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AH-2 Sabre (Mi-35M) : One of the World’s Most Potent Flying Tanks

The AH-2 Sabre is a multi-role cσmbαt helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a subsidiary of Russiαn Helicopters.

In 2013 Russiα completed delivery to Brazil 12 AH-2 Saber αttαck helicopters under a contract worth $150 million. AH-2 Saber is actually Brazil’s name representing the Mi-35M heavy αttαck helicopter of Russiα.

An export variant of the renowned Mi-24 Hind line that dates back to the Cold wαr is the Mi-35M. Only this particular model of αttαck helicopter is capable of transporting troops in addition to conducting cσmbαt operations. In 2008, Brazil and Russiα agreed to a purchase agreement for this aircraft.

In essence, the Brazilian helicopter keeps the majority of the Mi-35 series’ design and features. The AH-2 differs in that it has an Israeli avionics system installed in order to better meet Brazilian Air Force specifications. The Mi-35M is actually a heavily updated version of the storied Mi-24 “flying tank” helicopter.

The AH-2 Sabre is a multi-role cσmbαt helicopter manufactured by Rostvertol, a subsidiary of Russiαn Helicopters. Primarily designed for αttαck and military transport missions, the helicopter delivers superior flight performance and manoeuvrability than its predecessor.

The AH-2 incorporates significant upgrades over the Mi-24 Hind. The helicopter received new, more powerful engines, a composite rotor in place of the metal one, and an X-shaped composite rotor in place of the 3-bladed anti-torque rotor. The helicopter’s cockpit and other crucial areas are heavily armored. Fixed landing gear and redesigned, shorter wings with only four mounting places for weαpσns were added to the AH-2.

The weαpσns itself has also been updated: A 4-barreled 12.7mm machine gun in the chin-mounted rotating turret is now replaced by a twin-barreled 23-mm GSh-23L autocannon. Mounted weαpσnry now consists of two types of Anti-tank guided missiles, modern air-to-ground unguided rockets, 23mm cannon pods, and other changes.

The AH-2 has an overall length of 21.6m, wingspan of 6.5m and height of 6.5m. Its take-off weight in ferry configuration is 12,000kg. It can carry eight troops or a payload of 2,400kg. Stub wings were shortened in order to reduce weight. Wings have a number of hardpoints for weαpσns and other uses.

The AH-2’s glass cockpit can seat two pilots sitting tandem. The helicopter’s electronic core underwent significant upgrades. In the cockpit, a wide range of modern electronic technologies were implemented. Similar to other upgraded Mi-35 models, the AH-2 has an OPS-24N surveillance and sighting station for night cσmbαt, which includes a laser range finder, thermal imager, satellite positioning and navigation system, electronic multifunction displays, an onboard computer, and newer jam-proof communications technology.

Landing gear of the AH-2 is no longer retractable. This reduced overall weight of the helicopter. Also in case of the crash the landing gear absorbs some of the energy. The countermeasures suite of AH-2 includes a radar wαrning receiver, a laser range finder and a location finder, chaff and flare launch system, infrared jamming system and engine-exhaust infrared suppressor.

Two VK-2500 engines power the helicopter. The maximum power output of each engine is 2,200 horsepower. High-altitude missions are supported by the engines. The helicopter’s top speed is 310 kilometers per hour. 5,400 meters is its operational altitude. The helicopter’s regular range is 460 kilometers, and with a full fuel load, it can travel as far as 1,000 kilometers.

The main role of this helicopter is destruction of armored vehicles, enemy troops, UAVs and other helicopters. Its secondary role is delivery of troops and special cargo, evacuation of wounded. It can operate at night and in adverse weather conditions. Brazil AH-2 helicopters will combine with some Embraer Group’s domestic surveillance aircraft to deploy in the Amazon region. This will help Brazil control a “hot spot” on drug crime and cross-border smuggling.