Category Archives: Aircraft Carriers

Impressive previously unreleased footage shows how two F-14 Tomcats shot down two Gaddafi’s MiG-23s

Watch the full declassified footage of the second Gulf of Sidra Incident.

After two F-14As from VF-41 Black Aces shot down two Su-22 Fitters on Aug. 19, 1981, the Tomcat faced again LARAF (Libyan Arab Republic Air Force) fighters on Jan. 4, 1989, when two jets from VF-32 Swordsmen shot down a pair of MiG-23 Floggers.

In the following video you can see, for the very first time, the whole dogfight, including previously unreleased (at least not available on the Web) footage.

The air-to-air combat occurred during a freedom of navigation exercise conducted by Sixth Fleet off the Libyan coastline.

The two VF-32 F-14s, BuNo. 159610, call sign “Gypsy 207” flown by Swordsmen skipper Commander Joseph B. Connelly and by Commander Leo F. Enwright as Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) and BuNo. 159437, call sign “Gypsy 202″ crewed by Lieutenant Hermon C. Cook III and Lieutenant Commander Steven P. Collins as RIO, were flying Combat Air Patrol (CAP) from USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), when an E-2C detected the two MiGs taking off from Bumbah air base.

The Floggers, heading towards the U.S. Navy jets, were picked by the F-14s’ AN/AWG-9 radar at a distance of 72 miles.

As proved by the radio communications between the aircrews involved in the engagement, the VF-32 fighters performed avoidance maneuvers for five times to avoid confrontation, but the LARAF aircraft matched their turns every time.

Then at 6 minutes and 27 seconds in the footage, at a range of 12.9 miles you can hear Gypsy 207 calling for a “Fox One” shot, meaning that he has just fired a Sparrow which, probably because of a guidance problem, misssed the target. The F-14s and MiGs continued to move closer until, at 6 minutes and 37 seconds in the video, Gypsy 202 fired another Sparrow at a distance of about ten miles against the same Flogger, destroying it.

At 7 minutes and 21 seconds the clip shows that, with the remaining Flogger now in their eyeballs, Connelly and Enwright took advantage of their action to get back of the MiG-23 calling for a “Fox Two” shot  (referring to the launch of a Sidewinder) at 7 minutes and 36 seconds. Noteworthy at 7 minutes and 44 seconds the missile hit the second Flogger downing it.

The two Libyan pilots managed to eject at the last minute ending the engagement.

Here you find the full story of the aerial combat. Chunks of the footage were released by the DoD shortly after the incident.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

Two Russian TU-142 Bears fly close to USS Reagan that launches four (armed) Hornets in response

Interesting close encounter off the Korean peninsula.

On Oct. 27, USS Ronal Regan, sailing in international waters east of the Korean peninsula, had to scramble four F/A-18 Hornets after two Russian Navy Tu-142 Bear aircraft flew within a nautical mile of the U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

The four Navy Hornets escorted the Tu-142, an ASW (anti-submarine warfare) variant of the iconic Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber, away from the U.S. warship.

This is not the first time a Russian warplane buzzes a U.S. flattop: in 2008, USS Nimitz operating in the Pacific had to launch some Hornets to intercept and escort two Tu-95s approaching the carrier.

More recently, in April 2014, a Su-24 Fencer flew multiple passes at 500 feet above sea level, within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, the U.S. Navy destroyer operating in the Black Sea at that time: a behaviour that the ship commander considered “provocative and inconsistent with international agreements.”

On Mar. 3, 2015, Russian Su-30s and Su-24s aircraft from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea conducted attack runs on NATO warships operating in the Black Sea “to practice penetrating anti-air systems.”

Image credit: U.S. Navy


Cool wide-angle lens picture shows a USMC F/A-18C performing a trap landing during carrier qualifications

This beautiful photo gives you a very different perspective of a typical trap landing.

Taken on Oct. 23, this cool photo features an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the  Sharpshooters of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 101 catching an arresting gear cable as it lands onto USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) flight deck.

Stennis’ crew is currently conducting fleet replacement squadron (FRS) carrier qualifications (CQ), which consists of both day and night operations.

While regular flight operations can involve launching 2-3 aircraft at a time with 1-2 hours between launches, fleet replacement squadron CQ is a 12-hour continuous flight evolution.

In order for FRS pilots to qualify and advance into a fleet squadron the pilot must successfully complete six landings during the day and four landings during the night aboard an aircraft carrier.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

Gorgeous images of U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets during UNITAS Pacific exercise

Some cool air-to-air images taken during UNITAS 2015 Exercise.

UNITAS 2015, the U.S. Navy‘s longest annual multinational maritime exercise, is part of the Southern Seas deployment planned by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. This 56th edition of UNITAS is conducted in two phases: UNITAS Pacific, hosted by Chile, Oct. 13-24, 2015 and UNITAS Atlantic, hosted by Brazil scheduled for November.

U.S. Navy aircraft embarked on the USS George Washington (CVN 73), such as the F/A-18E Super Hornet from the “Kestrels” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137 and the F/A-18F Super Hornet from the “Bounty Hunters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 2 featured in these pictures, are also part of the exercise.

Super Hornet

Chilean Air Force F-16s take part to UNITAS 2015 too, and on Oct. 20, three of them performed a flypast over the USS George Washington in formation with three Super Hornets.


Image credit: U.S. Navy


The MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in this video looks like a transformer in the act of transforming

Before you look at this video, you must be aware they’re not filming the new Transformers movie.

The following footage shows a Bell Boeing MV-22, the U.S. Marine Corps variant of the Osprey tilt-rotor, on the flight deck of the amphibious ship USS Boxer, before taking off.

Filmed during well deck operations, this Osprey was taking part to Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015, a multinational training exercise conducted from Aug. 31 to Sep. 10 by Expeditionary Strike Group 3 (ESG-3) and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (1st MEB) to build U.S., Japan, Mexico and New Zealand’s amphibious, and command and control capabilities through live, simulated, and constructive military training activities.

Maybe it’s because it was taken as it was unfolding its wings, but don’t you think this Osprey looks like a Transformer in the act of transforming?