New Russian-Made Mi-28 Attack Helicopter Crashes in Western Uganda

The crashed aircraft is a new one, delivered to Uganda in 2022.
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  • 12:26 PM, January 3, 2024
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New Russian-Made Mi-28 Attack Helicopter Crashes in Western Uganda
Ugandan Mi-28 helicopter @via media reports

In a devastating incident, a Russian-made Mi-28 attack helicopter crashed in Nyamisingiri Village, Kichwamba sub-county, Ntoroko district, Western Uganda, on Tuesday.

The helicopter, en route to the Democratic Republic of Congo, tragically struck a village house, claiming the lives of both crew members aboard.

Ugandan Air Force spokesperson, Maj Naboth Mugisha, expressed deep regret over the incident, stating, “Uganda People’s Defense Force Air Force regrets to report a Helicopter crash in the areas of Karugutu-Ntoroko.” Mugisha assured the public that further details would be provided later and emphasized that the crash was an unfortunate accident.

Army spokesperson Brig Felix Kulayigye attributed the tragedy to adverse weather conditions prevailing in the mountainous region where the helicopter was flying.

Tragically, the crash also claimed the life of a civilian when the helicopter’s blades penetrated the roof of a house during the accident. This incident has raised concerns about the frequency of aircraft accidents, prompting increased pressure on the army leadership to address safety concerns.

The ill-fated Mi-28 Havoc combat helicopter, developed by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, carried an estimated unit cost of approximately $18 million (Shs 60bn).

The crashed Mi-28 in the UPDF’s fleet was one of such rotorcraft acquired in 2022. Uganda has so far received around six new Mi-28 Night Hunter helicopters.

Ugandan military, in collaboration with their Congolese counterparts, is jointly engaged in hunting down ADF rebels in eastern DRC, utilizing both air force and ground troops operations.

The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) appears to be a new Mil Mi-28 attack helicopter operator, which was spotted for the first time in UPDF markings. Details on the Mi-28N acquisition remain sketchy, as Uganda is not known to be negotiating with Russia for the aircraft.

Three Mi-28s were observed at Entebbe Air Base on June 15, 2023, during a visit by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. It remains unclear how many Mi-28s have been acquired or when they were delivered to Uganda. The UPDF currently operates about a dozen Mi-24/35 attack helicopters, several Mi-8/Mi-17s, several AB 206 Jet Rangers, half a dozen Bell 205s, and a couple of Bell 212 helicopters.

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