Declassified: Listen to a Crazy Dogfight Between U.S. Tomcats and Libyan MiGs

An audio recording that will leave you shaking.

Nathan Laird/ U.S. Navy via Getty Images

Hollywood has attempted to depict aerial dogfights, but as this recently declassified video and audio recording proves, no Hollywood production ever captures the emotion and determination of a fighter pilot. Come on, Mav, do some of that pilot shit. 

In this video, we travel to the Gulf of Sidra, circa-1989, and hop aboard one of two U.S. Grumman F-14 Tomcats from the USS John F. Kennedy as they enter a deadly engagement with two Libyan MiG-23 Floggers. Official naval accounts note that the two F-14s from VF-32, the “flying swordsmen,” were instructed to “escort” the two fast-approaching MiGs away from the carrier. With strict orders not to engage unless absolutely necessary, the two F-14s begin evasive maneuvers once the MiGs come within 70 miles of the jets. Every time the F-14s bank, the MiGs mirror the move. After the fifth evasive maneuver, the F-14s have no choice but to engage. Primarily using radar, the F-14s begin a tense, uncertain dance.

With lives on the line, the Tomcat crews scramble to lock on their targets, and despite the stray f-bomb from inside a cockpit, an astounding level of professionalism and protocol is maintained. The MiGs are shot down one by one using an AIM-9 Sidewinder and an AIM-7 Sparrow.

Mission completed, the lead F-14 gets over the radio and says, “Lets get outta here.” Now excuse us while we draw an ice-water bath.