The KPA Mi-35 Gunship is one of the most powerful helicopters in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. Unobtainable in the southern province, it only appears in the northern province during the later stages of the game. It is most often used by special members of the North Korean forces, such as the Defender of Hwangbo during the first Ace contract. It can be found on the ground during the contract "Inspect and Verify". Heavily armored and armed with a minigun, anti-tank rockets and 57mm rocket pods, the Mi-35 is a force to be reckoned with over North Korea's battlefields. It can be a strong asset or a dangerous enemy depending on whose hands it is in.
The Mi-35 is the best helicopter in the entire game in terms of the strength of its armor and the number of roles it can fill. Its armor is strong enough to render it impervious to even the most sustained small-arms fire; only anti-tank and anti-air weapons can damage it. The real-life Mi-24/Mi-35 was designed to be able to operate in a contaminated environment, a characteristic it retains in-game: the Mi-35 is NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) shielded and can be safely flown into radioactive areas in North Korea without consequence. The Mi-35 is the only helicopter in the game armed like an attack helicopter yet also able to carry troops; its troop bay can hold up to four. The two "bubble" cockpits featured are for the pilot (rear one) and weapons systems operator (front one). Only the pilot cockpit can be manned, as the flight and weapons controls are both available to the player from the pilot's cockpit.
When the mercenary destroys an Mi-35, they will be paid $10,000.
No other helicopter in Playground of Destruction can do all the things that the Mi-35 can. It is heavily-armed and armored, able to fight like the heavy attack helicopter it was designed to be. An Mi-35 can tear through enemy armor no matter who the player is fighting, and its nose-mounted minigun can rip apart anything not protected against small-arms fire. The Mi-35's non-guided rocket pods are useful for when the pilot either desires to not expend one of the 8 guided anti-tank missiles on a less important target, or if the 8 missiles have already been expended.
The Mi-35's troop bay can hold up to four passengers, allowing it to be used for combat-focused contracts, extraction or transportation contracts, or work involving any combination of these three. Its NBC shielding enables it to fly safely into and out of the radioactive areas found in North Korea without any harm to the pilot or passengers. In addition to attack and troop transport duties, the Mi-35 carries a sturdy magnetic winch, allowing it to lift and carry a wide range of vehicles in the game. Like all other helicopters in Playground of Destruction, main battle tanks are among a handful of vehicles that are too heavy for the Mi-35 to lift.
The Mi-35's status as a North Korean-marked vehicle enables it to fulfill a fourth major role; infiltration. Despite heavy setbacks against the invaders, the Korean People's Army is still one of the largest armies in North Korea, and the Mi-35 can use its disguise to get into areas the KPA remains in control of without detection- a priceless asset for the AN contract in which four weapons inspectors have been captured and must be rescued from KPA territory. Like any disguised vehicle, a player-flown Mi-35 will be identified as a fake if it comes too close to an officer of any faction; in KPA-held areas this could be disastrous, so distance must be kept from officers.
Using the North Korean disguise, you could pick up a soldier with anti-tank/anti-air weapons, a sniper rifle, or any other soldiers of your choice, making an effective assault team. Go into a North Korean controlled area with these soldiers, avoid officers, drop off the soldiers and fly out, then watch your soldiers go to work. This is very useful for diverting enemy forces away from you, and can also be useful in holed up areas.
When encountering a hostile Mi-35, the player must destroy it quickly or bail out if driving any ground vehicle; KPA pilots will mercilessly rain rockets and anti-tank missiles on the player, and not even the mighty M1 Tank can stand up to that for long. Calling in an airstrike to deal with it, using vehicle-mounted or shoulder-fired anti-air weapons, or simply retreating from the area and evading pursuit will be necessary. A daring but practical option is to get underneath the Mi-35 on foot, and move around to stay under it, until the Mi-35 flies low enough for the option to hijack it to appear. Trying to hijack an airborne Mi-35 can be time-consuming and dangerous, but well worth it if the effort results in the vehicle's capture.
There are a couple of Mi-35 Gunships next to where the Three of Hearts is hiding which isn't very hard to find and many Deck of 52 members in the northern province usually have at least one protecting him/her. Mi-35s can usually be found north and north-east of Changsong Train Station in the Northern province.
An easy way to obtain one while first in the northern province is to get a North Korean MD-500 Scout, wait until disguised, then fly a little north until you see a number card with one of these nearby. Don't capture him yet, as until you capture the ace, the copter will respawn each time a contract is completed, or if you reload the game. If you come disguised in the MD-500, you can land right beside the Mi-35 and take it with little difficulty, because none of the guards carry heavy weapons capable of damaging the copter.
Real Life Edit
The Mi-35 Gunship is based on the Mil Mi-24/35 Gunship. 35 denotes the export model, intended for sale to foreign countries. Since North Korea has never produced its own Mi-24/35 helicopters, they would have purchased export model Mi-35s from the Soviet Union. The Mi-24/35, like all Soviet-made aircraft and helicopters, is identified by the American-led NATO alliance by a reporting name. The name assigned to the Mi-24/35 is "Hind".
- Anaconda - Mercenaries 2 equivalent