Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec, today marks the 45th anniversary of the maiden flight of the legendary Mi-24 combat helicopter. A prototype of the helicopter flown by test pilot German Alferov took to the skies on this day in 1969.
The Mi-24 was conceived and built in record time, with development starting in 1968. The rapid design and manufacturing process was enabled by years of research led by Mikhail Mil into a whole range of issues, and also by making extensive use of parts and components from the Mi-8 and Mi-14 helicopters, which were already in serial production.
For their work on creating the Mi-24, a number of staff at Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant were awarded the Lenin Prize and other high government honours. In 1976 the Mi-24 was adopted as a military helicopter following the development of new weapons systems. The military helicopter designed by engineers at Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant was produced at Rostvertol in Rostov-on-Don and Progress Arsenyev Aviation Plant in Russia's Far East. Today all three are Russian Helicopters companies.
"The Mi-24 is one of the best-known Russian helicopters worldwide," said Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev. "The helicopter's high levels of efficiency and reliability and its sound construction means that it is still in use to this day."
More than 3,500 Mi-24 helicopters have been produced, and many are still in service in more than 40 countries around the world. The Mi-24 has also set several world records. In 1975, test pilots Galina Rastorgueva and Lyudmila Polyanskaya set eight records for speed and lifting, while in 1978 test pilot Gurgen Karapetyan recorded the highest speed by any helicopter, at 368.4 kmh.
The design of the Mi-24 proved so successful that it was subsequently used as the basis for the modern multirole Mi-35M gunship helicopter, which is a completely updated Mi-24. Rostvertol put the Mi-35M into serial production in 2005, and today the helicopter is supplied to the Russian Defence Ministry and to other countries. The helicopter has also opened up new markets in South America, where countries have begun taking the Mi-35M into service.
The Mi-24 is an iconic symbol of Russian aircraft engineering and a legend of helicopter construction. To this day helicopters of this series are among the most effective means available in the arsenals of many countries.
To mark the Mi-24's 45th anniversary, Russian Helicopters held a special conference for students and high-school pupils at Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant. More than 150 people attended, including pupils from Moscow school no. 1738 named after Mikhail Mil and school no. 2 in the town of Lyubertsy, as well as students from Moscow Aviation Institute and Moscow State Industrial University. Speakers included deputy general constructor Alexander Pushnya, Mikhail Mil's daughter Nadezhda Mil, and Valery Kalashnikov, first-class test pilot at Moscow Mil Helicopter Plant and holder of the Honoured Test Pilot of Russia state award.
Russian Helicopters, JSC is a subsidiary of UIC Oboronprom, which in turn is a part of State Corporation Rostec. It is one of the global leaders in helicopter production and the only helicopter design and production powerhouse in Russia. Russian Helicopters is headquartered in Moscow. The company comprises five helicopter production facilities, two design bureaus, a spare parts production and repair facility, as well as an aftersale service branch responsible for maintenance and repair in Russia and all over the world. Its helicopters are popular among Russian ministries and state authorities (Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Emergency Control Ministry), operators (Gazpromavia, UTair), major Russian corporations. Over 8000 helicopters of Soviet/Russian make are operated in 110 countries worldwide. Traditionally the demand is highest in the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Russia, and CIS countries. Russian Helicopters was established in 2007. In 2013 its IFRS revenues increased 10% to RUB 138.3 billion. Deliveries reached 275 helicopters.
UIC Oboronprom, JSC is a multi-profile industrial and investment group established in 2002. It is a part of Russian Technologies State Corporation. Its main tasks include: helicopter engineering (Russian Helicopters, JSC) and engine-building (United Engine Industry Corporation managing company).
State Corporation Rostec is a Russian corporation founded in 2007 for the purpose of promoting the development, production and export of hi-tech civilian and military industry products. It comprises around 700 organizations, nine of which have now been formed as holding companies of the military-industrial complex and five of them are involved in civil industries. Rostec's organizations are located in 60 constituent entities of the Russian Federation and supply their products to the markets of more than 70 countries. The revenue of Rostec in 2013 amounted to RUB 1, 04 trillion, with net profit of RUB 40 billion. The tax deductions into the treasuries at all levels exceeded RUB 138 billion.