The Russian Army Aviation of the Eastern Military District is about to field the first of 6 new Mil Mi-35M attack helicopters in the Primorsky district, likely at Khabarovsk Airbase just 19 miles (31 km) from the border with China.
Before the end of the year all six derivatives of the legendary Mi-24 (NATO-reporting name Hind) are scheduled to be active. They join at least eight new Mi-8AMTSh armed tactical transport helicopters and an unknown number of Ka-52 attack helicopters. The Mi-35M (Hind-E) is the same helicopter delivered to Brazil, Azerbaijan and Venezuela. It is designed to destroy armour and provide close air support to ground troops, but it can also carry eight soldiers or 5,291 lbs (2,400 kg) of cargo.
Compared to previous Hinds the Mi-35M has a new rotor, newer engines and an improved hydraulic system. Pilots enjoy a “glass cockpit” (digital multifunctional displays), which is fully night vision goggle compatible, satellite aided navigation and more.
The double barrel GSh-23V 23mm cannon can fire 3,400 rounds per minute, but has a normal magazine of 450 rounds. On its wings the Hind-E can carry a variety of weaponry, including 8 Ataka-V radio-guided anti-tank missiles, eighty 80mm unguided rockets (S-8), 20 122mm unguided rockets (S-13) or a mixture. The Mi-35 has a operational range of about 450 km and a maximum speed of 167 knots (310 kmh).
In total the Primorsky district’s army aviation will receive 20 new helicopters of various types.
Source: Russian Ministry of Defence / Russian Helicopters, with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger