Six countries from different regions of the world want to purchase Russia’s latest-generation dedicated attack helicopter – more so a specific variant tuned for night operations.
According to official Russian military-linked sources quoted via the TASS news agency, six countries from the Middle East, the CSTO alliance and Southeast Asia have placed requests to buy the Mi-28NE attack helicopter since 2015.
The Mi-28NE is the Russian export version of the Russian-exclusive Mi-28N attack helicopter, which has come into the spotlight of international military sales because of its extensive and well-recorded successful service in the Syrian conflict.
The Mi-28 design in general is the Russian equivalent of the US-made AH-64 Apache gunship – a dedicated attack helicopter for the sole purpose of hunting tactical tactical targets at the front-line.
The ‘N’ variant of the is specialized for night operations in addition to having a more modern counter-measures suite – it aligns in equal capability with the ‘E’ model of the American AH-64.
Just like the AH-64, the Mi-28 can be equipped with a range of offensive weaponry including a built-in 30-mm cannon as well as rockets and guided anti-tank missiles in any chosen configuration.
The Mi-28 also comes with the ability to fire guided anti-aircraft missiles in order to neutralize low-flying enemy aircraft near the front-line which is most likely to be in the form of opposing helicopter forces.
Unlike the more numerous Mi-24 gunship which is the staple attack helicopter and troop carrying gunship for standard army units, the Mi-28 is generally reserved for providing fire support (and fire support alone) for special forces units conducting infiltration operations.