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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to Use Syrian Combat Experience in Upgrading Helicopter Optical Systems

Sputnik News

21:06 19.09.2016(updated 21:12 19.09.2016)

The Russian military will use its experience gained in Syria to upgrade Mi-35M attack helicopters and Mi-8AMTSh multirole helicopters with new 360-degree OPS-24N1 surveillance and targeting opto-electronic systems, a Defense Ministry representative said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The new system combines four stabilized GOES-321MK optoelectronic imaging devices, located in different parts of the vehicle. A combined image is produced and displayed to the helicopter pilot as well as inside the cabin.

"Right now, the fundamental decision to test the system has already been taken. The test parameters and conditions are now being agreed on, but the exact timing of the work is still hard to determine… Overall, the opto-electronic equipment currently fitted on Mi-35M and Mi-8AMTSh helicopters is still up to standard, but the experience from the Syrian operation has opened new directions for developing opto-electronic systems," the ministry representative told the Russian Izvestia newspaper.

Developed by Russia's Shvabe optical electronics company, part of the Rostec state corporation, the system is capable of imaging through fog, smoke and, most importantly, dust storms. Upgraded helicopters will be able to identify targets as far as several miles away due to an indium gallium arsenide-based infrared frequency camera.

The system will be able to transmit images in real time from the helicopter via a USB computer connection.

The Russian Aerospace Forces have been carrying out an anti-terrorist operation in Syria since September, 2015. The operation has driven a number of innovations for Russian aircraft, helicopters in particular. In August, Aerospace Forces officials said that the aerial combat experience in Syria would be used to replace classic metal helicopter rotor blades with ones made from composite materials in order to reduce abrasion caused by sandstorms.


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