Apache AH-64 vs Mi-35: In the ever-evolving theatre of modern warfare, the aerial domain takes center stage with two iconic giants— the Apache AH-64 and the Mi-35 attack helicopters. These formidable rotorcraft represent the cutting edge of military aviation, embodying the relentless pursuit of technological excellence by their respective nations.
This comprehensive comparative analysis seeks to delineate their key features, exploring aspects such as design, armament, avionics, speed, survivability, service history, and cost. The Apache AH-64, renowned for its integration of advanced technology and precision firepower, has played a pivotal role in modern warfare, notably in conflicts such as the Gulf War and Afghanistan. In contrast, the Mi-35, an evolution of the iconic Mi-24, emphasizes versatility and ruggedness, finding widespread use across diverse operational environments. As military forces globally weigh their options, this analysis aims to provide insights into the nuanced capabilities of these two iconic attack helicopters, assisting in informed decision-making based on mission requirements and strategic objectives.
Apache AH-64 vs Mi-35 Attack Helicopters
Let’s delve into a more detailed comparison of the Apache AH-64 and the Mi-35 (Mi-24). Keep in mind that the specific capabilities can vary depending on the model and upgrades implemented by different countries. Here’s a more in-depth look at key aspects:
Design and Role:
- Designed primarily as an attack helicopter.
- Tandem-seat cockpit with a pilot and co-pilot/gunner.
- Emphasis on agility, firepower, and advanced avionics for close air support and anti-tank missions.
- Originally designed as a heavily armored gunship and troop transport.
- Also features a tandem-seat cockpit.
- Can be configured for a variety of roles, including attack, troop transport, and medical evacuation.
- Main armament includes the 30mm M230 Chain Gun with various ammunition types.
- Can carry a variety of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), including Hellfire missiles.
- Hydra 70 rockets and Stinger air-to-air missiles can be employed.
- Main armament includes a 23mm GSh-23L Twin-barrel Cannon.
- Can be equipped with a range of rockets, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), and bombs.
- Provides a versatile weapon system for ground attack and troop support.
- Advanced avionics suite, including Longbow radar for target acquisition and fire control.
- Modern night vision capabilities.
- Sophisticated communication and navigation systems.
- Avionics vary based on the country and upgrades.
- Typically equipped with navigation and targeting systems suitable for its multi-role capabilities.
- Night vision capabilities may be included.
Speed and Range:
- Max Speed: 227 knots (261 mph, 420 km/h).
- Range: 300 miles (480 km).
- Max Speed: 208 knots (240 mph, 386 km/h).
- Range: 280 miles (450 km).
Survivability and Protection:
- Modern defensive systems, including chaff and flare dispensers.
- Composite armor for crew protection.
- Advanced self-sealing fuel tanks.
- Heavily armored, providing protection against small arms fire and some types of missiles.
- Considerable troop compartment armor for transport missions.
- Limited modern defensive systems compared to the Apache.
- Widely used by the U.S. Army and various allied forces.
- Proven in conflicts such as the Gulf War, Iraq War, and Afghanistan War.
- Used by numerous countries globally, especially during the Cold War and various regional conflicts.
- Proven in diverse operational environments.
It carries a price tag of $52 million.
It carries a price tag of $36 million.
Cost considerations are crucial and can vary significantly based on the model, country-specific modifications, and support infrastructure.
Apache AH-64 vs Mi-35 Data Table
Below is a comparison table of the Apache AH-64 and the Mi-35 attack helicopters.
|Manufacturer||Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas)||Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant|
|Role||Attack Helicopter||Attack Helicopter|
|First Flight||1975 (AH-64A)||1969 (Mi-24, predecessor of Mi-35)|
|Introduction Year||1986||1972 (Mi-24)|
|Crew||2 (pilot and co-pilot/gunner)||2 (pilot and co-pilot/gunner)|
|Max Speed||227 knots (261 mph, 420 km/h)||208 knots (240 mph, 386 km/h)|
|Range||300 miles (480 km)||280 miles (450 km)|
|Service Ceiling||21,000 feet (6,400 meters)||15,000 feet (4,600 meters)|
|Main Armament||30mm M230 Chain Gun||23mm GSh-23L Twin-barrel Cannon|
|Additional Armament||Hellfire missiles, Hydra 70 rockets,||AT-6 Spiral ATGM, S-8 and S-13|
|AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire missiles||rockets|
|Avionics||Modern avionics suite with radar,||Various avionics systems depending|
|sensors, and night vision capabilities||on variant and country|
|Countermeasures||FLIR, chaff and flare dispensers,||Infrared jammers, decoy dispensers,|
|and other defensive systems||and other defensive systems|
|Operational History||Used by several countries, including||Widely used by various countries,|
|the United States, the United||especially in Eastern Europe, Asia,|
|Kingdom, Israel, and others||Africa, and the Middle East|
Who is Better?
Determining whether the Apache AH-64 or the Mi-35 is “better” depends on the specific operational needs and preferences of the user. The Apache AH-64, utilized prominently by the U.S. and allied forces, boasts advanced avionics, superior night vision capabilities, and precise targeting systems. Its agility and firepower, featuring the 30mm M230 Chain Gun and Hellfire missiles, make it a formidable platform for anti-tank and close air support missions.
On the other hand, the Mi-35, with its origins in the Cold War-era Mi-24, emphasizes versatility. Its heavily armored design provides enhanced crew protection, and it serves diverse roles, including troop transport and medical evacuation. The Mi-35’s adaptability and cost-effectiveness have made it a popular choice in various global conflicts.
Ultimately, the choice between the Apache and Mi-35 hinges on factors such as mission requirements, budget constraints, and the operational environment. The Apache excels in high-tech precision warfare, while the Mi-35 offers a robust and multifaceted solution.