"The first six Mi-28N helicopters have been put in service with combat units [in North Caucasus]," the source told RIA Novosti, without specifying the schedule for further deliveries.
The Mi-28N is the latest modification of the Mi-28 attack helicopter, manufactured by the Rostvertol plant in southern Russia. It has been designed to conduct hunter-killer missions against main battle tanks, helicopters, ground forces, and armor in any weather conditions. (Mi-28N Night Hunter helicopter - Image Gallery)
The Night Hunter is powered by two TV3-117VMA turbo-shaft engines with 2,200 shaft horsepower each. The armored cockpit protects the crew from small-arms fire and absorbs the impact energy during emergency landings, ensuring high survivability.
Its combat range with internal fuel tanks is 450 kilometers (about 280 miles), but with external fuel tanks can be extended to 1,100 km (about 680 miles).
Russia's Defense Ministry has said it is planning to procure between 45 and 67 Mi-28Ns in the next few years, and to fully replace the Mi-24 Hind helicopters in the Armed Forces by 2015.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.