The center of pilot training in Torzhok has received new Ka-52, Mi-28, and Mi-35 (Mi-24VM) attack helicopters, among the most unique combat choppers in the world. In fact, the pilots have to constantly get re-trained as the helicopters get updated with new technology, such as the ability to see in the dark, fire new state-of-the-art weaponry, and making tight maneuvers. This Mi-35 has not had a single flight yet, it is fresh out of the factory. From the gunship’s cockpit, it seems like the whole world is in your hands. 4 new Mi-35 gunships were issued to the center of pilot training in Torzhok near the end of last year. These helicopters are equipped with thermal vision systems, and can identify targets at ranges of up to 4 km. Thanks to a unique satellite navigation system, the gunship will never get lost, even in low visibility conditions.
“Hello”. The pilot speaks to the Ka-52 as if it was his best friend, even clapping it on the shoulder (wing) prior to take-off. The pilot can find the chopper’s screws without even looking, stating that the condition of the helicopter depends on him, just as the his depends on the helicopter. To get thoroughly acquainted with the helicopters, the pilots go through 4 month courses, where everyday they partake in tests which include lifting off in the helicopters around 2-3 meters above ground and doing simple maneuvers, then proceeding to fly rounds, and then commencing live-firing exercises. Evgeni can speak about the Ka-52, also known as the Alligator, for hours; he’s been with the helicopter for half a year. The Alligator is capable of reaching a vertical speed of up to 30 meters/sec, meaning he can reach the top of a 10-story building in just one second. The Ka-52 can engage tanks and other helicopters in all weather conditions.
Flying so close side by side that you can see inside the other pilot’s cockpit is something that even veteran pilots must re-learn. “The maneuverability and combat capabilities are on a new level, this is an excellent helicopter,” stated one of the pilots. Now all Mi-28’s entering service with the Russian military will be painted in dark grey. In the night sky, these “night hunters” are hard to spot, although these helicopters will have no problem spotting you, thanks to their laser range-finders. During the interview with the pilot, he admitted that he missed flying in his old Mi-24, which he piloted for 26 years. However, pilots must fly to combat in only the latest helicopters.