In 1991, an Iraqi Fighter Pilot Bravely Faced American F-15s
U.S. Air Force captain Steve Tate — call sign “Tater” — scored one of the first aerial victories of Operation Desert Storm, downing an Iraqi air force Mirage F.1 during the night of Jan. 16 and 17, 1991. Few people have heard that story from the Iraqi pilot’s perspective.... Read more
A Syrian Town Resisted Islamists … And Then the Regime Attacked
In September 2017, Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham, or HTS – an Al Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria – launched what it described as a “major offensive.” In response, the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad and the Russian air force intensified air strikes on population centers in parts... Read more
Making Sense of the Missile Mess in Yemen
Houthi rebels in Yemen launched a missile at King Khalid International Airport outside the Saudi capital Riyadh on the evening of Nov. 4, 2017. Where in the world did the rebels get that rocket — as well as the scores of other missiles they’ve launched recently? It’s hard to... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
Read part three. The rapid development of Iranian air defenses over the last few years raises some big questions. How much are China and Iran cooperating? Why is China’s involvement a mystery to so many observers? In recent years, the Chinese defense sector has provided its export customers with... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
Read parts one and two. How did the Iranians manage to develop a host of entirely new radar designs and several new surface-to-air missile systems and even produce a match for the Russian-made S-300 — all within less than 10 years? Perhaps more importantly, are systems such as Talash-3... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
Read part one. The repeated use of same or similar designations for different radar and missile systems has created the impression that Iranian air-defense development is a chaotic mess. In fact, projects are proceeding along four main lines. The overhaul and upgrade of MIM-23B I-HAWK, S-200/SA-5, SA-6, SA-11 and... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
In early August 2017, the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute released a report on the importance of stealth capabilities for current and future U.S. Air Force aircraft. “Stealth, or aircraft signature reduction, is a potent and viable military capability in modern combat and will remain so well into the... Read more
In 1988, Algeria and Tunisia Were Terrified of Israeli Air Raids
Late on the morning of Oct. 1, 1985, a formation of 10 Israeli air force F-15 fighters approached the Mediterranean coast of Tunisia at an altitude of 40,000 feet. In front were six F-15Bs and F-15Ds from No. 106 “Spearhead” Squadron. Each of the aircraft was carrying one U.S.-made,... Read more
Russia’s Air Defenses In Syria Have Some Big Problems
In late September 2017, satellite photographs indicated that Russia had deployed a second Russian SA-21 surface-to-air missile system in Syria. Purportedly, the system in question is deployed high in the mountains near Masyaf, fewer than 40 kilometers southeast of Lattakia, and right next to a battery of Bastion-P systems... Read more
In January 1991, Both Iraq and America Claimed Fictional Air-to-Air Victories
During the U.S.-led air war on Iraq in 1991, a U.S. Air Force EF-111A electronic-warfare plane forced an Iraqi air force Mirage F.1EQ to fly into the ground. The EF-111 thus scored an air-to-air kill without ever firing a shot. At least, that’s what the U.S. Air Force claimed.... Read more
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