The FAS has acquired, via a Freedom of Information Act request, additional information about a cache of “22 surface-to-air missiles” discovered by Coalition Forces north of Baghdad on 4 January 2006. According to the responsive document – a redacted entry from a database maintained by Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I) – the missiles were SA-13 “Gopher” surface-to-air missiles. The SA-13 is a short-range, low altitude, infra-red seeking missile that is typically launched from a pedestal mounted on the back of an armored vehicle. The weapons cache, which included 5000 rounds of 32 mm cannon ammunition, was located with a mine detector and appeared at the time to have been “emplaced in the last 2 weeks.” It is unclear from the DoD documents if the missiles were operational or who they belonged to.
Image: An SA-13 TELAR (Transporter Erector Launcher and Radar)
For more information:
“Soldiers seize, destroy weapons caches,” MNF-I Press Release, 7 January 2006.
“Iraq’s Looted Arms Depots: What the GAO Didn’t Mention,” FAS Strategic Security Blog, 9 April 2007.