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    18 January 2006

    Iraqi Insurgents evolving: airborne IED's

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    I just ran across this via Global Guerrillas quoted from DefenseTech via Defense News.

    Anyone who has studied International conflict know how important air travel is in a war zone such as Iraq. To keep our unarmored HMMWV's away from the constant IEDs and RPGs that have highlighted this little disaster know as Operation Iraqi Freedom our military has adapted and flies personnel and supplies whenever possible through the 'trouble spots.' Now it seems the insurgents have adapted as well. As you may know, the soviet occupation of Afghanistan turned when the mujahideen were able to disrupt air traffic. On to Iraq and the present (written by Greg Grant of Defense News who just returned from Iraq)
    Insurgents, who place these aerial IEDs along known flight paths, trigger them when American helicopters come along at the typical altitude of just above the rooftops. The devices shoot 50 feet into the air, and a proximity fuze touches off a warhead that sprays metal fragments, said Brig. Gen. Edward Sinclair, commander of the Army's Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Ala.

    The bomb-builders may be obtaining radio-guided proximity fuzes from old Iraqi anti-aircraft and artillery shells and mortar rounds.

    Sinclair said these aerial IEDs have been used against multiple U.S. helicopters. He declined to say whether such IEDs had damaged any aircraft.

    The new weapon is one way insurgents are taking on Army aircraft, which come under fire between 15 and 20 times a month, Sinclair said. Other methods include small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and advanced shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles.

    "The enemy is adaptive," Sinclair said. "They make changes in the way they fight; they respond to new flying tactics."

    That said, the recent spat of downed helocopters should scare the living hell out of you.

    Posted by Geoff

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