The world is going through an economic crises and the U.S. can not afford to get into a skirmish with Russia, and they know it. Russia is moving in on the Georgians and has overtaken much of the territory. The Georgians have begged and borrowed to acquire an F18 Hornet. Also, the U.S. has sold them some AIM's and a Modified IR Maverick to complete their most important tactical strike, take out a major power plant. When this strategic major power plant goes down, the Georgians will begin their revolution. Only one problem, they have no pilot qualified. As a retired pilot, you have agreed to act as a mercenary and do the deed for a cool 1$ million. Get the plane back to the base and they'll double your fee.
Edit 11-28-19 = Fix to Mig flight path to stop collision into mountain.
Edit 11-29-19 = Update to instructions.
You will be flying the infamous "death valley". Named that, of course, for a reason. The Russians believe it can't be navigated, but Georgian Intelligence has lost lives to test the airspace and confirm a successful flight path. Intel strongly believes they have the correct path that will provide you the necessary cover you need to dodge the radar and any SAM's that launch. You'll need to stay at tree top level and tactfully use the terrain to block the incoming missiles. To make it home, you must conserve fuel and must only use your after burners once in a while to dodge SAM's or defend. When you hear a launch on your ALR-67 scope, if you stay sharp, get low and move quickly, you won't get bitten. It's a simple principle. When you hear a SAM launch, think fast and take cover. Put anything you can between you and the SAM's radar. When a SAM radar shows on your ALR-67, use a mountain to block it's tracking before and after any launch. Use the mountains, duck into crevices, or use any terrain possible to block radar from staying locked onto you. Then, when the time is right, put your Maverick on target and get out.
On the way home, the enemy will have scrambled multiple Migs to stop your egress. They will cut you off and be looking for you in the valleys. It will require precise judgment in timing when to ascend and face down any of the inbound bandits. After which, you will have to hide back into the valleys to avoid the SAM's, which will surely be on the way to take you down the moment you ascend. This is truly a walk through the viper pit and will require the best of a skilled pilot to make the mission a success. (and yes, it's very doable)
If you make it with the default skill level, you can increase the difficulty to "harder", and then if successful again, se t the skill level to "hardest".