My blog sub-title says "Gaming, Politics and Telly". The telly's been a bit absent from here recently, so I might as well rectify it with this bit of random thinking.
Airwolf was a TV programme about a supersonic helicopter (yeah, I know the physics aren't too plausible, although there was a vague explanation...), broadcast from 1983 to 1987. Wikipedia has a page on it.
Being a guy who has quite an interest in the military equipment of the former USSR and its successor states, I wondered what a Soviet version of this rather cool looking chopper would be like.
We could go one of two ways on this- a development in response to the fielding of the helicopter, or a programme developed at the same time (late 1970s, early 1980s).
I'll go for the latter (hey, Firefox is a cool movie too) and assume similar mission aims.
Airwolf was a converted Bell 222. The USSR would have to use a civilian helicopter in order to fulfil the "wolf in sheep's clothing principle" of things.
The Mi-8 "Hip", while a very common helicopter, suffers from a major drawback- it's too big. It's a medium transport helicopter with a passenger capacity of about 30 people. An airborne command post, maybe, but not something for the Airwolf role.
I think they would go for the Mi-2 "Hoplite". This was produced exclusively in Poland, but that's not an issue for a conversion job in the centre of Soviet Russia. (In Soviet Russia, helicopter converts you! ;))
If we were to use direct counterparts, the air-to-air stuff would be done by Strela/SA-7s. That said, the SA-7 isn't too brilliant (neither is the Redeye), so the Soviets might go for the R-60/AA-8 "Aphid" AAMs.
Bullpup equivalent would be the Kh-23/AS-7 "Kerry". I don't know quite how good this is. The Kh-25/AS-10 "Karen" might be better.
Cannons- I don't know too much about that.
Pilots could be found from the helicopter pilots who participated in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. They'd have experience in dealing with low-level SAM and AAA fire. A three-person crew would be enough.