Air Defense: Effectiveness of Ground Fire in Iraq

Archives

April 5, 2006: During 2005, Coalition forces in Iraq lost a total of 13 aircraft to hostile action, with 11 personnel killed. All but one of the aircraft were helicopters. MANPADs (man-portable anti-aircraft missiles) downed four of the helicopters and the one fixed wing aircraft, with ground fire - primarily small arms - responsible for the other eight helicopter losses. During the year there were reportedly some 1,500 instances of Coalition aircraft being fired upon. That's 3-4 times a day, on average. In over 80-percent of the cases, the fire was from small arms. Much of the ground fire was poorly aimed, or out of range, or struck non-vital parts of the aircraft. MANPADs are thus the more serious threat, but a number of factors reduce their effectiveness, including poor aim, excessive range, and particularly poor maintenance. The bottom line is that less than one percent of the time (once in 115 incidents) that a Coalition aircraft or helicopter is fired on, it will be brought down. There are several hundred Coalition helicopter and aircraft flights a day in Iraq, with less than one percent of them being fired on.

 


Article Archive

Air Defense: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close