Introduction of the Russian-made Mi-28NE helicopter helped change the tide of war against rebel forces known as Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda, according to a top Ugandan General.
“There is no doubt that the introduction of the attack helicopters into the battlefield changed the tides of war in Northern Uganda against the LRA in favor of the Ugandan Peoples' Defense Forces (UPDF). So, with the acquisition of new air assets, we are ready to serve our beloved country more in that capacity,” remarked Lt Gen Charles Okidi.
The Lt General was speaking at the passing out of twelve pilots and fifty-two engineers who completed an eight months training course in operating and maintaining Uganda's fleet of Mi-28NE helicopters, the Ugandan MoD said in a March 22 statement.
Uganda has a fleet of three Mi-28NE helicopters bought from Russia in June 2022. TASS reported that the delivery constituted the "first batch" and that an equal number would make up a possible second batch.
The high number of pilots and engineers that passed out yesterday indicates that the number of helicopters bought could be more than three and that some additional helicopters may be on the way.
In addition to the Mi-28NE combat helicopters, the Ugandan Air Force has Mi-17 for transport and Mi-24 attack helicopters as well.
The Mi-28 also called "Night Hunter" (NATO code name: Havoc) is one of the most lethal attack helicopters in the world and rivals the American Apache in terms of firepower delivery. Its armaments include a 30 mm cannon, anti-tank guided missiles, air to air missiles, unguided missiles and aerial bombs up to 500 kg.