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I always wondered why the RWR wasn't insanely noisy or the fact that the Mig-23 went against F-14 without at least medium ranged missiles? 

 

They where like invited to the airspace until they got so close. It's like they where bribed for the 4477th squadron or like Syrian/Iraqi defecting pilots then only to be shot down for some publicity stunt.

 

I'm no expert but the Migs looked like they didn't realize they where targeted until it was too late; they fired to knock off the balance of F-14 pilots than down them and looked like they tried to return as close to shore to eject. They where defiantly panicking

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It's probably a matter of orders.  Without hearing their side of the radio, we won't know for sure.

 

However, here's what we do know: the Tomcats tried three times to offset their heading so that they would not be on an intercept course.  Each time the MiGs adjusted course as if to intercept.  If the Tomcat RWR wasn't going crazy, they were being vectored by GCI (which was also Soviet doctrine at the time, which is also what countries that purchased Soviet hardware usually followed as well).  Perhaps the Libyan brass didn't think the USN would open fire, or perhaps they didn't care if they lost a couple of MiGs.  They were probably trying to get a propaganda victory.  

 

It is also telling that despite safe ejections of both MiG aircrew (visually verified by the Tomcat crews), there was no effort made to rescue the pilots.  Again, just shows that the Libyan brass didn't value the line troops.

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I would go with the scenario of both pilots being defectors and having their names hidden to keep the shame off their families. And stuck with having them as idiots to discourage their pilots from being rash and impulsive; their is no way a bunch of trained pilots to be that stupid. Plus, pilots are expensive assets and no one would ignore them after ejection unless they suddenly became useless.

 

It would be quite interesting to find out what the Libyans are hiding in the coms. 

 

Edited by Mustsafa

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