Package will allow nap-of-the-earth flying and includes chin gun and sensor turret

South African-based Advanced Technologies and Engineering (ATE) has unveiled plans for a Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter upgrade, based on a new nose and fuselage cockpit section and upgraded avionics and displays.

Marketed as the “Super Hind Mk5”, ATE says the configuration is optimised for nap-of-the-earth flight profiles, a role not normally performed by the type.

The new cockpit and nose has a similar profile to the early-generation Bell Cobra attack helicopter, with the Mi-24’s distinctive “double bubble” canopies discarded. The nose includes provision for a conformal sensor turret and chin gun. ATE unveiled a mock-up of the new fuselage section at Africa Aerospace and Defence, but is understood to have at least one aircraft undergoing modification.

ATE chairman Jean-Marc Pizaro says the upgrade removed 1,800-2,000kg (3,970-4,400lb) from the standard production Mi-24’s empty weight. The bulk of the weight saving is achieved by removing the 250kg Doppler navigation radar and replacing it with a 4kg commercial unit, and by reducing aircraft armour.

“As you start reducing weight there are more reasons why you can reduce more weight, so this plays in our favour,” says Pizaro. “The moment the aircraft goes faster and has more manoeuvering power, you can fly lower. Then, you do not need so many armoured plates; you just need to protect the crew and seats.”

Mil is supporting the upgrade effort.


Source: Flight International