Russia begins serial production of Mi-35P

Russian Helicopters – a subsidiary of the Rostec State Corporation – announced that it launched serial production of the upgraded Mi-35P attack helicopter at its Rostvertol facility in Rostov-na-Don, Russia, on August 24.

This production milestone comes after the platform completed a series of flight tests, which confirmed the upgraded attack helicopter’s performance characteristics and design changes, as well as verifying new weapons and onboard systems. The Mi-35P (NATO reporting name: Hind) appeared on static display at the ARMY 2020 defence exhibition at Kubinka air base, near Moscow, from August 23-29.

Mi-35P [Russian Helicopters]
In October 2019, Russia offered the modernised Mi-35P Hind to potential customers in Africa at the Russia-Africa Economic Forum. Serial production of the attack helicopter has now started for an unnamed customer. Russian Helicopters

Andrey Boginsky, the director general of Russian Helicopters, said: “[The] Mi-35P was created in cooperation with Rostec’s enterprises and combines the best qualities of the legendary Mi-24 family, hardened in air combat around the world, and the latest Russian achievements in the field of avionics.

“Last year we demonstrated the aircraft to a number of potential customers, and today we can confidently say that the helicopter is in demand, we have launched serial production of [the] Mi-35P under the first contract with a foreign customer,” he added.

The Mi-35P Hind features an upgraded targeting system with third generation long-wave matrix thermal imaging equipment, a high-resolution colour TV camera and laser rangefinder. Alongside this, it is compatible with third generation and above night vision goggles, with internal and external lighting which has been adapted for use with them. The helicopter has also been integrated with a new digital flight control system, which improves the Mi-35P’s controllability and stability, while using automation to reduce pilot workload.

The company adds that the upgraded attack helicopter is armed with a mobile 23mm twin-barrelled cannon and S-8 rockets. It adds that it can be refitted with suspended containers that carry additional 23mm cannons, S-13 rockets and KBM’s Ataka anti-tank guided missiles with a twin-channel control system. It can also be fitted with KBP’s Vikhr-1 or Vikhr-1M guided missiles.

According to Rostec’s press release, the improved performance combined with enhanced flight and navigational systems will allow the Mi-35P to fly both day and night missions. It can be employed in “moderately difficult weather conditions, both under visual and instrument flying rules [and] in diverse geographical conditions, including over non-landmark terrain.” It adds that the Mi-35P boasts improved combat survivability and a reduced maintenance burden.