Su-22 continues strikes in Sep 1980

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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oldiaf

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Unread post03 Sep 2015, 22:33

Date : Sep 23 1980
Time of departure : 0530
ToT : 0615
Formations : 18 Su-22 ... In 3 formations each one with 6 Su-22 + 6 MiG-21bis
Targets :
Formation 1 / 6 Su-22 .... Shahrokhi AB
Formation 2 / 6 Su-22 .... Hamedan Airport
Formation 3 / 6 Su-22 .... Tabrez AB ( already discussed before .. Su-22 downing of F-5 )
Formation 4 / 6 MiG-21 .... Sanandaj AB ( these MiG-21 were given this task due to lack of enough number of Su-22 )

Formation 1 Mission ... Shahrokhi AB
Take off 0530 ... Encountered AAA all the way but no loss recorded .... 40 min. into mission and after covering 216nm ( only 27nm remained to Target ) , the formation noticed 4 F-4 Phantom fighters .. But these F-4s were in process of landing ( appearantly after conducting strike mission probably targeted Baghdad ) ... The air defense systems started firing heavy AAA with MANPADs also fired ... This made the landing process of these poor F-4s very daring procedure .....
The attacking Su-22 arranged the attack in which each 2 Su-22 attack togather in 3 waves sparing the initial part of the runway because the AAA were heaviest .... The Lead Su-22 noticed the lead F-4 had just landed and stil slowing on the runway .. So he through his first bomb at the middle of the runway coinciding with F-4 which is blown immediately.... At the same time the second F-4 hit the ground besides the runway and exploded probably being hit by the air defense weapons or he simply just lost his nerves and slammed the Phantom to the ground ( poor guys in miserable situation ) !... The remaining Su-22 dropped their payloads and egressed to the left out of the target area .
Time now is 0635 ... Flying altitude is 100 feet only ... Speed 540 nm/hr ... The formation leader asked the pilots to check.... each one responded except for No.6 ... Which was realized that he was lost ( later identified as KIA ) ... No clue if he was shut downed by the air defense weapons or the remaining 2 F-4s....or the pursuing F-5s ...
At this time the warning devices of the Su-22 warned them about pursuing aircrafts they identified as 2 F-5s ... The formation leader ordered the other pilots to lower their altitude to just 50 feet ( to use ground clutter ) and to maintain speed 540 nm/hr .
5 min. Later ( which means 205nm remained to base and 135 to borders ) , No.2 aircraft told the formation leader that his EFT had'nt burned a single drop of fuel !!!!! The formation leader asked him about the reading of fuel gauge ? He answered 1500 ( he should had 2300 which means the EFT of 800 does not supply the aircraft with fuel ! ) ... The formation leader ordered No.2 to drop the tank to decrease weight and he obeyed .. A huge explosion in the desert .... Situation is critical : 2 pursuing F-5s , 1 aircraft with malfunction ... Barren desert witn nothing to hide the Su-22 ... But luck played well for the Iraqis as the F-5s abandoned the persuit ....
The formation leader asked No.2 to read the fuel and he answered 1400 ... That means with the current speed of 540nm and low altitude the aircraft will crash 27-38nm short of base ... So the formation leader ordered the formation to reduce speed to 325 nm/hr .
By now the planes begin to see the Zagros Mountains which would give good cover and the formation leader ordered the other pilots to climb to 16500 feet before reaching the mountains but suddenly No.5 aircraft called the formation leader that his fuel pump is not functioning !! He can read the warning in the cockpit ( No pumping ) ... The formation leader told him to stay calm and never to do hard maneuver and to climb gently ( he say it with his mind in the upcoming turbulances over the mountains with this critical malfunction to one of his wingmen - he thought we probably going to lose this friend and aircraft over the mountains ) ... No.5 pilot spoke to the leader : Its probably the malfunction is caused by Air defense bullet or missile fragment ... The leader answered : we will know when we land .
The distance to borders is 27nm and the formation leader ordered the other 2 well functioning aircrafts to lead the flight with their 30 mm guns ready in case of an encounter with enemy aircrafts ... Distance to base now is 80 nm and to borders is 10nm ...the formation leader called the air defense sector and asked them for air cover and informed them that they lost one aircraft and 2 are suffering from malfunctions ... The air defense sector vectored MiG-21s from squadron 47 to give them air cover .... Formation leader to MIG-21s give us air cover in case of enemy fighters are following us ... MiG-21 formation lead : Yes Sir.
Formation leader to No.2 read your fuel .
No.2 : 800 !!
Formation leader to No.2 climb to 26000 feet and reduce speed to 300 nm
No.2 : Yes sir
Time now is 0655 and only 50 nm ...
Formation leader to base : Priority for landing to my formation.
Base : You have the runway
Formation leader to other pilots : No.5 land first then No.2

Both malfunctioning aircrafts landed safely followed by the rest 3 including the formation leader who landed last.

Mission result : successful : 1 lost plane ... Destruction of 2 F-4s plus further damage to runways and taxiways..
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mixelflick

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Unread post04 Sep 2015, 12:35

Amazing detail. Could only follow mission result though... :)

It's interesting to see the SU-22 utilized so effectively. Based on available public info alone, would think it'd be an impact player. Clearly though, it was...
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nikolaos

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Unread post04 Sep 2015, 16:49

From the description of the mission details I understand that there were not any Iranian CAP flights over or near the air base to prevent this kind of sudden attacks, a fatal mistake in this case I think.
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oldiaf

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Unread post04 Sep 2015, 17:01

nikolaos wrote:From the description of the mission details I understand that there were not any Iranian CAP flights over or near the air base to prevent this kind of sudden attacks, a fatal mistake in this case I think.

The Iranian AF was busy that morning in its own counter attack on Iraqi bases .... And they never thought the Iraqi AF might mount another big raids on Iranian ABs and Airfields because they thought the Iraqis were hiding their aircrafts from the expected Iranian counter attack .
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tomcooper

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Unread post05 Sep 2015, 08:21

oldiaf wrote:Date : Sep 23 1980
Time of departure : 0530
ToT : 0615
Formations : 18 Su-22 ... In 3 formations each one with 6 Su-22 + 6 MiG-21bis
Targets :
Formation 1 / 6 Su-22 .... Shahrokhi AB
Formation 2 / 6 Su-22 .... Hamedan Airport
Formation 3 / 6 Su-22 .... Tabrez AB ( already discussed before .. Su-22 downing of F-5 )
Formation 4 / 6 MiG-21 .... Sanandaj AB ( these MiG-21 were given this task due to lack of enough number of Su-22 )

Formation 1 Mission ... Shahrokhi AB
Take off 0530 ... Encountered AAA all the way but no loss recorded .... 40 min. into mission and after covering 216nm ( only 27nm remained to Target ) , the formation noticed 4 F-4 Phantom fighters .. But these F-4s were in process of landing ( appearantly after conducting strike mission probably targeted Baghdad ) ... The air defense systems started firing heavy AAA with MANPADs also fired ... This made the landing process of these poor F-4s very daring procedure .....
The attacking Su-22 arranged the attack in which each 2 Su-22 attack togather in 3 waves sparing the initial part of the runway because the AAA were heaviest .... The Lead Su-22 noticed the lead F-4 had just landed and stil slowing on the runway .. So he through his first bomb at the middle of the runway coinciding with F-4 which is blown immediately.... At the same time the second F-4 hit the ground besides the runway and exploded probably being hit by the air defense weapons or he simply just lost his nerves and slammed the Phantom to the ground ( poor guys in miserable situation ) !... The remaining Su-22 dropped their payloads and egressed to the left out of the target area .
Early that morning the IRIAF launched its famous 140-aircraft strike against IrAF air bases ('Operation Kaman-99').

The launch of 40 F-4Es from Nojeh AB (TFB.3, former Shahroki), was entirely undisrupted, and involved aircraft have bombed Saddam IAP, Rashid AB and Muthenna airfield (in Baghdad), and Tammouz AB (west of Baghdad).

The Sukhois hit Nojeh AB around the time F-4Es were in the process of landing after their strikes on targets in Iraq.

The Phantom flown by Maj Mohammad 'Bahram' Khodabakhsh-Eshghipour and Capt Abbas Eslami-Niya (they were between crews that hit Tammouz AB) was on finals when Sukhois came in. Iraqis missed with cannons but one nearly collided with Eshghipour's Phantom: the Iranian pulled up hard to avoid, but his F-4E stalled and crashed right in the backyard of his house (in housing quarters of Nojeh AB), killing the crew.

(Eshghipour's wife saw that crash with her own eyes.)

As tragic as it was, that was the only loss at TFB.3 that resulted from that Iraqi air strike (i.e. no '2 Phantoms') on 23 September 1980.

nikolaos wrote:From the description of the mission details I understand that there were not any Iranian CAP flights over or near the air base to prevent this kind of sudden attacks, a fatal mistake in this case I think.
In theory, it was on F-14s (from TFB.7), MIM-23B I-HAWK and Rapier SAMs to defend TFB.3.

But, post-revolutionary chaos, incompetent regime in Tehran, and surprise caused by Iraqi invasion of 22 September left no room for such luxury.

Namely, several Iranians defected to Iraq before the war (their 'revelations' about the poor state of Iranian armed services were one of major reasons why Saddam decided to invade), and one of them delivered 'blue-prints' of Iranian early-warning radar network. Means: Iraqis knew exactly what route to take in order to avoid early detection. They could approach even targets as deep inside Iran as TFB.3 entirely undetected (this remained that way for duration of the entire war, because the regime in Tehran never took care to obtain additional radar stations and 'fill' gaps in IRIAF's coverage). That's why Iraqis passed undetected by F-14s that patrolled along the border, and why SAMs at TFB.3 were taken by surprise too.
F-Arba-Ashara!! Yalla, yalla!!
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oldiaf

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Unread post05 Sep 2015, 13:02

My deep condolence to that poor woman ... Very tragic
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oldiaf

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Unread post05 Sep 2015, 14:53

May be the second aircraft the formation leader claimed destroyed was that of his No.6 wingman !! Remember he said he never knew what happened to No.6 .... Thats may explain this issue regarding if 1 or 2 Phantoms were destroyed.

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