Are insurgents in Iraq making homemade explosives that can "leap into the air" and hit helicopters? A leading general says yes. The Pentagon's anti-IED (improvised explosive device) task force disagrees. And the Secretary of the Army -- well, he's not quite sure either way.Now, an intelligence source weighs in, telling Defense Tech that the "aerial IED" threat is all hype -- no matter what the general said. "Honest to God, there hasn't been a single anti-helo IED discovered anywhere in Southwest Asia," the source notes. "The bad guys are so successful at downing them with small arms fire they have no incentive to adopt needlessly complex anti-helo mines or IEDs. There might be one or two out there, but we haven't heard anything about it."I don't know about you, but I had no one idea there were anti-helicopter mines until this whole flap started. Defense Update helps educate me, with a description of this one Bulgarian-made helo-hunter. There are many others.
AHM-200-1... is activated by... acoustic and radar Doppler shift signatures... at a distance of of 100 m... The mine uses two warheads, an explosive formed projectile and augmented by a second TNT bar charge distributing 17kg of steel ball fragments. The mine can be activated for periods up to 30 days. The mine is placed on a stand permitting general orientation of the sensors and charges in the direction of potential threat. The control unit uses a signal processor to process the acoustic signals and determine activation parameters. Activation, neutralization and explosion by Radio control from a range of up to 2,000 meters is optional in model AHM-200-1RC. The mine will explode when attempts for moving, tampering or disassembly during its activation phase.