Ofira Air Battle

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Ofira Air Battle

The Ofira Air Battle was one of the first air battles of the Yom Kippur War. On 6 October 1973, Egypt launched a massive surprise attack on Israel that included over 200 Egyptian aircraft participating in an opening airstrike. The Israeli Air Force Base Ofir at Sharm el-Sheikh came under attack by 20 Egyptian Air Force MiG-17s and their eight MiG-21 escorts. Not realizing the extent of the attack, Israel quickly scrambled two F-4E Phantom II fighter jets. The Israeli pilots proceeded to jettison their external fuel tanks and engage all 28 MiGs in aerial combat. In just under six minutes, seven Egyptian MiGs had been shot down and the remaining Egyptian planes disengaged and returned to Egypt. The Israeli Phantoms returned to their base. The Egyptians dispute the Israeli account of the battle, but they never did provide their own version of what happened.

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