The Mi-24 attack helicopter, NATO reporting name “Hind,” is a unique Soviet design concept that does not truly have a Western counterpart. It was an attempt to combine the firepower of a heavily armed and armored helicopter gunship with the troop-carrying capability of a light assault helicopter like the Bell UH-1. While the troop-carrying capability proved to be of little use in combat the Mi-24 has become one of the most successful attack helicopters ever built. Design work on the Mi-24 began in the late 1960s with production and deployment of the helicopter to Soviet forces beginning in 1970. The Mi-24 was widely sold to the Soviet Union’s allies and the first combat use of the Hind was by Ethiopia during its war with Somalia in 1977. The Mi-24 came to the attention of the Western public during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. The Hind proved to be very difficult to shoot down and it was this fact that helped lead the United States into supplying direct military aid to the Afghans in the form of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. The Hind has survived the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact with the Mi-24 remaining in service with the Russian military and with more than 30 other countries.
Built by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and delivered to the East German Air Force around 1977 and designated with number 406.
The East German Air Force had two units flying the Mi-24D. These units used several different designations during the Hind’s service life but their final designations were KHG-3 and KHG-5. Both units were based at Cottbus Air Base at the time of the reunification of Germany in 1990. The helicopter was taken into service with the reunified German Air Force and given the number 96+21. By 1993 Germany was in the process of disposing of most of the Soviet built aircraft in their inventory and the Hinds were retired to museums or sold to other countries. This helicopter was donated to the Imperial War Museum in the United Kingdom and placed on display at their aviation museum at Duxford. In 2012 the aircraft was placed on loan to the Pima Air & Space Museum by the Imperial War Museum.
Main Rotor Diameter
Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
East German Air Force, 1990
Pima Air & Space Museum