U.S. confirms insurgents have SA-16 anti-aircraft missile
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Thursday, April 29, 2004
BAGHDAD Ñ 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.Copyright © 2004 East West
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 SA-16 anti-aircraft missile.
"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.