Keesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 19437 times:
The Brazilian government has used a visit by Russian president Dmitri Medvedev to confirm that it signed a contract with Moscow's Rosoboronexport arms agency in late October for 12 Mil Mi-35M attack helicopters.
Worth around $300 million and also including a sizeable spares package, weapons and training services, the deal represents the Brazilian air force's first purchase of a Russian aircraft.
The air force earlier this year shortlisted AgustaWestland's AW129 and the Mi-35M as candidates for its attack helicopter requirement. The Russian design will be delivered equipped with avionics supplied by Israel’s Elbit Systems.
Another clear signal from the Russians. You fool around in my backyard, I'll be visiting yours..
Pyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3537 posts, RR: 28 Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 19353 times:
That was a surprise, never saw that coming. Too bad they are only buying a dozen, I can see attack helicopters being very useful in the type of combat Brazilian forces can see themselves in. Just imagine a Hind flying low over Rocinha, the effect if wouldn't have...
Quoting Keesje (Thread starter): Another clear signal from the Russians. You fool around in my backyard, I'll be visiting yours..
Brazil was never the U.S.'s background and Lula is not Chavez, I doubt the US is very worried about this. When it all comes down to it, it is just Brazil buying the best helicopter for their needs.
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
MCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 19326 times:
Quoting Pyrex (Reply 1): Brazil was never the U.S.'s background and Lula is not Chavez, I doubt the US is very worried about this. When it all comes down to it, it is just Brazil buying the best helicopter for their needs.
First, I don't think we consider Brazil an enemy or even a potential enemy. Second, we give a damn who Brazil buys helicopters from? Third, saying Brazil is in our "back yard" is like saying Portugal is in Russia's back yard.
LMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 19320 times:
Quoting Pyrex (Reply 1): Brazil was never the U.S.'s background and Lula is not Chavez, I doubt the US is very worried about this. When it all comes down to it, it is just Brazil buying the best helicopter for their needs.
Most people in the US could care less about the sale. Heck, most are not even aware of it. Not something that's front page news.
I doubt the US government is that concerned either. Like you said Lula is not Chavez.
Lumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 21 Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 19304 times:
I wouldn't be shocked to see the Mexican government buying a few either. How many bodies & beheadings are being discovered each week in Mexican border towns? Their army may find a use for them if the Russians could provide an attractive deal.
[Edited 2008-12-02 14:07:13]
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
PPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8492 posts, RR: 43 Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 19149 times:
Even though I was hoping for the AW129s, I can see this as a positive thing. Let's try out Russian equipment with a dozen or so helicopters before we get into spending billions upon billions on fighters or anything else.
Btw, Brazil flies UH-60s, and they are fairly new as well, so this isn't like Chavez going for Russian equipment.
[Edited 2008-12-03 08:41:32]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
PPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8492 posts, RR: 43 Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 19121 times:
The Sao Paulo-based newspaper Valor Economico reports that they will be used in the Amazon region, where they would operate in conjunction with Brazil’s Embraer land and ground surveillance jets (R-99A/P-99A), Super Tucanos, S-70 Pave Hawks, and other local assets. If so, the helicopters are very likely to find themselves based in Manaus. Note that the Amazon region borders both Venezuela and Colombia, and is a prime location for trans-national narco-terrorists and drug traffickers.
The Brazilian newspaper “Folha de São Paulo” offers an interesting side note, claiming that the purchase was delayed because the Brazilian Air Force wanted the helicopters to be fitted with Elbit Systems’ avionics, manufactured and/or assembled by Elbit’s Brazilian subsidiary AEL. The Russians argue that this would be uneconomic for such a small batch of aircraft, but the choice would provide important commonality with avionics already present in the FAB’s Super Tucano light attack and surveillance turboprops, F-5BR fighters, and A-1M AMX light attack jets. News reports regarding the contract signing have not revealed whether this issue was addressed in the contract.
The first question: why the hell do they even need an attack helicopter? It's a dramatic shift away from the current fleet of Cougars, Panthers and a few Black Hawks. So I don't know why they bought them. But then again, this wouldn't be the first time a country made a poor decision!
And I don't know what I would have bought, because I don't know what they're trying to accomplish. If they were looking for a good attack helicopter, they screwed up. If they were looking for an infantry support helicopter, they screwed up. If they were looking for a duel attack and troop carrying helicopter, they screwed up. I don't know what they want, so I don't know another helicopter to suggest.
But I have spoken, time and time again, on this forum about my assessment of the Mi-24/35. People think it's this big bad ass helicopter. Hell, even some American military personnel still retain the fear ingrained in our collective psyche, from the Cold War era. So the truth of the matter remains: all myths and legends aside, the Mi-24/35 blows.
The Mi-24 is far from a piece of shit. It might not be the best attack helicopter out there but it isn't crap by any means. It has been sold all over the world and achieved much combat success. You're obsessed with your beloved Blackhawk too much to appreciate anything else. I bet you don't like anything else Russian made either. On the other hand, I'm sure there's a Mi-24 or Mi-17 pilot out there that hates the UH-60 blindly, so I guess it all balances out in the end.
And by the way, I think both the UH-60 and the Mi-24 are great helicopters...
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 18791 times:
Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 14): You're obsessed with your beloved Blackhawk too much to appreciate anything else. I bet you don't like anything else Russian made either.
I knew someone was going to get sore in their crotch over my statement. Such a shame.
Look, I flat out said, my assessment had nothing to do with flag waving, nationalistic pride, or anything of the sort.
And please, don't give me that crap about me being unable to see the value of helicopters beyond my own airframe. Go back and look at my assessment of other helicopters, such as the NH-90, US101, CH-53, CH-47, etc. It's just pure crap to suggest that I cannot be trusted to make a fair assessment, when one is due.
Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 14): I bet you don't like anything else Russian made either.
Again, total crap. You're simply throwing unfounded insinuations out there, because you got offended over what I said.
Look at my list of top ten helicopters, and I treat Soviet/Russian equipment just as fairly as Western equipment. You're flat out wrong, to suggest that I "have it out" for Russian helicopters.
Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 14): And by the way, I think both the UH-60 and the Mi-24 are great helicopters...
But the difference is, I am basing my opinion off of professional experience... not on how I saw a picture in a magazine and thought a certain helicopter looked "cool" or "badass."
My assessment of the Mi-24/35 is a matter of public record on these forms. I evaluated numerous operating characteristics, and other hard facts. And let me repeat this for you, since you apparently skipped over it the first time: it had nothing to do with what flag I wear on my shoulder.
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18737 times:
Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 15): I wouldn't say "blindly", there are several Mi-24s at Ft. Bliss that are maintained in flying condition for adversary training, so I'd say UH60FtRucker speaks from some position of experience.
I have seen the Iraqi Hinds we captured, but not only that, I have worked along side the Hind in combat; both Polish and Afghani. And I have had the opportunity to speak to Indian Mi-35 pilots.
This is my entire point. This is more than me reading a book, and declaring myself an expert. I'm not an expert, but I do have upfront knowledge and experience. I would not be so bold, to make such strong statements, if I didn't believe I could back them up.
Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 17): I am not disputing UH60FtRucker's knowledge of the subject, but "it is a piece of sh*t" is not terifically helpful as an assessment.
If you feel professionally that it is the wrong type, perhaps you could give some details.
Well, as I've said, I have detailed my assessment in numerous threads on this forum, which all are archived, and public record. Since they are quite detailed, if you permit me, I will simply repost much of what I have already said. Why reinvent the wheel, right?
But before I launch into my opinion of the Mi-24, let me just say that it is exactly that: an opinion. There are undoubtedly individuals who will think that the Mi-24/35 Hind is god's gift to aviation. And I can respect that person, so long as they are able to make an intelligent argument, based on facts. But I have no respect for unfounded arguments, or arguments based on nothing more than, "well it looks cool." With that being said....
The Hind a beast of a helicopter. I can remember the first time I walked up to one, the closer I got, the more intimidating it looked. If looks mattered on the battlefield, then this helicopter would score serious points. In fact, perhaps looks do matter? The psychological fear factor, arguably still remains. The Hind simply looks mean and tough.
However, with that being said, I think it's highly overrated. Remember back in the good ole days of the Cold War... whether it was with Soviet tanks, fighter aircraft, etc. Western analysis had a tendency to over-estimate the abilities of Eastern-bloc equipment. The arrival of the Hind was a major event to Western observers. The problem is, as they had done with other pieces of equipment, the West grossly over-estimated the Hind's abilities.
She's very fast on a straight dash. I was flying along side two Polish Hinds, and we were doing 140kts at 200ft. We were bogged down by all kinds of additional combat equipment, so we were pulling the guts out of our helicopter, just to stay with them. And then they pulled in a bunch of collective, pitched the nose down, and away they went. It was a sight to see. But after they finished showing off how fast they could go, and we settled into our flight route, we started reaching ACPs that required significant course changes... and that's where the Hind's low agility was apparent. Fast on the straight, sluggish on the turns.
The Hind really doesn't have the agility I would expect from an "attack" helicopter. Admittedly, the AH-64 loses a lot when they're loaded down with a full stack of weapons, and a full bag of gas... but the loss of maneuverability is nowhere near as significant, as the Hind.
The power lag was significant, and the xmsn energy loss would be totally unacceptable in western helicopters. The time between collective inputs and engine response is very slow. When you are flying the Hind, you cannot burn into an LZ quickly, and expect to decrease airspeed and altitude descent, by pulling in a lot of sudden torque. You will easy get into settling with power. Additionally, as I mentioned, agility is lacking. When you are entering extreme maneuvers, power management is critical. Transient droop can be significant, and you can easy dissipate rotor energy, and ruin your day.
The Mi-24's IR signature is totally unacceptable and offers very little protection against IR homing threats. Granted, all helicopters suffer from an acute vulnerability to heat-seeking mapads, but the Mi-24 is just horrendous. When I look at Afghani Mi-35s under my FLIR system, it's like looking at the sun. Now I also understand there are recent modifications to correct this deficiency, by adding the Russian version of a HRSS. Indeed, many western helicopters were modified throughout the years with similar systems: the UH-60, AH-64, OH-58. The problem with the Mi-35's system: drag. Plot out their performance chart, comparing one with, and one without, the system. There's a significant difference. And it's because the original engine exhaust was designed so poorly, that any type of fix would incur significant drag penalties.
Now, the Hind has some heavy armor for a helicopter... but at what point do you go overboard? One of my biggest complaints is the cockpit visibility, especially the front seat. Having sat in an Apache, and then a Hind, I was shocked. The armored tub the pilots sit in extends too high and interferes with seeing anything beyond the 4 and 8 o'clock positions. The window structural beams were fat, and created sizable blind spots... and when IR missiles are such a threat to this helicopter, the last thing I'd want is restricted visibility. And the pilots may be quite safe, with their armored tub... but what about critical systems? The main xmsn is not nearly as protected. In fact, I would argue it is quite vulnerable. There are no engines, or additional components flanking the xmsn, to offer as barriers. The engines sit right next to each other, not protected by significant armor, and they're vulnerable to small arms. The Hind is armored, yes, but it's still very vulnerable to the same threats as any other helicopter. So much of that extra weight, needlessly drags performance down.
The cockpit layout was inefficient. Cluttered with hundreds of small buttons, pressure gauges, dials, etc... And again... as a helicopter pilot, you need to know where EVERYTHING around you is, and it needs to be easily accessed. Recent updates include more modern cockpit displays and instruments. But here's my thing: the map is a nice feature, but why not include large digital system displays? What is more important? A moving map, or a large display of your engine and drive train performance? We're talking about a helicopter always flying heavy, and always in need of constant power management. So instead of that crappy little dial gauge... why not give the pilots a large digital display of their torque or TGT? When I'm burning into an LZ, torque is far more important than some shitty ass map.
The flight control system is antiquated. When you're handling such a beast, the last thing you want to do is waste energy manipulating the controls. Modern helicopters, and especially large helicopters, have SAS, FPS, Trim, and Boost to all aid the pilot in reducing the workload. When you're heavy with troops, or lining up on a gun run, you can't be focusing on the controls - that needs to come naturally. And we talked to the pilots, and they all said they eventually got use to the physical workload, but my argument is this: they shouldn't have too, in the first place! As a helicopter pilot, your job can be extremely taxing on the body. So it's best to deplete your energy with your brain, and not your arms and legs.
It makes a crappy troop transport. (I know, that's not it's primary mission). You can't do efficient fast rope or rappelling insertions. You cannot do SPIE or FRIE extractions. You can't use a bambi bucket or hoist. You cannot perform paradrops. And the troop doors are cumbersome and do not allow for quick exit, when such is needed in a hot LZ. I understand the argument: the Hind is not a utility helicopter in the Western sense. Instead it is designed to bring an infantry squad to the battle, and then provide CAS. Got it. But the way it goes about that - with those doors and those stub wings and the cramped cabin... jeez, talk about poor execution.
As a former crew chief - I especially did not like the Mi-24. When you were coming into a tight LZ/PZ you cannot stick your head out and monitor the tail. It is very easy for the pilots to stick that tail rotor into a tree or building. If you're going to design the helicopter to do troop transport and CASEVAC... AND you're not going to give the pilots decent flight characteristics... then you're creating a situation where you're needlessly increasing the risk factor.
Also the avionics and weapons packages were subpar. I was very disappointed to say the least.
....Ok, so please excuse that long winded response. There are other issues I could continue to talk about, but I am trying to keep this somewhat readable! Anyway, I hope you understand that I am not calling the Hind "shitty" just because I don't like Russian equipment, or that I only love my Black Hawk. It just is not true.
I've seen it in action. I've seen it up close. I've talked with the guys who fly it. And I have the fortune to be able to compare it against other helicopters. And it is my opinion that it does not come close to its vaunted reputation.
Bennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 6358 posts, RR: 1 Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18711 times:
Well firstly, I would like to thank you for that detailed response.
Some of the points that you make confirm the impression that I have previously received, that it is a flying tank.
I have only seen it at airshows, but it does look intimidating in ways that the UH60 does not. As you say the psychological impact can be relevant.
Another example of this is the impact of very low level overflights on the bad guys in Iraq/Afghanistan that we hear so much about.
Clearly another factor on the survivability of the Mil is the weaponery and training of those on the ground that you are interested in. I understand that it's survivability in Afghanistan declined noticeably with the srrival of Stinger.
My understanding, (your views would be very welcome) is that it was designed to be use for mass attacks over the plains of Central Europe. In this role it would have excelled.
In Brazil, it will be targeting relativly small groups on the ground. Alternatively it will be landing small numbers of troops and providing it's own CAS. In these roles it will be quite effective. Equally if you are useing fast boats or slow planes to smuggle drugs or people then the Mil with it's Cannon and Rockets could make your day quite interesting.
Clearly it is not an AH64/UH60 or OH58, however if the above is a fair discription of the role anticipated by the Brazilians then the Mil might be the best crompromise. Unless the 12 ordered are the forerunner of a much bigger order, they need 1 type which will carry out several roles moderately well. To take one example, it is not a pure Attack Heli like the AH64, but the AH64 is less than ideal for carrying small groups of troops to catch the bad guys. I know that soldiers can be strapped on externally, but that is hardly ideal.
Thank you for giving us all something to think about.
Sovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2339 posts, RR: 14 Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 18697 times:
UH60 - I see your points and I appreciate you writing them out.
Yes it has certain limitations you are correct, but I don't think they make it a piece of crap. Survivability is actually not very bad, the Stinger is very dangerous against it but in Chechnya the helicopters took a beating and still managed to get back to base. IR signature is a big problem like you said. Troop transportation is really not that big of a deal(like you said). The biggest issue with the Mi-24(I think) is the weapons and avionics/ergonomics. Pilots get used to the buttons and workload. However this all has been left untouched since the early to mid 1980s! Of course it will be subpar to something modern. A good modernization package with LCD displays and a revised cockpit along with better weapons selection will do the most in reviving the effectiveness the helicopter once had. But even with everything it lacks, you have to admit that it is still successfully used around the world.
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 18692 times:
Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 19): In Brazil, it will be targeting relativly small groups on the ground. Alternatively it will be landing small numbers of troops and providing it's own CAS. In these roles it will be quite effective. Equally if you are useing fast boats or slow planes to smuggle drugs or people then the Mil with it's Cannon and Rockets could make your day quite interesting.
Here's my problem: ~$25million for a Hind? Pissing money down a hole, in my opinion.
I don't have any first hand knowledge about how the Hind will operate in jungle conditions. But I do know that the Hind suffers in the hot temperatures. Remember that whole thing about power management and poor agility? Yeah this is where it comes into play.
If they are looking for what you describe: an armed transport, then I don't see the Hind being a good option. Hell, look at its size! The damn thing is huge. If they're going after drug smugglers in the jungle... are there a lot of large landing areas for that Hind to land in? What good is carrying people, if you cannot effectively insert them onto the battlefield?
If you're right about what they'll be doing, then it's a huge waste of money.
I have a suggestion, buy an armed utility helicopter. I hate to even say this... because I don't want to feed into Sovietjets absurd argument.... but what about the UH-60DAP? Its a killing machine, armed to the teeth. Many DAP pilots have more helifire shots than many Apache pilots! Brazil already flies a few UH-60s. And can also carry more than a Hind.
But do you know what helicopter I would buy for this mission? The NH90.
Load it up with some rockets and guns, and transport infantry/police squads around. It cannot carry as much firepower, as the Hind, but we're talking about gun support, not anti-tank support.
-The NH90 can go into smaller LZs, than the Hind.
-It can perform rope insertion off the rear ramp, unlike the Hind.
-It can perform hoist rescue (which is important in jungle environments), unlike the Hind.
-It can carry internal bulk troop cargo and equipment, unlike the Hind.
-It has better ASE than the Hind.
-It has better range, than the Hind.
-It has a more modern cockpit and electronics suite, than the Hind.
-It has better protected engines and drive train systems, than the Hind.
-It can perform sling load operations, unlike the Hind.
-It can be doubled down for naval operations, unlike the Hind.
-It can be sold for less than $25million!
That's what I would pick. And if that isn't even the mission they're looking to fill, and it's the attack helo role they're after... well the Hind is still wrong!
FVTu134 From Russia, joined Aug 2005, 168 posts, RR: 1 Reply 24, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 18596 times:
Don't read to much into it but an Mi-35 can still be fixed in the field with a hammer and a screwdriver (save for some sensors) while an NH-90, Black hawk or anything else for that matter would need a support package.
Make no mistake I would prefer to be in them too but maybe the Mi-35 is not bad for exactly what they took it... bush flying
I've done some (civvie) African (high temp, high humidity) flying and also had some stick time on the Mi-8 and 17's which they had there and while ergonomy is far, they weren't all that bad for the dumptruck style of flying that was done there.. You don't even want to know about the service schedules they had for these things but they involved little more then screwdrivers and hammers (and a few drums of oil), yet they kept flying
who decided that a Horizon should be HORIZONtal???
25 Columba: Let me say it this way, despite the introduction of the Tiger there was a reason why the German got rid off the Hind very soon. They kept the Bo105PAH
26 Keesje: I think what we remeber the Hoind from is videos in which Mujahedin (like Osama Bin Laden) was shooting them down over Afghanistan, often with US prov
27 Pyrex: Not for anti-tank combat, that's for sure! (no matter Chavez's moronic attempts to buy a boatload of tanks, there is no way they are getting them thr