Russia is planning to test one of its newest helicopters - the Mi-28UB - in Syria, TASS news agency cited Russian Helicopters CEO Andrei Boginsky as saying.
According to TASS, eight Mi-28UB helicopters will be provided for the Russian Air Force later this year.
"Currently the Mi-28N helicopter has a crew of two - the pilot and the operator. The task of the new project is to turn the helicopters into a combined combat and training aircraft, with the full set of controls in front of both seats. We would like these helicopters (Mi-28UB) to undergo tests here (in Syria)," Boginsky told Zvezda TV news channel in an interview conducted at the Khmeimim air base.
The Mi-28UB is an upgraded version of the Mi-28N, also known as the "Night Hunter." The Night Hunter was also field-tested in Syria and even shelled by militants with heavy machinery in Palmyra last June. Despite the shelling, the helicopter reportedly suffered no damage and continued its flight.
The main difference between the Mi-28UB and Mi-28N, is that the newest helicopter is a combined combat and training configuration of the attack helicopter Mi-28N, which was especially developed to be used in search and destroy operations against tanks, armored vehicles and low-speed airborne targets.
According to Russian Helicopters, the Mi-28UB can be both used in trainings for the Russian Air Force and in attack helicopter tasks like its predecessor Night Hunter.
The dual hydro-mechanical flight control system of Mi-28UB, which began to be developed in 2010, allows the vehicle to be operated both from the pilot's cockpit and also from the instructor's cockpit.