TechUkraine under threat: Russian Mi-28N helicopters spotted in Donetsk amid severe Ukrainian losses

Ukraine under threat: Russian Mi‑28N helicopters spotted in Donetsk amid severe Ukrainian losses

Mi-28 - illustrative photo
Mi-28 - illustrative photo
Images source: © Getty Images | Anadolu Agency
11:35 AM EST, January 11, 2024

Although the Bulgarian Military does not provide specifics on the number of helicopters reportedly transferred to the Donetsk region, it is noteworthy that these are some of Russia's most vital aircraft, which are often compared to NATO's top helicopter, the AH-64 Apache, in terms of efficiency.

Reports suggest the Ukrainian army suffered severe losses, with over 300 soldiers falling within less than a day. These figures align with Ukrainian record keeping, confirming increasing losses within Donetsk's defense forces. Hence, the Mi-28N helicopters could play a part in this.

In addition, the Bulgarian Military highlights that pressure is severely mounting on the Ukrainian troops at the frontline as the aggressor deploys heavy-duty equipment. Of particular significance is Kyiv's recent struggle with ammunition shortfalls, which hinders effective counteractions against Russian forces, including unidentified numbers of helicopters in Donetsk.

An overview of the Russian Mi-28N helicopter

Competing with the American Apache, the aircraft is one of three helicopters currently manufactured by the Russian Federation. Besides the Mi-28, Russia also produces the Ka-52 and the Mi-35. Regarding the former, nicknamed "Alligators," Russia recently sought assistance from Egypt to repurchase engine units for these helicopters initially sold to the African nation.

Dating back to the 1980s, the Mi-28N was incorporated into the Russian army in 2009. The helicopter features a conventional layout with two rotors - one primary and a smaller one at the tail. Like the Apache, the Mi-28's cockpit is designed in a tandem layout, with seating in a front-and-back arrangement.

The aircraft primarily employs a single-barrel 2A42-2 30mm gun but also incorporates a location for supplemental armament on four nodes beneath the hull. This can consist of the Ataka anti-tank system with 9M120 missiles and a selection of unguided missiles or bombs weighing up to 1102 lbs.

The Mi-28N can travel just shy of 310 miles at top speeds of 189 mph. The helicopter weighs approximately 8.7 tons, while its takeoff weight exceeds 13.2 tons.

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