A new weapons system for use against enemy submarines is going to be added to the arsenal of the Russian Navy. According to Business Online, the Russian Navy expressed its interest in resurrecting the Mil Mi-14 Haze anti-submarine helicopter.
The helicopter was designed to destroy enemy submarines with a 1 kiloton nuclear 1,600kg antisubmarine bomb, which is capable of penetrating any underwater target within a range of 800 meters.
The Mil Mi-14, which was introduced in 1976, is an all-weather, shore-based amphibious helicopter, capable of operating up to 300km from its base. It has 5.5 hours autonomy and can cover a total distance of 1,135km during an operation.
Besides the nuclear antisubmarine bomb, the helicopter is capable of carrying one torpedo, twelve 64kg depth bombs, or eight 120kg depth bombs. These weapons are carried within a watertight bay fitted to the centreline of the fuselage.
The Mil Mi-14 is equipped with one search radar fitted beneath the nose of the helicopter inside a radome, as well as sonars, magnetometers, hydroacoustic beacons and other special submarine-tracking, highly-advanced systems. This sophisticated equipment makes the Mil Mi-14 an effective anti-submarine helicopter, able to detect all types of conventional and nuclear powered submarines.
The Russian helicopter showed its capabilities and its effectiveness in the late 1980s during at least one incident, when a Mil Mi-14 detected an unidentified foreign submarine, presumably of the US Navy in Soviet territorial waters.
As Business Online reported, “The intruder was allowed to leave unharmed only because the actual command to eliminate the border violator never came”. Because of their effectiveness, in 1996 the U.S insisted on and achieved the decommissioning of all 118 helicopters of this type from the Russian Navy.
Almost twenty years later the Russian Navy wants to bring back the Mil Mi-14. Kazan Helicopter Works (KVZ), the company that manufactures the aircraft, is getting ready to reintroduce the anti-submarine helicopter with a total 100 helicopters expected to be procured by the Russian Navy in several stages.
The first stage includes the restoration and upgrading of 10 decommissioned Mil Mi-14. In the second stage, the helicopters will be equipped with new, more powerful and more modern engines, new electronics and advanced avionics. The third stage involves the production of the new helicopters, which might take up to five years.
The new helicopters will allow the Russian Navy to create a zone of deterrence for enemy submarines within several miles of its bases.