First F-14 dogfight lasted 45 seconds
U.S. Navy F-14s were employed for the first time in air-to-air combat on this day in 1981, according to the Aviationist.
The story of the F-14s first combat mission began with a military exercise scheduled by President Ronald Reagan. The exercise was meant to show Libya that America was serious about its right to protect international waters. Libya had ignored international law in the 1970s during President Jimmy Carter’s first and only term.
Rules of engagement stated that the F-14s had to wait to fire until they were fired upon. On Aug. 19, 1981, two F-14s were fired upon by Libyan Su-22s. This meant they could engage. The time you have spent reading this article is probably more than how long the dogfight lasted: no more than 45 seconds from when Libyans shot the missile to the downing of the second Fighter. Read a detailed description of how it happened HERE.
- How two U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcats shot down two Gaddafi’s Su-22 Fitters, 32 years ago today (theaviationist.com)