Alligator Hunter: Combat Helicopters Unified in Russia
The newest shock machines Mi-28NM and Ka-52M will simplify production and service.
The production of tested Mi-28NM and Ka-52M attack helicopters will be unified. The developers are tasked to equip both helicopters with the same engines and basic structural elements. As a result, production will be cheaper, and maintenance and repair will be simplified. Until now, a variety of combat vehicles with incompatible spare parts created difficulties in the performance of combat missions.
The decision to make the Mi-28NM helicopter, which the troops call the “Night Super-Hunting” and the Ka-52M (“Super-Alligator”) compatible, has already been made, the Defense Ministry told Izvestia. A unification plan is being developed. Manufacturers of both machines are part of the holding "Helicopters of Russia". Machines are considered the most promising in the Russian army aviation.
The most important will be the unification of communications, airborne defense systems and weapons of destruction, says military expert Viktor Murakhovsky.
“The task of unifying on-board equipment and weapons of destruction is relatively simple,” said Victor Murakhovsky to Izvestia. - In this direction, much has already been achieved. Engines also can be unified. But if we talk about the control systems for rotors and tail rotors, then everything is more complicated. These are helicopters of a fundamentally different layout - the Mi-28NM is equipped with a tail rotor, and the Ka-52M is coaxial.
According to him, after bringing helicopters to a common denominator for a number of systems, it will be easier to retrain pilots and technical personnel. There will be much less problems with the supply of spare parts and consumables. Reduced costs - production and maintenance.
Mi-28NM was created on the basis of the Mi-28N “Night Hunter” helicopter, but differs from its predecessor in many ways. The first flight of the car made in August of 2016 . By the beginning of this year, the Mi-28MN has passed all stages of factory tests, and in the spring - military tests in combat conditions in Syria. In May, President Vladimir Putin stated that until 2028, 100 such helicopters should be delivered to the troops.
One of the main advantages of the newest modification of "Night Hunter" is the appearance of a nadvulochnoy radar station. The antenna receiving and transmitting part of the radar is located above the rotor under a special radome made of a radio-permeable material in the form of a ball - this allows you to get an image of the terrain, hiding in the uneven terrain behind artificial and natural obstacles and remaining invisible to the enemy.
The car received new engines, a control system and an anti-aircraft defense system. For the crew of the Mi-28NM, target designation and indication systems built into flight helmets were developed using augmented reality technology: the required pilot information is projected onto a plastic protective visor using a laser beam: a map, reconnaissance information, and the state of the vehicle. When flying, even with zero visibility, the system can display a three-dimensional image of the terrain over which the helicopter is moving.
Mi-28NM became the most protected military helicopter. The crew cabin and vital units are fully armored, able to withstand the hit of large-caliber bullets and shrapnel. From the MANPADS device protects the warning system , which analyzes the trajectory of the rocket and gives recommendations to the pilot: to perform a maneuver to dodge or shoot heat traps. This will protect the helicopter from unguided rockets, and the guided laser station can be moved aside. The depreciation system in the chassis and crew members allows you to save the lives of pilots and the car itself when falling from a height of several tens of meters. In the event of a helicopter crash at high altitude, it provides a system for shooting side doors, allowing the crew to safely leave the cabin and land with a parachute .
Work on the modernization of the attack helicopter Ka-52 "Alligator" began last year. The developers have been given the task of making a fundamentally new machine, taking into account the experience of combat exploitation. This year, the Ka-52M made its first flight , Izvestia sources said. At the end of May, Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko announced that modernization should be completed in 2022 .