13:16 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Alleged Footage of Brand New Russian Gunship Operating in Syria Surfaces Online

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    Earlier, it was reported that a prototype Mi-28NM was deployed to the Hmeymim Airbase in Syria's Latakia province to conduct field testing in high temperature and desert conditions, and to test out a new mobile radar complex.

    A video purportedly showing the Mi-28NM gunship, operating in tandem with a Russian military Mi-24 in Syria's Hama province, has surfaced online.

    In the footage, which has yet to be verified or commented on by the Russian Defence Ministry, the new helicopter, distinguishable by its unique ball-shaped radar installed above its main rotor, is seen making repeated passes over a local settlement thought to contain Nusra*-affiliated militants.

    A second unverified video shows the pair of helicopters striking a ground target.

    Russian media citing military sources reported on the deployment of the Mi-28NM attack helicopter to Syria for field testing last week.

    Dubbed the 'Super Night Hunter', the Mi-28NM was created after taking previously accumulated Syrian combat experience into account, and features improved engines, control and anti-air defence systems, fuselage, navigation and communications equipment, and specially created helmets with an augmented reality function to project map, intelligence and helicopter status information into the pilot and copilot's field of vision. The anti-armour helicopter is said to be capable of coordinating with autonomous drones, and can be armed with a new guided missile with a range of over 25 km.

    The first test batch of the new all-weather, day-night two-seater helicopters is expected to start delivery to the Defence Ministry next month. Developed in the early 1980s, the Mi-28 design has seen multiple upgrades during its service life, and is operated by the Russian, Algerian and Iraqi militaries.

    *Aka al-Qaeda in Syria, outlawed in Russia and many other countries.


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