In the years before the 1991 Gulf War there were very few direct clashes between the best American and Soviet aircraft, and the best of the Soviet types gained an impressive reputation. In 1991 the F-15C finally came up against modern MiG-23s and MiG-25s of the Iraqi air force, and although the numbers and backup favoured the Americans, their impressive dominance still helped prove that their aircraft outclassed the Soviet types.
This book looks at the development of the three types of aircraft and their weapons, the way in which they were controlled by their respective air forces and the overall strategic situation in Iraq, before focusing on the limited number of direct clashes between the F-15C and the two Soviet types. The result was an impressive victory for western air power, with the Iraqi Air Force swept from the skies very quickly, before its surviving aircraft were sent to relative safety in Iran.
The authors do a good job of looking at both sides of the story, a difficult task given the history of Iraq in the intervening years, so the Iraqi aircraft don’t just appear as ‘bogies’, but as equal players with their own named pilots and missions. One does get the impression that the Iraqi command and control systems played a large part in the failure of their air force, suggesting that the Soviet aircraft might have performed better if used differently, but even so the technological superiority of the F-15C is clear.
Design and Development
The Strategic Situation
Statistics and Analysis
Author: Douglas C. Dildy & Tom Cooper