BAE Mi-24 Hind-D: Hind goes to Britain

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Introduction: It may come as a surprise that the British got their hands on a Hind, but in the early 2000’s, BAE systems offered a wide-ranging upgrade to the Hind that would have made it even more powerful and fearsome than previously, as well as making it more compatible with the new realities of the day, that being the entry into NATO of various former Warsaw Pact nations, who brought in with them large amounts of Soviet-type equipment.

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Background: When the Soviet Union collapsed, a large number of countries became populated with large amounts of Soviet equipment, most of which needed upgrading. An area which was of particular interest to Western defence companies were the former Warsaw Pact nations in Eastern Europe, which recently decided to join NATO, these being: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. These nations all had large amounts of Soviet-style equipment leftover, a lot of which needed to be integrated into NATO by one means or another, or else face scrapping or replacement. Since the organisation’s founding in 1949, there was always a push for commonality between the countries in order to enhance the effectiveness of the fighting forces by simplifying logistics. The addition of a wide variety of Soviet-designed aircraft, AFVs and ships to the order of battle, many of which went completely against NATO standard design, doctrine and tactics, would only confuse matters. To add to these issues, many of the countries could not afford to replace their old equipment, due to the economic woes of the time. In order to mitigate both problems, Western defence corporations quickly began development of upgrade programs for Soviet-designed equipment. Many upgrades were put forward for a wide variety of tanks, jets and helicopters in order to make them compatible with NATO standards, and/or enhance their fighting capability. This suggestion is focusing on an obscure upgrade to one of history’s most well-known helicopters: a British upgrade package for the Mil Mi-24 Hind.

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Description: It may come as a surprise to think that the British (BAE specifically), would consider upgrading the Hind. However, Western upgrades to the Hind are relatively common, with the French company SAGEM and Israel’s Elbit offering upgrades, and South Africa’s ATE offering the significantly modified Super Hind, but to mention a few. Therefore, it is unsurprising that BAE got involved in a Hind upgrade. The company was expecting a sizable order from the Visegrad group of nations, who formerly formed part of the now-collapsed Warsaw Pact. In addition this, the upgrade program was also tendered to other nations, with Bulgaria and Croatia taking an interest some point. The project seems to have been announced in late 2001, with a mock-up displayed at Helitech that year. Negotiations and developments went on between 2002 and 2003. Despite the prospects, the project seems to have come to an end by 2004. This is due to shifting priorities, delays and reduced orders. For instance, Poland reduced its order, with other countries reducing their order as well, or choosing other development partners instead. Of note is the convoluted nature of this project, with many different articles stating different things about the helicopter. This may be due to a number of reasons. To begin with, the project may have been incomplete, with certain aspects stated by the manufacturer not being added to the prototype, which itself never flew, and acted more of a testbed for possible upgrades. Finally, it is likely that the customisable nature of the helicopter meaning that different countries could order different weapon and electronics upgrades to suite their needs, leading to a rather large variety of possible armaments for this specific helicopter. As much as I would love to rummage around some company archives to find out more information about this upgrade, I am not in the position to do so unfortunately.

Mi-24 mockup upgrade by BAE Systems in Helitech, 2001-

According to Jane’s, the helicopter was a Hind-D purchased in non-flying condition. The company offered a wide-ranging upgrade and life extension program, though countries could “mix and match” what they wanted in regards to electronics and weapons, as mentioned previously. BAE proposed giving the helicopter CDU-900 multifunction control and display units. This was in addition to AN/ARC-220 HF and Talon V/UHF transceivers, as well as the AN/ARN-153 TACAN and AN/ARN-155 multimode receiver as an upgrade to the navigation equipment. In regards to the defensive suite, the helicopter would be fitted with the HIDAS defence suite, as fitted to the Apache AH.1 in British service. The centre of the entire upgrade was the Titan-385 multisensor turret, which included a laser rangefinder, infrared surveillance camera and colour and low-light television cameras. This replaced the Raduga-F/Sh. Finally, the HGU-56/P helmet and AN/AVS-7 heads-up display. Changes to the crew stations allowed the gunner to receive more tactical information, thus allowing to take some workload off of the pilot, reducing stress, making the crew’s job more efficient.

Mi-24 mockup upgrade by BAE Systems in Helitech, 2001--

Weapons: BAE’s upgrade to the Hind would have made it compatible with NATO weapon systems, as well as allowing it to use older Soviet types. The type was able to use the standard armaments for the Hind-D. In addition to this, the type was meant to use new anti-tank missiles, these being the HOT and SPIKE-ER, the former offered by BAE, and the latter being requested by Poland. Slovakia also requested for the integration of the Ataka missile from Russia. The type retained the 12.7mm gun, though the Otobreda M197 three-barrel 20mm cannon was also put forward. The CRV7 rocket also seems to have been put forward. According to Jane’s, the usage of NATO weaponry would have featured weight savings of up to 200kg, though this would be reduced if using Soviet-made weapons.

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Performance:

Spoiler

General

Origin

Soviet Union

Type

Attack helicopter

Crew

2 + 8 (pilot, gunner, 8 troops)

Dimensions

Length

17.5 m fuselage

21.6 m rotors turning

Width

6.5 m wingspan

Height

6.5 m

Empty weight

8.4 t

Gross weight

11.1 t

Max take-off weight

11.5 t

Propulsion

Powerplant

2x Klimov TV3-117 turboshaft

2.200 shp each

Rotor setup

Five blade main rotor

Three blade tail rotor

Diameter

17.3 m main rotor

3.9 m tail rotor

Disc area

235 m² main rotor

12 m² tail rotor

Fuel

1.840 L internal

Optional 500 L drop tank on each hardpoint

Performance

Speed

335 km/h max

295 km/h cruise

Range

450 km

950 km with auxiliary fuel

Ceiling

4.5 km

Climb rate

15 m/s

Armament

Hardpoints

4 hardpoints

2 wingtip launch rails

Missiles:

9M17P Falanga-P

9M17 Fleyta

9M120 Ataka

HOT

SPIKE-ER

Rockets:

S-5

S-24

CRV7

Fixed gun

1x 12.7mm Yak-B Gatling gun

1.470 rounds ready to fire

GUV gun pod

UPK-23 gun pod

OR

1x Otobreda M197 three-barrel Gatling gun

Bomb:

FAB-250

FAB-100

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Conclusion: Considering how weird this vehicle is, as well as a need for some variety at higher tiers in the UK Helicopter TT, I think this will be a great addition to the game.
If you have any more information about this helicopter, or if there is any information that needs to be correct, please tell me below so I can add it to the post.

Sources:

Spoiler

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Mi-24%3A+the+next+big+upgrade+market%3F+In+service+with+more+than+50…-a0107898114#:~:text=Details%20of%20a,Polish%2DSlovakian%20program .

SP's Military Yearbook - Google Books

Jane's Defence Upgrades - Google Books

Popular Mechanics - Google Books

Mil Mi-24D Attack Helicopter :: Rochester Avionic Archives

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Mi-24%3A+the+next+big+upgrade+market%3F+In+service+with+more+than+50…-a0107898114

BAE offers NATO-compliant Mi-24 avionics upgrade package | News | Flight Global

BAE prepares first Mi-24 upgrade | News | Flight Global

https://sites.google.com/site/stingraysheligalleries/other-variants-and-modifications

https://www.aerialvisuals.ca/AirframeDossier.php?Serial=13251

Mil Mi-24D | Weaponsystems.net

Other Variants and Modifications - Stingray's Dedication to the Mi-24 "Hind"

Jane’s IDR October 2003

6 Likes

+1

1 Like

I’d love to have this in the UK tree! +1

3 Likes

Sorry, but the Hind should stay in the Russian and German tech tree only.

2 Likes

This would be a great unique addition to the British heli tree, something that players can actually use.

4 Likes

Look at the US tech tree my guy this would be a hind fitted with western equipment, making it unique and different from the soviet version

3 Likes

Nonetheless, I still don’t like that at all.

no thanks.
i don’t want corporate sponsorship thank you.
(this is solely referring to the paint job)

1 Like

+1 I think it would be great if the UK heli tree branched off after the wasp, with this and the south african superhind

3 Likes

Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.

3 Likes