Belarus orders first batch of Mi-35M combat helicopters
The delegation of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, headed by the Deputy Minister of Defence for Armaments and Chief of Armaments of the Armed Forces, Major General Sergei Simonenko, visited the International Military-Technical Forum "Army-2020" at Patriot-Expo in Kubinka (Russia) in order to get acquainted with latest technologies and types of Russian weaponry and military equipment.
After meetings with the leadership of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation of the Russian Federation, as well as with representatives of Russian defence enterprises, the Belarus Defence Ministry has signed multiple orders for the supply, repair and maintenance of military items for the needs of the Armed Forces, most notably contracts with PJSC Arzamas for the supply of two battalions worth of BTR-82A armored personnel carriers, as well as with JSC Russian Helicopters for the initial batch of four Mi-35M combat helicopters with the option of further deliveries.
At the same time, a plan of interaction with the OJSC Concern VKO Almaz-Antey for 2021-2025 was agreed on the supply of modern air defense systems for the Air Force and Air Defence Forces of the Republic of Belarus until 2025.
The Belarus Air Force currently has just over a dozen Mi-24 attack helicopters, various variants, still active in their inventory. The new Mi-35M helicopters will definitely replace the older versions in due time. The Mi-24s are operated by the 50th Composite Air Base (50 SAB) and are based at Minsk-Machulishchy.
Based on the Mi-24 Hind, the Mi-35M attack helicopter incorporates several improvements, including shortened stub wings, a new rotor system, modern avionics, upgraded turboshaft engines and a hydraulic system. The cockpit and vital components of the helicopter are heavily armoured. The glass cockpit of the Mi-35M accommodates two pilots in tandem configuration. The night vision goggle (NVG)-compatible cockpit integrates multi-functional displays (MFDs), redundant flight controls and state-of-the-art avionics. The helicopter is equipped with an OPS-24N surveillance-and-sighting station, a television channel, a GPS-guided navigation system. The chin-mounted turret can be installed with the twin-barrel GSh-23V 23mm cannon with 450 to 470 rounds of ammunition. The gun can fire 3,400 to 3,600 rounds a minute. The stub wings can carry a range of weapon systems, including anti-tank missiles, rocket pods/gun pods or fuel tanks. The countermeasures suite of Mi-35M includes a radar warning receiver, a laser range finder and a location finder, chaff and flare launch system, infrared (IR) jamming system and engine-exhaust IR suppressor.
Photos: Dmitry Molokovich (Mi-24R, 14 wt, via OneSpotter.com) and Sergey (Mi-24K, 46 wt, via airliners.net)