Algeria seeking Mi-28NE attack helicopters


Russian helicopter manufacturer Rostvertol says it is engaged in talks with Algeria regarding the sale of Mi-28NE attack helicopters.

Rostvertol, the attack helicopter arm of the state-owned Russian Helicopters holding company, made the announcement yesterday. “A commercial proposal has already been sent [to Algeria] and this year we will start discussions. We hope to sign a contract for delivery in the 2012-17 timeframe,” said Rosvertol general director Boris Slyusar.

Rostvertol has not indicated how many aircraft Algeria is interested in purchasing, nor the price they would pay.

To date, only the Russian armed forces and Venezuela have ordered the Mi-28 ‘Havoc’, which is being introduced into Russian service. Venezuela is yet to receive its ten helicopters, which it ordered last year. Meanwhile, India is showing interest in acquiring either Mi-28s or Boeing AH-64 Apaches in a 22 helicopter deal.

The Mi-28 first flew in November 1982 as a replacement for the Mi-24/25. The Mi-28A project was cancelled when the Russian armed forces chose the Kamov Ka-50 instead, but Mil continued work on the Mi-28N Night Hunter day/night version. This variant flew in November 1996 and features a radar mounted on the rotor mast.

In 2003 the head of the Russian Air Forces said that the Mi-28N would become Russia’s standard attack helicopter and ordered the aircraft in small numbers. Around 60 are on order at present.

The Mi-28N is armed with up to 16 Shturm and Ataka anti-tank missiles. Shturm is a short-range, radio command-guided missile while the Ataka missile’s guidance is by narrow radar beam. Maximum range of the missile is 8 km. The helicopter can also carry 80mm or 122mm rockets and gun pods. The helicopter is equipped with a turreted 30mm cannon.

Algeria already operates 36 Russian-built Mi-24 attack helicopters, according to Flight International.