The Mi-24 attack / transport helicopter was developed by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters.
The Mi-24 entered service with the Soviet Union in the late 1970s and has been deployed by 40 countries. More than 3,500 Mi-24 helicopters have been produced. It has been deployed in more than 40 wars and conflicts including Afghanistan and in Chechnya.
The original model (Nato codename Hind-A), designed to carry eight combat troops, was later reconfigured to take on the gunship role (Hind-D). Later versions, Mi-24P (Hind-F) and the export Mi-35P, are also armed with anti-tank missile systems for the engagement of moving armoured targets, weapon emplacements and slow-moving air targets. All versions retain the troop transport capability.
The Mi-35P version entered into the serial production in August 2020.
Russian Helicopters holding has developed a common standard for Mi-24 modernization designated as Mi-35P. The Mi-35P has received the OPS-24N-1L observation-sight system with a third generation long-wave matrix thermal imager, TV camera, and laser rangefinder. The upgraded gunship’s cockpit has the KNEI-24E-1 flight navigation system with multifunctional displays. The PKV-8-35 digital flight system increases the helicopter’s manoeuvrability and steadiness. The modernised gunship is also fitted with the updated PrVK-24-2 targeting system, which allows the use of 9M127-1 Ataka-VM anti-tank guided missiles and either L370 Vitebsk electronic countermeasure system or its export version President-S. The helicopter has also received a chin-mounted NPPU-23 turret with a twin-barrel GSh-23L rotary cannon. Serial production has started as of August 2020 for an export customer.
Hind helicopter international sales
The Mi-24 is in service with Russia and countries of the ex-Soviet Union and has been exported to Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bulgaria, Cuba, Czech Republic, East Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, the Ivory Coast, Libya, Mozambique, Nicaragua, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Vietnam and South Yemen. Ten Mi-35 helicopters were delivered by Russia to the Czech Republic in 2005/2006 as part of a debt repayment. The Mi-35M model entered into serial production by Rostvertol since 2005
In 2005, ten Mi-35M helicopters were ordered by Venezuela. The first batch of four was delivered in July 2006, the second four in December 2006, and the deliveries of remaining helicopters were completed by 2007.Indonesia placed an order for six additional Mi-35s in late 2006 and the deliveries were completed by 2008. Another batch of three Mi-35s out of five was delivered in 2010.Brazil ordered 12 Mi-35M attack helicopters in October 2008, with deliveries completed by 2014.
Iraq took delivery of the first four Mi-35s in 2013 as part of a deal for 40 Mi-35 and Mi-28NE attack helicopters. Another batch of Mi-35Ms was delivered in 2015.
The Mali Air Force took delivery of two Mi-35Ms in 2017.
Pakistan received four Mi-35Ms from Russian Helicopters in 2017, while Nigeria placed an order for 12 Mi-35s in 2019.
India delivered four refurbished Mi-24Vs to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) by 2019 as a replacement for the four attack helicopters earlier gifted to Afghanistan.The Kazakh Armed Forces procured four Mi-35Ms in June 2020.The Mi-35M helicopter is currently being delivered to the Russian Armed Forces.
Mi-24 Hind upgrades
The Russian Army Mi-24s were upgraded with new avionics including thermal imagers. Other upgrade packages are available, including that of Denel / Kentron of South Africa which includes Eloptro infrared sighting systems and Kentron Mokopa anti-tank missiles, and IAI Tamam which has HMOSP (helicopter multi-mission optronic stabilised payload) with FLIR, TV and autotracker, embedded GPS (global positioning system) and cockpit multi-function displays.
The ‘Visegrad Four’ – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – signed an agreement in February 2003 to jointly upgrade up to 105 Mi-24D/V helicopters to Nato standards. This agreement was later abandoned.
However, two Polish Mi-24s were upgraded to Nato standard as prototypes. In February 2004, BAE Systems was selected as integrator for the avionics systems, which include an integrated electronic warfare suite.
In December 2005, Bulgaria signed a contract for the upgrade of 12 Mi-24 helicopters to a team led by Lockheed Martin and Elbit. However, the contract was subsequently cancelled in February 2007.
Mi-24 Hind helicopter design
The design of the Mi-24 is based on a conventional pod and boom, with a five-blade main rotor and three-blade tail rotor. It has retractable tricycle nose-wheel landing gear.
The two crew (pilot and weapons operator) are accommodated in tandem armoured cockpits with individual canopies and flat, bulletproof glass windscreens. The main cabin can accommodate eight troops or four stretchers.
Weapons aboard Mi-24 helicopter
The helicopter has six suspension weapon units on the wingtips. The Mi24D (Mi-25) and the Mi-24V (Mi-35) are equipped with a YakB four-barrelled, 12.7mm, built-in, flexibly mounted machine gun, which has a firing rate of 4,000-4,500 rounds a minute and a muzzle velocity of 860m/s. The Mi-24P is fitted with a 30mm, built-in, fixed gun mount; the Mi-24VP with a 23mm, built-in, flexibly mounted gun.
The Mi-24P and Mi-24V have four underwing pylons for up to 12 anti-tank missiles. The Mi-24V (Mi-35) is armed with the Shturm anti-tank guided missile system. Shturm (Nato designation AT-6 Spiral) is a short-range missile with semi-automatic radio command guidance. The 5.4kg high-explosive fragmentation warhead is capable of penetrating up to 650mm of armour. Maximum range is 5km.
The Mi-24V can also carry the longer-range Ataka anti-tank missile system (Nato designation AT-9), as can the Mi-24P. The Ataka missile’s guidance is by narrow radar beam, and the maximum range of the missile is 8km. The average target range is between 3km-6km. The target hit probability of the Ataka missile is higher than 0.96 at ranges 3km-6km. The missile has a shaped-charge 7.4kg warhead, with a tandem charge for penetration of 800mm-thick explosive reactive armour.
All Mi-24 helicopters can also be armed with rockets and grenade launchers.
The Mi-24D is equipped with the KPS-53A electro-optical sighting pod. The most recent Mi-24V and P variants have a digital PNK-24 avionics suite and multifunction LCD cockpit displays, and Geofizika ONV1 night-vision goggles, along with NVG-compatible cockpit lighting.They are fitted with the Urals Optical and Mechanical Plant GOES-342 TV/FLIR sighting system and a laser rangefinder. Countermeasures include infrared jammer, radar warner and flare dispensers.
The helicopter is powered by two Isotov TV3-117VMA turboshaft engines, developing 2,200shp each. The air intakes are fitted with deflectors and separators to prevent dust particle ingestion when taking off from unprepared sites. An auxiliary power unit is fitted.
The internal fuel capacity is 1,500kg, with an additional 1,000kg in an auxiliary tank in the cabin or 1,200kg on four external tanks. The fuel tank has self-sealing covers and porous fuel tank filler for increased survivability, and the exhaust is fitted with infrared suppression systems.
Mi-24 – General Comparison to Western helicopters
As a combination of armoured gunship and troop transport, the Mi-24 has no direct NATO counterpart. While the UH-1 (“Huey”) helicopters were used in the Vietnam War either to ferry troops, or as gunships, they were not able to do both at the same time. Converting a UH-1 into a gunship meant stripping the entire passenger area to accommodate extra fuel and ammunition and removing its troop transport capability. The Mi-24 was designed to do both, and this was greatly exploited by airborne units of the Soviet Army during the 1980–89 Soviet–Afghan War. The closest Western equivalent was the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk, which used many of the same design principles and was also built as a high-speed, high-agility attack helicopter with limited troop transport capability using many components from the existing Sikorsky S-61. The S-67, however, was never adopted for service. Other Western equivalents are the Romanian Army’s IAR 330, which is a licence-built armed version of the Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma, and the MH-60 Direct Action Penetrator, a special purpose armed variant of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. The Hind has been called the world’s only “assault helicopter” due to its combination of firepower and troop-carrying capability
Rotor Diameter 17m
Main Cabin 2.5m x 2.45m x 1.2m
Normal – 11,100kg
Maximum – 11,500kg
Normal – 900kg
Maximum – 1,480kg
Maximum Payload on Sling 2,500kg
Empty Weight 8,500kg
Powerplant 2 x Isotov TV3-117VMA turboshaft, 2,200hp each
Flight Range 480km
Ferry Range 1,050km
Maximum – 324km/h
Cruising – 280km/h
Hovering Ceiling 2,200m
Service Ceiling 4,599m