Mi-28NM to complete acceptance trials in late 2020

The design of upgraded Mi-28NM helicopter has entered the final stage and acceptance trials have to be completed by the end of 2020. The rotorcraft has to confirm flight characteristics and fire all weapons ranging from guns to missiles and bombs. It is the final stage of the R&D and acceptance into service. A contract for a major batch of helicopters was signed before the completion of all trials. Experts said it is normal practice in the creation of modern aircraft. They do not have to outdate at the moment of delivery to the troops, the Izvestia daily writes.

Follow Air Recognition on Google News at this link

Mi 28NM to complete acceptance trials in late 2020 Modern missiles on Mi-28NM will effectively fight jets, helicopters and drones. R-74M also known as RVV-MD is a short-range missile. It can hit targets at a distance of 40 km.(Picture source: Army Recognition)

Sources in the defense industry said trials of Mi-28NM gunships have to be completed in late 2020. An additional agreement to the trials deal (obtained by the publication) said tests would take 110 days. They will check various arms of the upgraded helicopter. The document estimates the cost of all trials which began in 2018 at 450 million rubles.

They can be followed by a decision to accept the helicopter into service or begin an upgrade and hold new trials after drawbacks are eliminated. A compromise is possible. Drawbacks will be exposed, but the production of the helicopter will begin and drawbacks will be rectified in the process, the sources said.

The contract for 96 Mi-28NM was signed at Army-2018 forum before the R&D and acceptance trials were completed.

Provisions for new military aircraft creation stipulate the factory trials are followed by acceptance tests. A decision on the launch of production can be made during acceptance trials. It is possible when test flights confirm that all safety issues have been resolved and technical risks excluded, merited test pilot and Hero of Russia Colonel Igor Malikov said.

They believe that exposed drawbacks can be rectified without problems. “A command may be issued for the launch of production while trials are ongoing. If they begin the production after the trials are completed, the hardware can morally outdate by the time of delivery,” he said.

The first batch of six Mi-28NM has to be produced in 2020. The helicopters will be supplied to the 344th combat training center. 12-16 helicopters will be annually procured later.

The helicopter will be armed with several new types of missiles. It was reported in 2019 that Mi-28NM will have a missile known as product 305. It has a range of 15-20 km. The engagement of long-range Khrisantema-VM missiles will become possible.

Work is ongoing to arm the helicopter with R-74M air-to-air missiles with infrared homing warheads. They exceed portable antiaircraft missiles currently suspended for self-defense. The new weapons will fight helicopters and drones, as well as combat airplanes.

Besides new arms, Mi-28NM obtained numerous constructive changes. The above-rotor N025 radar is one of them. It detects targets outside the visibility range.

Dual controls are another innovation. The helicopter can be controlled from any of the two seats and can be engaged in training of pilots. The basic Mi-28N did not provide such a possibility and the training Mi-28UB option had to be developed.

Mi-28NM is powered by VK-2500P engines which are fully made in Russia to replace imports. The upgraded composite blades of the lifting rotor increase the speed 10-13 percent.

The available Mi-28N will be gradually upgraded to the Mi-28NM level. The first prototype of the upgraded helicopter has to take off in 2020.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said a prototype of Mi-28NM was tested in real combat in Syria. In March 2019, the media obtained a footage made by Syrian militants in the north of Hama province. A helicopter identified as Mi-28NM was spotted near Al-Lataminah in the company of Mi-35M, the Izvestia said.

© Copyright 2020 TASS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.