Yugoslav Air Force Combat Aircraft: 1998 to 2006 – Kosovo and the End

Air Force of Serbia and Montenegro roundel
Air Force of Serbia and Montenegro roundel 1992-2006

From April 1992 the Yugoslav Air Force officially became the Air Force of Serbia and Montenegro (Ratno Vazduhoplovstvo Srbije i Crne Gore – RVSiCG) and was now the air force of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The RVSiCG roundel changed from the old red star in a blue circle, to a 3 bar blue, red and white roundel that reflected the colours of the nation’s flag.

The RVSiCG which for the sake of simplicity I will continue to refer to as the Yugoslav Air Force, operated approximately 300 aircraft with 16,000 personnel from April 27th, 1992 to June 3rd, 2006 when Montenegro voted to secede from the former Yugoslavia. The bulk of the remaining aircraft then formed what is todays Serbian Air Force and Air Defence and reverted to the old Royal Yugoslav Air Force roundel (originally operated from 1918 to 1941).

Serbian Air Force and Air Defence roundel from 2006
Serbian Air Force and Air Defence roundel from 2006

As discussed in my previous post, the Yugoslav Wars of 1991 to 1995 had torn apart the former Yugoslavia, with most republics leaving the once proud nation under a cloud of heavy bloodshed. The Yugoslav Air Force was involved in all of these conflicts but had seen little air to air opposition. Soon they were to face the full brunt of NATO air power and the results were going to be felt for decades to come.

Kosovo War 1998 to 1999

In 1989 Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević removed Kosovar autonomy, something they had enjoyed for decades in the former Yugoslavia, and put the region under strict Serbian control. This action slowly but surely built up tension in Kosovo and when ethnic Kosovar Albanians sought independence, the Kosovo War (February 28th, 1998 to June 11th, 1999) saw a return to conflict within the former Yugoslavia, with the Kosovo Liberation Army fighting against Serbian forces. Serbia naturally struck back and it was again a bloody conflict.

From March 1998 to March 1999 over 2000 Kosovar people were killed as a result of the Serb government’s policies in Kosovo. During the summer of 1998 250,000 Kosovar Albanians were forced from their homes as villages and crops were destroyed. By April 1999 over 380,000 refugees had fled Kosovo!

War in Kosovo 1998-1999
War in Kosovo 1998-1999

Such a humanitarian crisis resulted in NATO intervention and 78 days of NATO air strikes and cruise missile strikes upon Serbian targets in both Kosovo and Serbia from March 24th, 1999 to June 11th, 1999 under Operation Allied Force (air defences, air bases, ground forces and high value military targets such as the Serbian Army HQ in Belgrade which was more a show of force than a strategic target. It remains a bombed out shell today as a memorial of sorts against “NATO aggression”). Facilities were only hit if assessed to be making an effective contribution to the overall Yugoslav military effort (many targets were not subject to air strikes due to the high risk of civilian casualties – especially when military equipment was stored in a civilian area). A small number of air strikes were also conducted in Montenegro but this region was seen to have lesser strategic value and was not a key focus of NATO strategy.

Former Serbian Army HQ in Belgrade (photo taken during my November 2015 visit). Bombed by NATO in 1999
Former Serbian Army HQ in Belgrade (photo taken during my November 2015 visit). Bombed by NATO in 1999

Despite the precautions taken, not all NATO air strikes were accurate and approximately 500 civilians were sadly killed. Some political strife arose in May 1999 when the Chinese Embassy was hit in Belgrade, killing 3 Chinese journalists (halting the bombing campaign for 3 weeks) and an Albanian refugee convoy was struck by mistake killing 50 people. Both the US and NATO apologized for the applicable mistakes.

The NATO air campaign involved up to 1,045 aircraft flying over 38,000 combat sorties (including 10,484 strike sorties) out of bases in Italy and off aircraft carriers in the Adriatic Sea. There was no major ground threat to Serbia during the Kosovo War so they did not have to group large military forces into single locations and they dispersed their forces, used decoys and camouflage as best as possible to try to limit the effectiveness of the NATO air advantage (ultimately a relatively small number of tanks, armoured vehicles etc. were destroyed given the number of sorties conducted by NATO). Despite Serbia’s initial resilience, this air campaign lead to a Serbian withdrawal from Kosovo and the moving in of NATO peacekeepers in 1999 but unfortunately did not totally stop the bloodshed beforehand. Although air superiority was quickly established, Serbian ground based air defences were strong with many mobile sites which were difficult to locate and although hit hard by NATO, were always something NATO pilots had to be cautious of (see NATO losses below).

A USAF F-15E Strike Eagle of the 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed to Aviano Air Base, Italy, streaks into the sky, in support of NATO operations during the Kosovo War in 1999. The fighter squadron was assigned to the 31st Air Expeditionary Wing (Photo Source: US DOD)
A USAF F-15E Strike Eagle of the 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed to Aviano Air Base, Italy, streaks into the sky, in support of NATO operations during the Kosovo War in 1999. The fighter squadron was assigned to the 31st Air Expeditionary Wing (Photo Source: US DOD)

Yugoslav Air Force Losses

Seal of the Serbia and Montenegro Air Force 1992-2006
Seal of the Serbia and Montenegro Air Force 1992-2006

The Yugoslav Air Force was active during the Kosovo War but this time they were pitted against highly trained NATO pilots. The key to any success on a ground attack mission over Kosovo was to fly low and avoid NATO radar. The Serb pilots were brave, despite knowing they were outnumbered with the odds against them, they strived to defend their nations airspace and strike enemy targets (numerous pilots were awarded bravery medals during the war).

NATO destruction of Yugoslav jets in the air and on the ground was a major show of force during aggression in Kosovo. Airbases were taken out quickly and hit often to keep them inactive, especially poor old Batajnica Air Base near Belgrade which was hit numerous times.

Batajnica Airfield, Serbia Pre NATO Strike March 1999 (Photo Source: NATO)
Batajnica Airfield, Serbia pre NATO strike March 1999 – aircraft are all neatly in a row (Photo Source: NATO)
Batajnica Airfield, Serbia post NATO strike March 1999
Batajnica Airfield, Serbia post NATO strike March 1999 (Photo Source: NATO)

Over 60 Yugoslav combat aircraft were lost mostly on the ground in NATO air raids in 1999 (plus numerous other aircraft types). These were predominately the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed fighter (around 24 aircraft destroyed on the ground), Soko J-22 Orao 1/2 ground attack and reconnaissance aircraft (1 was lost on March 25th, 1999 in a likely accident during a combat mission over Kosovo and 11 more were destroyed on the ground mostly at Ponikve Airbase), Soko G-2 Galeb trainer/light attack aircraft (12 said to have been destroyed in a hangar fire by one NATO bomb at Golubovci Airbase), Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters (10 lost in air and ground incidents – see below) and Soko G-4 Super Galeb trainer/light attack aircraft (7 from the Leteće zvezde / Flying Stars air force aerobatic team were lost in the hangar bombing at Golubovci Airbase – see below).

Belgrade SA-3 Goa SAM site pre NATO strike March 1999
Belgrade SA-3 Goa SAM site pre NATO strike March 1999 (Photo Source: NATO)
Belgrade SA-3 Goa SAM site post NATO strike March 1999
Belgrade SA-3 Goa SAM site post NATO strike March 1999 (Photo Source: NATO)
MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters were based in Serbia and faced off unsuccessfully against NATO fighters in 1999
MiG-29B Fulcrum fighters were based in Serbia and faced off unsuccessfully against NATO fighters in 1999

The Yugoslav Air Force Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum was the most capable air to air threat to NATO aircraft. The Serbs knew they would be a high priority target, so in a bid to prevent all the MiG-29’s being hit on the ground, they built a wooden air force of MiG-29 decoys, jokingly dubbed the M-18 (the real MiG-29’s were designated L-18). Apparently the decoys were the idea of Serbian aviation enthusiasts rather than the Air Force. They were deployed in locations such as Batajnica Air Base and moved regularly to make them look active (also featuring metal panels to create a realistic radar image and they burned tubs of kerosene under them to look like engine exhaust fumes) and it is said that nearly 80% of the decoys were hit by NATO bombs, so they obviously worked in distracting attention from the real thing! An example of the decoys can be found at the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum today.

A surviving MiG-29 decoy at Batajnica Air Base in 2009 - note the bomb damage to the hardened aircraft shelter Serbian AF Yugo AF
A surviving MiG-29 decoy at Batajnica Air Base in 2009 – note the bomb damage to the hardened aircraft shelter (Photo Source: Aircraft-Planet)
MiG-29 wooden decoy used during the 1999 Kosovo War at the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum
MiG-29 wooden decoy used during the 1999 Kosovo War at the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum (photo taken during my November 2015 visit to the museum)
A MiG-29 silhouette was painted on the RNLAF F-16 flown by Peter Tankink in 1999 following the first Dutch air to air victory since WW2
A MiG-29 silhouette was painted on the RNLAF F-16 flown by Peter Tankink in 1999 following the first Dutch air to air victory since WW2

Despite the best efforts of the decoy makers they could not save all the MiG’s. Within the first 3 days of the Kosovo air campaign 5 MiG-29’s scrambled to intercept incoming NATO aircraft were shot down by NATO fighters: 3 by USAF F-15 Eagles, 1 by a USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon and 1 by a Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 (pilot Peter Tankink hit the MiG-29 with an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile for the first RNLAF air to air victory since World War Two). A sixth MiG-29 was said to have been shot down by friendly fire, another was badly damaged in air combat but landed safely and 4 were destroyed on the ground by NATO air strikes (including one MiG-29UB trainer).

This decimation left just 5 MiG-29B’s and 1 MiG-29UB from the original fleet of 16 MiG-29B/UB’s and saw the end of them flying missions over Kosovo. Ongoing Budget restraints from the long Yugoslav Wars and the resulting political isolation and economic sanctions had led to serviceability issues and low flight hours of MiG-29 pilots, which obviously would not have helped in the ensuing combat.

Each MiG-29 is said to have experienced technical issues with radar, weapons and navigational systems during the Kosovo War, which highly limited their effectiveness against a better trained and equipped foe (an arms embargo on Serbia meant they needed to soldier on but they have since been upgraded in Russia and most still fly in Serbia today)! The Serb pilots would have been well aware of these issues before they flew in to combat. You cannot question their courage in such a situation!

Serbian MiG-29 wreckage after being shot down by NATO jets in 1999
Serbian MiG-29 wreckage after being shot down by NATO jets in 1999

Soko J-22 Orao attack aircraft and Soko G-4 Super Galeb trainer/light attack aircraft flew 20 – 30 combat missions at low-level (tree top height apparently!) over Kosovo attacking KLA targets. 1 Orao was lost on such a mission on March 25th, 1999 in what is reported to likely have been a flight accident rather than being shot down by ground fire.

Yugoslav Soko J-22 Orao attack aircraft and Soko G-4 Super Galeb trainer/light attack aircraft were used on combat missions over Kosovo flying at extreme low-level to avoid NATO radar
Yugoslav AF Soko J-22 Orao attack aircraft and Soko G-4 Super Galeb trainer/light attack aircraft were used on combat missions over Kosovo flying at extreme low-level to avoid NATO radar

NATO Losses

A 1999 Serbian propaganda poster: "Sorry we didn't know it was invisible" in relation to shooting down an F-117A Nighthawk "Stealth Fighter" (overzealous with the number shot down)!
A 1999 Serbian propaganda poster: “Sorry we didn’t know it was invisible” in relation to shooting down an F-117A Nighthawk “Stealth Fighter” – overzealous with the number shot down! If so many aircraft were shot down the museums of Serbia would be full of such wreckage instead there are just parts of the one F-117A and F-16 that were shot down (Photo Source: Wikipedia)

It wasn’t all one-sided during the Kosovo War and some NATO aircraft were shot down by Serbian air defences (not in air to air combat though). Most famously a USAF Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk “Stealth Fighter” in March 1999 and a USAF General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon in May 1999 were shot down during air raids over Serbia.

A small number of other NATO aircraft were reported as damaged by the extensive Serbian ground based air defences but this was relatively minimal given the number of sorties flown (this is said to have included another F-117A Nighthawk and 2 Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II close support aircraft. I would assume the number of unreported damaged aircraft from AA gun fire is much higher though). 815 Serbian Surface to Air Missiles were fired at NATO aircraft with many being radar guided SA-3 and SA-6 missiles that had to be launched unguided to avoid NATO HARM missile strikes upon the launch site/vehicle guidance radar (hence their effectiveness was severely hampered but mobile SAM’s were still very hard to target and hit)!

On March 27th, 1999,  just 4 nights into the NATO air campaign, the F-117A (serial number 82-0806) was hit by a Surface to Air missile fired by the 3rd Battalion of the 250th Missile Brigade, equipped with the S-125 Neva-M (SA-3 Goa) missile system. Despite an intense search by Serbian forces, USAF pilot Lt. Col. Dale Zelko evaded capture and was rescued by a USAF combat rescue team helicopter the following morning.

How did the Serbs do the unthinkable and hit a stealthy, low-observable, radar absorbent aircraft with a radar guided missile? The approximate area of operation for the F-117A aircraft was known to the Serbs and apparently in the applicable area they tweaked their Soviet era radars using long wavelengths to detect things like a bomb bay door opening (there was no stealth profile during this stage). They took a risk turning on the radars (risking NATO anti-radar missile attack) and this technology, with a bit of luck, brought the Nighthawk down!

The stealthy profile of the F-117 Nighthawk was lost when the bomb bay doors opened
The stealthy profile of the F-117 Nighthawk was lost when the bomb bay doors opened (Photo Source: USAF)

On May 1st, 1999 the General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon (serial number 88-0550) was flown by pilot Lt. Col David Goldfein, the commander of the USAF 555th Fighter Squadron. It was hit by a SAM and lost its engine. Ejecting down onto a field at 2:20am he headed away from the area, found a suitable clearing and called in a NATO air combat rescue helicopter. The rescue was completed 2 hours after he ejected from the F-16. The helicopter sustained 5 bullet holes in his rescue!

At least 21 NATO Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) were also shot down during the Kosovo conflict (I gather mostly from AA gun fire). Remnants of the shot down USAF F-117A and F-16C aircraft along with a Predator UAV and NATO weaponry are today displayed at the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum and further components of the F-117 can be found at the Belgrade Military Museum.

Parts from a USAF F-117 Nighthawk and F-16 Fighting Falcon shot down during the Kosovo War in 1999 (photos taken during my visit to the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum in November 2015)
Parts from a USAF F-117 Nighthawk and F-16 Fighting Falcon shot down during the Kosovo War in 1999 – includes the F-117 cockpit canopy and a FLIR targeting system (photos taken during my visit to the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum in November 2015)
Parts from a USAF F-117 Nighthawk and F-16 Fighting Falcon shot down during the Kosovo War in 1999 (photos taken during my visit to the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum in November 2015)
Parts from a USAF F-117 Nighthawk and F-16 Fighting Falcon shot down during the Kosovo War in 1999 (photos taken during my visit to the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum in November 2015)
Photos of the USAF F-117 Nighthawk crash site in 1999 and the pilots equipment and aircraft parts at the Belgrade Military Museum
Photos of the USAF F-117 Nighthawk crash site in 1999 and the pilots equipment and aircraft parts at the Belgrade Military Museum (museum photos taken during my November 2015 visit)
Shot down and recovered NATO weaponry and a Predator UAV at the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum Serbia
Shot down and recovered NATO weaponry and a Predator UAV at the Belgrade Aeronautical Museum (photos taken during my November 2015 visit)

Please note I am well aware that Serbian claims exist for much higher numbers of NATO aircraft being shot down (60-100+) but ultimately NATO air superiority was quickly established, air defence radars were supressed and although anti-aircraft gun fire may have been heavy, its effectiveness against fast jets has not been widely reported. There is no hard evidence to support such claims of aircraft losses and much can be attributed to wartime propaganda and hearsay (what are the applicable aircraft serial numbers? What happened to the downed pilots? Why were there no rescue helicopters shot down recovering pilots?).

I also realise that NATO and the USAF would have understated the number of aircraft damaged but hiding from the public the downing and loss of so many pilots and aircrew, captured, killed or rescued, is just not realistically feasible. If these claims were accurate, Serbian military museums would display much of this wreckage, instead they only have pieces of the shot down USAF F-117A and F-16C. Claims such as the loss of a Northrop B-2 Spirit “Stealth Bomber” during combat are unfounded, as 21 were manufactured, 1 was lost in an accident in Guam in 2008 and 20 still remain in USAF service. I am not being pro either side but simply relaying what I can ascertain from information publicly available.

Leteće zvezde (Flying Stars)

Leteće zvezde (Flying Stars) symbol 1985 to 1991
Leteće zvezde (Flying Stars) symbol 1985 to 1991

The Leteće zvezde (Flying Stars) official Yugoslav Air Force aerobatic team was established in 1985 and operated until 2000. In 1985 they were formed flying 7 specially painted red, white, blue and yellow Soko J-21 Jastreb ground attack aircraft. The J-21’s were disarmed and modified specifically to perform aerobatics.

The J-21’s were replaced in 1990 by the newer Soko G-4 Super Galeb two-seat trainer. The Super Galeb aircraft were painted in a new red, white and blue livery. The team was grounded in 1991 due to the start of the Yugoslav Wars and the aircraft returned to being used as advanced air force trainers for the duration of the major conflicts across the former Yugoslavia.

Leteće zvezde (Flying Stars) from Soko J-21 Jastrebs to G-4 Super Galebs Yugoslav AF
Leteće zvezde (Flying Stars) from Soko J-21 Jastrebs to G-4 Super Galebs (Photo Source: Aerodrom Zeljava)

Reformed in 1996, Leteće zvezde made numerous domestic appearances and even some international ones but in 1999 during the NATO bombing campaign of Serbia all 7 Super Galeb aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Golubovci Airbase in Montenegro when a NATO laser guided bomb hit the entrance to the underground hangar starting a fire within the hangar. Some further Leteće zvezde team appearances were conducted in regularly camouflage painted G-4 Super Galeb aircraft, before budget constraints and limited aircraft availability forced the team to disband in 2000. Following disbandment some of the Flying Stars pilots served as test pilots at the Flight Test Center – VOC and performed solo aerobatic displays in a Super Galeb at domestic and international air shows.

 

The Serbian Air Force Today

The Yugoslav Wars effectively ended the Yugoslav Air Force and saw the start of the Serbian Air Force and Air Defence (as of 2006) which was by 1999 and still today, a much weaker air arm in regards to the number of aircraft and a modern air defence capability. Combat losses, the Florence Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control, budget constraints and serviceability issues have resulted in a much smaller air force compared to the glory days of the former Yugoslavia and one that is rapidly becoming obsolete. As of 2016 in regards to combat aircraft they operate only 4 MiG-29B plus 1 MiG-29UB Fulcrum two-seater (with the 204th Air Brigade, 101st Squadron based at Batajnica Airbase – numbers in service as listed on the Serbian Armed Forces official website) and a small number of MiG-21UM Mongol B two-seat trainers (around 10 which are armed with R-60 / AA-8 Aphid air to air missiles), with around 33 Soko J-22 Orao 2 attack aircraft (16 J-22, 7 NJ-22, 8-IJ-22 and 2-INJ-22 – numbers in service as listed on the Serbian Armed Forces official website) and 23 Soko G-4 Super Galeb trainers. These aircraft fly out of 3 main airbases at Batajnica, Lađevci, and Niš.

Serbian Air Force Yugoslav Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum armed with a pair of R-60 (AA-8 Aphid) air to air missiles
Serbian Air Force Yugoslav Air Force MiG-29B Fulcrum armed with a pair of R-60 (AA-8 Aphid) air to air missiles (Photo by: Krasimir Grozev 2011)
Serbian Air Force MiG-29UB two-seat trainer of the 204th Air Brigade
Serbian Air Force MiG-29UB two-seat trainer of the 204th Air Brigade  (Photo Source: Serbian Armed Forces via Salinger Igor / Aermedia.com)
Serbian Air Force MiG-21UM
Serbian Air Force MiG-21UM
Serbian Air Force Soko Orao 2 and Soko G-4 Super Galeb
Serbian Air Force Soko Orao 2 (carrying AGM-65 Maverick air to surface missiles) and Soko G-4 Super Galeb
A pair of Serbian Air Force Soko G-4 Super Galeb of the 204th Air Brigade (Photo Source: Serbian Armed Forces via Salinger Igor / Aermedia.com)
A pair of Serbian Air Force Soko G-4 Super Galeb of the 204th Air Brigade – the one in the foreground is fitted with a GSh-23L 23 mm cannon ventral gun pod (Photo Source: Serbian Armed Forces via Salinger Igor / Aermedia.com)
Serbian Air Force Soko G-4 Super Galeb with an Antonov An-26 Curl transport behind it at the Berlin Air Show 2010
Serbian Air Force Soko G-4 Super Galeb with an Antonov An-26 Curl transport behind it at the Berlin Air Show 2010

Apparently both western and Russian aircraft have been considered to modernize the Serbian Air Force but orders have never been placed and for now they are just looking to upgrade the remaining Soko G-4 Super Galeb fleet (a potential order of 6 advanced MiG-29M/M2 Fulcrum E fighters/two-seat trainers from Russia was discussed by Serbia in 2013 but this was abandoned in 2014). It will be interesting to see what Serbia does to modernize their future air force (most likely they will turn to their old ally Russia) but for now they must soldier on with their Cold War era aircraft.

 

References:

Aerobatic Teams

Air Force Magazine – The Balkan Air War

Air Power Australia – Revisiting the Lessons of Operation Allied Force

UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia – The Conflicts

NATO Kosovo Crisis

NATO’s Role in Kosovo

On War – Soko J-22 Orao

Serbian Armed Force (Official Site) – MiG-29

Wikipedia (Kosovo War)

Wikipedia (Yugoslav Air Force)

Wikipedia (Air Force of Serbia & Montenegro)

Wooden MiGs

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14 thoughts on “Yugoslav Air Force Combat Aircraft: 1998 to 2006 – Kosovo and the End

  1. Very interesting read and LOVE the pics. Interesting fact, I was one of the last people to touch 88-0550 the night she was shot down. Memories 🙂

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    1. Thanks! What was your role back then? That must have caused some chaos when it went down? I should add some more of my close up photos of the remains of that F-16. The tail artwork was impressive!

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      1. At the time I was assigned to the 649 CLSS (Combat Logistics Support Squadron) deployed to the theater for ABDR or aircraft battle damage repair. Originally, our 8 man team was tasked with being escorted in and if possible recovering what we could component wise from the F-117 and destroying the rest, however news footage of the wreckage showed there wasnt much left that wasn’t already being taken apart by the Serbs. All well and good, because I really wasn’t looking forward to utilizing the knife in the dirt landmine probing the Army quickly taught us haha. So we ended up at Aviono to repair whatever combat damage appeared when they landed. When nothing was going we needed to fix, we helped out the home base units where we could. That night I finished installing a brand new radar antenna shortly before we launched the jet for its mission. If I’m not mistaken the roll of the F-16CG’s were to be used as bait flying low level to coax the Serb anti aircraft sites to turn on thier radar so the Wild Weasel harm shooters could target them. Hense the reason the SAM didn’t take the jet out completely…it didn’t have time to arm itself and Lt Col Goldfein was able to get to a safe bail out spot. It was nearly 20 yrs ago, so my memory could be spotty on the mission specifics.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks for the extra info. Really interesting to hear from someone involved and thanks for your service. I think it was probably for the best you guys didn’t go in to get the F-117, regardless of what was left they would have been going mental on the ground there and probably waiting for this. They fired a lot of missiles without radar to avoid the Wild Weasel flyers. Sound choice…

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      1. You’re welcome 🙂 I agree in more ways than one. The burning remains of the F-117 was extremely toxic as well. I’m sure most of the people shown in the footage celebrating are not in that great of shape today.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, greetings from Serbia!
    I would like to correct few minor things in the article above:
    -The roundel of Yugoslav Air Force (1992-2006) shown in this article is not correct. Colors are (top to bottom): Blue, white, red-resembling the colors of the Yugoslavian flag.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_of_Serbia_and_Montenegro
    -The MiG-29 in Yugoslavian (now Serbian) AF is version MiG-29B (russian export marking 9-12B), not MiG-29A.
    -F-117A Nighthawk is/was made by Lockheed, not by Northrop, as stated in text.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-117_Nighthawk
    -As of 2016. Serbian AF (unfortunately) does not have 10xMiG-21bis. All Bis versions have been retired. However, there are still some MiG-21UMs in use, modified to use Russian A-A missiles R-60.
    http://tangosix.rs/2016/12/04/mig-21um-sa-r-60/
    I hope my modest contribution will help accuracy of your overall text.
    Regards!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brock. I accidently inserted the Republika Srpska Air Force roundel again that I had used in a previous blog! Thanks for your help. I have added an update on the MiG-21bis situation.

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