The invasion of Ethiopia by Spanish forces and their defeat in Egypt and the destruction of the Ethiopian Navy at the Straights of Mandeb put the Empire in dire straights and the danger posed to the royal family and key cultural artifacts in full light. Aware of the dangers the Emperor ordered the evacuation of his wife Asima, their son, and nephew to keep them out of Spanish hands. The voyage was to fly them north into Persia where they would undergo a fueling stop before making way into China.
Also on board was the Arc of the Covenant, guarded by a entourage of Axumite priests.
The royal airplane was however incapable of passing Yemen when it was attacked by a Spanish interceptor boasting jet-propulsion. By a freak incident though the Spanish jet was struck by lightning and was incapable of confirming its kill and was forced to land on a deserted island, allowing the Ethiopian craft to escape and for Chinese jets to arrive from Pemba in the far south; deployed sometime previously when the Empress's distress call was received and forwarded to Chake Bay.
The engagement was ultimately brief with the Chinese planes already low on fuel. During the engagement one's fuel tank was struck and was forced to withdraw. The Spanish aircraft's pilot was struck and withdrew over his wounds.
Spanish After Action Report Edit
Issue Serial: 6.102 Incident Date(s): 4 June, 1980
Mission Classification: Reconnaissance, Interception
Personnel Involved: Captain Bartolo Uriega, Fuerza Aerea 8th Division - 5th Fighter-Inceptor Squadron Incident Location: Gulf of Aden
Actors Involved: Fuerza Aerea of the Second Spanish Republic, New People's China
Assets Involved: AC13 Fantasma, Fuerza Aerea 8th Division - 5th Fighter-Inceptor Squadron
Weather: Clear skies and low pressure at incident locality and altitude. Aircraft struck by lightning during interception action prior to engagement. Lightning strike notable due to clear weather and failure of aircraft electrical systems. Cpt. Uriega made emergency landing at Abd al Kuri island and made repairs to electrical systems prior to engagement. (See Attachment: ACIR 6.101)
Incident Overview: Cpt. Uriega scrambled from the aircraft carrier La Ira de Dios in northern Red Sea via AE13 Fantasma jet-propelled fighter to gauge defensive capacities of the Pan-African Empire's Ethiopian and Somalian coasts beyond radar and propeller-propeller reconnaissance thresholds. At 1415 local time, Cpt. Uriega detected a single unarmed aircraft with heading of 80 degrees in the vicinity of the Somalian coast from Ethiopian airspace and proceeded to engage. A lightning strike and subsequent failure of electrical systems forced Cpt. Uriega to make an emergency landing on the Abd al Kuri island to facilitate repairs. Uriega was unable to relocate the target aircraft.
At 1605 local time, Cpt. Uriega encountered three jet-propelled aircraft moving into the vicinity at high speed with a heading of 30 degrees from Ethiopian airspace. Cpt. Uriega initiated hostilities with foreign aircraft. Combat between actors lasted for approximately 14 minutes, 830 rounds of 12.7x100mm ammunition were expended. Cpt. Uriega believes that one enemy plane was shot down, but was unable to conduct a thorough search for the unaccounted hostile plane. Uriega was struck twice by enemy machine gunfire - once in the distal shoulder and once in the upper back. The engagement concluded when the accounted hostile aircraft retreated from the vicinity into Ethiopian airspace. It is likely that the hostiles left the engagement due to low fuel rather than combat-related considerations. Cpt. Uriega returned to La Ira de Dios to refuel and seek medical attention. At 1807 local time, Cpt. Uriega deceased due to blood loss.
Incident Analysis: Bullet fragments recovered during the autopsy of Cpt. Uriega and within the AE13 Fantasma were found to be of a 13.0x102 caliber analogous to the Browning .50 caliber round. This bullet caliber does not correspond with any round of European, American, Ethiopian, or Persian manufacture. The bullets that killed Cpt. Uriega can likely only be of Chinese origin. Likewise, the industrial capacity of New People's China is thought to be the only one outside of the Second Spanish Republic capable of producing jet engines of any reliability. While it is distantly possible that the New People's China has provided jet fighter aircraft to the Pan-African Empire, the training regimen required to prepare Ethiopian pilots, mechanics, and engineers to operate efficiently with a Chinese jet aircraft would likely be very cumbersome. Far more likely, the New People's China has stationed their own fighters and pilots within the territory of the Pan-African Empire. It is abundantly clear that elements of the military forces of the Second Spanish Republic and New People's China have come into direct combat during this incident.
Recommended Actions/Corrections: Incident currently pending review by the Prime Minister.