A Near Engagement of F-16 Aircraft with Mig-23s

Pilots Sqd Ldr Hameed Qadri (leader)
Sqd Ldr Yousaf (no.2)
Controller Sdq Ldr Shahzada
Date 19 June 1986
Area Quetta

The Afghan airforce had increased its air activity north of the Samungli area during the third week of June 1986. No. 9 Squadron was tasked to send a CAP mission to northwest of Ziarat to check the enemy activity. As per mission briefing, the border was not to be approached closer than 30 NM in the Quetta-Chaman sector and committal was to avoided unless specifically ordered by the controller.

The formation was asked by the controller to climb to 30,000 ft and set up a CAP station 50 NM north of Quetta. After 40 minutes of CAP, the controller committer it against a formation of two intruders violating Pakistani airspace. The leader correctly abandoned the attack at 20 NM and turned back. However, the controller again committed the formation to the same bandits that were positively violating the border now on a different heading. The leader, while maintaining AI contact, took all the required tactical actions. He then closed in on the two Mig-23s flying in the wingman formation. When all the parameters were right, the leader tried to shoot the bandits, first with an AIM-9L and later with AIM-9P. Unfortunately, due to a technical fault, the left drop tankhad failed to jettison. This malfunction inhibited firing of missiles from all hard points. Since the missile could not be fired, the oppertunity to score a kill was lost. Without trying the option of using guns, the leader invited his No. 2 to have a go at the bandits. No. 2 reported that he had a valid IR lock but the range was slightly more. Therefore a few more seconds were required to close in for a valid shot. In view of the ROE for this specific mission, the leader asked his No. 2to break off and both the aircraft disengaged as instructed.