I see your AAR and raise you an AAR:
Sometimes Red doesn’t know when to quit…
It’s a fine spring morning as Bogusheadbox and I take off from Kuitasi Airbase. I’m flying the venerable F-15C Eagle (Technically a Baz, but details), and Bogus cannot be decamped from his chasseur du baguette, the Mirage 2000C. We’re heading to Beslan, a small airfield on the Russian side of the Caucuses roughly opposite of Tbilisi. Blue is making a concerted push to take the air base, and running into steady opposition from Red fighters. As we cross the mountains north of Kashuri, we switch to the tactical frequency and check in. GCI, call sign “Magic”, confirms that verily, the proverbial excrement is hitting the metaphorical fan. Bogus and I climb up to angels 30 and accelerate, hoping to lend a hand.
We enter the target area from the south west, and I spot tells of a vicious fight over the northern most range of mountains. Flares and swirling specs hint at fighters locked in combat. I pick up a contact low, it’s an Su-27 trying to use the terrain to his advantage and bushwhack any unsuspecting aircraft that fly overhead. Unfortunately this tactic is as basic as bread, and none of us are having it. I launch a Sparrow to voice my displeasure, and I see a friendly flight to our south do the same. The friendly missile strikes first, and I watch bits of Sukhoi smash against the mountainside.
Magic chimes in, and talks me onto a new target, this one a Mirage embedded in the fur-ball now twenty miles off my nose. I spot him in the fight, and fire a second Sparrow. It’s for naught, he stalls the engine at high AoA, and his fancy french jet becomes a triangular brick. My missile doesn’t hit him, but he punches out anyway in deference to the ground and it’s 1.0 Pk.
The fur ball has broken up, and an aggressive Blue smells blood in the water. I’m vectored north over Vladivakaz and Beslan proper. I spot a lone Sukhoi taking off from the air base, and seeing the parameters are good, fire my third Sparrow. The situation conspires to rob me of this shot too. The Sukhoi turns and runs, and the base defenses at Beslan discourage my pursuit to the tune of two SA-8 "Gecko"s. I’m launched on, and despite the temptation to support my missile, I’m forced to aggressively break back south to avoid an embarrassing death to mere “ground units”.
As soon as I’m clear, Magic gives me new tasking. He wants me in a position in between Besland and Mozdok, a Red base further north and now teeming with Red air. I oblige, careful to circle east around the SA-8s. I’m also communicating with Bogus to get us back on the same page and position, more or less. He’s ended up south of me, and agrees to come north. Simultaneously my radar begins to pick up multiple bandits flowing south towards our CAP. For those not keeping count, I’m down to a single AIM-7, and four AIM-9s. I decide discretion is the better part of not dying, and elect to “spin”, I flow back south for a minute to allow the bandits to close with our CAP, and to allow Bogus to rejoin better.
About the time I begin my northward leg, I pick up a bandit on my twelve, slightly higher, and clearly pointed at me. Magic comes on the line and assigns me the target, now Identified as another Mirage. I commit to the engagement, pushing my throttles into AB and climbing. Before I know it, we’re at 15 miles, and I fire my fourth and last Sparrow. As soon as the missile comes off the rail my RWR tells me he’s fired too. I roll to my right, away from any SAMs, and put the jet through a Six G turn, stopping just at the limit of my radar scope. To sweeten the crank, I interlace it with three packets of chaff. A quick glance at the HUD tells me my missile has timed out, and the bandit is within Six Miles. The RWR is still angry about his missile, so I pull another Six Gs, and put the aircraft on my six O’Clock, more chaff, and but the nose down to unload and accelerate. I’m hoping Bogus, who is flashing past me somewhere to my left, can pick this guy off of me.
This turns out to be for naught. A quick glance over my shoulder reveals Dassault bits fluttering to the ground astride oily black tendrils. He dead, splash one. I report to Magic, who confirms my kill and asks me to move further north. I respond I’m happy to, but I’m down to heaters. He instead orders me to RTB, and pushes Bogus north in my stead. I reluctantly begin to head south, uneasy about abandoning my wing man. Bogus calls out yet more contacts, and a quick glance of my fuel gauge tells me just one more fight. I swing north, get low, and begin sorting contacts on my radar. My plan is to use the radar to spot them, acquire them visually, and then go EMCON. Once Bogus was engaged, I’d sprint in and nail them with heaters from their six.
Red air has other plans.
As I pass Beslan, I get a frantic call that a Mirage is taking off from the airfield. I look over, and sure enough, a tiny triangle is angrily pointed my way. I categorize the pop-up threat as the biggest danger, and move to cut him off. Reaper flight is also prosecuting from the West. What follows next is a cacophony of missiles. Reaper fires a Sparrow at the Mirage. The SA-8 fires at Reaper. The Mirage fires at Reaper. I fire at the Mirage. the SA-8 fires at me. I see a missile self destruct, assume it’s mine, and fire at the Mirage again. Flares are everywhere. The Mirage explodes, and I elect it’s time to boogey. I dump some CM for the SA-8, do another Six G turn, and exit the MEZ In full blower. Down to two AIM-9s, and now less fuel, I’m actually going home this time.
Red air has other plans.
No sooner than I get five miles from the air base, Bogus calls out he’s got an engine stall. Reaper calls out another pop up from Beslan, and then that he’s hit. Magic has me turn back around to investigate, and I see a missile impact Bogus’ jet. I search, and see a fighter I assume to be yet another MIrage. Whatever it is it’s not friendly, so it gets an AIM-9. My contact dispenses roughly ALL THE FLARES, and I honor this with another AIM-9 which he then drives into the ground. He responds to my chicanery by firing a heat seeker, then a radar guided missile. I decoy the first, and the second has no chance to hit me as I blast past him at half a mile, and roughly a hundred feet of the deck. I also cannot fail to note: that was a MiG-29. I immediately roll left, and pull to initiate the fight. I purposefully remind myself to get my head out of the HUD and acquire him visually. I pick him up at my 11, still low. His nose is overly high, and I can tell his energy state is nil: he pulled too aggressively in the merge and now he’s trying to fight a stall. I glance with one eye back at my HUD, and note I’m at 300 KIAS, not great, but not terrible. I ease my turn to rebuild my airspeed back to a comfortable 350, and then pull for maximum sustained G. I devour the circle like it’s BBQ day in the cafeteria and the angles are brisket. He’s managed to get his nose down, but by the time he’s going fast enough to maneuver I’m saddled comfortably 1500 feet to his rear. My first burst of cannon peppers his engine and right wing, clouds of fuel vapor, hydraulic fluid and smoke intermingle. Stubbornly his jet flies on despite this punishment. The second burst guts his engines, and removes the damaged wing. His MiG stops being a jet so much as a rapidly moving junk yard, and plows into the Russian soil.
i radio Magic a triumphant Splash splaaaaaaaash, and inform him I’d like to go home for real this time. He gives me vectors for Tbilisi, and I climb for home at a comfortable 400 knots. As I reach the crest of the mountains, I hear GCI warn me a second MiG has taken off from Beslan, and would like very much to make my acquaintance. The MiG makes one critical error however: in his lust for revenge, he has failed to honor the surviving member of Reaper flight. Reaper 12 repays this slight with a Sparrow applied directly to the air frame.
The rest of the flight is uneventful. I leave Magic for the traffic channel, and begin haggling with the various aircraft taking off for an opening to land. I grease the landing on Tbilisi Lochini 13R, and taxi to the terminal to bask in the glory of a guns kill.