Mil Mi-24 Hind
The Mil Mi-24 (Russian: Миль Ми-24; NATO reporting name: Hind) is a large helicopter gunship, attack helicopter and low-capacity troop transport with room for eight passengers. It is produced by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and has been operated since 1972 by the Soviet Air Force and its successors, along with more than 30 other nations.
In NATO circles, the export versions, Mi-25 and Mi-35, are denoted with a letter suffix as "Hind D" and "Hind E". Soviet pilots called the Mi-24 the "flying tank" (летающий танк; letayushchiy tank), a term used historically with the famous World War II Soviet Il-2 Shturmovik armored ground attack aircraft. More common unofficial nicknames were "Crocodile" (Крокодил; Krokodil), due to the helicopter's camouflage scheme and "Drinking Glass" (Стакан; Stakan), because of the flat glass plates that surround earlier Mi-24 variants' cockpits.
The first combat use of the Mi-24 was with the Ethiopian forces during the Ogaden War against Somalia. The helicopters formed part of a massive airlift of military equipment from the Soviet Union, after the Soviets switched sides towards the end of 1977. The helicopters were instrumental in the combined air and ground assault that allowed the Ethiopians to retake the Ogaden, by the beginning of 1978.