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080600Z CAOC Reports Major SAFIRE (Poss MANPADS) IVO Kabul
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At 080600ZAUG07, a C-130 (9,332 AGL/161 HDG/180 SPD) shortly after takeoff from Bagram was at 42S WD 23506 21859, IVO Kabul, when the right rear loadmaster observed an orange flash from the 4 oclock position, approximately 1.2nm from the aircraft IVO 42S WD 21314 24752 near southeast end of Kabul/KIA Runway. Crew heard partial tone in headset, but no quadrant light was noted. CMD system was in Auto Program 2, and 24x flares dispensed automatically. The loadmaster then observed a white corkscrew smoketrail and projectile. The smoketrail was continuous until within 300ft from the aircraft, and appeared to guide slightly on flares until visual was lost due to aircraft maneuvers. No detonation or projectile was observed. (CAOC) (S//REL TO USA, ACGU) ISRD Assessment: Close, significant, probable MANPADS. Information provided is consistent with MANPADS. The motor burnout (smoketrail burnout) altitude for the given range, possible guidance on flares, corkscrew smoketrail, and MWS indication with auto dispense of flares are all indicative of a MANPADS engagement. Due to MANPADS possibly biting off on flares, the variant of MANPADS used likely did not have IRCCM (SA-7, SA-14, SA-16); however, the information needed to distinguish between these variants is not available. The individual who fired this MANPADS, based on location, was likely waiting to engage an aircraft taking off from Kabul, and engaged the C-130 as a target of opportunity. The Kabul area (10nm) has been averaging .5 SAFIREs since the beginning of the year. There have only been 4 x SAFIREs this year; none in the last 30 days. There were 3 x SAF against FW aircraft, and 1 x UI rocket against a helicopter. The POO may not be exact. The location given by the loadmaster was near the southeast end of the Kabul runway, and is a best guess of where the actual POO was.