Sorry yes you're quite right - most later versions of the Mi-8 has the sliding door on the right as well and the ramp at the rear. The evidence I was asking for is on how the Russians military use the Mi-8 helicopter - not the CIA
The shift in design change from clamshell doors and the addition of a door on the other side of the cabin wasn't an accident... it was a feature added to the design presumably by the request of the customer.
Another factor is the the vehicles being moved around by these aircraft would now include unmanned ground vehicles too, which would require a ramp rear door.
At various stages the Soviets experimented with a few different options including troop carrying armed helicopters like the Hind... their experience showed that it actually made more sense to have dedicated troop carrying helicopters than mixed helicopters.... a troop carrying helicopter is most vulnerable when it is stationary on the ground so having three exits or entrances reduces the that time when it is most vulnerable. When you have 25 people on the ground needing to be picked up then one Mi-8 or Mi-17 on the ground and the remaining Hinds flying around shooting at any enemy positions is much more efficient than four Hinds on the ground picking those people up.
This led to the replacement for the Hind being chosen in the 1990s as the Ka-50 and then the Mi-28N.
AND yes they can use the rear ramp or clam doors for entry and exit but as I've said they seem to reserve the rear entry/exit for vehicles and favour the side door for troops.
When under fire they would likely use all entry and exit points.
Complicated retractable gear like that would make it heavier and the other problem is that it would make recovering the helicopter in heavy seas a lot more difficult and even dangerous by narrowing the wheelbase.
The helicopter gear has to take the weight of the helicopter which is over ten tons so it is going to be complicated anyway. It does not need to fully retract... just narrow... it could do that by changing angle or simply rotating 90 degrees in the vertical plane.
Think of a canoe with an outrigger canoe and straight strut arms between them... if both arms are on a hinge you could fold them forward or backward to bring the outrigger portion in to the side of the canoe. Mechanically not complicated or heavy at all. The undercarriage of the MiG-23 created a very wide wheel base that folded down into a tiny compact space.... this problem is much much easier because there is no requirement to fully retract away in a compartment.
The Ka-52 is a brilliant attack helicopter but it could never replace a fighter jet, but if you think it can you should rather compare it to later generation aircraft. It would struggle against something like the Su-30SM in every aspect.
A future role for a Yak-38 replacement would be to fly around the helicopter carrier using a radar to look for air threats and very low flying threats like sea skimming anti ship missiles. The Ka-52 can get airborne very quickly without taking up too much deck space, it can carry a radar and has 6 wing pylons it could carry clusters of MANPADS type missiles and heavier weapons. Its AESA radar should be able to detect targets out to very very significant ranges.
Neither the Kamov or the Yak would be used against a modern fighter, except if that fighter is attempting an attack at very low altitude to surprise the ship in which case the Kamov would spot them and the Ships air defence systems would be able to engage them out to extended ranges with 9M96 ARH missiles.
Lockheed didn't think that the Yak's design was a "dead end" - neither did the Yakolev OKB.
And what a brilliant job they did with their new affordable stealth fighter for all of Americas allies...
The Mig-33 designation was fictional and briefly used for marketing the Mig-29M (export version) at the time, which like the Yak failed to get any orders. Must have been a dog like the Yak!
Not even close to true... the MiG-29K was based on the MiG-29M and had the Russian Navy accepted it into service and actually bought some it would be called MiG-33, just like the Su-27K was renamed Su-33 when it entered service and production.
Its core problem was that MiG had to make it somehow better than the longer ranged Su-33 and the only way to do that was to make it based on the MiG-29M and fully multirole... which of course resulted in it being the same price as the bigger longer ranged Su-33.
The Su-33 was an Su-27 with folding bits and a tail hook and bugger all else... a MiG-33 would have kicked its arse with its much better radar, fully multirole design with a wide variety of weapon options including guided air to surface weapons and of course compatibility with the then new R-77.
But just like the MiG-29SMT for the Army, the Navy didn't care if its new interceptors were multirole and they didn't want to pay any extra for features they were not interested in so they bought neither. The Navy wanted a long range interceptor rather than a point interceptor and that is what they bought.
That launch rate will make a huge difference if the scenario required it!
And fighting underwater would make an even bigger difference to the situation too, but that is not important if that never happens either.
It is pretty clear that you are not a fan of the Yakolev OKB and any of the VTOL Yaks they produced! I myself have said I'm not the greatest fan of VTOL aircraft but I am now beginning to look forward to the next gen Yak VTOL which will most likely be no better than dog shit!
Not true at all... I very much liked the Yak-1, the Yak-3, the Yak-5, the Yak-7, the Yak-9, and the Yak-130 is pretty good too.
The Yak-36 was totally useless, and the Yak-38 and Yak-141 were not much better in the sense that even when their biggest problems are solved... assuming they could be solved, there are other solutions to such problems that make rather more sense.
The promise of being able to take off anywhere is a myth, and when you add that the new carriers the Russian Navy want are going to be bigger than Kuznetsov then there is no need for VSTOL fighter planes any more.
An attack helicopter has a very slim chance of being able to down a jet fighter. It lacks the speed and altitude.
Very true, but being able to fly as fast and high as a Yak-38 is not going to transform it into a super plane either.
An attack helicopter does, however, have great potential as an anti-shipping platform against other ships which lack the proper air defenses. Or for air supporting an amphibious land assault.
The Ka-52K helicopter is an attack helicopter so even if it is a shit fighter it still has that, and in terms of flying near a helicopter carrier with a decent air to air radar that can spot incoming sea skimming threats from rather further than ship based radar and optics it would be 10 times more useful than a Yak-38.
The comparison is between the Harriers and the Yaks - but just out of interest the Yak-41 was not much slower than the Mig-29K and actually had significantly better range than the Mig-29K but you're right the Yak had a more limited payload.
The Yak-141 could manage about mach 1.6 which is significantly slower than the MiG, and AFAIK the operational range of the Yak very much depended on fuel weight state and how it took off...
Lets just say not much of what they said the Yak-141 could do was actually confirmed... apart from being supersonic.
The speed for example is a major downgrade over previous generation aircraft. If they think they can cover that with stealth I have a bridge to sell you.
Even the lack of speed could be acceptable if it was for a good reason... for instance the F-16 and F-18 are slower than previous generation fighters, but that was because of specific choices that made them simpler and lighter and cheaper and easier to maintain and operate.
The F-35 is slower and yet still eye wateringly expensive...
Too much money for something not so necessary.
Aircraft carriers were not used against country that has technologically approximately the same capabilities or in some cases even better capabilities since World war 2. I see these ships only as prestige and valuable units against countries with downgraded military power.
The west sees air power and their strike component and so for invasions and occupations they need large carriers with both fighters and strike aircraft.
For the Russians the role is very different... an aircraft carrier for the Russians is not as a land attack or imperial ship... in a US carrier group the AEGIS cruisers are there to protect the carrier and the carrier is the invasion tool. For the Russians the ships and subs carry the missiles, while the aircraft carrier is there to defend the other ships in the surface group.
The US carrier is protected by the US ships, the Russian carrier is there to protect the Russian ships.
And it is not about prestige... it is about future ties and trade.
US has 11 nuclear powered aircraft carriers and France has one. Twoo more CODAG powered carriers are in the service of Royal Navy. Italy has Cavour and Treste but i dont see any anymosity towards Russia from Italia.
The US has that many so it can dominate and in a sense regulate international trade... or more accurately influence trade in different places around the world.
The UK and France have carriers so they can send their navies to the various corners of the globe where their former colonies are and current colonies are with air cover.
And thats why i think that is better fro Russia to spend money on additional or more Su-57 regiments and Su-75 (in the near future), more multipurpose submarines, proposed MiG-41, hypersonic missiles, Tupolev family of bombers, and ABM's, than to build an aircraft carrier.
Well first of all Russia is already buying those things, but tell me... if Russia signs a deal with Venezuela that makes Venezuela potentially rich and independent an finally free of interference from the US and so the US decides enough is enough and that the government in Venezuela is illegal and that the US will send Navy ships to blockade the country to force it to sign contracts with US companies and cancel the contracts with Russia.
Now if Russia only has frigates and corvettes what exactly are they going to do?
Even with submarines what are they going to do?
All the countries in the rest of the world just saw a tiny country like them stand up to the evil west and get help from Russia... and be economically and politically crushed and regime changed... do you think countries are going to be lining up to be friends with Russia?
If Russia can get to them then there can be no serious deals.
We have seen US reaction to events like the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia... what is the likelyhood of the west helping Russia with problems around the world?
Russia needs to be able to help herself and as the old saying goes the only friend the Russians have are her army and airforce and navy and strategic rocket services...
These carriers don't need to be US sized 100K ton lumps of shit... decent air defence carriers with their best fighter... naval Su-57s... hell do a nice job and India might want to buy some... even Iran might want one it can sit off the coast of the US just to piss them off.
I have more "fear" from a huge number of Arleigh Burkes + Ticonderogas than from those carriers.
But OK, the US Navy will deccomission seven Ticonderoga class cruisers this year and that is 854 missiles in total for seven ships.
Russia does not need carriers to go into combat with the US or HATO... the presence of carriers and a strong navy is so Russia can get its way without having to fight anyone.
And those big scary AEGIS cruisers can probably be sunk with a single Zircon missile let alone an upgraded Onyx.
To fight US carriers and carrier groups Russia does not need a navy... Russia does not care what sea the US wants to dominate... all they really need to care about is the water around Russia and the best defence against US ships in those waters will be land based Zircons, and MiG-31K based Daggers... not to mention follow on missiles and follow on aircraft.
We have to think about the scenarios a carrier would be useful.
The most common use for a carrier is showing the flag... visiting countries around the world... promoting Russia as a genuine power... and also sailing places the west and the US does not want you to go, which is going to wrankle some feathers... but they started it.
A Russian navy visit to Cape Town with a few cruisers and a carrier and a few destroyers and frigates... and a ship with Russian businessmen wanting to invest and boost trade relations between Russia and South Africa... then visit a dozen other countries in Africa and then sail to Asia and America... take a helicopter landing ship or a hospital ship and go to poor countries and perform operations to help them... sell them some good reliable machinery... find out what they sell...
How many fully rearmed Su-57 regiments could be equipped compared to the price of JUST one nuclear aircraft carrier..
Mother Russia is already well protected... there are all sorts of missiles and radars and planes and ships protecting Russia and the airspace and space above her... but what they lack really is the ability to operate away from Russia. There is a whole world out there of countries Russia could trade with but right now there is a problem because much of that trade goes through the EU... and the EU wants to be the enemy... so be it... Russia needs to create ties and trade relations with the rest of the world that does not go through the west to prevent the west from interfering or blocking that trade. Russia needs a blue water navy and to protect itself that navy needs organic air power.
I think its better not to built that ships just for the sake of prestige. China maybe needs those carriers for measuring the penis size with Japan, for Taiwan, and India. They (China) also compete with the United States, but Russia doesnt need those ships just because someone from the west would say "Oh, you don have aircraft carriers ? What a shame !"...
Prestige is important, but independence is even more important and Russia needs to be able to trade with allies and customers without western interference and that means by ship. China needs ships for trade too... the US is being friendly with India and Australia so they can effect Chinese shipping trade going to the EU... that is why Russia is working so hard on ice breakers and the north sea route...
Give us more YASENS (i really really love those subs) and enlarged variant of 22350M frigates/destroyers, thats all ! Wink
And yes, Russia needs in the future a worthy replacement for 1164 Atlant and 1144 Orlan classes of cruisers.
Their cruisers were impressive ships... but even those are vulnerable to a heavy air attack... adding an aircraft carrier does not make a surface group of ships weaker... it makes it much much stronger... even without launching missiles a MiG-29K is a modern radar and IRST that can be launched from the carrier and fly out hundreds of kilometres to check or identify a potential threat that can fight its way out of trouble itself. An Su-57 could perhaps do it without even being noticed...
Russia does not need to dominate the worlds oceans all at once like the US seems to want to, but some country in Africa that has Lithium or some other valuable material that you want to mine is hardly going to sign contracts with Russia if Russia has a Navy of Corvettes and Frigates, because they are not stupid... they know plan A in the US Playbook is regime change or invasion... a visit from a Russian carrier group would reassure that country that they wont get dropped in it and left to fend for themselves like the Afghans that helped the Americans, thinking the Americans were going to fix everything and make Afghanistan great again...
Why they cry so much when someone new buys an s-400 ?
America does not have anything that approaches the S-400 in performance or numbers... the wests IADS is aircraft based... and much more fragile.
Any Russian Su-57Ks operating from carriers will be operating within an IADS that includes S-400s and all their other AD systems as well.
Can Russia build 11 nuclear powered aircraft carriers and does Russia wants an open confrontation with the NATO pact in the Atlantic ?
Nobody is suggesting that... these carriers are not for WWIII they are to protect trade access to the world for Russia and her allies.
They will boost the income of the country.
they might even sell some to other countries.
Russia has survived all these past decades without an aircraft carrier.
Russia needs to look beyond its borders for trade partners... most of eastern europe is no longer allies and now actively hostile and it is not likely to change any time soon. Russia needs to expand its civilian marine fleet and also its naval capacity to reach out and trade with the world.
Yes, they had and they still have Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, but that ship was useless most of the time and again - they survived
The fact that they are keeping it and upgrading it suggest they see value in having them in the future.
Russia does not need such a "blue water" presence, the NATO pact does,
Russia does not need blue water presence to destroy HATO or the US, existing defences for Russia are sufficient to keep her safe from those idiots.
Russia needs to expand its trade to the rest of the world or it risks isolation and economic containment by the west.
They also had 1143 Krecheyet heavy aircraft crusiers but all of those are decomissioned long time ago, except Vikramaditya.
The old carriers were sold off because they had no money to upgrade the Kuznetsov... having the Gorshkov in service as a carrier would have further drained their available funds without much return. The choice of the Kuznetsov over the Kiev class shows they know size matters.
Even if you gave them the US fleet they would have had to scrap most of it or it would have bankrupted them.
Now, however, they need to expand their presence in the world... the world outside HATO and the US... for trade they need to stop looking at their European land borders and look to all the places they can reach through their ports... enormous potential... but equally the US Navy and the HATO Navy are not going to be helpful or friendly so you need to expand your own navy to include destroyers and cruisers and you need carriers to protect those new ships too.
i don't think they are in a hurry to build a much smaller number of aircraft carriers - even one..
They need Destroyers and Cruisers to support new carriers before laying down new carriers... but then they didn't spend decades and billions of dollars upgrading shipyards to build large ships for nothing.
Russian submarines sailed in every corner of all the oceans as opposed to Chinese aircraft carriers, for example.
And how much trade and sales contracts did they drum up?
And Russia doesnt have any more contracts abroad for those submarines. Yes, i love russian submarines but 877/636 class is outdated already. Only 677 LADA class should be produced, LADA, LADA, LADA.
There is the best and there is good enough... Improved Kilos are good enough most of the time.
And most of the time I suspect they lose contracts because their bribes are not up to scratch...
They can master how to sink those, still not having them
It has been their lives work to work out how to deal with them...
But to say they don't need some of their own is to say the Russian Air Force does not need Su-57s because they have S-400s and S-500s and now S-550s.... and airfields are such big easy targets too...