Despite its reported defeat by the Ka-50 Hokum, Mil received an order for a small batch of the Mi-28 Havoc combat helicopters from the Russian armed forces and continues to actively market the type.
The first of four prototypes made its maiden flight on 10 November 1982. The third and fourth prototypes were completed to Mi-28A standard with uprated engines exhausting via downward-inclined diffusers. The fourth production-standard prototype also had a moving, gyro-stabilized, undernose electro-optical sensor turret and wing-tip pods carrying electronic counter measures and chaff dispensers.
The Mi-28 has a conventional helicopter gunship layout with the pilot in the rear and gunner in front. It is armed with a 30-mm trainable cannon housed in a turret under the nose. Twin 150-round ammunition boxes are co-mounted to traverse, elevate and depress with the gun itself. The gun is identical to that of Russian BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle and uses the same ammunition.
The Mi-28's cockpit is compatible with night vision goggles; the pilot has a head-up display and one CRT on which TV imaging can be displayed. The primary sensor package comprises the optical sights and laser rangefinder in an undernose turret. The crew are protected by energy-absorbing seats and an emergency escape system allows the crew to escape safely by parachute. A hatch in the port side, to the rear of the wing, gives access to the avionics compartment and a space large enough to accommodate two or three passengers during a combat rescue.
In 1994 Russian army funding allowed modification of the first Mi-28A prototype to Mi-28N configuration. This introduced a mast-mounted MMW Kinzhal V or Arbalet radar, composite rotor blades, forward-looking infra-red, an electronic flight instrumentation system cockpit, improved armament options including Igla air-to-air missiles and uprated TV3-117VK engines. The Mi-28N made its first flight in April 1997. Mil also proposes a variant of the Mi-28 for support of amphibious naval assaults.