Learn more about Mil Mi-24
Its NATO reporting name is Hind and variants are identified with an additional letter. The export versions, Mi-25 and Mi-35, are denoted as Hind D and Hind E respectively. Soviet pilots called the aircraft 'letayushiy tank' or flying tank. Another common nickname is 'Krokodil' (Crocodile) — due to the helicopter's camouflage and fuselage shape.<ref></ref>
The core of the aircraft was taken from the Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name "Hip"), two top mounted turboshaft engines driving a mid-mounted 17.3 m five-blade main rotor and a three blade tail rotor. The engine positions give the aircraft its distinctive double air intake. Versions D and above include a characteristic tandem cockpit with a "double bubble" canopy. Other components of the airframe came from the Mi-14"Haze". Weapon hardpoints are provided by two short mid-mounted wings (which also provide lift), each offering three stations. The load-out mix is mission dependent; the can be tasked with close air support, anti-tank operations, or aerial combat. The body is heavily armoured and the titanium rotor blades can resist impacts from 12.7 mm rounds. The cockpit is overpressurized to protect the crew in NBC conditions. The craft uses a retractable tricycle undercarriage. As a combination gunship and troop transport, the Hind has no direct NATO counterpart.
 Combat history
The first use of the Mi-24 in combat was with the Ethiopian forces during the Ogaden War against the Somalis. The helicopters formed part of a massive airlift of military equipment from the Soviet Union, after the Soviets switched sides towards the end of 1977.
The aircraft was operated extensively during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, mainly for bombing Mujahideen fighters. The US supplied heat-seeking Stinger missiles to the Mujahideen, and the Soviet Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters proved to be favorite targets of the rebels.
The Hind gunships constituted a part of the 333 helicopters lost during combat operations in Afghanistan, an unknown number to ground fire. The cockpit was heavily armoured and could withstand even .50 cal rounds, but the Hinds tail is extremely vulnerable due to the lack of armour in that section.
The heat-seeking nature of the anti-aircraft weapons employed by the Mujahideen combined with the Hinds exhaust being directly under the main rotor caused the aircraft to disintegrate if hit. This was remedied later by countermeasure flares and a missile warning system being installed into all Soviet Mi-4, Mi-8, and Mi-24 helicopters giving the pilot a chance to evade the missile or crash-land.
During this conflict, the Hind proved effective and very reliable, earning the respect of both Soviet pilots and the Mujahideen, who scattered as quickly as possible when Soviet target designation flares were lit nearby. The Mujahideen nicknamed the Mi-24 as the "Devil's Chariot" due to its notorious reputation. One Afghan rebel said one famous quote "We do not fear the Soviets. We fear their helicopters."
The Hind saw considerable use by the Iraqi Army during the long war with their neighbour, Iran. Its heavy armament was a key factor in causing severe damage to Iranian ground forces. This war saw the only confirmed air-to-air helicopter battles in history with the Iraqi Hinds flying against Iranian AH-1J SeaCobras (supplied by the US military) on many separate occasions.
The Indian Peace Keeping Force (1987-1990) in Sri Lanka used Hinds when an Indian Air Force detachment was deployed there in support of the Indian and Sri Lankan armed forces in their fight against various Tamil groups such as the LTTE. It is believed that Indian losses were considerably reduced due to the heavy fire support provided by their Hind gunships.
From 14 November, 1995 to the present, the Sri Lankan Air Force has used Mi-24s in their continuing war with the LTTE. Currently the Sri Lanka Air Force operates a mixture of Mi24/35P and Mi24V/35 versions. Some have recently been upgraded with modern Israeli FLIR and EW systems. Due to LTTE MANPADS a number of them have been lost to hostile action.
The Hind was again employed heavily by Iraqis during their invasion of Kuwait, although most were withdrawn by Saddam Hussein when it became apparent that he would need them to retain his grip on power in the aftermath of the war. A few examples later were sent over the border into Iran, along with many other Iraqi military aircraft in the hope of temporarily preventing them from being destroyed by allied air strikes. However, as with the other Iraqi aircraft, the Iranians kept them and used them in their own service.
During both wars in the Russian republic of Chechnya, beginning in 1994 and 1999 respectively, Mi-24s were employed by the Russian armed forces. As with Afghanistan, however, the Mi-24s were vulnerable to rebel tactics. Dozens are believed to have been shot down or crashed during military operations. A contributing cause to these crashes is the poor maintenance given to these aging helicopters.
The Sudanese air force acquired six Mi-24's in 1995 which were used in Southern Sudan and the Nuba mountains to engage the SPLA. At least two aircraft were lost within the first year of operation while not in combat, but may have been replaced.
- Côte d'Ivoire Civil War (2002-2004)
5 Mil-Mi 24 Hinds piloted by mercenaries were used in support of government forces. They were later destroyed by the French Army in retaliation for an air attack on a French base which killed 9 soldiers.
This UN peace keeping mission employed the Mi-25/35 helicopters from the Indian Air Force to give support to the mission. The IAF has been operating in the region since 2003. 
The Polish contingent in Iraq has been using six Mi-24Ds since December 2004. One of them crashed on 18 July 2006 in an air base in Al Diwaniyah. After end of the mission Poland will probably transfer the aircraft to the Iraqi Army.
The Hind went from drawing board in 1968 to first test-flights in less than eighteen months. First models were delivered to the armed forces for evaluation in 1970. The Mi-24A (Hind-B) did have a number of problems - lateral roll, weapon sighting problems, and limited field of view for the pilot. A heavy redesign of the aircraft front section solved most of these problems.
- V-24 (Hind) - The first version of this helicopter, were twelve prototypes and development aircraft. One such prototype was modified in 1975 as A-10 for successful speed record attempts (having reached 368km/h) with wings removed and faired over and with inertia-type dampers on the main rotor head.
- Mi-24 (Hind-A) - Other early versions were the armed assault helicopter, which could carry eight combat troops and three crew members. It could also carry four 57-mm rocket pods on four underwing pylons, four 9M17 Falanga (AT-2 Swatter) anti-tank missiles on two underwing rails, free-fall bombs, plus one 12.7-mm machine-gun in the nose. The Mi-24 (Hind-A) was the first production model.
- Mi-24A (Hind-B) - The Hind-A was followed up by the second production model the. Both the Mi-24 and Mi-24A entered Soviet Air Force service in 1973 or 1974. Lacks the four-barrel 12.7mm machine gun under the nose.
- Mi-24U (Hind-C) - Training version without any armament.
- Mi-24D (Hind-D) - The most common variant, a purer gunship than the earlier variants, the first to include the electronics for anti-tank guided missiles 9M17 Falanga (AT-2 Swatter). The Mi-24D has a redesigned forward fuselage, with two separate cockpits for the pilot and gunner. It is armed with a single 12.7-mm four-barrel machine-gun under the nose. It can carry four 57-mm rocket pods, four 9M17 Falanga (AT-2 Swatter) anti-tank missiles, plus bombs and other weapons.
- Mi-24DU - Small numbers of Mi-24Ds were built as training helicopters with doubled controls.
- Mi-24V (Hind-E) - Later development led to the Mi-24V which was first seen in the early 1980s. It armed with newer ATGMs, like the (9M114 Kokon, AT-6 Spiral) with tube launchers. Twelve of those missile are mounted on six wing pylons.
- Mi-24P (Hind-F) - The gunship version, which replaced the 12.7mm machine-gun with a fixed 30-mm cannon.
- Mi-24RKR (Hind-G1) - NBC reconnaissance model, which is designed to collect radiation, biological and chemical samples. It was first seen during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Also known as the Mi-24R, Mi-24RR and Mi-24RKh (Rch).
- Mi-24K (Hind-G2) : Army reconnaissance, artillery observation helicopter.
- Mi-24VM - upgraded Mi-24V with updated avionics to improve night-time operation, new communications gear, shorter and lighter wings, and updated weapon systems to include support for the Ataka, Shturm and Igla-V missiles and a 23 mm main gun. Other internal changes have been made to increase the aircraft life-cycle and ease maintenance. The Mi-24VM is expected to operate until 2015
- Mi-24PM - upgraded Mi-24P using same technologies as in Mi-24VM.
- Mi-24PN - The Russian military has selected this upgraded Mi-24 to be their primary attack helicopter. The PN version has a TV and a FLIR camera located in a dome on the front of the aircraft. Other modifications include using the rotor blades and wings from the Mi-28 and fixed rather than retractable landing gear. The Russians received 14 Mi-24PNs in 2004 and plan on eventually upgrading all of their Mi-24s.<ref></ref><ref></ref>
- Mi-24PS : Civil police or para-military version.
- Mi-24E : Environmental research version.
- Mi-25 - The export version of the Mi-24D.
- Mi-35 - The export version of the Mi-24V.
- Mi-24W : Polish designation for the Mi-24V.
- Mi-35P - The export version of the Mi-24P.
- Mi-35U - Unarmed training verion of the Mi-35.
- Mi-24 SuperHind Mk II - Modern western avionics upgrade produced by South African company Advanced Technologies and Engineering (ATE).<ref>ATE Group</ref>
- Mi-24 SuperHind Mk III/IV - Extensive operational upgrade of the original Mi-24 including weapons, avionics and counter measures.<ref>ATE Group</ref>
- Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Chad, Cyprus, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, East Germany, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guinea, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgizia, Libya, Macedonia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Ukraine, USA (for training), Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Mi-35M2), Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
 Specifications (Mi-24)
- Crew: 3 (pilot, weapons system officer and technician)
- Capacity: 8 troops or 4 stretchers
- Length: 57 ft 4 in (17.5 m)
- Rotor diameter: 56 ft 7 in (17.3 m)</li>
- Height: 21 ft 3 in (6.5 m)
- Disc area: 2,529.52 ft² (235 m²)
- Empty weight: 18,740 lb (8,500 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 26 455 lb (12,000 kg)
- Powerplant: 2× Isotov TV-3 turbines, 2,200hp (1,600 kW) each
- 12.7 mm YaKB-12.7 Yakushev-Borzov multi-barrel machinegun
- 1,500 kg of bombs
- 4× Anti-tank guided missiles (AT-2 Swatter or AT-6 Spiral)
- 4× 57 mm S-5 rocket pods or 4× 80 mm S-8 rocket pods
- 2× 23 mm twin barrel cannon pods or
- 4× external fuel tanks