The alert take off of the QRA aircraft was ordered by the CAOC (Combined Air Operations Centre) in Uedem, Germany to intercept a Russian Il-20 on a routine intelligence gathering sortie over the Baltic Sea.
Interestingly, the intercept mission flown by the Italian F-2000s (as the Typhoons are designated within the Aeronautica Militare) was the 27th since the Italian Air Force took over the lead role of BAP on Jan. 1! Quite impressive, if compared to the standard frequency QRA cells are scrambled during the standard national air security service at home.
Interesting footage shows Saudi warplanes involved in Operation Decisive Storm.
On Mar. 25, Saudi Arabia launched the first air strike on targets located in neighbouring Yemen.
Codenamed Operation Decisive Storm, the air war was started to counter the Houthi offensive on Aden, the provisional capital town of the internationally recognized (yet domestically contested) Yemeni government.
As Yemeni President Hadi left Aden to Saudi Arabia, the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) along with several regional air arms launched the first raids against Houthi, who are allied with Yemen’s ousted former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Warplanes from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain are taking part in the operation.
The following footage shows RSAF Tornado IDS, F-15S and Eurofighter Typhoon jets launch and recover, day and night, from King Khalid airbase.
Noteworthy, the clip also shows one of the four Sudanese Air Force Su-24Ms that are taking part in the coalition air strikes in Yemen.
Here below you can find another interesting video, focusing on UAE Air Force contribution to the Operation:
H/T to ACIG.info Forum, for hosting the most interesting thread on the Yemen air war you’ll find on the Web.
According to our sources, this was the very first time a Russian Air Force plane flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad Oblast was flying abeam Latvia, within the Riga FIR (Flight Information Region), heading towards Denmark and the Scandinavian peninsula at supersonic speed.
The Backfire decelerated to subsonic speed and rejoined with the rest of the formation that was picked up by a flight of two Su-27s from Kaliningrad that relieved the other two Flankers.
Although the Russians did not violate any rule, their flying without transponder, without establishing radio contact with any ATC agency, may pose dangers to civilian aviation. Even more so, if the bombers or their escort jets fly at supersonic speed or aggressively react to aircraft that are launched to intercept them.
Some analysts believe the purpose of the flight was provocative: Moscow has recently warned Denmark that if it joins Nato’s missile defense shield, its navy will be a legitimate target for a Russian nuclear attack.
As a side note, on the afternoon on Mar. 24, the Italian Typhoons were scrambled again to perform another supersonic interception of two Su-27 Flanker returning to mainland Russia from Kaliningrad: the pair that had been relieved by the second flight of Flankers earlier on the same day.
H/T to Erik Arnberg for providing additional details.
Image credit: Alex Beltyukov – RuSpotters Team /Wikipedia
Indeed, the Italian F-2000s (as the aircraft are designated within the Italian Air Force) are conducting tests aimed at assessing their potentiality in the air-to-ground role: not only is a multi-role Typhoon capable to carry Paveways and JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions), already used by the ageing Tornado and AMX (that will be replaced by the F-35 in the future), useful for the Aeronautica Militare as it is for the Royal Air Force, but it could also be more appealing for potential foreign buyers.
Although the air superiority role remains priority, considered their ability to use the ordnance in inventory for other aircraft (including the Storm Shadow air launched staff off missile), the Eurofighter will possibly be used in the swing role or as “back up” attack platforms within the Italian Air Force for several years to come.
Noteworthy, as the Bear H aircraft flew close to UK, Tom Hill, a radio enthusiast and reader of The Aviationist, using an HF receiver, recorded the following 6-minute audio.
It’s a coded message believed to be a message passed by the Tu-95 to a female controller on the Russian Air Force Strategic HF Voice net.
Any Russian reader can translate it? If so, leave a comment below.
Interestingly, according to one of our sources, for the first time in several months, the entire Bear mission on Feb. 18 was supported by a Russian airborne command and control aircraft: the Ilyushin Il-80 (NATO reporting name “Maxdome”).