Aircraft / Utility helicopters / Mi-8 Hip

Mi-8 Hip

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Transport helicopter

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    Hip (NATO reporting name)

  • DESIGNED
    1960 - 1965

  • DESIGNER
    Mil

  • PRODUCTION
    1967 - present (USSR/Russia)
    2008 - present (China)

  • PRODUCERS
    China - Sichuan Lantian Helicopter Company Russia - Kazan
    Russia - Mil (Ulan Ude)
    USSR - Mil

  • QUANTITY
    Over 17.000 including civilian sales

  • UNIT COST
    $ 3.5 to 4.5 million for Mi-171 in 2002

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good payload capacity
    Large weapons load
    Good speed and range
    Lacks armor for gunship role

Introduction

The Mi-8 is a transport helicopter of Soviet origin. It was developed in the early 1960's to provide Soviet forces with a larger capacity helicopter than the Mi-4 and more maneuverable and practical than the Mi-6. The commonly used NATO reporting name is Hip. The Mi-8 and the second generation Mi-17 are some of the most numerous and widely exported helicopters ever built. Besides its troop transport role it can be used as an attack helicopter due to its significant weapon load.

Layout

The Mi-8 has the same general layout as the earlier and much large Mi-6, but does not share any components. The Mi-8 has a side by side cockpit that is followed by a large cabin with a door in the left and large clam shell doors at the rear. Two turboshafts on top of the cabin power the large five blade main rotor. The first generation Mi-8 was followed by the improved Mi-17, which is called Mi-8MT in Soviet service. The Mi-17 features more powerful engines and various other improvements. From both versions a wide range of variants have been developed, including dedicated assault versions with additional armor and weapon options.

Firepower

Originally the Mi-8 featured optional racks for four UV-16 rocket pods for a total of 64 S-5 rockets. Shortly thereafter larger racks for six UV-32 pods were introduced, allowing for a staggering 192 S-5 rockets. Later models such as the Mi-17 are often fitted with four pods for 20 of the more effective S-8 rockets. It is also possible to fit gun pods or free fall bombs, although this is not common practice. Dedicated attack version feature the ability to launch guided anti-tank missiles and some have a 12.7mm heavy machine gun mounted in the cockpit.

Cargo

The Mi-8 and Mi-17 have the ability to carry 24 troops or 12 stretchers or 4 t of cargo. On improved models the capacity has been increased to 30 or 36 troops. It is also possible to carry 3 to 4.5 t of cargo on a sling below the aircraft. The latest models feature a hydraulic ramp instead of the clam shell doors which allows a small vehicle to be carried in the cargo area.

Mobility

The two large turboshafts provide the Mi-8 with significant power. Over time various models have been used ranging from 1.481 hp each in the original version to 2.200 hp in current production models. The maximum speed is 250 km/h and the ferry range is over 900 km. The Mi-8 is very suitable for hot and high operations with its 6 km service ceiling.

Users

The main user of the Mi-8 has been the USSR and currently is Russia. The Mi-8 was exported to nearly any nation with ties to the USSR and has been used in dozens of conflicts. The Mi-8 is encountered anywhere in the world except for Western Europe, North America and Australia. Although many of the 17.000 airframes have been lost or retired the Mi-8 possibly remains the most common military helicopter in the world.

Variants

Mi-8T

The Mi-8T is the original and most common version of the Mi-8 helicopter and has the NATO reporting name is Hip-C. The Mi-8T is the standard transport version. Many are fitted with outriggers for four UV-16 rocket pods. The first generation Mi-8 can be easily identified by their long engine intakes without dust cover and starboard side tail rotor.

Mi-8T: Standard transport version of Mi-8.
Mi-8TV: Mi-8T with larger outriggers for six UV-32 rocket pods.

TypeTransport helicopter
Crew2 + 24 (2 pilots, 24 troops)
Lenght25.24 m rotors turning, 18.17 m fuselage
Width?
Height4.73 m to rotorhead, 5.65 m overall
Weight7.16 t empty, 11.1 t normal, 12.0 t MTOW
RotorsFive blade main rotor, three blade tail rotor
Diameter21.29 m main rotor, 3.91 m tail rotor
Disc area356 m2 main, 12.0 m2 tail
Chord?
Powerplant2x Isotov TV2-117A turboshafts, 1.700 hp each
Speed250 km/h max at sea level
Range930 km ferry range, 350 km action radius
Fuel1.870 L internal, 980 L external
Climb rate4.5 m/s
Ceiling4.5 km, 0.8 km hovering out of ground effect
Endurance?
Landing gearFixed tricycle, double wheels front, single wheels rear, 4.26 m wheelbase, 4.50 m track
ArmorLimited armor around cockpit
Cargo24 troops
12 stretchers
AvionicsStandard flight controls
Self defense?
Remarks-
Weapon systems57mm S-5 rockets
UPK-23 gun pod
GUV gun pod
free fall bombs
7.62mm PK machine gun
Fixed weapons-
Hardpoints4 or 6 hardpoints
Option 1S-5 rockets in 16 round UV-16 or 32 round UV-32 rocket pod on each hardpoint
Option 2UPK-23 or GUV gun pod on each hardpoint
Option 3FAB-250 bomb or 4x FAB-100 bomb on each hardpoint
Option 4Optional 7.62mm PK machine gun in cabin door
Option 5-
Option 6-
Option 7-
Option 8-

Mi-8TB

The Mi-8 served as the basis for several dedicated assault versions. These versions feature cockpit armor and unlike normal versions they have the ability to launch guided anti-tank missiles. When fully armed they pack even more punch than the Mi-24 Hind, but their troop and fuel carrying capacity is much reduced under such circumstances.

Mi-8TB: Armed assault version of Mi-8T. NATO reporting name is Hip-E. A 12.7mm KV-4 heavy machine gun is mounted in the cabin. Special outriggers are fitted with six hardpoints with four AT-2 launch rails on top.
Mi-8TBK: Export version of Mi-8TB with provision four six AT-3 missiles instead of four AT-2. NATO reporting name is Hip-F.

TypeAssault helicopter
Crew2 + 14 (2 pilots, 14 troops)
Lenght25.24 m rotors turning, 18.17 m fuselage
Width7.20 m over pylons
Height5.65 m overall
Weight7.42 t empty, 11.56 t normal, 12.0 t MTOW
RotorsFive blade main rotor, three blade tail rotor
Diameter21.29 m main rotor, 3.91 m tail rotor
Disc area356 m2 main, 12.0 m2 tail
Chord?
Powerplant2x Isotov TV2-117A turboshafts, 1.700 hp each
Speed245 km/h max at sea level
Range930 km ferry range, 200 km action radius
Fuel1.870 L internal, 915 L external
Climb rate4.5 m/s
Ceiling4.5 km, 0.8 km hovering out of ground effect
Endurance?
Landing gearFixed tricycle, double wheels front, single wheels rear, 4.26 m wheelbase, 4.50 m track
ArmorAdditional armor around cockpit
CargoUp to 14 troops and up to 1.82 t weapon load
AvionicsStandard flight controls
Self defense?
Remarks-
Weapon systems12.7mm KV-4 machine gun
AT-2 anti-tank missile
57mm S-5 rockets
UPK-23 gun pod
GUV gun pod
free fall bombs
7.62mm PK machine gun
Fixed weapons12.7mm KV-4 machine gun in cockpit with 700 rounds
Hardpoints6 hardpoints plus four AT-2 launch
Option 1AT-2 Swatter (9M17P SACLOS) anti-tank missile on each of the four launch rails
Option 2S-5 rockets in 16 round UV-16 or 32 round UV-32 rocket pod on each hardpoint
Option 3UPK-23 or GUV gun pod on each hardpoint
Option 4FAB-250 bomb or 4x FAB-100 bomb on each hardpoint
Option 5Optional 7.62mm PK machine gun in cabin door
Option 6-
Option 7-
Option 8-

Mi-8MT / Mi-17

The Mi-8MT is a much improved version of the Mi-8T. It is also known under its export designation Mi-17 and NATO reporting name Hip-H. The Mi-8MT features more powerful engines and has an improved hot and high performance. It can be easily identified by the shorter engine cowels with dust cover, port side tail rotor, APU behind rotor hub and rear facing exhausts.

Mi-8MT: Standard version of the second generation Mi-8 with 1.874 hp TV3-117MT turboshafts. Many fitted with racks for six hardpoints. Export designation is Mi-17.
Mi-8MTV: Hot and high version of Mi-8MT built in Kazan. Differs in having 2.200 hp TV-117VM turboshafts. Export designation is Mi-17-1M.
Mi-8MTV-3: Mi-8MTV with enhanced armour, updated systems, an anti-torque rotor, accommodation for 30 troops and four hardpoints with wider range of weapon options. Export designation is Mi-17V-3.

TypeTransport helicopter
Crew2 + 24 (2 pilots, 24 troops)
Lenght25.35 m rotors turning, 18.47 m fuselage
Width2.50 m fuselage, 3.71 m tailplane span
Height4.75 m to rotorhead
Weight7.20 t empty, 11.1 t normal, 13.0 t MTOW
RotorsFive blade main rotor, three blade tail rotor
Diameter21.29 m main rotor, 3.91 m tail rotor
Disc area356 m2 main, 12.0 m2 tail
Chord?
Powerplant2x Isotov TV3-117MT turbine, 1.874 hp each
Speed250 km/h max, 230 km/h cruise
Range500 km, 465 km with max load
Fuel?
Climb rate?
Ceiling5.6 km, 4.4 km with max load
Endurance?
Landing gearFixed tricycle, double wheels front, single wheels rear, 4.26 m wheelbase, 4.51 m track
ArmorLimited armor around cockpit
Cargo24 troops
12 stretchers
4.0 t internal or 3.0 t external
AvionicsStandard flight controls
Self defenseChaff/flare dispensers
Remarks-
Weapon systems57mm S-5 rockets
80mm S-8 rockets
UPK-23 gun pod
GUV gun pod
free fall bombs
7.62mm PK machine gun
Fixed weapons-
Hardpoints6 hardpoints
Option 1S-5 rockets in 16 round UV-16 or 32 round UV-32 rocket pod on each hardpoint
Option 2S-8 rockets in 20 round B-8V20 rocket pod on each hardpoint
Option 3UPK-23 or GUV gun pod on each hardpoint
Option 4FAB-250 bomb or 4x FAB-100 bomb on each hardpoint
Option 5Optional 7.62mm PK machine gun in cabin door
Option 6-
Option 7-
Option 8-

Mi-171

The latest range of Mi-8MT posseses a hydraulic loading ramp instead of the clam shell doors, the ability to carry more troops and has a redesigned nose for the radar. Both the Kazan and Ulan Ude versions are available with more powerful KV-2500 engines.

Mi-8MTV-5: Mi-8MTV with loading ramp and redesigned nose. Export designation Mi-17V-5.
Mi-8AMT: Ulan Ude version of Mi-8MTV. Export designation Mi-171. Early versions of Mi-171 were similar to Mi-8MTV-3.

TypeTransport helicopter
Crew2 + 36 (2 pilots, 36 troops)
Lenght25.31 m rotors turning, 18.99 m fuselage
Width7.20 m over pylons, 3.71 m tailplane span
Height4.87 m to rotorhead
Weight7.47 t empty, 13.0 t MTOW
RotorsFive blade main rotor, three blade tail rotor
Diameter21.30 m main rotor, 3.91 m tail rotor
Disc area356 m2 main, 12.0 m2 tail
Chord0.52 m main
Powerplant2x Isotov TV3-117 turbine, 2.200 hp each
Speed250 km/h max, 230 km/h cruise, 130 km/h economic
Range715 km ferry range, 350 km with 4 t cargo
Fuel2.725 L incl external fuel
Climb rate10.4 m/s
Ceiling6.0 km
Endurance?
Landing gearFixed tricycle, double front wheels, two single rear wheels, 4.28 m wheelbase, 4.51 m track
ArmorAdditional armor around cockpit
Cargo36 troops
12 stretchers
4.0 t internal or 4.5 t on sling
AvionicsStandard flight controls
Self defenseChaff/flare dispensers, IR jammer
Remarks-
Weapon systems57mm S-5 rockets
80mm S-8 rockets
UPK-23 gun pod
GUV gun pod
free fall bombs
7.62mm PK machine gun
Fixed weapons-
Hardpoints4 hardpoints
Option 1S-5 rockets in 16 round UV-16 or 32 round UV-32 rocket pod on each hardpoint
Option 2S-8 rockets in 20 round B-8V20 rocket pod on each hardpoint
Option 3UPK-23 or GUV gun pod on each hardpoint
Option 4FAB-250 bomb or 4x FAB-100 bomb on each hardpoint
Option 5-
Option 6-
Option 7-
Option 8-

Mi-8AMTSh

As with the original Mi-8 the Mi-8M also served as the bases for dedicated assault versions with improved armor and a wider range of armament. Unlike the Mi-8TB there is no 12.7mm heavy machine gun mounted in the cockpit.

Mi-8AMTSh: Armed assault version of Mi-8AMT that can be fitted with various weapon systems including AT-6 Spiral anti-tank missiles.
Mi-8MTKO: Night attack version of Mi-8MT or Mi-8MTV with special night vision sight mounted below the cockpit. Export version is Mi-17N. As with the Mi-8AMTSh it has the ability to launch AT-6 missiles. It can be identified by the clam shell doors and radar and FLIR on the nose.

TypeAssault helicopter
Crew2 + 36 (2 pilots, 36 troops)
Lenght18.22 m fuselage
Width6.42 m over pylons
Height4.36 m to rotorhead
Weight8.49 t empty, 13.0 t MTOW
RotorsFive blade main rotor, three blade tail rotor
Diameter21.29 m main rotor, 3.91 m tail rotor
Disc area356 m2 main, 12.0 m2 tail
Chord?
Powerplant2x Isotov TV3-117VM turbine, 2.200 hp each
Speed250 km/h max at sea level
Range580 km with 4 t cargo, 1.065 km with auxiliary fuel
Fuel?
Climb rate?
Ceiling6.0 km
Endurance?
Landing gearFixed tricycle, double wheels front, single wheels rear, 4.28 m wheelbase, 4.51 m track
ArmorAdditional armor around cockpit, rear gunner and critical systems
Cargo36 troops
12 stretchers
4.0 t internal or 4.5 t on sling
AvionicsStandard flight controls, FLIR system, IR searchlight
Self defenseChaff/flare dispensers, IR jammer, exhaust diffusers
Remarks-
Weapon systemsAT-6 anti-tank missile
AT-9 anti-tank missile
57mm S-5 rockets
80mm S-8 rockets
SA-18 missile
UPK-23 gun pod
GUV gun pod
free fall bombs
7.62mm PK machine gun
Fixed weapons-
Hardpoints6 hardpoints
Option 1Four AT-6 or AT-9 anti-tank missiles on each hardpoint
Option 2S-5 rockets in 16 round UV-16 or 32 round UV-32 rocket pod on each hardpoint
Option 3S-8 rockets in 20 round B-8V20 rocket pod on each hardpoint
Option 4SA-18 missile in two round launcher on each hardpoint
Option 5UPK-23 or GUV gun pod on each hardpoint
Option 6FAB-250 bomb or 4x FAB-100 bomb on each hardpoint
Option 7Optional 7.62mm PK machine gun in cabin door
Option 8-

Electronic warfare variants

The Mi-8T and Mi-8MT airframes have been adapted to a wide range of electronic warfare missions. Over 30 variants have been reported. Most electronic warfare versions have been produced in limited quantities and only a few versions have been exported.

Mi-8SMV: ECM jamming version of Mi-8T with NATO reporting name Hip-J.
Mi-8PP: Communications jamming variant of Mi-8T. NATO reporting name is Hip-K. Mi-8PPA is an improved version.
Mi-8MTG: Mi-8MT with Gardenya-1FVE electroning jamming system, export designation is Mi-17PG.
Mi-8MTI: Mi-8MT with Ikebana electroning jamming system, export designation is Mi-17PI.
Mi-8MTPB: Mi-8MT with Bizon electroning jamming system, export designation is Mi-17PP.
Mi-8MTPSh: Mi-8MT with Shakhta electroning jamming system, export designation is Mi-17PSh.

Other electronic warfare versions include the Mi-8MTD, Mi-8MTS, Mi-8MTR1, Mi-8MTR2, Mi-8MTSh1, Mi-8MTSh2, Mi-8MSh3, Mi-8MTT and Mi-8MTYa.

Special versions

The Mi-8T and Mi-8MT airframes have been adapted for various types special purposes. These include aerial command posts and mine warfare duties.

Mi-8PS: Radio relay version with NATO reporting name Hip-D.
Mi-8IV: Aerial command post based on Mi-8T. Export designation is Mi-9 and NATO reporting name is Hip-G.
Mi-19: Command post for tanks and motorized infantry based on Mi-8MT.
Mi-19R: Command post for rocket artillery based on Mi-8MT.
Mi-8AD: Minelaying version of Mi-8T for various types of anti-personnel mines, including PFM-1, POM-2 and PTM-3.
Mi-8AV: Minelaying version of Mi-8T for anti-tank mines using the VMR-1 or 2 system.
Mi-8BT: Naval mine clearing version of the Mi-8T that is used to tow a mine clearing barge.

  • Specifications:
  • Mi-9
TypeCommand helicopter
Crew2 + ? (2 pilots, command crew)
Lenght25.24 m rotors turning, 18.17 m fuselage
Width?
Height5.65 m overall
Weight7.5 t empty, 11.0 t normal, 12.0 t MTOW
RotorsFive blade main rotor, three blade tail rotor
Diameter21.29 m main rotor, 3.91 m tail rotor
Disc area356 m2 main, 12.0 m2 tail
Chord?
Powerplant2x Isotov TV2-117A turboshafts, 1.700 hp each
Speed250 km/h max at sea level
Range480 km ferry, 200 km action radius
Fuel2.615 L internal
Climb rate4.5 m/s
Ceiling4.5 km, 0.8 km hovering out of ground effect
Endurance?
Landing gearFixed tricycle, double wheels front, single wheels rear, 4.26 m wheelbase, 4.50 m track
ArmorLimited armor around cockpit
Cargo?
AvionicsStandard flight controls
Self defense?
Remarks-
Weapon systems-
Fixed weapons-
Hardpoints-
Option 1-
Option 2-
Option 3-
Option 4-
Option 5-
Option 6-
Option 7-
Option 8-

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