LONDON, March 25 (UPI) -- As British officials this week claimed the defeat of Libyan air defenses, the aircraft prided to have contributed most to that success include the Rafale, Mirage 200, Tornado and F-16.
Other aircraft noted to have contributed to successful air runs against the military assets of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi include the F-15, F-18, B-2 and Harrier jump jets.
Military action against Gadhafi's 42-year-old hold on power mounted Saturday when a coalition led by the United States, Britain and France launched airstrikes against military targets in Libya.
Envoys from the 28 NATO nations agreed this week that the alliance take control of the operation, enforcing a no-fly zone and arms embargo. That mission involves use of alliance warplanes and battleships to prevent weapons from reaching Gadhafi's followers.
This week the commander of British aircraft operating over Libya, Air Vice Marshal Greg Bagwell, said that coalition forces could operate "with near impunity," claiming that the Libyan air force had been crushed.
Of the veteran aircraft used in Operation Odyssey Dawn, one was never seen in combat missions before: the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The aircraft was designed in the 1980s and 1990s, often criticized by experts and other military observers for merely being a relic of the Cold War era and already outdated by the time it entered service.
The war plane isn't a stealthy, fifth-generation fighter.
Still, the defpro Web site reported the British air force's "Typhoon fighter aircraft have proven during the first five days of Operation Odyssey Dawn -- or Operation Ellamy, as British forces call their involvement in Libya-- that they are a legitimate asset for conventional military tasks, such as those now required over Libya."
Typhoon pilot Wing Commander Jez Attridge told the BBC in a recent interview that the war jets hadn't been fired at during the course of the operations but "it has certainly not been the usual routine when Typhoon pilots entered Libyan air space for the first time."
Operation Ellamy also saw another first: The British air force confirmed this week that the first female Typhoon pilot took part in combat operations over Libya. The name of the female pilot wasn't disclosed but it was reported that she has been part of a sortie that took off from the Gioia Del Colle air base in Italy.