Moroccan F-16C crash #08-8008

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basher54321

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Unread post12 May 2015, 07:33

According to unofficial Moroccan sources, this was the first mission of the FARM contingent as part of the Saudi-led coalition.

The pilot of the F-16C Block 52 is named as Lt Bathi, and meanwhile 'presumed dead'.
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Unread post12 May 2015, 14:39

SA-24? SPAAG?
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Unread post12 May 2015, 16:24

Apparently, 'just' a wild mix of small-arms fire: neither Houthis nor all the Yemen Army units that sided with them (which is more than 60% of the Yemeni military, including most of air force) are in posession of any more advanced air defence systems than ZSU-23-4s and SA-6s (provided any of latter are still intact).

Reports indicate the downed FARM F-16 flew quite low into a valley full of Houthis.

Is nothing new, though: there are videos of RSAF F-15S' flying very low into valleys of northern Yemen too.
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Unread post12 May 2015, 16:49

ZSU-23-4 is nothing to underestimate.
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Unread post13 May 2015, 07:40

Sure, but I'm yet to see a single Shilka in any of photos or videos showing ops of Houthi insurgents and six brigades of Yemeni Army (all sided with Houthis) in Sa'ada Province (northern Yemen), i.e. along the border to Saudi Arabia.

The RSAF and allied air forces are airborne 24/7 over all the major lines of communication there and targeting every single vehicle they find, no matter the type. They've dropped hundreds of CBUs to mine any roads that are not under permanent monitoring. Saudi SF teams are active on the ground too.

The terrain is rugged, no doubt, but getting an intact ZSU-23-4 into that area - and doing so at the time Houthis and YA have their hands full with moving different types of MLRS', mortars and ammo closer to the border in order to hit into Saudi Arabia...

And finally: Houthis did quite well against the YAF without any Shilkas, MANPADs and similar stuff, already back in 2009-2010. A bullet makes no distinction between Su-22 or MiG-21bis and F-16C. Why should this change now...?
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Unread post13 May 2015, 09:09

tomcooper wrote:Sure, but I'm yet to see a single Shilka in any of photos or videos showing ops of Houthi insurgents and six brigades of Yemeni Army (all sided with Houthis) in Sa'ada Province (northern Yemen), i.e. along the border to Saudi Arabia.

The RSAF and allied air forces are airborne 24/7 over all the major lines of communication there and targeting every single vehicle they find, no matter the type. They've dropped hundreds of CBUs to mine any roads that are not under permanent monitoring. Saudi SF teams are active on the ground too.

The terrain is rugged, no doubt, but getting an intact ZSU-23-4 into that area - and doing so at the time Houthis and YA have their hands full with moving different types of MLRS', mortars and ammo closer to the border in order to hit into Saudi Arabia...

And finally: Houthis did quite well against the YAF without any Shilkas, MANPADs and similar stuff, already back in 2009-2010. A bullet makes no distinction between Su-22 or MiG-21bis and F-16C. Why should this change now...?


Back then, in Autumn 2009 and 2011, Houthis claimed up to four MiG-21 and Su-22 as shot down. I can recall a video (I think the downing in 2011) where you could clearly spot a guy with the spent MANPADS launcher on his shoulder. Either way, I agree, this F-16 was probably shot down by what they call trashfire (AAA, small arms fire, MANPADS...). Indeed small arms fire is still a viable way of air defense for low flying threats. I remember reading a formal US Army manual where they were teaching light infantry tactics to passively protect from air raids and actively engage the aircraft when missing any sort of air defense. It was basically following the same principle of AAA fire: disperse on the sides of the road wildly spaced and then any soldier was tasked with filling with automatic fire a certain spot in the sky ahead of the route of the aircraft, regardless of the current position of the airplane. Each one firing at a different spot. That should ensure that some bullets find the plane and with some luck few of them might hit vital parts or the pilot.


1. PASSIVE AIR DEFENSE. Passive air defense is always used. By using available cover and concealment, camouflage, and dispersion, the platoon avoids being detected from the air.

2. ACTIVE AIR DEFENSE. Once detected, the platoon leader decides, based on the weapons control status, if he uses active air defense. Active air defense is conducted in one of the following ways:

a. For a high-performance aircraft, soldiers aim at a point two football field lengths in front of the aircraft and fire on automatic. This makes the aircraft fly through a "wall" of bullets.

b. For a low-performance aircraft or a rotary aircraft, soldiers aim at a point half of a football field length in front of the aircraft and fire on automatic.

c. For any aircraft heading directly at the platoon, soldiers aim at a point directly above the nose of the aircraft and fire on automatic.
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Unread post13 May 2015, 10:12

Very good analysis marco9!

Option 2a/c feels the most likely to me.
I'm recalling F-117 being downed by default triple AAA's / small arms back in late 90s.
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Unread post13 May 2015, 13:58

Wasn't that F-117 downed by S-125 (SA-3)?
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Unread post13 May 2015, 14:23

shrimpman wrote:Wasn't that F-117 downed by S-125 (SA-3)?


Pretty sure it was

Zoltan Dani: I shot down US stealth fighter
http://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/2012_03_24/69369732/

Foes now friends: US stealth pilot and the Serb who shot him down
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20209770


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Unread post13 May 2015, 18:05

marco9 wrote:Back then, in Autumn 2009 and 2011, Houthis claimed up to four MiG-21 and Su-22 as shot down. I can recall a video (I think the downing in 2011) where you could clearly spot a guy with the spent MANPADS launcher on his shoulder.
I've heard about such a video, 2-3 times, but never saw it.

The downings in question took place in late 2009 and early 2010, and - at least officially - three of them were credited to malfunctions or whatever other reasons but to defensive fire by Houthis. The latter are using no manuals, but like Afghans, Houthis are 'born with a rifle in their hand'. Few days ago, they've shot up one of Saudi AH-64s too, forcing it to land inside Yemen and the Saudi military to establish a secure perimeter around it. Word is that Apaches are slightly better protected against small arms fire than any F-16s... ;-)

Presence of Yemen Army units that sided with Houthis seems not to have changed the situation that much: it appears that US instructors (while still in the country) took care to limit distribution of these to an absolute minimum (well, it's not as if fighting the AQAP and Daesh in Yemen requires any MANPADs).
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Unread post13 May 2015, 21:36

tomcooper wrote:I've heard about such a video, 2-3 times, but never saw it.

The downings in question took place in late 2009 and early 2010, and - at least officially - three of them were credited to malfunctions or whatever other reasons but to defensive fire by Houthis.


Let me fix it for you: during Operation Scorched Earth, on 2 and 5 October and on 8 November 2009, three fighter jets crashed, reported as a MiG-21 a Su-22 and a "Sukhoi" respectively. As you said, the government denied enemy fire downed them. Later during the Yemeni uprising, on 28 September 2011, a Su-22 was shot down during a bombing mission north of Sana'a by the rebels. This last one was confirmed by the government as shot down.

tomcooper wrote:Word is that Apaches are slightly better protected against small arms fire than any F-16s... ;-)


On the other hand they fly low and slow and spend much more time in the small arms fire engagement zone that performance difference may very well mean that their thicker armor even fall short of the worse aerodynamics as proven in Iraq during Iraqi Freedom.

Anyway, as I said, I agree, this one went down due to some sort of trash fire, let it be small arms fire, AAA or a MANPADS, we will probably never know.
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Unread post14 May 2015, 08:32

marco9 wrote:
tomcooper wrote:I've heard about such a video, 2-3 times, but never saw it.

The downings in question took place in late 2009 and early 2010, and - at least officially - three of them were credited to malfunctions or whatever other reasons but to defensive fire by Houthis.


Let me fix it for you: during Operation Scorched Earth, on 2 and 5 October and on 8 November 2009, three fighter jets crashed, reported as a MiG-21 a Su-22 and a "Sukhoi" respectively. As you said, the government denied enemy fire downed them. Later during the Yemeni uprising, on 28 September 2011, a Su-22 was shot down during a bombing mission north of Sana'a by the rebels. This last one was confirmed by the government as shot down.

Well, thanks for 'fixing' it, but as so often, there is a difference between official reasons and actual ones:
- MiG-21bis lost on 2 October was shot down (pilot KIA)
- Su-22M-4K that crashed on 5 October was related to technical issues, but that on 8 October was shot down (both pilots captured),
- and a MiG-21bis lost on 8 October was shot down too (pilot KIA).

'Funny fact': at least one of downed pilots was Syrian - and despite Saudi claims about Houthis using Iranian-made Misagh-2 MANPADs, all three of downed fighter-bombers were hit by machine guns.

The Su-22 shot down over Beit Azar on 27 September 2011 was hit by militants of the Islah Party, not by Houthis. That loss was related to defection of large parts of the former 1st Armoured Division from Saleh to the side of the Islah (itself affiliated with Moslem Brotherhood and formerly supported by Riyad but meanwhile declared a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia).

To make things better: the 1st AD used to be staffed by large numbers of returnees from Afghanistan, i.e. Wahhabists, integrated into Yemeni armed forces under Saudi pressure...

Overall point: if one adds various Egyptian, Soviet, Saudi and Yemeni losses from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Yemenis have a rich history of downing jet fighters with 'small arms fire'.
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Unread post14 May 2015, 15:16

tomcooper wrote:
marco9 wrote:
tomcooper wrote:I've heard about such a video, 2-3 times, but never saw it.

The downings in question took place in late 2009 and early 2010, and - at least officially - three of them were credited to malfunctions or whatever other reasons but to defensive fire by Houthis.


Let me fix it for you: during Operation Scorched Earth, on 2 and 5 October and on 8 November 2009, three fighter jets crashed, reported as a MiG-21 a Su-22 and a "Sukhoi" respectively. As you said, the government denied enemy fire downed them. Later during the Yemeni uprising, on 28 September 2011, a Su-22 was shot down during a bombing mission north of Sana'a by the rebels. This last one was confirmed by the government as shot down.

Well, thanks for 'fixing' it, but as so often, there is a difference between official reasons and actual ones:
- MiG-21bis lost on 2 October was shot down (pilot KIA)
- Su-22M-4K that crashed on 5 October was related to technical issues, but that on 8 October was shot down (both pilots captured),
- and a MiG-21bis lost on 8 October was shot down too (pilot KIA).

'Funny fact': at least one of downed pilots was Syrian - and despite Saudi claims about Houthis using Iranian-made Misagh-2 MANPADs, all three of downed fighter-bombers were hit by machine guns.

The Su-22 shot down over Beit Azar on 27 September 2011 was hit by militants of the Islah Party, not by Houthis. That loss was related to defection of large parts of the former 1st Armoured Division from Saleh to the side of the Islah (itself affiliated with Moslem Brotherhood and formerly supported by Riyad but meanwhile declared a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia).

To make things better: the 1st AD used to be staffed by large numbers of returnees from Afghanistan, i.e. Wahhabists, integrated into Yemeni armed forces under Saudi pressure...

Overall point: if one adds various Egyptian, Soviet, Saudi and Yemeni losses from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Yemenis have a rich history of downing jet fighters with 'small arms fire'.


I did not know that TWO jets crashed on October 8th, 2009. I never heard about the MiG-21. In the original claims I can only see confusion saying that "one jet crashed" with some articles saying "a MiG" others saying "a Sukhoi", and we know how easily people mix them, but everyone agrees it was one.
I think North Vietnamese army and Vietcong did also a very good job with small arms fire and mobile AAA.
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Unread post16 May 2015, 20:31


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