Brazil’s defense budget has seen a steep rise lately, a necessary step after years of neglect. One of its priorities was to select an attack helicopter – something the country has not previously fielded to its Army or Air Force. competitors reportedly included the Italo-Turkish AW-TAI A129 Mongoose, EADS’ Tiger, and Russia’s heavyweight Mi-35M, a modern variant of the Mi-24 Hind that became famous in Afghanistan. The Mi-24/35 is unique among dedicated attack helicopters in that it can carry a handful of troops, in addition to performing its offensive role.
The A129 and Mi-35M were the reported finalists, and November 2008 reports cited the Mi-35M4 as the winner of a contract for 12 “AH-2 Sabre” helicopters.