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Author`s name Michael Simpson

New Technologies to Help End Chechnya War

The MAKS-2003 aerospace exhibition to demonstrate operational functions of modern battle helicopters 
New helicopter produced by the Mil design bureau, Mi-28N, the Night Attacker helicopter exhibited at the MAKS-2003 aerospace exhibition, is the first experimental sample. Experts say that the army will be able to adopt the new model not earlier than in 2-3 years. However, it is said now that it can successfully substitute the famous Mi-24 hind attack helicopter called a flying tank. 

Mi-28N radically differs from the Mi-28 helicopter as it has a completely renovated set of armament. This helicopter can successfully carry out combat missions during day and night. The Mi-28N is the only helicopter in the world that can automatically perform a flight at the height of 5-15 meters. 

Mi-28N is equipped with the modern Attack operated missiles and air-to-air missiles. The helicopter is also equipped with modern onboard radio-electronic equipment of the latest generation and a night bomb-sight. 

The helicopter's rotor is made of fiberglass plastic according to a new technology; it can endure blows of shells up to 30 millimeter in size. The helicopter has a passive safety function for emergency landings.

Designers of the helicopter say that development and construction of the first experimental model of Mi-28N (it was built in 1996) cost $150 million (creation of the US's first experimental model of the Apache helicopter cost about $2 billion). Within the years the design bureau enthusiastically worked on the project; the RF Ministry of Defense appropriated not a kopeck from its budget for this purpose. Designers hope that the MAKS-2003 aerospace exhibition will be a good promotion for the helicopter.

The Kamov Design Bureau will also present its new developments at the aerospace exhibition. Six helicopters of the bureau will perform demonstration flights in the framework of MAKS-2003. These will be a couple of Ka-50 helicopters (the famous Black Shark); a Ka-32 meant for fighting fires in tall houses and a radiolocation patrol helicopter Ka-31 that can detect all kinds of air targets, including cruise missiles. A helicopter with a rotating antenna will also perform a demonstration flight. 

The Ka-60 Kasatka light battle helicopter and the Ka-226 helicopter with two Rolls-Royce engines with the capacity of 450 horse powers each will be demonstrated at the aerospace exhibition for the first time.

Two enterprises in the Russian cities of Orenburg and Kumertau have started production of the two helicopters. Both models will be represented at the aerospace exhibition in their military and civil modifications.

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