Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



US Looks For Pattern In Iraq Helicopter Losses

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Jan 17, 2006
The US military is investigating whether there is a common pattern in the loss of three helicopters over the past 10 days in Iraq that points to a new threat, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.

The head of the army's aviation center has reported separately that insurgents are now using a new "aerial" improvised explosive device (IED) designed to shoot 15 meters (50 feet) into the air and explode under a low-flying helicopter, the weekly Defense News reported.

Lawrence DiRita, a Pentagon spokesman, said there was no reason to believe such a device was used to bring down any of the three helicopters that have crashed since January 8.

But he said investigators are trying to determine "is there a trend, is there a new threat out there that we need to be aware of?"

Witnesses reported that hostile fire brought down the latest helicopter, an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter that crashed Monday near Taji, killing its two pilots.

A journalist for Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television station, speaking from the scene, said the helicopter plunged to earth in a ball of flames after being hit by a rocket.

A little-known Islamist group, Salahu Din al-Ayubi (Saladin) Brigades, claimed in an Internet statement it used rockets to shoot down the Apache.

On Friday, a reconnaissance aircraft was brought down by what military officials said appeared to be hostile fire near Mosul in northern Iraq.

On January 8, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter carrying 12 people crashed in bad weather near the restive northwestern town of Tal Afar, killing all aboard. The dead included four civilians and eight military officials.

"Nothing has been ruled in our out in any of those three cases yet," DiRita said.

He said that despite witness accounts that the latest helicopter was shot down, reports were sketchy and investigators have not yet concluded what brought it down.

Brigadier General Edward Sinclair, the commander of the army's aviation center at Fort Rucker, Albama, disclosed that the latest threat against military helicopters in Iraq are "aerial IEDs."

He told Defense News that insurgents have been placing the improvised explosive devices along known flight paths and then triggering them when American helicopters fly in at rooftop level.

Sinclair said the bomb's builders may be using radio activated proximity fuzes taken from artillery, anti-aircraft and mortar shells to detonate the warhead at altitudes of about 15 meters (50 feet).

Defense News said the devices have been used against helicopters on multiple occasions, but the general would not say if they have caused damage.

Army helicopters come under insurgent fire 15 or 20 times a month, Sinclair said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

Bremer Blames Bush, Rumsfeld

Washington (UPI) Jan 16, 2006
Former Coalition Provisional Authority boss L Paul Bremer is now trashing the Bush administration for its mistakes in Iraq, but even his public statements are inconsistent with what he wrote in his new book of memoirs.







  • China's Africa Expansion
  • US Army Can Surge Troops To Meet Any Crisis
  • China Unveils New 'Win-Win' Partnership With Africa
  • Rise And Fall Of China In 2005

  • Widening US Sanctions On Nkorea May Trigger 'Major Conflict'
  • Israel Will Not Allow Iran To Obtain WMDs
  • EU Calls For IAEA Action Over Iran Nuke Programme
  • World Powers Split Over Iran Nuclear Program

  • Northrop Grumman Wins Contract For Target And Space-Launch Missile Work
  • LockMart/Netfires Tests Loitering Attack Missile Warhead
  • LockMart Conducts Three Tests Of The GMLRS Unitary Rocket
  • Raytheon Team For APKWS II Demonstrates Semi-Active Laser Sensor Dome Survivability

  • Major Milestone Achieved On LockMart Missile Warning System
  • Missile Defense Program Moves Forward
  • ITT To Support DoD Missile Defense Agency
  • Boeing GMD Team Places 10th Interceptor

  • Wedgetail Aircraft Delivered To Boeing Australia
  • US Air Force Rates F-22A Raptor "Mission Capable"
  • Northrop Grumman To Provide New Air Data Inertial Reference Units To Lufthansa
  • Air Force Slates F-117 And B-52 For Cuts F-22 Raptors

  • Geneva Completes First Stage Of US Navy Project
  • NG Takes Delivery Of MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV Airframe
  • USAF UAV Battlelab Sponsors Demo Of Proxy Aviation's SkyForce
  • Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Flies New Electronic Signal Intel Sensor

  • US Looks For Pattern In Iraq Helicopter Losses
  • Bremer Blames Bush, Rumsfeld
  • Deconstructing Iraq
  • Outside View: Challenges Ahead In Iraq

  • Metal Storm Wins US Funding For Munitions Development
  • Evolving Needs Of Warfare Spur Demand
  • Navy Gets Advanced Combat Training System For Fleet Defence
  • Night Vision Capability For OZ Navy Seahawks

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement