“Turkish Phantom jet fighters [as the one shot down by Syria] routinely violate the Greek airspace.” And get locked by SAM sites.

Screenshot from the SA-8 video showing the lock on an F-4 Phantom.

As what really happened on Jun. 22, when a Turkish Air Force RF-4E from Erhac was shot down by a Syrian Air Defense battery, after violating the Syrian airspace, remains a mystery, an interesting video seems to prove that Turkish Phantoms routinely violate the Greek airspace and get locked by the Greek artillery radars.

This is what the Keep Talking Greece blog affirms publishing the following interesting video allegedly showing a Turkish F-4 locked by a Greek SA-8 anti-aircraft system.

“It is almost a daily practice for the Greek artillery that its radars lock Turkish fighter jets as they illegally enter Greek airspace. However Greeks do not push the button….” says the blog.

Was the RF-4E shot down off Syria flying a mission to probe the Damascus air defense system similar to those flown (quite regularly) in the Aegean sea to probe the Greece’s air defenses?

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. This particular aircraft on the video, locked by SA-8 anti-aircraft system, is a HAF RF-4E during an exercise. This fact though does not mean that there are not daily violations of the greek airspace by TuAF aircrafts, or that the Greek artillery radars don’t lock them!

  2. The RF-4 in the video is Greek from a drill.It has two roundels below wingtips Turkish have one you can check that at 3:40 – 3:42.

  3. BTW if the blog you mention is Defencenet allow me to say its the most unreliable source on the Greek internet…

  4. Question (it hypothetically assumes the jet got shot down by a missile):

    On Turkish news, it was written that the RWR system of the shot down RF-4E was closed as the mission of the jet was for educational purposes. Hence, the jet didn’t register the SAM (if it was shot down by a SAM). If this is true, shouldn’t the Turkish radars/electronic systems on the ground near Syria (don’t know the technical term for it) detect any SAMs targeting the jet in advance? Is this a reasonable assumption?

    Thank you.

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