ROSTOV-ON-DON, South Russia, May 30 (RIA Novosti, Sergei Rudkovsky) - The first mass produced Mi-28N Night Hunter military helicopter was given to Russia's Defense Ministry after successfully completing factory tests, the chopper's manufacturer said Tuesday.
"The serial helicopter will join two other experimental Mi-28N helicopters being tested by the Defense Ministry, and will have to confirm its performance, and undergo avionics tests, including testing of armaments systems," the Rostov Helicopter Plant, or Rostvertol, said.
The company said the Mi-28N had successfully passed factory flight and armament tests and that it met design specifications.
In March 2006, a state commission led by Russian Air Force commander Vladimir Mikhailov approved production of an experimental batch of helicopters. Mikhailov also said the Defense Ministry planned to buy 50 Mi-28Ns by 2010.
The helicopter is primarily designed to locate and destroy enemy armored vehicles, personnel, small surface ships, and low-speed air targets and fortifications, and to lay mine fields day or night in adverse weather conditions.
High reliability and powerful weaponry make the chopper competitive on global aircraft markets, Rostvertol said. Military experts said the helicopter's effectiveness was four to five times higher than any existing helicopters of its type.