This Iraqi Mirage F.1EQ-5 made an Emergency Landing in Saudi Arabia after being Hit by an AIM-7E Fired by an IRIAF F-14A Tomcat

This Iraqi Mirage F.1EQ-5 made an Emergency Landing in Saudi Arabia after being Hit by an AIM-7E Fired by an IRIAF F-14A Tomcat

By Tom Cooper
Aug 13 2019
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The Iraqi said that their Mirage F.1EQ-5 was hit by a ‘Strela’ MANPAD, fired by the IRGC: actually, there was no MANPAD: it was an AIM-7E fired by an F-14A, scrambled from Bushehr.

The photo in this post shows a Mirage F.1EQ-5 of the Iraqi Air Force (IrAF), serial number 4569. It was involved in (another of several) air raid on the Farsi Island – a little rock in the middle of the Persian Gulf – suffered combat damage, and was forced to land at Dhahran AB, in eastern Saudi Arabia, in 1988, where this photo was taken – after the Mirage was stopped with help of a flexible barrier, at the end of the runway.

Backgrounds?

As explained in the book Iraqi Mirages The Dassault Mirage Family in service with the Iraqi Air Force, 1981-1988,Since 1986, the Farsi Island was developed into the base of the IRGCN (IRGC’s ‘Navy’), including a well-protected port and a radar station. The Iraqis have had only recce photos shot by their MiG-25RBs, and no really good idea about what was going on there. Even less so did they know that the local CO had a telephone-hotline to TFB.6: i.e. that the Iranian would call Bushehr whenever any kind of Iraqi jets were detected.

So, on Apr. 21, 1988, the Iraqis decided to strike that radar station with AS.30Ls: you can see the PDL.1EQ Patrick laser-designator installed under the centreline on the attached photo.

This Iraqi Mirage F.1EQ-5 made an Emergency Landing in Saudi Arabia after being Hit by an AIM-7E Fired by an IRIAF F-14A Tomcat

The two Mirage F.1EQ-5 fighters approached at low altitude and a speed of at least 920km/h, before firing from some 4,000 metres away. While pulling the usual 4g avoidance manoeuvre to the side, the aircraft flown by Captain Amer Abdullah received a hit.

Abdullah then nursed the badly damaged Mirage for about 150km to Dhahran…

Now, the Iraqi conclusion about what has hit the 4569 is particularly interesting: according to them, it was a ‘Strela’ MANPAD, fired by the IRGC.

…I would just love to see one MANPAD that can hit a low-flying aircraft underway at a speed of 920-1000km/h, pulling 4gs, and that over a range of 4-5,000m….

Actually, there was no MANPAD: it was an AIM-7E fired by an F-14A, scrambled from Bushehr.

The Remora pod (visible under the right outboard underwing pylon) deflected the Sparrow sufficiently for this to proxy-fuze instead of scoring a direct hit (like on Aug. 29, 1987, when another Mirage was shot down ‘by a MANPADs’ in the same area).

This Iraqi Mirage F.1EQ-5 made an Emergency Landing in Saudi Arabia after being Hit by an AIM-7E Fired by an IRIAF F-14A Tomcat
This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS

Iraqi Mirages The Dassault Mirage Family in service with the Iraqi Air Force, 1981-1988 is published by Helion & Company Limited and is available to order here.


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Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper, from Austria, is a military-aviation journalist and historian. Following a career in a worldwide transportation business — in which, during his extensive travels in Europe and the Middle East, he established excellent contacts — he moved into writing. An earlier fascination with post-Second World War military aviation has narrowed to focus on smaller air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives of material. Concentrating primarily on air warfare that has previously received scant attention, he specializes in investigative research on little-known African and Arab air forces, as well as the Iranian Air Force. Cooper has published 21 books — including the unique Arab MiGs' series, which examines the deployment and service history of major Arab air forces in conflicts with Israel — as well as over 200 articles on related topics, providing a window into a number of previously unexamined yet fascinating conflicts and relevant developments.

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