Mil Mi-28 upgrade to Mil Mi-28NM will transform this helicopter into a major aircraft for the Russian Armed Forces, according to US expert Mark Episkopos, journalist of The National Interest.
The US expert argues that the new helicopter model will be much more dangerous for the enemy. The helicopter has been largely modernized in the past years, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports. The upgrade is due to the war in Syria. Several issues were discovered with the current model during its field operations. Moreover, the crisis in Ukraine also influenced the developments. The crisis encouraged Russia to develop a new helicopter engine.
Originally, Mil Mi-28 was equipped with Zaporizhia-produced engines. However, Russia developed its own countetype. The new engine is more powerful and reliable. It can operate for 3,000 hours without major repairs while the Ukrainian engine could only handle 2,000 hours. The new engine’s total lifetime is 12,000 hours compared to the Ukrainian’s 9,000. It is expected that the new engine can reduce the costs of combat helicopter fleet.
Mil Mi-28NM can track down and destroy the enemy’s equipment. It can bomb firing positions. The helicopter is also equipped with Khrizantema-V anti-tank guided missiles.