Intense video shows Turkish AH-1W Cobra helicopter getting shot down by SA-18 MANPADS

A clip posted on Youtube shows the downing a Turkish AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter with a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System).

A video posted online appears to show a Turkish AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter shot down by a Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) militant with an SA-18 MANPADS on May 13.

The clip was posted on Saturday by Gerilla TV, which is associated with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).

Starting at around 4:46 minutes into the footage, you can see a PKK fighter targeting the attack helicopter with a Russian/Soviet 9k38 Igla man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile.

The missile hits the chopper that starts to spin and breaks up mid-air before crashing behind a distant hill.

The Turkish Super Cobra was in the area to support Turkish soldiers engaged in clashes with the PKK.

A voice can be heard yelling “Cobra down! Well done!”

According to Rudaw, this is probably the first time the PKK have successfully used a MANPADS.

H/T to Gordon Bradbury for the heads-up


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. there is a very long time between now when the brass says the F35 will be capable and provide CAS and when it actually may occur… which is never. the brass is forced to say the F35 will provide CAS, because its the only option as the politicians try and force the cutting the A10c. I suspect the warthog will keep hanging around a very long time as its the most formidable CAS option we have.

  2. Modern counter measure systems are automatic.

    No human can react quickly enough.

  3. Flares are considered passive ECM, not active.

    Also there are ways to tell if you’ve been fired at by a heat seeker. For example the B-1 has a Tail Warning Function which uses Doppler to determine if a threat from the rear is a missile or an interceptor, and then if it determines the threat is a missile (based the speed of the return, slower threats are classified as interceptors) if it has no radar lock will categorize it as IR and if there a radar lock or a range gate warning it will classify as SARH.

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