The newest Russian combat helicopter Mi-28NM Night Hunter will be able to carry up to four long-range Izdeye 305 (Item 305) cruise missiles capable of striking 100 kms and drones. Similar capability is also advertised for the Ka-52M helicopters. Ka-52M is an upgrade of the 9-ton two-seat Ka-52 Alligator (NATO HOKUM) and has already flown. The strike capability makes the helicopter comparable to front-line bombers. The Mil 28NM is an updated version of the Mil 28N helicopter.
The testing for the helicopter fired Izdeye 305 cruise or Item 305 is already underway. The missile is yet to receive a formal name. Item 305 is said to be derived from Hermes-A multistage guided rocket missile, which has a high-powered booster, and fire-and-forget capability with laser guidance and infrared homing. Hermes-A is already used on Kamov Ka-52K helicopter. Hemes-A is designed by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau.
Mi-28NM are manufactured at the Rostvertol plant which is a part of Russian Helicopters. The most noticeable feature of the helicopter is the spherical fairing of the radar station located immediately above the propeller.
Mi-28NM is capable of performing a wide range of tasks including reconnaissance, target designation and the destruction of ground and air targets. The Mi-28NM’s arsenal includes a whole range of guided missiles, including the new Izdeye 305 helicopter cruise missiles. The vehicle’s armor is capable of protecting the crew from armor-piercing projectiles with a caliber of up to 20 millimeters.
The Russian Army is scheduled to receive 98 units by the end of 2027. The contract was signed in 2019 between the Russian Helicopter Company and the Russian Ministry of Defense. The first unit was delivered in December 2020. The development of the helicopter began in 2009 and the first prototype flew in 2016.