Development began second half of 1960s, as first fire support helicopter in former USSR, with accommodation for eight armed troops; 12 prototypes built; first flight 19 September 1969; first reported in West 1972; photographs became available 1974, when two units of approximately squadron strength based in East Germany; reconfiguration of front fuselage changed primary role to gunship; new version first observed 1977; used operationally in Chad, Nicaragua, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Angola, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Iran/Iraq war, when at least one Iranian F-4 Phantom II destroyed by 9M114 (AT-6 `Spiral') anti-tank missile from Mi-24; low-rate production continues.
Mi-24A (`Hind-A, B and C'): Early versions with pilot and co-pilot/gunner in tandem under large-area continuous glazing; large flight deck; about 250 built, including Mi-24U unarmed dual-control trainers (first flight 1972); last described in 1989-90 Jane's.
Mi-24D (Type 24-6; `Hind-D'): Interim gunship version; design began 1971; entered production at Arsenyev and Rostov plants 1973; about 350 built 1973-77. Basically as late model `Hind-A' with TV3-117 engines and port-side tail rotor, but entire front fuselage redesigned above floor forward of engine air intakes; separate armored cockpits for weapon operator and pilot in tandem; flight mechanic optional, in main cabin; transport capability retained; USUP-24 gun system, with rangefinding; undernose JakB-12.7 four-barrel 12.7 mm machine gun in turret, slaved to adjacent KPS-53A electro-optical sighting pod, for air-to-air and air-to-surface use; Falanga P (Phalanx) anti-tank missile system; nosewheel leg extended to increase ground clearance of sensor pods; nosewheels semi-exposed when retracted. Mi-24DU dual-control training version has no gun turret. (See also Mi-25.) Detailed description applies to Mi-24D, except where indicated.
Mi-24V (Types 20-1and 24-2; `Hind-E'): As Mi-24D, but modified wingtip launchers and four underwing pylons; weapons include up to eight 9M114 (AT-6 `Spiral') radio guided tube-launched anti-tank missiles in pairs in Shturm V (Attack) missile system; ASP-17V enlarged undernose automatic missile guidance pod on port side, with fixed searchlight to rear; R-60 (K-60; AA-8 `Aphid') air-to-air missiles optional on underwing pylons; pilot's HUD replaces former reflector gunsight. Deliveries to Soviet Air Force began 29 March 1976; about 1,000 built at Arsenyev and Rostov 1976-86. (See also Mi-35.)
Mi-24VM: Proposed upgraded Mi-24V first shown in model form at Moscow Air Show '95. Mi-28 main and tail rotors and nose turret for twin 23 mm cannon; large IR suppressors scabbed to fuselage sides.
Mi-24VP: Variant of Mi-24V with twin-barrel 23 mm gun, with 450 rounds, in place of four-barrel 12.7 mm gun in nose; photographed 1992; small production series built at Rostov.
Mi-24P (Type 24-3; `Hind-F'): Development started 1974; about 620 built 1981-90; first shown in service in 1982 photographs; P of designation refers to pushka = cannon; as Mi-24V, but nose gun turret replaced by GSh-30-2 twin-barrel 30 mm gun (with 750 rounds) in semi-cylindrical pack on starboard side of nose; bottom of nose smoothly faired above and forward of sensors.
Mi-24R (Type 46-2; `Hind-G1'): Identified at Chernobyl after April 1986 accident at nuclear power station; no undernose electro-optical and RF missile guidance pods; instead of wingtip weapon mounts, has `clutching hand' mechanisms on lengthened pylons, to obtain six soil samples per sortie, for NBC (nuclear/biological/chemical) warfare analysis; air samples sucked in via pipe on port side, aft of doors; datalink to pass findings to ground; lozenge shape housing with exhaust pipe of air filtering system under port side of cabin; bubble window on starboard side of main cabin; small rearward-firing marker flare pack on tailskid; crew of four wear NBC suits; deployed six per helicopter regiment throughout CIS ground forces. Designation (also appearing as Mi-24RCh) indicates Razvedchik: reconnaissance/chemical. About 150 built 1983-89.
Mi-24K (korrektirovchik: corrector) (`Hind-G2'): As Mi-24R, but with large camera in cabin, f8/1,300 mm lens on starboard side; six per helicopter regiment for reconnaissance and artillery fire correction; gun and B-8V-20 rocket pods retained. No target designator pod under nose; upward hinging cover for IR sensor. About 150 built 1983-1989.
Mi-24BMT: A few modified 1973 for minesweeping.
Mi-24PS: Special version for Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs; prototype displayed at Moscow Air Show '95. Equipment includes undernose FLIR ball; searchlight pod outboard of this on port side, loudspeaker pack on starboard side; hoist; climbdown ropes; stations for radio operators.
Mi-24 Ecological Survey Version: Modification by Polyot industrial research organisation, to assess oil pollution on water and seasonal changes of water level. First seen 1991 with large flat sensor `tongue' projecting from nose in place of gun turret; large rectangular sensor pod on outer starboard underwing pylon; unidentified modification replaces rear cabin window on starboard side.
Mi-25: Export Mi-24D, including those for Afghanistan, Cuba and India.
Mi-35: Export Mi-24V. Unarmed, dual control trainer version also produced for India.
Mi-35P: Export Mi-24P.
Mi-35M: Upgraded night-capable version of Mi-24/35 designed to meet the latest air mobility requirements of the Russian Army. Features include Mi-28 main and tail rotors and transmission; 1,636 kW (2,194 shp) Klimov TV3-117VMA engines; new avionics; a reduced empty weight resulting from new titanium main rotor head, composites rotor blades, shortened stub-wings and non-retractable landing gear; a 23 mm GSh-23-2 twin-barrel gun in nose turret, with 470 rounds; up to 16 radio-guided 9M114 (AT-6 `Spiral'), or laser-guided 9M-120 anti-tank, 9M-120F blast fragmentation or 9A-220 air-to-air versions of Ataka (AT-12) missile; or a range of armament options including GUV gun/grenade pods; UPK-23-250 gun pods; B-8V-20 and B-13L rocket pods; S-24B rockets; and KMGU pods of anti-armor and anti-personnel mines. Night Operation Capable Avionics System (NOCAS) by Sextant Avionique and Thomson-TTD Optronic integrates Chlio FLIR ball with a TMM-1410 display, providing night vision for target acquisition and identification, missile guidance and gun aiming. Other equipment includes a VH-100 HUD, NVGs, liquid-crystal MFD, Nadir 10 mission management and navigation system, laser-gyro INS and GPS. The FLIR ball is mounted outboard of the standard missile guidance pod. Ability to carry Igla V air-to-air missiles is optional. Non-flying demonstrator first displayed at 1995 Paris Air Show.
Typical helicopter gunship configuration, with stepped tandem seating for two crew and heavy weapon load on stub-wings; fuselage unusually wide for role, due to requirement for carrying eight troops; dynamic components and power plant originally as Mi-8, but soon upgraded to Mi-17-type power plant and port-side tail rotor. Main rotor blade section NACA 230, thickness/chord ratio 11 to 12 per cent; tail rotor blade section NACA 230M; stub-wing anhedral 12°, incidence 19°; wings contribute approximately 25 per cent of lift in cruising flight; fin offset 3°.
Five-blade constant-chord main rotor; forged and machined steel head, with conventional flapping, drag and pitch change articulation; each blade has aluminum alloy spar, skin and honeycomb core; spars nitrogen pressurized for crack detection; hydraulic lead/lag dampers; balance tab on each blade; aluminum alloy three-blade tail rotor; main rotor brake; all-metal semi-monocoque fuselage pod and boom; 5 mm hardened steel integral side armor on front fuselage; all-metal shoulder wings with no movable surfaces; swept fin/tail rotor mounting; variable incidence horizontal stabilizer.
Tricycle type; rearward-retracting steerable twin-wheel nose unit; single-wheel main units with oleo-pneumatic shock-absorbers and low-pressure tires, size 720 x 320 mm on mainwheels, 480 x 200 mm on nosewheels. Main units retract rearward and inward into aft end of fuselage pod, turning through 90° to stow almost vertically, discwise to longitudinal axis of fuselage, under prominent blister fairings. Tubular tripod skid assembly, with shock-strut, protects tail rotor in tail-down take-off or landing.
Two Klimov TV3-117MT turboshafts, each with T-O rating of 1,434 kW (1,923 shp), side by side above cabin, with output shafts driving rearward to main rotor shaft through combining gearbox. There is 5 mm hardened steel armor protection for engines. Main fuel tank in fuselage to rear of cabin, with bag tanks behind main gearbox. Internal fuel capacity 1,500 kg (3,307 lb); can be supplemented by 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) auxiliary tank in cabin (Mi-24D); provision for carrying (instead of auxiliary tank) up to four external tanks, each 500 liters (132 US gallons; 110 Imp gallons), on two inner pylons under each wing. Optional deflectors and separators for foreign objects and dust in air intakes; and infra-red suppression exhaust mixer boxes over exhaust ducts.
Pilot (at rear) and weapon operator on armored seats in tandem cockpits under individual canopies; dual flying controls, with retractable pedals in front cockpit; if required, flight mechanic on jump-seat in cabin, with narrow passage between flight deck and cabin. Front canopy hinged to open sideways to starboard; footstep under starboard side of fuselage for access to pilot's rearward-hinged door; rear seat raised to give pilot unobstructed forward view; anti-fragment shield between cockpits. Main cabin can accommodate eight persons on folding seats, or four stretchers; at front of cabin on each side is a door, divided horizontally into two sections hinged to open upward and downward respectively, with integral step on lower portion. Optically flat bulletproof glass windscreen, with wiper, for each crew member.
Cockpits and cabin heated and ventilated. Dual electrical system, with three generators, giving 36, 115 and 208 V AC at 400 Hz, and 27 V DC. Retractable landing/taxiing light under nose; navigation lights; anti-collision light above tailboom. Stability augmentation system. Electrothermal de-icing system for main and tail rotor blades. AI-9 V APU mounted transversely inside fairing aft of rotor head for engine starting and ground services.
Comms: Include VHF and UHF radio.
Flight: Autopilot, ARK-15M radio compass, ARK-U2 radio compass, RV-5 radio altimeter.
Instrumentation: Blind-flying instrumentation, and ADF navigation system with Doppler-fed mechanical map display. Air data sensor boom forward of top starboard corner of bulletproof windscreen at extreme nose.
Mission: Undernose pods for electro-optics (starboard) and Raduga-F semi-automatic missile guidance (port). Many small antennae and blisters, including SRO-2 Khrom (`Odd Rods') IFF transponder.
Self-defence: Sirena-3M radar warning antennae on each side of front fuselage and on trailing-edge of tail rotor pylon. Infra-red jammer (L-166V-11E Jspanka microwave pulse lamp: `Hot Brick') in `flower pot' container above forward end of tailboom. ASO-2V flare dispensers under tailboom forward of tailskid assembly initially; later triple racks (total of 192 flares) on sides of center-fuselage.
Gun camera on port wingtip. Color-coded identification flare system.
One remotely controlled YakB-12.7 four-barrel Gatling type 12.7 mm machine gun, with 1,470 rounds, in VSPU-24 undernose turret with field of fire 60° to each side, 20° up, 60° down; gun slaved to KPS-53AV undernose sighting system with reflector sight in front cockpit; four 9M17P Skorpion (AT-2 `Swatter') anti-tank missiles on 2P32M twin rails under endplate pylons at wingtips; four underwing pylons for UB-32 rocket pods (each 32 S-5 type 57 mm rockets), B-8V-20 pods each containing twenty 80 mm S-8 rockets, B-13L pods each containing five 130 mm S-13 rockets, 240 mm S-24B rockets, UPK-23-250 pods each containing a GSh-23L twin-barrel 23 mm gun, GUV pods each containing either one four-barrel 12.7 mm YakB-12.7 machine gun with 750 rounds and two four-barrel 7.62 mm 9-A-622 machine guns with total 1,100 rds or an AGS-17 Plamia 30 mm grenade launcher with 300 grenades, up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) of conventional bombs, mine dispensers, night flares or other stores. R-60 (AA-8 `Aphid'), R-73 (AA-11 `Archer') and Igla air-to-air missiles fitted experimentally. Helicopter can be landed to install reload weapons carried in cabin. PKV reflector gunsight for pilot. Provisions for firing AKMS guns from cabin windows."
Mi-24P in US.
Russian Army Mi-24s are being 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 has been abandoned. However, two Polish Mi-24s are being upgraded to NATO standard as prototypes. In February 2004, BAE Systems was selected as integrator for the avionics systems, which will include an integrated electronic warfare suite.