USAF Aggressor Hinds

It’s common knowledge the US Army Operational Threat Support Activity has several Russian helos for near 3 decades from Mi24 (probably acquired from north Africa under Op Mount Hope III with help of 160th SOAR Nightstalkers MH-47D), Mi2 Hoplite, Mi8 Hip, Kamov KA32 based either put of Fort Bliss or Fort Polk.

Now the USAF owns a pair Hinds out of Davis Monthan AFB according to the article below.




Might be ex Bulgarian and supplied by Vertol Systems Inc (they are based in the pacific north west and own um interesting inventory).

I came across ex Bulgarien AF Mi24 Hinds at Heli Expo 2012 and 2017 in Dallas, they were owned by Texas based Cold War Air Museum so here are my photos from 2017 show.

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Then again AFSOC had a Mi8 and Antonov AN32 with the 6th SOS at Hulbert Field more for training Friendly nations.
 
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NSP

LE
Didn't NATO/the West get its greasy mitts on all sorts of Soviet-origin kit, including Hinds, when the Germany's reunified...?

Not to mention when the former-Soviet satellite states joined the EU...?
 
Didn't NATO/the West get its greasy mitts on all sorts of Soviet-origin kit, including Hinds, when the Germany's reunified...?
They did and retired them shortly, one of the post unification Hinds ended up here at Duxford IWM. I saw it back in 99, but since for whatever reason care and perseveration has not been happening and it’s a rust bucket so I am led to believe.

Likewise the Luftwaffe took on the MIG29 but they did not last long maybe a decade and retired.

cheers
 
Didn't NATO/the West get its greasy mitts on all sorts of Soviet-origin kit, including Hinds, when the Germany's reunified...?

Not to mention when the former-Soviet satellite states joined the EU...?

I know that when they were transporting the T80's out of the Berlin area back to Mother Russia one of their Majors was able to take financially stable early retirement after "losing" one. Luckily the Americans found it.

Nothing secret there it was pretty much being waffled about openly and was reported in the press. That was back in the wild west days when they were all grabbing what they could.

@Raven2008 I'm pretty sure they had a Hind away courtesy of a defector back in the early'ish 80's as there was a well publicised $1million bounty. Parts from shot down ones out of Russian occupied Afghanistan were also fetching good money if people were silly enough to risk a hill walking holiday there.
 
I know that when they were transporting the T80's out of the Berlin area back to Mother Russia one of their Majors was able to take financially stable early retirement after "losing" one. Luckily the Americans found it.

Nothing secret there it was pretty much being waffled about openly and was reported in the press. That was back in the wild west days when they were all grabbing what they could.

@Raven2008 I'm pretty sure they had a Hind away courtesy of a defector back in the early'ish 80's as there was a well publicised $1million bounty. Parts from shot down ones out of Russian occupied Afghanistan were also fetching good money if people were silly enough to risk a hill walking holiday there.
Re the T80 and as you said was no sneaky cloak and dagger stuff going on as my PSI who was Dragoon’s cap badge said there used to be visits from our guys across the border to see whatever the Guards Regiment had from the early 80s...

I don’t know how true this is but apparently our minesweepers were maintained by an East German company Back in thr day or supplied! I heard it from a colleague of mine I worked in aviation research.

cheers
 
Re the T80 and as you said was no sneaky cloak and dagger stuff going on as my PSI who was Dragoon’s cap badge said there used to be visits from our guys across the border to see whatever the Guards Regiment had from the early 80s...

I don’t know how true this is but apparently our minesweepers were maintained by an East German company Back in thr day or supplied! I heard it from a colleague of mine I worked in aviation research.

cheers

wiki leads to hansard
 
Re the T80 and as you said was no sneaky cloak and dagger stuff going on as my PSI who was Dragoon’s cap badge said there used to be visits from our guys across the border to see whatever the Guards Regiment had from the early 80s...

I don’t know how true this is but apparently our minesweepers were maintained by an East German company Back in thr day or supplied! I heard it from a colleague of mine I worked in aviation research.

cheers

In a similar vein we used to indirectly buy satellite imagery photos from the Sov's before there were as many satellites up there as nowadays. The images used to come from an agency, requests were made, fee's paid, and images purchased. That way both sides could, presumably, say they had nothing to do with the opposition.

I also once officially acquired a large pile of 7.62mm short for AK's, only the once as the intended recipients would not have been overly pleased at being shortchanged twice. It was Sov case marked ammo so I enquired where it originated. I was told it came from the Sovs, who had given it to Libya, who then sold it to a very large international arms dealer in the UK, who then sold it to the MoD.

Wheels within wheels.
 
...there's been a Hind at the helicopter Museum at Weston Super Mare for quite a few years. Nice museum (obviously temporarily closed now). Very old school, maintained by enthusiastic and knowledgeable amateurs.
They have some very intersting kit.

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NSP

LE
Likewise the Luftwaffe took on the MIG29 but they did not last long maybe a decade and retired.
Was that because it was found to be bested (despite cobra'ing all over airshows around the world in th elate '80s. Saw one being - literally - thrown all over the sky at Farnborough '88) by what the original BDR Luftwaffe had in inventory, perchance? No point keeping inferior kit on strength. I imagine they distributed them around NATO for detailed analysis and examination...?
 
Didn't NATO/the West get its greasy mitts on all sorts of Soviet-origin kit, including Hinds, when the Germany's reunified...?

Not to mention when the former-Soviet satellite states joined the EU...?
They did and retired them shortly, ...
The Poles are still flying Hinds today (or at least they were 3 years ago at TRIDENT JUMP).

E2A: as apparently are other NATO Allies: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and North Macedonia, so hardly a rare airframe in 'Western' inventories.
 
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Was that because it was found to be bested (despite cobra'ing all over airshows around the world in th elate '80s. Saw one being - literally - thrown all over the sky at Farnborough '88) by what the original BDR Luftwaffe had in inventory, perchance? No point keeping inferior kit on strength. I imagine they distributed them around NATO for detailed analysis and examination...?

No, sold them to the Poles for a song in the early '90s. Logistic and training supply chains too difficult for multiple airframe types capable of similar missions when taking the 'peace dividend' and trying to save money.

'MiG-29 jets operated by the Polish Air Force are quite obsolete and their lifecycles have been seriously depleted, despite them being partially modernized. The original timeline of operational use of the Fulcrum has already ended quite some time ago. At the moment Poland is one of the last users of those jets among the NATO member states. Considering the Slovak decision to acquire the F-16 Block 70, as well as the tendering procedure launched in Bulgaria to replace the Fulcrums, Poland remains the only NATO Eastern Flank nation that has not replaced but also that has not even selected the potential replacement. The Harpia programme the goal of which is to select the replacement of the Su-22 and MiG-29 aircraft has been in the analytical-conceptual phase since last year.'


With the Helmet-Mounted Sight, AA-11 Archer and that low-speed manoeuvrability, the FULCRUM was a very capable dogfighter, but that doesn't help when you're getting smacked in the face BVR by an AMRAAM.

'Plenty of the Fulcrum’s smug “show us what you got” adversaries—F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-15 Eagle, and U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet jocks among them—became humbled, and often bloodied, after their first Fulcrum tangle. “With some experience, you could outmaneuver any jet, even Vipers [F-16s]and [high-angle-of-attack] Hornets,” says Steiniger. “The nice airframe in combination with one weapon was the killer: The Archer in [sensor lock] mode.” Introduced in the mid-1980s, the Archer AA-11 is a very capable heat-seeker with a greater range than the U.S. Sidewinder. “A simple monocular lens in front of my right eye enabled me to slew the seeker head of the missile onto my adversary at high angle off [target].” The Fulcrum’s ability to lock a missile even though its nose was pointed far away from its target “watered many eyes,” says Steiniger.'

 
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NSP

LE
I know that when they were transporting the T80's out of the Berlin area back to Mother Russia one of their Majors was able to take financially stable early retirement after "losing" one. Luckily the Americans found it.
I've read anecdotes (so likely to be BS) that if you were stationed in Berlin or at/near anywhere where it was possible to come near any Soviet forces at the time of the collapse and you fancied a souvenir (genuine) enamel red star cap badge or even the ushanka it was pinned to you just handed over a packet of western smokes and took it off the squaddyskis head. If you fancied a souvenir AK then you dug out a few notes and took your chances getting it back home. If you wanted a whole tank, though - well; I didn't realise that that was on the cards, too!

Now I think about it I've heard jokes about it being easy to buy your own armoured brigade and, as with all these things, they're born out of at least a little bit of truth so... Fuggit; I've given up wondering these days. It's a mad, mad, mad world. Some old boy with a big white beard and a suspiciously British-looking greatcoat tried to flog us an RPG tube whilst we were loading up the agent's minibus to go to the airport in Aden back in the early noughties. Fifty US, I think he wanted for it.
 

NSP

LE
@Raven2008 I'm pretty sure they had a Hind away courtesy of a defector back in the early'ish 80's as there was a well publicised $1million bounty. Parts from shot down ones out of Russian occupied Afghanistan were also fetching good money if people were silly enough to risk a hill walking holiday there.
Ah, yes - the premise of Jihad! by "Tom Carew..."
 

NSP

LE
...there's been a Hind at the helicopter Museum at Weston Super Mare for quite a few years. Nice museum (obviously temporarily closed now). Very old school, maintained by enthusiastic and knowledgeable amateurs.
They have some very intersting kit.

View attachment 535881
Been there, seen that...

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Shame they'd festooned it with tat but it was for some sort of themed fund-raiser dinner so I guess we can let them off, if it was to raise funds to help with the preservation of the collection. They've got a couple of classics they've rescued - including a Belvedere - that need some restorative work. They've also got the speed-record Lynx and one of the original Merlin (EH101) prototypes, too.

Oh, and Her Majesty's Whirlwind and Wessex. And an immaculate Dragonfly. And a Super Frelon - with a model of a Super Frelon inside it.
 

NSP

LE
The Poles are still flying Hinds today (or at least they were 3 years ago at TRIDENT JUMP).

E2A: as apparently are other NATO Allies: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and North Macedonia, so hardly a rare airframe in 'Western' inventories.
They're still producing them in an upgraded, updated form, aren't they?

Including the export version, Mi-35 (rebadged, Mi-24V, I think).
 
Ah, yes - the premise of Jihad! by "Tom Carew..."

Back in the day I knew a defence/gun journo who took a fact finding walking holiday in Pakistan and after making a map reading error found himself in Afghanistan. He also spent time in Darra where he was the first westerner (non-Int person) to openly test the Sov belt fed grenade launcher (AGS 17), he had to pay them $50 a round for a belt's worth. He is sadly departed now, interesting man, RIP Peter. He and his team came back with a fair few bits and pieces that kept various agencies happy, even though they had to pay for them - one of those bits was the first AK74 with ammo to make it to the west.

I had first met Peter at Bisley during the annual Pistol event and was introduced by another gun journo, back in '81 I think.

Not the same fictitious calibre as Mr Carew.
 
I've read anecdotes (so likely to be BS) that if you were stationed in Berlin or at/near anywhere where it was possible to come near any Soviet forces at the time of the collapse and you fancied a souvenir (genuine) enamel red star cap badge or even the ushanka it was pinned to you just handed over a packet of western smokes and took it off the squaddyskis head. If you fancied a souvenir AK then you dug out a few notes and took your chances getting it back home. If you wanted a whole tank, though - well; I didn't realise that that was on the cards, too!

Now I think about it I've heard jokes about it being easy to buy your own armoured brigade and, as with all these things, they're born out of at least a little bit of truth so... Fuggit; I've given up wondering these days. It's a mad, mad, mad world. Some old boy with a big white beard and a suspiciously British-looking greatcoat tried to flog us an RPG tube whilst we were loading up the agent's minibus to go to the airport in Aden back in the early noughties. Fifty US, I think he wanted for it.

Bear in mind I am half boxhead with police and military mates over there and my hobby is shooting. It got to the stage in the last days of the DDR when no one was being paid and people could not imagine where their next pay day would come from. Anything that was not bolted down grew legs and walked. It is strongly alleged that duty trucks were simply nicked, backed up to armouries, and QM's and gear was thrown in wholesale - cases of weapons and ammo just vanished, including RPG's, grenades and mines. This perturbed my police mates and much time was spent hunting stuff down.

You could wander the markets in East Germany and other former WP countries and pick up all sorts of stuff. I had an officers Ushanka with the cheap shitty badge on the front, cost about a fiver, I also had a complete set of the various arm patches that they used to wear.

A mate whose parents are from Hungary and left pdq when the Russians rolled in went over to finally visit relatives he had never met before. He showed pics of the sunday market flea market outside the city where you could buy anything from antiques to military equipment. He found one stall selling AK's still in the factory greased up wrappers for around about DM300, which included a tin of ammo. Of course he never bought one to take back to Germany as that would have been illegal.

It was seriously the wild west at the end of 1989, beginning of 1990 - thats when a lot of future oligarchs cut their teeth.

Edit to add: I've still got some old DDR badges somewhere, I'll have a look.
 

NSP

LE
Not the same fictitious calibre as Mr Carew.
Indeed. A charlatan found dead in a lock-up in Belgium, if I recall. That being said, if you can retain the notion that his book is fiction and read it as such it's a really rather good story.

By the by, I was riding in a taxi in Abu Dhabi in the late noughties, going from the city out to the compound in the industrial zone at Musaffah and my driver was a Pakistani with the usual disregard for what we'd call driving standards. It was a journey accompanied mostly by that "ding ding ding" thing they make you have that goes off when you exceed the motorway limit. Anyway, he throws it a bit too enthusiastically into a roundabout and I glibly quip, "Bloody hell, man! Did you learn to drive in warzone?!!"

He only says, "Yeah, man!! I learned to dodge the Russians and their big bad helicopter!!"

A bit of probing and he'd earned a living before emigrating running the Muj' up to the border and sometimes just over it from the refugee camps in Pakistan. I thought he was taking the piss when he said that sometimes he'd take British and American "secret soldiers" up, too. "Yeah, right - you've read that book but not the newspapers, ain'tcha." And then, when I came home, I hit up the internet for a bit of digging and, no, apparently we really were putting people in to train the Muj' up in Pakistan and go over the border with them. Mr. McNab himself claims to have done just that. Seems Mr. Driver's dits about running a speeding Toyota Hi-Lux down a pass being pursued by a Hind might have something to them.

Or he could just have been another shit driver, just with a better excuse than the others.
 
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