SyAAF Mig-21 Fishbed hit by MANPADS over Syria

A screenshot of the video emerged online showing the downing of a Syrian MiG-21 Fishbed.

MANPADS once again lethal in Syria.

On Mar. 12, a Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) Mig-21 Fishbed from Hama was shot down over Kafranboudah, Syria.

According to the Russian MoD, the aircraft was performing “airspace control tasks.”

Several video clips, shot from different points of view, have emerged of the aircraft flying over the Syrian village before and after it was hit by MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems).

Unfortunately, the footage we posted here has been pulled, but the screenshot gives a pretty clear idea of the downing.

Indeed, even though anti-aircraft artillery fire from a pickup can be seen in the above video, amateur analysts have been able to spot the characteristic smoke of the missile launch along with the missile heading towards the target as shown by the composite image below.

Mig-21 shot down

Although reports are still a bit contradictory, according to Sputnik news, the aircraft was a two-seater MiG-21US (NATO reporting name “MONGOL-B”) and one pilot ejected safely and was recovered by government forces, while the other one died while attempting a failed emergency landing.

H/T @obretix for the composite image

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.