Watch these Iraqi Air Force Eurocopter EC635-T2 helicopter gunships go after ISIS technicals (improvised fighting vehicles) near Tikrit the old school way, with very low-level strafing and rocket fire.
Iraq, which has always had a love affair with helicopter gunships, operates a fleet of around two dozen Eurocopter EC635-T2s (military version of the EC135) which are capable of liaison, logistical, surveillance and medical evacuation duties, but they can also be turned into fairly fearsome attack choppers in quick order.
In this case, the EC635s seen in the video are armed with unguided rockets and Fabrique Nationale HMP-400 .50 caliber gun pods that are capable of holding 400 rounds of armored piercing explosive incendiary rounds. Such a weapon is perfectly suited for engaging ISIS lightly armored vehicles and material as well as combatants on foot. Although these helicopters are not heavily armored like their Mi-24/35 Hind and Mi-28 Havoc counterparts, they are nimble, quiet and small, making them hard targets to hit while zipping around at low level and high-speed.
Iraqi Armed Forces and Shiite Militias, with the help of Iran, have made it deep into ISIS held Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's ancestral town located north of Baghdad. The fall of the city is reported to be imminent.
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com