Russian Helicopters (a Rostech subsidiary) developed a new version of the Mi-8AMTSh-VN Special Forces helicopter with enhanced weapons, says CEO Andrey Boginsky.
Last summer, Russian Helicopters signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense to furnish 10 original version helicopters to the Russian Special Operations Forces.
“We already have an upgraded appearance of the AMTSh-VN. Let’s say, it has expanded its options and capabilities – not so much the vehicle itself, but its extra equipment,” Boginsky said.
He explained that the makeover has “improved the weapons, the means of target detection and identification.”
“We’re talking higher level systems. This is the result of integrating solutions offered through our cooperation,” the CEO noted.
A source in the industry told TASS that the new vehicle received an unofficial designation of Mi-8AMTSh-VN2. According to the source, this rotorcraft is the bridge between the Mi-8 family and a promising helicopter: the Airborne Combat Vehicle for the “new type” of airborne units.
In March 2019, TASS reported that a program to upgrade the existing helicopters kicked off, in line with the development of the new Airborne Combat Vehicle helicopter.
The Mi-8AMTSH-VN helicopter is equipped with new avionics, armed with two 12.7 mm side-mounted machineguns, adapted for night vision goggles, and has an onboard defense complex. The cockpit and the main systems and protected with a titanium alloy armor, while the floor and sides of the cargo compartment are protected with lightweight removable Kevlar armor.