“The Hornets are having a rough time of it.”
“Da, Vasily. Be vigilant.”
The second Canadian is in the Turkish wingman’s sights, and also has an AIM-9M fired at him, from no-escape range. The Sidewinder is possessed of nearly a magician’s cunning at this range and the heroic Canadian falls from the sky.
The Turk has won this round, and his GCI is vectoring him onto us as we streak through the mountains. This causes a brief argument between Vasily and myself, as the F-16’s radar illuminates the SPO-15 “Beryoza” radar warning receiver by my right knee.
“One, permission to engage.”
“Nyet. Stay with the plan.”
“Sacha, he comes! We must defeat him!”
“Stick with the plan, two! Stay on my wing. We can lose him in these canyons. This is not cowardice, Vasily! The Rodina sent us to bomb a train, not play with the Turk, that must wait until we have finished the mission! We have not the fuel to play with him while loaded as bombers, and he knows this! Do not be taken in.”