Mil Mi-24 Hind

The Mil Mi-24 (Russian: Миль Ми-24; NATO reporting name: Hind) is a large helicopter gunship, attack helicopter and low-capacity troop transport with room for eight passengers.[1] It is produced by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and has been operated since 1972 by the Soviet Air Force and its successors, along with 48 other nations.

In NATO circles, the export versions, Mi-25 and Mi-35, are denoted with a letter suffix as "Hind D" and "Hind E". Soviet pilots called the Mi-24 the "flying tank" (Russian: летающий танк, romanized: letayushchiy tank), a term used historically with the famous World War II Soviet Il-2 Shturmovik armored ground attack aircraft. More common unofficial nicknames were "Galina" (or "Galya"), "Crocodile" (Russian: Крокодил, romanized: Krokodil), due to the helicopter's camouflage scheme, and "Drinking Glass" (Russian: Стакан, romanized: Stakan), because of the flat glass plates that surround earlier Mi-24 variants' cockpits.

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.[1] 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.