Air-To-Air Missile Possibly 'Sidewinder' Brought Down Russian Su-24 Over Syria-Turkish Border

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  • 11:35 AM, November 24, 2015
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 Air-To-Air Missile Possibly 'Sidewinder' Brought Down Russian Su-24 Over Syria-Turkish Border
AIM 9X air-to-air missile

Turkish F-16 might have used a Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile to bring down the Russian Su-24 fighter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying that the aircraft was hit by an Air-to-air missile by Tass news agency.

The missiles were part of the upgrade to the Turkish F-16s done by Lockheed Martin. The Turkish Air Force received its final upgraded F-16 Fighting Falcon on 10 April this year.

In total, 163 Turkish F-16 fighter aircraft were upgraded under the Peace Onyx III (PO-III) programme in a $3.9 billion deal. PO-III included the upgrade of all Turkey's Block 40 and Block 50 F-16s to a standard similar to the United States Air Force's Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP) standard.

The Turkish Air Force’ F-16 has the ability to carry AIM-7 and AIM-120 radar-guided BVR missiles. The F-16s are fitted with the GPS navigation system (LN-39 INS license-built by ASELSAN), APG-68(V) radar, automatic terrain-following radar, digital flight controls, chaff and flare dispensers.

The Turkish Ministry of Defence (MoD) claimed that it had warned the Russian Su-24 nearly 10 times before bringing down the aircraft. A Turkish military official told Reuters the jet was warned before being targeted, adding the plane was shot down by Turkish F-16 fighter jets.

It would be interesting to know why the Russian plane's pilot did not deploy any counter-measures against the Turkish missiles, especially if it had been told to clear out nearly 10 times. The Turkish MoD added that the plane had violated Turkish airspace, a claim denied by Russia whose foreign ministry said that the jet was well within Syrian airspace when it was shot down.

(This article previously mentioned Lockheed Martin as the manufacturer of the AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile. Raytheon is the actual manufacturer. The error is regretted.)

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