Russia talks stealthy, 370mph combat helicopter

Maybe you’ve been asking yourself: how will Russia ever replace the legendary Mi-24 Hind?

So, it turns out, has Russia.

Russian Helicopters Holdings, the corporate umbrella for Kamov, Kazan, Mil and Rostvertol, told the Moscow press yesterday the company will invest $1 billion to to develop a “fifth-generation helicopter”. CEO Andrei Shibitov did not provide details, such as what exactly defines a fifth-generation helicopter.

But the Ria Novosti newswire reports Konstantin Sivkov, who is identified as the “first deputy head of the Russian Academy of Geopolitical Problems”, filled in some criteria: Invisible to radar, extended flying range, smart weapons, air-to-air capability and 310-370mph speed.

Sivkov also noted the “US recently began working on a similar project”. I’m not sure exactly what he’s referring to. The US Army is considering launching the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) program, but the requirements are not set yet. Sivkov may be referring to the Sikorsky X2 or Boeing DiscRotor.

Ria Novosti also quotes Sivkov’s boss, Leonid Ivashov, explaining the aircraft could fly within five years if it receives substantial investment, or “may drag on for 20-30 years” otherwise.

Update: Flightglobal first reported about this story two years ago at the Farnborough Air Show:

The Mi-X1 is an advanced conceptual project that is looking to increase the speed of its helicopters from 300kmh up to more than 500kmh. The company says it is also looking to engineer increased flight range of up to 1,500km in order to service offshore oil-platforms or other distant or difficult-to-reach locations. Mi-X1 is a civilian export product, though a lightweight military model is likely to be produced for the Russian armed forces.


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7 Responses to Russia talks stealthy, 370mph combat helicopter

  1. Dave 13 May, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    I doubt this project will happen anytime soon… My money is on the Mi-24 and Mi-28 soldiering on for decades to come. Also the requirements are over ambitious for a helicopter…

  2. sferrin 13 May, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Good luck with that. How many 400mph rotorcraft have been designed over the years? How many of them ever flew? How many even got past the paper stage?

  3. Jeb 14 May, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    Well, the Russians have never been shy about saying what they *expect* their hardware to do. It’s just the following through that rarely goes as planned.

  4. Firefox 20 May, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    I know there was a drawing of 5th generation attack helicopter concept in Vzlot magazine last year, and this was picture taken from MAKS 2009, Russian expostition, not sure if Rosoboronexport or Kazan.
    Looked sort of like Zvezda Ka-58 model, RAH-66/Ka-52 crossover. Tailfan, two main rotor blades. Never saw any other pictures of that helicopter. But it has its logic – Russia decided (so far) not to invest into Kazan Su-39 production, just Su-25SM upgrades, and this means empty spot (CAS) may be filled by more attack helicopters instead of fixed wing. Mi-28 and Ka-50 prototypes first flew almost 30 years ago, so both may be hardly seen as “new” helicopters.

  5. Flateric 21 May, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    >I know there was a drawing of 5th generation attack >helicopter concept in Vzlot magazine last year, and >this was picture taken from MAKS 2009, Russian >expostition, not sure if Rosoboronexport or Kazan.

    Nope. Photo from Russian Helicopters Powerpoint slide has been made at autumn 2010 conference, dedicated to Mikhail Mil 100th annyversary.
    I’ve seen photos of official mockup of Kamov UVK (Strike Helicopter System), leaked this spring, but hopes to see it on HeliRussia 2010 are ruined.

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