Rostec Has Begun Flight Tests of the Newest Helicopter for Special Forces
(Source: Rostec; issued July 22, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Rostec says the latest version of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter is fitted with uprated engines as well as an improved main rotor with all-composite blades, allowing better performance and higher payload. (Rostec photo)
The Russian Helicopters holding of the State Corporation Rostec has begun a cycle of flight tests of a new military transport helicopter Mi-8AMTSh-VN. The first flight of the helicopter took place at the flight test center of the National Center for Helicopter Engineering. M.L. Mil and N.I. Kamov.

The new combat aircraft, designed for the landing and fire support of assault forces as well as for special operations, is equipped with the latest equipment, enhanced weapons and protection.

The tests will assess the aerodynamic and performance characteristics of the helicopter, the maneuverability, stability and controllability of the air vehicle, as well as the reliability and efficiency of the weapon system and protective equipment.

“The technical appearance of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN was formed taking into account the experience of the combat use of helicopters in modern military conflicts. High-altitude engines of increased power, a new carrier system, an expanded composition of weapons, enhanced protection and other features of the modernized helicopter increase the combat capabilities of the vehicle and allow it to be used for special operations in the most difficult conditions.

“The first phase of testing is scheduled for completion in November. In the future, two more aircraft of this type will be connected to the flights,” said Anatoly Serdyukov, industrial director of the aviation complex of Rostec State Corporation.

The prototype of the helicopter, manufactured at the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant and retrofitted at the Mil and Kamov Center, was previously demonstrated at the largest Russian industry exhibitions. The concept of the new attack transport helicopter was also highly appreciated by foreign military delegations. At the Army-2019 forum, a contract was signed with the Russian Ministry of Defense for the supply of ten Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopters in a special design.

“A prototype of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter is currently undergoing a complex of ground and flight tests. First, the tests will be carried out on the basis of the Mil and Kamov NCV, then the helicopter will be assessed by specialized state institutes and flight centers,” said Andrey Boginsky, General Director of the Russian Helicopters holding.

The Mi-8AMTSh-VN can perform a wide range of tasks: from transport and landing operations and fire support to supporting the actions of special forces. The basis of the new carrier system of the helicopter is an improved main rotor with all-composite blades of a modern aerodynamic layout.

The use of an improved main rotor with a higher thrust, in combination with more powerful engines, made it possible to increase the thrust-to-weight ratio, maneuverability, flight speed, and obtain new characteristics when working in highlands and hot climates. Another important feature of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN carrier system is the more efficient X-shaped tail rotor.

The Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter has increased combat survivability and security, which are provided by an onboard defense system, titanium and Kevlar armor protection and other constructive measures. Not only the crew and the most important units of the helicopter are protected by armor, but also the the cargo compartment. Thanks to two sliding doors and additional hatches, the capabilities of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN in terms of landing troops have been significantly expanded.

The helicopter is armed with 12.7 mm machine guns. Along with small arms and cannon weapons, unguided missiles and bombs of various calibers, the helicopter is also equipped with a guided missile weapon system with a surveillance and sighting system, which allows it to fight air and ground targets, destroy enemy firing points and armored vehicles.

The new aircraft is adapted for highly efficient night-time use. For this, the helicopter is equipped with a gyro-stabilized optoelectronic system, supplemented by an infrared searchlight, dual-band lighting equipment and adapted for the use of night vision goggles. At the same time, many combat missions can be performed in automatic mode thanks to the integrated flight and navigation system and digital autopilot.

The highly automated flight and navigation equipment of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN significantly reduces the workload on the crew, which increases the efficiency of using the helicopter in modern combat conditions.

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