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The Mi-24 HIND is the first helicopter to enter service with the Russian Air Force as an assault transport and gunship, and was developed using the Mi-8's propulsion system. Additional missions include direct air support, antitank, armed escort, and air to air combat. The helicopter was used extensively in the Afghanistan War, becoming the “signature” weapon of the conflict. The Mi-24 is a close counterpart to the American AH-64 Apache, but unlike this and other Western assault helicopters it is also capable of transporting up to eight troops. The Russians deployed significant numbers of HINDs in Europe and have exported the HIND to many third world countries.