Su-22 SEAD mission

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 post07 Sep 2015, 00:49

Date : March 18 1982
Mission : Iraqi AF Su-22 provide SEAD for a high altitude flight of 2 MiG-25R recon mission for the Iraqi army.
Home Base : Tammuz AB
Formation : 6 Su-22 from squadron 109 - Armed with 1 Kh-28 anti-radiation missiles plus 2 EFTs
Each 2 Su-22 will go to different direction in total covering 3 possible Hawk missile sites ... Point of Separation - Iraqi southern city of Shatra ... Targets areas : Vicinity of Iranian cities of : Dezful ( No.3/4 )- Abadan ( No.1/2 )and ... No.5/6
MiG-25R were from Squadron 87 and to take off 10 min. after the Su-22s.
Flight altitude : Su-22 - 16,000 feet - MiG-25R - 65,000 feet.
After going for the Mission .. No.4 aircraft ( over Dezful ) said the lights for Kh-28 are ON !! Should I Engage ... No.3 responded : fire the God Damn missile ... Damn it !!! And No.4 fired his Kh-28 scoring direct hit on Hawk radar...
No other hawk battery challenged more that date and all 8 aircrafts returned home safely.
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tomcooper

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Unread post07 Sep 2015, 07:43

This mission was one of post-strikes of the first Iraqi deployment of Kh-28s (often-cited 6-aircraft attack on 3 different Iranian MIM-23B I-HAWK SAM-sites from February 1982). The essence of the story was this: in late 1981, Soviet technicians modified 6 Su-22Ms to Su-22M-2K standard through addition of equipment necessary for deployment of Kh-28 (AS-9) anti-radar missiles and their Myetel guidance-pods.

These were then flown by No. 109 Squadron, based at Wahda AB, 45km SW of Basrah (which, BTW, was the starting point for this mission too, then no Su-22M-2K could reach Iran if operating out of Tammouz AB; it was MiG-25s that launched from Tammouz).

Iranian side of the story used to be available here (in Farsi).

In essence, the story-teller - Col Ghavami - then the CO of the MIM-23B I-HAWK SAM site codenamed Tabouk and positioned about 17km outside Abadan - received a warning from IRIAF HQ that a SEAD strike is imminent.

He turned on his PAR but kept his HPIR on stand-by. Some 2-3 minutes later he received another call from the HQ and a request to check his 310° at 110km range. After re-scanning the area, Ghavami detected a fast-moving target at a very high altitude, and reported so. The HQ ordered him to let that target - obviously a MiG-25 - 'pass by'. That said, this target never came closer than 50km before it left (i.e. it never came within the range).

Then came the 'second wave' (Su-22s): two bogies at 270°, range 80km. When they approached to 55km, Ghavami turned his HPIR on, and then acquired a solid lock-on. Then his radar operator started receiving 'echoes' from the target, and Ghavami ordered the HPIR into stand-by mode. About 8 seconds later a blast rocked the battery: the Kh-28 missile targeting them run out of target source but continued on autopilot and detonated about 200 metres from the HPIR.

The radar remained intact and continued the operation. The fact that HPIR was 'turned off' meant not that either it or the site was knocked out too.

Overall, Iraqis were claiming destruction of one Iranian MIM-23B I-HAWK SAM-site after the other during this period. Actually, they hit very little. By this time in the war, the IRIAF was already well-organized and had all of its branches 'working' - including intelligence. Their (E)C-130H Khoofash ELINT/SIGINT aircraft were reading Iraqi coms in real time and thus providing plenty of advance warning...

Secondly, Iraqis had very little EW-equipment at that time and only knew if the Iranian MIM-23B I-HAWK SAM-sites were 'on' or 'off'. For example, any site that turned its radar off, was considered 'non-operational' by them.

Thirdly, they tended to fire their Kh-28s from medium altitude and near-max range (50-70km), providing plenty of advance warning in this fashion too.

Fourthly, while MiG-25RBs flew lots of recce and photographed about 50 sites used by IRIAF MIM-23B-units, they never flew post-strike reconnaissance.

So, a) the Iraqis didn't know if they really hit or caused any kind of damage, and if they caused any damage, and b) any missile that 'worked' and 'went in direction of target', was considered a 'hit'. They still had plenty to learn...

Things changed (and then signficantly) only after introduction to service of Sirel EW-pods (used by Mirage F.1EQs), in 1984.
F-Arba-Ashara!! Yalla, yalla!!
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oldiaf

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Unread post07 Sep 2015, 10:07

tomcooper wrote:This mission was one of post-strikes of the first Iraqi deployment of Kh-28s (often-cited 6-aircraft attack on 3 different Iranian MIM-23B I-HAWK SAM-sites from February 1982). The essence of the story was this: in late 1981, Soviet technicians modified 6 Su-22Ms to Su-22M-2K standard through addition of equipment necessary for deployment of Kh-28 (AS-9) anti-radar missiles and their Myetel guidance-pods.

These were then flown by No. 109 Squadron, based at Wahda AB, 45km SW of Basrah (which, BTW, was the starting point for this mission too, then no Su-22M-2K could reach Iran if operating out of Tammouz AB; it was MiG-25s that launched from Tammouz).

Iranian side of the story used to be available here (in Farsi).

In essence, the story-teller - Col Ghavami - then the CO of the MIM-23B I-HAWK SAM site codenamed Tabouk and positioned about 17km outside Abadan - received a warning from IRIAF HQ that a SEAD strike is imminent.

He turned on his PAR but kept his HPIR on stand-by. Some 2-3 minutes later he received another call from the HQ and a request to check his 310° at 110km range. After re-scanning the area, Ghavami detected a fast-moving target at a very high altitude, and reported so. The HQ ordered him to let that target - obviously a MiG-25 - 'pass by'. That said, this target never came closer than 50km before it left (i.e. it never came within the range).

Then came the 'second wave' (Su-22s): two bogies at 270°, range 80km. When they approached to 55km, Ghavami turned his HPIR on, and then acquired a solid lock-on. Then his radar operator started receiving 'echoes' from the target, and Ghavami ordered the HPIR into stand-by mode. About 8 seconds later a blast rocked the battery: the Kh-28 missile targeting them run out of target source but continued on autopilot and detonated about 200 metres from the HPIR.

The radar remained intact and continued the operation. The fact that HPIR was 'turned off' meant not that either it or the site was knocked out too.

Overall, Iraqis were claiming destruction of one Iranian MIM-23B I-HAWK SAM-site after the other during this period. Actually, they hit very little. By this time in the war, the IRIAF was already well-organized and had all of its branches 'working' - including intelligence. Their (E)C-130H Khoofash ELINT/SIGINT aircraft were reading Iraqi coms in real time and thus providing plenty of advance warning...

Secondly, Iraqis had very little EW-equipment at that time and only knew if the Iranian MIM-23B I-HAWK SAM-sites were 'on' or 'off'. For example, any site that turned its radar off, was considered 'non-operational' by them.

Thirdly, they tended to fire their Kh-28s from medium altitude and near-max range (50-70km), providing plenty of advance warning in this fashion too.

Fourthly, while MiG-25RBs flew lots of recce and photographed about 50 sites used by IRIAF MIM-23B-units, they never flew post-strike reconnaissance.

So, a) the Iraqis didn't know if they really hit or caused any kind of damage, and if they caused any damage, and b) any missile that 'worked' and 'went in direction of target', was considered a 'hit'. They still had plenty to learn...

Things changed (and then signficantly) only after introduction to service of Sirel EW-pods (used by Mirage F.1EQs), in 1984.

True they flew from Alwahda AB near Basrah .. It was my mistake ... In fact the formation leader for this mission was present in Fernas AB near Mosul ( not in Hurriya AB near Kirkuk because a rank conflict with base commander ) when he got a phone call ordering him to travel to Tammuz AB next day ... When he arrived , he was briefed about the mission and flew to Wahda AB in two seat aircraft so when he landed the other pilot that came withe him retuned the aircraft.
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iyadadduri

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Unread post12 May 2017, 14:19

No sir this mission from Baghdad I remember this was a friday
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nastle

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Unread post02 Jun 2020, 01:55

the twin seat Su-17 could be a capable SEAD aircraft , did the soviets explore that option ?

They had a multitude of ARMs in the 1980s and the fitter had a good load carrying capacity

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