If you though that the Turkish RF-4E Phantom shot down by a Syrian anti-aircraft artillery battery on Jun. 22, 2012, was the first such episodes involving a Turkish jet, you were wrong.
In fact, in response to a parliamentary question by Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Metin Lütfi Baydar, Turkish Defence Minister İsmet Yılmaz stated that Turkish Air Force fighter aircraft have been downed by actions of foreign countries three times since 1965.
The first (and largely unknown until now) downing occurred on Sept. 14, 1983 when two F-100F Super Sabre fighter jets of 182 Filo “Atmaca” violated the Iraqi airspace. In response, a Mirage F-1EQ by Iraqi Air Force fired a Super 530F-1 missile and the Turkish fighter jet (s/n 56-3903) crashed in Zaho valley near the Turkish-Iraqi border. The plane’s pilots reportedly survived the crash and returned to Turkey. The incident, however, was kept almost secret, although some details surfaced during the years.
Second incident: Hellenic Air Force Mirage-2000EGM (331Sq.114FW) fires a R.550 Magic II missile against Turkish F-16D Block40 (s/n 91-0023) of 192 Filo on October 8, 1996 after violating Greek airspace near Chios island.
Finally, the third recorded incident occurred on Jun. 22, 2012, when a Turkish RF-4E (s/n 77-0314) of 173 Filo was downed by Syrian’s air defense artillery after violating Syrian airspace.
Image credit: TuAF
- Six Turkey’s F-16s scrambled on Syria border after Syrian helicopters came close to the Turkish airspace (theaviationist.com)
- “Turkish F-4 gunned down by anti-aircraft artillery inside the Syrian airspace” U.S. intelligence says (theaviationist.com)
- Was the Turkish F-4 Phantom shot down by Syria actually a drone? A new interesting theory emerges. (theaviationist.com)
- Neither gunned down nor hit by a missile. A technical failure may have caused the crash of the Turkish RF-4E in Syria (theaviationist.com)
- Turkish Armed Forces release first images of the debris of the RF-4E Phantom downed by Syria (theaviationist.com)