Griffon shoot-down

I THOUGH IT was interesting read about the Afghani conflict from the viewpoint of the Soviets.

Apart from the details of half a sortie, most of the effort was made to credit the Soviets with the loss of the only Pakistan Air Force (PAF) aircraft during its operations against violating Soviet-Afghan aircraft!

Although details and cause of the F-16 loss have appeared in numerous air journals, the author persists in crediting it to the Soviet Air Force.

However, just to set the records straight, the aforementioned F-16 was flying as the lead in a formation of two when they were vectored by GCI towards intruding enemy aircraft.

In the ensuing battle No 2 F-16 launched a Sidewinder against one of the MiG-23s, but the missile went astray and hit the lead F-16 which was engaged with another MiG-23.

A second Sidewinder found its mark and a Flogger was brought down but the author makes no mention of this Soviet loss in his article. Even more ironically, there is no mention of the other dozen or so Floggers and Fencers shot down during this period (confirmed or credited by General Dynamics and other US sources) and if, according to Mr Vekhov, Pakistani F-16 cross-border operations ceased after their loss and Soviet aircraft never crossed into Pakistani airspace, would he like to explain how Russian Vice-President Alexander Ruskoi, then a Colonel became a POW as late as August 4,1988?

Incidentally, the F-16 pilot who shot down Rutskoi’s Su-25 Frogfoot as the present ‘boss’ of PAF ‘s Topgun’ Combat Commander’s school.

Tanvir Alam


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