‘BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 A.M.) – A new video released last week revealed the Russian Air Force’s use of their Mi-28NM helicopter gunship during an attack against the jihadist rebels in the Idlib Governorate.
The Mi-28NM was seen attacking the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham alongside a Mi-24 gunship near the provincial capital of Idlib last week.
In the footage, which has yet to be verified or commented on by the Russian Defence Ministry, the new helicopter, distinguishable by its unique ball-shaped radar installed above its main rotor, is seen making repeated passes over a local settlement thought to contain Nusra*-affiliated militants.
Russian media citing military sources reported on the deployment of the Mi-28NM attack helicopter to Syria for field testing last week.
Dubbed the ‘Super Night Hunter’, the Mi-28NM was created after taking previously accumulated Syrian combat experience into account, and features improved engines, control and anti-air defence systems, fuselage, navigation and communications equipment, and specially created helmets with an augmented reality function to project map, intelligence and helicopter status information into the pilot and copilot’s field of vision.
The anti-armour helicopter is said to be capable of coordinating with autonomous drones, and can be armed with a new guided missile with a range of over 25 km.
The first test batch of the new all-weather, day-night two-seater helicopters is expected to start delivery to the Defence Ministry next month. Developed in the early 1980s, the Mi-28 design has seen multiple upgrades during its service life, and is operated by the Russian, Algerian and Iraqi militaries.