Iraq has taken delivery of its first batch of Mil Mi-28NE 'Havoc' (Night Hunter) attack helicopters, as well as additional Mil Mi-35M 'Hind' assault helicopters, Russian state media announced on 2 July.
The first three Mi-28NE helicopters and four new Mi-35M helicopters arrived in-country aboard Antonov An-124 'Condor' transport aircraft, a military-diplomatic source reportedly told the ITAR-TASS news agency.
The report continued that all the helicopters had been delivered in a combat configuration, and were fully night-vision capable. According to Rostvertol figures recently seen by IHS Jane's , the Iraqi Army Aviation Command, which is part of the Iraqi Army and operates all the country's military helicopters, is set to receive a final total of 15 Mi-28NEs and 28 Mi-35Ms. Four of the latter are already in service.
The Mi-28N/Mi-28NE is an all-weather day-and-night anti-armour and anti-personnel attack platform that has only recently entered service with the Russian armed forces.
Similar in appearance to the Boeing AH-64 Apache, the Mi-28N is equipped with a mast-mounted, 360 o -scan, millimetre-wave radar, as well as a nose-mounted forward looking infrared (FLIR) turret. The tandem cockpit is heavily armoured to provide a high level of ballistic protection for the two crew members, and its two TV3-117VMA turbo-shaft engines provide added redundancy should either be hit by ground fire.
The Mi-28NE's weapons package includes: an under-nose, turret-mounted 2A42 30 mm cannon (with 250 rounds in side-mounted boxes); 9M114 Shturm (AT-6 'Spiral') or 9M120/9M121F Vikhr/Ataka-V (AT-12 'Swinger') air-to-surface missiles; 9M39 Igla-V (SA-16 'Gimlet') and R-73 air-to-air missiles; S-8 and S-13 rockets; and UPK-23-250V 23 mm gun pods.
The arrival of the Mi-28NEs and additional Mi-35Ms will provide an added boost to the Iraqi government's efforts to combat the Islamic State.
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