The operations to bring normalcy in Seirra Leone are on going and reports indicate all UN troops have been released . It will take prolonged operations that will bring the RUF into the main stream. IDC had analysed that India has a stake to ensure UN OPS in Seirra Leone are a success. There are 13 thousand UN troops under Major Gen V K Jetley. Now news is afoot Indian Air Force will send 3 big Mi-35 Helicopters, possibly in Russian AN -124 transporters. Details of this Helicopter are appended and if they are sent it should be at UN expense and these will join the 4 Mi-17s and 4 Cheetaks with UN ensignia already being operated by the IAF in Seirra Leone.


The Mi-35 P is NATO name Hind-F or Mi-24P (P for Pushka ie cannon in Russian). It is powered by two Isotov TV3-117 turboshafts rated at 2,200 shp. Its armament comprises a twin-barrelled Gsh-30-2 high -velocity 30mm cannon mounted externally on the lower starboard fuselage with 124-250 round capacity, two UV-20-76 rocket pods each with provision for 20 S-8 or S-8K 80mm HE or shaped charge unguided rockets, AT-6 Spiral 130mm anti-tank missiles, 57 mm and 240mm unguided rockets.The gunship airframe features include 6mm titanium armour on the cockpit with 4-layer anit-NBC canopy seals, fixed optical weapons sight, mechanically actuated moving map display, FLIR, LLTV, air data computer, Doppler navigation radar, exhaust diffuser boxes, omnidirectional IR jammer and ASO-2B is chaff/flare unit containing 32 flares, mounted on each side of the Mi-35's centre-fuselage, resulting in a normal capacity of 192 decoys, and LIPA infra-red jammer and LIP missile approach warning system. The IAF has seen service with this big bird after having experience of operating 10 MI 26 and MI 25 ( Hind D) acquired in the mid 80s .

(See also Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone Revisited under Previous Stories)


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