Easy Model EM37035 Russian Mil Mi-24 Hind Attack Helicopter - Joint Air Group, Kalinovskaya Airfield, Chechen Republic, Russia, March 2000 (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The Mil Mi-24 (NATO reporting name: "Hind") is a large helicopter gunship and low-capacity troop transport produced by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and operated from 1976 by the Soviet Air Force, its successors, and over thirty other nations.
In NATO circles the export versions, Mi-25 and Mi-35, are simply denoted with a letter suffix as "Hind D" and "Hind E" respectively. Soviet pilots called the aircraft "letayushiy tank" or "flying tank". Another common nickname is "Krokodil" (Crocodile) - due to the helicopter's camouflage and fuselage shape.
The core of the aircraft was taken from the Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name "Hip"), two top mounted turboshaft engines driving a mid-mounted 17.3 m five-blade main rotor and a three blade tail rotor. The engine positions give the aircraft its distinctive double air intake. The original versions have an angular greenhouse-style cockpit. Versions D and above include a characteristic tandem cockpit with a "double bubble" canopy. Other components of the airframe came from the Mi-14 "Haze". Weapon hardpoints are provided by two short mid-mounted wings (which also provide lift), each offering three stations. The load-out mix is mission dependent; they can be tasked with close air support, anti-tank operations, or aerial combat. The body is heavily armored and the titanium rotor blades can resist impacts from .50 caliber (12.7 mm) rounds. The cockpit is overpressurized to protect the crew in NBC conditions. The craft uses a retractable tricycle undercarriage. As a combination gunship and troop transport, the Mi-24 has no direct NATO counterpart.
While some have compared the UH-1 "Huey" as NATO's direct counterpart to the Mi-24, the helicopter that created the concept of a troop carrying gunship, this is not true. While UH-1 helicopters were used in Vietnam to ferry troops, and were used as gunships, they were not able to do both at the same time. For a UH-1 to be a gunship, the entire passenger area of the helicopter would be stripped to accommodate extra fuel and ammunition, making it useless for troop carrying. The Mi-24 can do both at the same time, and this was greatly exploited by airborne units of the Soviet Army during the 1980-1989 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Russian Mil Mi-24 Hind Attack Helicopter that was operated by the Joint Air Group, which was deployed to Kalinovskaya Airfield, in the Chechen Republic, during March 2000. Sold Out!
Release Date: September 2009
Historical Account: "The Second Chechen War" - The Second Chechen War, in a later phase better known as the Counter-terrorist operation on Chechnya, was launched by the Russian Federation starting August 26th, 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB).
On 1 October Russian troops entered Chechnya. The campaign ended the de facto independence of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and restored Russian federal control over the territory. Although it is regarded by many as an internal conflict within the Russian Federation, the war attracted a large number of foreign fighters.
During the initial campaign, Russian military and pro-Russian Chechen paramilitary forces faced Chechen separatists in open combat, and seized the Chechen capital Grozny after a winter siege that lasted from late 1999 to the following February 2000. Russia established direct rule of Chechnya in May 2000 and after the full-scale offensive, Chechen militant resistance throughout the North Caucasus region continued to inflict heavy Russian casualties and challenge Russian political control over Chechnya for several more years. Some Chechen separatists also carried out attacks against civilians in Russia. These attacks, as well as widespread human rights violations by Russian and separatist forces, drew international condemnation.
As of 2009, Russia has severely disabled the Chechen separatist movement and large-scale fighting has ceased. Russian army and interior ministry troops no longer occupy the streets. The once-leveled city of Grozny has recently undergone massive reconstruction efforts and much of the city and surrounding areas have been rebuilt at a quick pace. However sporadic violence still exists throughout the North Caucasus; occasional bombings and ambushes targeting federal troops and forces of the regional governments in the area still occur.
On April 16th, 2009, the counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya was officially ended. As the main bulk of the army was withdrawn, the burden of dealing with the ongoing low-level insurgency mainly fell on the shoulders of the local police force. Three months later, the exiled leader of the separatist government, Akhmed Zakayev, called for a halt to armed resistance against the Chechen police force starting on 1 August, and said he hoped that "starting with this day Chechens will never shoot at each other."