[June 9, 2000] Brand new Mi-24PN night-operational assault helicopter developed at Krasnogorsk city Zverev Production Plant made its maiden flight today at “Rostvertol Inc.” test center as a part of its brief 10 test-flight program. This became known today from the words of acting director of the Mil Design Bureau Vitaliy Sherbin.
According to him, test-program of the modernized Mi-24 helicopter is done using three prototypes. First Mi-24 powered by a pair of new VK-2500 engines rated at over 2500hp each, took off earlier this month. Second prototype Mi-24PN will be used for testing new radar and avionics suite. Third prototype Mi-24VM is fitted with new lifting system (main rotor, gear etc.). Last one is currently stored in the test-center hangars and being actively prepared for the first flight. By the end of this year, designers are hoping to test all of the new technologies and integrate them into a single modernized Mi-24 helicopter with superior results.
Experts claim that combat effectiveness of the modernized Mi-24 will be boosted by 1.5-1.7 times as compared to the base model. For foreign customers modernization of a single Hind will cost about 2.5-3 million dollars. In total, there were over 3500 Mi-24s produced with over 600 helicopters exported abroad.
Copyright Military News Agency