Yesterday Rostov Helicopter Plant (‘Rosvertol’) General Director Boris Slyusar said the Russian Armed Forces are the priority for Mi-28N ‘Night Hunter’ deliveries, despite what he claims are many profitable offers from abroad. According to ITAR-TASS, he said:
“We have many requests for the Mi-28N, but the RF Defense Ministry still doesn’t have these systems in sufficient quantity, and we will take its interests into account first.”
Slyusar didn’t give the number of Mi-28N helicopters in Russian forces, but he said the North Caucasus Military District (NCMD) has about 20 ‘Night Hunters,’ and there will be more. He added:
“Our task is to create in the district’s [NCMD’s] troops in 2011 two groupings of Mi-28N.”
Who knows what he means by groupings. Squadrons? A second squadron or two additional squadrons? The information on the number of Mi-28N delivered is unclear and contradictory. In late 2009, Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov rather dubiously claimed Russia had already procured 27.
In May, a ‘Rosvertol’ marketing official said Russia would receive two squadrons of Mi-28N helicopters before 2011. She said two Mi-28N went to the pilot training center at Torzhok in early 2008, and ten more — apparently for the NCMD’s Budennovsk-based 487th Helicopter Regiment — were delivered in 2009. In mid-2009, ‘Helicopters of Russia’ General Director Andrey Shibitov also told Interfaks-AVN the Russian military had 12 Mi-28N helicopters.
So the question still stands: a second squadron of maybe 10 helicopters, or two additional squadrons? One thing’s certain, this goal’s been pushed from 2010 to 2011.
‘Rosvertol’ General Director Slyusar indicated his company sold 10 billion rubles of products in 2009, and this year sales are more than 15 billion rubles. Receipts from domestic and export sales are about equal. By 2015, the company has an ambitious goal of $1 billion in sales. Slyusar says the company is moving on this plan with modernization, equipment purchases, and people.