Since its first appearance in the Soviet-Afghanistan war, Mi-24 helicopters have been regarded by the Americans as a symbol of the “Soviet threat”.
Mi-24 was the first Soviet specialized attack helicopter and the second in the world after the AH-1 “Cobra”. It has various versions and has been exported to many countries, with an estimated 58 countries possessing these attack helicopters.
The Mi-24, also known as Crocodile or Hind. It has proven itself to be an ideal combat aerial vehicle to support infantry fire, hunting armored vehicles and destroy the ground enemy fortifications. It can also carry out cargo missions and evacuate wounded soldiers if necessary. Helicopters can also engage in dogfights with other helicopters. During the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, battles between Iraq’s Mi-24 and Iran’s Bell AH-1 Cobra were frequent. The strangest aerial combat involving “Crocodile” occurred in Lebanon on June 8, 1982. The Syrian Mi-24 attacked an Israeli armored convoy in the Bekaa valley. The Israelis called for air support, and two “Phantom” fighters arrived from the nearest airport. In fact, in a clash with the fighter, the helicopter had almost no chance. However, when the “Phantom” had left the battlefield, the Syrian pilot turned around quickly, launched P-60 short-range missiles and destroyed both targets!
In the 1960s of the last century, after the end of the Korean War and the fierce realities in the Vietnam battlefield. The use of large-scale helicopters in a variety of roles has opened up a new and feasible concept of armed helicopters. The prospect of a potential war if the Cold War became hot persuaded the Soviet government to agree on the idea of a powerful attack helicopter capable of transporting combat-ready troops.
This project was delivered to manufacturer Mil, the design was later officially called Mi-24. The development of Mi-24 was speeded up by inheriting the production line and the design of the Mi-8 helicopter series. The first flight took place in 1969, It entered service with the Soviet Union in the late 1970s, and more than 2,500 have been produced.
Today Mi-24 is still in service of more than 30 countries. This is a true warrior, experienced battle, was participated in the Afghanistan, Chechnya war and many other military conflicts.
Inheriting the design of the Mil Mi-8, the Mi-24 maintains two top-mounted propeller engines, driving a mid-mounted 17.3 m five-blade main rotor and a three-blade tail rotor. The engine configuration gave the aircraft its distinctive double air intake. The helicopter has an empty weight of 8.5 tons, maximum takeoff weight of 12 tons. The basic dimensions include fuselage length of 17.5m, height of 6.5m, and main rotor diameter of 17.3m.
Original versions have an angular greenhouse-style cockpit; Model D and later have a characteristic tandem cockpit with a “double bubble” canopy. This gunship is operated by a team of three, including pilot, gunner and fly engineer. The cockpit is configured for two personnel including the pilot in the rear and the gunner at the front. The pilot accesses the cockpit through the door on the starboard side while the gunner’s door opened to the portside. Other airframe components came from the Mi-14 “Haze”. Two mid-mounted stub wings provide weapon hardpoints, each offering three stations, in addition to providing lift. The loadout mix is mission dependent; Mi-24s can be tasked with close air support, anti-tank operations, or aerial combat.
The Mi-24 fuselage is armored and can resist impacts from 12.7 mm rounds from all angles. The titanium rotor blades are resistant to 12.7 mm rounds. The cockpit is protected by ballistic-resistant windscreens and a titanium-armored tub. The cockpit and crew compartment are overpressurized to protect the crew in NBC conditions. The undercarriage is an arrangement consisting of 3 retractable landing gear legs, in which the nose leg has double-wheels and a pair of single-wheeled main legs.
In terms of weapons, during its evolution, the Mi-24 was equipped with a range of powerful weapons. On most variants, the helicopter was fitted with a flexible 12.7 mm Yakushev-Borzov Yak-B Gatling gun with a maximum of 1,470 rounds. On the Mi-24P variant it was replaced with the GSh-30 gun. For greater flexibility, a twin-barrel GSh-23L autocannon was also mounted in a turret on the Mi-24VP and Mi-24VM variants. There was also a GIAT dual feed 20mm autocannon mounted on the Superhind variants.
The helicopter has six hardpoints on the stub wings, it can carry a total of 1.5 tons of weapons. Weapons are equipped depending on the task, Mi-24 can carry anti-tank missiles, rocket launchers and bombs. This gunship could be used for air support, anti-tank or aerial combat.
Mi-24 is equipped with a pair of Isotov TV3-117 turboshaft engines, providing a capacity of 2,200 horsepower each. The helicopter can reach a maximum speed of 335 km/h, a range of 450 km and a service ceiling of 4,900m.
Crocodile has a significant transport capacity, it can carry up to 8 fully equipped soldiers, or 12 partially equipped soldiers. Due to this feature, it is often used in a different way than other attack helicopters. It can be used for tactical airlift operations. For example, Mi-24 can clean the battlefield, suppress enemy firepower before landing troops. Once the soldiers is on the ground, this gunship continues to support them with its weapons. These helicopters can land troops behind enemy lines, quickly capturing important targets, creating an advantage on the battlefield.
The Mi-24 was involved in almost every major battle of the Soviet and Russian forces today. These helicopters were used by the Soviet army in high frequency during the Afghanistan War of 1979-1989, mainly were air strikes against Mujahideen warriors. During this war, Hind proved effective and reliable, recognized by both Soviet pilots and Mujahideen forces. Mujahideen’s nickname for the Mi-24 was “Satan’s Chariot” because of its obvious reputation. Hind was also used frequently in the Iraqi Army during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. Its heavy armament was the key factor that inflicts tremendous damage to enemy ground forces. With such a wealth of achievements and popularity in the military world, it is not surprising that Mi-24 is favored by filmmakers and game makers in their works. Gamers are probably no stranger to the Mi-24 as it appears frequently in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare, or Modern Warfare Remastered.