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Air-ground missile with NO collateral damage!?

This is a discussion on Air-ground missile with NO collateral damage!? within the Missiles & WMDs forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; An Al Qaida leader was killed by a US drone strike in Syria. Look at the pictures, no scorch marks ...


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Old February 27th, 2017   #1
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Air-ground missile with NO collateral damage!?

An Al Qaida leader was killed by a US drone strike in Syria. Look at the pictures, no scorch marks and the car is surprisingly intact. What sort of missile can do this?

I can't post the URL as it's my first post but it'll come up in a google search for
"charles lister drone strike abu al-khayr and-masri twitter"

You'll see a big hole in the roof of the car and that's about it. No burns, no obvious signs of over pressure. Never seen anything like it. There's mention of Brimstone, but that would have torn the car to pieces wouldn't it?
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Old February 27th, 2017   #2
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It does seem like the damage is well contained. Perhaps the missile works by kinetics only with no explosives or a very minimal amount. Certainly this weapon appears to produce a kill within a very confined zone which prevents political blowback.
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Old February 27th, 2017   #3
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Originally Posted by Kitco View Post
An Al Qaida leader was killed by a US drone strike in Syria. Look at the pictures, no scorch marks and the car is surprisingly intact. What sort of missile can do this?

I can't post the URL as it's my first post but it'll come up in a google search for
"charles lister drone strike abu al-khayr and-masri twitter"

You'll see a big hole in the roof of the car and that's about it. No burns, no obvious signs of over pressure. Never seen anything like it. There's mention of Brimstone, but that would have torn the car to pieces wouldn't it?
If I was to guess, I would say the warhead did not detonate. Or, they used a training round with a dummy warhead.
Honestly, I'm not sure they would risk the target surviving with a non-explosive engagement. So, my money is on a dud round.

Charles Lister tweet 1
Charles Lister tweet 2

Images:
Abu al-Khayr al-Masri 1 at 50.jpg
Link - full size image 1

Abu al-Khayr al-Masri 2 at 50.jpg
Link - full size image 2

Abu al-Khayr al-Masri 3 at 50.jpg
link - full size image 3
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Old February 27th, 2017   #4
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I guess that makes, nevertheless it accomplished the mission.
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Old February 27th, 2017   #5
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I'm guessing dud or inert
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Old March 1st, 2017   #6
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I asked some of the EOD and RAAF guys today

the general consensus was dud, inert or possibly brimstone if release platform was known

the weapon was guided (as in wings) due to entry damage

unsure re whether it was a specific variant of the GBU as the vehicle had been moved post event, so unable to determine from surrounding ground etc...

the tell tale markers would have been any shots of the vehicle floor etc.. but you also can't see any flash damage to the undercarriage or overpressure indicators from underneath etc....
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Old March 2nd, 2017   #7
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would seem to be a hellfire.

would have been interesting to see the original location after it was struck
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Old March 5th, 2017   #8
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If this was a dud I am quite certain that a second missile would have been fired in order to finish the job. So my money is also on a deliberate inert missile in order to exclude collateral damage. This would be in line with the current trend of ever smaller, more precise warheads. If I remember correctly, inert LGB's where used to take out tanks in both Iraqi and Libya just for this reason.
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Old March 5th, 2017   #9
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USG says it was a hellfire launch.

EOD and BDA people I spoke to said the vehicle was shifted from its original location so unable to do a proper forensic as to whether the hellfire failed and just became kinetic

when an exlosive hits a vehicle it would normally trigger secondary explosions - it becomes whats called an "assisted shot". ie the secondary effects assist in the destruction

the lack of visible over pressure, a lack of evidence showing an assisted post impact effect, no residual after effect below the sills seem to indicate a dud round
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Old March 5th, 2017   #10
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I think that every piece of visible auto glass being virtually intact is sufficient proof that no explosive event occurred.
And, before someone suggests "bullet proof windows", I seriously doubt anyone has ever uparmored a Kia.
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Old March 7th, 2017   #11
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Maybe that wacko running the North has.
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Old March 12th, 2017   #12
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I was wondering about this too, when I saw the pictures. I thought maybe they put a shell or something in there But a dud makes more sense heh.

It is strangely more intimidating than seeing a totally burnt out car. To me, at least. It also reminds me of that scene in Hot Shots where Saddam gets a bomb lobbed right in his lap while he is smoking a cigar
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Old March 15th, 2017   #13
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It wouldn't be the first time inert versions of live munitions have been used as an alternative to live, to prevent collateral damage. I recall towards end of DS2, practice LGB's were being used to target tanks hiding in wait in narrow Baghdad streets, knowing they wouldn't be targeted with live A/G munitions. 1000lb dead weight from 18.000ft can make a mess of any kind of armour. What the photo's don't really show is floor of vehicle, and any kind of exit hole, so would say something considerably smaller than 1000lb.
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Old March 21st, 2017   #14
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1000lb dead weight from 18.000ft can make a mess of any kind of armour.
Absolutely, but at some point there must be a sweet spot between a PG mass driver and a small yield PGM, i.e effectiveness versus collateral damage. Using a high cost delivery platform (pretty much all aircraft) kind of dictates a range of PMGs on the hard points that have some small and big bangers. Inert mass drivers are too limited.
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