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The Intense Dogfight Between a U.S. Pilot and an Iraqi MiG

The Intense Dogfight Between a U.S. Pilot and an Iraqi MiG
NARRATOR: January 1991, Operation Desert Storm. Colonel Cesar Rodriguez tries to avoid being shot down by an

Iraqi

MiG-29. COL. CESAR RODRIGUEZ: We assumed that this guy was the biggest, baddest dude on the block, and we had to be on our number one A game to beat them. NARRATOR: The incoming MiG is just seconds away from blowing Rodriguez out of the sky. COL. CESAR RODRIGUEZ: The MiG's radar can see me, and so I go strictly into the defensive mode. NARRATOR: Rodriguez banks left and dives
the intense dogfight between a u s pilot and an iraqi mig
down fast. If he can confuse the MiG's radar, he might have a fighting chance. COL. CESAR RODRIGUEZ: MiG-29 radar is meant to look into a blue sky where there's very little clutter. So I want to force his radar to look down into the ground environment, and now the radar has got to recalculate the math to deliver a weapon. NARRATOR: Rodriguez must escape the

Iraqi

MiG's deadly grasp or risk losing everything. I'm in 100% survival mode because the enemy is locked onto my airplane.
That's as vulnerable as you get in the end air to air

dogfight

. NARRATOR: Unless his wingman acts quickly, Rodriguez doesn't have a chance. COL. CESAR RODRIGUEZ: At that point I am in the pure defensive mode, and now I turn it over to my wingman, who is about three miles behind me. He sees the same thing that I see. He locks the lead MiG, and then takes up a shot with his AIM-7. NARRATOR: Seconds later, Rodriguez's wing man's heat seeking AIM-7 missile reaches the MiG. The end
the intense dogfight between a u s pilot and an iraqi mig
result was we had one MiG down. Splash one is the radio call that I made. COL. CESAR RODRIGUEZ: Splash! Splash coming out west bound. And now we're trying to figure out what's next. NARRATOR: What's next is more trouble. The E-3 AWACS alerts Rodriguez to another MiG-29 just 10 miles away. This time, Rodriguez and his wingman won't be caught off guard. COL. CESAR RODRIGUEZ: We have two options. We can turn south and run away, or we can turn north and fight our way through that
MiG. And the option that I selected was to fight our way through that MiG. NARRATOR: Rodriguez and the MiG face off in an

intense

aerial spiral, chasing each other's tails. Suddenly, the MiG-29 flies down toward the desert floor, trying to outmaneuver the F-15's radar. COL. CESAR RODRIGUEZ: At that point, I suspect the MiG felt that I could either be coming in for a gun shot or I could be getting ready to hit him with a missile. NARRATOR: Rodriguez watches the MiG take a hard turn back
the intense dogfight between a u s pilot and an iraqi mig
up, but it's too late to escape the momentum down. COL. CESAR RODRIGUEZ: You could see his after-burners are cooking. He's trying to do everything he can to bring the nose of his airplane through the horizon, but it doesn't happen. He put himself in a no win solution, which ultimately translated into a fireball on the ground. It wasn't until after the final engagement that I started to reflect on, wow, what just happened? Because I knew I was within seconds of being a casualty.