Is Russia’s Nuclear-Capable Sub Killer Helicopter Making a Comeback?

Armed with a nuclear anti-submarine bomb, this aircraft could spell trouble for Western subs.

Russian Helicopters, Russia’s sole rotorcraft designer, is in the process of evaluating whether to re-start production of the Soviet-era Mil Mi-14 amphibious helicopter, formerly equipped with a nuclear bomb capable of destroying any submarine within a 1-kilometer blast area, Flightglobal reported last week.

Russian Helicopters’ predecessor, Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, designed the aircraft for Soviet Naval Aviation and Soviet allied countries including Cuba, Eastern Germany, Libya and Syria in the late 1960s.

Acccording to Flightglobal, there are currently 44 Mil Mi-14 in active service globally including in the Syrian Air Force and the Polish Naval Air Arm. The aircraft has been out of production since the 1980s.

Towards the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, the Mil Mi-14 achieved brief notoriety after it successfully spotted a Western submarine (presumably American) in Soviet territorial waters. Purportedly due to strong pressure from the United States, Russia was forced to scrap its entire Mil Mi-14 fleet in 1996.

“The Mi-14 was so good at submarine hunting that in 1996, under tremendous pressure from Washington, all Russian antisubmarine version Mi-14 helicopters were decommissioned,” RT reported in May 2015.

The new version of the helicopter would be equipped with new engines, modern avionics, and an improved targeting system. It would be capable of conducting longer patrols and boast better floating stability. Returning the Mi-14 to active duty would occur in three stages. The first stage would be the recommissioning of ten Mi-14 within the next two years, followed by a complete overhaul and upgrade of the helicopters’ legacy systems, to be followed by serial production within five years.

Full article: Is Russia’s Nuclear-Capable Sub Killer Helicopter Making a Comeback? (The Diplomat)

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