unfavorable flight conditions, as the helicopter was flying during a dark night over complex terrain.



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  • Graeme Rymill

    The heading says “improved electronics”… the text says “the electronics are severely lacking”….
    The improved electronics likely refers to the yet to be deployed updated version – the Mi-28NM. The “electronics are severely lacking” comments probably refer to the Mi-28N which is in use in Syria.

    • John Whitehot

      i’ve had the impression that the Ka-52s somehow performed better – in the sense that their combat employment was more consistent with the tactics devised before the conflict.

      nonetheless, the Mi-28s were instrumental in the destruction of large ISIS formations both in close support and interdictory roles.

      Rarely complex hardware like this behaves in the way that was predicted before combat – examples of this are the A-10 and the AH-64 during Desert Storm (also the european Tornados) – these systems were substantially improved and refined according to crews observations, spawning revised versions that performed much better subsequently.

      • Barba_Papa

        It’s sad but sometimes the only way to really improve things is through combat. In that sense Russia is smart to send almost every piece of kit they have to Syria to see how it works in practice. Even if it occasionally does get people killed.

        Still a lot less casualties then you’d get in a major war.

        • John Whitehot

          perhaps you had to talk about casualties – but it isn’t that anybody did better of late in counter terror operations, not the US and certainly not the UK.

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      • Attrition47

        Quite agree, delicate electronics need combat conditions to show their flaws so that they can be put right. Try aiming them at the US and Ziofascist air forces.

        • John Whitehot

          yes. sometimes it’s more an operational aspect.

          for example, pilots using a multimode radar may suggest that in a given operational situation, they could use an additional feature or two, or perhaps revise or take away another.

          it’s a process that could be defined an advanced debugging, or more precisely beta testing of both hardware and software.

          what I’m saying, it’s not much about the electronics, but their implementation in combat routines that then go on to become approved methods and tactics

  • Thegr8rambino

    Very good I hope the new electronics solves all its problems and makes it a joy for pilots :)))