Air International 2020-01
A.Mladenov - Mean Havoc rising /Military/ (1)
The Mi-28N was originally designed to be operated in pairs or four-ship formations for CAS and day/night anti-tank missions.
The Mi-28N has widely spaced engines in order to prevent them being knocked out by a single hit. Vital systems are either shielded by less important ones, provided with redundancy, or have robust armour protection.
The Mi-28UB derivative, launched in production in 2016, features dual controls and retains the original Mi-28N's extensive ballistic protection for the crew, including thick, side-on armour plating and armoured side windows and windshield.
A close-up of the N025E radar for the Mi-28NE. The mast-mounted millimetric-wavelength radar is said to be able to simultaneously track up to four targets. Its maximum detection range against a large metallic bridge is 11nm (20km), while main battle tanks can be detected at up to 5.4nm (10km).
A newly built Mi-28N for the Russian Army Aviation undergoes final ground checks at Rostvertol. A functional flight-test programme will follow before its handover to the operator.
The Mi-28N attack helicopter employs a conventional gunship configuration with a two-man crew accommodated in narrow, well-armoured tandem cockpits. The gunner sits in the front (lacking controls) with the pilot/commander behind, on an elevated seat.
The gunner in the forward cockpit is responsible for navigation, target search and handling both the ATGM system and gun turret. The pilot, in turn, deals with the forward-firing weapons - 80mm and 122mm rockets and 23mm gun pods - and can also fire the 30mm turreted gun when it's locked in the forward-firing position.
The Mi-28N's crew compartment is provided with 10mm thick aluminium alloy armour protection reinforced with ceramic plates, advertised by the designers at Mil MHP as being capable of withstanding hits from 20mm projectiles.
The powerful Shipunov 2A42 gun - here installed in the NPPU-28 turret under the Mi-28N's nose - has a 900rpm rapid rate of fire, a slow rate of 200-300rpm, and can also be fired using single shots.
By May 2019, the total number of Night Hunters taken on strength by the Russian air arm had reached around 120, excluding developmental test examples. This one, 'White 71', is operated by the 15th BAA at Ostrov in the Western Military District, as part of a mixed fleet of Night Hunters and Mi-35Ms, as seen in the background.
The Ataka-VM ATGM, here on an eight-round launcher next to a B8V-20 20-round pack for 80mm rockets, is offered in three versions. The first is used for anti-armour purposes, the second has a thermobaric/high-explosive warhead and the third features a blast-fragmentation warhead, intended for use against buildings and personnel.
This Mi-28N, taken on strength in 2011, belongs to the 393rd Air Base, renamed in December 2015 as the 55th OVP (Independent Helicopter Regiment).
The Mi-28N’s Pamir-K energy-attenuating seats, in combination with the energy-attenuating landing gear units, are intended to ensure the crew survive if the helicopter hits the ground with a high vertical speed following combat damage or system failure.
By June 2009, no fewer than 12 production-standard Mi-28Ns had been taken on strength by Russian Army Aviation, while Mil MHP operated three more for development testing and for retrofit into enhanced versions for export customers. This example is from the 344th Combat Training and Aircrew Conversion Centre at Torzhok, north of Moscow.
The Mi-28N’s fuel system has a capacity of 1,500 litres of kerosene accommodated in self-sealing bladder tanks, while up to four 557-litre external fuel tanks, as here, can be carried on the wing pylons for ferry flights.