Recent social media posts have unveiled the presence of Polish Mi-24 attack helicopters en route to Ukraine. Various images and videos depict the helicopters being transported on tractor-trailers along Poland’s highways. While the precise quantity of Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters dispatched to Ukraine remains undisclosed, initial estimates suggest it is fewer than twelve units. Currently, the Polish Armed Forces possess approximately 28 Mi-24 attack helicopters, operating in both D and B configurations. However, plans are underway to replace these aircraft with Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.
A few years back acquisition of the Kruk attack helicopters has been defined as one of the modernization priorities. The Mi-24 helicopters currently operated by the Polish military have no missiles at their disposal. They only utilize post-Soviet unguided missiles and gun pods, as well as .50-cal. machine gun mounted in the nose turret. This renders the platform in question incapable of fighting main battle tanks effectively. Poland changed its Kruk attack helicopter programme, with a handful of key decisions still to be made before a manufacturer can be selected to produce new aircraft.
The Mil Mi-24 (NATO reporting name: Hind) is a large helicopter gunship, attack helicopter and low-capacity troop transport with room for eight passengers. It is produced by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and was introduced by the Soviet Air Force in 1972. The helicopter is currently in use by 58 countries. During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, both Ukraine and Russia have used Mi-24 helicopters. On 1 April 2022, two Ukrainian Mi-24s reportedly entered Russia and attacked an oil storage facility in Belgorod. In May 2022, the Czech Republic donated Mi-24 helicopters to Ukraine.
The Government of Poland announced that Boeing’s AH-64 Apache has been selected for its KRUK Attack Helicopter programme. An Apache selection strengthens US-Polish military ties by enhancing interoperability and cooperation between Poland, the US Army and NATO nations. The Polish Ministry of Defence has announced that the country is seeking to procure a total of 96 AH-64E Guardian V6 Apache attack helicopters for the KRUK programme. The Boeing AH-64E V6 Apache (Version 6) is the most modern configuration of the Apache attack helicopter and is ready for the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) battlefield.