Author Archives: David Cenciotti

Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker reportedly shot down during special operation against separatists

Su-27 and Su-25

One Su-27 Flanker aircraft supporting a special operation to regain control on a military airfield taken from pro-Moscow separatists was reportedly shot down.

On Apr. 15, Ukrainian armed forces launched a special operation to recapture the airport near the town of Kramatorsk, in the Russian speaking east, taken by pro-Moscow separatists.

The operation involved several Ukrainian troops disembarked from helicopters and supported from the air by at least four combat planes: two Su-27 Flanker fighter jets and Su-25 Frogfoot attack planes.

Noteworthy, videos and photographs taken a Kramatorsk during the attack show the aircraft fully armed with live missiles.

Su-27 downed Ukraine

Image credit: via RT

Here below is a footage showing a Su-27 circling at low altitude, relatively low speed, over Kramatorsk: a quite easy target for trained soldiers using MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems) or other Anti-Aircraft weaponry.

 

The news of the Su-27 shot down was spread along with a video allegedly showing the Su-27 (or generally speaking, a Ukrainian aircraft) being shot down even if that was actually footage shot in Syria last year.

Fake:

Real:

H/T to Steppen Wolf for providing additional material.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Europe’s largest military exercise marks first deployment of USN patrol squadron’s P-8A Poseidon in UK

P-8

UK Armed Forces and several partner nations arms battled each other in the air, at sea and on land in Europe’s largest military exercise this year.

From Mar. 31 to Apr. 12, Joint Warrior 14-1 saw over 35 warships, 25 types of aircraft and more than 13,000 military personnel focused on a realistic simulation of a live operation.

The core scenario of the Joint Warrior series of exercises (held twice a year in the UK) is based on the fragmentation of the fictional “Ryanian Empire” into its four constituent nations in the late 1960s, and the intervening period of “history” up to the present day.

RNZAF P-3 taxi

A different scenario is then re-written for each edition. The 14-1 one simulated the creation of a multinational task force to perform a peace enforcing operation following a civil war in the fictional country of “Pastonia” and to support the legitimate government.

Cobham Da20

The aviation segment of the exercise saw RAF Lossiemouth as the drill’s Main Operating Base and featured the U.S. P-8A Poseidon, from VP-5, NAS Jacksonville, at its first deployment in Europe with a front line squadron (the aircraft deployed to the UK with the VX-1 in 2012), along with several other Maritime Patrol Aircraft, including two Royal Canadian Air Force Lockheed CP-140 Aurora from 404 Maritime Patrol and Training Squadron, CFB Greenwood; a Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed P-3K Orion from 5 Squadron, Whenuapai Mil; and a Royal Norwegian Air Force Lockheed P-3C Orion from 333 skvadron, Andøya airbase.

Canadian P-3

Among the assets taking part in the exercise even some Royal Navy BAe Hawk T1 jets from 736 Naval Air Squadron RNAS Culdrose operating out of Lossiemouth.

RN Hawk

Aviation photographer Estelle Calleja visited RAF Lossiemouth during the Joint Warrior 14-1 and took the images that can be found in this article.

USN P-3

Image credit: Estelle Calleja

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Russian Su-24 Fencer attack plane performs multiple passes near U.S. warship in Black Sea

Russian Su-24

A Russian attack plane performed multiple passes near an American warship in the Black Sea.

The aircraft, reportedly a Russian Air Force Su-24 Fencer, flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, the U.S. Navy destroyer currently operating in the Black Sea. According to the Associated Press, the Fencer flew at 500 feet ASL (Above Sea Level) and performed passes that the ship commander considered “provocative and inconsistent with international agreements.”

The ship, that has been operating in the Black Sea since Apr. 10, issued several radio calls and warnings to the Fencer, that was unarmed and was never in real danger of coming in contact with the ship.

Noteworthy, the U.S. warship was also being shadowed by a Russian Navy frigate, but this is just routine during operations conducted in international waters east of Romania.

Such close encounters are quite frequent is seas around the world. Some years ago a pair of Tu-95 Bear flew quite close to USS Nimitz in the Pacific. For sure, when this happens in the Black Sea and amid raising tensions following the Russian invasion of Crimea, the episode assumes a completely different meaning.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Stunning video of machine guns shooting at target drones shows how difficult hitting a remotely piloted aircraft can be

MG vs Target Drone

This video shows how difficult shooting down a small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) can be.

Along with larger UAVs, armed forces around the world also employ several types of smaller remotely piloted planes. Such drones are used for a wide variety of tactical missions, including battlefield surveillance and targeting.

When we posted the images of the bird-like drone believed to be used by the U.S. Army in Pakistan and Iraq someone argued that these small aircraft, more similar to a RC model than a standard UAV, could be an easy target for small arms fire.

This video shows that, given to skilled pilots, these tiny planes can be extremely difficult to hit, even for some trained shooters, thus explaining why they are used in combat quite often.

Filmed during a shooting event at Big Sandy range, in Arizona, the footage shows several MGs shooting at a small drone flying back and forth along a 1/4 mile firing line at day and night.

“I’m sure to those who have never shot a machine gun outside of Call of Duty, it looks like it would be easy to shoot these down,” says the uploader in the about section of the Youtube video. “The vital components of the plane like the engine, battery, receiver, fuel tank, etc. are very small. The main body of the plane is pretty tough and can take numerous hits without affecting it.”

Hence, unless you have plenty of ammo, skilled shooters and patience, such small drones flying over your position can be extremely difficult to shoot down.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dacian Viper 2014: six U.S. F-16 combat planes deployed to Romania

Dacian Viper top

Six U.S. Air Force F-16s have deployed to the 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii, Romania, to train with the local based Mig-21 Lancer jets (and strengthen Washington’s presence at the gates of Ukraine.)

An exercise dubbed “Dacian Viper 2014″ is currently underway in Romania.

It involves six F-16s from the 31st Fighter Wing that have deployed from Aviano, and local based Mig-21s of the 711th Squadron of the Romanian Air Force.

The exercise, due to take place until Apr. 17, is “a bilateral training whose aim is to enhance interoperability and readiness through combined air operations, including air-to-air, air-to-ground and joint tactical air controller training.”

Although the exercise has been planned for over a year,  as U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Austin, 510th Fighter Squadron commander explained, it comes amid growing tensions in Ukraine and Eastern Europe following Russian invasion and subsequent annexation of Crimea.

31FW Fighting Falcons will conduct range operations and joint exercise sorties with Romanian Mig-21 Lancer (as the local, upgraded version of the Soviet Fishbed is dubbed) to enhance interoperability and give Romanian air force personnel knowledge about the F-16 flying program: last year Romania signed a contract to procure 12 F-16s from Portugal, more modern aircraft that will be used to replace the aging MiG-21s.

Dacian Viper 2014

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

Enhanced by Zemanta