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Pakistan will reportedly receive Mi-35 helicopters in 2017
October 19, 2017
A Brazilian Mi-35. Photo credit: Russian Helicopters

Pakistan will reportedly receive Mi-35 helicopters in 2017

Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production (MoDP) Rana Tanveer Hussain reportedly informed local Pakistani news outlets that Pakistan will receive its four Mi-35 assault helicopters from Russia in 2017.

Mr. Hussain reportedly added that the Mi-35s cost Pakistan $153 million U.S.

The Mi-35 is the latest iteration of the Mi-24 Hind. While retaining the Hind’s dual attack and transport design, the Mi-35 is outfitted with upgraded mechanical parts (e.g. new main rotor and tail rotor), modern onboard electronics and countermeasures, such as a radar warning receiver and infrared jamming.

In terms of armament, the Mi-35 can be equipped with 80 mm and 122 mm rockets as well as anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM). If armed with solely ATGMs, the Mi-35 can carry up to eight missiles.

The Mi-35 can carry up to eight armed personnel. The Mi-35 can also carry cargo weighing up to 2,400 kg using an external sling.

Notes & Comments:

Pakistan and Russia inked the Mi-35 sale on 19 August 2015. At the time, IHS Jane’s reported that Pakistan could procure a total of up to 20 Mi-35s. Pakistan’s procurement timeline is not known, but MoDP Hussain mentioned that talks were underway with Russia for Mi-35s in June of this year.

Considering the cost of raising the requisite logistics and maintenance infrastructure of the Mi-35, it is unlikely that the Pakistan Army would only operate four units. Pakistan was also in talks with Rostec to raise a local maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) centre to support the Mi-35s and Mi-17s.

With the aim of eventually replacing its oldest AH-1F/S Cobra attack helicopters and strengthening its air combat arm, the Pakistan Army is also pursuing other dedicated attack helicopter platforms.

In April 2015, the U.S. State Department cleared the possible sale of 15 Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to Pakistan. In August 2015, the U.S. Department of Defence awarded Bell a contract to produce two AH-1Zs, this was followed up in April 2016 with an additional order of nine units.

Pakistan is also poised to select another attack helicopter platform. The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T-129 and Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation (CAIC) Z-10 have been pegged as the leading options.

The TAI T-129 was praised for its solid performance in Pakistan’s hot-and-high conditions (i.e. high-altitude areas), and TAI is hopeful of securing a sale. The CAIG Z-10 was showcased at the 2016 Pakistan Day parade, and participated in a joint-exercise in November by the Army and Air Force near Bahawalpur.

  • GhalibKabir

    you will still need the Turkish Mangusta derivative for high altitude… Mi-35 did not do very well in our armed forces in Kashmir State and other hilly areas..

    • Keyser

      The MI35 variant being ordered is a modernised variant. The Rotors have apparently been improved which may well resolve the hot and high problems.

  • Donny G

    Pakistan should probably build its own Helicopter

  • Sami Shahid

    Pakistan will still need more Mi-35’s along with basic Gunship Helicopters….Pakistan will receive 9 AH-1z vipers in 2017. MI-35’s can be used in Siachen as well.

  • bill

    The role of Mi 35 is air assault infantry. It is not fit for use specifically as gunship. The suitable use in Pakistan is for SSG and Marines support in Run of Katch area.

    The facts show that Pak will get Ah1Z and Z10 gunships for immediate needs.

  • Saptarshi Dasgupta

    don’t know why Pakistan is ordering MI-35 specially when we are replacing them with latest AH-64E. Also our Light Combat Helicopter is a success . AH-1Z and Z-10 should be the only options . MI-28NE from russia can be considered too.

    • Aamir

      I think every country has its own priorities. In Pakistan’s case the COIN aspect has dictated this selection; since helicopters inserting combat team were being escorted by Cobras, makes a lot of sense to have an asset that can deliver troops and protect itself.

    • Keyser

      Well the AH1Z and Z10 will likely replace the legacy platform Ah1’s in the line up. The MI35’s (A modernised version of the platforms used by India) are to be used in a SOF type role.

    • nob hamid gul

      Maybe for the special borne operation by ssg

  • John Rue

    Mi-35 yes but I thought Cobra was also fairly light weight. I am talking about the ones owned by Pakistan.

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