Just say NO to Steyr


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Thin Black Line
January 14, 2006, 10:09 AM
It looks like a boycot of their products here in the USA is now in order:


Fury over Austrian 'super' rifles for Iranians

By Thomas Harding Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 14/01/2006)

Britain and America are furious with Austria for exporting to Iran 800 sniper rifles that could be used against their troops in Iraq.

HS50 Steyr-Mannlicher .50 calibre rifles can pierce body armour from up to a mile, shoot down helicopters and penetrate Humvee troop carriers that have not been fully reinforced.

The weapons are highly accurate and fire a round called an armour-piercing incendiary, a bullet that the Iranians manufacture.

There are fears in the Pentagon that some will reach insurgents fighting allied forces in Iraq.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard is suspected of passing on bomb-making technology to Iraqi terrorists responsible for infra-red bombs that have killed 10 British soldiers.

A Foreign Office spokesman said there were "serious concerns" over the rifle sale and London had protested to Vienna.

"Although we did make our worries known, the sale has unfortunately gone ahead and these weapons could now fall into the wrong hands," he said.

Iran allegedly bought the rifles to combat drug smugglers pouring through the borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The order, worth an estimated £8 million, was placed with Steyr last year and the company was given government permission to export the weapons.

A spokesman for Austria's interior ministry said there was no reason to stop the deal.

Iran is said to be re-arming after a £455 million deal with Russia for missiles and radar to ward off any air strikes on its nuclear facilities.

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psyopspec
January 14, 2006, 10:20 AM
Could you please post the source on this?

Edit: Found a thread from freerepublic.com dated Feb 05' and this THR thread (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=124843&highlight=boycott+steyr) from around the same time discussing this very topic. Looks like this one is old news, although the date on your story appears to be todays. Does anyone know if this is a second sale, or just recycled?

If you go to the thread I linked and do a little research, it appears that Steyr would be happy to respond to US pressure to cease the sales if our own country would lift restrictions that keep them from selling the weapons here. Quite a pro-RKBA stance to take, and very unique that they would apply more pressure to lift the import ban than we see from other companies, foreign or domestic. At the root of the issue, Steyr is a legit company that made a lawful sale. Forgive me for not being concerned.

0luke1
January 14, 2006, 10:43 AM
"Our" defense industry sold them F-14s and frigates. The Chinese sell them missiles. ETC., ETC., ETC.

Kodiaz
January 14, 2006, 11:01 AM
Expect to see a lot more or Iran in the news. The gov wants us to get riled up for another war

Tom C.
January 14, 2006, 11:05 AM
We sold them F-4s, F-14s and ships, but when the Shah was there in the '70's. Not a thing since Carter sent Komeni back to Iran from Paris. That "Man of Peace" killed thousands, and they are backing the "insergents" in Iraq.

denfoote
January 14, 2006, 11:28 AM
It appears the sales were ligit.
Steyr has a right to sell their products to whomever will buy them!!
Just because we don't happen to like their customer dosen't mean we can go and tell just who they can sell to and who they can't!!
I don't buy Steyr guns because I don't like the product, not because I don't like their politics!!

progunner1957
January 14, 2006, 11:40 AM
There are fears in the Pentagon that some will reach insurgents fighting allied forces in Iraq.

Hmmm, now lessee here... America is "The Great Satan;" Iran, which is run by Muslim "clerics" (AKA religious nut-jobs) buys .50 cal. sniper rifles; next door in Iraq, "oppressed Muslim brothers" are fighting "The Great Satan."

OF COURSE the .50 cal. rifles that our "friends" in Austria sold to Iran will be used to kill American and British soldiers!!!! It would be against Iranian/Muslim law for them to not be used on us!!! It doesn't take a pair of Ph.D's in Islam and International Relations to figure that out!

Since "The Almighty Dollar" is Steyer's God and Steyer doesn't give a rat's sphincter about how many of our soldiers are killed as a result of their blood money, not only should we all boycott ANYTHING made in Austria, we should spend our vacation/tourist dollars in other nations that have some sembelence of honor and integrity.

The U.S. and British governments should also find ways to stab Steyer in the back, just like they did to U.S. and British troops.

Deodanth
January 14, 2006, 11:47 AM
Hmmm, now lessee here... America is "The Great Satan;" Iran, which is run by Muslim "clerics" (AKA religious nut-jobs) buys .50 cal. sniper rifles; next door in Iraq, "oppressed Muslim brothers" are fighting "The Great Satan."

OF COURSE the .50 cal. rifles that our "friends" in Austria sold to Iran will be used to kill American and British soldiers!!!! It would be against Iranian/Muslim law for them to not be used on us!!! It doesn't take a pair of Ph.D's in Islam and International Relations to figure that out!

Since "The Almighty Dollar" is Steyer's God and Steyer doesn't give a rat's sphincter about how many of our soldiers are killed as a result of their blood money, not only should we all boycott ANYTHING made in Austria, we should spend our vacation/tourist dollars in other nations that have some sembelence of honor and integrity.

The U.S. and British governments should also find ways to stab Steyer in the back, just like they did to U.S. and British troops.

:scrutiny: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Lobotomy Boy
January 14, 2006, 11:50 AM
OF COURSE the .50 cal. rifles that our "friends" in Austria sold to Iran will be used to kill American and British soldiers!!!! It would be against Iranian/Muslim law for them to not be used on us!!! It doesn't take a pair of Ph.D's in Islam and International Relations to figure that out!

Actually our relationship with the Shiites in Iraq has been relatively stable compared to our relationship with the Sunnis, and the Iranians are not supplying the Sunnis with weapons, so this is probably not happening with any regularity at this time. It didn't take any Ph.Ds to figure that one out either. ;)

Bartholomew Roberts
January 14, 2006, 11:57 AM
It appears the sales were ligit.

Not if Austria is a signatory to the weapons sanctions on Iran.

Steyr has a right to sell their products to whomever will buy them!!
Just because we don't happen to like their customer dosen't mean we can go and tell just who they can sell to and who they can't!!
I don't buy Steyr guns because I don't like the product, not because I don't like their politics!!

On the contrary, we have every right to tell Steyr that we will not buy their products or allow them to do business with us as long as they chose to sell to Iran.

Chris Rhines
January 14, 2006, 12:02 PM
On the contrary, we have every right to tell Steyr that we will not buy their products or allow them to do business with us as long as they chose to sell to Iran. Bart, you've missed the point. The USG has no right to dictate to Steyr who Steyr may or may not sell their products to. If you have some problem with Steyr's business practices, you're free to boycott them, but I kind of doubt they'll notice. The USG may do the same, but again, I doubt that Steyr will care - they don't do a whole lot of business with the United States anyhow.

- Chris

WillBrayJr
January 14, 2006, 12:12 PM
Doesn't look like Glocks are going to be very popular anymore.

Thain
January 14, 2006, 12:18 PM
How can I boycott Steyr?!? The FedGov won't allow me to buy any of their products that I'd be interested in anyway!

The sovereign state of Iran bought legitimate military weapons from a private company in Austria. Although I would have prefered they bought them from, say, Barrett (Made in the USA ;) ) I really don't see the issue.

Oh... Wait... We're not suppossed to like them because Bush called them evil doers.

telomerase
January 14, 2006, 12:20 PM
...the US government just gives billions of your dollars to dictators for free (http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/walker1.html). I think we need to get our own government under control before we worry about foreign companies selling to foreign countries...

biere
January 14, 2006, 02:56 PM
This sale of rifles from steyr was discussed over on arfcom the other day.

Steyr was willing to not make the sale if the US government would let steyr import their guns and sell to citizens of the USA.

The government did not agree to this so steyr sold the 50s elsewhere.

I won't boycott them since the government of the USA could have made a deal to keep the sale from happening and yet they chose not to do so.

In essence you could start saying the US government should have bought those rifles so that they would not be used against our soldiers.

Personally I think letting the weapons be sold to citizens of the USA would have been simple and it would not have cost the government anything since people would use their own money to buy the stuff and even be paying sales tax for buying the stuff.

Mizzle187
January 14, 2006, 03:13 PM
I dont own any Steyr products but I figured I would get one fo their pistols one day but I wouldnt take one if someone tried to give it to me know! Are they gonna feel the affects of it probably not but that doesnt mean you shouldnt boycott them. To make it even worse they agreed not to make the sale if the US allowed these type items to be imported. Thats just funny! That used to be called something! Whats the word?

johnster999
January 14, 2006, 04:04 PM
I already boycott 'em for being so ugly.

999

Bartholomew Roberts
January 14, 2006, 04:20 PM
Bart, you've missed the point. The USG has no right to dictate to Steyr who Steyr may or may not sell their products to.
- Chris

The USG isn't dictating anything to Steyr. It is applying sanctions to the company for selling arms to Iraq and protesting in Vienna. Both of these actions are within the rights of the U.S.

Steyr is entirely within their rights to sell the weapons to Iran (provided they aren't violating Austrian law by exporting the weapons to Iran); but that doesn't mean they don't have to accept the consequences of that action in the rest of the world.

Personally, I'd rather the U.S. allow us to purchase the rifles; but they did not.

Hawk
January 14, 2006, 04:20 PM
You can't boycot the AUG: this has already been done on your behalf.

IIRC, Steyr made rather of a point of that when we complained. Something about cutting off a large market from which they derived a portion of their survival.

One of the four rules:
Know your target.

I'll respect anyone who wants to jump on the boycot bandwagon but I'll sit this one out.

Edit to add: as usual, BR sums it up better than I do. Dang simultaneous posts, anyway.

taliv
January 14, 2006, 04:26 PM
i have an S9. it's excellent. i'm quite fond of it. i would love an AUG.

striker3
January 14, 2006, 05:18 PM
I can't see getting pissed about this. Steyr is a business, they have to make money just like any other business. I blame the US Government for assinine laws that artificially restrict legitimate trade.

Having said that I also have to state that I do not view Steyr as a victim. I am sure that they go into this deal with eyes wide open. I also could see American companies doing the exact same thing if it meant a large flow of cash. It is hard to hold to concepts of morality when your bottom line is aquiring as much money as possible.

MTMilitiaman
January 14, 2006, 05:40 PM
This sale of rifles from steyr was discussed over on arfcom the other day.

Steyr was willing to not make the sale if the US government would let steyr import their guns and sell to citizens of the USA.

The government did not agree to this so steyr sold the 50s elsewhere.


Do you have a source to confirm this? Cause if it is true, it is extremely disturbing. What kind of a government do we have that would rather have these weapons accessible to terrorists than trust them in the hands of its own law abiding citizenry? How did it get this way? The United States government equating the average United States citizen as being more dangerous or irresponsible than an Islamic terrorist? And what do we do about it? Do the Kennedies and Feinsteins in Washington really have the American people so confused that they could allow and essentially condone the sale of these weapons to a foreign and hostile power in a time of war rather than trusting them to the American people, and then accuse American gun manufactures of selling to terrorists? It makes so little sense that it could only come from Washington D.C, but even the implication that this could be true plain out pisses me off more than that words can describe. Heads should roll if this is true. Like literally. They should be tried for treason and publically executed by firing squad :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire: :fire:

psyopspec
January 14, 2006, 07:53 PM
I dont own any Steyr products but I figured I would get one fo their pistols one day but I wouldnt take one if someone tried to give it to me know!

For the record I'd be happy to recieve, free of charge, firearms from Steyr owners who feel shamed by this. I very much doubt the insurgents will enjoy the full capability of this rifle. 2000 yard hits don't score themselves, and still take a good shooter with quality ammo and lots of practice.

If anything, lugging around something that heavy will restrict their mobility long enough that a call for a fire can go out and carpet the area. Also, the rate of fire on .50 rifles is fairly slow.

Again, does anyone have a current source on this before anyone gets their undies so twisted that they suffocate?

1 old 0311
January 14, 2006, 08:05 PM
That comes out to about $16,000 per rifle. No wonder they wanted to make the sale.

Kevin

beerslurpy
January 14, 2006, 08:17 PM
I think that I will speak for american gun owners and steyr when I say the far greater crime is that WE cannot buy Steyr's products, thanks to our own government and its import bans. Boycott the US government if you boycott anyone.

Biker
January 14, 2006, 08:27 PM
I think that I will speak for american gun owners and steyr when I say the far greater crime is that WE cannot buy Steyr's products, thanks to our own government and its import bans. Boycott the US government if you boycott anyone.
Ditto that.
Biker

Justin
January 14, 2006, 09:02 PM
Boycott the US government if you boycott anyone.

Um, the IRS tends to kinda frown on that...

telomerase
January 14, 2006, 09:27 PM
What kind of a government do we have that would rather have these weapons accessible to terrorists than trust them in the hands of its own law abiding citizenry?

The kind that donated two nuclear reactors to North Korea? The kind that gave billions to Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Nyerere, Mao, et al? The kind that shipped chemical weapon precursors to Saddam Hussein? The kind that...

Hawk
January 14, 2006, 10:35 PM
Do you have a source to confirm this? Cause if it is true, it is extremely disturbing.

The original Newsday link has gone dead from this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=124843).

The excerpted quote in the thread needs some context:
He said that U.S. Embassy personnel asked him to stop such sales not only to Iran but to potential customers in other Middle East countries -- something he said he was prepared to consider only if Washington in return lifts restrictions that prevent his company from selling certain high-tech weapons in the United States.

biere
January 14, 2006, 10:54 PM
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=422628

That is one post over there and it seems to have some of the articles about it.

There are other posts in general discussion about steyr as well.

Overall it looks to me that since the ban was on against magazines and "assault" weapons the government was willing to let steyr sell other places since CITIZENS were not ALLOWED to own such terrible and awful misbehaving firearms.

racenutz
January 15, 2006, 12:20 AM
Other than the AUG (everything else is a bolt action or a pistol) which firearms were Steyr not permitted to sell?

CAnnoneer
January 15, 2006, 01:00 AM
Let's put the blame where it belongs - Iran. They are the ones supporting parts of the "insurgents". Steyr are just a business selling a commodity.

That being said, I doubt I'd ever buy Steyr products anyway - they hold no appeal for me.

Cellar Dweller
January 15, 2006, 02:05 PM
Gee, wasn't there a massive push for a bill to prevent manufacturers from being held liable if a criminal used a firearm whilst committing a crime? "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" and all that? A great victory when it was signed into law? :rolleyes:

By this logic we should boycott all U.S. firearms manufacturers, because somewhere around the world, exported American weapons are killin' somebody, sold with (and financed by) the U.S. government's blessing.

Unless terrorists are not actually criminals, then it makes perfect sense. :neener:

Thin Black Line
January 15, 2006, 03:23 PM
Yesterday's edition of the Telegraph out of London:

http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/01/14/wiran214.xml

This is not "old news." It's one thing to go window-shopping, but it seems
the merchandise has been delivered.

Hawk
January 15, 2006, 05:49 PM
Thin Black Line:

The way I'm reading it, Steyr wanted to sell the stuff in the U.S. we said "no" and banned importation.

What, exactly, do we expect Steyr to do?

Assuming, of course, we don't really believe that we and our interests are the exact center of the universe? These people are arms manufacturers. We didn't allow them to sell here. Yet we presume to tell them where they can?

Still, I respect your views on how to go about dealing with the issues. For myself, I believe I'll hold the U.S. authoritities behind the import ban responsible.

I owe more to Barrett than S-M, so I can't see ponying up for a .50 other than one Ronnie makes at present. However, I really wouldn't mind a reasonably priced AUG or USR.

The absolute best way to see to it that our troops aren't targeted by these things is to buy up the available supply. The American people are standing by, ready to take care of this matter.

Just, please, get our government out of the way.

Zundfolge
January 15, 2006, 05:56 PM
The absolute best way to see to it that our troops aren't targeted by these things is to buy up the available supply. The American people are standing by, ready to take care of this matter.

Just, please, get our government out of the way.

A-freakin'-men!

tellner
January 15, 2006, 07:28 PM
We sold them F-4s, F-14s and ships, but when the Shah was there in the '70's. Not a thing since Carter sent Komeni back to Iran from Paris. That "Man of Peace" killed thousands, and they are backing the "insergents" in Iraq.

Twaddle. Remember Iran-Contra. Reagan's handlers (I doubt the old man was actually ever in charge in any meaningful way) sold Hawk missles and other trifles to the Mullahs in order to (illegally) send them to the Somocistas.

horge
February 13, 2007, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by Cellar dweller
Short memories?

Gee, wasn't there a massive push for a bill to prevent manufacturers from being held liable if a criminal used a firearm whilst committing a crime? "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" and all that? A great victory when it was signed into law?

By this logic we should boycott all U.S. firearms manufacturers, because somewhere around the world, exported American weapons are killin' somebody, sold with (and financed by) the U.S. government's blessing.

False analogy, methinks.
After all, If a U.S. company were to sell firearms to known felons,
that company would be liable, no?

Steyr isn't being blasted for selling .50 cal. rifles,
but specifically for selling them to Iran.

Whether the Osterreichers were within their rights to make the sale isn't
in question, nor is the freedom of U.S. consumers to thumb them in the eye
right back. However, you imply that any retaliation vs. Steyr is hypocritical,
as if Iran failed the mandatory 'background check' only after the sale.

This comes as an extremely late response, but I only found this thread just now,
and could not restrain comment.


horge

atblis
February 13, 2007, 10:31 AM
they hold no appeal for me.

I guess you guys have never shot any of their rifles. Oh well, your loss I suppose. Keep buying Remington 700s and Savages.

bowfin
February 13, 2007, 10:45 AM
/*We sold them F-4s, F-14s and ships, but when the Shah was there in the '70's.*/

There was a recent article about Iranians using third parties a to buy surplus F-14 parts from the Department of Defense. Since the United States and Iran were the only two countries to fly the F-14 Tomcat, it raised suspicions when the buyers tried to export the parts.

The (not so) funny part is that after parts were confiscated and returned to the Department of Defense, they were found, once again, on their way to Iran, and they still had their custom evidence tags on them from the first time they were seized.:banghead:

Here's a read on it:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16648850/

Lonestar
February 13, 2007, 10:52 AM
Before you say so what to the whole deal, read this part again;

HS50 Steyr-Mannlicher .50 calibre rifles can pierce body armour from up to a mile, shoot down helicopters and penetrate Humvee troop carriers that have not been fully reinforced.

Then realize that suddenly, within the past few week, how may US and British helicopters been shot down due to ground fire compared to the rest of the "insurgency war"?? The US military recently changed tactics, because of more "Accurate" insurgent ground fire. How many soldiers died thanks to this sale??

I will be banning Steyr

Thin Black Line
February 13, 2007, 10:53 AM
Still, I respect your views on how to go about dealing with the issues. For myself, I believe I'll hold the U.S. authoritities behind the import ban responsible.

And who is to say they wouldn't have sold both here and there? I'm not against
US civilians buying these rifles --which will come as a relief to some of the
handwringers here about a perceived personal restriction on them.

This is a big picture thing. Gov's are going to be the primary buyers of this
weapon and from what I can tell this was a direct sale. Not a case of "We
sold these to Country X and then X sold to Country Y. What could we
do about it since we were out of the loop by then?"

Again, the analogy here for some of the individuals to comprehend this a
little easier would be your local FFL selling the same weapon to Mr Felon
knowing that Mr. Felon will be far more likely to take shots at the police
officers than John Q Citizen. You people who still have no problem with
this scenario are good Consumers, but I would seriously question your sense
of good Citizenship.

crucible
February 13, 2007, 11:02 AM
I think that I will speak for american gun owners and steyr when I say the far greater crime is that WE cannot buy Steyr's products, thanks to our own government and its import bans. Boycott the US government if you boycott anyone.

Bitching about US import issues aside, I am an American gun owner, and you don't speak for me.

Specifically because of this and the fact that Steyr isn't exactly a unsuspecting victim here IMO, I will not consider purchasing any Steyr product over and above my personal perception of thier aesthetic qualities.

I will continue to exercise my freedom as a consumer with this view as long as Steyr continues to do business with Iran in this manner (or as long as I choose to do so), regardless of whether or not it means a hill of beans to Steyr, you, the ice cream man, or anyone else.

Isn't consumer freedom grand?

C-

crazed_ss
February 13, 2007, 11:06 AM
Then realize that suddenly, within the past few week, how may US and British helicopters been shot down due to ground fire compared to the rest of the "insurgency war"?? The US military recently changed tactics, because of more "Accurate" insurgent ground fire. How many soldiers died thanks to this sale??

I will be banning Steyr

You think Insurgents are shooting down helicopters with 50 cal rifles?:confused:

coltrane679
February 13, 2007, 11:36 AM
You think Insurgents are shooting down helicopters with 50 cal rifles?

The guy doesn't even realize he is making the exact same argument that .50-banners in the US are making. It is no more plausible coming from him.

People live in a dreamland about the international arms market, I guess.

Please send me all the evil Steyrs you folks don't want.

Lonestar
February 13, 2007, 11:57 AM
You think Insurgents are shooting down helicopters with 50 cal rifles?

The guy doesn't even realize he is making the exact same argument that .50-banners in the US are making. It is no more plausible coming from him.

People live in a dreamland about the international arms market, I guess.

Please send me all the evil Steyrs you folks don't want.

What part of 3 US and 1 British Helicopters shot down by ground fire in 2 weeks, don't you understand. What you guys think you CAN'T shoot down a low flying, slow moving aircraft with small arms ground fire. :scrutiny: If a well placed .50 armor piercing round can disable a car or trunk engine, I guess it can't penetrate into helicopter, they must have MAGIC armor.

Wow for a firearms forum no one has any respect for what can be done with a bullet. watch a learn boys;

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hDOBtgdScPA&mode=related&search=

K-Romulus
February 13, 2007, 12:06 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070213/wl_afp/iraqiranaustriaweaponstradeusbritain_070213030722

Austrian sniper rifles sold to Iran found in Iraq: report

Mon Feb 12, 10:07 PM ET

LONDON (AFP) - US troops have found more than a hundred Austrian-made sniper rifles, which were sold to
Iran, in a Baghdad raid on insurgents, The Daily Telegraph has reported citing unnamed defence sources.

The .50 calibre weapons, which are capable of penetrating body armour, were part of a shipment of 800 rifles exported by Austrian arms manufacturer Steyr-Mannlicher to Iran last year, the newspaper said.

"Although we did make our worries known the sale unfortunately went ahead, and now the potential that these weapons could fall into the wrong hands appears to have happened," a spokesman for the British foreign ministry was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.

Britain and the United States had condemned the sale when it originally happened because of their fears that the weapons, which the National Iranian Police Organisation said it was buying to use against drug smugglers, would find their way to insurgents in
Iraq.

The report comes days after top US defense officials said that sophisticated Iranian-built bombs smuggled into Iraq have killed at least 170 US and allied soldiers since June 2004 and wounded 620 more.

According to The Daily Telegraph, within 45 days of the HS50 Steyr-Mannlicher rifles arriving in Iran, a US soldier in an armoured vehicle was killed by an Iraqi insurgent using one of the weapons.

US troops had found in the past six months small numbers of the rifles, which each cost 10,000 pounds (15,000 euros, 19,500 dollars), but a raid in Baghdad over the last 24 hours has increased that total to more than a hundred.

Lonestar
February 13, 2007, 12:21 PM
BAGHDAD, Feb. 7 — With two more helicopter crashes near Baghdad, including a Marine transport crash on Wednesday that killed seven people, the number of helicopters that have gone down in Iraq over the past three weeks rose to six. American officials say the streak strongly suggests that insurgents have adapted their tactics and are now putting more effort into shooting down the aircraft.

The number also includes a previously unreported downing of a helicopter operated by a private security firm on Jan. 31.

Some aspects of the recent crashes indicate that insurgents have become smarter about anticipating American flight patterns and finding ways to use old weapons to down helicopters, according to military and witness reports. The aircraft, many of which are equipped with sophisticated antimissile technology, still can be vulnerable to more conventional weapons fired from the ground.

Details about the Marine helicopter, a CH-46 Sea Knight transport that crashed into an open field in an insurgent-heavy region northwest of Baghdad, were still sketchy Wednesday night. Witnesses said the aircraft appeared to have been shot down, but some military officials suggested that the crash might have been caused by a mechanical failure.

The private security helicopter shot down last week was being flown in support of State Department operations and was forced down 10 miles south of the capital after insurgents attacked it with heavy-caliber ground fire as it flew from Hilla to Baghdad, American officials said Wednesday. Another American helicopter quickly swooped in to rescue the passengers and crew.
There have been four other fatal downings of American helicopters since mid-January that killed at least 20 people and that military officials have suggested were all caused by small-arms fire. In some cases, however, witnesses indicated that missiles had been fired from the ground.

American officials emphasize that a new sense of coordinated aggressiveness on the part of insurgents toward attacking aircraft, or even luck, may be playing as large a role in the high pace of crashes as improved skill and tactics among insurgents.

“I do not know whether or not it is the law of averages that caught up with us,” said Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during Senate testimony on Tuesday. Another possibility, he said, was that there had “been a change in tactics, techniques and procedures on the part of the enemy.”

Among the troops, helicopters are still seen as a less vulnerable way to travel than the ground convoys that are commonly subject to roadside bombs that can tear through thick vehicular armor.

Historically, improved tactics in shooting down helicopters have proved to be important factors in conflicts in which guerrillas have achieved victories against major powers, including battles in Somalia, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

A senior military official in Washington said Wednesday that, while the episodes were still under investigation, the rash of helicopter shoot-downs appeared to be part of an insurgent strategy to inflict heavier losses on American forces at the start of the new push to secure Baghdad.

“There is certainly the expectation here that insurgents are trying to inflict some losses as we’re building up forces as a means to try to discourage the Iraqis and us that this is a futile plan,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Several officials said it was unclear whether the attacks had succeeded because insurgents had adopted new tactics, but judging only by the number of successful attacks, it appeared to be part of a coordinated effort.

Part of the explanation, one official said, may be that fighters are simply firing at low-flying American helicopters. In recent years, there has been relatively little small-arms fire against helicopters, the official said.

One Air Force commander in Baghdad said the recent crashes appeared largely to be a result of old weapons long available in Iraq and not an influx of new hardware or technology. “I haven’t seen anything like that,” the American commander said.

The Sea Knight, the aircraft that crashed Wednesday, is a large transport helicopter that is easily distinguished by its twin rotors, one mounted near the cockpit and one mounted on a tall tail at the back. It can carry more than two dozen passengers and crew members. The military said all seven people on board died in the crash but did not identify the victims.

Video of the aftermath broadcast by the BBC showed bright red flames and thick black smoke billowing from the burning hulk of the helicopter as the wreckage lay in an open field.

Witnesses said the helicopter appeared to have been attacked from the ground.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/08/world/middleeast/08helicopter.html?ex=1328590800&en=56c2f75b6bedbe04&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Take your RKBA tinfoil hats off boys. A few well placed .22 can kill a man, and a few well placed .50 can take down small low flying aircraft. You figure after fighting us since 2003 they would have enough time to figure out how to down our helicopters.

crazed_ss
February 13, 2007, 12:25 PM
Yes I know a .50 Caliber machine gun can take down a chopper, but I'd imagine you'd have to be a pretty amazing shot to take down a chopper with a single shot from a .50 cal rifle. You'd have to hit the pilot or score a perfect shot into the engine or something.

Art Eatman
February 13, 2007, 12:39 PM
Since this thread, with time, has gone from "might be sent" to "found on site", and we have another thread running with the later information, I'm gonna close this one.

Art

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