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A pair of Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopters built in Russia (photo pictured) spent nearly two decades from 1997 to 2016 on the Royal Australian Air Force Tindal Base near Katherine

Remarkable discovery while Russian attack helicopters are buried under a dump for hazardous waste in Darwin

  • Two military helicopters built in Russia are buried in a dump in Darwin
  • Mil Mi-24 Hind aircraft previously stored on a RAAF basis for almost two decades
  • Originally intended for PNG but became part of the international diplomatic scandal
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The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of two attack aircraft built in Russia in the midst of an international diplomatic scandal two decades ago has been solved.

Two Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopters have been excavated at a dump in Darwin, more than 330 km from their former home on the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Tindal Base near Katherine in the Northern Territory.

The military aircraft were relocated in 2016 to Darwin's Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility, where they are now buried under hazardous waste.

A pair of Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopters built in Russia (photo pictured) spent nearly two decades from 1997 to 2016 on the Royal Australian Air Force Tindal Base near Katherine

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A pair of Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopters built in Russia (photo pictured) spent nearly two decades from 1997 to 2016 on the Royal Australian Air Force Tindal Base near Katherine

& # 39; A few years ago we had a number of shipping containers here that needed to be buried & # 39 ;, Darwin, waste manager and city capital, told the ABC.

The Mil Mi-24 Hind aircraft were among four Russian military helicopters destined for Papua New Guinea before the mid-1990s as part of a $ 49.89 million deal between the PNG government and the British military company Sandline International.

But the plane did not make it to Bougainville because of an international diplomatic scandal known as the Sandline Affair and Australia ended up as owners of the two Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopters.

High expectations for publicly showing the helicopters were never realized as a result of asbestos

High expectations for publicly showing the helicopters were never realized as a result of asbestos

High expectations for publicly showing the helicopters were never realized as a result of asbestos

Details of the newly acquired cargo were initially kept secret from the public.

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& # 39; Because ownership of the cargo is still being determined, I am currently not free to provide inventory details & # 39 ;, Federal Defense Minister Ian McLachlan told parliament in 1997.

The aircraft landed on RAAF Tindal Base for almost two decades from 1997 to 2016.

& # 39; Attempts to sell or dispose of them are frustrated by various legal restrictions & # 39 ;, says a comment on an Australian Defense Force online message board.

& # 39; They were delivered in an An-124 that was diverted and escorted to Australia at the request of the interim PNG government to land and unload the helicopters and an associated weapon cache at RAAF Tindal. It's a whole story! & # 39;

The aircraft was one of the four helicopters in the middle of an international diplomatic scandal involving Papua New Guinea, known as the Sandline Affair

The aircraft was one of the four helicopters in the middle of an international diplomatic scandal involving Papua New Guinea, known as the Sandline Affair

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The aircraft was one of the four helicopters in the middle of an international diplomatic scandal involving Papua New Guinea, known as the Sandline Affair

At a certain point, the Mil Mi-24 Hind helicopters were destined for a new home in the Darwin Aviation Museum to be exhibited in public.

& # 39; Where else in Australia, at that time, can you see two infamous Russian attack helicopters up close? & # 39; Tony Simons, president of NT Aviation Historical Society, told the ABC.

But the plans never came true after asbestos was found on both planes, which deteriorated over time.

Daily Mail Australia contacted the Ministry of Defense and the municipality of Darwin for further comments.

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The Russians helicopters have been around since 1972 and reach a top speed of 335 km / h.

The planes are buried under garbage in Darwin's Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility

The planes are buried under garbage in Darwin's Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility

The planes are buried under garbage in Darwin's Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility

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