Mil Mi-24 (Hind) Armed Assault Gunship / Attack Helicopter
The Soviet-era Mil Mi-24 Hind series of helicopters can be called on to accomplish a variety of roles in war or peacetime - as proven by many conflicts.
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The famous Mil Mi-24 "Hind" helicopter stemmed from a Soviet Cold-War requirement for a heavily armed and armored transport helicopter following in the mold of the equally famous American Bell UH-1 "Huey" model. American activity in the Vietnam War considering their helicopter usage directly influenced the form and function of the Soviet design, developing one of the most iconic aircraft of its time. The type went on to see combat operations throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and continues on in a more assault-oriented role even today - despite its Cold War upbringing. The Hind remains a feared, flexible and proven battlefield implement. Its strengths have been formulated into the more potent Mil Mi-28 "Havoc" which is currently seeing deliveries to the Russian Army. While the Mi-28 is a more dedicated anti-tank platform developed specifically to combat enemy armor with crew and systems survivability as a priority, the Mi-24 - its days appearing numbered - still finds a use on the battlefields of today.
Origins and Development
Following the end of hostilities that was the Korean War, attention turned to the evolving nature of the battlefield as it related to the helicopter. The Korean War saw the first large-scale use of the helicopter in a variety of roles and the Soviet Army lacked any viable use of the vehicle type. War across Europe - should the Cold War ever go hot - would involve the coordination of thousands of troops coupled with air support and ground support to wage an effective war along multiple fronts. While armored vehicle carriers certainly had their place in Soviet doctrine, thought was given to move mechanized warfare into a new category by delivering a heavily armed assault helicopter capable of transporting combat-ready personnel into critical situations.