Russian Helicopters for the first time presented a new version of the modernisation of the Mi-28N army combat helicopter at the Armiya-2022 International Military-Technical Forum, held at Kubinka airfield.
The series Mi-28N have been built at the Rostvertol JSC plant in Rostov-on-Don since 2005, and they have been taking part in combat operations since 2008. The original versions (domestic Izd.294 and export Izd.296) did not have the possibility to take over control from the front cockpit, such feature only appeared in 2015, with the Izd.299 export variant (Mi-28NE) and the domestic variant Izd.298 for the Russian army aviation, also called Mi-28UB. The dual control versions can be recognised by the slightly reshaped cockpit contours, different cockpit glazing and modified doors, as well as a unified front and rear cockpit layout with two MFDs placed next to each other.
This upgraded Mi-28N provides refinement to previously produced Mi-28Ns by adding dual controls, VK-2500P engines and a new onboard defense system. The old OPS-28 Thor sighting and sighting station under the chin has been replaced by the GOES-451 gyro-stabilised opto-electronic system manufactured by the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant. This FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed)-ball is already well-known as it has been utilised on the Ka-52 helicopters since their induction in 2010. The smaller TOES-521 automated thermal imaging sight under the nose has been retained.
The range of guided missile weapons has also been expanded. The armament of the modernised Mi-28N will include various guided missiles, such as the 9A1472 Vikhr-1, 9M127-1 Ataka-VM and 9M123M Khrizantema-VM. Nevertheless, the latest Izd.305 LMUR advanced missile or the corresponding APU-L launch rail has not been exhibited, therefore Scramble Magazine cannot conclude whether the proposed upgrade of the Mi-28N also adds the AS-UAV comms, incorporating two-way data transmission channel operating in the S-band (2-4 GHz) which are required for the control of the LMUR.
The presented upgraded helicopter was marked with Russian VKS stencils but it is more than likely that this upgrade will be also offered to export customers, either as new-built vehicles or as a modification to already delivered machines.
Current Mi-28N operators:
Russia – 100+ Mi-28N (Izd.294) without dual controls, some 20-30 Mi-28UB (Izd.298) with dual controls
Algeria – 42 Mi-28NE (Izd.299), all with dual controls, later batches already include new onboard defense system
Iraq – 11 Mi-28NE (Izd.296) without dual controls in desert camo, additional 4 Mi-28NE (Izd.299) with dual controls, painted black
Uganda – 3 Mi-28NE (Izd.299), all with dual controls, also include new onboard defense system