Pakistan receives Mi-35M assault helicopters from Russia

Pakistan has received four Mil Mi-35M assault helicopters from Russia, the Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) has confirmed.

The statement was issued by DEPO’s Brig. Gen. Waheed Mumtaz during the 2017 International Military-Technical Forum (Army 2017), which took place in Moscow between August 22 to 27.

Pakistan Army ordered four Mi-35Ms from Russian Helicopters on August 2015 in a $153 million deal, which included training, spare parts and ground support equipment. The Mi-35M helicopter is expected to replace Pakistan’s fleet of obsolete AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters procured from the US.

Brig. Gen Mumtaz told RIA Novosti that Pakistani aircrews were acclimating to the Mi-35. However, upon the conclusion of this program, Pakistan will examine the notion of procuring other Russian weapons, be it additional helicopters or armoured, aviation and naval systems.

There were reports that Pakistan is interested in procuring additional Mi-35Ms – up to 20 – in the coming years. Pakistan was also negotiating with Rostec for a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre to fully support its Mi-17/171 and Mi-35 helicopters.

Pakistan is continuously expanding its close air-support capabilities. Apart from the Mi-35M helicopters, Pakistan is also in line to receive 15 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, the sale of which was approved by the U.S Department of State in April 2015.

About Mil Mi-35M:

Mi-35M is a multi-role attack helicopter. It is a comprehensive modernisation of the Mi-24V. The Mi-35M was developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and has been series produced at Rostvertol since 2005.

The Mi-35M is equipped with the latest navigation and avionics suite with multifunction coloured displays, target sights system that includes a thermal imager and TV channels, laser range finder and location finder.

It is equipped with Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines, fibreglass main rotor blades, main rotor head with elastomeric joints, a new swashplate and X-type tail rotor. The Mi-35M’s fuselage boasts shortened stub wings and fixed landing gear.

The Mi-35M can deploy anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), guided and laser-guided rockets and gun-pods. Besides its two aircrews, the Mi-35M can also carry eight armed personnel in its transport cabin. It can ferry cargo of up to 1,500 kg internally and 2,400 kg with an external sling.

The Mi-35M boasts enhanced flight capabilities and can be operated at high temperatures and in mountainous terrain. The Mi-35M’s design ensures low noise levels, greater combat resilience, and reduces the workload on maintenance staff.

The Mi-35 is operated by the Armed Forces of Russia, Venezuela, Brazil and Azerbaijan.

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