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
- Video: Syrian Arab Air Force Mil Mi-25 high altitude bomb attack on Daal, Syria. (theaviationist.com)
- Syrian air war escalates: the Mil Mi-24 Hind gunship makes its debut against rebel forces (theaviationist.com)
- New videos show Syrian gunship helicopters dropping bombs on Homs and Damascus (theaviationist.com)
- Syrian revolution puts instructions on how to shoot down a regime helicopter on-line (theaviationist.com)
- Video: Rebels down Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-23BN fighter jet in East Syria (theaviationist.com)
- An entire Syrian Air Defense Battalion defected, (possibly) bringing some new anti-aircraft weapons in rebel hands. (theaviationist.com)
- Syrian Arab Air Force trainer jets turned into attack planes to strike rebel positions (theaviationist.com)
- Here is why the alleged video of a Syrian regime helicopter downed by rebels doesn’t show a shot down gunship (theaviationist.com)
I bet MI6 and the CIA just shipped a bunch of Libyan SAM,s over !
If it was “locked” by a heat-seeking MANPAD, it would have no way of knowing; infrared guidance is done entirely with passive sensors, so there wouldn’t be any warning to the pilot prior to the actual launch.
Unless the crew noticed someone on the ground pointing one at them. Although it just might be a brazen Syrian with a length of sewer pipe playing a trick on them… ;-)
they are just being paranoid
thus far there is no evidence rebels have MANPADs
I bet all the neighboring countries and USA don’t want weapon leaks in Syria like what happened in Libya/Mali
and even Turkey gov don’t want the Kurds (PKK) getting MANPADs
as I’ve said to another journo yesterday, in spite of the various reports I’ve not seen any sign of MANPADS yet.