Mil Mi-24 'Hind'
Mikhail L Mil's design bureau created the Mi-24 in the 1960s and the first example was delivered just after his death in 1970. The new helicopter was based on the Mi-8 'Hip' transport helicopter but shared no common major parts. Smaller, more powerful and sleeker than its parent helicopter the Hind was to become one of the world's most successful helicopter gunships. In the West at that time helicopters were regarded as useful transport and SAR platforms but the Hind was to be the first of a new breed, the helicopter gunship, roaming the battlefield like an airborne tank using its firepower to destroy strong points and enemy vehicles while the troops it carried could be used to hold ground. Early studies showed a 12:1 tanks vs helicopter loss in the helicopters favour showing that the MBT was no longer the king of the battlefield. The early versions had a large traditional cockpit - these were the Hind-A, by the time the helicopter reached the Hind-D variant, it had become a dedicated gunship with a two seat tandem cockpit and chin gun turret, a design which was to become the standard format for most modern gunships. The Hind-D carries a 12.7 mm gattling gun with a 6,000 rpm fire rate, it has a 180 fire arc and can point vertically downwards if required. The aircraft is well armoured with the front windscreens able to resist 20mm cannon strikes and most critical airframe parts are titanium or steel, a self sealing fuel tank completes its protection. The Hind made its real name in the Afghan war when it was used against the rebels with success and was often seen working with the Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot. By 1980 a Hind-E variant with a 23mm cannon on the right side of the fuselage replacing the chin turret was being exported to Eastern Europe.
Max speed; 199mph (320km/h)
Combat radius: 160km,
Weapon load; 3,000 lbs on wings,12.7mm or 23mm cannon plus 8 troops
How to cite this article:
Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (10 February 2001), Mil Mi-24 'Hind', http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_hind.html