French military aircraft, take 2. Yesterday I noted the Super-Etendard, and this morning in Defense News (subscription only, unfortunately) I noticed this bit in an article on the French Rafale F2 fighter-bombers operating out of Tajikistan:
French pilots say they could face Stinger shoulder-launched missiles the United States supplied to mujahadin guerrillas who fought the Russian Army in the 1980s. A Stinger goes for about $100,000 in the market, a French pilot said.
–They are almost used for barter, they are so common,” a pilot said.
Murdoc’s more than a bit tired of this. Can anyone point to one single instance where any Stingers issued to mujahedeen have been used against allied/coalition aircraft? I don’t recall one. In 2005, I asked Has anyone ever been stung? No one seems to think so. Not in Iraq. Not in Afghanistan. Not anywhere as far as I know.
And it really seems to me that we’d know all about it if it happened.
I haven’t even ever heard before that the old Stingers are “common” and “almost used for barter”, either. (Is it just Murdoc, or is something that sells for $100,000 not terribly useful when bartering? “I’ll give you fourteen cows, three opium fields, my truck, my daughter, and the village down the road for that missile and a sack of potatoes“? Give me a break.)
And how do pilots flying out of Tajikistan know what’s for sale (or trade) in Afghan markets, anyway?
I think they don’t know what they’re talking about.