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28 June 2016


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Ishmael Zechariah

re: "massed rebel counter-offensive"
What would be your recommendations to the Russian air assets in such a case?
Ishmael Zechariah
P.s: Things are getting warmish in TR. Mayhap tayyip should remember Hosea 8:7.



IMO you want to have them pile up against your defensive positions and the butcher them working your way from back to front. Too bad they do not have AC-130 and A-10 true equivalents. When they crack and start to run then you should pursue them on the ground and make sure as few as possible get away. Think Murat or JEB Stuart. pl


How susceptible are AC-130 gunships to manpads and other AA weapons that Al Nusra is likely armed with?



I'm just a simple grunt but it seems to me that AC-130s can shoot from way high. Ask MSF about that and there is a question of counter-measures on the big bird. BTW, MANPAD warheads are small. firing one at a Spookie would probably be your last act. pl


It seems a heavy regiment of airstrikes and artillery are compensating for the chronic manpower shortage. For now at least.


Colonel & IZ

One of the Marine arty officers at Khe Sahn was a major born in Pakistan. His favorite tactic when the NVA massed to attack the lines was to box the NVA with arty & close the back of the box with rolling barrages. Supposedly he got a bit excited during one attack & called for "death to the infidels" & his fellow Marines reminded him that they were the infidels.


Not an expert but the latest model Stinger has an approximate 5 mile range. A lot of the Russian derived Manpads, older models, are rated as having a little less than half that range. We lost an AC during desert storm to a Strela Manpad. The normal operating altitude for an AC is quoted as 12,000 feet, which looks to be in the engagement envelope for the older Russian stuff.


Ahmet C. Celebiler

3 Terrorists, marine gun fire, two suicide bombs and possibly grenades at Istanbul Ataturk airport Int'l departures entrance and car park.


Seems like Mr. Edro and Turkey' elites, like their european and American allies are heavily harvesting fruits of their Syrian and Greater new Mideast, north african policie, the rest of the world is watching in silence laughter. It's a shame.

Lord Curzon

A toast to a fellow Gunner, and funny as f**k!


During the day, below 10,000 metres, very. That limits accuracy and what weapons systems can be used.

At night however, well, the Night Belongs to Them.


MANPAD's go for the "hot spot", ie. the engines.

One "hit" and if "Spookie" is still flying, it's flying home.

Other than the A-10, Hinds and Su-25's, most birds are pretty fragile.

But at night, with it's sensor suite turning day into night for the crew, while the sky is still black on the ground, and that glowing rain of death showering down, AC-130's can come in lower, into MANPAD range.


Unicorns will soon be dropping on DAESH from the SKY!!!!


Chris Chuba

I'm not saying that it is as good as an A10 but it looks like the closest thing that the Russians have are their attack helicopters. Here are two of the more impressive ones that I read about in Syria; the Ka-50 and the Mi-28.
They mention electronic counter-measures for the Ka-52 specifically, I recall reading that elsewhere that it was for MANPAD's. No Russian attack helicopters were shot down in Syria.

For that Ka-50, it has one main canon with 460 rounds, and any combination of either 100 rockets, or 12 missiles, or up to 4 bombs, or more gun pods (the entry didn't say how many) that can be attached on hard points. It's not an A10 but I wouldn't try to get the pilot's attention if I was on the ground.

Maybe R+6 has a better chance to succeed at Aleppo now that they have given up on the Raqqa project. It doesn't seem like the Jihadis at Aleppo are as into VBIEDs as ISIS. I recall hearing about Al Nusra doing that but ISIS does that twice before breakfast.

alba etie

Ishmael Zechariah
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the Ataturk Airport . Early reports suggest it could have been much worse - it looks like at least one police officer perhaps more gave their lives so that the bombers could not get all the way into the main terminal -( God Bless all of our Law Enforcement Officers everywhere .) Our MSM is reporting that it is probable this was the ISIS/Daesh . From your vantage point is that the only likely terrorist group that could have perpetrated this attack ?
Our MSM is also stating that Daesh did this because Erdogan has become more aggressive towards ISIS/Daesh -- in your opinion is this true ? Does the supposed recent Erdogan reset with Netanyahu also have any bearing on whether ISIS/ Daesh is becoming more aggressive in Turkey ? It is so hard to understand what is ground truth in our Global Village these days - its why many of us come here.
Again condolences to all of the innocent victims in today's attack . And to try to get back on topic here- I am hopeful & confident that the Russian Air Force can do what Col Lang recommends 'from front to back ' of all the jihadist ranks .. with or without Warthogs in the CAS mix ..



Oh. Bullshit! http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/ac-130.htm



Joe, Colonel Lang,

Interesting article on AC-130 during Iraq War & Fallujah battle from
Defense News http://www.dnipogo.org/grossman/troops_in_fallujah.htm
with interview with Lt. General Smith, Deputy Commander of CENTCOM -Summary according to him: AC-130 is great close air support but is limited to mostly night missions because while it can safely fly above 20,000 feet to reach the area,
targeting & weapons systems have an effective range of around 7000-10,000 feet altitude which puts it within range of shoulder-launched MANPADs & AAA, which caused at least 7 AC-130s to be shot down

Previous Iraq War, an AC-130 was shot down from 1 shoulder-launched MANPAD during daylight

6+ other AC-130s were shot down from one shoulder-fired MANPAD or 37mm anti-aircraft fire during the Vietnam War detailed here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_AC-130

from DefenseNews link:
"Longtime rules on how the gunship can be used in combat limit the AC-130 to nighttime operations, ground and air officials say. The aircraft’s electro-optical and infrared sensors are optimized for use at night. Human targets on the ground stand out distinctly on screens inside the specially fitted cargo aircraft, with the shadows and clutter of daytime eliminated, according to air officers.

At the same time, the gunship has a large profile, flies in predictable orbits and can only lumber out of harm’s way, according to air officers. While cargo versions of the C-130 routinely fly daytime missions, their pilots try to avoid threat areas rather than linger right over them, these officials say.

In some critical instances, AC-130s actually may be used in Iraq during the day, according to a top CENTCOM official.

“If the situation absolutely required the AC-130 to operate during daylight hours, then it would be used that way,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Lance Smith,
CENTCOM’s deputy commander, told Inside the Pentagon this week.
“Both the commanders and crews will do whatever is necessary to best support the troops on the ground, given the total complex of systems available.”

Others with AC-130 operational experience agree.

“Obviously they’ve surged aircraft in support of current operations,” says one air officer, who would not offer specific quantities. “There’s … twice as many [in Iraq] as four months ago.”

But the potential threat to the gunships is far graver in the daytime than is commonly discussed, air officials say. In fact, special operators have generally avoided calling attention to AC-130 vulnerabilities in a bid to make the aircraft appear somewhat invincible to adversaries, officials say.

“To effectively employ its weapons … the AC-130 has to fly within the envelope of a number of enemy” man-portable air defense systems (MANPADs) and anti-aircraft artillery, “which this enemy has,” says Smith, who participated in one of the first search-and-rescue missions for a downed AC-130 crew during the Vietnam war in 1972. “Contrary to what some on the ground may think, it is very vulnerable during the daytime as it is easy to see and lacks maneuverability.”

Even if it could survive — “a big ‘if,’” Smith says — the gunship “would either constantly be moving out of its orbit to avoid threats, or [it would] incur combat damage resulting in the system being unavailable for long periods of time due to repairs,” according to the deputy commander.

How the gunship is used in Iraq is determined by U.S. Special Operations Command’s air component, in conjunction with U.S. Central Command’s air chief, officials say. The first priority for AC-130s is to support special operators on the ground, who lack the firepower of conventional troops. Excess gunship sorties, when available, can be directed to support conventional Army or Marine Corps troops, officials say.


I was looking at this recently, and you can fit a ZPU-4 through the passenger door of an Mi-24. Or some recoilless rifles / rockets. The 30-mm gunpods would stick out the door too much, but are feasible, too. It's not exactly an AC-130, but close enough. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZPU


The two big differences between Raqqa and Aleppo are that the Tigers are running driving the show in Allepo and the Russian are serious about air support for this operation. Those two together will make a huge difference but how far it takes them is still to be seen. Get raedy for a constant stream of "Russian are bombing nurseries and kindergartens" stories from the MSM to try and get Russia to back off. I don't think it is going to work this time.


The "manuals" help:


So does understanding the difference between an RPG "rich" environment, ( Afghanistan), and a MANPAD "rich" environment, ( Iraq, 2003)


And your "bullshit" call, while succinct, followed by a generic AC-130 gunship web page, is vague.

Are you calling Bullshit on my claim that when Operating during the day, AC- 123 gunships operate at higher altitudes?

Or are you calling Bullshit on my claim that higher altitudes limit the use of some of the weapon systems onboard the AC-130 gunships?

Ishmael Zechariah

Alba Etie, SST;
There is some "news filtering" going on over here,and the "government" is mouthing standard platitudes. However most sources with some credibility are reporting that the attack is due to ISIS/Daash. An old saying about not making pets of scorpions comes to mind. The attackers were stopped from getting into the terminal proper. This could have been far, far worse.
Somehow the decent folks of this world need to drain the daash swamp, and convince those who support these vermin to cease and desist. IMO taking apart their structure in Syria is an important part of of this endeavor. Hopefully at some point the truth will prevail.
Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers.
Ishmael Zechariah


In reply to Booby 28 June 2016 at 06:12 PM

That is hilarious - thank you, I'm going to be chuckling about that one for a long time.




OK you use the AC-130 at night. Happy now? pl


As most of you know here, I work and live in Istanbul, and I am safe and unharmed, but this was close. I use Ataturk Airport very frequently and am very familiar with the area that the attack has occurred. I was at the exact spot just past Sunday to pick up my girlfriend coming in from Germany. Few months back, a similar attack took place at Beyoglu district couple of blocks from where myself and our little community of expats meet at our favorite watering hole Irish Pub.

Turkey is a huge mess, it is well beyond now that it is led unchallenged by a corrupt religionist oligarchy, there was a time one could be disturbed by it, but ignoring them was an option. Now it is not, the schizophrenic character of this country is no longer amusing, a bridge between east and west mantra is as hollow as I always thought that it was. I honestly don't know what is holding total madness to set it.


Some are watching in silent agony undoing of Ataturk's grand vision and legacy, and shame on those who have a part in it knowingly or otherwise.

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