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...