Cold War: F-15 Fighters Intercept MiG-29s off Alaska (1989)

Cold War intercept: two F-15 Eagles intercept a pair of Soviet MiG-29 Fulcrums as they approach US airspace in 1989.(Image: US Air Force. F-15s intercept two MiG-29s transiting near Alaska, 1989)

Captured on the night of August 1, 1989 shortly before 11pm, this stunning photograph reveals the moment when two McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagles intercepted a pair of Soviet MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets as they approached US airspace. With the Cold War drawing to a close, the Russian-built combat aircraft were transiting to a western airshow – in Abbotsford, British Columbia – for the first time. The F-15s belonged to the 21st Tactical Fighter Wing, stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. Former Warsaw Pact aircraft are now a common theme at airshows across Western Europe and North America, but the late ’80s and early ’90s marked the first time that most front-line pilots were afforded a close-up look at their old adversaries.

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