5 Jul 2019 12:02

Russian Helicopters explain ways of reducing price of Mi-28NM for Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) - The cost of Mi-28NM helicopters for the Russian Defense Ministry can be reduced by reducing labor intensity, optimizing processes and increasing serial production, Andrey Boginsky, CEO of Russian Helicopters (a Rostec company), said.

"Of course, stable use of production capacities is important to us, but clearly at reasonable prices. We have achieved this compromise with the Defense Ministry," Boginsky said.

"We believe that we can optimize a lot while implementing the contract for 98 Mi-28NM [helicopters], we will continue working both with direct and indirect expenses. Clearly, the higher the production volumes the lower the indirect expenses per product unit," he said.

Labor intensity was reduced by more than 20% during the implementation of the contract with the Defense Ministry for the Mi-28NM Night Hunter, which was signed in 2011, Boginsky said.

"That is, less time is needed for the assembly and production of one aircraft, plus optimization of processes, materials, etc.," Boginsky said.

A contract for the supply of 98 Mi-28NM helicopters was signed with the Russian Defense Ministry at the forum Army 2019 on June 27. Two helicopters from the pre-production batch have already been provided to the ministry. That is, 100 Mi-28NM helicopters, the newest modification of the Night Hunter, will be provided to the army in 2028.

There are plans to supply six helicopters at the first stage, in the course of the first three years, and 16 helicopters annually in 2023-2027, Boginsky said.

The Defense Ministry earlier said it was hoping Russian Helicopters would revise the cost of the modernized attack helicopter Mi-28NM Night Hunter,

An informed source in the defense industry said the cost of the Mi-28NM had turned out to be higher than the Defense Ministry had expected, but it was substantiated and the parties were looking for ways to reduce the project costs. "The value of the planned contract for the supply of the Mi-28NM was recognized by the Defense Ministry as substantiated, but that does not change the fact that it has turned out to be higher than what was initially expected, including due to the growth of prices for purchased parts, which account for up to 70% of the cost of the helicopter," the source said.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said in March 2019 the Defense Ministry and Russian Helicopters had agreed on the price of the Mi-28NM helicopters.

The Mi-28NM combat helicopter is intended for supporting air assault, motorized infantry and reconnaissance units.

The Mi-28NM is the latest modification of the Mi-28N Night Hunter helicopter. Work began on this helicopter in 2009. It was reported that it would be equipped with a totally new locator, allowing for round vision, new high-precision weapons, a modern command system, and a "glass cabin" having practically no mechanical gauges or classic control panels. The Mi-28NM is also equipped with new engines and modernized main rotor blades, which increase the speed of the helicopter.