Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Playing Chicken with a Missile

This is the moment a driver dodged an incoming missile heading straight for his pick-up truck by waiting until the last moment before hitting the accelerator. The motorist displayed nerves of steel as the rocket flew straight for his vehicle, which lurched out of the way as the projectile shot past and exploded in a building behind.

It is alleged to have taken place in Syria and the person in the white pick-up truck is a Hezbollah fighter, due to a yellow flag seen near the car.

The tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided (TOW) missile was launched from quite some distance away and is seen heading towards its target for 24 seconds before the last-gasp manoeuvre.

It appears to be fired from a hillside while a voice can be heard off camera in an apparent radio transmission as the missile heads towards the town.

The driver's actions are made all the more impressive because if they had moved too early, the missile would have simply changed course and followed the vehicle.

By waiting until the last minute the driver ensured the missile would not have time to change direction before its impact with the building.

Hezbollah is a Lebanon-based militant organisation that is pro-Assad and has been fighting for the Syrian government in the Syrian Civil War since 2013. It is unknown who fired the missile as it could have been one of several opponents including ISIS, the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic Front or Jaish al-Fatah.

TOW missiles are capable of destroying tanks and are widely used throughout the world. The shooter guides the projectile by keeping the target within their sites until it impacts. They were first produced in 1970 and developed by American aerospace firm Hughes Aircraft in the 1960s. The weapons were first used by the US Army in South Vietnam in 1972.

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