Missiles That Matter

Here’s our quick mention of the North Korean Rocket fail — that made everyone angry — yesterday. Yup, the big, what turned out to be an almost non-event that everyone’s been obsessing over and will now promptly forget. (But, wait, you know someone’s going to start raising whether the failiure of the long-ragen rocket aimed at putting a “communications satellite” on orbit was due to Western sabotage.) Despite the title of this post, click here to see why that missile actually does matter. Ok, wow, enough about the DPRK’s damn rocket already.

Now to talk about some rockets that actually pose a threat. NATO yesterday said it blew up 5,000-shoulder-fired surface to air missiles (called Man-Portable Air Defense Systems; MANPADS. I love that ridiculous acronym, btw) that were rounded up after the fall of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi last year.

That’s all well and good, but those were only a quarter of the 20,000 or so shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles that Gadhafi’s military had stockpiled around the country. We’ve written about this potential insurgent treaasure trove for a while now and just last month we saw that some of Gadhafi’s most advanced MANPADs have made their way into the hands of Levantine bad boys Hezbollah and Hamas. Remember, Gadhafi’s loose SAM stockpiles don’t just include ancient Soviet-made SA-7s that can barely find a target, they include the Russian-built SA-24 Grinch, one of the newest and most advanced shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles out there.

Now it appears that the Krazy Kolonel’s missiles and other weapons are making their way accross Africa and they may even be fueling violence everywhere from Mali to the waters off Somalia. In fact, Somali pirates may even be using naval mines looted from Gadhafi’s old bases!

Per Reuters:

“We found that Libyan weapons are being sold in what is the world’s biggest black market for illegal gun smugglers, and Somali pirates are among those buying from sellers in Sierra Leone, Liberia and other countries,” said Judith van der Merwe, of the Algiers-based African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism.

“We believe our information is credible and know that some of the pirates have acquired ship mines, as well as Stinger and other shoulder-held missile launchers,” Van der Merwe told Reuters on the sidelines of an Indian Ocean naval conference.

I’m sure no on needs to be reminded of what a terrorist hiding near the flight path of a major airport could do with an SA-24.

16 Comments on "Missiles That Matter"

  1. This supports the argument made by people such as Bruce Schneier that airport safety would benefit from a greater emphasis on perimeter security, as opposed to internal checkpoints that fail to make us any safer.

  2. Love the pic! Good to see Reebok is now sponsoring the jihad!

  3. Saw this happening after we supported the terrorist in the civil war. However im glad we did get ride of a quarter of these missiles. How ever the SA-7 may be old and dated which is easy for modern military aircraft to avoid and escape one. This isn't the case for commercial planes a old missile would have a easy time hitting one when a passenger plan is landing or just takes off. SA-14s and SA-24s are a larger threat since they can shoot down modern military planes All in the hands of Al Qaeda Hamas and Hezbollah thanks to the dumb decision to back Islamist against a bad but more controllable dictator.

    We need to have our airliners like Israels to get some rudimentary counter measures to small sams asap.

  4. 20,000 rounds or just the launchers?

  5. 20,000 missiles? really? seems incredibly inflated.

  6. This site is a 'treaasure' trove of spelling errors. If you don't proofread the terrorists win.

  7. Successful "big news" terrorism usually requires state sponsorship. AlQaeda was sheltered in Af-Pak and by the Pak-ISI. Hezzbollah is funded by Assad. It was Ghadaffi who bombed PanAm over Lockerbie and bombed the German nightclub.

    So, yeah, we should be concerned about MANPADS. At the same time, I'm not sure that we can conclude that the world is now less safe because Ghadaffi is gone.

  8. aren't those SA24 all suppose to be truck mounted launch system…rather than actually portable ? much harder to transport to the US

  9. The worst ones are the Western Origin Man Portable Air Defense Systems, or WOMANPADS, for short… Those things can be nasty!

  10. Total production of the Stinger is allegedly between 70-80k…but that's /total/. Hard to imagine Gaddafi sitting on that many missiles. Not that many helicopters to shoot down?

  11. anantoniusbauwens | April 14, 2012 at 8:21 am | Reply

    That news I like blowing up 5,000 shoulder armed missles at one timenow lets stop making them so we can all fly.I dont think there is a need for artm. since we have high alltitute pilotless planes so lets get rid of more of these missles,from dictators countries that have fallen.We surelly do not want them on any street in any country showing up in wrong hands of terror…

  12. Those nutty norks trying to play big boy in the real world, doesn't "chaz bono" oops! i mean Uno should understand that they could benefit far more with peaceful methods then trying to sabre rattle. China keeps them as a counter balance and a leverage for the west.If it was up to china the korea as we all know it would be united and be a powerhouse in the world markets beyond what Uno could ever think of. Rightnow Uno has to please the old guard to hold his future spot as god(this is a joke i know) an has to jump through the loops.China is learning this lesson and maybe the norks will some decade down the road

  13. I hope they will destroy most of them,before they destroy innocent people.The markt in weapons id so big ,let alone the sales,lets get those dictator led countriesdown before they can buy such to use against us when to late!!

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