WORLD AIR WAR HISTORY


 
  Libya   Libyan Air Force
Libya (ليبيا)

Libyan Air Force  •  Naval Aviation  •  Army Aviation  •   •   •   •   • 
AF NEWS  •  AF HISTORY

U.S. Still Hunting for Missing Libyan MANPADS

U.S. Still Hunting for Missing Libyan MANPADS

The U.S. State Department believes the majority of the anti-aircraft missiles that went missing when Moammar Gadhafi’s regime was defeated are still in Libya.

However, while there is no definitive evidence that any of the weapons left the country, the U.S. government is not ruling out that possibility, according to Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs.

“We believe the vast majority still remain in Libya,” Shapiro said Feb. 2, speaking at an event at the Stimson Center in Washington.

The U.S. State Department has led a multilateral effort to track down, secure and destroy the shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, which Gadhafi stockpiled in the thousands.

The weapons, also called man-portable air defense systems, or MANPADS, pose a threat to commercial and military aircraft worldwide. The real concern for the United States is that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists.

It’s believed Gadhafi had an estimated 20,000 MANPADS when his regime collapsed, posing a “major proliferation challenge,” Shapiro said.

To date, about 5,000 MANPADS have been identified, recovered and secured, Shapiro said.

“We don’t know and probably will never know” how many MANPADS are still missing, he said.

This is partially because there was a lot the U.S. government did not know about Gadhafi’s conventional weapons stockpiles, Shapiro said.

It is unclear, for example, how many systems were used to train. A MANPADS launch tube can only be used once and then it is out of service, Shapiro said. Other systems could have been ruined by improper storage or exposure to the elements.

U.S. government teams are working to piece together a fuller picture, using packing slips found in MANPADS crates.

Exact numbers also are difficult to come by because so many weapon storage sites were purposefully destroyed during the NATO bombing campaign, Shapiro said.

Finally — this is why the U.S. government believes so many of the weapons remain in the country — members of the Libyan opposition have removed MANPADS and other weapons from weapon storage sites. Some of these were used in direct combat against Gadhafi loyalists, while several others remain under the control of militia groups.

“Many militia groups remain reluctant to relinquish them,” Shapiro said.

As efforts to demobilize the militias continue, the State Department expects many of these weapons to be turned over to the control of the Libyan National Army. The United States does not know how many MANPADS are possessed by militias, but Shapiro said it’s a “substantial number.”

To mitigate the risk of MANPADS that may have left Libya, the United States and other nations are working with countries in the region to improve border control and aviation security.

The United States has pledged $40 million toward securing Libyan arms. The United Kingdom is contributing 1 million pounds ($1.58 million); the Netherlands, 900,000 euros ($1.2 million); Germany, 750,000 euros; and Canada is providing 1.6 million Canadian dollars ($1.6 million).

There have been reports that some of these funds could go toward buying MANPADS from the militia groups in Libya.


Shapiro said he would not comment on any acquisition program, but added the State Department is looking at every possible tool to secure the weapons.


Source:
By KATE BRANNEN, 02 February 2012 - Gannett Government Media / DefenceNews (www.defensenews.com)

Photo: Libyan National Army MANPADS (Photo by http://4.bp.blogspot.com and http://mil.bonology.com)


(2/1/2012)


 
Libyan Air Force MiG-21UM
Tu-22B Blinder-A
MiG-25R Foxbat-B
Sukhoi Su-24MK Fencer-D
MiG-23ML Flogger-B
Mirage F-1ED
Libya AF
Scheme
EMPTY
 

 
  CONTINENTAL NEWS:

American Air Force News
African Air Force News
Asian Air Force News
European Air Force News
Middle Eastern AF News
Ocean Air Force News


• Libyan National Army Air Force "airstrikes"

(4/3/2016)
Libyan National Army Air Force launched new airstrikes with MiG-21MF serial number "18" equipped with two S-8 rocket launchers and MiG-21UM loaded with two unguided bombs....>>

• UK airman awarded for heroism in Libya

(6/20/2013)
An RAF navigator has been awarded a top French medal for the second time in three years, for heroism under fire while protecting civilians from attack by Colonel Gaddaffi's forces ...>>

• US Proposes C-130J Sale to Libya

(6/11/2013)
The Pentagon has notified Congress it wants to sell Libya two C-130J Super Hercules cargo planes, strengthening military ties between America and the burgeoning post-Gadhafi govern...>>

• Official: NATO May Look At Training For Libya

(6/3/2013)
NATO defense ministers will discuss the possibility of training Libya’s military to ensure it is able to police the country’s borders properly, a senior US defense official said Mo...>>

• Libyan Air Force MiG-21 Jets on air surveillance along southern, eastern borders

(5/18/2013)
Determined to stamp out arms and drug trafficking as well as stop illegal immigrants from entering the country, Libyan air force jets have continued to conduct air surveillance alo...>>

• US sending troops to Italy in case of Libya unrest

(5/16/2013)
The United States is sending a force of 200 Marines supported by two aircraft to Italy as a precaution against unrest in Libya. The force would deploy in case of an attack similar ...>>

 




       info@xairforces.net Webmaster: REFLX DESIGN - © 2011 xairforces / Aviation Society,