Remember when Maverick was showboating with that MiG in “Topgun”?
An Air Force pilot came pretty close to recreating that movie magic.
It has been reported by The Aviationist, that back in 2012 an American MQ-1 drone was being operated in international airspace outside of Iran and was intercepted by two Su-25’s flown by the Pasdaran. Otherwise known as “The Army of Guardians of the Islamic Revolution” or The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF). Whatever. These two Iranian jet jockeys failed to do anything to the drone. That’s like striking out in T Ball.
After the incident, it was decided that the drones would be escorted by U.S. Navy F-18’s and U.S. Air Force F-22’s. This would mark the combat debut of America’s fifth-generation stealth fighter. The next time up at bat, Iran sent two F-4E Phantom II’s to intercept an MQ-1 off Iran and about 16 miles into international airspace. When the F-4’s closed on the drone U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh reported what happened next:
“He [the Raptor pilot] flew under their aircraft [the F-4s] to check out their weapons load without them knowing that he was there, and then pulled up on their left-wing and then called them and said ‘you really ought to go home’”