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Mi-8AMTSh / Mi-171Sh
Mi-8AMTSh-VA Terminator

The Mi-8AMTSh is the armored armed assault transport variant of Mi-8AMT, and has been in service with the Russian Ministry of Defence since 2009. Under implementation of the Russian Federation Air Force Modernization program, JSC Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant -- part of Russian Helicopters holding company -- supplied 10 Mi-171AMTSh (export part number Mi-171Sh) helicopters to Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Acceptance of the helicopters by the Customer was over in early December 2010. On the 21st of December, the helicopters started ferry flight from Ulan-Ude to one of the Air Force military bases in the European part of the Russian Federation.

The "Sh" element of the designator indicates "Shturmovik" [literally "Stormer"], or assault. The unofficial name of this aircraft is "Terminator", under this designation the helicopter was demonstrated in 1999 in Great Britain at the Farnborough Air Show. The helicopter was adopted by the Russian Air Force in 2009.

The assault modification of the famous Milevskaya G8 is distinguished by enhanced passive protection of the crew - strong and lightweight ceramic-metal armor plates cover the cockpit and the gunner's place in the cargo hold. With massed air fire, "Terminators" are capable of smashing enemy tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, artillery, command posts, aviation at airfields and radar posts. And they can do this both alone and in conjunction with their "shock brothers" - "Night Hunters" and "Alligators". Night vision helmets and modern avionics allow the crew to work comfortably in the dark. There is a weather radar, satellite navigation and infrared equipment on board.

In battle, "Terminator" has something to fend for itself. An impressive arsenal of weapons brings the car closer to the Mi-35M and Mi-28N attack helicopters in terms of firepower - there are S-8 unguided rockets, cannon containers with GSh-23L rapid-fire cannons, 7.62-mm PKT machine guns at the stern and bow. For strikes on tanks, the Shturm-V anti-tank complex with Ataka guided missiles is provided.

Two double-barreled Tula guns GSh-23L developed by Gryazev-Shipunov, when the trigger is pressed, fire three thousand rounds per minute and sweep away all living things at a distance of up to three kilometers, including lightly armored vehicles and helicopters, with a stream of lead. For firing, 23-millimeter cartridges with high-explosive fragmentation, armor-piercing explosive and armor-piercing incendiary projectiles are used. The outstanding striking potential of the Terminator, combined with a spacious cargo hold, makes it an ultra-efficient amphibious combat unit capable of independently clearing a bridgehead and landing under heavy enemy fire. The maximum speed is 250 kilometers per hour, the flight range is 610 kilometers, and is capable of carrying up to 36 people.

Six pivot mounts for mounting small arms turn helicopter windows into loopholes, and paratrooper assault rifles into heavy machine guns. A car bristling with barrels can hover at low altitude, quickly drop troops or pick up the wounded.

Modern war dictates its own rules, and assault helicopters have no time to "swing" - on the ground they are most vulnerable. "Terminator" is able to drop soldiers in a few tens of seconds and leave. This was made possible by the installation of sliding doors that open from two sides and an automatic ramp at the rear. In addition to landing and assault operations, the vehicle can be used as a transport or ambulance. An interesting modification of the Mi-8 AMTSh-1 with a powerful armament system and a high-comfort cabin - a kind of air armored car for high command.

The vehicle has three hearts - two VK-2500-03 gas turbine engines and a powerful auxiliary power unit (APU) TA-14, which allows them to be reliably launched even in rarefied alpine air at an altitude of six thousand meters above sea level. Avionics and on-board equipment are entirely of domestic production.

Nowadays Mi-171AMTSh (Mi-171Sh) helicopter appears to be one of the most popular medium military transport helicopters all over the world. Experts feature versatility of the helicopter and its high performance. Due to weaponry and protective means set the helicopter bears a nickname "Terminator" given by reporters. Mi-171Sh helicopter proved out itself in military conflicts, anti-terror operations, counternarcotics actions and search and rescue operations. At that, the helicopters demonstrated high performance in highland areas and hot climate.

First deliveries of Mi-171Sh helicopter to foreign customers were fulfilled in 2002, upon completion of several tests. Over 120 helicopters were delivered through FSUE Rosoboronexport to a number of Middle East countries, South-East Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe. Remarkable fact is that the helicopters were purchased not only by Russia's partners in the field of military-technical cooperation, but also by NATO countries. During the period of 2005 to 2008, 26 helicopters were delivered to Czech Republic and Croatia.

According to the policy of the Russian Federation Government regarding modernization of the Armed Forces Ministry of Defense started purchasing Mi-171AMTSh helicopters. In 2009 a government defense order for delivery of the first batch of the helicopters was placed in JSC UUAP. In 2010, delivery of Mi-171AMTSh helicopters was continued.

Following the concept of purchasing only modern and high-efficiency weapon, Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation imposed special requirements on the helicopters. So at the customer's request Mi-171Sh helicopters were equipped with new systems improving efficiency of their combat use. Besides, the helicopters are fitted with special equipment sets including search and rescue and medical facilities. In order to attain a combat task the helicopters are equipped with protective means sets, as well as avionics and instrumental equipment enabling flights in adverse weather conditions at any time of the day.

In the Khabarovsk Territory, on July 13, 2018, a planned tactical and special exercise was held with a special forces unit of the Eastern Military District (VVO). During the active phase of the event, the servicemen worked out the tasks of landing a mock enemy in the rear from the Mi-8AMTSh "Terminator" transport-combat helicopters using modern parachute systems "Arbalet-2".

A special forces group organized an ambush, after which, at a suitable moment for the assault, they seized a simulated enemy's car, which contained important maps and documents. Particular attention during the exercise was paid to the organization of covert movement in the rear of the "enemy" and the destruction of sabotage and reconnaissance groups. Further, the servicemen made a march across rough terrain to the evacuation area, where, under the cover of a smoke screen on the Typhoon armored car, they departed to the initial area.

There is an option for installing on all new-generation armed Hip derivatives of the KRET President-S (known in Russian Air and Space Force service as the L370-8 Vitebsk-8). This is an integrated self-protection suite shown for the first time in its full-scale form on a Mi-8AMTSh-V at MAKS-2015 aerospace exhibition. It incorporates four L370-2 ultraviolet-wavelength (UV) missile approach warning sensors (two each on the forward and rear ends of the weapons rack tips for 360-degree coverage in horizontal plane), three L370-5 directional infrared (IR) jammer, the L140 Otklik laser warning receiver, the UV-26M countermeasures dispensers and a display and control unit in the cockpit.

The emitting heads of two IR jammers are installed on the stub wings next to the missile approach warning sensors (operating in the ultraviolet-wavelength) and another one is under the tail boom for providing 360° coverage in azimuth to disrupt guidance of approaching missiles. The helicopter has also six UV-26M 32-round chaff/flare dispensers installed on the fuselage sides. The cockpit contains the system’s L370-1 control units and an MFPI-6V control panel.

The directional IR jammers of the L370-5 family are based on a sapphire lamp technology mated to an optical system for firing a narrow beam of IR energy directed at incoming heat-seeking missiles. The beam is modulated by using a pattern of smart algorithms to disrupt the proper functioning of incoming missile’s seeker. The directional jammer system is used in conjunction with the UV-26M dispensers ejecting salvoes of 26mm flares in a bid to further disrupt the proper operation of IR guidance of the shoulder-launched, heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles; this should result in a miss by some distance which does not allow the missile’s proximity fuse to be activated.

The new Mil Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter was developed in its special modification, considering the experience of combat operations in Syria. As its main specific feature, a Mi-8AMTSh-VN helicopter employs two side-mounted 12.7mm forward-firing machine-guns. The helicopter is outfitted with new flight control and navigation equipment, a gyro-stabilized opto-electronic system, a searchlight with an infrared emitter, dual-band lighting equipment and is adapted for using night vision goggles.

In order to increase its combat survivability, the Mi-8AMTSh-VN is outfitted with a digital autopilot system and a defensive aids suite that automatically detects missile launches against the helicopter, jams missile homing warheads and releases heat flares. The Mi-8AMTSh-VN features the LS3-8VN integrated self-protection suite borrowed from the Mi-8AMTSh-V, with missile approach warners, laser jammers and countermeasure dispensers with automatic control. The crew’s cabin and the helicopter’s main systems are protected by the new armor made of titanium alloy. The floor of the cargo compartment and the helicopter’s sides are shielded up to the windows with the removable lightweight Kevlar armor to protect the crew.

The first batch of Mil Mi-8AMTSh-VN new helicopters for Special Operations Forces will be commissioned with the country’s Armed Forces in early November, CEO of Russian Helicopters Group (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec) Andrei Boginsky told TASS 25 July 2021. "The first batch of the rotorcraft is scheduled to be commissioned this year, before November 10," Boginsky said speaking on the sidelines of the MAKS-2021 international air show. "The next batch is scheduled to be commissioned in 2022."

"We are signed up with orders regarding this issue for the current year as well as for the next year," he added. This year, the MAKS international air show is celebrating its 15th anniversary. The MAKS-2021, one of the world’s top three air shows, is running in the suburban town of Zhukovsky outside Moscow on July 20-25 with the observance of all anti-coronavirus measures.

To fulfill the tasks of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in the Arctic, the Russian Helicopters holding created a specialized Mi-8AMTSh-VA helicopter, which was created on the basis of the latest modification of the Mi-8AMTSh-V military transport helicopter, which was distinguished by the installation of new VK-Klimov gas turbine engines. 2500-03, as well as a more powerful auxiliary power unit (APU) TA-14 and an updated set of avionics.

Another direction of the helicopter modernization was the replacement of the AI-9V power plant, which was produced in Ukraine, with the domestic model TA-14, which is produced by NPP Aerosila. The auxiliary power plant TA-14 is distinguished by higher power, as well as increased operating time in generator mode. TA-14 has the best launch altitude performance (6000 meters versus 4000 meters for its predecessor). Thanks to the installation of a new auxiliary installation, the capabilities of the rotary-wing aircraft during its operation in high-altitude terrain and autonomous basing have increased significantly.

At the end of 2016, the naval aviation of the Russian Navy received the first Mi-8 AMTSh-VA, specially designed for the Arctic. The "northern" version is equipped with a heating system for transmission units, thanks to which it is possible to quickly start the engines at temperatures down to minus 60 degrees Celsius, even if the car is parked in an open parking lot. The helicopter can operate in polar night conditions and in the absence of a radio signal.

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