Russia Commits to Multi-Year Buy of 67 Mi-28 Attack HelicoptersJul 20, 2006 05:52 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
The Mi-28A “Havoc” first appeared at the Paris Air Show in 1989, but was never produced in numbers due competition from the Ka-50 “Black Shark” and Russia’s financial situation in the aftermath of communism. An improved Mi-28N (see also Rostvertol profile) with full day/night capabilities was introduced as a prototype in 1996, but the Mi-28N would wait until 2004 for the first flight by an improved second prototype, and only began flight testing with the Russian Air Force in June 2005.
Defense-Aerospace relays a July 18 Rostvertol release, noting that Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Sergey Ivanov repeated the 2003 pledge that the Mi-28N helicopter would be the basic attack helicopter for Russia’s armed forces; conflicting pledges from various officials and generals now exist regarding the Ka-50 “Black Shark’s” future role. Ivanov further pledged that 7 new Mi-28N “Night Hunter” helicopters would be purchased in 2006 , and that “due to helicopters high efficiency in fighting against terrorists… the MoD within 9 years shall buy from the Rostov enterprise 67 Night Hunters.” Publicly estimated costs for the Mi-28N vary considerably, from $10-20 million per machine.