In this Episode of the Hangar Deck Podcast, the team discusses the Russian SU-24 being shot down over the Turkey Syria Border. A Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber aircraft near the Syria–Turkey border on 24 November 2015. According to Turkey, the aircraft whose nationality was unknown at the time was fired upon while in Turkish airspace because it violated the border up to a depth 1.36 miles for about 17 seconds after being warned to change its heading 10 times over a period of five minutes. The Russia Defense Ministry denied the aircraft ever left Syrian airspace, counter-claiming that their satellite data showed that the Sukhoi was about 1,100 yards inside Syrian airspace when it was shot down. The US State Department said that the US independently confirmed that the aircraft’s flight path violated Turkish territory, and that the Turks gave multiple warnings to the pilot, to which they received no response. Russian president Vladimir Putin said that the US knew the flight path of the Russian jet and should have informed Turkey; two US officials said that Russia did not inform the US military of its jet’s flight plan.
The Russian pilot and weapon systems officer both ejected from the aircraft. The weapon systems officer was rescued, the pilot was shot and killed by Syrian Turkmen rebel ground fire while descending by parachute. A Russian naval infantryman from the search-and-rescue team launched to retrieve the two airmen was also killed when a rescue helicopter was shot down by the rebels.
The shoot down was the first destruction of a Russian or Soviet Air Forces warplane by a NATO member state since the Korean War. Reactions to the incident included denunciation from Russia and an attempt to defuse the situation by NATO afterwards. Russia deployed the guided missile cruiser Moskva armed with S-300F (SA-N-6 Grumble) long-range SAM missiles off the Syrian coast near Latakia and S-400 (SA-21 Growler) mobile SAM systems to Khmeimim airbase.
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