TechRussian Mi-24 helicopter chases unidentified drone over densely populated area

Russian Mi‑24 helicopter chases unidentified drone over densely populated area

Mi-24 - illustrative photo
Mi-24 - illustrative photo
Images source: © X | Screenshot

11:33 AM EST, February 13, 2024

This short video, originating from an undetermined location within the Leningrad Oblast - an area east of Moscow that borders Estonia and Finland, depicts an Mi-24 helicopter tracking an unidentified drone. The helicopter, however, refrains from opening fire. Defense Romania suggests that the possible reason is the drone flying over a densely populated area.

Unfortunately, the poor video quality hampers the identification of the unmanned vehicle being pursued. According to the details provided, "the drone has a conventional aerodynamic shape." Therefore, it could be visually similar to the popular Bayraktar drone.

It remains unknown if the Russian pilots succeeded in shooting down the drone. Furthermore, the film doesn't clarify the drone's origin. Despite the lack of this crucial information, it can't be dismissed that it could belong to the Ukrainians who have proven they possess equipment that can reach even as far as St. Petersburg, located in the Leningrad Oblast.

Interestingly, although the sight of a helicopter following a drone is rare, with drones usually shot down by ground systems, Russian aviation has managed to successfully shoot down a drone approaching Crimea in the past.

The Mi-24 helicopter, dubbed 'Hind' by NATO, featured in the video is a heavy attack vehicle designed by the Mil design office. The machine, produced from 1970 to 1989, is unique with no western equivalents. The Mi-24 is noteworthy for its ability to accommodate up to eight soldiers. Several upgrades including the Mi-35M and Mi-24 Super Hind have been based on this model over the years.

The Mi-24's dual TW3-177MT turboshaft engines produce 2200 HP each, enabling the approximately 18,480 lbs helicopter to reach top speeds of 208 mph and a cruising speed of roughly 168 mph. While the static ceiling of the helicopter is about 4265 ft, the dynamic maximum reaches about 16,404 ft. Under normal circumstances, the Mi-24 can cover a distance just under 373 miles, but with additional fuel tanks, its range extends to over 683 miles.

The armament of the Russian Mi-24 includes a machine gun station equipped with a YakB-12.7-caliber 12.7 mm, in addition to 9M17P Scorpion-P guided rockets, unguided rockets housed in UB-32A-24 containers with S-5 57 mm projectiles, or B-8W-20 containers with S-8 rockets. The helicopter can also carry bombs weighing up to 551 lbs each.

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