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Afghanistan

Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:40
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Afghanistan

Iraq:

A British Army helicopter was close to capturing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, one of Al-Qaeda’s top military men in Iraq, but had to turn back as it ran low on fuel, documents leaked over the weekend show.

The Lynx aircraft was following a car carrying Abu Musab al-Zarqawi for 15 minutes and was about 60miles from the British base in Basra when it had to turn round. Troops later began a foot race to track him down but he had disappeared and the search was abandoned.


- - -

New Lynx's for Afghanistan.




Last edited by Earl of Rochester; 25th Oct 2010 at 10:04. Reason: typos
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:49
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do people actually still believe this stuff ?
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 09:57
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Some, yes. Others, no. The media .. emphatically.
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 11:02
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Swedish Blackhawks For Afghanistan

Swedish Blackhawks Head For Afghanistan

October 25, 2010:

Sweden is buying 15 American UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters, four spare engines, defense electronic equipment and support equipment and services. This will cost about $37 million per aircraft. The helicopters will be used for medical evacuation and other support tasks for Swedish troops in Afghanistan. The Swedish force of about 400 is mainly engaged in reconstruction efforts.

Currently, the U.S. Army is introducing the M model of the Blackhawk. The last major upgrade of the Blackhawk before that was in the late 1980s, when the UH-60L was introduced. The M version will make the 11 ton UH-60 viable into the 2020s.

The UH-60M features several improvements, including new rotor blades (more reliable, and provide 227 kg/500 pounds of additional lift), an all electronic cockpit (putting all needed information on four full-color displays), an improved autopilot (which will fly the chopper if the pilot is injured and unable to), improved flight controls (making flying easier, especially in stressful situations), a stronger fuselage, more efficient navigation system, better infrared suppression (making it harder for heat seeking missiles to hit), and more powerful engines. It was only three years ago that the army finished testing the new M version of the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, and began mass production. Over 900 will be produced and the army has already received over a hundred.



UH60M for Sweden going to Afghanistan



UH60M Flight Deck
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 12:34
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"helo runs low on fuel. has to re-fuel". Hardly front-page stuff, is it?
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Old 25th Oct 2010, 12:44
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Coalition aircraft losses in Afghanistan

2010

September 21: A US Army UH-60 Blackhawk crashed in Zabul province, killing 9 soldiers on board.
August 19: Eight service members belonging to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were injured on Thursday when their helicopter made a hard landing in southern Afghanistan, officials said.
August 10: A British RAF CH-47D Chinook crashed in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan . "The helicopter due to technical problems crashed in Gereshk district at 04:00 a.m. local time, as a result one soldier sustained injury," spokesman for provincial administration Daud Ahmadi told Xinhua. Meanwhile, a NATO source with press department in southern region confirmed the incident, saying it was a hard landing and all four aboard were rescued safe and sound.
August 5: A Canadian CH-47D Chinook was shot down in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It made a hard landing and burned out on the ground, wounding eight soldiers.
July 31: A US helicopter crashed in province of Kunar.
July 26: A US CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in Pul-e-Charkhi area east of capital city Kabul.Two NATO troops were killed.
July 22: A US AH-1W SuperCobra was shotdown in Helmand province, killing two US servicemen.
June 25: An ISAF helicopter was involved in a hard landing in Kunar province, with no fatalities in the incident. Reports indicated the helicopter developed mechanical problems and the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing. The cause of the incident is under investigation.
June 23: A British RAF Mk3 Merlin made a heavy landing at an forward operating base in the Lashkar Gar area of Helmand province. No-one was seriously injured and the incident was determend to be a non-hostile event.A U.S. marine CH-53E was used to recover the aircraft and transport it to Camp Bastion.
June 21: A US Army UH-60 Blackhawk crashed in northern Kandahar Province, killing three Australian Commandos and the US crew chief, and injuring another seven Australians and a US crewman.
June 9: A Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk CSAR helicopter was shot down in Helmand province, killing 5 American airmen.
May 21: A Westland Sea King carrying five troops was hit by an RPG and crash-landed in Nad-e Ali, Helmand Province. The five were injured but not seriously.
May 14 An UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter made a hard landing in Kandahar Province causing injuries to several coalition and Afghan military personnel. It was destroyed on the site by ISAF members, apparently to prevent it from falling into insurgents’ hands.
May 10 An MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter made a controlled landing after being hit by enemy fire in Helmand Province . All crewmembers have been safely returned to base. Helicopter was destroyed by international forces .
April 9 A US Air Force CV-22 Osprey crashed near Qalat, Zabul Province, killing three US service members and one government contractor. This is the first combat loss of an Osprey.
March 31: US Navy E-2 Hawkeye surveillance plane stationed with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower crashed in the Arabian sea at approximately 2 p.m. local time. It was returning to its ship after conducting operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when it experienced mechanical malfunctions and the crew performed a controlled bailout. The one U.S. crew member presumed missing was declared dead and three were rescued.
March 28: A US Army UH-60 Black Hawk crashed in Zabul province in southern Afghanistan. 14 ISAF and Afghan service members was injured.
March 23: A Turkish Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter experienced technical problems as it tried to land at a base in Midan Shar, the capital of Wardak province. It hit a hill as it was coming down and rolled over.

2009

December 3: A Polish Land Forces Mi-24V Hind attack helicopter was damaged after making an emergency autorotation landing immediately after taking off from Ghazni airfield in Afghanistan . The crew and passengers were not seriously injured.
October 26: A US MH-47G Chinook crashed in Badghis province, in western Afghanistan reportedly due to low visibility caused by "thick dust stirred up" during takeoff at night, killing seven US servicemen and three US Drug Enforcement Administration agents. 14 Afghan and 11 American servicemen and one US DEA agent were injured in the crash.
October 26: Two US helicopters collided in midair in southern Afghanistan, killing four US Marines and injuring two ISAF servicemen. The helicopters were a UH-1N Twin Huey and a AH-1W SuperCobra from the USMC.
October 17: A US UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter had crashed in search of the missing C-12 Huron.
October 13: A US Army C-12 Huron twin-engine turboprop had crashed in Nuristan province. Its remnants were discovered on October 25, with three bodies of American civilian personnel.
October 8: An Afghan National Army Air Corps Antonov An-32 S/N 354 crashed on landing in Southwestern Afghanistan.
August 30: CH-47 Chinook (S/N ZA673) suffered a hard landing and was badly damaged in the Sangin area of Helmand province. The four crew and 15 soldiers from the 2 Rifles battlegroup were unharmed.
August 25: A US Navy F/A-18C Hornet aircraft caught fire during maintenance at Kandahar airbase and was burnt out.
August 20: A British CH-47 Chinook (S/N ZA709) was shot down in the Sangin area of Helmand province. The crew survived.
August 6: A Polish Land Forces Mi-24V Hind attack helicopter en route to Ghazni from Kabul was reported hit by heavy machine gun fire and forced to make a hard landing. Nobody aboard was injured.
July 20: A British Royal Air Force GR4 Tornado fighter jet crashed at Kandahar air base during takeoff at 7:20 a.m., the two pilots were injured after ejecting from the aircraft.
July 18: A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet crashed in central Afghanistan, killing the two crew members.
July 7: A Canadian CH-146 Griffon crashed in Zabul, Afghanistan, killing 3 coalition soldiers.
May 22: A US AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed near Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan Province. One crew member killed in the incident.
May 14: A British Harrier GR9 jet crashed in Afghanistan the Ministry of Defence said. The pilot is believed to have suffered only minor injuries when he ejected from the aircraft after it crash landed at Kandahar airfield at about 10:30am local time. It is believed there were no other casualties.
January 17: A US CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan. Small arms fire was involved. One US soldier was killed in the incident.
January 16: A US UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on the outskirts of Kabul. No deaths were reported.
January 15: An Afghan army Mi-17 crashed in the Adraskan District of Herat province, killing all 13 on board, including General Fazaludin Sayar, the regional commander in charge of the western part of Afghanistan. The government declared the crash was due to bad weather, while the Taliban claimed to have shot the helicopter down.

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Old 25th Oct 2010, 13:11
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ISAF Helicopter Down in Taliban Country

Kabul, Oct 24 2010:

Taliban militants say they have shot down a helicopter operated by the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in eastern Afghanistan.

The Taliban claimed that they successfully targeted the aircraft on Saturday in remote Paktika province near the border with Pakistan's South Waziristan, the Afghan Islamic Press reported.

However, ISAF dismissed the Taliban's claim, saying the helicopter crashed due to a mechanical failure, but did not announce the exact location of the incident.

A recovery force was immediately sent to the site of the crash and swiftly retrieved the wreckage of the helicopter.

Taliban militants claim to have shot down several NATO helicopters and drone aircraft in different parts of Afghanistan this year.

Paktika has seen a considerable uptick in militant attacks on Afghan and foreign forces over the past few months.

Meanwhile, the rise in civilian casualties in NATO attacks has strained relations between President Hamid Karzai and his Western allies, who are under increasing pressure at home over the unpopular war.

The number of civilians killed in clashes between Taliban militants and Afghan and US-led foreign troops during the first half of 2010 saw an "unprecedented" increase of 31 percent compared with a year ago, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

Civilian fatalities in the first six months of the year stood at 3,268, while 1,997 people were wounded.



Taliban militants carry rocket launchers like this to shoot down NATO and ISAF aircraft

IMAGES FROM AFGHANISTAN:






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Old 25th Oct 2010, 21:07
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Earl, if "the Taliban" says so, do you believe it?

Also, are you familiar with the shelf life of a Stinger?
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 04:32
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~ Lonewolf ~

I think I would be about as inclined to believe a claim from the Taliban involving triumphs over their enemy as I might a seasoned poker player boasting his hand but, this is what is being reported.

Stinger shelf life? I haven't a clue; slightly longer than cheese I would have thought - please educate me!

Earl


South Asian News Agency:
Delhi, 25 Oct 2010

Afghanistan: The threat from SAMs
Abhijit Bhattacharyya

The death of nine US/NATO soldiers in a helicopter crash in Daychopan district of Zabul province, Afghanistan, last month once again raised the plight of Western troops facing the lurking danger from the man-portable surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).

The recently leaked WikiLeaks documents had it that on May 30, 2007, Afghan insurgents shot down a twin rotor Chinook helicopter over Helmand with a portable SAM. The documents also maintain that the “most insurgent usages of portable SAM/anti-aircraft operations were unsuccessful”. The use of the word “most”, however, implies a confession of success of the insurgents. But the Americans need not be surprised that Afghans use those missiles. After all, the earlier generation of Afghans too got a huge quantity of US-made Stinger missiles to hit the Soviet choppers in the 1980s through the Pakistani, Saudi and US intelligence services. Reportedly, lots of those weapons are still available.

A lot more can be had in future also owing to the fact that at least half a million portable SAMs have already been produced worldwide and will continue to be produced in the future. And at least two dozen non-state actor organisations (including Al-Qaida) are believed to be in possession of various types of weapons. Thus, from the Soviet SA-7 missiles to American Stingers, different kinds of such weapons are available in the black market, and it seems that militants are still using their fathers’ and uncles’ missile technology.

It is, however, common knowledge that insurgents so far have fired only early versions of MANPADS against the US in Afghanistan. Although their exact number is not known, it is believed that that most of these were Redeyes of the General Dynamics origin of the 1960s. Understandably, therefore, all these MANPADS have become obsolete and do not necessarily have the modern-day tracking technology. Still, it is quite scary that so many of these obsolete MANPADS are still working.

Full article here: Afghanistan: Threats from SAMs
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 14:12
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Is the shelf life actually relevant?

I know very little of stingers, but would guess that the battery life does not extend to twenty five years (but could be replaced, so negating shelf life?).

I also have no idea if an unmodified stinger would fire at a U.S. aircraft, in a similar way that the ex soviet AAA guns would not track soviet aircraft, due to their IFF system saying they were friends.

I could be wrong on all this, but do find a shelf life of twenty five years a bit excessive.
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 17:07
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I also have no idea if an unmodified stinger would fire at a U.S. aircraft, in a similar way that the ex soviet AAA guns would not track soviet aircraft, due to their IFF system saying they were friends.
Yes mate, definitely.
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 19:23
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There's also shelf life according to the HSE and shelf life if you just need it to go woosh bang in the general direction with an occasional damp squib.
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 20:35
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~ LateArmLive

"Definately" as in it would or wouldn't track US aircraft?

Earl
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 20:45
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"Definitely" as in "I definitely will not be talking about MANPADS capabilities on PPRuNe." Soz. Stick to Google.............
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 08:58
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~ LateArmLive

"Definately" as in it would or wouldn't track US aircraft?

Earl


I took it as simply 'definitely'

After all, any baddie who has one in his hands this very second, and has tried to track a U.S. aircraft will already know the answer with 100% certainty, so probably would not be bothered about opinions on PPRuNe. After all, they have had rather a long time to correctly figure out the answers for themselves.......It's just that I was asking for myself, that's all
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 10:00
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There is a very good article in the current Air Forces Monthly regarding SAMs in Afghanistan. One of the reasons why there have been so few of them, compared to the Soviet days, is because the US have been buying up as many of them as possible that appear on the black market. Apparently 30,000 missiles have been destroyed since 2003.

Very interesting article, and recommended.
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Old 27th Oct 2010, 13:09
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Regarding articles, this isn't about aviation in Afg, but makes for interesting reading.

MR PINK, MR WHITE AND BOTTOM
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Old 28th Oct 2010, 12:32
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Earl: First off, thanks so much for the lovely picture!

Second: the number of Stingers left over from the Muj versus Russians days is a number one can sort out via web search and guesswork, perhaps. It is greater than zero. When I was involved in that theater, we worried as much about old stingers, and who might have one, as we did about a variety of Eastern Bloc MANPADS. While the more common threat to helicopters was small arms fire (AAA below 37mm I think is the criterion, it may be AAA below 25mm, memory foggy) the possibility of a MANPAD being still in working condition is again, greater than zero. That realization informs a lot of air operational method.

As to the shelf life answer of a "long time" I'll let that go with "for selected definitions of "long," maybe so. Included in risk assessments regarding Stinger is that they don't just sit on a shelf.

I was amused by the assertion that Stingers of the 80's generation (a heat seeking missile) are somehow able to identify American exhaust, or heat signature from various quarters of American aircraft, and thus not attack. That's a neat rumor to keep alive.

Earl: What is claimed by Talib and various other folk for consumption by the international media is just that, claim, which is often either hard to confirm, can't be confirmed, and even just plain false.

It is also sometimes true ... quite a lottery, which makes your poker player allusion very fitting.

If, since 2001, one helicopter has been brought down by a MANPAD, given the number of helicopter sorties that have been flown in Afghanistan, that puts MANPAD well below the usual threats of crew error, FOD, maintenance trouble, small arms fire, and RPGs.

FWIW.
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Old 30th Oct 2010, 09:32
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Yah, well, when it all doesn't make sense I find that watching something like this for a few minutes helps:



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Old 31st Oct 2010, 10:34
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LW

I think you may have just referred to a previous post of mine.
Can I just say that I did not assert that stingers could differentiate bewtween any aircraft exhaust, but simply asked if they had an interrogation system, such as those used by other 1980's equipment.
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