The day is January 4, 1989. The airspace close to the Libyan coast. Two VF-32 F-14As from USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) fly a mission as Combat Air Patrol when a pair of Libyan Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 Floggers were detected. The MiG-23s had taken off from Al Bumbaw Airfield near Tobruk and they continued their flight towards the US fighters, even though the F-14s radar had locked on the bogeys. It's a common procedure under such circumstances to lock the powerful AWG-9 radar on the incoming Libyan fighters, to give them the possibility to turn around and head back home. Usually this procedure was impressive enough to drive the Libyans back since the radar warning tone resulting from an armed F-14's radar was fearsome enough. But this time it did not work. For the second time US Navy F-14s were engaged by Libyan fighter aircraft under hostile conditions. During the 8 minutes engagement, the MiGs kept turning in on the Tomcats to maintain a firing solution for their Soviet built air-to-air missiles. As later examination of F-14 still photography resolved, the MiG-23s were armed with AA-7 Apex missiles. After several evasive maneuvers by the Tomcats and aggressive maneuvers by the Floggers, the incoming pair of MiG-23s were declared hostile and the F-14 crews were cleared to engage. The crew of the lead F-14A, AC202 fired an unsuccessful AIM-7 Sparrow missile, while the second F-14As, AC207 (BuNo. 159610) AIM-7 found its target and destroyed one MiG-23. Thereafter, the lead F-14 closed in on the remaining MiG-23 and launched an AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seaking missile. The missile exploded in the tailpipe of the fleeing Flogger. The pilot of this MiG-23 also managed to eject from his destroyed aircraft. Both pilots were seen with good chutes. After this engagement, the victorious Tomcats headed north for the carrier.

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