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
Itchy Militia Wrecks Syrian Ceasefire
Hard on the heels of the sixth round of diplomatic talks in Astana – facilitated by Russia and Turkey – Hayat Tahrir Ash-Sham, an Al Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria, announced that it launched a “major offensive” against parts of northern Hama nominally controlled by the regime of Syrian... Read more
In 1970, Soviet Planes Intervened to Save North Yemen
September 2017 marks the second anniversary of the Russian military intervention in Syria. Foreign military observers are frequently drawing parallels between this operation and the deployment of Soviet air-defense troops and manned interceptors to Egypt in early 1970, pointing it out as the first Soviet – and thus Russian... Read more
America Has a Long Tradition of Covertly Flying Enemy Aircraft
On Sept. 6, 2017, the U.S. Air Force announced that one of its aircraft had crashed the previous day in the Nevada Test and Training Range, roughly 100 miles north of Las Vegas. Just a day earlier, two A-10s crashed during a training mission over the same range. Both... Read more
In 1986, the Iraqis Wrecked Their Own Attempt to Get an Iranian F-14
Part two of a two-part story. Read part one here. In September 1986, the Iran-Iraq War – a bloody war of attrition that involved millions of combatants and left deep scars on both sides of the front line – was about to reach its sixth anniversary. The war began... Read more
In 1986, an Iranian F-14 Pilot Defected to Iraq
Part one of a two-part story. Read part two here. On late afternoon of Sept. 2, 1986, a Grumman F-14A Tomcat operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was reportedly shot down deep over Iraq — in an area and at the time that seemed unlikely. The... Read more
In 1981, Weather and Reporters Stymied a Complicated Air Ambush in Sudan
In reaction to Libya claiming all of the Gulf of Syrte as its territorial waters, in January 1981 U.S. president Ronald Reagan ordered the U.S. Navy to conduct a “freedom of navigation exercise” in that part of the Mediterranean Sea. During the exercise, there were dozens of tense encounters... Read more
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