The Iraqi Army Aviation received its first four Mi-35M Hind-Es on November 7th, 2013, with at least six more to follow as a part of the build-up a sizeable attack helicopter fleet that will include Havocs and possibly even Alligators.
The Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki even published a photo of the delivered quartet of Mi-35Ms through his Facebook page.
Apart from the Mi-35s Iraq is getting 36 Mil Mi-28NE Night Hunters (NATO-name Havoc). Most of the aircraft are due to be delivered by the end of 2013. The status of the contract for at least 10 Kamov Ka-52 Alligators is uncertain. There are conflicting reports on the deal. Some say the Alligators have been cancelled, some say it will be a single-seat version of the side-by-side attack helicopter.
The Ka-52 is designed as an all-weather day-and-night attack helicopter for destroying enemy hard and soft ground targets, low-speed aerial targets and to eliminate enemy troops on a tactical level. It is good for surveillance missions and control of an attack combat helicopter team. Originally designed as the single-seat Ka-50 (NATO-name Hokum), the side-by-side two-seat version has given the type an unique advantage.
The Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopter is designed to carry out search-and-destroy operations against tanks, armored vehicles and personnel; to destroy protected sites and defense installations; to fly search-and-destroy operations against boats and other small naval vessels; and to combat low-speed and low-altitude enemy aircraft. The Mi-28NE is fitted with an integrated avionics suite that allows NOE flight on auto-pilot at night and in adverse conditions.
The Mi-35 is the most multipurpose helicopter of the three, being a combat asset with a small cargo haul enough to house 6 fully-equipped combat troops or a payload of 2,400 kg in addition to the crew of 2. All three helicopters have a top speed of about 161 knots (300 kmh) and can operate up to an altitude of about 16,500 feet (5,5 km).
Source: Rosobornexport / Russian Helicopters with additional reporting by AIRheads’ Marcel Burger