It’s 1989 and a pair of US F-14 Tomcats are patrolling the Mediterranean when two Libyan MIG-23 Floggers try to get cute with them. Like most people my age, I was a huge fan of the movie Top Gun and these Naval Aviators got it done. I had just graduated high school and was headed to college and I vividly remember this incident. My father was an intelligence officer in the Army so I had a great resource to discuss the unclassified details of incidents like this.
Keep in mind, this is a heads up video from the Tomcat circa 1989. Quality is a bit sketchy but what gives me goosebumps is the audio. You can clearly hear the pilots breathing rate increase as the MIG’s continue to act hostile. The volume of his speech clearly increases as the aircrafts close in. However, the steady flow of situational information from the AWACS regarding the MIG’s relative position paints a clear picture for the two pilots. Furthermore, solid communication between the pilots and their RIO’s further enable an air victory. The F-14 Tomcat was a true air superiority aircraft that kept our Naval Fleet safe for decades.
Now take a trip down memory lane and listen to these aviators go from a routine patrol flight to a full on dog fight in a matter of minutes.
Feature image courtesy of YoutTube