The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense announced that a Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet has shot down a hostile drone over Syria, scoring the jet’s first air-to-air kill.
The event was also the RAF’s first air-to-air engagement since the Falklands War, and the first time UK forces has fired an air-to-air missile in the fight against ISIS.
“This strike is an impressive demonstration of the RAF’s ability to take out hostile targets in the air which pose a threat to our forces,” Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is quoted in the ministry’s press release.
According to the release, the events unfolded on December 14, 2021. A small drone was detected above Al-Tanf Coalition base in Southeastern Syria. Two RAF Eurofighter Typhoons from the RAF Akrotiri base in Cyprus were conducting a routine patrol in the region, and were sent to investigate.
It was determined that the drone posed a threat to the base, and one of the Typhoons shot an ASRAAM short-range heat seeking missile and destroyed the target.
Previously, the RAF has conducted numerous air strikes and other drone operations in the fight against ISIS.
The intervention of Coalition forces in Syria has already resulted in several air-to-air engagements, primarily with the participation of the US military. For example, in June 2017, a US Navy F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet shot down a Syrian Su-22 fighter-bomber that had allegedly attacked US-backed forces. Numerous drones, belonging to ISIS and other factions, were also shot down in air-to-air engagements over the region.