According to new media reports, Russia and Iran are looking into the possibility of Moscow supplying Tehran with the most advanced attack helicopters. In its daily update on the war in Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War, a think tank, addressed the issue in an editorial published by the Iranian news agency Tasnim in Tehran, linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
According to the institute, the news agency discussed how the joint production agreement between Russia and Iran could allow the Islamic Republic to receive Russian Mi-28 and Ka-52 attack helicopters. He added that both Russia and Iran see these “agreements” as a way to ease the pressure of US sanctions against them.
Russian State Duma President Vyacheslav Volodin visited Tehran on Monday and, according to Tasnim news agency, described increased trade between Russia and Iran as “extremely important” in the context of sanctions.
Russian state media previously described the upgraded Mi-28 and Ka-52 as the “vanguard” of Moscow’s attack helicopter arsenal. Forbes magazine wrote in 2020 that the Ka-52 is “Russia’s most advanced attack helicopter”, while Russia has tested the updated Ka-52M.
During the modernization of the Mi-28 and Ka-52, many options appeared, among other advantages, increased night operation capability and even improved and modified weapons.
The Mi-28NE and Mi-28NM are among the Mi-28 models that have been upgraded since the introduction of the two-seat attack helicopter in 1982, according to the US government’s Odin information system. Some of them were sold to countries like Iraq and Algeria.
According to the TASS news agency, close to the Kremlin, the Ka-52 attack helicopter is designed to destroy tanks, helicopters and armored vehicles on the battlefield “in any weather, day or night” and can fly at high speed. 186 miles per hour, has a range of up to 740 miles, can carry a payload of up to 2.5 tons, and is equipped with laser-guided anti-tank missiles and rockets.
According to Russian state media, the Mi-28 and Ka-52 variants were used in the war in Ukraine, where the helicopters helped destroy “enemy strongholds” in the war-torn country.
Tas described that the Mi-28NE helicopter was designed to “destroy air targets, tanks and armored vehicles, and can also be used for reconnaissance and patrolling”. It is equipped with a 30 mm cannon and “type three” anti-tank missiles with a range of up to six miles. The Mi-28NE’s rotating blades “can withstand impacts from 30mm bullets”.
Last November, Russia’s state news agency reported that export modifications for Russian Ka-52 attack helicopters included a “new multipurpose missile” with an attack range of 14,500 meters.
In September 2022, Russian media reported that the updated Ka-52M had been “successfully” tested in Ukraine. The agency “Tas”, according to an unnamed source, informs that “Ka-52M” “proved its value in the work”.
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