Belarus to receive attack helicopters from Russia

Previously, the agreement covered four helicopters, now the number is bigger, up to 12. The funding sources are unclear.

Helicopter “Mi-35P. Fort Bliss, Texas, USA. April 21, 1997. Photo: U.S. National Archives.

Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus Ihar Karol recently spoke on the air of the state T.V. channel STV about purchasing Russian helicopters.

He noted that Belarus received a set of BTR-82A vehicles that went to the 120th Mechanized Brigade and said that a second similar battalion set would go to the 6th Mechanized Brigade in the next month.

“Sometime in the middle of next year” the new helicopters should arrive in Belarus. The video shows the Mi-25P model, while the text speaks about the Mi-35P. The second option is more likely: it is about the successor model of the Mi-24 (which is the Mi-35P), and in November 2020, it was reported that Belarus plans to buy four Mi-35Ps.

However, now it is about a “squadron,” which could mean 12 helicopters. Exactly how many helicopters they want to buy is not reported.

The price of one such helicopter is unknown, but in 2015 the Russian Federal Security Service was looking for a supplier of five Mi-35s at $9 million per unit.

Belarus has Mi-24 attack helicopters in service.

Depending on the modification, the helicopters can be used against similar air and ground targets and for landing and cargo transportation.

It is not reported against whom Belarus intends to deploy them. Still, the representative of the General Staff told in an STV story that “certain military preparations by our opponents are taking place,” mentioning Poland in particular.