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"Sapsan" is put on the wing: what will be the newest Russian helicopter

Image source: gazeta.ru
Flight tests of the latest Mi-8AMTSH-VN "Sapsan" helicopter have begun in Russia

Transport and combat Mi-8AMTSH-VN "Sapsan" has started flight tests. In the future, it is expected that this vehicle will be used by special forces in the most difficult conditions. «Newspaper.Ru " spoke with experts from the industry to find out what will be the newest helicopter in Russia.

The first stage of testing of the Mi-8AMTSH-VN "Sapsan" helicopter, as the General Director of the holding "Russian Helicopters" (part of the state Corporation "rostec») Andrey Boginsky, scheduled to be completed in November.

In the future, two more machines of this type will be connected to the flights. It is planned that the Mi-8AMTSH-VN will be able to throw 37 paratroopers into the combat area or evacuate 12 wounded on stretchers.

Some sources provide information that the Mi-8AMTSH-VN helicopter is an improved version of the Mi-8/17 helicopter, created taking into account the Syrian experience. In fact, experts suggest " Newspapers.Ru", 

the new helicopter is an upgrade of the AMTS version developed by the Ulan-Ude aviation plant (U-UAZ) and its main difference is the complex of guided weapons. 

The mi-8AMTSH-VN is equipped with VK-2500-03 turboshaft engines developed and manufactured by UEC-Klimov JSC (part of the UEC of rostec state Corporation). with an upgraded transmission and improved altitude and climate characteristics and a new load-bearing system. In emergency (short-term) mode, the VK-2500-03 can develop a power of up to 2800 HP.

The VK-2500PS-03 engine has an inter-repair life of 2000 hours/2000 cycles. The assigned resource and the resource before the first major repair have been increased from 2000 hours/530 cycles to 6000 hours/6000 cycles and 2000 hours/2000 cycles, respectively. VK-2500PS-03 is made from Russian parts and components, has improved performance in comparison with the basic VK-2500 engine, and is intended for installation on the latest Russian helicopters.

The main structural difference of the VK-2500PS-03 (and this is its main feature) is the presence of a digital control system of the FADEC type (electronic engine management system with full responsibility) - the BARC-6V-7S developed by UEC-Klimov JSC. The new control system allows to increase a resource of hot engine parts and the stock stall of the motor at transient modes and the evolution of the helicopter, significantly reduce the weight and volume of the electronic units of the system and connection cables of the aircraft. The maintenance time in operation of the VK-2500PS-03 engine has been reduced by half, the functionality of the engine management system has been improved, which increases the reliability and safety of flights.

The cruising speed of the latest helicopter is 260 km / h, and the maximum - 280 km/h. 

However, these indicators are achieved with the certification of the civilian version, without armament suspensions. For example, the maximum speed of the Mi-24 according to passport data is 335 km / h. However, when suspended blocks with weapons already at 290 km/h in the helicopter, there is such a shaking that, according to sources of the Newspaper.Ru", pilots "just lose their teeth". 

The mi-8AMTSH-VN helicopter has an updated composition of weapons. Some sources indicate that the main feature of the Peregrine Falcon was the use of two 12.7 mm course machine guns on special suspension farms. This is not entirely true.

The presence of course machine guns can not be considered the main feature of the Mi-8AMTSH-VN, the real highlight of this helicopter - a complex of controlled weapons. Course machine guns (in particular, 7.62 mm PKT) were installed on combat helicopters on an initiative basis during the Afghan war, and this began in the Bagram and Kandahar helicopter regiments. The fire from these machine guns during the combat flight was led by the commander. This is a kind of "optional", and not the main weapon.

The crew cabin and main units of the Mi-8AMTSH-VN helicopter are covered with titanium alloy armor, and the cabin floor and sides to the portholes are covered with removable Kevlar armor.

The transport and combat Mi-8AMTSH-VN "Sapsan" has new flight and navigation equipment installed. To increase combat survivability, the principle of a combination of a "glass cabin" and reliable analog devices is applied. The vehicle is adapted for combat use in night conditions. 

A number of sources indicate that the firepower of the Mi-8AMTSH-VN will dramatically surpass the current attack helicopters. The vehicle will be equipped with a "product 305" or a promising guided missile "Hermes-A"with a range of up to 20-25 kilometers. This is twice as much as any other helicopter ATGMs currently available for equipping the army aviation of the Russian air force. It is reported that such weapons are also planned to equip the upgraded Ka-52M and Mi-28NM.

Meanwhile, the "product 305" was developed primarily just for the Mi-28NM and ka-52M, and the Mi-8AMTSH-VN in this plan will be "third in line", sources suggest "Газеты.Ru". 

"Hermes-A" is a new-generation anti-tank complex, the capabilities of which exceed the existing domestic anti-tank systems by an order of magnitude.

Currently, Russian helicopter gunships use several types of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) - "Assault", "Attack" and "Whirlwind". 

Missiles of the Sturm and Ataka complexes have a radio command guidance system, which to a certain extent restricts the maneuver of the helicopter after launching the product.

Radio command guidance requires finding the target within the line of sight, which to some extent does not allow the helicopter to hide from the enemy's air defense systems until the moment of hit behind the folds of the terrain or go to extremely low altitudes. Maneuver of the combat vehicle is possible, specify the sources of the newspaper.Ru", but within 30 degrees left-right. The Navigator - operator of the helicopter at this moment must hold the marker on the target.

"Vortex" is a more advanced ATGM. This rocket zooms to the target by meliorative laser beam (receiver, located in the tail part adopts the missiles aimed at the target modulated laser radiation and the missile autopilot, defining the parameters of modulation of the beam position relative to its center, develops the team, ensuring its retention on the axis of the beam). This also requires finding the target within line of sight and imposes restrictions on maneuvering the helicopter after launch.

Some sources indicate that the launch range of the "Vortex" missiles, as well as the latest modifications of the "Ataka" missiles, is up to 10 kilometers. However, confident defeat of the target "Attack" usually occurs at a range of 6, up to a maximum of 8 km.

The Hermes-A complex is completely devoid of the above disadvantages. 

The Hermes missile has a combined guidance system - inertial (with the possibility of correction by commands from the helicopter's radar) on the main flight section and homing on the final one.

The mass of the warhead (according to various estimates) is 28-30 kilograms, which is more than 2 times increased compared to the existing warheads of domestic ATGMs. The combat part of the "Hermes" can be of two types-armor-piercing or high-explosive.

The Hermes missile attacks the target on a mounted trajectory, which ensures the defeat of armored vehicles in the most vulnerable upper part, where the thickness of the armor is minimal, and the significant mass of the warhead of the guided missile in such a case does not leave the enemy's armored object a chance of survival.

In addition, the Hermes missile will allow you to target any other enemy objects, for example, various fortifications, infrastructure, etc.

In addition to guided missiles, the Mi-8AMTSH-VN will be equipped with a set of unguided rocket projectiles, large-caliber machine guns, suspended containers with aviation guns and automatic grenade launchers.

Finally, the peregrine Falcon will be able to use aerial bombs weighing from 50 to 500 kilograms. 

One of the options for suspension of weapons of destruction involves the use of four modern short-range air-to-air missiles "Verba".

All radio-electronic equipment of the helicopter will be combined with the onboard ibqv-17VP complex. It provides piloting and navigation of the combat vehicle day and night in simple and difficult weather conditions by a crew consisting of two pilots, instrumental approach, approach by GPS/GLONASS signals, and automatic control of helicopter equipment. Duplicated computing system mission solution provides continuous calculation of the current coordinates of the helicopter, and according to the Autonomous navigation correction (automatic or crew).

Navigation information is superimposed on a mobile map, which displays the image of the underlying surface, formed by the early warning system of approaching the earth and the image from the weather radar.

Additionally, images can be output from various optical systems and video cameras installed on Board.

To protect against man-portable air defense systems, it is planned to install an optical-electronic suppression station L370V35MS (military version - "Vitebsk", civil - "President-S").

It includes equipment for detecting laser radiation, an ultraviolet direction finder for launching missiles, and a control system for ejecting LTC (false thermal targets).

The extremely successful design of the Mi-8 helicopter, which began mass production in 1965, still allows you to achieve the desired results when upgrading the basic version.

The contract for the delivery of the first 10 transport and combat helicopters Mi-8AMTSH-VN "Sapsan" was signed with the holding "Russian Helicopters" at the international military-technical forum "Army-2019". First of all, this vehicle is intended for the Russian special operations forces.

Mikhail Khodarenok

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