The Devil’s Chariots – Mi-24s in action over Sri Lanka

The Mi-24 attack helicopter was a vital part of the Sri Lanka Air Force’s arsenal in the various Eelam Wars. Air Forces Monthly’s Alan Warne has written another excellent article about the SLAF, this time focusing on the Mi-24’s operational history in Sri Lanka.

Mi-24 in Czech Republic ready to be shipped to Sri Lanka.

Warne says the LTTE cadres called them ‘Devil’s Chariots’. Is this true? Anyway, this sounds reasonable enough if you’re facing the full firepower of an Mi-24 in attack mode, heading towards your bunker line.

The view from the ground – being attacked by a pair of Mi-24s

Some fascinating snippets emerge from this article.

  • The door gunners had a very dangerous job with a reduced life expectancy
  • The biggest hurdle facing the early Sri Lankan pilots (in 1995) was that the manuals and cockpit audio warnings were in Russian!
  • Self-protection systems were only fitted in 2000; there were many (avoidable) losses until these systems could be fitted.

SLAF technicians in 1999 (female techie at right)

Women in the Air Force? Yes. A female Air Force engineer/technician.

‘Devil’s Chariots’ article’s available in the April 2011 issue of AFM. If you can’t get it in the shops, high-res PDFs are available here:

PDF 1: AFM_Apr-11-SLHinds-1

PDF 2: AFM_Apr-11-SLHinds-2

PDF 3: AFM_Apr-11-SLHinds-3-single

Combat video:

Straight from the SLAF – N0. 9 Attack Sqn, loading up and ready to go.

If you can, buy the April edition of AFM and support Warne’s mag.


2 Responses to The Devil’s Chariots – Mi-24s in action over Sri Lanka

  1. Rune says:

    They were called the Devil’s Chariot by the Afghan Mujahadeen fighters during the Russian / Afghan war

  2. Pingback: Taming The Tigers – Sri Lanka Airforce’s finest hour « The Carthaginian Solution

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