The government of Bangladesh has decided to purchase eight Mi-28NE attack helicopters manufactured by Rostvertol PJSC, which is part of the Russian Helicopters holding.
Recently the Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh received a proposal for preliminary approval of the purchase of helicopters from Russia. It refers to the decision to purchase eight Mi-28NE attack helicopters with funding in the current and next fiscal years through direct interstate negotiations with the Russian government or a designated agency (Rosoboronexport). The contract is valued at Rs 41 billion ($ 478 million).
The project is being implemented within the framework of the Forces Goal-2030 program, which provides for the phased strengthening of the Bangladesh national defense system.
The Ministry of Defense of Bangladesh is holding a tender for the purchase of new specialized attack helicopters to equip the army aviation of the Ground Forces. At a media briefing on January 21, 2020, Boeing confirmed that the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter had been selected as a potential candidate for the supply of Bangladesh aircraft. However, the U.S.’s strict conditions have made Bangladesh think twice about the purchase.
The Bangladesh Army Aviation Command posted a request for information on the Directorate General Defense Purchase website in the middle of this year. Potential suppliers were asked to respond by September 26, 2021.
As per open sources, the helicopters in the fray are AH-64E (Boeing), Tiger (Eurocopter), Mi-28NE (“Russian Helicopters “) and T-129B (Turkish Aerospace). All helicopters except the T-129B are armed with a 30mm cannon.
The chances of the Mi-28NE are quite high since Bangladesh is a major operator of the fleet of Mi-171SH and other modifications and infrastructure for maintenance and repair. An estimated 20 Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters are in the Bangladesh Armed Forces service.
Russian Mi-28NE attack helicopter
The Mi-28 family of helicopters is called “Night Hunters” (NATO classification – Havoc – “Ravager”). The Russian army adopted the Mi-28 as the main attack helicopter. The Mi-28NE is the export version of the Mi-28N Night Hunter combat helicopter.
The Mi-28 attack helicopter has a powerful armament system, which includes a movable automatic 30-mm cannon with a left-right swing range of ± 110 °. It can fire three types of anti-tank guided missiles with a range of 6 and 10 kilometres. Other armaments include air-to-air guided missiles, unguided rockets of two kinds, suspended cannon containers and aerial bombs up to 500 kg.
The upgraded Mi-28NE with dual control can fire the 9M123 Chrysanthemum-V ATGM, which can hit targets at a distance of up to 10 km. The helicopter is equipped with an external radar attached to the wing end.
The attack helicopter, crewed by two, is designed to search to and destroy tanks, armoured and unarmored vehicles, and enemy infantry on the battlefield and low-speed air targets.
The Mi-28N combat helicopter has participated in the Syrian campaign has been significantly improved, considering military operations experience. Specialists of the Russian Helicopters holding modified the auxiliary power unit, the night vision system and the onboard electronics of the Mi-28N helicopter.
The “Night Hunter” rotor blades can withstand the impact of a 30 mm projectile. It flies with two engines, and each produces 2400 hp. Flight with one engine is possible if the other is damaged. “Night Hunter” has high survivability. The windshield and side windows of the cockpit are armoured. The Mi-28NE cockpit is protected by ceramic armour. Mi-28NE is capable of efficiently performing assigned tasks in hot climates. It is equipped with a new screen exhaust and dust protection device.