Mi-28NM combat helicopter to receive extended range anti-tank missiles

Once again, the Syrian experience was used by the Russian armies and industrialists to improve the combat effectiveness of forces and equipment. The MI-28M helicopter was deployed several times in the Syrian theater, and carried in standard configuration the 9M120 Ataka-B anti-tank missile, a radio-controlled missile with a range of 10 km. However, helicopters are very exposed to anti-aircraft missiles and artillery systems during the implementation of these missiles, requiring a line of sight, and whose reduced range puts them at a distance for these systems.

This is why the MI-28 will undergo a makeover, to be brought to the NM standard, with new optronics, reinforced armor, fire detectors and more powerful engines. Above all, the new helicopter will be equipped with a new anti-tank missile, identified for the time being by the code “article 305”.

This new missile, according to the information collected, will have a maximum range extended to 25 km, and an infrared seeker with man in the loop, like the functionalities offered by the French MMP missile from MBDA.

With this new system, the MI-28NM will be able to take advantage of armored targets at a safe distance from current SHORAD systems and those being designed in the West, and will be able to use terrain masking to be protected from long-range surface-to-air missiles. As is often the case in Russia, this is a simple and pragmatic solution to maintain a tactical advantage, even temporary.

Based on previous fixes made to the equipment deployed in Syria, it is reasonable to estimate that the new helicopter, and its new missile, will enter service within 3 to 4 years, making the Mi-28NM a formidable system against armored vehicles, particularly Western ones, where applicable, for several years.

The responsiveness and voluntarism shown by industrialists and the military in Russia to improve their operational performance within short deadlines are as admirable as they are worrying for us, Westerners, exposed as we are to much longer deadlines.

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