‘We were on their tail, which means victory in dogfight’ – Russian pilot on coalition jets in Syria

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‘We were on their tail, which means victory in dogfight’ – Russian pilot on coalition jets in Syria
Russian pilots always managed to get behind US-led coalition fighter jets they encountered in the skies over Syria, a Russian ace said after receiving a state award from President Putin at the Kremlin.

“When meeting our partners from the Western coalition in the air, we always found ourselves ‘on their tails’ as the pilots say, which means victory in a dogfight,” Russian Airspace Forces major, Maksim Makolin, said.

The so-called ‘lag pursuit’ when the nose of an attacking plane points at the tail of the opponent’s aircraft is considered the optimum location in an aerial fight. It allows the plane at the back a range of options, from increasing or maintaining range without overshooting to freely attacking, all the while remaining concealed in the blind spot behind the defending aircraft.

Makolin became one of the 14,000 Russian servicemen who received state decorations for their courage and professionalism during the two-year-long Russian campaign in Syria. “This order reflects a lot of hard work during missions in the Syrian air. I think I fully avenged the Hero of Russia lieutenant colonel Oleg Peshkov, and all the others who didn’t return from Syria,” the ace said.

Peshkov’s Su-24 bomber was downed by the Turkish Air Force on November 24, 2015. The pilot managed to eject from the burning plane, but was shot dead by machine-gun fire from the terrorists in Syria during his decent. Ankara said the Russian plane was attacked due to violating Turkish airspace, but Moscow denies the claim.

The Russian air campaign in support of anti-terrorist efforts by the Syrian authorities lasted from September 2015 to December 2017. Despite calling the fight against terrorism its priority task in Syria, the planes of the US-led coalition frequently attempted to prevent the Russian aviators from carrying out their missions and targeting specific militant targets in country, according to the Russian military.

The incidents in the air occurred despite a special de-confliction line established between Russian and US forces in Syria. However, the Defense Ministry said that the communications weren’t bringing the desired results due to the reluctance of the US to share its plans for air combat operations.

In one of the latest episodes, a Russian Su-35S fighter jet was scrambled to chase away a rogue US F-22 fighter which, the Russian Defense Ministry said, performed “dangerous maneuvers” near Russian bombers about to hit an Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) base to the west of the Euphrates on November 23.

READ MORE: US F-22 was hampering Russian Su-25 jets from providing cover for aid convoy – MoD

At the award ceremony at the Kremlin, which was attended by around 600 Russian servicemen, Putin said that the country’s military “has executed its task in Syria with flying colors.” The President also proposed a moment of silence for the Russian servicemen, who lost their lives during the Syrian campaign.

“We will always remember our comrades who fell while performing their combat duties. They died defending Russia… a young generation of officers and soldiers will be brought up on their example,” he said. According to calculations, released by Tass in October,   39 Russian servicemen were killed during the Syrian operation.

READ MORE: Putin thanks Su-30 jet pilots for ‘covering’ his plane during Syria visit (VIDEO)

Russia got involved in Syria at the request of the country’s President Bashar Assad, playing a vital role in the defeat of IS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terror groups in the country. According to the Defense Ministry, around 60,000 militants were eliminated during the operation. In mid-December, Putin visited Russia’s Khmeimim Airbase in Syria to announce the withdrawal of the Russian troops from the country.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Syria is forever indebted to Russia for saving the country from total obliteration by these criminals U.S., Saudis, Israel and Turkey. Russia demonstrated enormous skill and restraint in the task.
    This could have easily led to WWIII. Russia behaved totally within the law while the others all violated it. Russia and Syria must now make a permanent defense pack to aid each other in the future. A friend in need is a friend indeed. International war tribunals must now be convened to try and convict all the unindicted war criminals involved in this terror against Syria beginning with Israel and the U.S. Let the chips fall where they may. Thank you President Putin. You are an international hero. What more proof is needed to prove the old Soviet Union has been replaced by a shining star?

  2. Full blown crazy wins in the sky. I always thought it was a bit odd that the Flying Tigers went from fighters to TAC. I bet there are still guys who would take a P-40 into combat. Who would be surprised that our best fighting unit was defending China against Japan in WW 2 ? Lots I suppose. I was a fuel guy for the 23rd in the Big One. Yea that’s right, Grenada. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Tigers
    “The group of volunteers were officially members of the Chinese Air Force. ” Old Leatherface would not like the A-10, but I bet he would love the F-16. There’s a statue of Chennault in Hunan. My how things seem to change. Is it unpatriotic if I tip my hat to the Russians ? I think not. I like it when I can sleep knowing children are not being bombed for oil. I bet leather face would agree.

    • Andrew, Give your father my regards and I say good job. My family has been here since 1600 and always served, Russia gets a drink from me this holiday season ! and btw, thank you again for not helping England during our Revolution. Cheers!

    • Thank you, David! It was always remarkable that citizens like you in USA know their family roots for several centuries. In Russia it is a problem – too many historical experiments were over my country. I know only several generations of my family. My grandma told me that our ancestors came to Caucasus as Cossacks to set new Russian boarders. At that time English and Turkish firestarters and warmongers were there to set chaos and sell gun-powder with riffles to Caucasus tribes: Chercassians, Adige, Chechens and Dagestans. So we have old counts with Britain. After the revolution my ancestors were in Red Army. Granddad was burned in tank at Kursk great tank battle. Many other met the 1945 in Europe – Germany, Austria. My uncle was the Black Sea Fleet marine in Sevastopol, and my Dad as i mentioned above – dreamed about sky and became a high altitude interceptor. I will give him your greetings. Pilots are ones of the elite and the mutual respect is normal, no matter meet you on the ground or in the skies.

    • My dad was over in that area in ’42-43 . served in the 5th Air Force, 90th Bmbg. Group, 321st Sqdn. aka The Jolly Rogers.
      Stationed in Australia and I suspect somewhere in Northern Queensland, appeared to be as dangerous on the ground as it was in the air. Scorpions, snakes, spiders and salties.
      My dad was stung by a scorpion, not to mention dysentary …..that pretty much ended his hitch in that theater.

    • Andrew, The Russian Air Force won;t have to worry too much about the F-35; they’ll just have to wait for them to fall apart in midair.
      I know it doesn’t sound too patriotic but…..the ideals of patriotism in America have been skewed to mean unconditional support of what ever the government says or does and the same for the U.S. military. In truth it is not patriotism but blind obedience, the kind all tyrants and dictators enjoy.
      It is changing but too slowly for me.
      You must be proud of your family history.
      Mine immigrated from a part of Germany in the early 1700s and were members of an Anabaptist sect to become known as Amish/ Mennonite.
      Did you hear the one about the Amish girl that got kicked out of the house?
      Too Mennonite.

    • JohnZ – my respect! We are not to worry, but must be ready, Sir. The difference is that USA was never occupied by intruders and never defended their home from external foe. The only patriotic fight i see only in Hollywood movies, against mythical aliens. Looks tough but doesn’t correlate the reality. Russia mostly defended itself from the enemy – during the centuries. So, i don’t wanna seem rude, but it is ridiculous to see and hear the Greatest American Patriotism and solemn words about Fighting for America. Maybe you can fight for ideals and prevention. But not for dictate, oil, opium or the hell whatever comes into Pentagon guy’s mind. US wars are political&commercial. The main percentage of US Army is modified for intrusion, ’cause they know they attack the weak enemy. They do not know what is a true, hard, serious battle. And what is sad – the handicapped vets come back from Iraq, Afghanistan, etc —– the Govnmt doesn’t need them. The tool is broken – throw it away and buy the new.

    • The blind obedience – you are right, JohnZ. Because there are many soldiers that go to the army only for money or to escape the jail. Their knowledge is low, the psychological balance is weak. It is a new 21 century “digital” generation. We call such youth – Generation Pepsi. I’m about those who gonna starve for a month, but save dough for next iPhone to buy – the dream of their material life. NWO needs such people.
      Oh, JohnZ, as for Amish. I recall we had anglo-american poetry lessons at secondary school and British_American history. The teacher mentioned Amishes (if correct spell) but it was not the main subject. Unfortunately i do not remember. I can call all the capitals of the entire world countries (excepting new tiny island states), but i promise to enlight myself in this subject 🙂

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