Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:15 am

Ethiopia Vs Eritrea /su-27 Vs Mig-29

Sat Nov 17, 2001 9:54 am

What do you think about this war?
It was a su-27 vs mig-29 one.

Air combat between Ethiopian and Eritrean air forces, 1999 - Su-27 vs Mig-29
Besides taking out four Eritrean MiG-29s (plus one written off due to damage recieved from a AAM) Ethiopian Su-27s also carried out many strike missions against the Eritrean ground forces. While MiG-23s carried most of the bombing missions i think the Su-27 was used in a more penetrative role using Air-to-ground missiles etc.

Interesting to note that all MiG-29s were shot down in close-quarters turning dogfights. All kills were by means of the R-73. R-27s fired by both MiGs and Su-s on various occassions failed to find their mark.

One uneventful incident occured when two Su-27s were intercepted over Eritrean airspace by four MiGs. The lead Su-27 was targeted by the MiGs which fired three R-27s head-on. The Lead evaded the missiles and then proceeded to engage all four MiGs by firing four R-27s in quick succession. The missiles missed and the MiGs left in a hurry.


Ethiopia purchased 5 second-hand Su-27 Flanker-As from Russian. One was lost in a demonstration in Ethiopia. Eritrea purchased about 8 second hand MiG-29 Fulcrum-As from the Ukraine. AS it is five MiG were lost due to Su-27s.

Single MiG-29s were shot down on separate days in late February. Then two were shot down in one engagement with Su-27s in March. One MiG-29 was also supposedly written-off on landing after being damaged by a Su-27.

As far as ive been told ALL kills were made with R-73 Archers. Some head-to-head R-27 shootouts did occur but with no visible results (the written-off MiG couldve been damaged in one of these).

Claims and denials from the powers-that-be make the task of finding the truth... complicated.

As far as I know there are no significant differences between early and new or domestic and export R-27 variants. (Excluding the active radar homing R-27AE which was cancelled in favour of R-77, and the R-27EM which is only used with the Su-33, AFAIK.)

As for why the R-27s might have missed, it's not terribly suprising IMHO. The Sparrow has had a success rate of only 30% or so against MiG-21/23s flown by poorly trained pilots who usually did't even know they're being fired upon...

Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 7:58 pm

RE: Ethiopia Vs Eritrea /su-27 Vs Mig-29

Sat Nov 17, 2001 7:27 pm

Well that is interesting news. Since both the Su's and Migs were second hands, any idea on their actual type.

Personally i felt the Mig29 was not upto the Su27...but in this case i guess it boils down more to the pilot competence. I guess the latest version of the Mig29( SMT am i right?) is a lot better though.

Well i was always a duffer with missiles...so i guess i dont even know what an R27 is !


Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:36 pm

Re: Ethiopia Vs Eritrea /su-27 Vs Mig-29

Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:37 pm

the information from acig is not true at best. what realy happened was described by an eritrean pilot in an interview. the interview is done in eritrean language (tigrigna). i will try to translate later to my best to make clear of what happened in the air battle. some one tried to translate the interview but to my opinion, he has not adequetly included all the information. the interview is long so i will hilight the important events now.

the pilot is Dejen Ande Hishel one of the four eritrean pilots who took a crush cource training in russia to become a fighter pilot of the mikoyan mig29 fulkrum. the other three were Yonas Misghinna, Samuel Girmay and Iyoub. among them Dejen was the most capable and at times he was flying training sorties up to four times a day in the mig29 in those few months in russia.

back to eritrea, according to Dejen the fulcrums which arrived to eritrea was supposed to be new but they were apparently used. there were no bullets for the cannons and radar and missile mulfunction accured. the war with ethiopia started again for the second round, near the town of badme in februari 1999. Dejen as the most capable one was given the task of cap and sweep missions (air to air).

i will come back with the exact dates later (i will revisit the interview again to be exact). one day in february, Dejen went to a cap mission to the frontline when a sam missile was launched at him. as he saw it with his own eyes and was carrying only air to air missiles he was able to take evasive manuvers and evaded the sam missile. back to base he warrned the commands that the area is dangerous to operate.

despite that fact , Yonas was sent one morrning on a bombing mission to that area and never returned. after a couple of days Samuel too went to the same place at the same altitude as Yonas. he too never returned. later it was known that Yonas's body was found away from the crashed fulcrum, strapped to the ejection seat that failed to oppen the parachute. Dejen believes that Yonas must have ejected att low altitude and enverted.

now keep in mind that it is a known fact that ethiopian sukhoi 27s were flown by russian merceneries (i dont know to what extent). Dejen simply said in the interview that a third fulcrum had incountered trouble again in february or march. to my understanding, this could be the one that was downded or damaged as a resut of a dogfight with an ethiopian flanker (su 27). the only casuality for the eritrean airforce in the entire war were Yonas and Samuel. after the downing of Samuel, all fulcrums were grounded and never participated again for the whole remaining time of the war. the story about eritrean mig 29 downing other ethiopian migs or suchois is not true either.

Dejen was not happy to hear the decision to ground all operations after the lose of two mig 29s. he describes that an apportunity to revenge was lost in the battle of igri-mekel, which accured after the battle of badme. Igri_mekel was just about 80 kilometers from the eritrean air base in asmara. it was also a higher place,which was according to Dejen very suitable to opperate, unlike badme which was long distance. as to my oppinion Dejen is giving the hint that the fulcrums combat radius probably was an issue.

here is the links to the interview (part 2 specifically) and a short summarized and translated article.

https://martinplaut.wordpress.com/2014/ ... ty-prison/

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