AH-2 Sabre (Mi-35M) – One of the most powerful flying tanks in the world

The AH-2 Sabre is a multi-role combat helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters.

Introduce

In 2013 Russia completed delivery to Brazil 12 AH-2 Saber attack helicopters under a contract worth $150 million. AH-2 Saber is actually Brazil’s name representing the Mi-35M heavy attack helicopter of Russia.

Mi-35M is an export version of the famous Mi-24 Hind line originating from the Cold ധąɾ era. This is the only type of helicopter in a dedicated attack helicopter that can handle the task of carrying troops apart from carrying out combat operations. Brazil signed a contract to buy this aircraft with Russian in 2008.

Basically the Brazilian helicopter retains most of the design and functionality of the Mi-35 series. The difference is that the AH-2 is equipped with an avionics system derived from Israel to better meet the requirements of the Brazilian Air Force. In fact, the Mi-35M is the deep modernized version of the legendary helicopter called “flying tank” Mi-24.

The AH-2 Sabre is a multi-role combat helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters. Primarily designed for attack and military transport missions, the helicopter delivers superior flight performance and manoeuvrability than its predecessor.

Design

Based on the Mi-24 Hind, the AH-2 incorporates several improvements. The helicopter gained new more powerful engines, the metal rotor was replaced by a composite one, the 3-bladed anti-torque rotor was replaced by an X-shaped composite one. The cockpit and vital components of the helicopter are significantly armoured. The AH-2 was given fixed landing gear and new shorter wings with only four ωεɑρσռry mounting points.

The ωεɑρσռ itself has also been updated: A 4-barreled 12.7mm machine gun in the chin-mounted rotating turret is now replaced by a twin-barreled 23-mm GSh-23L autocannon. Mounted ωεɑρσռry now consists of two types of Anti-tank guided missiles, modern air-to-ground unguided rockets, 23mm cannon pods, and other changes.

The AH-2 has an overall length of 21.6m, wingspan of 6.5m and height of 6.5m. Its take-off weight in ferry configuration is 12,000kg. It can carry eight troops or a payload of 2,400kg. Stub wings were shortened in order to reduce weight. Wings have a number of hardpoints for ωεɑρσռs and other uses.

The glass cockpit of the AH-2 accommodates two pilots in tandem configuration. Electronic core of the helicopter underwent fundamental modifications. A whole spectrum of new electronic systems were adopted in the cockpit. Like other modernized versions of the Mi-35, AH-2 is equipped with an OPS-24N surveillance-and-sighting station for night fighting, featuring laser range finder, thermal imager, satellite positioning and navigation system, electronic multifunction displays, onboard computer and new generation jam-proof communications equipment.

Landing gear of the AH-2 is no longer retractable. This reduced overall weight of the helicopter. Also in case of the crash the landing gear absorbs some of the energy. The countermeasures suite of AH-2 includes a radar warning receiver, a laser range finder and a location finder, chaff and flare launch system, infrared jamming system and engine-exhaust infrared suppressor.

Performance

The helicopter is powered by two VK-2500 engines. Each engine develops a maximum power output of 2,200 horsepower. The engines are designed to support high-altitude missions. The helicopter can fly at a maximum speed of 310km/h. Its operational altitude is 5,400m. The helicopter has a normal range of 460km and can reach a maximum distance of 1,000km with full fuel load.

The main role of this helicopter is destruction of armored vehicles, enemy troops, UAVs and other helicopters. Its secondary role is delivery of troops and special cargo, evacuation of wounded. It can operate at night and in adverse weather conditions. Brazil AH-2 helicopters will combine with some Embraer Group’s domestic surveillance aircraft to deploy in the Amazon region. This will help Brazil control a “hot spot” on drug crime and cross-border smuggling.

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