Technical analysis of the Russian MI-28N combat helicopter, contrasting with the perspective of an American pilot.
Essence of the Night Hunter: MI-28N
The MI-28N Night Hunter, a jewel of Russian military aviation, has been meticulously designed for war operations in light conditions, at low altitudes and with limited visibility.
Powered by two VK-2500 turboshaft engines, its power can reach up to 2,700 horsepower in critical situations. Weighing 8,000 kilograms, the MI-28N has a weapons-carrying capacity of 2,300 kilograms and can store up to 1,500 kilograms of fuel.
This aircraft can reach 300 km/h speeds and maintain a cruising rate of 265 km/h. With external fuel tanks, its autonomy extends up to 1087 km.
Night Hunter Weaponry and Guidance Systems
The helicopter has a 1x30mm 2A42 cannon and can accommodate guided and unguided missiles, bombs and other weapons on four suspension points. The Sturm-B, Ataka-B, and Ataka-VN anti-tank systems are notable among its missiles.
In addition, the MI-28N is equipped with an advanced optoelectronic system that includes high-definition television and thermal cameras, allowing the crew to identify targets at distances of up to 10 kilometers.
For protection, the MI-28N has alert and active protection systems, which detect threats and use countermeasures as decoys.
Weapon Control and Attack Precision
The helicopter’s weapons control, with manual and automatic guidance, provides precision in the attack. It has a target illumination system, increasing the effectiveness of its precision weapons.
It is relevant to note that the MI-28H can mount Sturm and Ataka anti-tank missile systems on external hangers. The Sturm system, with 9K121В Vihr-B missiles , uses laser guidance to engage targets at 8 km. On the other hand, the Ataka has a range of 6 km.
Although it presents challenges such as high cost and noise levels, the MI-28N establishes itself as one of the most advanced combat helicopters globally.
American Perspective on MI-28N
Pilot and military analyst Lauren McKenzie shared: “The Night Hunter is a considerable adversary. His agility and endurance are exceptional on the battlefield. However, its weapons and avionics systems could improve compared to Western standards.”
McKenzie emphasized that although the MI-28N is an impressive aircraft, its Russian armament may not be as accurate and reliable as Western alternatives.
Overall, it is indisputable that the Night Hunter is a formidable fighting machine in the contemporary war scene.