The Mil Mi-2 (NATO reporting name Hoplite) is a small, three rotor blade Soviet-designed multi-purpose helicopter developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant designed in the early 1960s, and produced exclusively by WSK "PZL-Świdnik" in Poland.

Mil mi-2(modified).jpg
Mi-2 of the Polish Air Force
Role Helicopter
Design group Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
Built by PZL-Świdnik
First flight 22 September 1961
Introduction 1965
Primary users Soviet Air Force
Polish Armed Forces
Produced 1965-1998[1]
Number built 5,497[1]
Developed from Mil Mi-1
Variants PZL Kania

Design and developmentEdit

The Mi-2 was produced exclusively in Poland, in the WSK "PZL-Świdnik" factory in Świdnik.

The first production helicopter in the Soviet Union was the Mil Mi-1, modelled along the lines of the S-51 and Bristol Sycamore and flown by Mikhail Mil's bureau in September 1948. During the 1950s it became evident, and confirmed by American and French development, that helicopters could be greatly improved with turbine engines. S. P. Isotov developed the GTD-350 engine and Mil used two of these in the far superior Mi-2.

The twin shaft-turbine engines used in the Mi-2 develop 40% more power than the Mi-1's piston engines, for barely half the engine weight, with the result that the payload was more than doubled. The Mi-2 fuselage was extensively altered from its predecessor, with the engines mounted overhead. However, the external dimensions remained similar.

The Mil-built prototype first flew in the Soviet Union on 22 September 1961, after the initial development the project was transferred to Poland in 1964. The first Świdnik-built example flew on 4 November 1965 (making this the only Soviet-designed helicopter to be built solely outside the Soviet Union). PZL-Świdnik produced a total of 5,497 helicopters, about a third for military users. The factory also developed fiberglass rotor blades, and developed the wide-body Mi-2M seating 10 passengers instead of eight. Most typical role-change kits include four stretchers for air ambulance usage, or aerospraying or cropdusting applications.

In Poland, several specialized military variants were also developed in early 1970s for support or training roles, with 23 mm autocannon, machine guns and/or two 57 mm rocket pods, four 9K11 Malyutka anti-tank missiles or Strela-2 AA missiles.[2]

Operational historyEdit

The Mi-2 was first introduced into the Soviet Air Force in 1965. The Mi-2 is used by mainly former Soviet and Eastern Bloc countries, although it was also purchased by Mexico and Myanmar armed forces.

Most of the armed Mi-2 variants were used by Poland. Some were also used by the former East Germany (with 7.62 mm machine gun and 57 mm unguided rocket armament only).[3]

North Korea still maintains a large active fleet of Mi-2s.[citation needed]

During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces were recorded capturing three Mi-2 helicopters in Kherson International Airport.[4]

The helicopter is also used to spray agricultural chemicals by private owners in Ukraine. 2 were killed in a crash in 2021 near Zaive in the region of Mykolaiv. [5]


Mi-2Ch exhibited in Polish Aviation Museum
Mi-2 Plus air ambulance in Poland
Mi-2P exhibited in Polish Army Museum in Warsaw.
Mi-2MSB, Helicopter World Cup in Poland 2019
First prototype.
Armament prototype.
Mi-2 Platan
Aerial minelayer version with 20 tube launchers on external pods and in left cab door, each for six or nine mines. 18 converted for Polish Army starting from 1989.[6]
Upgraded export version for the Middle East, fitted with improved systems and navigational aids.
Mi-2Ch Chekla
Chemical reconnaissance / smokescreen layer version.
Mi-2D Przełącznik
Aerial command post equipped with R-111 radio.
Survey version.
Passenger / cargo version, with accommodation for 6 passengers.
Agricultural version.
Land rescue/ambulance version.
Sea rescue version equipped with electric winch for two people and dropped rafts.
Reconnaissance version equipped with cameras.
Reconnaissance trainer version.
Mi-2RS Padalec ('Slowworm')
Chemical and biohazard reconnaissance version.
Air ambulance version, equipped to carry four stretcher, plus an attendant.
Dual-control training version.
Cargo/utility version.
Dual-control training version.
Armed version fitted with a fixed 23mm NS-23 cannon, 4 x 7,62mm PKT machine gun pods and optional cabin PK machine gun. 30 built for Polish Army in 1972-73.[2] Similar without a cannon built for East Germany.[3]
Mi-2URN Żmija ('Viper')
Armed variant with a fixed 23mm NS-23 gun and two 16x57mm S-5 unguided rocket pods Mars-2. Optional 7,62mm PK machine gun window-mounted. 7 built for Polish Army in 1973 and 18 rebuilt from Mi-2US.[2] Similar without a cannon built for East Germany.[3]
Mi-2URP Salamandra ('Salamander')
Anti-tank variant, armed with 23mm NS-23 gun, optional window-mounted 7,62mm PK machine gun, and 4x AT-3 Sagger (9M14M Malutka) wire-guided missiles on external weapons racks and 4x additional missiles in the cargo compartment. Two rebuilt and 44 built for Polish Army in 1975-84.[2]
Mi-2URP-G Gniewosz ('Smooth snake')
Mi-2URP with additional 4x AA missiles Strzała-2 (Strela 2) in two Gad rocket launchers. Six rebuilt in 1988.[6]
Mi-2 Plus
Upgraded Mi-2 with uprated GTD-350W2 engines, all-composite rotor blades, new avionics and other modifications.
Planned Mi-2 derivative that lacked suitable engines for the program to continue.
Mi-2MSB or MSB-2 Nadia ('Hope')
Modernized by Motor Sich to passenger-transport version for the civil aviation.[7][8][9]
Mi-2MSB-V or MSB-2MO
Modernized by Motor Sich for Ukrainian Air Force.[10] Original engine replaced with AI-450M 465 hp (347 kW) engine, armed with rocket and machine gun pods, IR-jamming system and flares dispenser for defence against MANPADS.[11]


  Democratic Republic of the Congo
  North Korea
A Polish Mi-2 on takeoff
  United States

Former operatorsEdit

  East Germany
  Soviet Union

Specifications (Mi-2T)Edit

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1982–83[50]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Capacity: 8 passengers / 700 kg (1,543 lb) internal cargo / 800 kg (1,764 lb) external cargo
  • Length: 11.4 m (37 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 3.75 m (12 ft 4 in)
  • Empty weight: 2,372 kg (5,229 lb)
  • Gross weight: 3,550 kg (7,826 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,700 kg (8,157 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × PZL GTD-350P turboshaft engines, 300 kW (400 shp) each
  • Main rotor diameter: 14.5 m (47 ft 7 in)
  • Main rotor area: 165.15 m2 (1,777.7 sq ft)
  • Blade section: NACA 23012M[51]


  • Maximum speed: 200 km/h (120 mph, 110 kn)
  • Range: 440 km (270 mi, 240 nmi) (max internal fuel, no reserves)
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 4.5 m/s (890 ft/min)
  • Disk loading: 22.41 kg/m2 (4.59 lb/sq ft)
  • Power/mass: 0.0806 kW/kg (0.0490 hp/lb)

See alsoEdit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era


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  • Mi-2 DataBase
  • Mi-2 Photo Gallery
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External linksEdit