In any war, it’s important to always be at least two steps ahead of the enemy. This can be in the form of tactics, number of soldiers or nowadays, in the level of technology being employed. The Syrian crisis has proven to be an example of how much the world is advancing in terms of weaponry: Russia has deployed advanced attack helicopters capable of low altitude attacks to help the Syrian Army in the ongoing battle against the Islamic State insurgents.
Russia’s Mil Mi-24 helicopters were produced by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and have been used by the country’s armed forces since 1972. These large helicopters are essentially gunships that have been nicknamed “flying tanks” by Soviet pilots. Designed to increase mobility in the battlefield and deliver air strike attacks with more accuracy, the Mi-24 is heavily armored and can resist impacts from 12.7mm shells from all angles. Made to fly fast while carrying heavy ammunition, these attack helicopters can carry up to eight passengers and deliver missiles extremely close to the ground.
The helicopters being employed in the Syrian War are mostly the Mi-24P Hinds models. Videos have shown these attacks are being carried out in broad daylight over Syrian cities and towns considered to be strongholds of ISIS terrorists, firing unguided rockets then hovering over and around the city to shoot decoy flares.
In addition, new reports show that more advanced helicopter models such as the Mi-28 Havoc and Ka-52 Alligator have been brought over by the Russian government into Syria. Initially used only inside Russia, these newer models are said to be stronger, faster and fiercer than the Mi-24Ps. While the move of allowing Syria to use these helicopters is controversial among international leaders, they ideally give the Syrian Army even more of an edge towards winning the war.