Thursday, November 1, 2007
Heard in the Hallways: New U.S. Concerns About Iraqi Ground Fire
You may not have seen much in the news about manpads and Iraq, but U.S. military officials and defense analysts are increasingly concerned about that threat to helicopters operating there.
The concern is that Iraqi insurgents, supported by Iran, are upgrading their arsenal to include more man-portable, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. The U.S. military on Sept. 30 said it had seized Iranian-made Misagh 1 surface-to-air missiles in different locations. "We’ve said that we’ve found these things, we’ve seen them employed," Rear Adm. Mark Fox told reporters in Baghdad. "That’s significant in its own right."
Insurgents previously have used older model, Russian-made SA-7s and SA-14s against U.S. and allied helicopters, as well as rocket-propelled grenades and concentration of small-arms fire.