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Russian Helicopters rolls out first dual-control Mi-28UB attack helicopter
November 19, 2017
Russian Helicopters Mi-28 'Havoc'. Photo source: Russian Helicopters

Russian Helicopters rolls out first dual-control Mi-28UB attack helicopter

Russian Helicopters announced that it has rolled out the first Mil Mi-28UB attack helicopter for the Russian Ministry of Defence on Tuesday, August 22.

The Mi-28UB is the dual-control variant of the Mi-28NE ‘Night Hunter’ wherein crew in both the front and rear seats can fully operate the aircraft. In turn, the Mi-28UB can be used for combat and training.

In addition, the Mi-28UB also incorporates improvements to ergonomics and safety thanks to the addition of new energy-attenuating seats (i.e. for absorbing shock in the event of emergency or crash-landings). Russian Helicopters says it has also improved the reliability of the Mi-28UB’s electronics suite.

Russian Helicopters stated that eight Mi-28UBs will be delivered to the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) by the end of this year. The first helicopter will be delivered to the 334th Combat Training and Retraining Centre in Torzhok. The VKS reportedly has 24 Mi-28UBs on order.

Development of the dual-control Mi-28UB began in 2010. Besides fulfilling VKS requirements, the CEO of Russian Helicopters – Andrew Boginsky – expects the Mi-28UB to strengthen overseas interest.

“The Mi-28 proved its efficiency, so we are expecting that its training version will be of great demand in armies. This dual control helicopter breaks new ground for training flight personnel for machines of this type,” stated Boginsky via Russian Helicopters’ press release.

The Mi-28 ‘Havoc’ is a twin-engine heavyweight attack helicopter platform. It has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 10,900 kg, cruise speed of 270 km/h and normal range of 435 km. In addition, the Mi-28NE can also carry up to 16 anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM).

The Mi-28 also shares the same powerplant model – i.e. VK-2500 turboshaft engine – as the Mil Mi-171 and Mi-35 (assuming the customer opts for the VK-2500 instead of ТVЗ-117VМА for those types).

Iraq and Algeria have also inducted the Mi-28 in May and June 2016, respectively. The helicopter – specifically the dual-control variant – had also reportedly drawn interest from the Pakistan Army in 2016.

However, Pakistan did not receive any Mi-28NEs for in-country tests and seemed to have opted for the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T129 ATAK. Nonetheless, the Mi-28NE/UB is a heavier system than the ATAK, mirroring the Boeing AH-64 Apache and Denel Aeronautics Rooivalk.

  • Steve

    Interesting heavyweight helicopter. We opted for AH-1Z and the decision is made now. If USA blocks deliveries, which is possible, I think we should go straight to Russia and buy 20 Mi-28UB.

  • jigsaw

    And if I remember correctly, that’s also the reason why Pakistan had originally put off acquisition of Mi-28 for its lack of dual control feature. Now that it’s out, I believe and hope there is an opportunity for Pakistan here. Might become more pronounced if the AH-1Z order is not completed by the US.

    • Steve

      You are right. Haha you have always been a Havoc fan! There may be an opportunity here. If it’s as much as hinted that they will stop supplies we should say “Fine” and cancel entire order. In Mi-28UB we will get a seriously powerful helicopter with minimal strings and geopolitical advantages to boot. Serious realignment is happening. It’s about time our friends in the neighbourhood discovered what’s it like being America’s friend and ally. They have already been called out to pay Af more money. They may be asked to send infantry as cannon fodder into the aptly named mountain ranges. lol!

      • jigsaw

        I think the main problem holding off these purchases is severe lack of funds because of which Pakistan has to look for alternative ways in credits and so on. At the end of the day all dots connect to point to money laundering and excessive corruption in the country as core cause of all problems, so if those billions start coming back, things will change. I definitely believe Pakistan would have wanted to buy few of Mi-28s off the shelf to start with but there was one requirement problem and the other was lack of funds since Russia would like “cash” payments. Even with current situation, it’s not going too bad for acquisitions.

        Guess there’s a little chance at this time with AH-1Z order getting canceled but eventually it’s the writing on the wall that US will be the one to shift all its failures on Pakistan and initiate an end to this fragile alliance with various repercussions for Pakistan and the region/world. Pakistani nation and military was never heart and soul behind America’s war, they were simply using them and getting used in return – for the kerry lugars and all started by US. And it could have gone on like this for few more years but few factors have changed things here. There’s CPEC which may or may not be but is conceived as a major threat to US and indian presence in the region. There’s growing american-indian alliance and Chinese-pakistan alliance. It’s really fine. US and India are protecting their interests and they should – so should and will Pakistan. However the problem here is that for India to maintain an assertive position here, US will need to stay in the region basically for ever. China and Pakistan and India itself are here to stay forever unless the continent break away. The day US will decide to exit and leave and it eventually will, there won’t be any real influence or support left for India neither in afghanistan nor in region. Pakistan will still neutralize Afghanistan one way or another. So i guess it’s in India’s best interest to keep washington convinced that they need to be here for ever and ever – and at some point, Americans will ask India to do more and more.

        • Steve

          America won’t stay forever no matter what the rhetoric, as it is causing loss of life and money. There is also no end in sight. It’s only a matter of time. There is nothing in Af that they can get back as payment such as oil in Iraq. That is one of the reasons for the pressure on India to give more money.

          • Abdul Rashid

            There might be something in Afghanistan for the US:

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/afghanistan-donald-trump-1-trillion-mineral-reserves-deposits-war-rebuilding-reconstruction-gold-a7904301.html

            But as the report underscores, tapping in to the Afghanistan’s natural resources is not quite the same as “Iraq’s oil”.

          • Steve

            Interesting article. It could be possible, but mineral potential has been known for decades and Americans have not shown an interest for 16 years. Chinese have tried and not really much has come of it. They will have to kill a significant percentage of the population in the southeast to secure the country. I’m not sure it’s possible in this day and age. They will also need to build huge infrastructure that only a government can, not private mining companies. A negotiated settlement giving the Taliban fair rights and making the Tajik influence in Kabul more balanced, taking in account their population size will be a start. The India-loving Pansheris will not get the country anywhere. India has no business in Af as they have not got a border and only stir trouble for us, despite their pretentions of being the boss of the region.

          • Abdul Rashid

            It might not be very practical due to a good number of reasons, some of which you mention but there have been a number of reports recently indicating Trump might be willing to try anyway. Here’s a link to a more alarming article:

            https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/07/afghanistan-erik-prince-trump-britain/533580/

          • Steve

            That plan was not accepted by Trump and his generals.

          • jigsaw

            true. i thought the same, thanks for link.

          • Amir Timur

            Afghanistan has mineral reserves worth about three trillion US. Also, perpetual war benefits America’s own deep state. Billions are made by commercial entities such as Blackwater, Academi etc. for rehiring retired US Army officers as defense contractors. Not to mention all those commissions taken by it’s defense people from the military industrial complex. I’m sure Lockheed, Raytheon and co. would shell plenty for their own slice in America’s unending “defense requirements”. The only way to match it is to build our own manufacturing capacity in advanced weapons, increase economic productivity and efficiency and to enter into strategic alliances with US rivals like China, Iran and Russia. Our security rests on two pillars, strategic deterrence and a capacity of pre emption. There is no way we can give in to American demands. We can’t take anything more than cosmetic action, it’d be equal to shooting ourselves in the foot. It is America and Afghanistan that should do more to eliminate IS-K, TTP & Baloch terrorists inside Afghan territory.
            Pakistan might not be the next super power, but we need to attain a level of economic and military clout where no foregin state or non state actor can force us to bend over when it comes to our foreign policy and national security or our strategic ambitions.

        • Lasit

          completely off topic comment but an interesting one. could not resist myself from responding –

          1. how india will keep the US engaged in AF?

          till now taliban and ISIS is doing the work for us. what really is needed a stupid bomber blowing himself in western capitals or a driver mowing down few pedestrians very few months. that’s enough to keep the US convinced of the threat from Af.

          2. “Pakistani nation and military was never heart and soul behind America’s war, they were simply using them and getting used in return – for the kerry lugars and all started by US”

          must say the Pakistani planners need some math class if that was the case. 80000 human casualties, $100 billion infra damage, in return what did you get ?

          3. Pakistan gaining control of Af?

          at best Pak can have some influence at the Af Taliban, but India will always have influence on the opposing forces – Tajik, Northern Alliances etc. at best, it will be a stalemate.

          more importantly, under no circumstances Taliban is going to control Afghanistan the way they did in 90s. they are now more of a very strong insurgency force, but they can’t ever rule from Kabul again without US consent. what US need at best is a base in the region and few drones to keep the turkey shooting game on.. best example is the ISIS in Rqqa..

          what we really need is some sane minds to keep the escalation under control..

          • Steve

            Stop trolling.
            1. Terrorists in the West are opposed by all sane people particularly Muslims as it affects them the worst, and are mostly Middle East based not Af. Keep up to date with current affairs.
            2. This is history now. Af war was not instigated by Pak and we did not have an opt out clause at the time. Comment is irrelevant as falsely implies the above. We gained an uplift to our military with new US weapons, which you people and your media perpetually lament, and lifting of nuclear sanctions plus some development aid, and recognition worldwide. It was making the best of a bad situation.
            3. Thanks for giving us inside info into US thinking. That remains to be seen. Keep reassuring yourself. Is USA leaves your Northern alliance thugs will last a few months max like Najibullah. Who’s going to save them…India? Lol. Better to negotiate a just settlement while they still can. The Americans also want a political settlement eventually which we will support. Historically Pashtuns have always held Kabul. Wait and see. We have a lot more leverage and massively increased regional support than in 2001.

          • Lasit

            blabber in an off topic issue is fine with you, but a response to your comment is amount to trolling? you must have a different meaning to the word trolling…

            it is a fact that without NATO support, Af Govt will collapse sooner or later.. it is similarly a fact that Taliban is not going to rule again from Kabul..without NATO, Af will have a full blown civil war with all the proxies playing their part. it is pakistan to decide whether they want full blown chaos across the durand line or not ..

          • Steve

            We are basing our predictions on what happened before, in 1996. What you basing yours upon…faith in America lol!

      • Lasit

        a small problem for Pakistan– Russians only take “cash” and prefer advance payment before delivery :).

        if Pakistan can take care of that and can replace India as a major buyer of Russian weapons, then Russians are all yours .. best of luck

  • After TRUMP announcement and latest development ,it looks like” trees are sad , birds not singing” acquisition of AH 1Z is difficult but not impossible so wait and see, but MI 28UB is a good prospect for those who cant get contemporay western plateform as far as pakistans is concerned i think they are negotiating turkish129 , its more important if opt for Z 1O chinese system with TOT.

  • Haroon Javed Qureshi

    Pakistan Army Avn has good experience with MI17 and MI8 helicopters both with Russian origins. So in terms of maintenance methodology adopting to an MI28 class should not be a big departure. Perhaps some western targeting & avionics integration in years to come to give it more teeth. GIVEN THE NEW PRESLER AMENDMENT LIKE SCENARIOS that Pakistan may face in future diversifying the arm sources will be good long term decision.

  • sami shahid

    Either Pakistan should replace its AH-F cobra helicopters with MI-28 or it should buy few more MI-35’s. Russian helicopters are reliable machines and Russia might be even ready to manufacture MI-28 in Pakistan.

  • Saad Mirza Usman

    I think Mi-28NM is a far good choice for Pakistan against AH-1Z & AH-64 Apaches. Its a new design and improved EW systems. We must see this Hello……………… It will enter in service in 2018 in russian military.

  • Saad Mirza Usman
    • Steve

      Seriously badass!

  • Steve

    I hope they don’t stay a decade. 10’s of thousands more dead Muslims in the name of ‘stability’ and ‘fighting terror’. Unless the Afghans do a USSR on them. Their economy is huge so that’s not likely either. More likely they will get tired after another few years and under a different president. Like Vietnam.

    To be strong as a start we need the 100’s of billions of Pakistani money stolen by politicians and used to buy hotels in Dubai and flats in Mayfair over the last 30 years. Could easily buy a whole fleet of Mi-28! Would be good if all those thieves are thrown in jail for 100 years each as well. The West loves them as they serve them and not their country so it won’t be easy.

  • Lasit

    Bilal, pls try to sort out the issue with the website. It’s very slow to load the days. Have you changed the host or the server?

    • Yep we temporarily changed it, but we’ll be moving to a new host. Looking at dedicated server options as well.

  • Be it the Mirage III/5 in the 1970s or the Agosta 90Bs and M2Ks in the early 1990s, Pakistan did regularly manage to find financing options to back its defence procurement. However, in the late 1980s and early 1990s unbridled corruption entered the picture and mutated generally good programs into bad deals. But the process (if done honestly) isn’t as difficult as we make it seem. Heck, even Egypt managed to get a French gov’t backed loan for 24 Rafales, 4 Gowind corvettes and – not one, but two – helicopter carriers.

    You’d think with all the money stashed in the UK someone among our leadership would present the idea of leveraging that as a means to acquire loans for defence deals from Britain (which would be repaid to Britain with local manufacturing work and non-removal of Pakistani “investments”). We need to accept that our corruption is perhaps the decisive factor in our failings (and conversely, lukewarm successes).

    • Lasit

      pragmatic comment, like it

  • Lasit

    very strange that although in its mind Pakistan is the single most critical factor in that equation, but yet is has zero leverage on both the parties – US or Taliban. for US – you took the money and did nothing and for Taliban – you ditched them for money and helped the infidel to push them out of power.

    for 16 years, the whole world waited for you to act as “the single most critical factor in that equation”.

    delusions lie somewhere else my friend..

    • jigsaw

      But you do realise India’s campaign is no more than McDonald’s free sundae in Af without US support…

      • Lasit

        for that matter, Pakistan is that 16 years old teenager outside of the store, who’s lifelong dream has been to afford something in the McDonald’s and waiting for his father (china) to increase his pocket money someday ..

    • Steve

      I call lifting of sanctions and 40+ F16 and a lot of other scary (for you) stuff pretty good leverage. The Afghan Taliban you can speculate about as much as you want. Time will tell. Why do you think the war has not been resolved for 16 years and will not be resolved. Because NATO has not given Pakistan its place on the table.

      • jigsaw

        I don’t think they’re able to comprehend those realities and actual problems here since the only driving force behind an American fathered Indian invasion of Afghanistan is Pakistan’s hatred. That is frankly the only and sole criteria that decided and will decide every Indian action in Af; for that matter, every Indian action globally is driven by Pakistan’s hatred. Such is the war Pakistan is fighting, so it’s no wonder there’s no solution to it. And for that, they’re trying their best to get the Americans to stick around for the whooping their sorry fate awaits if US pulls out. The good thing is, that whooping will be heard one way or another.

  • Steve

    Speak for yourself mate lol!

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