photos of MiGs buried in Iraq desert

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by FunkyNewBlood, Feb 17, 2005.

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  1. If this has been on before, sorry, it is new to me (though it was reported in 2003).





    The al Taqqadum air field west of Baghdad in Iraq, a sandy wasteland surrounded by high dunes off the main Baghdad-to-Jordan highway, was the focus of intense search-and-destroy activity after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003; its vast desert spaces were thought to be a likely location for missile launchers or aircraft from which chemical or biological strikes against U.S. troops might be launched.

    What military search teams eventually found at al Taqqadum, in July 2003, were remnants of the Iraqi Air Force as pictured above: a reported 30 to 40 planes, including several MiG-25 and Su-25 ground attack jets, buried more than 10 feet beneath tons of soil and covered with camouflage netting. According to the Pentagon, at least one of the MiG-25s was found because searchers spotted its twin tail fins protruding from the sand. Some of the planes had been wrapped in plastic sheeting to protect their electronics and machinery from the sand (and some had had their wings removed), but others were interred with little or no protection from the sand or the elements. The recovery teams had to use large earth-moving equipment to uncover the aircraft.

    The discovery at al Taqqadum was not announced to the public until a month later, in a press briefing delivered by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2003 — American forces have found Russian fighter jets buried in the Iraqi desert, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an Aug. 5 press briefing.

    "We'd heard a great many things had been buried, but we had not known where they were, and we'd been operating in that immediate vicinity for weeks and weeks and weeks . . . 12, 13 weeks, and didn't know they were (there)," Rumsfeld said.

    The secretary said he wasn't sure how many such aircraft had been found, but noted, "It wasn't one or two."

    He said it's a "classic example" of the challenges the Iraqi Survey Group is facing in finding weapons of mass destruction in the country.

    "Something as big as an airplane that's within . . . a stone's throw of where you're functioning, and you don't know it's there because you don't run around digging into everything on a discovery process," Rumsfeld explained. "So until you find somebody who tells you where to look, or until nature clears some sand away and exposes something over time, we're simply not going to know.

    "But, as we all know," he added, "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

  2. if they dig round in the right place theyll find all the crap that we buried in the sand after Granby as well.
  3. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer





    How's that FNB ?
  4. merely the results of poor parking and a severe sandstorm.
  5. Well, do they still work?

    Also heard a rumour that lots of Iraqi planes simply flew to Iran at the start of GW1; does this disprove that?
  6. How does this prove anything one way or another ? We watched them bury this kit, then we dug it up after we'd invaded. Or have I missed something ?
  7. This is indeed fairly old news. The jets were not serviceable when dug out although could conceivably been made ready after several weeks of reconstruction or for use as spares. Rather this was an attempt by the Iraqi AF hierarchy toprotect their assets so that they had something of use in any postwar administration.

    There was indeed a large exodus of Iraqi AF aircraft to Iran during GW1 albeit during the latter stages of the conflict. By this stage they had realised the suicidal folly of getting airborne in anything in the face of overwhelming coalition air power. According to post war Iraqi figures, 148 aircraft managed to make the short hop over the border to Iran (Coalition CAPs were orientated further south and north) including 115 combat aircraft. These included 24 Mirage F1s, 24 SU-24 Fencers, 44 SU-20/22 Fitters, 7 SU-25 Frogfoots, 4 MIG-29 Fulcrums and 12 MIG-23 Floggers. The others were various transport types but included at least one prototype of the Iraqi developed IL-76 Adnan AEW aircraft.

    Coalition CAPS were subsequently reorientated to cut off this flow and several Iraqi aircraft were splashed attempting the same route.

    Of these, none were returned by the Iranians and many are now serving in the Iranian AF!!

  8. Someone give me a shout if they find a cache of Beaufighters , Swordfish, Albacores, Mossies , Brigands or Hornets in the area will they :D
  9. Thanks very much MM, genuinely didn't know. Still a p***head student during GW1. Nothing to do with ASTOR are you?
  10. I would suggest currently AWACS, judging by his picture and knowledge of A/C movements. 8 Sqn anyone?
  11. Aren't there meant to be complete crated spitfires and beaufighters meant to be buried in the canal zone?.
  12. Yup! Far more interesting than a load of crappy old Migs... Now about those buried Spits...
  13. Well don't just leave us hanging Blackcat, more on that story please.

    I believe the Americans pushed aircraft into rather big holes in Algeria in 1945 . Aircraft were delivered, and wrecked where they parked, remains pushed into holes.

    The Canal Zone story does sound similar to something else I heard, but I thought the Egyptians used them afterwards?
  14. Sorry mate all I can tell you is what my old man told me, he got chatting with an ex-raf type back in the seventy's who had served in egypt at the end of the war, anyway my old fella happended to mention that he was on the invasion in 56 and how they had dumped an untold number of owens, lanchesters and sks's in the canal.
    The raf chap went on to relate how they had struck brand new airframes off charge straight from a depot still complete in their crates. And had taken them out into the desert and buried them. Also the merlin engines for the spit's came individually crated complete with the rolls royce tools were also taken out and buried.
    Obviously it's a third hand story, no way of knowing if it was true or not certainly seems very plausible, and I seem to recall a small article in flypast during the mid ninetys along the same lines.
    Who knows would be nice to think somewhere under the sand are perfectly preserved spits and beaufighters just waiting to be found.