Air Defense: May 6, 2002


The UK newspaper "Financial Times" reported on 29 April that the British and US governments are funding a covert operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to identify and buy back hundreds of western-made "Stinger" and "Blowpipe" man-portable anti-defense missiles that could be used against coalition forces. This is an over-reaction to the discovery of a Stinger found in Afghanistan last month, since subsequent searches have not turned up any other MANPADs. Experts on the ground believe that the main threat has been from rocket-propelled grenades (the RPG-7 has proven itself to be an effect anti-aircraft weapon in several wars and theaters). The damage inflicted on five AH-64 helicopter gunships during the first days of Operation Anaconda were by RPGs - Adam Geibel


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