Debutants at the Dubai Airshow include the Mil Mi-28NE attack helicopter, the latest export version of the Night Hunter. Exhibited by Russian Helicopters, the Mi-28NE is demonstrating its agility in the flying display. The Mi-28 is joined in Dubai by Russian Helicopters’ other attack helicopter, the Kamov Ka-52 Alligator.
The Mi-28NE—an export version of the Russian aerospace forces’ Mi-28N—made its public debut at the MAKS show in Moscow, but the appearance in Dubai represents the first time that it has ventured abroad. The latest improved version, unveiled in Russia in 2018, features an upgraded main rotor and uses uprated Russian-made VK2500-01 engines in place of the original Ukrainian TV3-117VMA powerplant.
The latest version also now employs the Khrisantema (Chrysanthemum) reconnaissance and strike system with the 10 km (6 mile) range 9M123M Strelets-VM dual-channel guided missiles, although the initial 9M120-1 Ataka VM remains an armament option. An OPS-28M optical surveillance and aiming system is fitted, as is a search and engagement radar in a pod that can attach to the stub wings. This is in addition to the mast-mounted 360-degree surveillance radar.
Russian Helicopters has already notched two sales successes for the Mi-28NE, with Iraq taking delivery of its first aircraft in 2013. The type first saw action with the Iraqi air force in November 2015 during fighting around Ramadi. Algeria also acquired 42, which were first publicly shown in August 2016.