Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in the Middle East

Published on
September 27, 2013
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Yefim Gordon & Dmitriy Komissarov
Other Publication Information
Hardcover, 272 pages, 375+ photos, 150+ color profiles
Product / Stock #
Provided by: Specialty Press

Nowhere in the world has the clash of East vs. West hardware been more hard fought than the Middle East. Soviet arms were first supplied to Egypt in the 1950s. Since then, Soviet hardware as flourished throughout the region. This hardback, detailing such Soviet-supplied arms in the form of warplanes, is printed on high quality paper with over 375 photos, most being in color. The book is broken down into chapters by country, including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel (yes, Israel too), Jordon, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, UAE, and Yemen.

The quality of the photos is what really impresses me. Most are in color but they all are quite useful from the modeler’s and historian’s perspective. The black and white ones are mainly older, historical pictures, while modern photos are in color. There is something here for everyone. If you like fighters, transport, bombers, or helicopters, they are all covered. The photos of the MiG-15/17/22/23/25/29s, Su-7/17/22s will be inspiring to the model builder with the recent releases of Soviet fighters by Trumpeter, Eduard, and Academy. The MiG-21s in Egyptian service alone offer something for everyone.

Each country’s acquisition and employment of the various aircraft types is covered. With the authors both well known in the Soviet aviation circles, they put their expertise to good use. Each major conflict is discussed from the point of its pertinent countries.

The color profiles will prove invaluable to a model builder. They are of high quality, expertly printed, and cover a variety of aircraft. Decal manufacturers would do well to look over this book. There are some great paint schemes to complement national markings.

The aircraft types, colors, and markings are really interesting. The displayed weathering of the paint schemes will prove quite a challenge to replicate. A listing of all the aircraft that were purchased by the involved countries is included. This list is quite exhaustive and informative. I know of some S2’s (Security Officers in the US Army) who would have killed for this information. Some of these photos must have been difficult to get, such as those out of Iran.

The book, for me, has a little bit of personal history. There is an Iraqi Hind that I got to sit in at the Dhahran port after Desert Storm. It was nice to see her again.

The unique chapter in this book is the Israeli section. Israel has captured and evaluated many Soviet aircraft. You want something different? – try putting your MiG-23 in a combination of Syrian and Israeli markings.

With the recent upsurge of Soviet aircraft into the modeling world, this book is an essential reference. There is something here for everyone interested in Soviet aircraft or just cool paint schemes. This is the second book in the series of Soviet and Russian aircraft employed around the world. It is, to me, the most historically significant region for these aircraft.

Highly recommended

My sincere gratitude to Specialty Press and IPMS/USA for allowing me to review this book.

Reviewer Bio

Floyd S. Werner Jr.

Building models since the age of 7, I’ve become known for my Bf-109s and helicopters. I currently run Werner’s Wings. I was previously the ‘star’ of the Master Class Model Building Video series. I’ve been published numerous times on various website, including Hyperscale and ARC. My work has been in FSM and Great Scale Modeling 2001, as well as, numerous other model magazines. I’m a published author with my Squadron/Signal Walkaround book on the Kiowa Warrior. My models have continuously won many regional and national awards. My unique model photography gives my models instant recognition for their historical perspective.

I’m a retired from the Army after 21 years of flying Cobras and Kiowa Warriors, including tours in Iraq, Bosnia, Korea, and Germany. I’m also a retired Flight Officer for the Baltimore City Police and flew their helicopters chasing bad guys. I’m currently flying Cobras and Hueys with the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation.

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart, Yvonne, for 42 years. Our daughters have blessed us with six grandchildren. My passions continue to be his family, friends, helicopters, models and airplanes, especially the Bf-109 and my beloved AH-1 Cobra. My motto has always been - MODELING IS FUN!

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