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The Analysis of Turkish-Greek Dogfight in Eastern Mediterranean Sea

The analysis of Turkish-Greek dogfight in eastern Mediterranean Sea on 27 August 2020.

The Turkish ministry of Defence shared yesterday a video that includes an interception of Greek F-16 Block 52+ by their Turkish counterparts. According to the Turkish ministry of Defence, six Greek F-16’s left Southern Cyprus and invaded the Turkish NAVTEX-zone. The Greek F-16 Block 52+ are intercepted by Turkish Air Force, the area has been secured.

In the shared video by the Turkish Defence ministry we can listen to the conversation between the Turkish pilots and watch their HUD (Head UP Display). We are going to analyse this dogfight video. The dogfight video is available on link below.

Let’s take a look to the conversation of Turkish pilots.

  • F-16 Computer: Lock
  • Possible AWACS Crew or Tower Personnel: in 6 miles…
  • Turkish F-16 Pilot X: Our current level is 1-5-0
  • Turkish F-16 Pilot Y: Okey sir. I’m in the back row, one in front of me
  • Turkish F-16 Pilot X: ? (it doesn’t clear to understand)


  • F-16 Computer: Altitude… Altitude…
  • Turkish F-16 Pilot X: The behind is happened pulling.
  • Turkish F-16 Pilot Y: But I can hit the forward one!
  • F-16 Computer: Bingo… Bingo… (Fuel warning. Pilot decides fuel warning level.)

-some time later-

  • A Turkish F-16 Pilot: Result of 6-7 VID: 2 longs and 2 shorts. With drop. F-16. Agreed. Block 52+ is seen. (VID: Visual Identification. 2 longs and 2 shorts mean to 2 x AIM-9 short range, 2 x AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-long range air to air missiles and “drop” means to under-wing spare fuel tanks. It is a really short distance struggle.)
  • A Turkish Uncertain Pilot or Staff Member: 52+ has taken and keep continue to pursuit. (F-16 Block 52+ has fuel tanks at the back which is called CFT and it is present on 29 F-16s Block 50+ in Turkish Air Forces.)
  • Turkish F-16 Pilot Y: Okay sir, I follow you and keep locking the forward one. Right side.
  • Other Turkish F-16 Pilot: Roger that.

-some time later-

  • A Turkish F-16 Pilot: Their leaders are maneuver… (Video ends.)

In addition to this, some words are said but it doesn’t be understood. Some parts of the conversations are difficult to understand due to the high G pulling of the pilots.

Now lets move on HUD screen.

It is seen in red circles which are on right side of the screen the dogfight happens on 12.230 feet. In different parts of the video, the dogfight happens between 27.000 and 32.000 feet. Also its decreases 6.430 feet during the dogfight. It is equal to 1.9km height. It’s a well-known fact that there are natural risks on performing dogfight on sea, like vertigo and dumping the plane into the sea.

The number 231 on the left side of the screen shows the current speed of the F-16 in knots. Generally, dogfights happen on low speed because of the nature of it. Therefore, some planes have thrust vectoring (TVC) systems to make better maneuver at low speed. For example, F-22 and Su-35 have this system. It is possible to see the speed decreases to even 203knot (375 km/h) in video. It is low speed for fighter aircrafts. Both sides’ planes may be stall if they decrease their speed a little bit more (It was a very contentious dogfight the limits were pushed). The maximum speed is 422knot that we can see on the video.

Further we can read the word SIM on the Head up Display, this means that the fighter is on simulation/training mode. This is the standard mode of the pilots as long as they didn’t receive further instructions.

In the video, you can hear the tinkle. This voice means to infrared homing missile (AIM-9 Sidewinder) is locked to Greek F-16. If the fighter was not in SIM mode and Turkish pilots fire it, the missiles will move to the Greek F-16s. Greek F-16s couldn’t escape.

On the picture above, the red circle shows current G power. Nowadays, fighter jets and pilots are produced/grown to hold maximum +9G and -3G power. Maximum G power in the video is 4.7G. The G force you pulled while reading this article is +1G.

Again, the red circle shows Greek F-16 gets in the fire range. And F001.5 which is below the red circle means to the distance to target. In this footage, the target is 1.5 mile away.

In different parts of the video, the dogfight distance decrease to 0.04 mile (6-7 meters)! The screen says “X” because of this close distance:

Possibly Greek fighters were detected by Turkish 737 AWACS aircrafts (Peace Eagle). Because it is difficult to scan the area using land-based radars.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defence, the Greek F-16’s left from the island Crete. Greece has three air force bases on the island Crete; Souda, Kasteli and Heraklion International Airport. Heraklion Airport is suitable for military and civilian use.  Greece has stationed most of his F-16 fleet on the island Crete.

Hellenic Air Force operates 42 Mirage 2000, 153 F-16 C/D and 33 F-4 fighters.

Sadık Bilici, Istanbul.

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