As the Soviet special forces seized the latest stinger in Afghanistan

History 21/02/20 As Soviet special forces captured the latest MANPADS “stinger” in Afghanistan

One of the most effective means of combat helicopters, drones and warplanes over the last fifty years are portable anti-aircraft missile complexes, in particular several generations of American MANPADS “stinger”.

In Afghanistan, this weapon became a real disaster for the Soviet forces. To find the most effective way of dealing with him, the command has promised the gold star of hero of the Soviet Union to who would get the first sample of MANPADS “stinger”.

Weapons for the Mujahideen

First American MANPADS “stinger” appeared in Afghanistan in 1986. With the weapons the US is planning to significantly weaken the position of Soviet troops in the country. Given that the most effective tool in the fight against the Mujahideen were fighting the elements of MI-24 helicopters, the supply of “Stingers” was a real “kick in the plums” to group of Soviet soldiers and officers.

the Successful action against the Afghan rebels in their mountain bases and convoys of weapons were in jeopardy. It is not surprising that the Soviet command definitely wanted to get samples of these weapons, to develop an effective method of dealing with it. This was especially true because MANPADS “stinger” was the most frequently used weapon of the Mujahideen against the Soviet aircraft.

At the same time, the Americans, supplying the rebels Stingers pursued several goals. One of them was a test of new weapons and its new generations in the field. Moreover, it was also kind of response to the “courtesy” to supply Vietnamese guerrillas MANPADS “Arrow”, produced by the Soviet Union.

However, despite the promised high state award, for a long time in the hands of the Soviet troops were only a part is already used “Stingers”, and capture a working installation not to mention the technical documentation for it, did not succeed.


Hunting for “Stinger” continued throughout the year. Only on 5 January 1987 during the military operations of the scouts were captured by the first instance of a given weapon.

Scouts lieutenants Mr Kovtun and Basil Cheboksarova 186th Separate special forces conducted aerial reconnaissance. Suddenly from the helicopter, the commandos noticed a number of Mujahideen at high speed, rushing along the bottom of the gorge Maltesische on motorcycles. Mi-24 with a special forces unit started the persecution of alleged terrorists.

Flair scouts did not disappoint. Barely noticing a pursuit from the air, the motorcycle stopped and opened fire from small arms. However, apparently realizing that the helicopter it will not cause much harm, Mujahideen got two sets of “Stingers” and fired a missile. Luckily the rocket had passed, and one of the turntables landed in the gorge and landed spies. Then came another element of the Soviet helicopters and the commandos took the fight to the ground.

the Joint efforts of the Mujahideen were destroyed. When Vladimir Kovtun examined the trophies, he found not only a launcher container MANPADS “stinger”, but a full set of technical documentation. This finding seemed to be a great success.

Comrades Kovtun, meanwhile, found about motorcycles, another safe and sound MANPADS “stinger”. Hits of the helicopters saved by the fact that under intense fire from the spooks did not have time to deploy the antenna complexes and, in fact, fired from them, as from a conventional grenade.

a day Later, in all military units of the Soviet troops stationed in Afghanistan, was the jubilation over captured commandos “Stingers”.

during the hunt for units of MANPADS “stinger” the Soviet military had captured eight complexes of this weapon, however, the promise of a Hero so no one got it. Onbollis less important orders and medals.

the Effect was enormous. Soviet and later Russian aircraft designers in the shortest possible time managed to develop an effective means of combating MANPADS imported, thereby saving the lives of hundreds of Russian military pilots.

Russian Seven

© Russian Seven

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