Russia’s Rostvertol has performed the first flight of a dedicated trainer version of the Mil Mi-28 attack helicopter, with the UB-model aircraft to be exhibited for the first time in the static display at this month’s MAKS Moscow air show.
Flown at the company’s Rostov-on-Don site on 9 August, the new development features “a dual control system that can be used in Mi-28NE pilot training, while at the same time retaining all the functionality of an attack helicopter,” says Russian Helicopters.
Beyond the integration of a dual hydromechanical flight control system, the UB also differs from previous Mi-28s by having had the size of its instructor cockpit and canopy increased, with new crashworthy seats also installed.
“The new Mi-28UB will improve significantly and render more effective training of pilots of Mi-28NE Night Hunter helicopters, which are supplied to the Russian air force, and may be offered for export,” the company says. Moscow is understood to have signed a letter of intent for the possible acquisition of between 40 and 60 examples, with deliveries expected to be made between late 2014 and 2020.
Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database records the Russian air force as having a current active fleet of 63 Mi-28s, with a further 34 on firm order. Kenya is now flying four examples from a 16-unit order, while Iraq has ordered an initial 12 examples from a planned 40-aircraft acquisition. Ascend also lists letters of intent as having been signed by Algeria and Venezuela, for 42 and 10 of the aircraft, respectively.