Tuesday 14 May 2013

Video Shows A Jury-Rigged MANPADS Shooting Down A Helicopter

Yesterday a pair of videos were posted online showing a Mil Mi-8 Hip transport helicopter being shot down by a MANPADS at Abu ad Duhor airbase

The MANPADS used in the second video is a SA-7, pictured below.  Take note of the battery, on the bottom left on the launcher

In the video the battery section has been modified, instead of the battery there's a length of cable

This appears to be an attempt to attach the MANPADS to an external power source.  Batteries for MANPADS are single use, and don't always have a long shelf-life, so this overcomes that issues, and it's actually not the first conflict where this sort of jury-rigging has been used.  This video from Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, shows a SA-7 jury-rigged in the same way targeting Israeli jets

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You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com


  1. In the third video they are using motorcycle batteries

  2. Amazing. I've never seen Jury-rigged spelled correctly before today. I always thought it was jerry-rigged. And the MANPADS are neat too.

  3. The video indeed shows that those rebels managed to fire the missile using that DIY power source, but it doesn't show clearly whether the helicopter was killed by this missile or by some other weapon. In fact, I think this Strela-2 almost certainly missed its target.

    You see, the first 19 or 20 seconds of the video are a single uninterrupted sequence with the missile being launched at 0:04. During those 20 seconds there are no cheers or chanting, so the missile most likely had not yet hit the helicopter at least 15 seconds after launch. We know that in 15 seconds a Strela-2 SAM almost reaches the outer edge of its envelope (in fact, Soviet manuals say that self-destruct time is 11 to 14 seconds for 9M32 and 14 to 17 seconds for 9M32M). But IMO there is no way old seeker heads of those missiles could lock on a helicopter - a target with IR-signature much smaller than that of a fighter jet - at such a distance. I would expect a much shorter time-to-target for a missile really homing on a helicopter.

    Of course, that leaves the question who really shot down that Mi-8. I can only hope they will also make a claim and upload their video :)

    P.S. In case you are interested, manuals on Strela-2 and Strela-2M are free to download: http://dfiles.ru/files/4cram93dr and http://dfiles.ru/files/mcuiu8qna

  4. Could be two different cameramen...maybe the first guy caught a good shot of the launch, while a second guy caught the impact and the two vids were spliced together.

    Alternatively, maybe they had multiple shooters set up in a missile ambush.

    In fact, check the vid again. The shooter at 0:03 is wearing a blue shirt. We don't see him again 'til 2:12, and he's standing completely off the road. At 1:50, we see a truck roll up and one of the rebels in the back is also sporting what appears to be a Strela 2. Perhaps this was the shooter who brought the bird down?