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The Knife Fight
By September 2001, the situation detoriated further, especially so after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, which made both the SyAAF and the IDF/AF extremely nervous. Exactly this provoked the so far heaviest incident in the recent history of Syrian-Israeli aerial clashes.
On 14 September 2001, an IDF/AF Boeing 707, equipped for SIGINT-reconnaissance, was on a mission along the Lebanese and Syrian coast, collecting Syrian defense informations, monitoring foremost telecommunications and radar tags in the Tarabulus (Tripolis) and Hamidiyali areas. The plane was underway at 520 knots and 30.000ft, and escorted by two F-15Cs, at least one of which carried the newest Python Mk.IV air-to-air missiles.
The IDF/AF flew similar missions in the area at least twice a week for quite some time, and – as usually – the SyAAF scrambled two interceptors to shadow the “ferret”: the Syrians would always monitor the operations of Israeli reconnaissance aircraft, sending either MiG-23s from Abu ad-Duhor AB, or – less often – MiG-29s from Tsaykal, forward deployed at al-Ladhiqiyah, would get the honor to fly such missions over the Mediterranean Sea. So far, the Syrians have always taken care to stay at least some 20 kilometers away from Israeli planes, and never showed any interest in attacking the Israelis.
But, on this day, at 0914hrs, the two MiG-29s sent to shadow the Boeing 707 suddenly turned towards the Israeli aircraft and increased their speed. For the pilots of the two Israeli F-15s in escort this was not only surprising, but also an obviously aggressive maneuver. Due to the short range, there was no time to ask questions: the MiGs turned towards the Israeli planes in aggressive manner, and could open fire any moment.
The leader of the F-15-pair ordered the Boeing to instantly distance from the area and engage ECM systems, and then called his ground control for help and reinforcements (as a result of this call, six more F-15s and six F-16s were scrambled, along a single Boeing 707 tanker). Moment later, he warned the Syrian MiG-29 pilots on the international distress frequency to change their course. As the MiGs failed to response, the Eagles moved into attack.
One of the F-15s attacked the lead Syrian MiG-29 from above, closing directly out of the rising sun, and launching a single Python Mk.IV from an off-boresight angle of 40 degrees. The missile guided properly and hit the MiG above the left wing, immediately setting it afire.
The other MiG-29 banked hard right, apparently heading back to Syria, but it was too late, as the second F-15 was already too close: the pilot launched a single AIM-9M Sidewinder from a range of only 500 meters. The missile slammed into the target, crashing it into the sea.
Both Syrian pilots, Maj. Arshad Midhat Mubarak, and Capt. Ahmad al-Khatab, ejected safely and were recovered by Syrian ships. The names of the involved Israeli F-15-pilots remain unknown.
Other: Most Su-27s have an incomplete AWACs or nonexistant AWACs helping them. When you do something like this, you have to consider who has better support team members also.
KarimAbdoun wrote:Let's look at it in another approach, Su-27-35-37-33(derivatives)vs F-16
MiG21bisHZS wrote:The Su-27/30/33/35 models are better than the F-16.The F-16 Block 50/52 is the only one that puts up a challenge.
SwedgeII wrote:any truth to the rumor that the S-27's tail cone contains a small Radar for a rear firing missile
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