Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) Tamam division has completed the prototype of an upgraded Russian-built Mil Mi-35 Hind as part of a $20 million, 25-helicopter improvement programme for an unnamed air force, believed to be India.

The contract includes prototype manufacture and the conversion of the remaining helicopters at the customer's facilities.

Based on Tamam's helicopter multi-mission optronic stabilised payload (HMOSP) and weighing around 30kg (66lb), the package provides day/night observation and targeting through TV and forward looking infra red (FLIR) sensors with variable fields of view (between 2.4º and 29.2º on the FLIR) and in-built automatic tracking that uses centroid and edge-tracking techniques.

Other changes include pilot night vision goggles (NVG) with flight data displayed on one eye piece, a digital moving map, rearrangement of the fore and aft cockpits, an integrated self protection suite as well as pre-flight data and mission data handling systems. Cockpit lighting is NVG compatible. Navigation improvements include the addition of a global positioning system working in parallel with Doppler navigation. The HMOSP and the 12.7mm four-barrel machine gun are slaved to the pilot's line of sight. At the upgrade's heart is a mission computer developed with IAI's MLM.

Source: Flight International