US chopper may have been hit by Stinger type missile
The American Chinook helicopter, code-named Flipper, was struck by a surface-to-air missile shortly after taking off from a landing pad close to the Helmand River, according to a report from May 2007.This is one of the few real revelations I have seen so far from the leaks. I suspect that leaders in Iraq did not want to let the enemy know how effective their Stinger type missiles were because they would then try to get more of them. The Wiki folks had no such concerns and as a result we may see more choppers taking fire from these weapons. Most of the old US models we gave them are out of date and of questionable when it comes to basic operations. They have have bought Chinese or Russian missiles on the black market.
It was "engaged and struck," the report said, just after crossing the Helmand River, in Afghanistan. "The missile struck the aircraft in the left engine. The impact of the missile projected the aft end of the aircraft up as it burst into flames followed immediately by a nose dive into the crash site with no survivors."
Corporal Mike Gilyeat, 28, a media operations photographer serving with the Royal Military Police was among those killed.
The documents also detail at least 10 "near-misses" in which missiles were used to attack aircraft. One involved an attack on a plane refuelling at 11,000ft while another involved a Stinger missile similar to the ones used by the Mujahideen during their war to drive out Soviet forces.
At the time of the deaths in 2007, a Nato spokesmen downplayed the suggestion of a heat-seeking missile being used and suggested the helicopter had been downed by a lucky strike from small arms fire. Spokesman Major John Thomas said: "It's not impossible for small-arms fire to bring down a helicopter."