Iraqi SAMunits during Iran-Iraq war, "Desert storm" etc."

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piston

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Unread post06 Jun 2014, 11:50

Hello everyone interested....

\i would like to go familiar with the air defense history of one of the most fighting countries during last decades - Iraq, it's ground based air defence in particular ....
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thegroundeffect

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Unread post06 Jun 2014, 15:17

This sounds like a question for Old.Iraqi.Airforce....
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basher54321

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Unread post06 Jun 2014, 17:18

According to US and Iranian accounts it consisted mainly of Soviet equipment and some French systems such as Roland. By 1991 SAM systems included modernised SA-2 / SA-6 /SA-3 / SA-8 , and MANPADs used are given as SA-7/14/16 type.

Have seen photos from US troops of ZPU-2/4 type systems - but I would expect the main Soviet types including Shilka and higher altitude like S-60 or KS-19 were there.

By 1991 all of this was arranged into a very good Integrated Air Defence System that the allies went to great lengths to dismantle at the start of DS.
By the end of the 80s conflict Iranian accounts state the air defences were far more lethal and an area around Baghdad was termed the super MEZ by allied pilots in 1991/2003.
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piston

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Unread post07 Jun 2014, 07:28

basher54321 wrote:By the end of the 80s conflict Iranian accounts state the air defences were far more lethal and an area around Baghdad was termed the super MEZ by allied pilots in 1991/2003.


Yes, the Soviet made SAM units appears to inflict more damage than the Soviet made aviation, that's why I would like to find some more info about it....

I've been told that during "Desert Storm" SA-8 system in compliance with shoulder launched IR missiles took a significant tool
from "Tomahawk" AGM-s... (as they needed the terrain marks to follow course, and due to flat desert, the approaching roots where fairly predictable, which allowed Iraq army to organize a pretty sound defence against those missiles).

Also I am curious about what kind of modernization SA-2/3/6 had, any particular info would be great...
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piston

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Unread post07 Jun 2014, 07:28

thegroundeffect wrote:This sounds like a question for Old.Iraqi.Airforce....


Yep..., He was invited already! :D
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basher54321

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Unread post07 Jun 2014, 16:29

piston wrote:
Also I am curious about what kind of modernization SA-2/3/6 had, any particular info would be great...



The only specific SAM variant I know of is the S-75M2 Volkhov (SA-2F) version of the SA-2 - apparently used by Iraq in the 80s - no idea on the other types!

Here is some info I dug out from a Gulf air war survey - its only analysis from the US side though.......



The Iraqi Air Defense System
Beyond its aircraft, Iraq depended on a complex air defense network. The Iraqi system was highly centralized; four sectors, each with a Sector Operations Center (SOC), controlled air and air defense assets. The focus of that network was on meeting two threats: long distance Israeli air attacks or that posed by the Iranian Air Force, what little remained after the war. Under each SOC, Intercept Operation Centers (IOCs) ran ground control intercepts and SAM defenses and coordinated the flow of information from individual radar stations and visual reporting sites to the SOCs [DELETED].
Information collated at the center then flowed back down to antiaircraft units, air bases, and SAM sites.

At the center, the Air Defense Operations Center (ADOC) in Baghdad made the crucial decisions, while a French-designed computer system (KARI Iraq spelled backwards in French) tied the network's diverse pieces together. [DELETED] KARI also possessed “land line and/or microwave (either troposcatter or line-of-sight)” to lower levels of command. Redundant land lines tied the section centers to the national command level, while the Iraqis placed the intercept centers near existing telecommunication trunks capable of carrying both voice and data communications. The French designed system modems so that each node could easily switch from one form of communication to another.293 The Iraqis also provided extensive protection to both types of centers by placing them in hardened shelters.

As the war with the Coalition loomed, the Iraqi leadership viewed the strategic purpose of its air defenses as providing the means for the nation to ride out an air campaign. The defenses were to inflict heavy enough losses on the attackers to bring on a ground campaign. The primary tools for defending Iraqi air space were SAM and antiaircraft forces. On paper, active air defenses were indeed impressive: five hundred radars located in no less than one hundred sites, SA-2 batteries, SA-3 batteries, SA-6 batteries, SA-8, and ROLAND I/II systems covered different areas of the nation. The air defense system controlled about 8,000 antiaircraft pieces, but the percentage devoted to the defense of strategic targets as opposed to the defense of the army in the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations is not known. Nevertheless, the Iraqis deployed approximately 4,000 fixed and mobile antiaircraft artillery pieces and SAMs around Baghdad.

Not surprisingly, the Iraqis tied the SAMs closely to computer KARI. However, antiaircraft artillery, relied on barrage firing on preset azimuths to hit attacking aircraft.295 The Iraqis believed that a combination of SAMs and antiaircraft artillery would impose sufficient attrition on attacking forces; at medium to high altitudes SAMs would shoot down many Coalition aircraft; should the attackers go low, then antiaircraft guns would inflict heavy casualties. Finally, Iraqi aircraft, protected by hardened aircraft shelters, could intervene at selected moments to add to Coalition losses.

Unfortunately for the Iraqis, KARI possessed a number of weaknesses. French experts oriented the system to protect Iraq from attack from the east (Iran) and west (Israel). Coverage towards Saudi Arabia was weak. SAM and antiaircraft defenses were strong in some sectors; admittedly, Baghdad was an extraordinarily heavily defended target. Strong air defenses also protected Basra, Scud-launching sites in western Iraq, and Iraq's northern oil fields. But much of the rest of the country lay open a factor that allowed allied aircraft to approach targets from different directions. Moreover, the layout of the western and central sectors created a dead zone pointed directly at Baghdad from Saudi Arabia.296 Not surprisingly, Iraqi defensive systems could only handle threat levels consistent with Middle Eastern force structures.297 Indeed, to the Iraqis, the system's capacity to track targets seemed more than sufficient.

But what Coalition air forces could throw at the Iraqis was something well beyond the capacity of Iraqi information, command and control, and weapons system capabilities.299 The largest weakness, however, lay in the fact that Iraqi operators and pilots could not handle either the technological or tactical competence of Coalition forces. Exacerbating their deficiencies was the low level of training and preparation among Iraqis in comparison to the levels of their opponents.


Coalition air planners in Riyadh realized early in Desert Shield that KARI, which had been designed, built, and installed by the French firm Thompson CSF, was the nervous system of Iraq's air defenses. As of 17 January 1991, KARI consisted of early-warning and low-altitude radars, over two dozen operations centers, more than one hundred reporting and control posts, computers and software, line-of-sight microwave and troposcatter Ccommunications links, and hardware interfaces.1158 Construction of this system had began in the late 1970s, but the Iraqis had not declared it fully operational until 1987.


Given the limited capabilities of Iraqi interceptors detailed in the preceding section, the aspect of the KARI system of greatest interest to Desert Storm air planners was its ability to control and employ radar-guided or “strategic” SAMs (principally the radar-guided SA-2, SA-3, and SA-6, but also the shorter-range Roland and SA-8).1161 In this regard, several points should be noted:
First, the strategic SAMs were not widely dispersed throughout Iraq. Instead, they were concentrated in dense pockets around potential high-value target areas (Mosul, Kirkuk, H-3, the Baghdad area, Basra, etc.).1162 As Figure 8 indicates, the vast majority of Iraqi airspace was not covered by radar-guided SAMs.
Second, while the precise linkages and interfaces between the IOCs and SAM batteries were not well understood going into the conflict, it appears likely that landlines of some sort existed to most fire units and reporting posts.1


Iraqi SAM Systems
SA-2 Guideline/SA-3 GOA
The SA-2 and SA-3 systems formed the backbone of the Iraqi air defense system. These older systems were usually supplemented by an SA-6 battery.30 The SA-2, while updated somewhat, was originally designed to go against the B-52 and presented few problems to modern, fast moving, maneuverable fighter aircraft. It had a range of twenty seven nautical miles and was designed for high-altitude targets.32 The SA-3, developed shortly after the SA-2, had a range of fourteen miles and was designed to defeat low- to medium-altitude aircraft

SA-6 Gainful
The SA-6 was developed in the 1960s to protect maneuvering ground units. Originally employed by the Iraqis in that capacity, it was withdrawn from frontline units during the Iran-Iraq War to protect key strategic sites. The SA-6 had a range of thirteen miles and was designed to be used mainly against very-low- to medium-altitude threats.38 After the Iran-Iraq War, many of the SA-6 batteries were returned to their ground units, particularly the Republican Guards.

Roland
The French Roland was another short-range missile designed to protect tactical ground units. It had a range of approximately three and one half miles.42 Approximately thirteen Roland I (clear weather) systems and one hundred Roland II (all weather) systems had been sold to Iraq. By the beginning of the Gulf War, it appeared that most Rolands had been incorporated into the strategic air defense system protecting high-value targets.4


SA-8 Gecko
The SA-8 was another tactical SAM designed to protect maneuver units. However, most SA-8s had been incorporated into the joint defense of strategically important areas, as had the SA-6s. The SA-8 had a maximum range of six nautical miles.

SA-9 Gaskin/SA-13 Gopher
As Desert Storm approached, the only mounted systems organic to Army Air Defense units apparently were the SA-9 and SA-13s. These short-range systems used infrared seekers and could be foiled by flare countermeasures. However, fired against an unaware target, they could be quite effective. The SA-9 and SA-13s were usually used in conjunction with the highly capable ZSU-23/4 AAA weapon system with its Gun Dish radar. The ZSU-23/4 was generally considered the most lethal threat to low-flying aircraft.


Man Portable Air Defense SAMs (Man PADS)
The Iraqis had SA-14s and over 3,000 SA-7s. Both were small, shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles used for close-in defense. The SA-7 (Grail) was believed to be a copy of the U.S. Redeye infrared surface-to-air missile. The SA-7 had a range of about two-and-one-half nautical miles and had to be fired at the heat created by an aircraft's exhaust.48 The SA-14 had a range of about three nautical miles and had an improved all-aspect seeker. SA-7s and SA-14s were distributed throughout the Iraqi Army and Air Defense Forces. Overall, infrared surface-to-air missiles were credited with downing or damaging several Coalition aircraft.

Hawk
Iraqi forces captured a number of U.S.-made Hawk SAM batteries from the Kuwaitis. Hawk was a highly capable missile with excellent low-altitude and ECM capabilities. Since the Iraqis proved unable to operate the Hawk, it was not a factor in Desert Storm, although there was initial concern that it might be used.

AntiAircraft Artillery (AAA)
Numerically, the most important element of the Iraqi Air Defense system was the antiaircraft artillery. Table 2 is a list of the number and country of origin of the various AAA weapons. These 7,500 or more AAA weapons proved to be the most effective Iraqi antiaircraft systems in both the Iran-Iraq War and in Desert Storm. As with other Iraqi air defense weapon systems, AAA was deployed to protect the most important strategic locations. AAA systems used with co-located SAM systems presented a formidable threat to Coalition aircraft. Some post-war evaluations of Iraqi tactics indicated that the purpose of SAMs was not to destroy attack-ing aircraft as much as to force Coalition aircraft to maneuver into the AAA envelope
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old.iraqi.air.force

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Unread post07 Jun 2014, 17:31

Dear piston,
What is your most interest about Iraqi AD "specifically", SAM VS Tomahawk missiles or Air craft?
I did ask people who participated in air defense operations and there is large information and different tasks and complex duties, in DS 1991 Iraqi AD inside the Iraqi border "cities,stores gear,military units and sensitive facility was totality different on Kuwait and the front line, later at the 90's during the period of the air embargo was differed from the previous..
However if you may ask specifically (what period and what unit) then i will be eligible to bring the good answer for you.
As i did read you comment above i would like to mention a quick incident occurred in the first night of the war 199, we have friend he is officer of Roland unit managed to fired 22 missiles at 22 targets (cruise missile) to discover at the dawn he fired on false objectives appeared on the radar!
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Unread post08 Jun 2014, 12:06

old.iraqi.air.force wrote:Dear piston,
What is your most interest about Iraqi AD "specifically", SAM VS Tomahawk missiles or Air craft?


SAM's operations at all.... Maybe it's better to start with Iran-Iraq war.... Sadly, I am not aware for any particular operation, but I do know that IrAF do some bombing deep in Iraq, so they probably met some SA-2/3...

old.iraqi.air.force wrote:As i did read you comment above i would like to mention a quick incident occurred in the first night of the war 199, we have friend he is officer of Roland unit managed to fired 22 missiles at 22 targets (cruise missile) to discover at the dawn he fired on false objectives appeared on the radar!


I did mention this as a interesting moment from the war... I have been told for at least 18 "Tomahawks" destroyed by SA-8.... Maybe we should start from the begining - (Iran-Iraq war)...
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old.iraqi.air.force

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Unread post15 Jun 2014, 14:34

About the Iraqi air defense in the war with Iran
The Iraqi air defense before the war with Iran has good experience achieved through the lessons derived from the 1967 and 1973 wars, and movements suppress the insurrection in the mountains of Kurdistan, not to mention the continuous monitoring of violations of Iran since the sixties of the last century, for that the Iraqi air defense force to be reckoned with in this part of the middle east, which have benefited from their experiences in the face of the many threats of Israel's air force "in that time".
The estimated manpower of Iraqi air defense before the war with Iran about twenty five thousand individual officers and personnel, and the number rose to fifty thousand individual to fill the needs of the units that have been developed to meet the threats of the Iranian air in protecting the headquarters and pivotal projects and the armed forces until it reached at the end of the war about (88000) thousand personnel and (4000) officer.
Organization and strategy
air force and air defense one organizational topped by the commander of the air force and air defense,also the deputy commander of the Air Force air and air defense at the top of the pyramid of air defense system, associated with him (Air Defense Operations Center, Directorate movements of air defense, Directorate warning and control, command anti-aircraft units, troops air defense and air defense structures) later added technology units and early warning and control AWACS
Sector number one of air defense:
Located at Al-Taji area (25 Km) north Baghdad Responsibility (central and eastern towards depth of Iran includes the capital Baghdad, political leadership and headquarters building, pivotal projects).
Diyala, Hilla, Karbala, Najaf and Diwaniyah to the east and Haditha west and north of Samarra.
Brigade formations 145 SAM unit in Baghdad, and brigade formations 146 at Habbaniyah with two battalion of KVADRAT SAM – 6.
Note the information received from the senior leaders of the former Iraqi Air Force and Air Defense.
To be continued
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Unread post16 Jul 2014, 20:21

old.iraqi.air.force wrote:To be continued[/i]


When? :drool:
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old.iraqi.air.force

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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 19:47

piston wrote:
old.iraqi.air.force wrote:To be continued[/i]


When? :drool:

I'm really sorry couldn't have enough time to translate the documents, so would you like to post or send a copy of that details in Arabic language and you may find some one to translate it or wait till i will?
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Unread post26 Aug 2014, 19:02

http://www.armourbook.com/forum/topic_1651/last

Not sure it is correct (mainly acquisition radars/heighfinders)...
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Unread post07 Aug 2015, 19:21

The Australian AF assesment of DS estimated that Iraqi AD Forces had 105 active units of SAM-2,3,6,8 and Roland
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Unread post07 Nov 2019, 16:35

old.iraqi.air.force wrote:
piston wrote:
old.iraqi.air.force wrote:To be continued[/i]


When? :drool:

I'm really sorry couldn't have enough time to translate the documents, so would you like to post or send a copy of that details in Arabic language and you may find some one to translate it or wait till i will?

I haven’t any Arabic translator available

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