UPDATED 30 MARCH 2015 | A Royal Saudi Air Force F-15D or F-15S Eagle fighter jet was lost while engaged in Operation Decisive Storm, the air and ground strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The jet – which suffered a mechanical problem according to officials – came down in international waters in the Gulf of Aden on Friday 27 March 2015.
According to US military sources the two Saudi crew members were rescued from the sea by a US Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter within two hours after their ditch.
The helicopter was launched from Camp Lemonnier, the only US military base in Africa ran as a US Naval Expeditionary Base 150 miles (240 km) southwest of the Yemeni port city of Aden. Part of Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport Camp Lemmonnier is home to the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa. Currently the (combat) rescue assets in Djibouti are provided for by the Alaska Air National Guard, with three HH-60s from 210th Rescue Squadron and two Lockheed Martin HC-130 King fixed-wing aircraft from the 211th Rescue Squadron.
The RSAF F-15 is the first Arab coalition loss in the military operations against the Houthi rebels, which were launched on 25/26 March. More than 180 aircraft are said to be involved in the air strikes, while ground forces advance too. The aircraft lost was likely the strike variant F-15S.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): A Royal Saudi Air Force F-15D Eagle during Exercise Green Shield 2014 (Image © Dennis Spronk)