Two 10-mission campaigns for Ethiopian F-5E fighter and F-5A fighter bomber during the 1977-78 Ogaden war.
Supersonic jet duels against Somali Mig-21s over the Ogaden deserts – Groundpounding action against the invading forces in Ogaden
Comes complete with new “EH” campaign folder and a complete new set of Ethiopian awards!
Expertly guided by the ground control, the number two of the Ethiopian formation, Bezabih Petros, scored the first confirmed kill ever for the Ethiopian air force, and the first ever for the F-5E in air combat against a MiG-21 on July 24, 1977
A military coup removed Ethiopian Emperor Heile Selassie in 1974. A bloody power struggle then raged between different cliques through Addis Ababa for the next three years.
This was the moment the government of Somalia, run by Gen. Siad Barre, saw an opportunity to realize its own political aim, the liberation of all territories predominantly populated by ethnic Somalis, Ogaden became a primary target.
Following extensive preparations and the mobilization of the entire military, Somalia invaded on July 13, 1977, its ground forces supported by a total of around 50 – 60 MiG-17s and MiG-21s.
Initial success was spectacular, the Somali Army overrunning the poorly equipped Ethiopian defenders, occupying a large percentage of the whole Ogaden area very fast.
Ethiopia’s Air Force didn’t bristle with shiny aircraft, by the time centering around a dozen F-5A without radar or missiles and less than a dozen F-5E, but those were armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and supported by two Westinghouse AN/TPS-43D radars. The crews had received intense expert training abroad.
Following intelligence reports about the Somali build-up along the border, the air force ran a series of intensive air-combat exercises. One of the TPS-43s was positioned high on the Karamara Pass and F-5Es began flying combat air patrols. Air combat between Ethiopian-flown F-5Es and Somali-flown MiG-21s was thus unavoidable….
Ethiopian F-5Es won the decisive victory of the Ogaden war – and bought plenty of time for politicians in Addis Ababa to secure Cuban and then Soviet support, which enabled the Ethiopian military to launch a counteroffensive and drive the Somalis out of Ogaden in early April 1978.
Post-war analysis by all involved parties was clear. Not only that the F-5E proved superior to the MiG-21 – not in speed, but certainly in manoeuvrability at low and medium altitudes, and in terms of endurance and weaponry.
For more background check out wikipedia
These campaigns were built on the recommended book “Wings over Ogaden” by Tom Cooper
Ethiopian C-47 unloading at Dire Dawa
Dire Dawa airbase, the forward base for the F-5E interceptors