Russia’s NATO to have its own Air Force May 25, 2013Posted by Jacek Siminski in : Military Aviation , add a comment
Taking into account the latest crisis events that include the Steadfast Jazz Exercise in Poland and the Zapad 2013 event, as well as simulated attack on Sweden, it is interesting that the Russian NATO counterpart, CSTO, is going to have own air force, as it was revealed by Russian documents last month.
Collective Security Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance between Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
Image credit: Igor Dvurekov/Wiki
The eventual Collective Air Force (CAF) would be equipped with combat helicopters (provided by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) to conduct CAS (Close Air Support) missions, and cargo planes, to move CSTO forces supporting the alliance’s operations.
However, the information may not be totally viable, as the budget of CSTO is tight.
According to defence24.pl analyst, Piotr Maciążek, two upcoming events could led to the creation of such air component.
First, NATO is preparing to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, leaving the country unstable. The Russians have already claimed that they are going to send some ‘peacekeepers’ to the ex-Taliban-ruled country.
Second, the succession in Uzbekistan, which has a great chance of destabilizing the region.
Provided it can be funded by the participating countries, each providing the required assets, with its own Air Force, CSTO would have the capability to intervene in the region should the need to police it arise.
Written with David Cenciotti
Related articlesHelicopters , add a comment
On May 17, the Italian Army celebrated the 40th anniversary of the CH-47 Chinook (“Cino” as it is nicknamed in Italy) helicopter with a ceremony held at Viterbo airport.
Along with the Chinook in a special color scheme, the ceremony featured a tactical event involving other assets of the Italian Army Air Cavalry: the A-129 attack helicopter and the NH-90, as the following images, taken by The Aviationist’s photographer Giovanni Maduli show.
The NH-90 on the ground, boarding special forces.
Here below, the CH-47 with a Bambi Bucket.
Image credit: The Aviationist’s Giovanni Maduli
Recent articlesChina, Military Aviation , 1 comment so far
The following Google Earth screenshots were taken by The Aviationist reader Nicolae Sinu.
They show the airfield in Tibet where five Chinese J-11 fighter jets (indigenous Su-27 Flankers) appear to be based.
The base is a part of Chinese strategy of widening China’s power in the Indian region and it is considered to be a response to the Indian air bases of Chabua and Tezpur in Assam region.
Image credit: Google Earth
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It must have been a smokey morning at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, when the following video was filmed.
During this training events, aircraft are launched by a method known “cart-starts” from cartridge starts: a small-controlled explosive is inserted into two of the eight engines of the heavy bomber. The charges jumpstart the engines (the remaining engines are started while the aircraft taxies to the runway) removing the need to use ground equipment normally used for aircraft’s startup.
Using cart-starts, startup time is cut from more than an hour to less than 10 minutes.
China deploys Su-27 fighter jets to Tibet May 23, 2013Posted by Jacek Siminski in : China, Military Aviation , 1 comment so far
The Chinese have recently created a Su-27 airbase in Tibet, as CNN-IBN reports. It was made official just recently as several of these planes were spotted in Gonkar airbase last winter.
Image credit: People’s Daily Online
Lack of infrastructure and high altitude (about 11,500 feet above the Sea Level) are claimed to be limiting factor for the operationability of the Flankers.
Altitude is said not only to affect the planes, but also the pilots who have to get used to lack of oxygen at that altitude, just like Himalayan climbers do.
It is claimed by CNN that enough infrastructure has been created for the fighters. It has been built for several years in secrecy and that’s why India, that is located in a close vicinity, feels endangered.
The base is a part of Chinese strategy of widening China’s power in the Indian region. The base is considered to be a response to the Indian air bases of Chabua and Tezpur in Assam region. These bases are home for Indian Su-30MKI‘s capable of hitting targets in Tibet and China.
On the flipside, the Indian territories that are within the operational range of the Chinese fighters are located between Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh regions.
Image Credit: Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Air Force, US DoD
When it comes to airports located quite high the Lukla airport in Nepal is one of the most famous ones. This airport is a base for climbers who are planning Mt. Everest expeditions. Nevertheless it is not located as high as the Chinese base (about 9,400 feet).
Here’s a bit scary video showing a landing at Lukla airport:
And another one, showing how the airport works from another perspective:
The runway ends with an almost vertical surface of the mountain, therefore it is one-way runway, without touch and go or go around options.
Nevertheless, despite being dangerous, the second video shows that it is quite busy.
Coming back to the Su-27s, the Chinese fighters stationed in the region are a part of established Nash equillibrium, as both India and China are in possession of nuclear armament: the recontextualization of Cold War political scheme is still present within the global political landscape.
Jacek Siminski for The Aviationist