Russian Mi-35M gunship helicopter appears in Syria for the first time

The most advanced variant of the Hind helicopter has arrived at Latakia airbase.

New footage filmed by RT at Russian aircraft operating at Hmeymim air base in Latakia, on Friday, proves Moscow has eventually deployed to Syria the most modern variant of the Hind: the Mi-35M.

See below after 00:11.

A combat transport helicopter with anti-tank and assault capabilities, the Mi-35M is a variant of the older Mi-24 gunship featuring a modified airframe with fixed landing gear and cropped wings as well as the X-shaped tail rotor of the Mi-28N.

According to the recently-issued “Russia’s Warplanes, Volume 1” by Piotr Butowski published by Harpia Publishing, one of the most authoritative sources on Russian-made military aircraft and helicopters today and set to become the standard reference work on the subject, the Russian Air Force operates 49 Mi-35M examples, along with around 150 older Mi-24s, with the following peculiarities.

Whilst it carries the same self-protections as the Mi-24P, the Mi-35 is equipped with advanced avionics, including an Integrated KNEI-24 suite with MVK computer and MFDs (two for pilot and one for WSO). The cockpit is NVG-compatible, with crews provided with Geo-ONV-1 or OVN-1 Skosok NVGs, and includes satellite navigation receivers, KSS-28N-3 comms suite with two UHF and one HF radio, and secure datalink.

The Mi-35M can carry up to 16 missiles (instead of 8), including four new 9M39 Igla-V instead of Strelas. New weapons include the heavy 122mm S-13 unguided rockets. Still, what makes the chopper extremely deadly is GSh-23V cannon with 450 rounds in a undernose turret that can be moved +/-60° in azimuth and +10/-40° in elevation.

The sighting of the Mi-35Ms marks the arrival of another modern weapons system within the ranks of the contingent Russia has unleashed against terrorists in Syria along with Su-30SMs, Su-34s, Kalibr, S-400 and Kilo-class sub (to name but few).

By the way, for more details on Mi-35s as well as other Russian warplanes, here’s the link for “Russia’s Warplanes, Volume 1”

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. During the 1973 Yom Kippur war, then National Security Council raised the military alert level to its highest peace-time level, Defcon 3, to keep the Soviets from introducing troops into the Middle East. If Putin asked today, one suspects Obama would offer the Russians C-5s and C-17s to fly their troops into the region. We have come that far down.

    I’m getting a bad feeling about what is going on in the region, one’s that’s all the worst for not being discussed or debated. It’s a bit like 1938 with German troops on the borders of the Sudetenland, but rather than being a European-wide crisis, no one seems to be noticing.

    You can find an account of those 1973 events here:

    Did Alexander Haig really refuse to wake Nixon about something that important? It’s yet another confirmation, in my mind, that the guy was really weird.

    –Michael W. Perry, editor of Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements that Led to Nazism and World War II

    • I think you need to move on from those 70th.. if you did not notice it is a very different world now that we live in.. you have exposed your insulted ego.. not the intention to find any solution for the situation that thinking like yours brought us into..

  2. The sighting of the Mi-35Ms marks the arrival of another modern weapons system within the ranks of the contingent Russia has unleashed against terrorists in Syria along with Su-30SMs, Su-34s, Kalibr, S-400 and Kilo-class sub (to name but few).


  3. A bit late with the news:
    Also an introduction of the Crocodile:
    In the mean time, the SAA, and allies mop up the border region, the capturing of Turkmen mountain enabled the opening of Lattakia-Kassab highway. One of the downed Su24 ejection seats was found on the ground (see picture).
    Also the Moskva nears the end of it’s current mission, and will be replaced by the Varyag (not the Liaoning, ex Chervona Ukrayina).
    The ottoman self-invited troops in Iraq are undergoing a “rearrangement”, shortly after the sultan bragged that withdrawal was “out of the question”.

    • The Syrian Army, with the Russian Air Force, liberated more areas and pushed the foreign sponsored terrorists back.

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