The BEKAA Valley Air Battle, 1982 , an old article, long but a good read

1 post in this topic

Posted · Report post

Published Aerospace Power Journal - Winter 1989

The BEKAA Valley Air Battle,

June 1982:

Lessons Mislearned?

C1C Matthew M. Hurley, USAFA

MILITARY analysts are always eager to derive "lessons" from recent military conflicts, but our perceptions of such lessons are often clouded by national biases; interservice rivalries; incomplete information; and differing needs, desires, and viewpoints. For example, the Bekaa Valley (Lebanon) air battle of June 1982 is widely regarded as a significant development in modern warfare. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) achieved a remarkable military victory, and certainly there are lessons to be learned from it. Unfortunately, most literature on the battle suffers from distortions resulting from the above factors. The problem lies in determining which lessons are applicable to the US military and which merely draw attention away from what is truly significant. Many of the lessons from the Bekaa were rather short-lived in their usefulness, and others-while of great interest to military historians-simply do not apply to the American military situation.

It is, of course, essential to first summarize the events preceding and during the battle, as well as the factors contributing to the Israeli victory. The circumstances that determined the outcome of the Bekaa Valley battle can easily be traced back to 1967, when the Israelis launched a devastating surprise air attack on Egyptian airfields to begin the Six Day War. The Arab states, particularly Egypt, responded by establishing a system of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to deal with any future Israel incursions into their airspace. During the War of Attrition from 1967-70 the IAF admitted losing at least 22 aircraft to the new Arab missile defenses, though Egypt claimed 21 in July 1970 alone. Even so, it was not until the three-week-long October War in 1973 that SAM warfare came of age in the Middle East. Egyptian SAMs (SA-2s, SA-3s, and SA-6s) along with 23-mm ZSU23-4 antiaircraft cannons destroyed some 40 Israeli aircraft in the first 48 hours of the war, or 14 percent of the frontline strength of the IAF.3 In contrast, only five Israeli aircraft were destroyed in air-to-air combat during the entire conflict.4 Coupled with the high number of aircraft lost to groundbased air defenses in Vietnam, the results of the October War prompted some analysts to ask whether tactical aircraft had outlived their usefulness on the modern battlefield.

In retrospect, it appears obvious that the Israelis were not prepared to counter the "missile umbrella" Egypt had erected before and during the 1973 war. Instead, their doctrine reflected the experiences of the Six Day War, in which SAMs were not a factor. But after sustaining heavy losses in the October War, the Israelis adjusted with a coherent SAM-suppression doctrine.6 Should hostilities resume, the IAF would now be prepared for SAM suppression and could adapt as necessary to meet new contingencies.

During the spring of 1981, the Israelis came close to putting their new doctrine and capability to the test. On 28 April the IAF shot down two Syrian helicopters while providing air cover for Christian militiamen in Zahle, Lebanon. Damascus reacted by deploying three SA-6 batteries to Lebanon's Bekaa Valley the next day.7 The Israelis regarded the newly emplaced SAMs as a violation of a tacit Syrian-Israeli agreement regarding the Syrian presence in Lebanon and as a threat to vital air reconnaissance. Although the Israelis threatened to remove the missile batteries by force, the crisis was defused by diplomatic means; Syrian missiles and troops, however, remained in Lebanon.8

For the next year the IAF conducted extensive air reconnaissance over the Bekaa and trained in the Negev Desert against mock SAM sites identical to those in Lebanon.9 Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and Lt Gen Rafael Eitan, chief of staff of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), developed the plans for an invasion to rid northern Israel of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) raids and shelling from southern Lebanon, which had killed 25 Israelis and wounded 250 more between July 1981 and June 1982.10

On 3 June 1982 Palestinian terrorists made an assassination attempt against the Israeli ambassador in London. After three years of frenzied shelling and countershelling, the IDF launched the long-planned, often-delayed invasion Operation Peace for Galilee.11 Its goal was to destroy the infrastructure and bases of the PLO in southern Lebanon and remove the artillery threat to northern Israel.12 Although Israel proclaimed a desire to avoid any unpleasantries with Syrian forces in Lebanon, Damascus decided to reinforce its Lebanon contingent, including the 19 Syrian SAM batteries now deployed in the Bekaa.13 Though Syria intended this action as a deterrent gesture, the Israelis decided that the batteries must be destroyed, for by now hostilities had erupted between Syrian and Israeli forces.14

Reports of what happened next vary. It is generally accepted that in the course of the first attack against the Bekaa an 9 June 1982, the IAF destroyed 17 of the 19 Syrian SAM batteries and their radar sites, as well as 29 Syrian Air Force (SAF) fighters, without loss.15 The following day, the IAF destroyed the remaining two missile batteries. The SAF once more challenged the Israelis and lost approximately 35 more aircraft, again without downing an Israeli aircraft. By the end of July, Syria had lost at least 87 aircraft, while Israeli losses amounted to a few helicopters, one RF-4E, and an A-4 Skyhawk downed by a PLO SA-7.16

Naturally, Arab claims differed from Western and Israeli accounts. The Syrian news agency SANA claimed that 19 Israeli and 14 Syrian planes had been downed on 9 June. The next day, the Syrians maintained that six Israeli and seven Syrian aircraft had been destroyed, while no mention was made on either day of any damage to their SAMS.17 The Soviets went even further in extolling the SAF's combat virtues: the military newspaper Red Star announced triumphantly that "sixty-seven Israeli aircraft, including modern US-made F-15 and F-16 fighters, were downed" in the fighting.18 Further Soviet reports included an account in Red Star about a meeting with a Syrian airman who eagerly recounted an engagement in which he shot down an Israeli F-15: "The victory had not been easy; the enemy had been subtle."19

These claims met with great skepticism, even within Soviet ranks. After the Bekaa Valley debacle, for example, a story circulated around the Soviet military about how the Syrian Air Force maintained a departure control but no approach control.20 Even the Syrians themselves privately admitted defeat. After the Bekaa turkey shoot, Gen Mustafa Tlas, the defense minister, told President Hafez Assad and other government leaders that "the Syrian Air Force was outclassed, the ground-to-air missiles useless, and that without air cover, the army could not fight on."21 Indeed, it seems a bit odd that the Soviets would celebrate a great Syrian victory by sending the first deputy commander of the Soviet air defense forces to find out what went wrong. It seems even stranger that they would conclude that a new SAM system of SA-8s, SA-9s, and long-range SA-5s was necessary, manned by some 1,000 to 1,500 Soviet "advisers."22

The lopsided results of the battle stem from a number of factors. The most visible in any air engagement are the quality and capabilities of the weapon systems employed, especially aircraft and air-to-air armament. The IAF had a definite qualitative advantage in both. The primary Syrian fighter during the Lebanon War was the relatively obsolescent MiG-21, with considerable numbers of export model MiG-23s and Su-20s also deployed.23 The Israelis, on the other hand, were flying new-generation McDonnell Douglas F-15s and General Dynamics F-16s, as well as older but still effective McDonnell Douglas F-4s and Israeli Aircraft Industries Kfirs.24

The F-15 and the F-16, which were specifically designed for air superiority,25 both have a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than one (i.e., the thrust provided by their engines exceeds their loaded takeoff weight, thus allowing the aircraft to accelerate even while maneuvering or climbing).26 In addition to better acceleration and maneuverability at combat speeds, the F-15 and F-16 have superior radars and cockpit visibility that often resulted in early detection of the enemy and the delivery of undetected shots.27

These shots were quite lethal because of the high reliability of US-made AIM-7F Sparrow radar-guided missiles, AIM-9L Sidewinder infrared-guided missiles, and computer-aimed 20-mm cannons. The AIM-9L, which accounted for the majority of the kills, was particularly effective with its "all-aspect capability."28 Simply put, the missile could be launched at an opposing aircraft from any angle, including head-on, thus eliminating the need to maneuver behind the enemy to shoot.29 The AIM-9L had been used earlier during the Falklands campaign, where British Harriers scored 25 kills for 27 launches against faster aircraft in marginal weather. The resulting 93 percent success rate was quite an improvement over the 10-19 percent kill rate for earlier models of the AIM-9 in Vietnam.30 The Syrians had no comparable ordnance, relying instead on the 1960s vintage AA-2 "Atoll."31

The Israelis also demonstrated considerable technical prowess in command, control, and communications (C3). The Bekaa Valley battle was the first combat involving the use of modern airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, specifically, the US-made Grumman E-2C Hawkeye. The AWACS is an airborne radar platform responsible for vectoring fighters to their targets and managing the overall air battle situation.32 The E-2C has an APS-125 radar mounted in a "dish" above the fuselage, with which it can scan 3 million cubic miles of airspace. It can monitor over 200 aircraft simultaneously and control up to 130 separate air-to-air engagements at ranges up to 250 miles.33 In addition, the E-2C includes an ALR-59 passive detection system that can pick up radar signals 500 miles away, effectively doubling the Hawkeye's early detection range.34 This capability enabled the IAF to detect Syrian aircraft as they took off, allowing it to determine how many hostile aircraft were inbound and from what direction.35 The Israelis also used F-15s in the rear as "mini-AWACS" to help manage air-to-air engagements.36 This overall Israeli AWACS capability allowed the IAF to vector its fighters into "blindside" attacks on the Syrian MiGs, which had only nose- and tail-threat warning receivers to warn the pilot of a missile attack. SAF pilots were thus denied any advance warning of an attack by the IAF's all-aspect AIM-9Ls or AIM-7Fs; the latter could be fired well beyond visual range.37 Israeli aircraft could thus fire shots at their Syrian opponents--often undetected from launch until impact--and deny the Syrians any opportunity to evade or return fire.

The IAF worked to obstruct Syrian C3 while enhancing its own, making especially effective use of modified Boeing 707s. These aircraft were equipped with standoff jammers capable of disrupting several enemy frequencies at once with very little out-of-phase disturbance, thereby minimizing self-jamming of frequencies used by the IDF.38 Effective jamming of Syrian communications and radar systems cut off SAF MiGs from ground control, leaving them isolated and vulnerable to AWACS-directed attacks from F-15s and F-16s.39The result was chaos within the Syrian formations. According to one Western military observer, "I watched a group of Syrian fighter planes fly figure-eights. They just flew around and around and obviously had no idea what to do next."40

The Israelis were also intent on preserving the integrity of their own C3 against Syrian electronic countermeasures (ECM). Israeli fighter aircraft were equipped with ECM pods, including the indigenously produced EL/L-8200 series, which provided protection against ground-based and airborne radar threats.41 To protect their digital and voice communications from Syrian interference, the IDF developed a very high frequency (VHF) FM radio system that changed radio frequencies across a 30 to 88 megahertz (MHz) band. Before the Syrians could identify and jam a utilized frequency, the radio would switch to a different frequency and continue to do so according to a complex mathematical formula that gave the appearance of random switching.42 Given the superior Israeli jamming capability, such an innovative radio system would have been useful to the Syrians; however, they had no such equipment.

Another technological innovation that contributed to the Israeli victory was the remotely piloted vehicle (RPV). The IAF used this drone aircraft in the months preceding the invasion to "fingerprint" surface-to-air radar, providing information vital to Israeli countermeasures.43 When the battle actually began, RPVs were used as "decoys" to simulate electronically the radar signature of full-size strike aircraft and trick the Syrians into activating their SAM target acquisition and tracking radars.44 This ruse provided ample targets for the AGM-78 Standard antiradiation missile (ARM) and AGM-45 Shrike air-launched ARMs that followed.45 Other RPVs served as cheap and survivable intelligence platforms because they were constructed out of aluminum and composite materials for a minimal radar and infrared signature.46 once launched, they were employed most often as photographic platforms or "real-time" video intelligence systems whose fields of view, zoom ratios, and flight plans could be preprogrammed or changed at the discretion of the commander.47 Once the tactical reconnaissance and deception functions were completed and strike aircraft were directed to the SAM sites, air-launched laser-guided ordnance was guided to the target by laser designators mounted on the RPVs.48

Despite their technological advantages, the Israelis placed considerable priority on the human element, maintaining that high technology is useless without the ability to employ it successfully. According to General Eitan, "Training is of greater importance and significance than the means of warfare, the weaponry systems, and the technology."49 It was precisely this philosophy that allowed the IAF to exploit fully the capabilities of their equipment during the Bekaa Valley battle.50 Pilots and ground crews were so well trained that the aircraft turnaround rate (the time it took to refuel, reload, and service an aircraft before the next mission) was in some cases reduced to less than 10 minutes.51 Furthermore, Israeli pilots were for years exposed to the most realistic training of all--combat. Besides conducting simulated strikes against mock SAM sites in the Negev Desert, the IAF had fought three major wars against their Arab opponents since 1967, including considerable combat experience between the wars. The IAF had also been flying virtually unopposed over Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley for years,52 affording it a familiarity with the target area and deployment of enemy forces unprecedented in modern warfare.

Qualitative advantages in equipment and manpower, however impressive, are relative; therefore, Syrian deficiencies-and there were plenty--were equally important in determining the outcome of the Bekaa Valley battle. In air combat, for example, the Syrians displayed a marked inferiority to the Israelis in tactics and training. The fact that they were largely dependent on ground control not only limited pilot initiative and independence but also encouraged the Israelis to continually jam their communication links.53 The constraints thus imposed on the Syrian pilots degraded their already inferior technological capabilities. An anonymous senior IAF officer concluded, "They could have flown the best fighter in the world, but if they flew it the way they were flying, we would have shot them down in exactly the same way. It wasn't the equipment at fault, but their tactics."54 General Eitan echoed this attitude, complaining that although the IAF encountered the MiG-25 during the Lebanon War, it was difficult to assess the aircraft's capabilities because "the Syrians don't know how to fly or operate the MiG, 25. If we could have been sitting in a MiG-25, nobody could have touched us."55

Syrian SAM operators also invited disaster upon themselves. Their Soviet equipment was generally regarded as quite good; Syrian handling of it was appalling. As noted by Lt Gen Leonard Perroots, director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, "The Syrians used mobile missiles in a

fixed configuration; they put the radars in the valley instead of the hills because they didn't want to dig latrines--seriously."56 The Syrian practice of stationing mobile missiles in one place for several months allowed Israeli reconnaissance to determine the exact location of the missiles and their radars, giving the IAF a definite tactical advantage on the eve of battle.57 Even so, the Syrians might have been able to avoid the complete destruction of their SAM complex had they effectively camouflaged their sites; instead, they used smoke to "hide" them, which actually made them easier to spot from the air.58 It is ironic that the Syrians, who have been criticized for their strict adherence to Soviet doctrine, chose to ignore the viable doctrine that emphasizes the utility of maneuver and camouflage. According to a 1981 article in Soviet Military Review, alternate firing positions, defensive ambushes, regular repositioning of mobile SAMs to confuse enemy intelligence, and the emplacement of dummy SAM sites are fundamental considerations for the effective deployment and survivability of ground-based air defenses.59

Three lessons of special relevance to the United States may be drawn from the Bekaa Valley battle. First is the overwhelming importance of winning the war in the fourth dimension (i.e., electronic warfare and C3). It is generally accepted today that to win the land and sea battle, a fighting force must first control the air. This concept--revolutionary in its genesis--was demonstrated numerous times in World War II and subsequent conflicts. Now, in order to win the air battle, one must first conquer the electromagnetic spectrum. What used to be "a minor side show to the real battles that raged on the land, on the sea, or in the air" is now a prerequisite for modern warfighting.60 The Bekaa Valley has shown that an effective electronic warfighting capability is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

That point was emphasized in the Anglo-Argentine conflict over the Falklands only a few months earlier. HMS Sheffield, for example was destroyed by a single Exocet antiship missile fired by an Argentine Super √Čtendard, with substantial loss of life. Had the Royal Navy had an E-2C at its disposal, it would have been able to destroy the Argentine aircraft before it was within firing range.61 As Soviet missile and aircraft capabilities continue to grow, it become evident that without adequate electronic preparation the US Air Force may suffer unacceptable losses in the event of war. Certainly, the Syrians were outthought and outflown over the Bekaa Valley, but it must be noted that they were also outperformed in the electronic arena.62 For more evenly matched forces, that advantage (or the lack thereof) will make a considerable, if not decisive, difference.

The Bekaa Valley air battle also demonstrated the need for effective doctrine and organization. The Israelis had suffered in this respect between 1967 and 1973, but by 1962 had reorganized themselves into the effective fighting force that dominated the Bekaa Valley battle. Interservice cooperation has become the standard for the IDF; indeed, the Israeli Air Force and navy are incorporated into the ground forces staff at the national level.63 This integrated command structure allows a strict division of responsibility and gives the IAF an easily defined mission-- control of the air, both to support the ground forces and to protect Israel from air attack. Therefore, the IAF controls all the helicopters and since 1971 has controlled all the air defense forces as well, including air defense artillery.64 In short, the IAF controls all assets used in gaining and maintaining control of the air and in projecting power from the air. Perhaps this total control is due to the limited and specifically defined roles of the separate Israeli services, but the United States could nonetheless learn some valuable lessons from the Israeli example. Warren A. Trest has noted that in the US armed forces,

military air power, perhaps irrevocably, has been severed four ways. This fragmenting has led to overlap in all roles and mission areas, even to the conceptual extreme of extending rotary-wing operations into the realm of interdiction. Each service has developed its own air doctrine, oftentimes with disregard for the total air situation.65

Recent American military history reflects the results of this fragmentation. Names such as Rolling Thunder, Desert One, and Grenada recall misapplications of air power caused by insufficient interservice coordination--a coordination that should have already existed. The US raid on Libya in l986 provides an even more recent example of the complexities and problems that result when different services each want a "piece of the action." The US naval force in that operation included 14 A-6s, six A-7s, six F-18s, several F-14s and EA6Bs, and four E-2Cs from two carriers that based 155 aircraft.66 The 24 US Air Force F-111s in the operation required the support of over 30 more aircraft, including five EF-111 electronic warfare aircraft and some 28 KC-135 and KC-10 tankers; even so, nine of the F-111s did not complete the mission.67 The Air Force aircraft were further handicapped by the length of their mission--a round-trip of 5,600 miles lasting 14 hours and 34 minutes.68 It might have been easier, given the Navy assets described, simply to use carrier-based aircraft which had the advantages of proximity and relative immunity from such political prerequisites as overflight rights.

But perhaps the most important lesson from the Bekaa Valley is not to try to infer too many lessons. There are many factors that make the Lebanon War in general and the Bekaa Valley battle in particular of limited relevance to the US military.

The US Air Force may take comfort from the fact that its premier fighters and other equipment performed so well. However, these aircraft had been greatly modified by the relatively small but competent Israeli aircraft and electronics industry. The Israeli F-4, for example, had undergone 600 modifications, and the E-2C AWACS was specially modified by Elta--the electronics division of Israel Aircraft industries--to fit the unique requirements for Middle Eastern air warfare.69 Perhaps even more significantly, the Soviet-supplied Syrian aircraft were stripped-down export models. One cannot predict from the IAF's overwhelming victory against Syrian MiG-23s and MiG-21s in Lebanon that NATO would achieve a similar tally against Warsaw Pact air forces in central Europe. NATO pilots will face the latest models of older Soviet fighters, as well as increasing numbers of their next-generation fighters: the MiG-29, MiG-31, and Su-27. Of course, that is not saying that the technological advantage the West has traditionally enjoyed is no longer present, but a quality differential of the magnitude demonstrated over Lebanon will most likely not be repeated in a European warfighting environment.

Similarly, although Syrian pilots showed severe shortcomings in tactics and initiative in battle, it is dangerous to assume that their Soviet sponsor's performance in future air-to-air combat will be as poor. In fact, the past few years have seen a revolution in Soviet tactics. While Soviet training may be more rigid, more dependent upon ground control, and less realistic than American training, recent trends in the Soviet military press indicate a change toward more realistic training and tactics designed to enhance and encourage pilot initiative and independence.70 Moreover, every third pilot in a Soviet fighter regiment is designed as an "aerial sniper," with experience, flight time, and some skills comparable to those of Western fighter pilots.71 In short, the Soviets pilot of 1982-though far superior to his Syrian counterpart-is himself overshadowed by his 1989 successor.

Other factors make the Bekaa Valley battle unique in the history of air power and limit its relevance. In addition to their qualitative advantage, the Israelis enjoyed numerical preponderance over the Bekaa Valley, outnumbering the Syrian Air Force by a ratio of about three aircraft to two.72 NATO air forces cannot count on this numerical advantage against the Warsaw Pact. The IAF also enjoyed the advantage of superior combat experience, having fought the Syrians in 1967, 1973, and in other engagements before the 1982 affair; US Air Force pilots have not fought any likely enemy so often or so recently.

Furthermore, the IAF had been flying unopposed over the Bekaa Valley for years, familiarizing itself with the terrain and the location of Syrian SAM emplacements.73 The Israelis also trained a full year for one specific mission, fought a well-known and less-than-capable foe fit a relatively small area, and had the opportunity to employ strategic initiative and surprise. These considerations simplified the Israeli SAM-suppression situation immensely, but, again, the US Air Force can seldom hope for such advantages. No US Air Force pilots have routinely flown reconnaissance over Czechoslovakia or East Germany. Despite considerable experience in West German airspace, US pilots would certainly benefit from familiarity with enemy airspace in preparing themselves for deep strikes, rear-area interdiction, and SAM-suppression operations beyond the Fulda Gap (West Germany). In addition, the SA-10, SA-11, SA-12A, and SA-13 systems now deployed with Warsaw Pact forces are considered to be marked improvements over their predecessors deployed in the Bekaa. They are far more mobile, more accurate, harder to jam, and are in the hands of competent personnel who know how to use them.74 NATO pilots can thus expect a greater concentration of superior missiles than those faced by the Israelis. Additionally, the potential area of SAM suppression and counterair operations in Europe is likely to be somewhat larger than the Bekaa Valley and its surroundings, which roughly equate to the size of Luxembourg.75

There are obviously many possible interpretations of any military event, hence many different "lessons." The problem, again, lies in determining which lessons apply to a given nation or armed service. To make this vital distinction, the US Air Force needs to abandon any tendency toward self-aggrandizement and realize that the Israelis had a much easier task than US Air Force pilots can ever hope to expect against their chief potential adversaries. Instead of merely praising the performance of its equipment and allies, the US armed forces must focus on those lessons that truly do apply to the future possibilities of air war, rather than on self-serving "lessons" that merely highlight the dangers of living in the past. If the US Air Force focuses on the latter, it may find itself burdened with outdated doctrine and weapons. In that case, rather than following the Israeli example of victory, the US Air Force might find itself conforming to the Syrian model of humiliation and defeat.


1. Lon O. Nordeen, Jr., Air Warfare in the Missile Age (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institute Press, 1985), 125.

2. Ibid., 141.

3. M.J. Armitage and R.A. Mason, Air Power in the Nuclear Age (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 127.

4. Air Commo M. Mahmood Alam. Pakistan Air Force, "Tactical Air Power Evolution and Employment from an Historical-Analytical Perspective," Islamic Defense Review 6, no. 2 (1981): 6.

5. Ibid., 4.

6. Dr Karl Schnell, "Experiences of the Lebanon War," Military Technology, July 1984, 32.

7. Trevor N. Dupuy and Paul Martell, Flawed Victory: The Arab-Israeli Conflict and the 1982 War in Lebanon (Fairfax, Va.: Hero Books, 1986), 62-63.

8. Ibid., 63.

9. Benjamin S. Lambeth, Moscow's Lessons from the 1982 Lebanon Air War (Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, September 1984), 5.

10. Lt Col David Eshel, IDF, Retired, The Lebanon War, 1982 2d ed. (Hod Hasharon, Israel: Eshel-Dramit, Ltd., 1983), 12.

11. Ibid.

12. Dupuy and Martell, 81.

13. Ibid., 117.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid., 120.

16. Ibid., 145; and Eshel, 47.

17. "The Rape of Lebanon (Special Issue)," Monday Morning, 14-20 June 1982, 14-16.

18. Lambeth, 15.

19. Ibid., 16-17.

20. Ibid., 17.

21. John Bulloch, Final Conflict (London: Century Publishing, 1983), 33.

22. Cynthia A. Roberts, "Soviet Arms-Transfer Policy and the Decision to Upgrade Syrian Air Defenses," Survival, July-August 1983, 154; and Lambeth, 13.

23. Lt Col David Eshel, IDF, and Brig Gen Stanley M. Ulanoff, USAR, The Fighting Israeli Air Force (New York: Arco Publishing, 1985), 137.

24. Ibid., 137-38.

25. Frank J. O'Brien, The Hungry Tigers: The Fighter Pilot's Role in Modern Warfare (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.: Tab Books, 1986), 225.

26. Ibid., 227.

27. Ibid., 226-34.

28. M.G. Burns, "Sidewinder 3," Armed Forces, January 1983, 26.

29. Dov S. Zakhein, "New Technology and Third World Conflicts," Defense 86, July-August 1986, 9.

30. Burns, 25-26.

31. International Institute for Strategic Studies, "The Military Balance: 1981/82," Air Force Magazine, December 1981, 84.

32. O, Brien, 250-55.

33. David M. Russell, "Lebanon Proved Effectiveness of Israeli EW Innovations," Defense Electronics, October 1982, 44.

34. Ibid.

35. Maj Charles E. Mayo, USA, "Lebanon: An Air Defense Analysis," Air Defense Artillery, Winter 1983, 23.

36. Anthony H. Cordesman, "The Sixth Arab-Israeli Conflict: Lessons Learned for American Defense Planning," Armed Forces Journal International, August 1982, 30.

37. John V. Cignatta, "A U.S. Pilot Looks at the Order of Battle, Bekaa Valley Operations," Military Electronics/Countermeasures, February 1983, 108.

38. Ibid., 107-8.

39. Ibid.

40. Lambeth, 9.

41. Cignatta, 108.

42. Ibid.

43. Paul S. Cutter, "ELTA Plays a Decisive Role in the EOB Scenario, Military Electronics/ Countermeasures, January 1983, 136.

44. Philip J. Millis, "RPVs Over the Bekaa Valley," Army, June 1983, 50.

45. Mayo, 22.

46. Cignatta, 110.

47. Ibid.

48. Millis, 50.

49. Paul S. Cutter, "Lt. Gen. Rafael Eitan: `We Learned Both Tactical and Technical Lessons in Lebanon,'" Military Electronics/Countermeasures, February 1983, 96.

50. Dupuy and Martell, 145.

51. Schnell, 33.

52. Dupuy and Martell, 120.

53. Schnell, 33.

54. Lambeth, 9.

55. Cutter, "Lt. Gen. Rafael Eitan," 102.

56. Marshal Lee Miller, "The Soviet Air Force View of the Bekaa Valley Debacle," Armed Forces Journal International, June 19897, 54.

57. Mayo, 22.

58. "IAF vs. SAM: 28-0," Defense Update International, December 1986, 54.

59. Col A. Korytko, "Battalion Air Defense on the Defensive," Soviet Awareness Red Eagle Reader (Bolling, AFB, Washington, D.C.: AF Intelligence Service, 1982), 78.

60. Cignatta, 107.

61. Adm Thomas H. Moorer and Alvin J. Cottrell, "ECM in the Falklands Proves Its Point the Hard Way," Military Electronics/Countermeasures, November 1982, 48.

62. Armitage and Mason, 140.

63. Mark Urban, "Fire in the Galilee, Part 1: Israel," Armed Forces, April 1986, 169.

64. Ibid., 171.

65. Warren A. Trest, "The Legacy of Halfway Unification," Air University Review, September-October 1986, 71.

66. Anthony H. Cordesman, "After the Raid," Armed Forces, August 1986, 358.

67. Ibid.

68. Ibid.

69. Cignatta, 108.

70. Capt Rana J. Pennington, USAF, "Another Look at the Soviet Pilot," Air Force Magazine, April 1985, 88-89.

71. Miller, 56.

72. Lambeth, 8.

73. Dupuy and Martell, 120.

74. US Department of Defense, Soviet Military Power 1987 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1987), 60-61, 74; Cordesman, "The Sixth Arab-Israeli Conflict," 31.

75. Cordesman, "The Sixth Arab-Israeli Conflict," 29.


C1C Matthew M. Hurley is assigned to Cadet Squadron 04 at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now