In April 2009, after nearly 30 years of development and testing, the first Russian Air Force combat unit — 487th Helicopter Regiment of Budennovsk placed close to the troubled areas in the North Caucasus, has received the first batch of four Mi-28N . In the 15 months before, January 23, 2008, the first E-28N were transferred to the Ministry of Defence during the official ceremony at the factory in Rostov-on-Don. These two helicopters were intended for field testing and evaluation in the 344th Combat Center implementation and training of personnel in Torzhok. By the beginning of May 2009 "Rostvertol" was released more than 17 Mi-28N, and representatives of the Russian aviation industry to the public stated that by 2009-2011. Mi-28N entered service 2-helicopter regiments in which one hundred percent will be combat-ready one squadron strength of 18 helicopters. By 2015, it is planned to adopt more than 67 Mi-28N, the yearly pace of purchases will be 10 helicopters. In the long term, the number of "Night Hunter" could reach 300, but this of course will depend on the availability of funds after 2012 is not the first year followed the history of the Mi-28N may be taken aback current success of "Night Hunter" after such a complex past.
"Night Hunter" — 30 years in the making
Competitiveness between the Mil and Kamov in the development of the latest generation of combat helicopters to replace vsesuschego Mi-24 began in the late 1970s. It was assumed that one of the 2-competing projects will be the Russian response to the South American McDonnel Douglas AH-64A Apache. Both of the new project, known as the Mi-28A and Ka-50, completed the first flight in 1982 and went through a long and terrible step test in 1985-1986. In the course run single helicopter coaxial Ka-50 was named the winner in December 1987 has been recommended by the Russian government for mass production.
Although Mil lost the first round of the competition, it continued to work on the project, although in a much more unhurried pace. First 1990s. KB without the help of others started to draft a more perfect day and night versions of Mi-28A. As it turns out, the decision to continue the work was very far-sighted, since the purchase day single-seat Ka-50 over. First 2000s. Russian Ministry of Defense has issued requirements for the newcomer generation helicopter-clock implementation to equip Army Aviation, which became part of the Air Force 1 January 2003 is now the latest generation attack helicopter was seen as a response helicopter Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow.
In this case, the battle between the 2 Russian helicopter KB was not. Air Force Commander Colonel General Vladimir Mikhailov, in August 2003, told the media that the Mi-28N and Ka-52 are selected for combat units, the Mi-28N uniformly rinky-dink park will replace the Mi-24 and Ka-52 will be produced in moderate quantities for the use of special purpose entities.
"Night Hunter", first developed for the destruction of the enemy's armor and damage perfectly secure and hardened targets, and implementation of mining from the air, surface targets of oppression, destruction of small sea and river vessels and all kinds of low-altitude aircraft.
It follows the traditional assembly of the standard attack helicopter — the crew of 2 persons is located in tandem cockpits. The navigator-operator is in the front cockpit and the pilot / commander — in the sublime back. In contrast to the Mi-24, Mi-28, only the pilot can control the helicopter, and the helicopter is no free spaces for passengers — it can only be in extreme cases. The project is foreseen in the compartment space equipment, which can fit two or three people from the downed helicopter. The helicopter is mounted five-blade main rotor and low noise X-shaped pilot screw. On the swatches of early three-bladed helicopter pilot screw was used.
The first prototype of the Mi-28N — OP-1, tail number "014", was built at a pilot plant in the suburban town of Punks between 1994 and 1995. and for the first time took to the air in November 1996, with a number of samples of radio equipment in it was missing. Second ace standard Mi-28N (OP-2, tail number "02") made the first flight March 25, 2004 the first of the 3 pre-production Mi-28N (serial number 01-01, board room " 32 "), ordered by Russian Ministry of Defense, for the first time flew on 25 January 2005, and the military budget for the next year was provided for the purchase of more than 7" Night Hunter ".
In March 2006, the combined test team began testing the helicopter at an air base in Torzhok, and by April 2007 they were involved in more than 5 Mi-28N, including the two prototypes — OP-1 and OP-2, and three pre-production sample . In August 2007 they were joined by two pre-production helicopters, and in the subsequent months, the Ministry of Defense has approved the very start of serial production of the Mi-28N to "Rostvertol". In June 2009, sources in the Mil announced that the Russian Air Force assigned 12 "Night Hunter" and only in 2009, it produced 10 helicopters. The total number of helicopters, which should be released in the current defense order is 47 units by 2012
In October 2008, the commander of Army Aviation, Major General Vladimir Ivanov in the newspaper "Red Star" said that the first four Mi-28N is taken into service Russian Air Force, are tested in Torzhoksky center to integrate airborne defense (BKO). It must be stressed that the Russian Air Force all set "Night Hunter" nadvtulochnoy not equipped with radar, their is also missing a number of systems GER, although, as reported by helicopter may be possible to install missing equipment in the future. Alluded to the fact that the supply of Mi-28N, it is filled with nadvtulochnoy radar vsepolnotsennym GER, helmet-mounted target designation system (the so-called "second stage"), is scheduled as the readiness of these systems is more possible in the interval between 2012 and 2015. Also strolling rumors of other planned upgrades that will be to install a deep upgraded electrical equipment and flight control of a new sighting system. Let us also recognize that the Mi-28N will be installed and new weapons, including anti-tank "Chrysanthemum" Curb active homing millimeter range, able to be used in all weather criteria. It is also believed that the developed version with dual controls for crew training.
f the helicopter
The Mi-28N is set quite complex digital integrated avionics avionics-28N, which has round the clock and all-weather capability of implementation. Instead of analog devices installed in the cockpits of the Mi-24 and Mi-28A, in the Mi-28N installed compatible with night vision goggles dashboards, which are 6 function LCD monitors (three in each cabin), which displays flight and navigation information , the data on the engine and airframe, weapons state and target data.
Surveillance and attack system OPS-28, "Thor" is the first all-weather sighting device, in which integrated three-channel observations on the total gyro-stabilized platform located in the nose of the helicopter. As reported, the improvement of "Torah" has faced difficulties due to technological constraints of the system and interruptions in funding. Installing a round fairing can be rotated to the right and to the left by 110 degrees, 13 degrees upward and 40 degrees downward. It has two flat transparent sash, which include optical channel, TV channel, infrared channel and a laser rangefinder. Optical and infrared cameras have two fixed positions — with the increase in the 3 × and 8 ×, and the TV camera provides a 20-fold increase. Officially, no disk imaging systems, "Thor" was not reported. Thanks to the review system, GOES-520, supplied by UOMZ, the helicopter can make a low-altitude flight NIGHT MODE. This system is used solely for navigation purposes, contains an infrared camera and a low-altitude TV camera, and is located under the cowl antitank guided missile guidance systems.
Current plans foreseen by equipping the pilot and navigator of a helmet-mounted target designation systems on helicopters in the final production configuration helicopter.
In the basic version of the radar nadvtulochnaya HO-25, developed by the Municipal Ryazan instrument making plant could observe only sector of 90 degrees, the total area inspectable surface was 400 square meters. km, the cycle of the radar is 1.2 seconds. The picture of the underlying surface can be used for fast crew aiming at a specific target OPS "Thor", so reducing the time to search and target acquisition. In addition, the resulting radar-image can be used as a means of rassredotachivaniya disk imaging purposes between a group of helicopters with a secure communication channel. In radar mode selection is also moving targets used to determine the mobile objects.
Means of Survival
In contrast to the Western doctrine of the introduction of helicopters in anti-tank combat, which in the main is based on the strategy of ambushes, Mi-28N, like its predecessor, the Mi-24, were designed to be implemented in the same vein as the low-altitude Il-2. Russian approach is to exit the combat zone at high speed for ultra-low altitude, then a takeover target in the ascent, and its defeat in the hollow dive.
In order to merit the highest survival rates of the airframe and the crew, the project team will take into account the experiences gained by the highest price in the course of fighting the Russian army in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Protection in the main achieved through decent booking more vulnerable parts of the helicopter that on a theoretical level, the Mi-28 can withstand combat damage to a more languid in comparison with its predecessor.
Brand new crew escape system contains energy absorbing seats "Pamir-K" Development Bank "Star", the chassis with shock absorption and dumped the car door, the main rotor blades and wings. Composition chair / chassis allows the pilot and the navigator-operator to survive enforced landings at lowering speed of 12 m / s impact load is reduced from 60-58 units to "only" 12 points. The rescue system installed on the "Night Hunter", in the case of inclusion at an altitude of 100 m at first shoots rotor blades, wings and cockpit door, and then the crew ejected with parachutes. Non-resettable fuel tanks started to avoid contact with the chassis or the gun mount are included in the design to provide a non-threatening way out. If the recovery system cut one at a height of 100 m the least, the seatbelts fastened gun crew and the helicopter makes a landing coercion.
On the second production series Mi-28N, which were to begin to produce after 2010, it was planned to install BKO active countermeasures systems, including 6 units of thermal emission of false targets UV-26 for 36 16-mm rounds, located on the wing tips.
Passive protection BKO Mi-28N has a station warning receiver L-150 "Pastel", a system warning of missile R-138 "Mac" and a system of laser warning L-140 "Response", as the screen-exhaust apparatus for engines that allow you to reduce the thermal radiation of the helicopter by 2.2 times, in order to capture the increment distance missiles "air-to-air" and "air-to-ground" with the infrared seeker.
Guns, unguided rockets, missiles and bombs
The main armament of Mi-28N is a supersonic anti-tank automatic 9M120V "Ataka-V" with a range of 5.8 km. At 2-under-wing holders can be located up to 16 anti-tank. "Attack-B" armed with a tandem warhead designed specifically to overcome the active protection of the modern main tanks. For the Mi-28N is possible to implement ATGM "Ataka-D" with increased up to 10 km range, enabling the crew to identify and destroy targets with relatively great distance, the major superior range air defense systems of the battlefield.
Installed in a helicopter 30-mm gun 2A42 rate is 900 rounds per minute, and at first designed to equip BMP-2. This system was chosen instead of tools designed specifically for the installation as the Mi-28N and Ka-50/52 because of their own superior reliability. It is not a lot is subject to contamination by dust, sand and mucky, also has good ballistic characteristics. Its main drawback is a highest weight, compared with systems specifically designed for use on helicopters. It is believed that its weight is equal to the mass of the double-barreled gun GSH-30-2, used on the Mi-24P. Nasal installation NPPU-28 can be twisted 110 degrees to the left and to the right by 13 degrees upward and 40 degrees downward, also has a two-plane stabilization. Aiming and firing of guns by using OPS "Thor", to control fire guns instead of navigator-operator can pilot — it is the position of the barrel is fixed along the direction of flight of the helicopter. The Mi-28N is the second generation may be able pointing guns directly at eye pilot / navigator with a helmet-mounted target designation system.
Unguided weapons can be suspended for four pylons under the wings (can be hung on each 480 kg), and includes a 80-mm unguided rockets S-8 launched from the blocks B8V 20-20 missiles, 122 mm S-13 unguided rockets launched from the blocks B13 5 missiles or 240 mm C-24 NURS (two NURS suspended on pylons outer pair). In addition, on the outer pylons can be suspended UPK-23-250 with a very clear 23-mm cannon GS-23 and 250 rounds. Another option may be to serve the suspension compact container cargo KMGU-2 missile "air-air" 9M39 "Igla-V", created to destroy helicopters and UAVs. Up to eight missiles can be hung on 4 dvuhraketnyh installations "Sagittarius".
Some Russian experts believe that in actual combat Mi-28N due to the limited payload will be limited to only one function: either anti-surgery, or specific support troops. Anti-tank "Night Hunter" from 1200 liters of fuel can be used with a full load of 16 ATGM "Ataka-V" and 150-250 rounds for the gun 2A42, specific support for the troops normal load may be a 20-aircraft units of the 80-mm Nursi, two-four and 150 anti-tank guns.
Start the Mi-28N in the Russian Air Force since the beginning of 2008 had a beneficial effect on its export prospects. At the present moment the permis
sion to export the "Night Hunter" through the company "Rosoboronexport". In 2008, the General Director of JSC "Rostvertol" B. Slusar in dealing with the media alluded to the fact that India, Algeria and China are regarded as a potential launch customers, but in fact, as it turns out in the event of an upgrade of its attack helicopters Mi-35M Venezuela was a possible export customer. During a visit to the "Rostvertol" in June 2007, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez showed a profound interest in the purchase of the export version of the Mi-28NE for Army Aviation. Talking to the media in January 2008 at the handover ceremony of the Mi-28N, B. Slusar expressed confidence that the agreement will be signed with Venezuela in mid-2009, but disk imaging on the conclusion of such a treaty had been made, although a stroll rumors that Venezuela is required 10-12 helicopters for the substitution of aging aircraft OV-10 Bronco.