View Full Version : Experts See No Threat in Copter Losses

01-29-2007, 09:08 PM
Experts See No Threat in Copter Losses (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/29/AR2007012900889.html) - AP.

Three helicopters have been lost in Iraq in the past 10 days, including one over the weekend. While insurgents and militias have plenty of weapons capable of shooting down helicopters, the U.S. has developed tactics to minimize the risk, and many experts doubt the threat to the military's workhorse has significantly increased.

Since May 2003, the U.S. military has lost 54 helicopters in Iraq, about half of them to hostile fire, according to figures compiled by the Brookings Institution. In addition, an OH-6A helicopter owned by the private security company Blackwater USA crashed last Tuesday in Baghdad in heavy gunfire, killing four civilian contractors...

... several civilian analysts doubt that the latest crashes are part of a pattern and say there is no evidence that the crashes are more than just coincidence and bad luck. All three helicopters lost in the past 10 days crashed either in combat or in areas where insurgents are active.

"There are bound to be a number of helicopter accidents per year as a matter of course," said John Pike of GlobalSecurity.com. "Even if they were all shot down, our countermeasures would seem to work pretty good" considering the heavy use of helicopters by the military in Iraq.

Military officials are also reluctant to discuss those countermeasures to avoid giving insurgents valuable tactical information...