Dimesions (mm): 17,3props/21,5 x ?
Maximum speed (km/h): 315
Weight (tons): 8.5- 11.5
Engine: 2 TVD, TV3-117B, 2 x 1'619 kwt
Range (km): 450
Armament: AS Sturm
Flying Infantry Combat Vehicle
Development of aviation technology closely mirrors the military and political situation worldwide. For example, cost curve to picture aircraft and helicopters production in the USA features clear-cut peaks: 1954-1957, 1966-1968 and 1985-1986. These refer to wars in Korea, Vietnam and the so-called Reagonomics era (Afghanistan). At every such peak unique specimens of air technology emerged.
The helicopters included the Sikorsky S-55 in Korea, Bell UH-1 Irokez and Bell AH-1 Cobra in Vietnam; AH-64 Apache - Reagonomics. Our helicopter-building industry reacted adequately and produced Mi-4, Mi-8, Mi-24 and Mi-28 helicopters respectively. Today we will tell our readers about Mi-24 gunship helicopter with transport capability.
Such a unique helicopter 'flying infantry combat vehicle' was the brainchild of M.L.Mil, helicopters general designer.
His idea implied the development of a helicopter similar to an American Cobra helicopter, capable of carrying a powerful armament systems and boasting at the same time high flying performance, combat survivability and a capacity to accommodate eight troops (full strength squad) with personal weapons and extra ammunition owing to a decrease in its combat load.
As the gestation period for the new types of armament and observation-sighting devices took longer than the helicopter's development, M.L.Mil decided to fit the first version of the Mi-24 with armaments and sights currently used at that time. Such a new armament system was first tried on the Mi-4 (K-4V) helicopter. The rapid tempo of the Mi-24 development can be attributed to partial or complete unification of the most complicated and vital units, which were previously intended for Mi-8 and Mi-14 helicopters. These units comprised a hub and blades of the main rotor, swash plate, tail rotor, main gear box, rotor drive system and finally the TV3-117 engine. It took one year only to pass from the drawing board (August 1968) to the maiden flight of this helicopter.
The development of new armament systems and devices was carried out simultaneously with the flying trials of the first helicopter prototype. This led to the development of a more roomy cockpit for the crew. This updated cockpit accommodated armament systems and sighting systems similar to those mounted on the first prototype. The first production version of the Mi-24 helicopter, the Mi-24A, became operational that way. This helicopter differed from the first prototype by a stub-wing anhedral of -12 deg. with pylons at wingtips for the Phalanga (Phalanx) antitank missiles. This was done to compensate for the lateral instability which appeared during flying trials of the prototype.
Basic Flying Performances of Mi-24 (Mi-24V, P, VP main versions)
Crew, men 2 (pilot and weapon operator)
Engine maximum take-off power, hp 2x2,20
- main rotor diameter
- tail rotor diamtere
- length: overall rotors turning
- height: overall, rotor turning
Take-off weight kg,:
Weight empty, kg: 8,620
- max. speed
- cruising speed
Hovering ceiling in ground effect, m:
- at international standard atmosphere (ISA)
- at international standard atmosphere (ISA) +10o
Zoom altitude, m 4,500
Range with max. internal fuel, 5% reserve, km 450
Transit range, km 1000
- troops with individual weapons, men
- load inside compartment (cabin), kg
- load on pylons ,kg
At least 200 Mi-24A helicopters were manufactured during the five years of their production. The operation of these helicopters, including combat missions, contributed greatly to their further development, updating and improved reliability. This also allowed training pilots and maintenance personnel both in our country and abroad.
The operational experience of the Mi-24A revealed in particular the poor external view from the pilot's cockpit. This drawback forced a radical change in the helicopter nose to accommodate the new weapon systems and sights. In the final version, the pilot and weapon operator were seated in tandem, stepped cockpits under individual canopies. The unfixed mount with the YaKB-12.7 (Yakushev-Borzov) machine gun, boasted a high rate of fire (4,000-4,500 r.p.m) and was remotely controlled via the KPS-53AV sighting station and housed in the exterior front part of the weapon operator's cockpit. The cartridge box previously housed in the pilot's cockpit was installed under the cockpit floor and handled from the outside. There was another problem to solve: it involved the provision of a broad view (±60 deg. in azimuth) for the Raduga observation device used by the weapon operator, which would not impair visibility by structural members and similar view for the command radio link antenna. They were installed on both sides of the fuselage, below the outline of the machine-gun mount. This marked the final general appearance of the crew cockpit and of Mi-24D and Mi-24V as a whole. These helicopters jointly underwent state trials and were launched into series production.
As mentioned earlier, the D version differed from the A version owing to the Phalanga-P antitank missile system incorporating Raduga-F semiautomatic guiding system, which increased the accuracy of antitank missiles two times. In addition, the gyrostabilizing guidance device provided for helicopter's maneuverability within ±60 degrees in yaw during missile guidance, thereby increasing its effectiveness. The provision of a remotely controlled machine gun USPU-24 for the equipment of the Mi-24D ensured automatic introduction of the corrections into firing. The system also comprised an analogue computer compatible with the airborne system of modulating transducers. The unguided armament of the Mi-24D helicopter was not changed, as was the case with the Mi-24A helicopter.
Adoption of the final version of the helicopter Mi-24V was delayed by the development of a new generation Shturm-V antitank missile system. It should be noted here that the Shturm-V system was reviewed as a helicopter version of the ground system Shturm-S. However, the helicopter version was the first to become operational. In addition to the Shturm-V system, the ASP-17V, an automatic pilot's sight was mounted on the Mi-24V. This sight was a modification of the sight developed for the Su-17 aircraft.
Consequently, the main work on the army transport-combat helicopter came to an end and the Mi-24D and Mi-24V became operational in conformity with Government Decree dated March 1976.
The Mi-24 helicopter remained for a long time the powerful and effective combat vehicle. As a reward of their efforts, the main developers, including Designer General M.N.Tischenko, were awarded Lenin prizes. Meanwhile a large group of designers, workers and customer's representatives were given government awards. However, work on the Mi-24 was still not over. A roomy compartment to accommodate troops predetermined further development of utility versions, including: ? Mi-24P helicopter intended for chemical and radiation reconnaissance. This helicopter underwent a baptism of fire when determining the scope of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power station; ? Mi-24K reconnaissance artillery spotting helicopter intended for ground forces.
However, most development work on the Mi-24 was geared to increase its combat and fire power.
As mentioned earlier, small arms mounted on the Mi-24D and Mi-24V comprised the unfixed mount with the YaKB-12.7 machine gun boasting high rate of fire.
To increase fire power, two versions of versatile helicopter pods were developed: each one contained either one YaKB-12.7 machine gun and two 7.62mm TKB-621 high rate fire machine guns or a 30mm rocket launcher nicknamed Plamya.
Subsequently the Mi-24 carried UPK-23-250 universal gun pods fitted with a 23mm GSh-23 gun, developed by the A.S.Yakovlev Design Bureau and intended for aircraft.
However, the military insisted on fitting the helicopter with a built-in 30mm gun armament. As the final layout at that time didn't provide for mounting on the Mi-24 a 30mm unfixed gun mount, it was decided to fit the vehicle with a GSh-30 (Gryazev-Shipunov) fixed gun mount.
The Mi-24P, fitted with GSh-30K gun mounts with longer barrels, was tested in Afghanistan and was highly praised by flying crews. This fact was notable.
It's worth telling more about it. Whatever one's personal opinion on this war, it's safe to say that our military contingent suffered militarily and climatically. In these circumstances the Mi-24 put up a good show as a reliable and formidable combat vehicle.
The Mi-24VP was the last production version of the Mi-24 to differ from the Mi-24V by swapping the USPU-24 unfixed machine gun mount for the 23 mm GSh-23 unfixed gun mount.
As well as updating the small arms, rocket armament fire power was also increased. The helicopter was fitted to fire a new generation of rockets S-8, S-13 and S-24, instead of 57mm unguided rockets (S-5).
TYPE OF ARMAMENT
Version Mi-24V Mi-24P Mi-24VP
Built-in gun armament:
- type of mount
- laying angles, deg.:
- type of weapon
- caliber, mm
- rate of fire, rds/min
- ammunition, pcs
YaKB-12.7 machine gun
Guided missile armament:
- guided missile
- guidance system
- caliber, mm
- range of fire, m
- armor-piercing capacity, mm
- allowance, pcs Shturm-V antitank missile system
Unguided rocket armament:
- unguided rocket
- caliber, mm
up to 80
Other type of armament
- bombs, pcs
- (KMGU-2) pod
- helicopter universal pods with
machine gun or grenade launcher
- universal UPK-23-250 pod
with GSh-23 cannon
At present, the Mi-28 is also being unified. For example, the Mi-24V, P and VP helicopters underwent trials to use the new generation of guided missiles nicknamed Ataka, which represent a further development of the Shturm antitank missile system. The guided missiles intended for the Mi-28 boast more armor-piercing capability, compared to the Shturm antitank missile system, including firing against targets with explosive-reactive armor. They have longer range of fire and various warheads to engage air targets.
The performance of the Mi-24 can be radically improved by using main and tail rotors of the Mi-28.
Day/night observation-sight systems intended for the Mi-28 can be also used by the Mi-24.
In short, the Mi-24 lives on. Far from all opportunities to improve its combat and flying performances have been exhausted.
One of the most promising variants involves the modernization to be performed during the helicopter major repair. This variant covers the following four modernization packages:
1. Modernization of the airframe, including:
- installation of nonretractable landing gear that ensures saving in weight and increases the low-altitude flight safety and a crew protection degree in emergency landing;
- retrofitting of the wing to decrease its weight, installation of launching frames with an increased ammunition load, and an increase in technological effectiveness of loading the helicopter with ammunition.
2. Modernization of the armament system:
- provision for employment of S-13 rockets in the 130mm rocket pod (B-13L1);
- equipping the helicopter with the Shturm-VM (9K113M) guided missile system.
3. Modernization of the helicopter rotor system and dismantling of the secondary hydraulic system that leads to savings in weight, enhancement of airfield performance, and an increase in invulnerability of the helicopter to combat damage.
4. Equipping the helicopter with night vision systems:
- NVIS-compatible illumination of instrument equipment in the crew cabins and adaptation of lighting equipment for night vision goggles to ensure safe takeoff/landing at night and under limited-visibility conditions and flying of the helicopter at extremely low altitudes near the ground surface at night and under limited-visibility conditions at low flight speeds;
- installation of the surveillance and fire-control station furnished with infrared, TV and laser channels to ensure target detection and identification at long ranges at night; leading out of the helicopter onto a target and a combat run at night and under limited-visibility conditions; employment of unguided rockets at night and under limited-visibility conditions; performing search operations and ground surveillance at night and under limited-visibility conditions, as well as in the daytime under conditions of artificial or natural shadowing of objects.
All the aforementioned advantages and the best efficiency-to-cost ratio make us believe that modernized Mi-35 helicopters are sure to score a success on the international aircraft market. Rostvertol products are to be demonstrated at the IDET '99 International Fair in Brno (Czech Republic), Hall Z, Stand #70; and at the 43rd Paris Air Show (Le Bourget, France), Hall 5, Stand #d-1, Chalet 237, Row D.
V-24 (Hind) - Protype
Mi-24 (Hind-A) - First production model
Mi-24A (Hind-B) - Based on Hind-A sans nose armament
Mi-24U (Hind-C) - Training variant sans armament
Mi-24D (Hind-D) - Definitive variant; Features specialized electronics for anti-tank guided missiles; 'Stepped' armored tandem-seating cockpit; Single 12.7mm four-barrel machine gun system in under-nose turret.
Mi-24DU - Training variant with dual-controls for instructor / student.
Mi-24V (Hind-E) - Updated anti-tank missiles and firing/acquisition system.
Mi-24P (Hind-F) - Undernose-mounted 12.7mm machine gun replaced with fixed 30mm cannon.
Mi-24RKR (Hind-G1) - NBC reconnaissance varient (model covers Mi-24R, Mi-24RR and Mi-24RKh as well).
Mi-24K (Hind-G2) : Artillery spotter model
Mi-24VM - Uupdated avionics; Improve night-flight systems, updated communications, modernized througout.
Mi-24PM - Upgraded Mi-24P model with Mi-24VM systems.
Mi-24PN - Attack helicopter standard and modernization standard.
Mi-24W - Polish-built Mi-24V variant
Mi-24PS - Police variant
Mi-24E - Environmental Research craft
Mi-24 SuperHind Mk II - South African-produced model featuring updated avionics.
Mi-24 SuperHind Mk III/IV - Modernization of Mi-24 base model.
Mi-25 - Export version of Mi-24D
Mi-35 - Export version of Mi-24V
Mi-35P - Export version of Mi-24P
Mi-35U - Unarmed training version of Mi-35