|Dimesions (mm):||17,3props/21,5 x ?|
|Maximum speed (km/h):||315|
|Weight (tons):||8.5- 11.5|
|Engine:||2 TVD, TV3-117B, 2 x 1'619 kwt|
Flying Infantry Combat Vehicle
Development of aviation technology closely mirrors the military and political situation worldwide. For example, cost curve to picture aircraft and helicopters production in the USA features clear-cut peaks: 1954-1957, 1966-1968 and 1985-1986. These refer to wars in Korea, Vietnam and the so-called Reagonomics era (Afghanistan). At every such peak unique specimens of air technology emerged.
helicopters included the Sikorsky S-55 in Korea, Bell UH-1 Irokez and Bell AH-1 Cobra in
Vietnam; AH-64 Apache - Reagonomics. Our helicopter-building industry reacted adequately
and produced Mi-4, Mi-8, Mi-24 and Mi-28 helicopters respectively. Today we will tell our
readers about Mi-24 gunship helicopter with transport capability.
Basic Flying Performances of Mi-24 (Mi-24V, P, VP main versions)
At least 200 Mi-24A helicopters were
manufactured during the five years of their production. The operation of these
helicopters, including combat missions, contributed greatly to their further development,
updating and improved reliability. This also allowed training pilots and maintenance
personnel both in our country and abroad.
mentioned earlier, small arms mounted on the Mi-24D and Mi-24V comprised the unfixed mount
with the YaKB-12.7 machine gun boasting high rate of fire.
TYPE OF ARMAMENT
At present, the Mi-28 is also being unified. For example, the Mi-24V, P and VP
helicopters underwent trials to use the new generation of guided missiles nicknamed Ataka,
which represent a further development of the Shturm antitank missile system. The guided
missiles intended for the Mi-28 boast more armor-piercing capability, compared to the
Shturm antitank missile system, including firing against targets with explosive-reactive
armor. They have longer range of fire and various warheads to engage air targets.
FLYING INFANTRY COMBAT VEHICLE DERIVES NEW QUALITY
Thirty years ago, the Mi-24 helicopter, developed in compliance with the ideas of General Designer Mikhail Mil, has taken off for the first time. Over these three decades the helicopter has gone through many flashpoints and the legendary Mi-24 has been designated the flying infantry combat vehicle not without reason. However, thirty years is a long life for a combat helicopter. Therefore, in early March the Mil Experimental Design Bureau demonstrated a fundamentally modernized derivative, designated the Mi-24VM (Mi-35M), of the Mi-24 helicopter that has made a perfect showing under complicated combat conditions. The conspicuous features of the modernization, offered by the Mil Design Bureau, consist in modular updating of the Mi-24. In this case, any module (unit) can be individually modernized in accordance with the customer's request and financial potentialities.
Installation of a new main rotor provided with blades made of glass fiber plastics, a hub furnished with elastolar bearings, and an X-shaped tail rotor developed for the Mi-28N helicopter, makes it possible to decrease the mass of the flying machine, increase its hovering ceiling and rate of climb, and improve its overall operating characteristics and invulnerability.
In modernizing the airframe, armament system and communications facilities, the Mil Design Bureau offers to install a shortened wing and nonretractable landing gear and retrofit the hydraulic system. In addition to this, the client may wish to replace a number of equipment components, as well as install new bomb racks, missile launchers, and radio set.
The primary emphasis has been placed on an increase of weapon effectiveness. The Ataka air-to-ground guided missiles (ammunition establishment has been increased up to 16 missiles) have been introduced into the helicopter's armament system. The missiles can also be used against air targets similar to the Igla-V guided missiles. The 12.7mm machine-gun mount has been replaced by a 23mm aircraft cannon. The most up-to-date BVK-24 computer and a laser range finder have been introduced into the heliborne equipment. A modernization program on this scale makes it possible to increase the accuracy against a single target 1.5 times, while increasing the kill zone 2 to 2.5 times when delivering cannon fire. The combat effectiveness of employing the guided missiles increases twofold on average.
The modernization will ensure the helicopter's round-the-clock combat readiness. The use of night-vision goggles with flight information displayed in the field of view, and equipping the helicopter with an optronic fire-control station comprising of thermal imaging and TV channels, control channel, and laser range finder, as well as display systems, enables the crew to detect and recognize targets at night and employ the heliborne weapons both by day and night.
It should be pointed out that this modernization program will prolong the service life of the Mi-24, designed thirty years ago, until the years of 2015 - 2020, and essentially increase the overhaul period of the helicopter and its accessories.
Much attention is given worldwide to the modernization of flying machines since it enables the developers to obtain their updated characteristics at minimum financial costs. At present, the Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant (a developer of the Mi-35) together with the Rostvertol PLC works on all-round modernization of the helicopter.
In the early March, the first qualification flight of the Mi-24VM helicopter (a baseline version of the export Mi-35M) has been made at the Mil Helicopter Plant's flight-test base near Moscow under the state test program. It is worthy of note that the Mi-35M's export version considerably differs from the Mi-24VM developed for the Russian Armed Forces.
Since 1978, the Rostvertol PLC has exported about 600 Mi-35 helicopters of various modifications to more than 25 countries. Today, about 1,000 helicopters, developed on the basis of the Mi-24, are in service with the Russian army aviation.
Modernization of the Mi-35 machine is highly topical taking into account the remaining service life margin and technical condition of helicopters being in service with foreign countries, Russia and the CIS, as well as numerous inquiries from potential customers of modernized versions of the Mi-35 and its current users.
A program involving the development of the Mi-35M, a full-scale mock-up of which was demonstrated for the first time at Le Bourget Air Show in 1995, is gradually being executed.
The main goals of modernization of the existing helicopters are the following:
- considerable prolongation of life cycle;
- improvement of performance characteristics;
- enhancement of combat effectiveness;
- provision for day-and-night combat employment;
- increase of maintainability.
These goals can be attained through the use of a number of modernization packages:
1. Prolongation of a calendar and estimated service life of the airframe, system units and equipment.
2. Decrease in empty weight of the helicopter and increase in the reliability and invulnerability of its systems to combat damage owing to retrofitting of its fuselage and mechanical systems.
3. Increase in the combat effectiveness of the armament system, which involves an introduction of the following weapons into armament suit:
- Ataka and Ataka-M antitank guided missiles of increased effectiveness;
- unguided aircraft rockets.
4. Ensuring of day-and-night employment of the helicopter by providing the crew with the night-vision goggles and adaptation of the cabin illumination, while providing the helicopter with a surveillance and fire-control station.
5. Modernization of the helicopter rotor system, increase of its aerodynamic effectiveness and decrease of its weight by using the main and tail rotors developed for the Mi-28 helicopter. This leads to a decrease of its weight by 300 kg and an increase of the main rotor effective thrust by 300 kgf.
6. The further increase in the combat effectiveness of the armament system and equipping the helicopter with the new communications facilities:
- introduction of the Igla-V air-to-air heat-homing missile system;
- replacement of obsolete analog computers by a heliborne unified BVK-24 computer system capable of solving air navigation problems;
- replacement of obsolete radio communications equipment.
7. Provision for day-and-night combat employment of all heliborne weapons via replacement of the Raduga-Sh day-vision guidance device by the gyro-stabilized surveillance and fire-control station. With due account for variations in customer requirements, the Rostvertol offers several modernization variants.
One of the most promising variants involves the modernization to be performed during the helicopter major repair. This variant covers the following four modernization packages:
1. Modernization of the airframe, including:
- installation of nonretractable landing gear that ensures saving in weight and increases the low-altitude flight safety and a crew protection degree in emergency landing;
- retrofitting of the wing to decrease its weight, installation of launching frames with an increased ammunition load, and an increase in technological effectiveness of loading the helicopter with ammunition.
2. Modernization of the armament system:
- provision for employment of S-13 rockets in the 130mm rocket pod (B-13L1);
- equipping the helicopter with the Shturm-VM (9K113M) guided missile system.
3. Modernization of the helicopter rotor system and dismantling of the secondary hydraulic system that leads to savings in weight, enhancement of airfield performance, and an increase in invulnerability of the helicopter to combat damage.
4. Equipping the helicopter with night vision systems:
- NVIS-compatible illumination of instrument equipment in the crew cabins and adaptation of lighting equipment for night vision goggles to ensure safe takeoff/landing at night and under limited-visibility conditions and flying of the helicopter at extremely low altitudes near the ground surface at night and under limited-visibility conditions at low flight speeds;
- installation of the surveillance and fire-control station furnished with infrared, TV and laser channels to ensure target detection and identification at long ranges at night; leading out of the helicopter onto a target and a combat run at night and under limited-visibility conditions; employment of unguided rockets at night and under limited-visibility conditions; performing search operations and ground surveillance at night and under limited-visibility conditions, as well as in the daytime under conditions of artificial or natural shadowing of objects.
All the aforementioned advantages and the best efficiency-to-cost ratio make us believe that modernized Mi-35 helicopters are sure to score a success on the international aircraft market. Rostvertol products are to be demonstrated at the IDET '99 International Fair in Brno (Czech Republic), Hall Z, Stand #70; and at the 43rd Paris Air Show (Le Bourget, France), Hall 5, Stand #d-1, Chalet 237, Row D.