Contrary to initial reports, the man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) used to shoot down an Egyptian military helicopter on 25 January was not a Strela-2 series (SA-7 ‘Grail’), but a more sophisticated missile system.

The Sunni radical group Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis released a video on 26 January showing an operative firing a MANPADS at an Mi-8/17 transport helicopter, which then crashes, but the front end of the system had been deliberately blurred in post-production to make it difficult to identify.

Egyptian sources reported that a ‘SAM-7’ (a derivative of the SA-7 designation) was used in the attack, which happened near the border with the Gaza Strip and killed five soldiers. The New York Times cited a senior US official as saying the preliminary evidence indicated it was a 9K32 Strela-2. […]