The Tech That Took Out Zarqawi

mora

War Hero
#1
Al-Zarqawi killed using Israeli LITENING pod



The Art of Aerial Assassination

Ten years ago, it would have been an impossible task. Air strikes were planned days or even weeks in advance. Pilots weren't trained to change missions mid-stream. Sensors and weapons weren't accurate and flexible enough to spot and hit fleeting targets. But during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Air Force pioneered the prosecution of what it calls Time Sensitive Targets, or TSTs. Since then, the Navy and Marine Corps have gotten in on the game too, and these days, over Iraq, it's typical for jets to launch with only the vaguest idea of what's out there. New sensors and weapons, high-tech surveillance drones and better training have resulted in a minor revolution of which the Zarqawi attack is just one result.

For years, the military has labored to increase the flexibility and lethality of its aircraft and to decrease the time it takes to put bombs on target. One goal has been to "decapitate" regimes and terrorist organizations with timely air strikes. Several decapitation strikes since 2003 have failed despite increasingly sophisticated weapons and sensors, due to intelligence failures.

On Wednesday, the military succeeded in killing Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi with an air strike on his Baqubah, Iraq, safehouse. For the first time in more than four years, intelligence has allowed the technology of aerial assassination to fulfill its potential.




Earlier failed strikes include:


* An air raid in Fallujah in June 2004 that narrowly missed Zarqawi.

* An attack on notorious Ba'ath Party leader Ali Hassan Al Majeed, aka "Chemical" Ali. He had already left his safehouse in Samawah when it was hit in March 2003.

* Several attacks on suspected safehouses in Baghdad that failed to kill Saddam Hussein in the early months of the war.

* The opening shot of the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- a bomb dropped on Dora Farms, one of Saddam's country retreats, on March 20, 2003. The strike was launched based on reports that the Iraqi leader was at the site, when in fact he hadn't visited in months.

Prior to Wednesday, the only successful major "decapitation" strike had been in Yemen on Nov. 4, 2002, when a CIA-operated Predator drone fired a Hellfire missile that killed Abu Ali, one of the masterminds of the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole destroyer that killed 17 sailors.

Drones such as Predator and the larger, unarmed Global Hawk are critical nodes in an expanding adaptive network of sensors and shooters combining aircraft and ground forces from all the U.S. services. The military's aim is to blanket a combat zone in this network, spotting and killing Time-Sensitive Targets (TSTs) in minutes' time. The Zarqawi raid represents the network's first headline-worthy success.

Several current and future technologies underpin the network:

Sensor Pods


These are perhaps the most visible technologies in the military's efforts to take on TSTs. Pods contain day and night cameras, GPS for employing satellite-guided bombs and laser designators and trackers for laser-guided bombs. The cigar-shaped pods are slung under jets' wings or fuselages.





AN/AAQ-28 LITENING
Advanced Airborne Targeting and Navigation Pod

LITENING is under contract with the United States Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, as well as six international air forces. The USMC has purchased the LITENING Targeting Pod to meet the precision attack requirement for the AV-8B Harrier. Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector, located in Rolling Meadows, Illinois is partnered with RAFAEL of Israel to produce these systems.

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=060906E

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/litening.htm
 
#3
Bit of a result for the Israelis. Makes a change from women and children. Should make them a few more shekels on the Arms Exchange now it's been mission-proven.
 

mora

War Hero
#4
crabby said:
So what's your opinion?
During Abu Ghraib scandal, "Israel's tactics" were the main smokescreen behind the attempt to scapegoating Israel for the perversive actions of American soldiers. Surely Zarqawi's successful "targeting assassination" needs the same credit.



This pic used to smart Israel
 

mora

War Hero
#6
For Zarqawi assassination they used


AN/AAQ-28 LITENING
Advanced Airborne Targeting and Navigation Pod

LITENING is under contract with the United States Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, as well as six international air forces. The USMC has purchased the LITENING Targeting Pod to meet the precision attack requirement for the AV-8B Harrier. Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector, located in Rolling Meadows, Illinois is partnered with RAFAEL of Israel to produce these systems.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/litening.htm
 
#7
mora said:
Al-Zarqawi killed using Israeli LITENING pod

[. New sensors and weapons, high-tech surveillance drones and better training have resulted in a minor revolution of which the Zarqawi attack is just one result.

]

Hmmm. Lets not worry too much about the kit used to guide the bomb when actually dropped and the puff on behalf of the Israeli defence industry. I guess there are a number of guidance devices out there.

More important is the story behind how they knew where to drop it in the first place. I'd guess that the most likely answer to that is a senior Sunni politician grassed him up - there were a pile of other ops immediately afterwards I believe - all too fast to be the reaction to info found on Zakawi. Given that all this happened just as the final Iraqi Govt line-up was announced it looks like Zarqawi and his boys were victim of a political ploy, given up in exchange for influence in the Govt.
 
#8
Trossachs said:
......More important is the story behind how they knew where to drop it in the first place. I'd guess that the most likely answer to that is a senior Sunni politician grassed him up - there were a pile of other ops immediately afterwards I believe -.......
Wasnt there a big financial incentive by the Americans for giving information that would lead to the capture or demise of Zarqawi?? It was only a matter of time till someone would jump at the bait.
 
#9
mora said:
Pilots weren't trained to change missions mid-stream. Sensors and weapons weren't accurate and flexible enough to spot and hit fleeting targets.
never heard of a rhubarb or cab rank, and how flexible do you think a couple of cannons are ?
 
#10
Arik said:
Trossachs said:
......More important is the story behind how they knew where to drop it in the first place. I'd guess that the most likely answer to that is a senior Sunni politician grassed him up - there were a pile of other ops immediately afterwards I believe -.......
Wasnt there a big financial incentive by the Americans for giving information that would lead to the capture or demise of Zarqawi?? It was only a matter of time till someone would jump at the bait.
Thats another option Arik, there was a big bounty - but that a pile of other Ops kicked off at the same time would indicate that it was more than just a tip-off from a minor player or local informer. The point, if it was a "senior" player", is that the rest of the terrorists should feel very worried indeed. Their "higher command" obviously has no loyalty to them and will betray them when the political imperitive is strong enough. Hard to give your life for some-one whose "commitment" is so patently weak that they will sell you for a seat in Govt.

On the other hand I could be a CIA plant just trying to maximise fear and dissention among the hundreds of Al Q who read this forum... :wink:
 
#11
rockhoppercrab said:
mora said:
Pilots weren't trained to change missions mid-stream. Sensors and weapons weren't accurate and flexible enough to spot and hit fleeting targets.
never heard of a rhubarb or cab rank, and how flexible do you think a couple of cannons are ?
Cab rank was primarily only close air support IIR- (WWII history classes) -C. Ity may have changed since then. Im not sure what its evolution was.
I cant see what this israeli pod did that other pods on the market havent been cpable of doing.
 
#12
Pillager said:
I cant see what this israeli pod did that other pods on the market havent been cpable of doing.
Remember Mohamed Farrah Aidid than. Aidid was one of the main targets of Operation Restore Hope, in Somalia . Aidid hindered international U.N. peacekeeping forces in 1992. As a result, the US put a $25,000 bounty on his head and attempted to capture him.


On July 12, 1993, U.N. troops bombed a house believed to be the headquarters for the warlord known as Gen. Mohammed Farah Aidid.

Abdi house attack
In a major escalation, American Cobra helicopters attack a house in south Mogadishu where a group of clan leaders are meeting, destroying the building with TOW missiles and cannon fire and killing a number of Somalis. Four western journalists who had gone to investigate are beaten to death by an angry mob.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ambush/interviews/montgomery.html#abdi

Can you talk about the incident on July 12th at Abdi House and how it was conducted?

The Abdi House raid was my responsibility and it was conducted by the Quick Reaction Force.... We had excellent intelligence about the Abdi house. We knew that everyday at 9:30 the Molisha leadership met there. Not all of them showed up; Aidid didn't come very often, but most of the them showed up. There was one woman who worked there. We knew the day we launched the raid that she was not there, we knew there were no children. We knew that that was a Molisha headquarters. We also knew that leadership was the leadership that was responsible for that mine that blew up the four MPs and orchestrating all of the acts of violence against the US and UN Forces. And so we decided to take it out.

And again, I could not do anything like that without approval from higher headquarters......We had a five-day window, it was about the 4th day before I launched, although we were set to go everyday. It was a classic air mobile raid in which we engaged the building with TOW missiles and then we landed on the roof of the building next door, and on the street in front, and were in and out within 10 minutes, with Air Mobile Infantry troops. When the troops got in the building, there were either dead or wounded but there were others that took them under fire so they had to fight their way in.

How many people died?

I don't know.... 20, 25 Somalis as I recall, were dead. So it was large, but of course the Somalis made claims, after the fact, that women and children had been involved and there were like 70 or something -- which is ridiculous. I mean I was overhead in the helicopter... From a military stand point, [it was] a very precise, and very decisive operation and the intent was to kill bad guys, to decapitate part of the command staff that were making the decisions about the attacks on the United States and the United Nations.

Now at the same time, looking back on it, it also worked against us from the standpoint that the suddenness and the violence of it shocked a lot of UN civilian personnel, I think, and some of the humanitarian people that were not at the site. But I mean the fact that we did that had a tendency to make the Somalis and the faction -- it really stirred them up a lot, too. And you may recall that a couple of reporters or photographers were subsequently killed by the Somalis on that side.

So was July 12 a significant turning point in the whole Somalia US-UN operation?

Yes, it was clearly the most amount of force that we had used, but I wouldn't call it a turning point. From a military standpoint, I think it was a logical continuation. I mean we were being attacked nightly, there were ambushes and we had already taken a significant number of casualties, and not just us, the United Nations troops as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mogadishu

On October 3, 1993, the United States Army Rangers and the army's Delta Force went on a mission to capture two of Aidid's warlords. Although the mission was successful, five American army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down during the battle (two in the city [Durant's "Super 64" and Wolcot's "Super 61"] and 3 at a safe area), causing about 100 U.S. Rangers and Delta Force operators to be pinned down in the city, trying to rescue survivors and recover the dead. In this Battle of Mogadishu, the Somalis killed 18, one soldier three days later in a mortar strike and 1 Malaysian soldier and injured several dozen. Estimates put the number of Somali casualties at 500-1000 militia and civilians dead and 3000-4000 injured. The later nonfiction book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War and film Black Hawk Down dramatize the events of this battle.
Aidid's reward was not long in coming: the Clinton administration promptly signaled its intention of surrendering the field to the Somali warlord as rapidly as a semi-respectable withdrawal could be arranged. That American military power could destroy Aidid and all his henchmen--could obliterate the entire city of Mogadishu, for that matter--was beside the point. The United States would not do so. Having inflicted approximately 100 casualties on the American forces deployed to Somalia, Aidid had won a victory that by any definition of the term was decisive.
 
#13
Escuse me, mora, but what just what is your fückin' problem? You tang on about how terrible the Palestinians are and how unjustly they treat the Israelis, but you consistently fail to provide any real evidence for one side or the other!

The tribe of Israil(is) was just one of very many tribes that happened to be in the area at the time, but then they jump up and say they are in control of the whole country - in spite of only being given a part of it by the United Nations 9the rest they took by murdering nigh on a million Palastinians - talk about ethnic cleansing!).

So why the Israelis hack on about it being THEIR one and only holy land is rather extreme, isn't it? After all, they're thus all arabs, aren't they? I that too naive?

MsG
 
#15
Mora ,I am a Ex-RAF Armourer & probably know more about weapons & the various targetting pods than you ever will! The RAF also use weapons & pods made by other countries.The US & Isreal have a very long history of shareing technology.
 

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