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ETHIOPIA

Ogaden War (Ethiopian-Somalia Conflict) 1977-1978

                                VICTORIES
NAME                   CONFIRMED  UNCONFIRMED  DAMAGED   AIRFORCE   COMMENTS

Gebre-Tsadyk, Ashennafi    1                             EtAF
Teferra, Leggese           1                             EtAF

Comments
  • Ethiopian pilots have shot down 13MiGs-17 and 12 MiGs-21 from 20th July until 1st September 1977. All aircraft were hit by Sidewinders (AIM-9).
  • The "Aces" were the following:
    * Berhanu W.
    * Legesse T.
    * Ashenafi G/T.
    * Batcha H.
    * Bezabih P.
    * Mengistu K.
    * Afework K.
  • Ethiopian Losses:
    * F-5E : Afework K. brought down near Hargeisa. Died in captivity.
    * F-5E : Batcha H. rescued by Helicopter.
    * F-5E : Legesse T. released in prisoner exchange in 1986 or 1987.
    * C-47 : Crash landed after being hit from the ground. All survived and were released through prisoner exchange in 1986 or 1987.
    * Canberra : Hit and was able to limb back but another mechanical trouble brought it down deep inside Ethiopian territory.
  • It is not very well-known, that none of Ethiopia's F-5A had air-to-air capabilities. Contrary to many reports, Ethiopian F-5As didn't have radars therefore didn't have any air-to-air capability and were only used for close air support. The tactics used by Ethiopian Air Force was to dispatch F-5As for attack missions. The planes climb to 30,000 feet to be seen by Somali radar. SAC (Somali Air Corps) mainly operated either from Hargeisa (main operational base) and Baidoa for the Southern part. As soon as the F-5As are seen by Somali radar, SAC dispatches MIGs for interception. As soon as the MIGs take off, Ethiopia's American supplied radar, which was superior to what the Somali's had, at Karamara detects the MIGs and F-5E take off from Dire Dawa for interception. The F-5E flew with their radars on with low output led by ground controllers until they got closer at which time they fully lit their radar. All aircraft were hit by Sidewinders (AIM-9).
  • EtAF - Ethiopian Air Force

Air-to-Air Victories

Date Aircraft Pilot Weapon Victim Country
21.-25.07.1977 F-5A Teferra,L. AIM-9B MiG Somalia
22.07.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21MF Somalia
26.07.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21MF Somalia (pilot KIA)
26.07.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21MF Somalia (pilot KIA)
26.07.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21MF Somalia (pilot KIA)
26.07.1977 F-5A unknown 2xAIM-9B MiG-21MF Somalia (pilot KIA)
28.07.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21 Somalia
28.07.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21 (unconfirmed) Somalia
28.07.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21 (unconfirmed) Somalia
28.07.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21 (unconfirmed) Somalia
28.07.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21 (unconfirmed) Somalia
01.08.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-21 (damaged) Somalia
03.08.1977 F-5A unknown AIM-9B MiG-17 Somalia
20.08.1977 F-5A Gebre-Tsadyk,A. AIM-9B MiG-21 Somalia

F-5A, EtAF
F-5A, Ethiopian Air Force. © Cooper, Tom: Ogaden War, 1977-1978

F-5E, EtAF
F-5E, Ethiopian Air Force. © Cooper, Tom: Ogaden War, 1977-1978

MiG-17, Somalia Air Force

Hargheisa, Somalia, 1977: Somalia acquired a total of 54 MiG-17s and MiG-17Fs in 1967 directly from the USSR. At least a squadron of SAC MiG-17s was based at Hargheisa, from where they also participated in the Ogaden War, against Ethiopia, in 1977 and 1978, when most were flown by Pakistani mercenaries, and at least one known to have been shot down by Israeli mercenaries flying F-5As for Ethiopian air force. This example, CC-129, survived the Ogaden War and later fighting against different oppositional groups inside Somalia, but was then disassembled at Mogadishu, and used as spares source. © Cooper, Tom: African MiGs - Part 2 [*]

MiG-21MF, Somalia Air Force

In the hands of Somali pilots the MiG-21MF proved no match for far better trained and more experienced Ethiopian and Israeli pilots. In fact, very early after the initial Somali attacks and invasion of Ogaden the EtAF F-5s were operating offensivelly into the Somali airspace, flying "training sorties" even over the Hargheisa AB. It was during these "training sorties" that the Israeli pilots scored five confirmed kills against SAC MiG-21s, thus winning the air superiority battle of this war. © Cooper, Tom: Ogaden War, 1977-1978 [*]

MiG-21MF, Somalia Air Force
A wreck of one of Somali MiG-21MFs shot down during the fighting in July 1977. © Cooper, Tom: Ogaden War, 1977-1978

[*] There were no Israeli's on Ethiopia's side and no Pakistani's on Somali side. Israel never operated the F-5 and Pakistani's were never involved within Somali Air Force during the war, prior or after.


Much information kindly provided by Neil A.

Sources & Literature
  1. Researcher Neil A.
  2. Researcher Tomáš Polák.
  3. Бабич, Владимир - Морозов, Владислав: С «чужими» против «своих», История Авиации, № 25.
  4. Бабич, Владимир - Морозов, Владислав: С «чужими» против «своих», История Авиации, № 28.
  5. Котлобовский, Александр В.: МиГ-21 в локальных конфликтах, Серия: Архив 500+, АрхивПрессm 1997.
  6. Котлобовский, Александр В.: Оправдавший предназначение, Авиация и Время, № 6, 2007.
  7. ACIG Team: Different African Air-to-Air Victories, A list of confirmed, claimed, and probable air-to-air victories scored by various African pilots and air forces since 1945 , http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_192.shtml, http://s188567700.online.de/CMS/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44&Itemid=47.
  8. Cooper, Tom: Ogaden War, 1977-1978, http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_188.shtml, http://s188567700.online.de/CMS/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=140&Itemid=47.
  9. Cooper, Tom: African MiGs - Part 2, http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_196.shtml, http://s188567700.online.de/CMS/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=86&Itemid=47.

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