Hear a Turkish Air Force radar station warning an unknown aircraft about to enter the Turkish airspace.
On Nov. 24, a Russian Air Force Su-24M belonging to the contingent deployed to Latakia, in western Syria, was shot down by a Turkish Air Force F-16 after violating Ankara’s airspace in the Hatay region.
Here you can find all the details about the downing and subsequent CSAR (Combat SAR) mission launched by Russian choppers, one of those was destroyed by rebels on the ground, where the helicopter had performed an emergency landing.
The two Russian pilots, who ejected from the Su-24 in flames, died in the incident (it’s still unclear whether at least one of them died before it touched the ground or was killed by the rebels who reportedly gunned the two parachutes).
According to the Turkish authorities, the Russian plane was warned 10 times in 5 minutes while it approached the boundary with another Su-24, before it was engaged.
The violation was extremely short: flying at 19,000 feet, the Fencer crossed the Turkish airspace for 17 seconds. While one of the Fencers egressed towards the Syrian airspace, the doomed Su-24 was hit by an air-to-air missile (AIM-9X, based on the Russian report that mentions an IR-guided weapon; other sources suggested it may have been an AIM-120).
Interestingly, the Russian MoD denied any warning was radioed (by the F-16) to the Russian Su-24 at all.
#SYRIA#Rudskoy Objective monitoring data confirmed no attempts of Turkish plane to establish communication or visual contact with Rus crew
This may be true because it was for sure a Turkish Air Force radar station to warn the Russian plane and to urge it to head south, away from the border.
The following audio was recorded on the international UHF Emergency frequency 243.000 MHz by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous. We have no way to verify whether the audio was really recorded earlier today and we must highlight that similar messages have been radioed to unknown/Russian aircraft in the vicinity of the Turkish airspace in the past as well and recorded/heard by radio-hams and airband listeners located in Turkey and Greece.
However, some Turkish media outlets have already published a similar recording released by the TuAF in the aftermath of the shoot-down.
Provided it was recorded today, the audio would confirm both the Turkish and Russian versions: the TuAF radar warned the “unknown” plane (as claimed by Ankara) and it was not one of the F-16 to radio the message to the Su-24 (as claimed by Moscow).
Now, listen to the audio (if you can’t see the player below click here):
Images coming from Syria show a Su-24 Fencer in flames. And it’s Russian.
On Nov. 24 the Turkish Air Force shot down what appears to be a Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer that, according to the first reports, violated Turkey’s airspace.
It’s unclear whether the aircraft was shot down by a TuAF F-16 (as some media have reported) or by a Turkish Army anti-aircraft battery but, what really matters is that according to Turkish Presidency, the Su-24 shot down in the morning of Nov. 24 belongs to the Russian Air Force contingent in Syria.
The Su-24 Fencer is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft developed in the Soviet Union and serving, among the others, even with the Iranian and Libyan Air Force. It’s twin-engined two-seater plane with a variable geometry wing, designed to perform ultra low level strike missions.
If confirmed this was not the first Russian planes breached into the Turkish airspace. On Oct. 3 and 4 a Russian Air Force Su-30SM and Su-24 aircraft violated Ankara’s sovereign airspace in the Hatay region. NATO said that the Russian combat planes entered Turkish airspace despite Turkish authorities’ “clear, timely and repeated warnings.” In that case, TuAF F-16s in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) were scrambled to identify the intruder, after which the Russian planes departed Turkish airspace. Nevertheless, as if violating the airspace of a NATO member was not enough, the Russian Su-30SM maintained a radar lock on one or both the F-16s for a full 5 minutes and 40 seconds. According the Russians, the violation was due to a “navigation error.” Following the incident Ankara said it would shot down any aircraft violating their sovereign airspace as done in the past with the Syrian Mig-23 and Mi-17. Last month there were rumors that a Russian plane had been shot down by the Turkish Air Force near the border that proved to be false.
Update: here’s the radar picture showing both the Su-24 and the F-16 tracks. The violation was quite short (17 seconds). According to the Turkish authorities the Russian plane was issued 10 warnings in 5 minutes before being shot down. According to the Russian MoD, no violation occurred at all.
#SYRIA During all flight time, aircraft was flying only within borders of Syrian territory. Objective monitoring data shows it — Минобороны России (@mod_russia) November 24, 2015
Both pilots ejected. One Both died (the photo of one of them has appeared on Social Media). Russian Mi-8 helicopter escorted by Mi-24 gunship from Latakia were spotted searching for the aircrew in Syrian territory:
Update: there are reports (still unconfirmed) that rebels shot down one of the rescue choppers. However, according to ACIG editor Tom Cooper the Russian CSAR helo was heavily shot up by insurgent ground fire and limped back to Russian helidrone at Istamo (south of Lattakia). Reportedly, no crewmember was injured.
Have you ever wondered what type of subs European or Mediterranean nations operate? Here’s the answer.
Modern submarines are used for a wide variety of tasks: (attacking or) protecting aircraft carriers (as in the case of U.S. Navy subs included in Carrier Strike Groups), defending territorial waters, attacking enemy or merchant ships, running a blockade, gathering intelligence (directly or by means of drones), inserting special forces, as well as launching ballistic cruise missiles (even with targeting guidance of tactical jets) in a conventional or nuclear land attack scenario.
All the most advanced navies operate a submarine force for one or more of the above mentioned missions and in case you were wondering the type/class and number of nuke and conventional subs in in service with European and Mediterranean nations, the infographic, prepared by @Naval_Graphics, is what you were looking for.
The chart also shows the strength of the Russian Northern, Baltic and Black Sea Fleets. Interestingly, at least one Borei-class strategic nuclear submarine is assigned to the European theater.
Borei class submarines will form the backbone for Russian Naval strategic nuclear forces by 2025-2030, replacing several other types of submarines, including the larger Typhoons. Each submarine of the Borei class will be able to carry 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles, each one with a range up to 11,000 km and able to carry nuclear warheads.
Russian subs often operate near the territorial waters of northern European nations, like Sweden and the UK, with Maritime Patrol Aircraft struggling to locate and track them.
What makes the shot particularly interesting (and vaguely Star Wars-like…) is the halo effect caused by the sand hitting the blades and eroding their metal surface. The effect is more visible around the blades’ tips where the peripheral speed is higher.
Caused by the oxidation of eroded particles, the so-called “Kopp-Etchells effect” (named by war correspondent Michael Yon after Cpl. Benjamin Kopp, and Cpl. Joseph Etchells, two fallen American and British soldiers) makes the tilt-rotor aircraft more visible from distance, hence more vulnerable.
Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps. H/T @DCDude1776 for the heads-up
On the same day, Su-34 Fullbacks launched 16 sorties against ground targets in Syria taking off from Krimsk airbase, in Russia.
Interestingly, during their transit across Middle East, the Russian strategic bombers were escorted by Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-14 Tomcat, Mig-29 Fulcrum andF-4 Phantom jets whose prior mission to visually observe activity of Russian bombers inside the Iranian airspace, from their entry point to the exit point.
Military aviation historian and journalist Babak Taghvaee has prepared an interesting infographic that provides lots of details about the Russian strategic bombers missions to Syria as well as about the Iranian chase planes.
Click below for a higher resolution version of the file.