Russian Helicopters has embarked on the development of a new type of attack helicopter called ‘Airborne Combat Vehicle,’ which will feature special weapons and more power.
The company has developed a new version of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN Special Forces helicopter with enhanced weapons, says CEO Andrey Boginsky.
The Mi-8AMTSh-VN rotorcraft is a bridge between the Mi-8 family and a promising helicopter: the Airborne Combat Vehicle for the "new type" of airborne units, TASS reported Friday quoting an official source.
Last summer, Russian Helicopters signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense to furnish 10 original version helicopters to the Russian Special Operations Forces which resulted in the development of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN’s new version.
"We already have an upgraded appearance of the AMTSh-VN. Let’s say, it has expanded its options and capabilities - not so much the vehicle itself, but its extra equipment," Boginsky said. He explained that the makeover has "improved the weapons, the means of target detection and identification."
The Mi-8AMTSH-VN helicopter is equipped with new avionics, armed with two 12.7 mm side-mounted machineguns, adapted for night vision goggles, and has an onboard defense complex. The cockpit and the main systems and protected with a titanium alloy armor, while the floor and sides of the cargo compartment are protected with lightweight removable Kevlar armor.
Details of the Airborne Combat Vehicle’ have not been revealed as of now but going by Andrey Boginsky’s statement and news reports, special focus will given to match the airframe to the new type of weapons, communications and defensive systems it has to carry. This would mean a new airframe design and a powerful engine to carry fully armed special forces’ soldiers in and out of trouble spots.