Category Archives: Helicopters

Video shows Armenian Mi-24 gunship helicopter hit and shot down with MANPADS by Azeri forces

A video seems to show the downing of an Mi-24 Hind helicopter belonging to the Armed Forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

On Nov. 12, at around 1.45PM LT, a Mil Mi-24 belonging to Armed Forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was shot down as it flew about 1,7 Km northeast of the village of Kengerli in the Agdam district of Azerbaijan by the Azeri army.

According to Armenian media outlets, the helicopters were involved in a training mission close to the border and the shooting down is the result of ceasefire violation by the Azerbaijani side.

Azeri Ministry of Defense stated that the Mi-24 was shot down while performing an attack run on Azeri troops.

Footage shows what seems to be a MANPADS hit one of the two low-flying Mi-24 Hind helicopters.

Image credit: Armradio.am

H/T Matt Fanning for sending us the link to the video and to Arda Mevlutoglu for providing additional information

 

Spectacular Photo of U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with the full moon in the background

A quite unusual photo caught a U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command’s CV-22 Osprey with the full moon in the background.

Taken close to RAF Mildenhall, UK, on Oct. 7, 2014, by Gary Chadwick, the spectacular photo in this article shows a U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with the 7th SOS (Special Operations Squadron) flying a night mission with a full moon in the background.

The 7th SOS is a component squadron of the 352nd SOG (Special Operations Group) whose role is infiltration and exfiltration of troops from hostile, sensitive, behind-the-enemy-lines locations.

Along with the Ospreys, the Squadron flies the MC-130H Combat Talon II (that will eventually be replaced by the MC-130J Commando II) that, along with supporting special operations (including PSYOPS) in contested airspace, in adverse weather conditions, at low-level and long range, can also perform HAAR (Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling) missions.

Image credit: Gary Chadwick

 

Chinook Forever! First two brand new ICH-47F enter active service with Italian Army

The Italian Army has been delivered the first two examples of a new Chinook variant, designated ICH-47F.

On Oct. 2, during an official ceremony held at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate plant, Italy, the Italian Army received the first two ICH-47F helicopters.

Within the ICH-47F program, the Italian Army Aviation 1st Regiment “Antares” based in Viterbo will receive 16 new Chinooks to replace its CH-47C Chinooks that have been in service since 1973.

The ICH-47F is a customised version of the legendary, legacy Chinook which incorporates a secure communications system, self-protection system and advanced datalink system.

According to AgustaWestland, the new variant has a Maximum All Up Weight (MAUW) of 23 tons, is equipped with two Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines which gives it excellent “hot and high” capability and is suitable for all-weather operations. Even though it can perform a wide variety of missions,  its primary one has obviously remained the same: tactical transportation of troops and equipment, both internally and externally, by means of the aircraft’s cargo hook system.

The ICH-47 is produced by a Joint Industrial Agreement between Boeing and AgustaWestland, that is prime contractor for with responsibility for systems integration, final assembly and aircraft delivery to the Italian Army. Boeing builds the fuselage in the U.S, then final assembly is carried out at Vergiate plant in Northern Italy.

CH-47F new

Image credit: AgustaWestland

 

Italian Navy Elite team conduct disabled submarine rescue training with support of EH-101 Merlin helicopter

Italian Navy EH-101 support SPAG (Submarine Parachute Assistance Group) activities of the e Gruppo Operativo Subacquei (G.O.S.) of COMSUBIN (Italian Navy Operational Divers Group).

Support of SPAG activities is among the tasks assigned to the 1° Gruppo Elicotteri, based at Luni, in northwestern Italy.

SPAG 1

The unit is equipped with EH-101 Merlin helos. Among the variants in service with the squadron, there is also the EH-101 ASH (amphibious support helicopter) used to carry members of the SPAG team including the submarine escape specialists of the GOS (Gruppo Operativo Subacquei – Divers Operative Group) of COMSUBIN (Italian Navy Operational Diver and Raider Command Group), the elite commando frogman force of the Marina Militare.

SPAG 3

Here are some images taken by The Aviationist’s photographer Giovanni Maduli during a SPAG training mission of the GOS in the sea near La Spezia.

SPAG 4

The GOS is made of  various specialists engaged in underwater activities capable to perform rescue of personnel from disabled submarines  to a depth of 300 m; mine clearance operations and port facilities defense.

SPAG 5

Image credit: The Aviationist’s Giovanni Maduli

 

Italian Air Force bids farewell to the HH-3F Pelican C-SAR helicopter

The Italian Air Force has retired the HH-3F Pelican after 37 years of active service. The helicopter was replaced by the HH-139A.

On Sept. 26, with a ceremony held at Pratica di Mare airport, near Rome, Italy, at the presence of the CinC of the Air Staff Gen. Pasquale Preziosa, the Italian Air Force retired the HH-3F Pelican after 37 years of active service, 185,000 flying hours and 7,000 saved lives in Search And Rescue missions (and C-SAR ones) flown across Italy and abroad.

HH-3F side

The HH-3F helicopter, a variant of the Sikorsky S-61R produced by Agusta and in service with the 15° Stormo (Wing), will be replaced by the HH-139A, the AgustaWestland’s multipurpose chopper that the Italian Air Force has purchased in 10 examples.

HH-139A taxi

The HH-139A is equipped with a brand new heavy duty landing gear, secure communications suite, integrated defensive aids suite, hoist, search light, wire cutters, nose mounted FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red), cargo hook, loudspeaker system and emergency floatation gear and any other oddity required to perform “convetional” search and rescue, as well as Combat SAR missions in place of the venerable AB-212 and HH-3F.

The last flight was conducted by HH-3F MM81337 “15-25″ as the images in this post, taken at Pratica di Mare by The Aviationist’s photographer Giovanni Maduli show.

HH-3F and HH-139A

Image credit: The Aviationist’s photographer Giovanni Maduli.