Russia is developing a new combat helicopter for the Airborne Force’s helicopter-mobile units. The new chopper will be a follow-up of Mil Mi-24 and Mi-35 models, a source in the domestic defense industry told TASS.
“In the interests of the Airborne Force’s helicopter-borne units of the new type, work has been stepped up to upgrade the existing helicopters and develop a principally new helicopter - the airborne combat vehicle,” the source said, adding that the new chopper would “conceptually develop the Mi-24-Mi-35M helicopters.”
The new helicopter will eventually become the mainstay of a whole family of rotorcraft for the Airborne Force, the source specified.
These will be special, transport, command and control, reconnaissance and electronic warfare helicopters. Pursuant to the requirements set by the military, “all the helicopters should act in a single information and command contour of the Airborne Force,” the source added.
Before a new combat helicopter is developed, operational helicopters should be modernized for the Airborne Force: “The Mi-24 to the level of the Mi-35M, the family of Mi-8/17 helicopters to the level of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN (the Mi-8 version developed taking into account the Syrian experience was showcased for the first time at the Army-2017 forum), heavy Mi-26T transport helicopters to the level of the Mi-26T2V,” the source added.
TASS does not have an official confirmation of this information yet.
Russia’s Airborne Force is creating new helicopter-borne units. The reports about the creation of such units came during the Vostok-2018 strategic drills where these formations were experimentally employed for the first time. The new helicopter-borne units are expected to comprise transport and attack helicopter squadrons.