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John of Phoenix
02-05-2007, 05:12 PM
"The air-defense brigade of the Islamic State of Iraq successfully shot down an Apache helicopter and burnt it completely near the oil reservoirs in Taji, Albu Assaf area," the statement said, promising to post pictures of the attack.

"Allah has helped its soldiers and showed them new methods for confronting your air force."

The Apache is one tough bird but if there are SAMs in play it's going to be whole new game. Four helicopters in two weeks - two Apaches, a Blackhawk, and a Kiowa. Doesn't look good.

paladin
02-05-2007, 05:15 PM
new toys from Iran?

John of Phoenix
02-05-2007, 05:20 PM
Don't know Chuck. Maybe Soviet SA7s that have been bought and sold a few times. Possibly Chinese.
I doubt if Iran has their own though anything's possible. If it's Sunni's or al Qaeda doing the shooting, you can bet they didn't get them from Iran.

brad9798
02-05-2007, 06:00 PM
Yeas ... that is becoming rather disturbing ...

JimD
02-05-2007, 06:32 PM
I do not know much about weapons but it strikes me that helicopers are very vulnerable, yes? Slow moving, hovering in the air - how sophisticated does a missile have to be to bring one down?

Oyvind Snibsoer
02-05-2007, 07:03 PM
The RPG-7, in the hands of a skilled marksman, has proven itself quite capable of shooting down a helicopter, as the Russians have reportedly experienced numerous times in Chechnya. The RPG-7 is cheap, efficient and was manufactured in large quantities in Iraq, very few of which have been found after the US invasion.

Nicholas Carey
02-05-2007, 07:11 PM
Don't know Chuck. Maybe Soviet SA7s that have been bought and sold a few times. Possibly Chinese.
I doubt if Iran has their own though anything's possible. If it's Sunni's or al Qaeda doing the shooting, you can bet they didn't get them from Iran.Could be leftover Iraqi inventory, too. Following "mission accomplished", we didn't exactly do a good job of guarding/disposing of Iraqi munitions stockpiles. Well...we did do a pretty good job of approaching the problem from a free-marketeers point of view: we just left the stuff unguarded until it disappeared :eek:

Could be some of our own stuff, too. The CIA delivered thousands of FIM-43 (Redeye) and FIM-92 (Stinger) MANPADs to the mujihadeen in Afghanistan during our little proxy war there with the Soviets in the 80s. I believe many (thousands?) remain unnaccounted for.

According to wikipedia, following the Soviet collapse in Afghanistan, 16 Stingers wound up in Iran: Iran now rolls their own Stinger variant.

This page (http://home.nycap.rr.com/mismedia/SAM/SAM%20Use%20in%20Current%20Terrorist%20Operations. htm) from 2003 notes:
In other attempts to reduce the number of SAMs "on the street" in Iraq, the US government has offered Iraqi civilians a $500 bounty for each shoulder-fired SAM system turned in. This has resulted in over 300 missiles being handed in since May 1, 2003. Despite large caches of weapons being discovered by US forces, there may be 5,000 to 7,000 unaccounted SAMs in Iraq, mostly SA-7s, according to military officials.
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It is speculated that SA-7s may have reached Al Qaida forces in Afghanistan via Pakistan when the latter was providing support to the Italian regime. When Al Qaida forces fled following the US air and land campaign they also took many weapons with them, including, it is thought, the easily portable, shoulder-fired SA-7. According to a Pentagon spokesman in August 2002, US forces in Afghanistan captured 5,592 MANPADS.And if that's what we captured...how many are left?

paladin
02-05-2007, 07:34 PM
all ya need is a piece of steel pipe, some asphalt and potassium chlorate a couple of unfired .45 rounds...or 9mm....and a golf ball size wad of C4 or equal....ignited by a flashlight battery and piece of steel hair wire...

The Bigfella
02-05-2007, 10:01 PM
Sounds like a recipe to fry a few too.

When I was in New Guinea a few of the locals said they could get lots of gold if I could get ..... No thanks. And these were the "good" guys. They were still using a lot of home made shotguns in those days. They had equal propensity to fire out either end.

It was the machetes that I didn't like - and you were constantly walking past guys carrying them up in the highlands

Ed Harrow
02-05-2007, 10:27 PM
Last four helos all reportedly downed by hostile fire (AP).

Mrleft8
02-05-2007, 10:41 PM
"Apache down! "
One has to wonder whether it would make for a warm blanket or coat.... Eider down is considered to be the warmest, but I prefer goose down.
(just a little irreverent comment to break the tension)

TimH
02-07-2007, 11:25 AM
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A Sea Knight helicopter crashed Wednesday northwest of Baghdad, sending flames and black smoke into the sky, the fifth chopper lost in Iraq in just over two weeks. An Iraqi air force officer said it was downed by an anti-aircraft missile

LeeG
02-07-2007, 01:48 PM
have the missles become available recently or has helicoptor use increased? My general reading is that this is more likely missles than guns bringing them down. I wonder how this will affect deployment of the Osprey v22

Ethan
02-07-2007, 01:54 PM
Have you guys not been paying attention? Open source info has established that MANPADS and larger SAM systems have been present and being used since before the major insurgency started (late-2003, early 2004). While the number of a/c hit the last few weeks indicates some change in the equation, your contention that such weapons haven't been in theater until now isn't it.

Ethan
02-07-2007, 01:55 PM
have the missles become available recently or has helicoptor use increased? My general reading is that this is more likely missles than guns bringing them down. I wonder how this will affect deployment of the Osprey v22

How it will affect "deployment" or "use"? Two different animals there - just trying to help you get the answer you're after.

LeeG
02-07-2007, 02:03 PM
use, will it be any different as a target for a shoulder fired missile?

TimH
02-07-2007, 02:19 PM
Seems like helocopters are all sitting ducks. Slow moving, low flying, noisy...
I would rather be in an F22 Raptor

Ethan
02-07-2007, 02:39 PM
use, will it be any different as a target for a shoulder fired missile?

Lee, your question is a good one. Let me answer it as best I can. I'm sure others will help out also.

First, the mission of the V-22, as currently envisioned, differs in some important ways from the missions of the aircraft shot down over the last few weeks. But, there are commonalities too, so I'm sure any lessons learned will be incorporated into the V-22 community's body of knowledge. Also keep in mind that the V-22 spends a minority of its time in "helicopter mode". It's just not an efficient vehicle when configured for vertical flight.

There's a popular axiom in aviation - "risk isn't chance". The meaning being that risk is identified, mitigated as best as possible, and then either knowingly accepted or used as a basis to justify a different approach. Chance is random, unpredictable, bad juju. Every combat sortie has an element of both. The V-22 has a lot of risk reduction features in a "people shooting at you" kind of way. I believe that those features combined with the differences in primary mission, will result in only minor chages in it's usage based on recent events.

LeeG
02-07-2007, 02:53 PM
Ethan, thank you for your response. I wonder what the time to landing is for an Apache or C53 compared to the v22 and whether that has bearing for a shoulder fired missles range . I would think the bigger engines on the v22 would provide a large heat signature.