Russian landing troops are preparing to receive a significant increase in helicopters and tanks, marking a strategic shift in the armed forces.

Helicopters  and  Tanks: Modernization of the Russian Airborne Forces

Known as the “Blue Berets,” Russian airborne forces will be equipped with cutting-edge Ka-52,  Mi-28  and  Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopters. This reinforcement increases its air power and ground capacity with the addition of more tanks.

The decision is influenced by the experiences acquired in the military operation in  Ukraine, seeking to enhance the efficiency of the Russian “winged infantry.”

On the other hand, the Air Force will integrate new aviation divisions and will see an increase in its tank units.

Reassessment of Strategies and Equipment

Russia creates winged infantry with Ka-52Ka-52 helicopter

Informants recall old plans to establish a complete army aviation brigade within the Airborne Forces before the start of the Northern Military District. These concepts, discarded in the past, are being reanalyzed.

In the words of Colonel General Andrey Serdyukov, leader of the Airborne Forces, helicopters significantly improve combat effectiveness in changing terrain, regardless of existing airport infrastructure.

Additionally, Serdyukov highlights that air mobility reduces the risk of enemy attacks, improves travel speed and increases the range of operation.

Revelations and Military Perspectives

Valery Yuriev, president of the Union of Russian Paratroopers, shared with “Izvestia” about a new experimental formation. He explained that paratroopers saw a significant increase in maneuverability and firepower thanks to new helicopters.

Russia creates winged infantry with Ka-52A Russian army Mi-28 helicopter launches rockets during military exercises at the Raevsky range, southern Russia, on September 23, 2020, during the “Caucasus-2020” military maneuvers, which bring together troops from China, Iran, Pakistan and Myanmar, along with former Soviet Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Two planes and a helicopter have been blown up by “unknown saboteurs” on Russian soil, according to the General Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine (GUR). DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Yuriev also commented on the actual function of landing units. He highlighted that, in practice, they are not always used as anticipated: for landings in enemy rearguards. Echoing operations in  Ukraine, he mentioned the need to strengthen the strength of the airborne forces.

For his part, Viktor Murakhovski, a military specialist, emphasizes the need to strengthen these forces, taking up the lessons of the Northern Military District.

Combat helicopters: Advances and capabilities

The  Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter, a new player in the world of military aviation, has been selected to be integrated into the parachute forces. This was finalized by signing an agreement for the first ten units at the 2019 Army Forum.

This helicopter stands out for its versatility, designed for a wide spectrum of combat and landing operations. Its modified engine gives it superiority over previous models, guaranteeing reliable performance in any weather condition and at any time of the day.

The  Mi-8AMTSh-VN’s broad and adaptable arsenal is equipped to confront air and ground threats. It has machine guns, unguided missiles and an advanced surveillance and guidance system that facilitates the use of  Ataka anti-tank missiles and bombs.

Comparison: Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopters in modern combat

Russia creates winged infantry with Ka-52Mi-28N helicopters of the 344th Torzhok State Flight Crew Conversion and Combat Training Center. Wikimedia Commons

Other machines that stand out in military aviation are the  Ka-52  and  Mi-28 helicopters. The first, nicknamed “workhorse,” is characterized by its robustness and cutting-edge equipment, including a 30 mm cannon and various missiles and bombs.

The  Mi-28NM, on the other hand, is a versatile helicopter designed to operate in all weather conditions. Outperforming previous generations, this model eliminates the need to rely on other vehicles, such as the Mi-24, to tackle certain missions.

Additionally, both the  Ka-52M  and the  Mi-28NM  have been equipped with the innovative “product 305”, a light-guided missile, showing its effectiveness in operations such as the  SVO  in Ukraine.

A renewed strategy: The role of the Airborne Forces

Russia creates winged infantry with Ka-52T-80

Prior to the emergence of the Northern Military District, Russian military authorities adopted a new vision for their “blue helmets.” These air assault units, more robust than previous airborne divisions, have been reinforced with tanks, artillery and  UAV drones.

By 2021, the formation of pioneer battalions in the Airborne Forces has been witnessed. Following the new doctrine, upon disembarking from helicopters, these troops are ready to enter combat immediately.

The deployment of these units represents a tactical advantage, allowing forces to be quickly concentrated in areas less anticipated by the enemy. An effort is underway to completely reformulate the Russian Air Force, seeking to adapt and strengthen itself in the modern military landscape.