In recent weeks there’s been reports that Russian MiG-29 fighter jets have “destroyed” US-made MIM-23 Hawk medium-range surface-to-air missile defense system.
This likely relates to two separate incidents.
On July 5th, the Government of National Accord (GNA) reported that a MiG-29 fighter jet from Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), attacked the newly-captured al-Watiya airbase.
The airbase was quickly turned into a Turkish military base and a MIM-23 Hawk was quickly deployed, alongside other equipment.
Reportedly, and according to a video, a MiG-29 destroyed the American-made system.
Separately, Russian-made MiG-29 fighters at the end of July destroyed the American-developed MIM-23 Hawk medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems located near the city of Sirte in Libya, according to Polish outlet Defense24.
The publication notes that the operators of the complex were the Turkish military, and its elimination made it possible to prevent the attack on the city by the forces of the GNA, supported by Turkey.
According to Defense24, the MIM-23 Hawk was unable to detect the MiG-29, since the latter were probably used against the former by electronic warfare systems. The publication admits that the planes were piloted by Russian pilots.
“Thus, this may be another proof that the MiG-29 aircraft still have a very high combat potential if they are equipped with modern precision weapons and are piloted by well-trained pilots,” outlet concluded.
Other outlets, however, reported that the MiG-29 fighter jet didn’t destroy the MIM-23, but during one of the sorties, a battle took place between Haftar’s aviation and air defense systems deployed in the vicinity of Sirte, delivered from Turkey.
According to one of the media versions, the fighters came under fire from Turkish short-range air defense systems but were able to evade anti-aircraft missiles.
Subsequently, Libyan artillery fire was opened on the identified air defense positions, the installations were destroyed. According to another version, the fighters were not noticed in time by air defense systems. This allowed the fighters to strike at the positions of the Turkish troops and destroy several anti-aircraft installations.
This is in line with a report by US African Command saying that a batch of military aircraft was delivered to Libya from Russia. According to photos published by the Pentagon, the Libyan troops of Marshal Haftar received MiG-29 fighters and Su-24 frontline bombers.
In addition, the MiG-29 fighters are used by the armed forces of Egypt, whose government actively supports Haftar and opposes the presence of Turkish troops in Libya. According to experts, the Egyptian Air Force uses fighters of the MiG-29M / M2 modification, which can be used to strike at ground targets.
But it is unlikely that Egypt carried out an attack such as this, since they are still actively conducting diplomacy behind the scenes.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Russian-Made Mig-29 Warplanes Spotted Flying Over Libya’s Sirte (Video)
- Turkey Shifts Focus To Southern Libya Amid Stalemate Near Sirte