On June 18, F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael “Mob” Tremel shot down a Sukhoi Su-22 during a close-air support mission in the skies above Syria, the first U.S. air-to-air kill since 1999. And although Tremel delivered a riveting first-person account of the shoot down during a Sept. 10 symposium, you can now witness the dogfight with your own eyes.

Here’s the clip, as seen through the ATFLIR targeting modules affixed to the front of each Hornet.

air-to-air kill syria shootdownGIF via Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 31/DoD
Aaaaaaaaand boom goes the dynamite.

The footage of the shoot down shows up partway through a 14-minute cruise video from Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 31 (also known as the “Tomcatters”), released to mark the end of VFA-31’s deployment to the Middle East with the USS George H.W. Bush’s Carrier Air Wing 8 as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. The War Zone, which first surfaced the cruise video on Sept. 20, notes that Tremel is actually a pilot with the VFA-87 “Golden Warriors,” but footage of the shootdown makes an appearance regardless.

Here’s how Tremel described the incident earlier this month, per Task & Purpose’s James Clark:

Repeated radio calls to the Su-22, a Cold War-era attack jet designed to strike targets on the ground, went unheaded. According to The Drive, even after Tremel “thumped” the aircraft three times — which means flying over the jet and popping flares — the warnings were ignored. As the Su-22 came within striking distance and began to dive, it released its ordnance, which landed near U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.


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Tremel — cleared under the rules of engagement — locked onto the Su-22 with an AIM-9X Sidewinder and fired, but the Sukhoi popped flares. “I lose the smoke trail and I have no idea what happened at that time,” Tremel said at the symposium. Despite the venerable Sidewinder’s rep as a highly advanced piece of ordnance, the infrared-guided missile was drawn away by flares.

The enemy bird was still in the air and still a threat to friendly forces on the ground, so it was time to “try something different,” Tremel recounted. He switched to the slightly slower-to-arm, radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAAM, and cut loose with one. “It’ll do its job,” Tremel said. And it did. The AMRAAM struck the rear of the Su-22 and exploded. As the aircraft pitched and then plummeted to the earth, the pilot ejected.

The whole incident lasted less than eight minutes, and the Su-22’s last moments start around 6:10 in the full video below, but the entire sizzle reel is worth a watch.