The First Time an F-15 Shot Down an Enemy Plane, from Inside Its Cockpit
YouTube / Smithsonian Channel
F-15’s Time To Shine
The F-15s were still fairly new to the scene in 1979. It was unproven yet many believed in its capabilities. Finally, when four Syrian MiG-21s decided to violate Israeli airspace for a surprise attack, the unproven F-15s were called to action.
Mosha Melnik and three other F-15 pilots were on patrol when they were alerted of the MiGs’ presence. Moments later, they found themselves behind the MiGs with a radar lock from 25 to 30 miles away.
Melnik fired his first missile and missed. Before the MiG could successfully counter-attack, he let go of another missile – this time, a Python-3. The missile hit and downed the MiG-21. This became known as the first official kill of the F-15 in its history.
“This has a name in Hebrew […] an abbreviation of ‘God forbid’. God forbid you will encounter this missile.” – Mosha Melnik
As of today, the F-15 has over 100 victories and has never lost in air-to-air combat. The YouTube video has a clip of the fight, we highly recommend you watch it!