came across this on secretproject forum cross posting it
Below is something actually happened in 1999. Iraqi MiG-25s evaded six missiles - two AIM-54s, three AIM-120s and one AIM-7.http://archive.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?TranscriptID=852
There were two incidents. The first occurred at approximately 2:15 this morning, Eastern Standard Time. It occurred to the southwest of Baghdad. A U.S. F-15, two U.S. F-15s, were illuminated by Iraqi MIG 25s and they responded by firing air-to-air missiles
. The second incident occurred at approximately 2:30 in the morning Eastern Standard Time to the southeast of Baghdad. Both of these occurred when Iraqi planes had dipped below the 33rd Parallel. Two MIG 25s engaged two F-14s flying off the carrier Vinson, and they responded by firing missiles at the Iraqi planes. The Iraqi planes, when they saw that they were engaged and being fired upon, turned sharply and beat a hasty retreat
out of the no-fly zone, and the U.S. planes returned safely to their bases.
And in sum, that was the incident. I'd be glad to take your questions.
Do you have the results of what happened from the firings of the U.S. missiles? Was there any damage done to the Iraqi planes, and did they in any way, shape or form return fire? You've talked about them engaging the U.S. aircraft. What do you mean by that?
In the first case, I pointed out that to the best of our information, the F-15s were illuminated by the radar in the Iraqi MIG 25s. When this happened, they immediately fired missiles. They fired Sparrow missiles and AMRAAM missiles back.
This was the first incident that occurred in the southwest, southwest of Baghdad. The second case, I'm not exactly sure how the engagement took place. But F-14s saw -- two F-14s saw planes over the no-fly zone boundary within the no-fly zone and they fired two Phoenix missiles. In both cases, the Iraqi planes turned quickly and escaped.
They quickly left the no-fly zone, and they escaped without being shot down. The American planes returned safely to their bases.
There was a report --
Yes, there is a report that a MIG 23 crashed before landing, perhaps because it ran out of gas. We believe that to be the case, but we do not have certainty on that right now.
Total number of missiles fired?
AThere were six missiles fired.
The F-15s, for instance, carry the AMRAAM and you said the Sparrow. The AMRAAM, according to our facts on file, is a $300,000 plus missile. We've been told in the past it was an extremely accurate medium range missile with a range of 30 to 50 miles. Why did all these missiles miss? I mean, maybe one was understandable, but to have six missiles miss their targets -- is the Pentagon concerned?
Our missiles are extremely accurate. And they're the best there are. But the fact of the matter is air-to-air combat is an extremely engaging and demanding type of war. And when planes are notified that they're under fire, they turn quickly and change their direction very quickly, their altitude perhaps, very quickly and leave
. I don't know a number of things about this engagement that I would have to know to be able to answer that question precisely. But of course, one of the issues is distance, the range between the planes when the missiles are fired, how much time the missile has to reach the plane and how much time the opposing plane has to turn around and go in the other direction, which of course, makes it much more difficult or perhaps impossible for the missile to catch up. Even though the missiles are faster than the planes, if they have to close a very large distance before they run out of fuel, they may not be able to do that.
Follow up on both the distance question and his air force. On the distance question, are you at least able to say that the planes that were fired upon were within the range that the missiles have from the U.S. --
I do not know that to be the case because I don't know these precise details at this time. I assume they were in the range. The way the radars are set up, there are circles, and you know where the plane is in relationship to the missile's range at the time the missile is fired.
But remember what happens here. As soon -- the Iraqi planes, like our planes, have radar detectors. And they can detect when they're being targeted by radar, and they can detect when the missile is homing in on them. And as soon as they detect that, they immediately change course. And the fastest, the best way to change course is to do a very fast U-turn and start going back in the other direction. So even though they can't fly as fast as the missile goes, they are basically moving away from the missile initially. The easiest type of air-to-air engagement is where two planes are coming at each other and you fire directly at the plane. But most pilots are trained to avoid that. So they make a very sharp turn and fly away from the missile. They can also change their altitude and do other things. They can throw out chaff.
So it's not an easy type of engagement. It looks easy in the movies, but it's not easy in real life.
Could you be a little more specific on what missiles we fired? You mentioned the AMRAAM and the Sparrow. The Navy planes don't carry those by my recollection.
AThe Navy planes fired two Phoenix missiles, AIM 54s.
I don't know whether one was fired by each plane. I think they can carry as many as six each. But I don't know how many they were carrying or whether each plane fired or one fired two. One Sparrow AIM 7 was fired by an F-15 and three AMRAAMs or AIM 120's were fired by F-15s.
And I don't know how many of these were fired by which planes.