Mi-24d Combat Helicopter Technical Specifications
- Crew – 2 people
- Engine – 2 x TV2-117AT
- Power – 2200 hp
- Main rotor diameter-17.3 m
- Empty helicopter weight-8500 kg
- Maximum take-off weight-11,500 kg
- Full load weight-2500 kg
- Number of paratroopers-up to 8 people
- Maximum speed at altitude/near the ground-320/270 km / h
- Practical ceiling – 4950 m
- Maximum range-450 km
- Armament-built-in small-gun (depending on the modification): 1×12. 7-mm machine gun A-12.7 or 1×12. 7-mm machine gun YakB-12.7 or 23-mm gun GSH-23L or 30-mm gun GSH-30
- Combat load-up to 2400 kg on 6 suspension units: 4 UB-32-57 NAR S-5 units or 2 units
- UB-20-8 NAR S-8 and 4 ATGM “Phalanx-M” or 12 ATGM “Shturm-V” or SD “air-to-air” R-60 or 240-mm NAR S-24B, or containers UPK-23-250 with 23-mm gun GSH-23L; containers GUV with machine guns or 30-mm grenade launchers, or 1500 kg of bombs of caliber from 50 to 500 kg.
Mi-24d Combat Helicopter Details
The high mobility of helicopters, the ability to be based on the ground and the unique ability to take off and land on limited unprepared sites attracted the attention of the military in the early 1950s. But only after a decade and a half, the accumulated experience of using them, and first of all, the successful use of specialized combat helicopters by the US armed forces during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and early 1970s, led the Soviet military command to the conclusion that similar helicopters would be created for the Armed Forces of the USSR. Back in 1967, under the leadership of General designer M. L. Mil, the Moscow Machine-Building Plant initiated the development of a new transport and combat helicopter based on the Mi-8 helicopter. By this time, we had not yet developed a unified approach to the rotorcraft – some experts believed that the helicopter should have the features of an attack aircraft, while others were in favor of a universal vehicle with weapons and having the ability to transport a squad of paratroopers. This view was shared by the Minister of Defense of the USSR, Marshal of the Soviet Union A. A. Grechko.
In 1968, the commanders-in-Chief of the Ground Forces and the Air Force approved the tactical and technical requirements for the new B-24 combat helicopter. It was created on a competitive basis by M. L. Mil (Moscow Helicopter Plant) and N. I. Kamov (helicopter plant in Ulan-Ude). The B-24 was supposed to use the TV3-117 engines developed for the Mi-14, the Mi-8 transmission and carrier system (main rotor blades, swashplane, main gearbox and tail rotor). Variants of single-engine and twin-engine helicopters were considered. The Kamov Design Bureau submitted the Ka-25SH helicopter, which was a modification of the ship’s Ka-25, to the competition, but the winner was the more promising B-24 – Mil design.
On May 6, 1968, the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR issued a resolution on the development of the B-24 helicopter with the Mi-14 powerplant. Its development was led by Deputy Chief Designer V. A. Kuznetsov, and the leading designer of the machine was V. M. Olshanets. General management of all work on the creation of a new combat helicopter was carried out by M. L. Mil himself (and after his death in 1970, the general designer of the OKB M. N. Tishchenko).
The new Soviet transport and combat helicopter B-24 (unlike the American Bell AH-1G “Hugh Cobra” combat helicopters, which were intended for direct support of ground troops and fighting enemy tanks), was going to be used not only for these purposes, but also for: landing tactical paratroopers in the breakthrough zone and during the capture of bridgeheads; escorting amphibious transport helicopters and covering them during amphibious landings; for fighting enemy helicopters; for cargo transportation and for evacuating the wounded. Therefore, the crew of this helicopter was to consist of a pilot and a gunner – operator of weapons systems (supplemented, if necessary, by a flight mechanic), located in the cockpit in the bow, and the helicopter itself was to take on board a squad of paratroopers with personal weapons and ammunition. It was assumed that the helicopter would have high flight characteristics and have powerful rocket and cannon weapons and advanced sighting and navigation equipment; it would be able to perform tasks day and night, in difficult weather conditions, including at extremely low altitudes.
Much attention was paid to the high combat survivability of the helicopter and the safety of the crew, which was to be ensured by booking the cabins and the most important units and duplicating the main systems, as well as using tools that reduce the likelihood of explosion and fire in case of damage in combat conditions. When one engine failed, the second one was automatically switched to take-off mode. The composition of weapons was initially similar to the Mi-4AV helicopter (K-4A complex), but later it included new types of weapons.
The first prototype helicopter B-24 (soon designated “Mi-24”) first took off on September 15, 1969. During the tests, Mi-24 helicopters with a normal take-off weight of 11 tons reached a maximum speed of 320 km / h in the combat version and 340 km/h in the transport version and had a cruising speed of 270 and 280 km/h, respectively, while the dynamic ceiling was 4950 m. In the event of a single engine failure, the helicopter could continue flying with one engine running for another hour.
During the tests of the prototype helicopter at the Air Force Research Institute, a number of shortcomings were identified. Since some of them could not be eliminated, and the Arsenyev Machine-building plant “Progress” has already begun production of the first batch of serial helicopters, and the Air Force command made a compromise: the elimination of shortcomings was transferred to subsequent modifications.
In 1970 – 1972, the Mi-24A was produced, which, unlike the first version of the B-24, had high-positioned wings of a larger span with a negative transverse angle, at the ends of which pylons were mounted for ATGM launchers “Phalanx M” with semi-automatic control. In 1974, the Air Force Research Institute passed state tests of an improved model of the Mi-24D helicopter, which received a new nose section with tandem placement of the pilot and gunner-operator in separate cabins and an upgraded weapons system. In this model of helicopter, the tail rotor was placed on the left side, which later became mandatory for all helicopters (instead of the previous right placement). During the tests of the Mi-24D, a wide range of shapes and elements of combat maneuvering of this helicopter were worked out: turn; U-turn; forced U-turn; hill; combat U-turn; turn and U-turn on a hill; dive, etc. In parallel, work was carried out on the creation of another modification of the helicopter-the Mi-24V, which received a new generation of Shturm-V supersonic ATGM system and the automatic sight of the ASP-176 pilot (a modification of the sight for the Su-17 fighter-bomber).
On March 29, 1976, the Mi-24B and Mi-24D were adopted by the Soviet Army. In 1981, a new version of the Mi-24P helicopter went into mass production-with a fixed 30-mm GSH-30 double-barreled gun installed in the fairing on the side of the fuselage, and since 1989, the production of Mi-24VP helicopters – a modification of the Mi-24P with a 23-mm GSH-23 double-barreled gun mounted in the mobile nose mount of the NPPU-23 was established. Along with them, in the 1980s, the Mi-24R chemical and radiation situation reconnaissance helicopter (created on the basis of the Mi-24D) with an increased life support system was also produced. Mi-24R helicopters were widely used to determine the scale of the disaster after the Chernobyl accident. In total, more than 5,200 helicopters in various modifications were built until 1992, when serial production of Mi-24 helicopters was discontinued.
The Mi-24 helicopter was designed according to a single-rotor design with a five-bladed main rotor and a three-bladed tail rotor, as well as with a three-legged landing gear that completely retracts into the fuselage in flight. The Mi-24 carrier system, based on the Mi-8 helicopter, had many design features, including: the main rotor is smaller in diameter, but with a higher specific load; its blades received a fiberglass skin; and many elements were made of aluminum alloy. The power plant consisted of two TVZ-117 gas turbine engines installed side by side in a common fairing on top of the fuselage. There was also an auxiliary power plant – an AI-9V gas turbine engine. Starting with the Mi-24D helicopters, dust protection devices were installed on the air intakes of the engines, and shielding exhaust devices were installed on the nozzles. The main gearbox and engines were protected by steel 8-mm armor plates. The fuselage and tail boom are of semi-monocoque construction. To create additional lift in flight and partially unload the main rotor, the helicopter received a small wing with a negative transverse angle (-12°). In the forward part of the fuselage, a two-seat crew cabin was located: the shooter-operator sat in a separate front cabin, followed by the pilot, whose cabin was raised 0.3 m above the shooter’s cabin for easy viewing. The pilot had an armored seat with a folding armor plate and an armored headrest; the shooter’s seat was not armored; an armored guard was located between the cabins; the windshields were armored, in addition, the crew’s equipment also included specialized flight armor helmets and bulletproof vests. In the event of a pilot’s failure, a second set of controls was mounted in the cockpit of the gunner-operator. Access to the gunner’s cabin was provided from the port side through a sliding glass panel, and to the pilot’s cabin – through an armored door from the port side. The flight mechanic was located on a folding seat in the cargo bay. In the cabin for paratroopers, there were double-leaf doors on each side; 8 folding seats and 8 windows, 4 of which were in the upper door leaves, could be folded inside, for paratroopers to fire small arms. 4 stretchers with the wounded could also be installed in the cabin.
The flight and navigation equipment provided helicopter piloting day and night and in difficult weather conditions. The communication equipment included command VHF radio stations R-860, R-863 and R-828, a connected HF radio station “Karat M-24” and an aircraft intercom SPU-8. Armament control equipment included an optoelectronic survey and sighting system and a radio command missile guidance system; a PKV or Mi-24V – IPS gun sight; a radar warning receiver; and a SOEP-V1A Lipa active jamming station; photokinopulemet, as well as ASO-2 containers with 132 false targets. Armament consisted of – built-in and suspended, and its composition changed depending on the modification. As a built-in weapon, the Mi-24A helicopters were equipped with a NUV-1 nose mobile machine gun with a single-barreled 12.7-mm A-12.7 machine gun; the Mi-24D helicopter was equipped with an USPU-24 installation with electric remote control with a 12.7-mm YakB-12.7 four-barreled machine gun.
Mi-24 helicopters of early modifications used as suspended weapons four (two each on rail guides on the sides of the fuselage, and then on the wing end pylons) ATGM “Phalanx-M” with manual radio command control (later with a semi-automatic control system). Starting with the Mi-24V helicopter, they were replaced with new 9K113 / 9M114 Shturm-V ATGMs, the number of which on the end and underwing pylons could reach 12. Instead of ATGMs, the four underwing pylons could also be equipped with: guided missiles of close air combat R-60; blocks of unguided aircraft missiles UB-32-57; UB-20-57; B8V20-A with S-8 missiles; B13L1 with S-13 missiles; APU-68UM3 launchers for S-24B heavy missiles; universal gun containers UPK-23-250 with GSH-23L cannon; GUV-8700 containers with two four-barrelled 7.62 mm machine guns GSHG-7.62 and one four-barrelled 12.7 mm YakB-12.7; GUV-1 containers with one 30 mm automatic grenade launcher AGS-17 “Flame”; up to 1500 kg of conventional or chemical bombs; universal containers for spreading mines; containers of small cargo of KSMU-2; discharge tanks; blocks of lighting rockets and other aviation weapons.
The MI-24 combat fire support helicopter became the main strike unit of the army aviation of the USSR Air Force. The helicopter was mainly intended for air and fire support of Ground forces both directly on the battlefield and in tactical depth, by hitting ground, small-sized, armored mobile objects and enemy targets. In addition, the helicopter could perform amphibious transport, reconnaissance and other special combat missions. Mi-24 helicopters surpassed all mass-produced foreign combat helicopters in terms of their weapons composition and combat load, and also, having a combined carrier system (main rotor – wing), were distinguished by high maneuverability, which made it possible to perform complex aerobatics on them.
The Mi-24s were successfully used in military operations in Afghanistan and were widely used in many other military conflicts to directly support ground troops, suppress firing points and fight tanks. The Mi-24 helicopters, which have powerful weapons and a cargo cabin, were particularly effective in rescuing the crews of downed planes and helicopters and evacuating the wounded in combat conditions.
Serial production of Mi-24 helicopters lasted from 1970 to 1991. A total of 2,570 Mi-24s of all modifications were manufactured at the Progress Machine-Building Plant (Arsenyev) and the Helicopter Plant (Rostov-on-Don).