Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Tigray Defence Forces Display Surface-To-Air Missiles #Shorts


Images from a music video released in early September this year show Tigray forces handling S-75 and S-125 surface-to-air missiles (SAM) seized from Ethiopian government forces. Although captured as early as November 2020, fairly little is known about their subsequent use by Tigray forces. Still operational at the time of capture, only the defection of enough of their operators to the Tigray side could have allowed their use against the Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF). While their latest sighting did not include any of the launching systems associated with the missiles, it confirms that Tigray forces are still in control of several components of the systems.

When Tigray forces began their conquest of the region, they quickly seized control of one S-75 and three S-125 SAM sites in addition to numerous radar stations. [1] Perhaps by cobbling together enough personnel from each site, it quickly sought to use both the S-75 and S-125 SAM systems against their former owners. [2] [3] None of the launches are believed to have resulted in any successful downings, and Tigray forces are believed to have achieved more success through the use of MANPADS, possibly shooting down as many as three Ethiopian Air Force aircraft and helicopters since the beginning of hostilities in November 2020.

Interestingly, the Ethiopian Air Force made little to no attempt at destroying the SAM sites, perhaps indicating that it considered it unlikely that Tigray forces could reactivate them for future use. When Tigray forces did put them to use, the Ethiopian military still ignored the threat while at the same time flying transport aircraft over the region. Presenting easy targets even to the older S-75 and S-125 SAMs, it could be argued that only through sheer luck no aircraft was downed as a result.


Satellite imagery from the 15th of November 2020 indicates that the S-125 site located north of Mekelle (the capital of the Tigray Region) was almost immediately used following its capture by Tigray forces. [4] At least four missiles were fired off against Ethiopian Air Force aircraft flying in the area, apparently with little success as no downings related to these launches were reported by either side.
 
While attempts at shooting down Ethiopian Air Force aircraft appear to have been entirely unsuccessful, the use of surface-to-air missiles by rebel groups represents a severely escalated threat that one day might result in a successful shoot down. More surprises are certain to await in Tigray as the conflict continues to develop in unpredictable ways.
 

8 comments:

  1. Recycling the same news again doesn't make TPLF strong or survive longer. It's a dying force looking for attention and gasping to survive. It provoked the government and fierce fighters from Amhara and Afar. No where to hide

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    1. So if the TPLF was dying force, what does that make the Ethiopian army? The TPLF has managed to route them out of the region of Tigray and pushed outside the territory. They keep capturing equipment and keep pushing.

      The cognitive dissonance is honestly astounding

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  2. Made up and stale piece of news. There is no earthly power that can save the TPLF junta.

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  3. Oh man, salty Ethiopian accounts up already! Nice read and good short article summarizing it!

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    1. I know right! At least Ethiopia still has keyboard warriors. Good little article about a little known subject, I wonder if the TPLF might try to modify some to ballistic missiles al la Yemen?

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  4. No, they are not Ethiopians -- rather wannabe Ethiopians aka Oromos.

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  5. Yo call TPLF a dying force? Ya right! Its a dying force capturing more missiles, tanks, rockets and annexing territories. Its looking in to redrawing the geographic Amhara. No where to hide for Abi Ahmed and his cronies

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