Russian Special Ops Forces will acquire the helicopters equipped with the latest navigation target acquisition system in 2013. These vehicles will significantly increase the combat power of the special ops, Izvestiya reports.
A source close to the military-industrial sector said that Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant has already elaborated the work design documents and the deliveries of the equipment have already been started by the suppliers. «The enterprise will complete this work on time and deliver the helicopter for testing», — the source promised.
It was reported earlier that the Ministry of Defense has issued a tender on development of a helicopter intended for the special ops forces. Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant approved the specification in late December 2012. The new equipment will be installed on advanced Mi-8AMTSh helicopters. The navigation target acquisition system will receive its designation after the state testing.
The system comprises surveillance radar with infra-red and television channels and terrain-following radar. Another station with tele- and imaging infrared channels and laser rangefinder is used for aiming. An image from the channels is presented on the separate monitors for both pilots.
The vehicle is also equipped with GLONASS navigation system and TSL-1600 searchlight, which works in IR-band with illumination for the night vision equipment and the regular optic mode with the increased power. According to the performance specifications, all the equipment of the cockpit must be compatible with night vision goggles.
The helicopter is equipped with four multi-role displays – two ones for each pilot. One screen displays the image transferred from the surveillance radar and terrain-following radar, the second one – 360-degree top view of the helicopter just like the around view monitor in the cars. That is the way of implementing the so-called Glass-Сockpit concept, where the number of pointer instruments is minimized and all the flight, target search and guidance parameters are displayed at the screens. This allows performing flights under any weather and lighting conditions without visual observations.
Ministry of Defense is cautious about the procurement of the advanced models. «It is great that the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant is looking to the future with optimism. However, this navigation target acquisition system is still on paper. Although Mi-8 is the reliable and proven helicopter, there are some issues related to its electronics. But I will tell you straight that we need this helicopter in the Caucasus”, — a representative of the Ministry of Defense said.