Friday, April 18, 2014

Did Jordan use her new mini-gunships to take out Syrian rebels?

(Amman) The other day, a convoy of Syrian rebels tried to sneak into neighbouring Jordan and was taken out by the Jordanian military. When they ignored warning shots in which to turn around, the gloves were taken off and the convoy destroyed. A Jordanian army statement said the incident took place at around 10:30am when several camouflaged vehicles attempted to traverse rugged frontier terrain and disregarded warnings not to proceed:
“After repeated warnings that (we) would not allow a violation of the border, a number of air force planes sent warning shots towards the vehicles, but they did not heed these warnings and continued. This forced the army to apply known engagement rules and to destroy the vehicles,”
Now, what interested me about his story is that recently Jordan took hold of a couple of Casa CN-235 light transport planes, which they converted into mini-gunships (like the US AC-130 variants). These CN-235s have been fitted out with electro-optical targeting systems that include a laser designator, aircraft self-protection equipment, and a weapons suite of Hellfire laser-guided missiles, 70mm/2.75 inch rockets (which could include laser guided rockets), and the same M-230 link-fed 30mm chain gun that equips AH-64 Apache helicopters. The weapons are all controlled by a mission system, turning the CN-235 into a very lethal but relatively inexpensive counter-insurgency platform.

Seeing as the pictures handed out by the Jordanians showed the vehicles on fire after getting hit by machine gunfire from the air, I wonder if they decided to test drive their new toys the other day.

Seeing as their F-16s would have had a much harder time taking these vehicles out with weapons fire.