Video shows Syrian Mil Mi-25 gunship releasing flares. A sign that rebels got their hands on MANPADS?

Aug 17 2012 - 5 Comments

The following video, shows a Mil Mi-25 Hind gunship releasing flares during a mission over Talbiseh, Syria on Aug. 15.

Flares are high-temperature heat sources ejected from the aircraft’s dispensers to mislead the missile’s heat-seeking targeting system: since the burn temperature is hotter than that at the engine’s exhaust the burning flares attract and decoy heat-seeking missiles fired at the aircraft.

Since this kind of countermeasure is used against IR (Infra-Red) air-to-air and surface-to-air missile, the fact that an Assad chopper has released flares during a flight might be a sign it was locked by a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System) in the hands of the rebels.

Lately, Syrian regime helicopters have mainly operated at high altitude most probably because of the threat of anti-aircraft artillery fire (a Mig-23BN was gunned down at low/medium altitude) and MANPADS.

H/T to Damien Spleeters for the heads-up