Russia has handed over a new batch of Mi-28NE Night Hunter night/all-weather capable attack helicopters under contract to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Comprising 13 helicopters, the batch represents the second such shipment to Baghdad in recent months, Alsumaria television channel reported, noting that the helicopters are expected to be used for counter-terrorism operations in the Anbar Province in the west of the country.
The first batch including 15 Night Hunter helicopters was delivered few months ago, the channel added.
Around 30 Mil Mi-28NE attack helicopters were ordered by the Iraqi MoD from Russia under a $4.2bn contract in October 2012, to help protect border security and counter-terrorism operations.
The contract, which made Russia the second largest arms supplier to Iraq after the US, also included an unspecified number of MiG-29M/M2 fighter jets, 42 Pantsir-S1 gun-missile short-range air defence systems, and heavy armoured vehicles and other weaponry.
The first group of Iraqi pilots and technicians completed their training in Russia in the autumn of 2013, according to the channel.
Powered by two Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines, the Mi-28NE Night Hunter helicopter is designed to perform search-and-destroy operations against tanks, armoured vehicles, boats and other small naval vessels, and to destroy protected sites and military installations.
The two-seat anti-armour attack helicopter is fitted with an integrated avionics suite, which enables nap-of-the-earth (NOE) flight on auto-pilot at night and in adverse conditions, and can also be used to combat low-speed and low-altitude enemy aircraft.
Image: A Mil Mi-28N attack helicopter in flight. Photo: courtesy of Rossin Denis.
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