India has delivered the first pair of Mi-24 attack helicopters to the Afghan Air Force, enabling Afghanistan to boost its capabilities in counter-insurgency operations.
The Mi-24 attack helicopters will also enhance the efficiency of the Afghan National Defence and Security Force in combating terrorism.
These Mi-24 helicopters were delivered as a replacement against four attack helicopters previously gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015. These helicopters were purchased by India from Belarus.
The Mi-24 helicopter is a large gunship that is used for carrying out assault and transport missions. It can ferry up to eight people.
The Mi-24 attack helicopters have been called "assault helicopter" because of its dual capabilities of firepower and troop-transport.
The Mi-24 attack helicopters are produced by the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant, a Russian designer, and producer of helicopters.
The Mi-24 attack helicopters have been in operations since 1972 by the then Soviet Air Force and over 30 other nations.
India has been one of the largest donors to Afghanistan. Since 2001, India has committed USD 3 billion in aid to Afghanistan.
India first handed over the Mi-24 helicopters to Afghanistan in December 2015, drawn from the inventory of the Indian Air Force.
India had also gifted three Cheetal utility helicopters, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), to Afghanistan.