Update Apr. 11, 2012 19.50GMT
The following video, posted by a visitor on The Aviationist Facebook page shows anti-aircraft fire from opposition forces/Free Syrian Army (FSyA) aiming at a Syrian regime’s Mil Mi-8/17 Hip helicopter.
It’s extremely hard to say which type of weapon was used to try to shoot down the chopper. It’s a heavy machinegun of some kind.
Bjørn Holst Jespersen suggests that, it could be a ZSU-23-4 “Shilka”. The Shilka has been seen used by the regime in city warfare, but are designed as a radar guided anti-aircraft weapon system. The pattern of the tracer projectiles resembles what can be seen in some of the videos available on Youtube.
However, Michaël SES Svejgaard, a former RDAF fighter pilot with 4,500 hrs on single seat, single engine who joined the Air Force in 1962 and did the Cuban Crisis and the Cold War and studied Soviet threat systems during the Cold War threat believes the sound and the rate of fire of the weapon in the video are not those of a ZSU-23/4 but of a ZPU-4 quad 14,5 mm.
Although the Free Syria Army groups are not believed to own such vehicles the rebels could have put their hands on a ZPU-4 or could be using lighter anti-aircraft guns mounted over pick-ups as done by the thuwar (Gaddafi oppositors) in Libya. Provided that the video was really filmed in Syria lately, of course.
- First video of a Syrian helicopter gunship attacking rebels near Azaz, northwest of Aleppo (theaviationist.com)
- Syrian regime escalates air war: new video of Mil Mi-8 firing rockets (theaviationist.com)
- Syrian drones spying on rebels: made in Iran UAVs or amateur radio controlled models? (theaviationist.com)