Thursday, August 02, 2012

Syria's Mi-24/25 helicopters

There's a great article in today's New York Times about the strain on Syria's modest fleet of Mi-25 helicopters.  Here is a great video clip summarizing the chopper's capabilities and weaknesses.

I did a little snooping on Wikipedia and was shocked at the number of conflicts this helicopter was used in:

  1. Ogaden War (1977-78).  Ethiopia v. Somalia.  Used by Ethiopia to expel Somali forces.
  2. Cambodian-Vietnamese War (1978).  Used by Vietnam against Khmer Rouge.
  3. Chadian-Libyan conflict (1978-87).  Used by Libya.  
  4. Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-89).  Deadly threat until the U.S. gave the mujahideen fighters Stinger missiles.
  5. Iran-Iraq War (1980-88).  Used by Iraq.  Took part in only air-to-air helicopter battles against Iranian SeaCobras.
  6. Nicaraguan Civil War (1980-88).  The Nicaraguan government received them to fight the U.S.-backed Contras.
  7. Sri Lankan Civil War (1987-2009).  Used by the Indian peacekeeping force against the Tamil Tigers.  Used by the Sri Lankan gov't as well.
  8. Persian Gulf War (1991).  Used by Iraq in invading Kuwait.  Also used by Iraq against its own people during post-Desert Storm uprisings. 
  9. Sierra Leone Civil War (1991-2002).  Three choppers owned by Sierra Leone but piloted by South African mercenaries were used against rebels.
  10. Croatian war of independence (1990s).  Used by the Croatian army against militias.
  11. First and second Chechnya wars (1990s-2000s).  Two dozen Russian choppers were shot down or crashed.
  12. Cenepa War (1995).  Used by Peru against Ecuador.
  13. Sudanese civil war (1995-2005).  
  14. First and second Congo wars (1996-2003).  
  15. Kosovo war (1998-99).  Two Yugoslav choppers fought the KLA insurgents.
  16. Conflict in Macedonia (2001).  Used against Albanian insurgents.
  17. Ivorian civil war (2002-04).  All five destroyed by French in retaliation for an attack on a French base.
  18. Afghanistan war (2001-present).  The Czechs donated six to Afghanistan.  The Polish also use them there.
  19. Iraq war (2003-2010).  The Polish use them there.  
  20. War in Somalia (2006-09).  Used by Ethiopia against Somali insurgents.
  21. War in Chad (2008).  
  22. South Ossetia war (2008).  Used by both Russia and Georgia.
  23. Libyan civil war (2011).  Used by both sides.
  24. Ivorian crisis (2010-2011).  Ukrainian choppers used in UN peacekeeping.
  25. Syrian civil war (2011-12).  Pending.

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