2008 Ozd Peninsula Incident

On 8 May 2008, two KmFzG-7 Boxfalkes of the Republic of Zolevskoy Air Force shot down a Lavikonan-operated D-200 Luftjägers which the Zolevskoyans believed were attempting to engage them. One Zolevskoyan Boxfalke was damaged, but returned to base successfully. The engagement took place east of the Ozd Peninsula, and resulted in a souring of relations between Zolevskoy and Lavikona.

2008 air battle near Ozd Peninsula
MiG23 Kill.jpg
Gun camera still of the lead KmFzG-7 showing a Lavikonan D-200 exploding after being hit by an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile
Date8 May 2008
Location
East of Ozd Peninsula, Zolevskoy
Result
  • One Lavikonan D-200 shot down, pilot ejected
  • One Zolevskoyan KmFzG-7 damaged
Belligerents
 Zolevskoy  Lavikona
Commanders and leaders
Zolevskoy Elizabet Stoyanka Lavikona Jovan Vladimirović
Strength
2 KmFzG-7 Boxfalkes
1 TE-43 Crécerelle
2 D-200 Luftjägers
Casualties and losses
1 KmFzG-7 damaged 1 D-200 destroyed

BackgroundEdit

Although claims in the passage were always disputed, tensions between Zolevskoy and Lavikona heated up in April 2008 after other close calls. While Zolevskoy did not recognize Lavikona's claims for territorial waters, Lavikona did not recognize Zolevskoy's claims.

EngagementEdit

On the morning of May 8th 2008, two KmFzG-7 Boxfalkes of the Republic of Zolevskoy Air Force were performing routine combat air patrols near the disputed territorial water lines, with a TE-43 which provided airborne early warning and control. Zolevskoyan rules of engagement ordered for pilots of the RZAF to give one warning to any hostile jets which cross no more than 8 kilometers into Zolevskoyan-claimed territorial waters, and only permitted them to engage either if the line was crossed, or if they were engaged first.

At 9:28 AM local time, the TE-43 detected two Zolevskoyan D-200 fighter jets approaching the Zolevskoyan patrol. The KmFzG-7s were directed to intercept the D-200s, without causing any provocations. Using their onboard radars, the intercepting KmFzG-7s began tracking the D-200s when the Lavikonan aircraft were 78 KM away, at an altitude of 8,000 feet, and traveling at a speed of 780 km/h. Unlike some previous aerial encounters, where neither side made hostile actions or maneuvers, the D-200s continued to close in on the Zolevskoyan fighters with a head-on approach.

At 9:50 AM, the KmFzG-7s made a turn away from the D-200, to initiate a standard intercept.The D-200s then turned back into the Zolevskoyan fighters for another approach and were descending in altitude. At this point, the KmFzG-7 crews began employing tactics which would reduce the effectiveness of the D-200's radars. The Zolevskoyan aircraft started descending from 20,000 to 3,000 feet to fly lower than the Lavikonan fighters. The drop in altitude was meant to prevent the D-200s from detecting the KmFzG-7s by using ocean clutter to confuse their onboard radars. The Zolevskoyan pilots executed another turn away from the Lavikonan aircraft during the descent. Moments after the KmFzG-7s created a 30-degree offset, the D-200s turned to place themselves back into a collision course and accelerated to 930 km/h.

The air warfare commander at the Zolevskoyan Haskovo Air Force Base gave the KmFzG-7 air crews the authority to fire if they believed the D-200s were hostile. The KmFzG-7 turned away from the approaching D-200s two more times, and each time, the Zolevskoyan air crews saw the Lavikonan aircraft turn back toward them for a head-on approach. At 10:05 AM, the pilot of the lead KmFzG-7, Sergey Kostadin in Wardog 207, ordered the arming of the AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on the Zolevskoyan fighters, after what he determined was the fifth time the Lavikonan aircraft turned back toward him.

The Zolevskoyan air crews armed their weapons when the Lavikonan aircraft were less than 32 km away and closing in on each other at a rate of 1,900 km/h. At a distance of about 26 km, the lead KmFzG-7 pilot, Milen Kosta, made a radio call to the Haskovo AFB's air warfare commander to see if there was any additional information in regard to the D-200s. There was no response to his call. At 10:08 AM and at a range of 22 km, Kostadin fired an AIM-120. The missile failed to track toward its target. At about 19 kilometres, he launched a second AIM-120, but it also failed to hit its target.

The D-200s continued to fly directly toward the Zolevskoyan fighters at 1,020 km/h. The KmFzG-7s executed a defensive split, where both aircraft made turns in opposite directions. Both Lavikonan fighters turned left to pursue Wardog 202. Wardog 207 made a right turn to get behind the D-200s as they went after the other Zolevskoyan fighter. However, a D-200 fired it's cannon, and damaged the right wing of Wardog 202's KmFzG-7. He was ordered by Kostadin to retreat west, as he got behind the D-200s. With the D-200s right ahead of him, Sergey Kostadin of Wardog 207, fired an AIM-9 from roughly 2.8 km away and shot down one of the Lavikonan aircraft. After executing a sharp right turn, Wardog 207 gained a position in the rear quadrant of the final D-200. However, it made a sharp turn and began heading back towards Lavikona, at which point Kostadin ceased fire. Wardog 207 and 202 regrouped and descended to several hundred feet in altitude and departed at high speed back to the Haskovo AFB. The Kostadin reported that the pilot of the downed D-200 successfully ejected and parachuted into the sea, where the Lavikonan air force later recovered him.

AftermathEdit

One day after the incident, the outraged Lavikonan government accused Zolevskoy of attacking two unarmed reconnaissance conducting routine patrols over their territorial waters. The Zolevskoyan government claimed that their air crews acted in self-defense due to the apparent hostile intent of the Lavikonan D-200s. A day later, the Zolevskoyan Ministry of Defense released stills from the gun cameras of the KmFzG-7s, showing the D-200s approaching the Zolevskoyan jets with hostile intent, both of which were claimed to have been armed with combat payloads. Video clips of the engagement were also released, and was used by the Zolevskoyan government to prove their claim of the Lavikonans initiating hostilities.

 
The KmFzG-7ZJ operated by Wardog 202, at the Haskovo AFB in January 2017

International reactionsEdit

  • Template:Country data Volgaria - Two days after the incident, the Volgarian government expressed regret that the incident was escalated into "unnecessary violence" and also condemned the actions of Zolevskoy, declaring that they had been the aggressors by firing the first missile. The performance of the D-200 in the incident was also taken into discussion within the Volgarian military high command, as it was the first time a D-200 and a KmFzG-7 had engaged in combat, and it was decided that further upgrades to the fighter needed to be made in order to bring the D-200 up to better combat standard against the KmFzG-7.