Desert storm dogfights MIG-29 vs British Tornado GR.1
Talking about the fact that things "it was in Iraq during the invasion" crept a lot of doubt about all publications and news releases. But recently came across a very interesting subject despite the chaos that engulfed Iraq and a few number of relatively independent assessments of the Gulf War in 1991, still dominates the U.S. version of the events. With respect to air dimension of the conflict, this version contains a number of myths, like the fact that the Iraqi air force was not shot down any aircraft of the coalition forces. However, it never corresponded Iraqi point of view and the evidence on the ground.
This subject looks at the events almost fifteen years ago (date of interview) the Iraqi side. It is an attempt to give a balanced, objective and reasonable (as possible) an analysis of the air battle in the Gulf, to correct the many man-made myths and see the real success of Iraqi air defense and air force during the conflict. The work is based on the personal experience of participation in the war one of the authors, as well as data on the following official Iraqi sources: Um Al Ma'arik (Methods and tactics of the enemy air force input War for the Motherland ", a joint publication of Iraq's Ministry of Defense, Air Force and Air Defense Command Iraq, Iraqi Air Force Directorate of Intelligence. Part 1, Fall 1991 (« List of enemy aircraft shot down during the war for their country, "a joint publication of Iraq's Ministry of Defense, Air Force and Air Defense Command Iraq, Iraqi Air Force Directorate of Intelligence. Part 1, June 2000).
Four Tornado GR.1 of 15 Squadron, Royal Air Force (No.15Sqdn. RAF) nearer to their goal, the Iraqi Air Force Base, (AI-Qadissya). To complicate action defense, they were in extended order. An external load carrying concrete-British bomb JP.233, as well as anti-radar missiles AGM-88 HARM - in case the Iraqi anti-aircraft gunners will try to turn their radar. Suddenly, as to the goal was no more than 50 seconds of flight, they are blinded by an explosion, almost swallowed up the leading plane - Tornado GR.1 board ZA396/GE. After a moment, this aircraft crashed into the ground. Flight-Lieutenant David Waddington (David Waddington) and Robert Stewart (Robert Stewart) were killed instantly. Shocked by the unexpected loss of a leader, Her Majesty's pilots dropped their cargo at random and were on the run, heading back to Saudi Arabia. After landing, reminiscences come over how miserable their comrades were killed, they came to the conclusion that the aircraft was struck by anti-aircraft missiles with infrared guidance head, possibly complex Roland-2. So they reported on their return to their home base in Bahrain. However, in reality it was not so...
In fact, the British plane was shot down by a lone MiG-29 of the 9th Iraqi Air Force Squadron, piloted by an experienced pilot to Mr. Jameel Sayhood. For him, this full day of events - January 19 - began with reports that a group of enemy aircraft approaching the air base of Al-Waleed better known in the West as a base NC. This important airfield served as the center of the 2nd Iraqi air defense sector operations (2nd Iraqi AD SOC), manages all of the air defense forces in the western part of the country. The approach of the enemy entered the main center of defense in Baghdad, as well as one-and-line sector, located in the town of Taji north of the Iraqi capital. In the management of the 1st sector were interceptor base with Al Qadisya. The commander of the sector, which itself was the pilot of the MiG-21 and MiG-23, decided that events may develop in three possible scenarios: either the enemy will attack the base (Al-Qa'im), or Tammuz, the West over known as AI-Taqadum, or Al Qadisya. He told his staff: "Do not worry; we'll calculate the enemy's intentions." captain Sayhood, as he told the author, having received a warning about a possible departure, the alarm went to his MiG-29, hidden in one of the concrete shelters. Along the way he thought of his little village in the south of Iraq, where his father owned a farm. How is it now? Having come to the shelter, he said that all ground personnel is in tension. After a quick greeting, he inspected the aircraft and its armament, consisting of two R-27R missiles with radar-guided missiles and two thermal R-60MK. Captain vigorously climbed into the cab and completed pre-flight inspection. All systems were normal fighter.
After half an hour had passed the main group attacking al-Walid, and turned to the east. It’s continuously accompanied several Iraqi radar, despite the damage that they have caused coalition aircraft in the first two days of the conflict. About 12 hours 20 minutes Seyhood team got ready to take off to intercept low-altitude targets. He knew that he spotted the enemy radar P-19 Soviet-made, specially designed to detect low-flying targets and located in the town of (Heat) near Al-Qadisya. Seyhood already had the experience of low-altitude interception during the exercise in the period from September 1990 to early January 1991, and it struck him just the radar. So he was pretty sure that if the enemy planes will try to attack airfield guidance will be accurate...
Finally, at 12 h 26 min order came. Seyhood quickly took off when he turned off the afterburner, received a message that the enemy is (on to right and below him). Iraqi captain Seyhood turned his head and immediately noticed the enemy. At a distance of approximately 500 m below his "MiG" was a British "Tornado". The sun was at its zenith, so the characteristic silhouette of the machine easily recognizable against the background of the desert. Jamil saw both the British pilots’ helmets. Not including airborne radar, undetected opponent Seyhood chose missile R-60, and prepared it for launch. He turned his plane and was attached to the tail of "Tornado", the crew of which, apparently, was unaware of the presence of Iraqis since did not perform any maneuvers. Soon Seyhood noted on the HUD flashing letters "ER," which meant the resolution start, and heard a sharp signal in the headphones of his helmet ZS-5. Seyhood pressed the button and saw combat as a P-60MK rushed to the goal. Looking at the "Tornado", he noted that both the British turned to him their head, their eyes met for the first and last time. A bright flash in the rear fuselage "Tornado" indicative of a direct hit, and a second later a fireball has already tumbled into the desert - the Brits were flying at an altitude of only about 70 meters This happened in 12 hours and 30 minutes January 19, 1991, and " Tornado "Waddington and Stewart became the second confirmed aerial victory of the Iraqi air force in the war. Events moved very quickly, Seyhood continued his mission defending Iraqi airspace and soon the Iraqi pilot received a warning from the ground of a nearby other enemy aircraft. It was tow F-15C Eagle from the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron (58th TFS / ZZrd TFW), manned by-us Caesar Rodriguez and Craigh H. Underhill. A moment later, Jamil received signal warning system SPO-15, that his plane was captured by the radar of one of the "needle", which released him on an AIM-7M Sparrow. Seyhood glanced over his left shoulder and saw the traces of two missiles flying toward him! Then he abruptly, with an overload of about 9G, turned towards them. Capturing the first missile failed to hit him"evaded", but after a few seconds the second came almost head-on aircraft Seyhood. The captain gave his "MiG" in another sharp turn, but at this point there was an explosion, and the entire instrument panel in front of Jamil lit with red light alarm, fired by Rodriguez and struck the MiG-29. Seyhood aircraft was falling apart and only had to eject, and within seconds, he was swinging under the parachute canopy. Coming down, Jamil said that his burning "MiG" dropped less than 2 km from the "Tornado". Looking at the wreckage of his victim and his own plane, Jamil has not had time to regroup and hit the ground too hard. A sharp pain in his right leg forced him to stay there. Appeared in a few minutes peasants helped him get into a car and taken to a local hospital. It turned out that Jamil had broken his leg and was not able to fly anymore. He was promoted to the rank of Major General and was dismissed from the Air Force. Until 2002 confirm that the British "Tornado" was shot down by him. And was restored in the Army, was awarded two medals for bravery and a large sum of money.
In United State of American the battle is described somewhat differently (kind of mythology). It states that on January 19 had been shot down two MiG-29 (one - Rodriguez, the second - Underhill). However, the Iraqi Air Force documents provide irrefutable evidence that the day was lost only one of this type of aircraft, The reason is that Rodriguez and Underhill mistakenly thought if they were attacked by two different "MiG", in fact, they fired missiles at one and the same plane. At the same time, documents USAF found that the rocket Underhill released first. Rodriguez did it for a couple of seconds later, after ascertained in the absence of a counter-attack by the Iraqi pilot. Seyhood story shows clearly that Underhill missile evaded and missed, and the victory must be recorded on the score Rodriguez.Preparation and translation HawkeyeSpecial thanks to mosab