American F-15C fighter at the Italian Aviano airbase as part of Operation Danny Flyte. 1993 year
During this operation, for the first time in 20 years, US Air Force aircraft were deployed in France. These were the 5 tanker aircraft, which were based on the French Istres airbase. They carried out aerial refueling of NATO fighters patrolling the airspace over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As early as the autumn of 1993, NATO aircraft began to behave more aggressively, flying at extremely low altitudes above the deployment areas of the troops that it considered hostile. For some reason, in almost all cases, the "enemies" were Serbs. Most often, American A-10A attack aircraft and the British Jaguars hung with bombs and missiles.
However, NATO aircraft had problems with the detection and continuous observation of the objects of future "selective" strikes. This was facilitated by the semi-guerrilla nature of hostilities, when the opponents had the same technique, equipment and camouflage uniforms. In addition, in Bosnia there was mainly mountainous terrain, the presence of numerous urban buildings, heavy traffic on the roads. Therefore, in February 1993 of the United Kingdom appeared SAS (Special Airborne Service) units of the UK, which were to detect the position of the air defense system, command posts, communications centers, warehouses and artillery batteries of the Serbs, direct the identified aviation targets and determine the results of the strikes. In addition, they were assigned to the selection of sites for receiving goods dropped by NATO aircraft for Bosnian Muslims and ensuring the reception of goods. If at first one squadron of SAS was sent to Bosnia, then in August 1993 there were already two special forces companies operating there. And for the withdrawal of reconnaissance groups to the Serbian territory, the vehicles of the UN peacekeeping forces were often used.
So, everything was ready, it remains to find only a reason to use force. The reason was found suspiciously quickly, it was the 5 February 1994 explosion of the year on the market square in Sarajevo. A mortar shot, which killed 68 people, was immediately attributed to the Serbs. The UN commander in Sarajevo, British Lieutenant General Michael Rose, turned to NATO for help. February 9 demanded the immediate withdrawal of Serbian heavy weapons to 20 km from Sarajevo or transfer it under UN control. In the event of disobedience, NATO reserved the right to launch air strikes. At the last moment, after the Russian contingent of UN forces arrived in Sarajevo, the Serbs returned their guns to their former positions. If we take into account that at that time the Serbs were dominating the fighting, it will become clear that the Western “democracies” were supported by the Muslims and the Croats.
On the morning of February 28, the X-NUMX of the year E-1994 “AWACS” spotted unidentified aircraft taking off from an airfield in the Banja Luka region. Two US F-3 fighter 16 units (moderated by captain Robert Wright, wingman-captain Scott O Grady) from the 40-th tactical fighter squadron "Black Knights" deployed to Italy from the US Air Force Base in Germany "Rammstein" were sent to intercept ).
Unidentified planes turned out to be six J-21 Hawk attack planes of Bosnian Serbs attacking Muslim weapons factory in Novi Travnik.
It was the second attack, the first on the target was the pair of "Orao", but they didn’t notice them, who came up at the ultra low altitude. The entire flight to the target and back, the Orao, was carried out at the utmost low altitude, the Americans spotted a pair only for a short time, when the fighter-bombers “jumped” to attack the target from a dive. Interestingly, the successful operations of the Orao did not seem to have been properly assessed by the NATO aviation command, since later, in Kosovo, Serb fighter-bombers successfully used just such tactics.
Bosnian Serb Army Air Force "Orao" Ј-22 attack aircraft after completing a combat mission
Americans claim that Serb pilots were warned on the radio with Sentry that they were entering UN-controlled airspace (the Serbs still think that this was not done). While the American fighters requested permission to attack, the Hawks began to go home at low altitude (apparently, they did not even suspect the presence of Americans in the area).
Serbian attack aircraft did not have missiles, and low speed (maximum 820 km / h, cruising 740 km / h) did not allow us to escape from supersonic fighters, so all six hawks became an easy target for the F-16. Captain Robert Wright with AIM-120 rockets and sidewinders consistently shot down three attack aircraft. The missiles launched by O'Grady did not hit the target. Then a couple of F-16 stopped the pursuit and headed for the air base in Italy because of the expenditure of the main part of the fuel. They were replaced by another pair of F-16, which the lead which Stephen Allen managed to shoot down another attack aircraft.
F-16CM fighter USAF captain Stephen Allen. Under the lantern of the cockpit is a star. It means aerial victory. 28 February 1994 This fighter shot down a Bosnian Serb attack plane J-21 with a AIM-9M Sidewinder rocket
Due to the proximity of the Croatian border, it was decided to stop the prosecution and the remaining J-21 pair, according to the report from E-3, was able to land at the airfield. Literally in a few minutes, all world media published a message about the first in stories NATO air combat.
As a result of the air battle, two US Air Force pilots were counted for a total of four air victories. Captain Bob "Wilbur" Wright became the most productive in the US Air Force "Flying Falcon" pilot. For some time, the US Air Force did not publicize the name of the pilot, as he continued to fly over the Balkans. The “author” of “air combat” victories became known only a few months later, when Wright received a special prize for “Outstanding Pilot” from the company Lockheed.
However, according to Serbian sources, five of the six attack aircraft were lost (the sixth Hawk was damaged). What happened to the fifth car is not completely clear. According to some data, in the area of the airfield, leaving the Americans at ultra-low altitude, the plane touched the tops of the trees, according to others, trying to "shake off" the Yankees from its tail, spent all the fuel, fell, not reaching the runway. In any case, the pilot of this "Hawk" managed to successfully eject. Of the four knocked down, only one pilot was able to escape, and the other three died.
Picture of a modern American artist depicting 28 "air combat" February 1994 of the year
But even such a demonstration of power did not break the Serbs. Units under the command of General Radko Mladic continued to conduct active hostilities in the Gorazde area. By April 9, the Serbs, who controlled about the 75% of the territory of the Gorazhdinsky boiler, had the full opportunity to easily take the city. NATO was faced with the task at all costs to prevent the defeat of Muslims. Since, in accordance with existing UN resolutions, military actions could only be undertaken to protect UN personnel, on April 7 in Gorazde urgently deployed 8 UN troops. At the same time, English special forces appeared in the city, who were to become advanced aviation gunners.
On the evening of April 10, SAS fighters called in aircraft. The British came under fire from two Serbian tanks near Gorazde. To complete the task, a pair of F-16s of the US Air Force was allocated. Although attack aircraft were supported by the EC-130E, low cloudiness did not allow pilots to visually detect tanks. The American pilots, having not found the main target, were bombed by the reserve - then proudly named in the reports the command post of the Serbs. But we can confidently say that in reality they bombed an empty place. The next day, an attack on three Serbian armored personnel carriers was repeated by a pair of F / A-18A. Apparently, with the same result, since they bombed from a very high altitude, for fear of falling under the fire of Serbian air defense.
On April 15, a MANPADS missile launched from the ground was struck by the French reconnaissance aircraft Ettandar IVPM.
Serbian anti-aircraft gunners with Strela-2M
The striking elements of the rocket riddled the entire tail of the aircraft, but the pilot was able to drag his wounded car down to the Clemenceau aircraft carrier with difficulty, and then successfully get on its deck.
Damaged French reconnaissance aircraft Etandar IVPM on the deck of the aircraft carrier Clemenceau
On April 16, two Sea Harrier FRS.1 from 801 AEs appeared over Horad from the Ark Royal aircraft carrier. The aim of the British was the Serbian armored vehicles on the outskirts of the city, which they were led by fellow SAS citizens who were located on the roof of the Hotel Gardin, from which they could see the surroundings perfectly.
During the attack, a MANPADS missile (according to another version, the Kvadrat SAM) was hit by the “Sea Harrier” FRS.1, after which the raids on the Serbs stopped that day. After the Harrier’s pilot, Lt. Nick Richardson, ejected, his plane fell on a Muslim village that had not been touched by the war before. At the same time on earth was not without victims and destruction. Therefore, an extremely "warm and friendly" welcome awaited the Englishman on earth: the local peasants beat him very badly. However, they later figured out: the pilot and the SAS group evacuated the Super Puma helicopter from French aviation from Gorazde.
Serb attacks on Gorazde led to NATO establishing a "free of heavy weapon" zone around the enclave. As in the case of Sarajevo, the argument in favor of the withdrawal of tanks and artillery by the Serbs from Gorazde was the only one - the threat of massed airstrikes.
5 August 1994, taking the French peacekeepers hostage, the Serbs were able to pick up several SAU M-18 "Hellcat" from the warehouse "peacekeepers". The search from the air was unsuccessful for a long time, until a pair of American A-10 attack aircraft on one of the mountain roads found it and destroyed their self-propelled guns with their 30-mm guns. At least, so the pilots reported on returning to their airfield. On September 22, a pair of British Jaguars GR.1 and a single A-10 in 20 km from Sarajevo destroyed a Serbian T-55, which had previously shot at a UN convoy (one Frenchman was wounded).
In November 1994, the fighting in Bosnia broke out with a new force. Now the tip of the Serb blows was aimed at Bihac. This enclave was not far from the Croatian border, and the Bosnian Serb Air Force aircraft could quite effectively support their army. Flight time from the airfield Udbina in Serbian Krajina in Croatia to Bihac was only a few minutes. At the beginning of November, 1994 J-4 Orao, 22 G-4 Super Galeb, 4 J-6 Hawk, Mi-21 and 8-4 Helicopters SA-5 helicopters were located in Udbine Gazelle". There were several training piston aircraft J-341 "Korgui", used as light attack aircraft. In the interests of the Bosnian Serbs, the aviation of Yugoslavia worked, in addition, the Bosnian Serbs had their own aircraft, which were based in Banja Luka. The air defenses of the advancing troops were provided by the 20 C-16 ADMS. Serbs also used C-75 against the ground targets of Bosnian Muslims and Croats. Around 75 missiles were launched in November-December 18 on ground targets. In this case, the missiles were undermined by contact with the ground or the explosion was carried out at low altitude.
LAW C-75 Bosnian Serb Army
The Serbian aviation struck the Bosnians for the first time on November 9. From 9 to 19 in November, the Orao fighter-bombers made at least three raids.
Suspension of weapons under the attack J-22 "Ora" army of Bosnian Serbs
The planes struck free-fall bombs, napalm tanks, the American guided missiles AGM-65 "Maywerik".
AGM-65 "Maywerik" under the wing of attack aircraft J-22 "Orao"
The raids caused significant damage to Muslims, but also led to civilian casualties. The only lost combat aircraft was the J-22 "Orao", which crashed into the building due to a pilot error on November 18 when flying at extremely low altitude. No less active were the Serbs using Gazelle combat helicopters, which, flying at low and very low altitudes and using mountainous terrain, were generally not found at all from AWACS. Taking advantage of the fact that there was no solid front line, helicopters often attacked their targets from the most unexpected directions, destroying armored vehicles and the strengthened positions of Muslims and Croats. As a result, only one Gazelle was lost, shot down in reconnaissance flight by small arms fire.
NATO air patrols repeatedly attempted to intercept Serbian aircraft, but for this the Fighting Falcon pilots simply did not have enough time. At a time when NATO fighters were leaving the Bihac area, Serbian aircraft were already safe at the Udbina airfield. NATO aircraft have not yet entered the airspace of Serbian Krajina.
In the end, the patience of "peacekeepers" from NATO snapped and, with the consent of the Croatian leadership, an operation was developed to "neutralize" the Udbina airfield. The Croats easily agreed to the expansion of air operations in the Balkans, quite rightly believing that this expansion would only play into their hands. Tudjman hoped with the hands of NATO to deal with Serb Krajina. The planning of this operation was facilitated by the fact that the airfield of the airbase was perfectly visible from the observation posts of the Czech UN battalion located at the heights dominating over Udbina. So, the NATO command did not experience a lack of the latest intelligence information.
Airplanes from eight Italian air bases were involved in the operation. The first 21 of November were the US Air Force KC-135R refueling aircraft, the French Air Force KC-135FR, and the RAF Tristar RAF, which reached the designated patrol areas over the Adriatic Sea.
More than 30 combat aircraft took part in the raid: British Xagis Xaginum, Jaguar 4 and Mirage 2M 2 2000 French Air Force, Dutch F-2A 4 F / A-16 Dutch Hornet F / A-6D Corps Marine Ptech , 18 F-6E, 15 F-10C and EF-16A USAF. It was planned that the fighter-bombers F-111C of the Turkish Air Force would take part in the raid, but the airfield where they were based was covered with dense and low clouds.
Multi-purpose fighter Jaguar French Air Force
The strike was coordinated from the EC-130E of the 42 Squadron of the United States Air Force. Air monitoring was conducted by the E-3A Sentry aircraft of the US Air Force and E-3D of the British Air Force. In the event of possible losses, the command and control of the operation had a search and rescue team that included: A-10A attack aircraft of the US Air Force, NS-130 aircraft and MH-53J helicopters of the US Air Force special operations forces and the French Super Pumas.
Udbina was protected by the Bofors L-70 anti-aircraft gun batteries and the Kvadrat SAM system battery, stationed near the runway.
Serbian 40-mm anti-aircraft gun Bofors L-70
The first wave of strike aircraft struck the position of the air defense missile system and anti-aircraft artillery, covering the Serbian airfield. Two “Hornet” from the 21 km distance launched AGM-88 HARM anti-radar missiles on the radar of the anti-aircraft missile complex, followed by two more F-18A / D from the 13 km distance shot off the Mayverik missile directly on the positions of the anti-aircraft missile systems. As a result, one ZORK transport loader and a radar antenna for detecting air targets were damaged. After that, the aircraft remained above the airfield, in order to destroy, if necessary, the air defense systems that were not previously detected. After the attack, the Hornets remained in the Udbina area in order to finish off the surviving radar with the remaining HARM missiles if necessary. Air defense system finished off the airbase F-15E.
The next stage of the attack was the destruction of the airport infrastructure. The French Jaguars and the American F-15E dropped a laser-controlled bombs on the runway and taxiways. The British “Jaguars”, the Dutch F-16 and the French “Mirage-2000”, but with the usual Mk.84 bombs, worked on them. Photographing the results of the bombing showed that the GBU-15 bombs dropped by the F-87E were on the runway axis. F-15E also dropped guided bombs on sections of the expressway adjacent to the base and used by the Serbs as a spare runway. The completed F-16 completed, dropping several dozen CBU-87 cluster bombs. A total of about 80 bombs and missiles were dropped during the strike. Attacks on aircraft and helicopters of the Serbian Krajina Aviation were not inflicted, and not one of them was damaged. The village of Visucha, located a few kilometers from Udbina, was also hit.
The jammer EF-111А did not allow any Serbian radar to work normally during the raid. Crews noted launches of MANPADS missiles and weak fire of small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery. A similar reaction of the Serbs was envisaged at the planning stage of the operation, so all the strikes were from medium heights, while MANPADS and MZA are capable of hitting only air targets flying below 3000. The attack continued for about 45 minutes, then the aircraft returned to the bases.
During the bombing, an incident involving the Czech "peacekeepers" took place, whose observation point was located near the airfield and which were directed by NATO aircraft. This was established by Serbian soldiers at the airfield when they heard the relevant negotiations on the radio. One of the air defense calculations opened fire on an observation post from the Prague-based ZNSU M53 / 59, after which the Czechs fled, leaving a radio station, pictures of the airfield and surveillance equipment there. At the same time, the raid stopped. This led to an extreme aggravation between the Serbs and the peacekeepers, who were accused of spying for the enemy.
ZSU M53 / 59 "Prague" of the Bosnian Serb army
The NATO air attack caused significant damage to the aerodrome infrastructure. Restore her Serbs could only two weeks later. During the bombing, two soldiers died and four were injured, and several civilians were injured.
A day after the Serbian raid on Udbina, two British C Harriers from 75-AE from the Invinsible aircraft were fired on a reconnaissance flight with two C-800 missiles from a position in the Bihac area. Both aircraft received damage from an explosion close to the missile warheads, but they managed to return to the ship.
For photographing the discovered and possibly other positions of the air defense system, the NATO command allocated eight reconnaissance aircraft: the British Jaguars, the French Mirage F.1CR and the Dutch F-16A (r).
Scout "Mirage" F.1CR French Air Force
The 4 F-15E, 4 F / A-18D and several ERE-EA-6В aircraft armed with anti-radar HARM missiles, as well as two French Jaguars, were used to protect the scouts. The EF-111A jammer hung in the air. In readiness №1 were the search and rescue forces, the allotted places of the airspace were taken by tanker aircraft and the DRLO and U aircraft.
The aircraft appeared in the morning of November 23, the crews noticed that they were being irradiated by the C-75 radar, which immediately launched two HARM missiles, after which the radiation stopped. A few minutes later, a radar station located on the territory of the Serbian Krajina began operating on NATO aircraft. Her work was stopped by anti-radar guided missiles AGM-88. All NATO aircraft returned safely to their bases. However, the decoding of aerial photographs showed that the air defense system was not destroyed.
In the evening of the same day, two launchers of the C-75 complex put out of action by laser-guided bombs the F-15E fighter-bombers, at the same time, another or two HARMs fired on the radar of the complex.
In response to the bombing of the airfield in the Udbina region, two soldiers were taken prisoner from the Czech contingent of UN forces, but the Serbs themselves quickly released them - the Czechs, too, after all, were Slavs. Bosnian Serbs captured 300 hostages by French UN forces, and at the main air force base of Serbian Bosnia Banja Luka, three UN military observers were held on the runway as a human shield against potential raids. In the area of Sarajevo, Serbian air defense system became more active, the potential targets of which were aircraft that delivered humanitarian aid to the capital of Bosnia.
Under Bihac 25 November, hostilities resumed without regard for the zone prohibited for heavy weapons. Four Serbian tanks advanced to the city center. General Michael Rose faxed the Serbs that a strike on the tanks would follow without further warning. 30 airplanes took to the air, the strike group included the 8 "Hornets" and the 8 "Strike Needles". Night hid the tanks, so General Rose banned the attack. On the way back, the pilots noted three launches of the Kvadrat missile complex.
The next day, two Tornado fighters F.Mk.3 of the British Air Force fired a C-75 SAM system over central Bosnia.
Not a single rocket hit the target. The shelling of the British "Tornado" to the Serbs was the reason for the real escalation of the conflict by NATO. The landing helicopter carrier Nassau was urgently sent to the Adriatic Sea with the US Navy 22 Expeditionary Assault Group, which had on board CH-53, CH-46, UH-1N and AH-1W helicopters. On the Croatian island of Brac, the US CIA-controlled 750-th detachment of reconnaissance UAVs was deployed. For the retransmission of control commands to the RPV and receiving information from the CIA drones, they used one of the most secret American aircraft - the inconspicuous Schweizer RG-8A.
December 15 Muslims (not Serbs!) Fired English "Sea King". The helicopter got into the fuel tank and the rotor blades, but the pilots managed to reach the nearest helicopter pad on the padded car.
Westland "Sea King" helicopter H.S.M.4 845-th AE of the British Navy. Split, Croatia, September 1994
On the same day, the “Sea Harrier” FRS Mk.I crashed over the Adriatic Sea, a catapulted pilot was saved by a search and rescue helicopter from the light carrier of the Spanish Navy's Prince of Asturias. Two days later, the Super Etandar of the French aircraft carrier Foch was hit by the Igla MANPADS over central Bosnia. The pilot was able to return to the Italian air base.
From time to time, the Muslim Air Force was also noted over the battlefield, but each time it was unsuccessful.
Thus, on August 2 1994, the Ukrainian An-26 was shot down when returning after delivering a cargo of weapons and ammunition for the 5 corps. Bosnian Muslims.
Muslims purchased 15 Mi-8, the crews for which were trained in Croatia, but the Croats handed over only 10 machines. It was not a matter of Croatia - so far the authorities in Sarajevo are demanding that Turkey put 6 paid, but not received helicopters. The type of helicopters is not indicated, but it probably refers to the Mi-17-1В used by the Turkish gendarmerie, which Ankara acquired in 1993 in Russia. Slovenia, where Muslim pilots were trained in instrument flights, also detained one A.V.NUMX.
3 December 1994, as a result of an overload, one Muslim Mi-8 fell on a car at a Croatian airfield and exploded. Another Mi-8 of the BiH Army, Mi-8 of the Croatian Air Force, were destroyed by an explosion on the ground, four more of the Croatian Mi-8 were damaged. According to official data, no one died, six people were injured - citizens of Croatia, Hungary and BiH. 141 000 cartridges, 306 grenades for RPG-7, 20 HJ-8 missiles, 370 kg of TNT, sets of uniforms and shoes went off the ground. However, other helicopters continued flying. Six Mi-8, Gazelle and Bell 206 flew into the air every day. The Muslim Mi-8 who transported weapons were supposed to fly through the territory of the Serbian Krajina, which had a division of the Kvadrat air defense missile system, the Strela-2M and Igla air defense missile systems, the Tsitsiban air defense missile system 13), as well as anti-aircraft artillery. However, the pilots had maps of the Serbian air defense. The Croats updated the Serbian air defenses on a daily basis, and all changes were reported to the headquarters of the Muslim forces. In addition to reconnaissance and ambush Serb air defenses, NATO daily recorded the work of Serb radars, transmitting information about their activity. The most dangerous for Kvadrat helicopters was often impossible to use because of the threat from NATO aircraft and the high fuel consumption that the Serbian army chronically lacked. The size of the territory allowed the helicopter pilots to change the direction of flight. A great help for the pilots were GPS receivers. Flights were usually performed at night. How these flights were molested to the Serbs can be told by the fact that they used Gazel helicopters armed with the Strela 2M air defense missile systems to intercept.
The helicopter "Gazelle JNA with MANPADS" Arrow 2M "
However, on May 7 of 1995, a MANPADS missile was shot down by Mi-8 (killed 12 people). Much more resonance was received by the events of 28 in May, when a Bosnian foreign minister was killed in the Mi-8, shot down by the Kvadrat air defense system of the Serbian Krajina army. Together with him, under the wreckage of the helicopter, three persons accompanying him also died, as well as the entire crew of three Ukrainians who “worked” under a contract in Bosnia. According to some sources, this car in 1994 was hijacked from the air force of the new Yugoslavia. In addition, the media claimed that this was a helicopter from the Russian peacekeeping contingent, which is, at best, a “newspaper duck”.
22 August 1995 fell a helicopter, in which in addition to the Ukrainian crew killed six Muslim warlords. The most likely cause of the crash could be the attack of a NATO fighter, the pilot of which considered the helicopter Serbian.
Also, under unclear circumstances, in the region of Sarajevo, another helicopter was lost (a total of six cars were lost) by Muslim forces. About this case the information is minimal. The only document that mentions this loss is the verbatim record of the April 10 15 Supreme Council of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1994. Council member Slobodan Milosevic, who was Serbian president at the time, said: "Our Nishchik plateau was shot down a few days ago by one a Muslim helicopter. It was painted white and looked like a UN helicopter from a distance. It was a large Russian helicopter Mi-8. There was a 28 man in it. Nobody reported a loss! First, they are forbidden to fly; , no one has announced anything that has happened! " The reason for the concealment of the loss of a helicopter should be sought in the period when it was shot down - April 1994, the BiH army then still concealed the presence of helicopters.
Mi-8MTV helicopter of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, November 1993
Total aircraft of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina completed 7000 sorties, more than 2 / 3 of them fell to the share of helicopters. Transported 30000 people, including 3000 injured, 3000 tons of cargo.
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