Air International 2020-02
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A.Mladenov - Mean Havoc rising /Military/ (2)
The Mi-28NM is seen as the definitive 'Havoc', with vastly expanded mission capability thanks to enhanced performance, new sensors and guided weapons that enable standoff operations against well-defended targets, even in bad weather.
The Mi-28NM's sole prototype was first flown in October 2016 and its testing was reportedly completed by November 2018.
The improved Mi-28NE of the so-called '2018 Edition' is being offered with all-new, 'multi-cyclone' dust and sand protection devices with a claimed 93% efficiency. In contrast to the traditional PZU inlet protectors equipping the Mi-24 and Mi-28NE fleets, these do not reduce engine power.
A trio of iron bombs weighing between 100 and 500kg are on offer for the improved Mi-28NE derivative, intended to enhance its lethality when used against area targets lacking air defence coverage.
The 9M123M Khrizantema-VM anti-tank guided missiles are seen in their launch tubes on a four-round APU-Kh-V launcher unit under the Mi-28NE’s starboard wing. This missile, boasting a powerful armour-piercing warhead, has a dual guidance system and offers a poor-weather engagement capability thanks to its semi-active radar-homing guidance method.
The first two pre-series Mi-28NMs, 'Red 70' and 'Red 71', were handed over to the Russian defence ministry for test work last June.
In addition to the extensive armour protection measures, the Mi- 28N/NE/NM also introduced flight-critical system redundancy and offered increased agility in a bid to better avoid ground fire.
One of the two pre-series Mi-28NM in flight, showing its expanded arsenal.
The Mi-28NM prototype equipped with the new LMUR long-range missile during firing trials near Moscow in 2019, as shown in the Zvezda TV movie. The missile has been intentionally blurred by censors as it's still highly classified and little definitive information has been released.
As many as 98 series production Mi-28NMs are on order for the Russian Aerospace Forces' Army Aviation branch, with the first six of these slated for delivery in 2020.
The Strelets-VM four-round launcher unit, offered for the improved Mi-28NE, can accommodate the new 9M336 Verba air-to-air heatseeking missiles for considerably increased lethality. The enhanced Night Hunter for export customers is also equipped with wingtip pods housing missile approach and laser warners looking forward and aft, together with UV-26 chaff/flare dispensers firing side-on.
The Mi-28N/NE Night Hunter is equipped with the BREO-28N integrated digital avionics suite with its weapons control system based around the OPS-28N Tor electro-optical system, seen here installed in a drum-shaped assembly in the nose. This is provided with two optically flat windows for a FLIR, TV camera and laser rangefinder/designator.
In August 2018, a significantly improved Mi-28NE sub-version with a new rotor system, more powerful engines and expanded weapons options was presented in a new-style pixelated camouflage. This scheme is now used, in one form or another, on all Russian Helicopters' demo aircraft.