Bangladesh to buy Russian Mi-28NE attack helicopters

Bangladesh to buy Russian Mi 28NE attack helicopters
Bangladesh to buy Russian Mi 28NE attack helicopters

The government of Bangladesh has decided to purchase eight Mi-28NE attack helicopters manufactured by Rostvertol PJSC, which is part of the Russian Helicopters holding.

Recently the Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh received a proposal for preliminary approval of the purchase of helicopters from Russia. It refers to the decision to purchase eight Mi-28NE attack helicopters with funding in the current and next fiscal years through direct interstate negotiations with the Russian government or a designated agency (Rosoboronexport). The contract is valued at Rs 41 billion ($ 478 million).

The project is being implemented within the framework of the Forces Goal-2030 program, which provides for the phased strengthening of the Bangladesh national defense system.

The Ministry of Defense of Bangladesh is holding a tender for the purchase of new specialized attack helicopters to equip the army aviation of the Ground Forces. At a media briefing on January 21, 2020, Boeing confirmed that the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter had been selected as a potential candidate for the supply of Bangladesh aircraft. However, the U.S.’s strict conditions have made Bangladesh think twice about the purchase.

The Bangladesh Army Aviation Command posted a request for information on the Directorate General Defense Purchase website in the middle of this year. Potential suppliers were asked to respond by September 26, 2021.

As per open sources, the helicopters in the fray are AH-64E (Boeing), Tiger (Eurocopter), Mi-28NE (“Russian Helicopters “) and T-129B (Turkish Aerospace). All helicopters except the T-129B are armed with a 30mm cannon.

The chances of the Mi-28NE are quite high since Bangladesh is a major operator of the fleet of Mi-171SH and other modifications and infrastructure for maintenance and repair. An estimated 20 Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters are in the Bangladesh Armed Forces service.