PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIMEDIA
According to an insert in the Nigerian Air Force 2014 Plan set forth in a document published by the Budget Office of the Federation and archived online, the Nigerian Air Force have placed an order for six ultramodern Mi-35M attack helicopters.
The NAF which commenced the operation of Mil helicopters in 2000 with an initial haul of six Mi-35P attack helicopters, later acquired a mix of three Mi-24V and Mi-35P attack helicopters from Ukraine in 2008 and a further two units of Mi-35P from Belarus in 2010.
In 2013, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) logged a report online which indicated that the Nigerian Air Force had another order for three Mi-35 attack helicopters and six Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helicopters. Earlier on in 2014, a Russian online report seen on this blog similarly chronicled the transfer of four Mi-17 helicopters to Nigeria (alongside the six Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helicopters earlier reported by SIPRI).
That suggests that in 2013 and 2014, the Nigerian Air Force have either placed orders for or taken delivery of the following MiL helicopters
– three Mi-35P attack helicopters
– six Mi-35M attack helicopters
– four Mi-17 transport helicopters
– six Mi-171Sh Terminator assault helicopters
That means a total of 19 transport,assault and attack helicopters, delivered or expected in 2013-2014. Before now, the NAF were believed to operate eleven Mi-24V/Mi-35P and four Mi-171Sh helicopters. In May 2013, one Mi-24 crashed during takeoff at Port Harcourt.
AIRFORCE TECHNOLOGY’s online portal indicates that the Mi-35M went into production in 2005.
“The Mi-35M is a multi-role combat
helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a
subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. Based on the Mi-24 Hind, the Mi-35M incorporates several improvements
including shortened stub wings, a new
rotor system, modern avionics, upgraded
turboshaft engines and a hydraulic
system. The cockpit and vital components of the helicopter are significantly armoured.”
“The glass cockpit of the Mi-35M
accommodates two pilots in tandem
configuration. The night vision goggle
(NVG)-compatible cockpit integrates
multi-functional displays (MFDs),redundant flight controls and state-of- the-art avionics. The helicopter is equipped with OPS-24N surveillance-and-sighting station, television channel, GPS-guided navigation system and optional non-Russian radio station.”
“The countermeasures suite of Mi-35M
includes a radar warning receiver, a laser range finder and a location finder, chaff and flare launch system, infrared (IR) jamming system and engine-exhaust IR suppressor.”