RAF Pilot saved villagers by steering smart bomb away from villagers – Afghanistan

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A dramatic video showing an RAF pilot steering a smart bomb away from its Taliban target to save a group of Afghan villagers was released today.

The laser-guided Paveway IV bomb was dropped from a Harrier jump jet to kill an insurgent commander in a car in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan.

But while it was in mid-flight, the militant stopped his vehicle next to a number of Afghan civilians.

The previously classified footage, shot from the Harrier, shows the pilot changing the bomb’s course so it detonates in a safe area of desert.

None of the Afghan civilians was killed and there was no damage to their property, the RAF said.

The pilot of the Harrier, who asked not to be named, said: “One task for fast jet pilots in Afghanistan is to conduct targeted strike operations against confirmed Taliban commanders.

“In this instance I found and tracked the target and had deployed my weapon. However, as it was flying to the target I saw the vehicle stop amongst civilians.

“Every pilot dreads the prospect of inadvertently causing harm to any innocent civilian, so I knew I had to act immediately.

“The Paveway IV smart bomb is amazingly accurate and incredibly flexible. I can control it whilst it is still in flight, so I used my onboard laser to guide the bomb into a safe area of open desert.

“It’s a shame I couldn’t prosecute the target as we had planned, but it was much better to let him go free this time than risk killing innocent civilians.

“In any case, this Taliban commander didn’t get away for long – we continued to track him and he was successfully attacked a couple of days later when the moment was right.”

The incident took place at the end of last year but the footage has only just been declassified.

The Paveway IV smart bomb, which was first used by the RAF in Afghanistan at the end of last year, can be controlled all the way to the target to minimise the risk of passers-by being killed.

Civilian casualties caused by foreign forces in Afghanistan are hugely controversial and the commander of Nato troops issued new orders in June aimed at reducing them.

19 thoughts on “RAF Pilot saved villagers by steering smart bomb away from villagers – Afghanistan”

  1. Who was the intended target in the first place? An ex military Irai who was denied when the Imperial army surrendered to coalition forces and wanted to rebuild Iraq and maintain order which were rejected and looting and chaos resulted that gave an excuse for the bombing which led to families they had and worked for like any other army being shredded and the remains of such people had no other option but to fight against these decisions? You call that a terrorist insurgent I call that ANYONE in such a situation. He killed your men? Who started that? He took out your friend? who killed his family? You don't understand? let me tear your life style up and destroy your suburbs and mince your wife and children before your eyes with shrapnel. What did you expect him to do Call a Lawyer? Oh excuse me I have a case. Oh wait you wont take it on because you need money but our bank got blown up and even if it didn't our dollars value has gone from $3.25 to every Dinar to shredded paper equivalent.
    Do you accept a sack full of body parts as payment?

    Ohh He was the Lawyer.. Oh ok then let him have it.

  2. @maydayfire And just to finish off not only would we never interfere in these countries affairs , but if they wanted to continue with their inter tribal fighting and murdering then fine by me . If they are all busy killing each other then they are not blowing up our service people , YES i witnessedthese events with my own eyes , different tribes and different sects of islam shooting each other . Fine by myself not our business .

  3. @maydayfire Well here we go another ranting raving rag head . I tell you something my friend i am ex british forces and if i had my way i would bring all our armed forces home from afghanistan and never invaded iraq either , then i would have rounded up everyone in the uk from these and other like countries that spout hatred and dont like the western way of life and fuck them all off back to their place of birth , then that way everybody happy . Lastly would not interfere in their affairs .

  4. @sprPee Not as far as i know, who said they did? i didnt, i said "on countries that have oil". They do as i understand want to build a pipeline through Afghanistan however. Plus the heroin production in that country which is managed by the CIA, Afghanistan was renowned for hashish production until they were encouraged to switch to opium poppy production,much to the Talibans disproval who still destroy the poppy fields when found . CIA paint a different story of course.

  5. @harrybyles1996 The bomb looks to the laser reflection(sparkle) that's shone on the ground and it has a seeker window on the bomb and the electronics in the bomb alter the fins(wings) on the bomb so it falls to the laser illuminated spot.Its not a rocket it has no motor it is free falling and uses wings like a plane through the air to change direction.But its also a lot of the spot where the pilot releases it in the first place as well.This paveway is a an expensive good version of these.

  6. Well done to the pilot for his quick-thinking. However I think the road which the commander took to the north of the civilians is just as far as the field opposite, which looked like it was used for agriculture. At least they got 'im a few days later.

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