Pakistan has begun receiving the Mi-35M helicopters it ordered from Russian Helicopters in 2015.
Footage shows a Mi-35M in Pakistan Army Aviation (PAA) colours flying in Pakistan. In addition, Pakistani import-export logs show Rosoboronexport (Russia’s state-owned company responsible for managing Russian defence exports) making various helicopter-related deliveries to Pakistan in the first week of April. In particular on 04 April, the Pakistan Army took delivery of ‘helicopter equipment and ammunition’ from Rosoboronexport.
The physical deliveries follow a statement in August 2017 by the spokesman of Pakistan’s Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO), Brig. Gen. Waheed Mumtaz, telling the Russian News Agency RIA Novosti that the Mi-35s were “received”. This was likely a handover in Russia.
Pakistan bought the four Mi-35Ms in a $153 million US deal including training, spare parts, ground support equipment and – as per the import registries – munitions.
The Mi-35M is a modernized variant of the Mi-24V Hind, itself a variant of the Mil Mi-8/17 Hip transport helicopter. However, the Mi-35M incorporates a series of improvements over the Mi-24, most notably an integrated countermeasures suite and compatibility to fire guided air-to-surface munitions.
The Mi-35M can be powered by either two TV3-117VMA or VK-2500 turboshaft engines, thus providing a measure of commonality with the Mi-17/171. In addition to its two aircrew, the Mi-35M can also ferry up to eight personnel in its cabin and ferry cargo weighing up to 2,400 kg using its external sling.
RIA Novosti had reported (in August) that Pakistani personnel were getting acclimated to the Mi-35M. If the program is successful, Pakistan may follow-up with purchases of not just additional helicopters, but other military equipment as well. Recently, Pakistani Defence Minister claimed that talks were in motion between Russia and Pakistan over air defence systems, tanks and combat aircraft.