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

Dec 14 2015 - 6 Comments

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”