The Mi-28 helicopter has shown very impressive combat capabilities on the Ukrainian battlefield, the Russian pilots flying this helicopter have praised this heavily armed gunship.
During the ongoing Special Military Operation in Ukraine, the Mil Mi-28 “Night Hunter” Attack Helicopter and many other russian helicopters has a lot of work to do, from providing fire support to ground troops, reconnaissance missions to raids, etc.
To avoid enemy man-portable missiles threat, russian warplanes never repeat the same route on the battlefield. In addition, Russian helicopters fly in mixed groups : Mi-8, Mi-28, Mi-35, Ka-52, etc in which each helicopter type is given a separate mission.
“If the Mi-24 is called as the “Flying Infantry Vehicle”, then the Mi-28 can be said as a “Flying Tank”. We regularly carry out missions to destroy armoured vehicles of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and we frighten the enemy “.
“Thanks to the excellent skills of the pilots and the overall performance of the helicopters, the gunship squadrons fly very low, with maximum payload. We mainly support motorized infantry battalions on the battlefield,” a Mi-28 pilot said.
In its basic varient, the Mi-28 is equipped with a 30mm fast firing cannon and 4 unguided rocket pods, rockets are of different calibers, the helicopter can carry guided-missiles instead of the rocket pods. Guided missiles delivers a good performance on the battlefield. They are capable of destroying enemy heavily armoured vehicles and fortifications.
When a group of Mi-28, Mi-35 and Mi-8 helicopters is operating together in the warzone, the Mi-28 will launch the attack, Mi-35 will provide cover fire, and the Mi-8 with provide additional heavy fire support. In case the Mi-28 or the Mi-35 is shot down by enemy fire then the Mi-8 can rescue pilots.
The flight route of each mission is different, sometimes the pilots and navigators had to travel long distances to prevent enemy ambushes with MANPADS.
When the Mi-28 enters the enemy territory, it will quickly pour all of its ammunition directly into the “heart” of the enemy. The helicopter then quickly turns and leaves the danger zone.
The latest version of the Mi-28 is updated with navigation and observation systems, which allows the pilot to enter the target coordinates directly into the helicopter. The mission computer onboard the helicopter then determines the location and then recommends to deploy weapons with high accuracy.
A pilot who flies the “Night Hunter” named Nikolai, said that in addition to the Mi-28, he also has license to fly the Mi-35 and Mi-24, the similarity of many devices among these helicopters, allow the pilots to switch types quickly.
However, in the role of air attack, the Mi-28 seems to be relatively “inferior” compared to another helicopter of the Russian Air Force, the Kamov Ka-52.
According to russian officials, the Ka-52 attack helicopter has very high mobility, coupled with superior battlefield survivability, and is more suitable for breaking through enemy defenses.
Currently, there are no specific information about how many Mi-28s have been shot down since the starting of the Russia-Ukraine War, but according to some sources the wreckage of these helicopters is being sold quite a lot in the international market.