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

May 14 2016 - 81 Comments

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


  • Fitzgrimbel von Hotz

    Interesting observation: They don’t seem to yell ‘allahu akbar’ after successfully downing the enemy helicopter. Question to consider, who should the West be supporting, fanatical Islamists and ISIS supporters like Erdogan… or these people, who are only fighting for the physical and cultural survival of their people and their right to self-determination, without any intention of genocide and destruction agains ‘unbelievers’. Even though of course as Kurds their religious background is Muslim too.

    • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

      I suggest you inform yourself thoroughly about the situation in the Levant, as your opinion is undoubtedly that of a westerner who sees only as far as their own interests in the region.

  • rats123

    What readers should note is Turkey immediately claimed the chopper crashed due to “technical problems”. It was not until actual footage of the chopper being shotdown was aired that they admitted it was shotdown. Why do they do this? Well it’s simple, It would be embarrassing to admit the enemy shot you down. The US and Israelis are notorious for doing this as well.

    • su34

      The “technical problem” was the separation of the tail section from the body… They just omitted the obvious cause.

      • rats123

        This is why you can NEVER EVER trust any combat statistics released by US/NATO. Full of LIES.

  • Chugs 1984

    well what if it was a F-35B, supporting an amphibious assault by marines.

    That said I don’t really understand with hover capable jets how its used in a tactical sense. Like do they hover, near their target and release weapons whilst in that state or is it being used primarily to allow the aircraft to land (with more load than previously was supported)?

  • Chugs 1984

    did the crew manage to eject? I thought i saw a pod being shot out after the blades were explosively detached.

    • ‘Tos

      i dont believe there is an eject option available to the crew of this particular airframe.

    • E1-Kabong

      There is no ejection option on western helicopters.

  • The Truth

    Big mistake as Turkey has now indicated that it will be arming the FSA and “other” opposition groups in Syria with Advanced missiles produced by Roketsan.

  • ‘Tos

    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.

  • E1-Kabong


  • E1-Kabong

    Modern counter measure systems are automatic.

    No human can react quickly enough.

  • SmoovyBRad

    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.