Initial investigation into downing of Israeli fighter jet by Syrian anti-aircraft missiles on Saturday finds leading plane in formation dived and evaded the missiles on time, Israeli media reported on Monday.
The probe found that Syrian anti-aircraft missiles locked onto another of the eight planes carrying out the strike, but that plane was able to evade the missile, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
Two four-plane formations took part in an airstrike on Saturday. Among other things, they attacked “several Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria,” according to the Israeli daily.
After bombing their targets, the Israeli fighter jets came under fire by Syrian air defenses, with over 20 SA-5 and SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles launched at them.
One missile exploded near one of the planes, leading the pilot and navigator to decide to bail out within seconds, despite not having reported this in the comms system, Ynet reported.
The initial investigation into the incident found that at least one of the F-16 jets was exposed to fire as it was flying at a high altitude to confirm the missiles Israeli aircrafts had launched hit their targets, according to the report.
Source: Israeli media