Vladimir79 wrote:inoperable because we won't provide the service requested.
That is the key - servicing. Second - frame age and condition. I agree with you, 100%, that if you compare the safety record and performance of a 40 year old Mi-8 which is not properly serviced with a new and well serviced French or US helo, I much rather fly in the latter. But that is a result of ageing and maintenance, not design. But take a Mi-8 and, say, a French Puma. Here is the Wikipedia data:
Mi-8 (introduced 1967):
* Crew: 3 (pilot, copilot, flight engineer)
o 24 passengers
o 12 stretchers and seat for 1 medical attendant or
o 3,000 kg (6,600 lb) on internal/external hardpoints
* Length: 18.17 m (59 ft 7 in)
* Rotor diameter: 21.29 m (69 ft 10 in)
* Height: 5.65 m (18 ft 6 in)
* Disc area: 356 m² (3,832 ft²)
* Empty weight: 7,260 kg (16,007 lb)
* Loaded weight: 11,100 kg (24,470 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 12,000 kg (26,455 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Klimov TV3-117Mt turboshafts, 1,454 kW (1,950 shp)
* Fuel max total capacity: 3,700 l (977 US gal)
* Maximum speed: 260 km/h (140 kt)
* Range: 450 km (280 mi)
* Ferry range: 960 km (596 mi)
* Service ceiling: 4,500 m (14,765 ft)
Armament * up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) of disposable stores on six hardpoints, including 57 mm S-5 rockets, bombs, or 9M17 Phalanga ATGMs.
Puma (introduced in 1968):
* Crew: 3
* Capacity: 16 passengers
* Length: 18.15 m (59 ft 6½ in)
* Rotor diameter: 15.00 m (49 ft 2½ in)
* Height: 5.14 m (16 ft 10½ in)
* Disc area: 177.0 m² (1,905 ft²)
* Empty weight: 3,536 kg (7,795 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 7,000 kg (15,430 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Turboméca Turmo IVC turboshafts, 1,175 kW (1,575 hp)
* Never exceed speed: 273 km/h (147 knots, 169 mph)
* Maximum speed: 257 km/h (138 knots, 159 mph)
* Cruise speed: 248 km/h (134 knots, 154 mph) econ cruise
* Range: 580 km (313 nm, 360 mi)
* Service ceiling: 4,800 m (15,750 ft)
* Rate of climb: 7.1 m/s (1,400 ft/min)
* Guns: o Coaxial 7.62 mm (0.30 in) machine guns
o Side-firing 20 mm (0.787 in) cannon
Though the two are roughly comparible, the Mi-8 is far better in terms of both the number of soldiers it can carry and in terms of armament.
Now take these two into some nasty environment (arctic, desert, tropical - you name it) and have them both operate without the support of a major maintenance facility. Which one would you pick?
I submit that there is a darn good reason why the Mi-8 is the most numerously produced helicopter ever and that reason is that it is a fantastic helicopter. at least for its time.
The comparison of the Mi-24 and the Apache would be even far, far worse for the Apache. At least the Puma is a good French helo, whereas the Apache is a typical American piece of over-engineered shit, IMHO.
Anyway give the Russian hardware a halfway decent maintenance and it will outperform most Western equivalents in terms of design, reliability and performance.