Mi-28N: The ‘Streetfighter’ Of The Future Awaits Its Debut
11 Dec 2004
Given the current nature of anti-terrorist conflict around the world, Mil Helicopter can’t wait to bring its Mi-28N to market. The first production model of the attack helicopter is expected at the end of 2005. Two prototypes have been built so far but the first serial production model (the master copy) will be followed by two further aircraft then, finance permitting, full production shortly afterwards, probably by 2007.
Although the order book for Mil’s old war-horse, the Mi-24/35, is still healthy over the next couple of years - a mix of new aircraft with upgrades for existing customers - Mil Helicopter general designer Alexi Samusenko believes that the integral strenght of the new Mi-28N is what export customers will be looking for. “Following our military’s experiences in Afghanistan, and the lessons now being learned by others in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have ensured that ballistic tollerance is a major feature of this aircraft,” he said. “Crew protection is important; the pilots sit in a protected area; the glass areas will stop 12.7 mm rounds while the rest of the airframe protects against hits up to 20mm, including the rotor blades.”
The aircraft has been further strengthened by the inclusion of energy absorbing landing gear and crashworthy seats, which will come as a standard fit. Full DAS suites will also be available.
Samusenko believes that Mil Helicopter’s future order book will comprise 70-75% military helicopters.
- Shephard Rotorhub