Scorching sun, periodically sweeping the sand with great speed, the unusual shape of a whitish on the officers and men, disguised bright yellow networks missile systems, aircraft, missile launches from the flashes. This general picture, against which Russian anti-aircraft missiles, the pilots in the hot summer 1970 in Egypt were preparing to join the battle to fight the real enemy.
IN the land of Egypt called Russian military is not easy, alarming situation for the people of this country that the Israelis did anger in June 1967. Since then, the "smoldering sluggish war." The sides exchanged artillery fire across the Suez Canal, which became a time limit — the ceasefire line established by the UN Security Council decision November 22, 1967, bombings in the front line. But in January 1970, the situation worsened. Israel received from the U.S. modern fighter-bombers, F-4 "Phantom", and its air force decided to raid the deepest. Under the blows were the principal objects of the country. Planes also bombed the suburbs of the capital. Became victims of the bombing and the peaceful inhabitants, including ladies and kids. And the look of Cairo in the hope of finding rushed to the defense of Moscow.
Russian Alliance and previously supplied arms to Egypt, sent military advisers there. Under their tutelage Egyptian military took hold, namely, Russian anti-aircraft missile systems S-75, which were very effective in Vietnam. But made air defense units were managed with the Israeli air raids, which began to break through to a large administrative centers and the principal military installations, using the knowledge of the tactical and technical data of the S-75 (AA missile fell into the hands of the Israelis in 1967). And the Egyptian government was forced to ask Moscow about, that the Soviet Union sent to Egypt by their area of defense with more modern technology.
At the end of January 1970 in Moscow with a hidden visit headed Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. "At a meeting with Brezhnev, described the Moscow talks to one Egyptian President M.Heykal journalist, Nasser asked the Russian to make an effective missile shield against Israeli attacks, and when the Russian delegation noted that it would need a few months to learn how to work with the Egyptian calculations missiles SA-3 (Western name of anti-aircraft missile system S-125 "Neva." — AD), Russian Nasser offered to send their own calculations … By the beginning of April 1970 the new missiles and planes with Russian estimates, and the crews began to arrive in Egypt. "
I note that the anti-aircraft missile the S-125 "Neva", which led to Moscow Egyptian President Nasser, had compared with the S-75 best noise immunity. He allowed to destroy targets on a collision course at altitudes from 200 meters to 10 km — at speeds up to 1,500 flight goals km / h.
In March 1970, Egypt was delivered 18 anti-aircraft missile battalions, which were armed with S-125 "Neva" also MIG-21 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" portable air defense systems "Strela- 2 "means airborne reconnaissance and communications equipment. In Egypt was formed Russian Air Defense Division (it was headed by Major-General Alexei Smirnov artillery) in the 3 anti-aircraft missile brigades, Fighter Aviation Regiment, Independent Fighter Squadron units radar reconnaissance and communications. Before connection has been tasked to help with parts of the Egyptian air defense cover from enemy aircraft larger administrative and political centers of Cairo and Alexandria, Aswan hydroelectric, a naval base and airfields Mersa Matruh, Dzhenaklis, Beni Suef, Kom Aushim.
The first in the battle of the Russian troops entered the pilots. In Egypt and fighter pilots, and IGCI (in parts) arrived to transport aircraft. Aviators and technology transfer was carried out in secret, but soon the Israelis knew that the Russian came to wage war. They do yell about it on speakerphone, asked: is there in the middle of arrivals from Moscow, Leningrad — on the side of the Suez Canal, apparently, there were many immigrants from Russia. Later it became clear indeed: air combat strategy often used on both sides of monotonous, the one that taught in Russian military academies. True, the Jews of South American origin used South American strategy, using the experience of fighting in Vietnam.
Initially, there was a war nerves. Israelis podymali with its own airfield, the course — on the main administrative center of Egypt. Subordinate, Colonel Konstantin Korotyuka (commanded Fighter Regiment) and Yuri Nastenko (commander separate Fighter Squadron) had to climb towards. But the fighting occurred occasionally. Israelis often in the channel itself turns around and walks back. Or went to the Egyptian countryside 40 kilometers, but less so, and at the approach of Russian fighters at 25-30 km is again beginning to move away. Chase enemy aircraft Russian pilots were allowed only up to the Suez Canal.
With years of success of our first pilots. June 22, they filled up the "Skyhawk" from the air group that went to Ismailia. Israelis, despite the fact that over the air battles constantly watched them "flying radar" — plane intelligence, "Hawkeye", viewed 2 MIGs, called at the tail. As reported to the Egyptian intelligence, Israeli pilots struck a shock, they have come a long time. But soon came and successfully applied the same technique per se. We rushed towards the group of eight that have marked locators. And second, do not see any radars or visually, has taken on the MiGs missile. Loss — four aircraft, three pilots. Died captains Zhuravlev, Yakovlev, Yurchenko.
But a more detailed story in the current publication of The Rocketeer — specifically they are, in my opinion, "defined weather" hot summer seventies. Ask to speak to active combatants retired colonel Boris Zhayvoronku (in 1970 — anti-aircraft missile brigade commander, Col.) and Konstantin Popov (in 1970 — anti-aircraft missile battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel), who returned from Egypt Hero Russian Union. Getting started for their "spetskomandirovka"?
— For me the trip began with a visit to division (then served in the Metropolitan surrounded by air defenses) Boris Ivanovich Zhayvoronka — says Konstantin Popov. — At one point, he says, is formed by a team of military training in the USSR, the United Arab Republic. Will trip to the landfill, you must correctly spices. Arrived to the site was first prepared, and indeed Arab missile, which began arriving in the USSR for the development of the S-125 "Neva". For a long time the fact of the impending trip to Egypt was kept secret. I remember passed
a medical examination for service in areas with hot, dry climate. Someone suggested the idea — go to Vietnam (he then reflects South American anger). They picked up the guides — no dry climate in the north or the south. Realized, the needle tends to the African continent. We were told that komandiruemsya for international assistance to Egypt, 15 days prior to departure. Proparhali in these days of strenuous workouts. And then the train transport to the Black Sea ports — and in Alexandria.
In Alexandria, night transport was unloaded. Equipment division repainted in yellow, and more precisely in the sand color, loaded on Tow Tractors. Themselves dressed in the same color form. This was done simply. Each special regime handed over the bag, which lay uniforms without shoulder straps, towels, table arrangement, rations …
Looked up the sun, and we do not know ourselves … Unaccustomed to the eyes glowing yellow of technology, we are in an unusual way. All this, as the Egyptian soldiers with weapons on the road clearly stated: We arrived in the country, driven war. Having made the march, took up firing positions and were ready to repel enemy air raids.
— Egyptian soldiers tried — explains Boris Zhayvoronok. — They qualitatively prepared positions. For many stations, shelters and cabins done in reinforced concrete, and for launchers, transport and loading vehicle — from sandbags. Our missile systems were covered by self-propelled anti-aircraft installations "Shilka" and portable systems "Strela-2". Exposed positions and visual observation. Power — it is from regular diesel engines, working round the clock. Particular attention — to combat duty. Not for a moment did not leave us feeling anxious waiting battlefield.
Had to get used to not only to this. Some, for example, hard to bear the climate. Arrived in Egypt in the spring, when blown Khamsin. Khamsin in Arabic "50". In other words, about as many days with small breaks raging dust storm. Infernal heat and sand, which rises in the face, causing weakness, increased irritability. Pressure skips, jumps heart. With the passage of time to learn, but to the end and could not get used to. Until now, remember the crisp sand: on the teeth, in the porridge, fruit compote …
Khamsin has replaced the heat. At one point, call the Division, please report to the temperature in the cabin. "Rested" — I hear. "What?" — "Mercury" — are responsible. But the regular temperature gauge to 52 degrees. There were thermal shocks.
In short, do not have time to get used to a situation, and we were waiting for fights. I note, our main objective was to prevent the enemy to break through the west of Suez Canal. — Sinai Peninsula at that time was occupied. The enemy, apparently in a while to realize: the Egyptians managed to strengthen the air defense and exercise caution. Then, finding that has full intelligence on the opposing side, zaaktivnichal. By the way, from March to August occurred about 6 thousand sorties. For the first time in the battle on June 30 entered warriors units, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jora Komyagin and Captain Vladimir Malyauka. They then jointly with the Egyptian battalions formed the so-referred to as the near-channel grouping to provide cover for ground troops. Enemy at first tried to kill air defense, they did not allow him to inflict significant damage to the Egyptian army. And here's another attempt. Aggressor aircraft now met our warriors. The first missile was shot down, "Phantom" — previously only destroyed the Egyptians "Mirages" and "Skyhawks".
Was even tougher fight on July 18. At noon, the Israelis bombed the Egyptian division. Two hours later, a new raid of a large group of aircraft, layered in height and depth. In the battle to take divisions majors Midskhata Mansurov and Victor Tolokonnikova. At first all went well for us. Two run — two destroyed aircraft. It was possible to shoot down another "Phantom". But in the subsequent raid four "Phantom" has come on division from the rear and fired its rockets. Then bombed. Eight people were killed, burned launcher, rocket exploded, diesel. Hard day! Unit was taken to the rear.
Put an end to outrages Israeli aircraft could only be more proactive strategy on our part. Resolved: Group divisions alternately will go specifically to the Suez Canal, in an ambush, and in the event of an enemy aircraft in one moment to open fire, roll and go. Maneuverable groups were formed of 3 divisions. Putting it in the near-channel zone preceded the three-day exercise. Their plan, the tactical situation and conditions of the very nearer to the environment in which to do was to combat puzzle.
The first position for the ambush prepared in advance, a few kilometers south of the town of Ismail. They were on the night of July 31 to August 1 and took warriors units, commanded by Lt. Col. Nicholas Kutyntsev and Konstantin Popov. North of the deployed Egyptian Division.
— Marsh in the ambush of days we started — said the publication creator Konstantin Popov — and overcame the last kilometers are in pitch darkness. Immediately began to prepare for battle. Firing position — near the garden. Next to a small ditch, vegetable gardens fellahin. Used to mask the network — yellowish and greenish, and branches of bushes, corn stems. On the exhaust of diesel engines put a rubber tube and brought into the bushes to the irrigation ditches. In short, disguised so that even from the ground nearby hard to identify rocketry. And all this — only by the light of lanterns electronic.
Motor-vehicles division chief of staff, Major Alexei Krylov took a kilometer from the firing positions and hid in a bush. Pushed forward a bit ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" and portable air defense missile systems "Strela-2". Excellent communicators bother, they paved the night more than 30 km of wire communication.
By 6 o'clock Division was ready to fight. Duty — shifts, resting directly on the posts.
But the enemy was waiting. August 1 and 2 it made reusable aircraft flying along the canal, but the fire zone division did not come. Apparently, the Israelis have learned something about our maneuver and tried to find us. We did not submit any evidence. In the air out for a few seconds. Around quiet. By the end of the second day or telephoned Colonel Zhayvoronku, asked: If the enemy in this direction would be idle to allow a day to relocate to another location.
August 3, Lt. Mike Petrenko, head of the station reconnaissance and target, at noon reported: "Plaque of aircraft. Layered height and in depth." Been on "Phantoms" fighter-bombers South American production and "Mirages", front-line fighters French production. But until they were far away. Egyptian missile troops opened fire. A "Mirage" came on and fell. Two hours later the Israelis took the second raid. Now they know the position of the Egyptian battalion, and 16 aircraft, crossing the Suez Canal, went to his destruction. That's where we felt terrible power of "Phantom"!
The Israelis thought: one in front of them division. And, without knowing it, have entered the zone of fire Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Kutyntseva. It also followed the team to destruction, but
the neighbors came with the launch of the delay — I've heard radio traffic. Realized: it's our time.
In anticipation of the battle froze my subordinates, members of the combat crew — Chief of Staff Major General Krylov, guidance officer Captain A.Dyatkin, operators ordinary V.Shijan, A.Zazdravnyh. They have held fast goal. Reported, ready to open fire. After a second two rockets burst from the guides. Having found on their devices recognition rocket launches, aircraft maneuver made with fire — a dive with a turn in the direction of the channel and turning on the afterburner. But one "Phantom" all the same is not gone, rocket With years of it.
One moment later, four aircraft entered from the rear at a low altitude and hit Nursi and bombs, but fortunately for the wrong position. At the time when we were consuming, where our soldiers undermined trinitrotoluene block, simulating the missile launches. And it pecked at the opponent. To reduce the unmasking of positions at the start of rockets we watered around launchers (thanks to irrigation ditch was there) and immediately after the start of the flame extinguished. Fifteen minutes later the group went straight to the aircraft division, for sure, the pilots realized where the basic position. But we were ready. First "Phantom" exploded at the sight, the second was destroyed.
The pilots ejected and long hung over us. Our soldiers captured them, gave the Egyptians. Third "phantom" maneuver to approach from the rear, was hit by a rocket troops battalion Kutyntseva. The attack bogged down. Other planes left for the Suez Canal. During the day, Israeli aircraft lost 5 aircraft, which had never before experienced.
Of course, the enemy decided steps to seize the initiative, went to different tactical ploys. Stealther reception was held on August 3. About two hours later, three after we beat back a massive raid on the radar screen appeared a mark of low-flying targets. We calculated their 20. Moving in our direction. At first mistaken for helicopters. Resolved: the enemy went to the tactic — to force us at any cost to release the last missile.
Time was not going to — flew. The objectives were approaching the CP — excitement. Missilemen Colonel Kutyntseva made two starts, but the rocket went to self-destruct before reaching the goals. Means no helicopters in the air, but what? Not solved the riddle at once, but the remaining missiles economized. And the enemy is no longer dared to try to crack the anti-aircraft defenses. Later it turned out: the Israelis launched a metallic balls.
It would seem easy to find them, they move slowly, in the direction of the wind … In training to be a matter of seconds identified goals. But you mark appears on the screen after the real raid. Thoughts: Do not be a tough opponent after the fight, as they say, pawns in play. Loaf had firmly but unraveled the progress of the Israelites.
Were there times I asked the interviewees when opponent outwitted Russian rocket. It turned out to be.
— Perhaps it came out at one point — says Boris Zhayvoronok. — "Phantom" brazenly held before the division of Major Tolokonnikova, but did not go into the fire zone. Clearly, attention was drawn to it. Meanwhile, a group of planes came from behind and stabbed. No casualties has not done.
At a meeting with Konstantin Popov asked him: it was psychologically difficult to engage in battle with the "Phantom"? Ambush, of course, the reception is quite good, but then in the desert and in particular at zamaskirueshsya.
— Yes, going to create visually Division "Phantom" — not a pleasant sight, — says Konstantin Popov.
— Painted in green color, spewing fire, it is as real dragon.
After the first time around there was a fire the rocket launcher. Smoke, sand, raised during the launch of rockets, very unmasked us. Did not lose subordinate Lieutenant Nikolai Voronin, they promptly shot down and extinguished the flames.
Proved to be excellent and the Russian equipment — anti-aircraft missile systems S-75 "Desna" S-125 "Neva", ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" … In an interview Boris Zhayvoronok read: complexes have accumulated several thousand hours — and not the 1st of failure. And at the site in preparation was even a case — by firing in the "low-altitude" rocket soaring to the goal, almost touched the ground, but got to the line of traffic and hit the target.
Maybe liquidation 5 aircraft on August 3 contributed to the fact that Israel went faster on a truce with Egypt. It was signed in one day — August 5, 1970. But for the next several months, our rocket men were carrying on combat duty on Arab land, protecting the Arabian sky. Masters ambushes Konstantin Popov and Nikolai Kutyntsev returned from Egypt Heroes of Russian Union.