According to Russian press agency Interfax on Friday 18 March 2016, quoting military sources, Algeria has become the first (export) customer to buy the Russian Helicopters/Mil Mi-28N Night Hunter with dual-control, a few days after mass production of the type started.
The African country is said to have ordered 40 of these tandem two-seat day/night attack helicopters. Two sticks (or actually four) are handy not only for training purposes, but also in the event of the pilot being wounded by f.ex. ground fire. Talks with Algeria about the purchase have been ongoing ever since 2010.
Night Hunter power plant
The Mi-28NE with dual controls – designed by the famous Mil bureau – concluded its flight test schedule in December 2015. The Night Hunter is powered by Klimov TV3-117VMA-SB3 engines with 2,500 hp. They used to be produced by Motor-Sich of Ukraine, but after since the two countries have been in a military conflict ever since Russia took the Crimean peninsula, the power plants are now produced in Russia.
Hit by shells
The main rotor blades of Mi-28NE with dual controls are made of composite materials that should allow the crew to complete the flight even when hit by 20 millimeter caliber shells. The design of the fuel system excludes explosion or ignition of the fuel.
Mi-28N dual control mass production
The Russian armed forces have not received the dual-control version of the Night Hunter in numbers (yet), but Rostvertol started mass-production of both the Mi-28N (for Russian military) and the Mi-28NE (Export version) on 16 March 2016. The Russian military is believed to order tens of the Mi-28NE with dual control the coming few years.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: The Mil Mi-28N with dual controls of Russian Helicopters (Image © Russian Helicopters)