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U.S. confirms insurgents have SA-16 anti-aircraft missile

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Thursday, April 29, 2004

BAGHDAD U.S. military commanders said Sunni insurgents in Iraq have obtained the SA-16 surface-to-air missile. The SA-16 is a modified version of the older SA-7 and represents a greater threat to U.S. and coalition aircraft.

The SA-16 anti-aircraft missile.
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy director of military operation, said a U.S. military raid netted a range of Soviet-origin anti-aircraft missiles. He said they included the SA-16 and SA-14 missiles.

"The operation resulted in the capture of one enemy personnel, and also confiscated were an SA-16 missile, an SA-14 missile, two 82-millimeter systems, 31 rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, and a large quantity of small arms and ammunition," Kimmitt said.



The SA-16 has a range of five kilometers and is guided by a infrared and optical seekers, Middle East Newsline reported.

The SA-16 is a man-portable air defense system and was believed to have been fired against U.S. aircraft in Iraq. About 16 U.S. helicopters have been downed in Iraq since May 2003 by such weapons as surface-to-air missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

The Iraqi version has a red front end missile seeker, the first such a coalition was seen on an infrared missile, the London-based Jane's Defence Weekly said. The modification was believed to have been conducted by Russia or another republic of the former Soviet Union.


Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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