Near São Luis
"This is Volk to Oryol", reported Sasha Dmitriyev who had recently been promoted to Lieutenant by virtue of being the sole survivor of General Orlov's Spetsnaz detachment after the debacle in South Sudan one year earlier. "The complex is in visual range. We will touch down in three minutes." The aircraft that he and his replenished 16-man spec-ops team were riding on were two of the newly adopted Mil Mi-40 twin-rotor versatility helicopters, loaded for bear with auto-cannons, thermobaric bombs and underslung cargo modules. As Sasha looked out of the open back-door, watching the treetops of the thick Brazilian forest zoom past him on the ground during that humid tropical night, he couldn't help but remember Africa; the haunting screams of the maimed and dying and all the friends that he had lost. But the worst part was the embarrassment, the utter humiliation that the Spetsnaz and the VDV had been subjected to after their disastrous defeat at the hands of Warlord Sulaymaan.
Since then, the situation back home was deteriorating: With the African territories falling within a matter of weeks, Russia had abruptly lost its prime access to the valuable rare earth minerals that were supposed to be the foundation of an entirely new industry of nano-electronics, one that was now heavily contested between China, Europe and America. The shock was so sudden that more than ten years of steady economic development and national revitalisation came to a crashing halt. Thus, President Suvorov had ordered his military, now in desperate need of a quick success to restore confidence in its abilities, to South America in an effort to secure new trading opportunities.
Founded in 2035, the South American Pact was initially created on behalf of the rising global power Brazil, Argentina and Chile to improve their economic cooperation but grew to include all of South America over the course of a few years. However, while the great coastal cities soon developed into international economic super-centres with vibrant markets and impressive wealth, violent crime gangs proceeded to run rampant across the shanty towns and rural regions whilst an atmosphere of constant distrust among the members made it difficult to achieve a joint solution. Snubbing the self-centred North Americans, the SAP nations now asked the Russian Federation to step in as a neutral negotiator who had its own strategic interest in cooperation with a strong Latin America.
As the helicopters approached their target, Sasha asked his comrades to concentrate on the battle that was about to erupt: "We're not taking any chances with this one; shoot on sight. Be fast, be precise, be efficient. S'nami bog!" The choppers came to a halt above a large luxury estate outside the city of São Luis. It was home to a druglord commonly known as 'Fernandinho' Almeida Vargas, head of the infamous Maranhão cartel, which was one of the most prolific entities in South American narcotics trafficking. After the US, Mexican and Canadian law enforcement agencies had joined their powers as part of the NAU framework of 2033, the focus of illegal drug trading had shifted to the glamourous cities of South America and much of the funds went straight to the extreme-left paramilitary forces that violently opposed the SAP's ventures onto the global capitalist market. In an odd twist of history, it was now up to Russia to wipe out an enemy whose ideological origins dated back to the 20th century, when the Soviet Union went into great efforts to spread the idea of communism to secure a foothold in the Americas.
Moments after the Spetsnaz had fast-roped down from the first helicopter, a set of massive spotlights illuminated the entire complex while armed cartel members, taken by surprise during a nightly meeting, rushed out of the mansion to greet them. A heated firefight ensued with the Russian special forces gaining the upper hand after the second Mi-40 unleashed a barrage of auto-cannon fire onto the villa. The team pushed forward, clearing the palatial structure room by room. Suddenly, they came under fire from a loud, panicking man armed with a rather tasteless looking gold-adorned AK-47. Sasha took point, swung around the corner and pierced the man's chest with two quick bursts from his Abakan rifle. The squad medic rushed forward and ran a quick on-site DNA test on the body, confirming his identity. "It's Vargas. We got him!" Sasha reported over the radio while General Orlov, who had been observing the entire operation from the safety of a Russian aircraft carrier off the coast, let out a noticeable sigh of relief. "Thank you, Sasha. Tonight, we have not only won a crucial victory in the struggle against our enemy. We have also restored the honour of the great Tula Division and our fallen brothers can now rest in peace. Secure any intel you can find, recover the body and return to the Kuznetsov. Oryol out."
Originally conceived as a versatile medium-lift cargo helicopter for the Russian Navy in the late 2030s, the Mil Mi-40, affectionately called the "Hunchback" due to the peculiar shape of its airframe, can serve in a variety of combat roles. When the new helicopter made its first public flight during the World War II victory parade of 2042, General Orlov of the Air-Landing Forces commented that the Hunchback would have made a major difference during the disastrous African conflict in the previous year. A few days later, his Tula Division was the first unit to issue an order for a full squadron of Mi-40s to complement their Hind and Hokum gunships. The VDV's version of the Hunchback is equipped with an armoured cargo container that has enough internal space for up to eight fully equipped infantrymen. In order to provide immediate and decisive fire support to the ground troops after their deployment, this "assault transport" version is also armed with a powerful twin-barrel 23mm auto-cannon and has two weapon-hardpoints that can be loaded with free-falling thermobaric bombs.
Here's some screenshots of it in action:
The Hunchback is based on a concept that has been exclusively designed by Comr4de and we want to conclude this update by showing you his cool artwork.
Also, do note that the sketches in the bottom right corner were solely intended for fluff and brainstorming. They do not represent any alternative or additional variants of the Mi-40.
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