Tag Archives: F-16

Egypt and UAE Air Force jets behind mysterious airstrikes on Islamist militias in Libya

UAE and Egypt Air Force jets have conducted the mysterious series of airstrikes in Libya, a U.S. officials said earlier today.

The mysterious airstrikes that have hit Islamist militias in Tripoli at least twice during the last week were carried out by Egypt and United Arab Emirates warplanes.

This is what U.S. officials said, according to the New York Times.

Interestingly, the airstrikes were not coordinated with the U.S.: Washington was not even informed about the raids, even though some American planes have operated over Tripoli, supporting the recent evacuation of the US Embassy as well as performing surveillance missions in the area.

It looks like the aircraft (or most of them) launched from Egyptian airbases (although Cairo has always denied a direct involvement in Libya) with UAE Air Force providing aircrews, attack planes and aerial refuelers.

The first airstrikes hit various Islamist militias positions in Tripoli including an ammo depot. A second round of strikes concentrated in the southern part of the city where vehicles and rocket launchers were bombed.

Libyan authorities were unable to establish which was behind the mysterious airstrikes even if some debris, including a fin of the guidance kit for Mk 82s, pointed towards air forces equipped with aircraft capable to drop GBU-12 Paveway II 500-pound laser-guided bombs.

Now, American officials have unveiled the U.S. has collected enough evidence to determine UAE planes carried out the attacks.

Interestingly, UAE Air Force jets have already bombed Libya during 2011 Air War, when F-16s usually armed with 2 GBU-12s, 4 AIM-120 AMRAAMs and SNIPER pod (along with Mirage 2000s) took part in NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.

The airstrikes have failed to prevent militias from gaining control of Tripoli airport.

Image via anonymous source

[Photo] EP-3E ARIES II spyplane over Tripoli during U.S. Embassy evacuation

U.S. Embassy “relocation” was supported by F-16, MV-22 Osprey as well as EP-3E Aries II aircraft

The US embassy in Tripoli, Libya, was evacuated with staff “relocated” to Tunisia in the early hours of Saturday Jul. 26 amid continuing clashes between rival militias in the capital and fighting at the airport.

Although the DoD said both F-16s and MV-22 Ospreys and ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft supported the evacuation, it did not unveil U.S. Navy EP-3E ARIES II signal intelligence platforms were involved in the operation.

The presence of the U.S. Navy spyplane was exposed by a picture that was posted on the Facebook page of Ejjaw Kollah group.

The ARIES II is a highly modified version of the P-3C that became famous on Apr. 1, 2001 when one such planes and its crew were detained for 11 days  following a collision with a Chinese J-8IIM fighter (that crashed causing the death of the pilot) and the subsequent emergency landing at Ligshui airbase, in Hainan island.

The U.S. Navy spyplane, most probably operating out of Sigonella, Italy, was already spotted over Libya in 2012. At the time there were rumors the aircraft was involved in operations aimed at detecting and tracking smuggled weapons travelling towards Egypt and destined to Gaza.

Below, an image of an F-16 (from Aviano airbase?) circling over Tripoli.

F-16 over Libya

Image credit: Ejjaw Kollah

[Video] Turkish F-16′s ultra low landing at Waddington Airshow

Solo Turk F-16 buzzes the heads of spotters and photographers outside the fence at UK airbase.

If you want to take nice, close up, footage or images of military aircraft on final approach, then RAF Waddington, in the UK (home of the British drone force) is the right airport for you.

Each time the local airshow attracts aircraft from all around the world, there is a good chance to take some interesting photographs or footage of warplanes coming low, very low, on final approach for landing.

The following video was filmed there, on Jul. 5, at the end of the display of the Turkish Air Force Solo Türk aerobatic display team’s F-16C Block 40.

By the way, it’s not only a matter of how low the pilot flew the final approach: there are airports in Europe where runway threshold is so close to the airfield perimeter that you can have your head buzzed by a plane’s landing gear.

 

NATO Tiger Meet 2014′s most fancy combat planes

NATO Tiger Meet is an annual exercise that gathers squadrons sporting Tiger (or feline) emblems. Planes that attend it, usually get painted in tiger outfits. As happened during 2014 edition in Germany.

NATO Tiger Meet (NTM) is a two-week multi-national mid-size exercise that includes all types of air-to-air and air-to-ground and a wide variety of support missions, comprising CSAR and large COMAOs (Composite Air Operations).

NTM2014 (with spotters days on Jun. 19 and 23) was held at Schleswig – Jagel, in northern Germany.

Along with the first Eurofighter Typhoon in tiger color scheme, several other aircraft attended the drills with brand new, flamboyant tiger color schemes: French Rafales, Polish F-16 Block 52+ jets, Turkish F-16Cs, and Czech JAS-39 Gripen sported cool tiger liveries.

Eurofighter Typhoon

The images in this post, showing some of the most fancy special colored combat planes, were taken by The Aviationist’s photographer Tony Lovelock during NTM2014.

Who wins?

211 Sqn CzAF

Czech AF JAS-39 Gripen 211 Sqn

 

211 Sqn JAS 39

Czech AF JAS-39 211 Sqn

 

313 Sqn

Royal Netherlands AF F-16 313 Sqn

 

F-16 31 Sqn

Belgian AF F-16 31 Sqn

 

F-16 Polaf.pdf

Polish AF F-16 Block 52+ 6 Sqn

 

JAS39 Gripen

Czech AF JAS-39 Gripen 211 Sqn

 

Mirage 2000

French AF Mirage 2000-5F ECE 05.330

 

Rafale

French AF Rafale EC 1/7

 

Typhoon taxi

German AF Eurofighter Typhoon Fighterwing 74.

 

[Video] U.S. F-16s, Swedish Gripens refuel from KC-135 tankers during Baltic Operations

Tankers play a major role during real ops and large drills. Like BALTOPS 2014.

The following videos were filmed from different KC-135s belonging to the 100 ARW (Air Refueling Wing) from RAF Mildenhall, during BALTOPS 2014 exercise in Northern Europe.

One of the KC-135s equipped with flying boom, refueled some of the 18 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, deployed to Lask Air Base, Poland.

The other Stratotanker refueled Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripens by means of the hose released by the underwing pods. The so-called hose and drogue system is used for aircraft equipped with the IFR (In Flight Refueling) probe (U.S. Navy standard) whereas the rigid, telescoping tube with movable flight control surfaces (the “boom”) is used to refuel those aircraft equipped with the U.S. Air Force standard AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) receptacle.

Noteworthy, the U.S. planes depicted in the footage carry (dummy) missiles, whilst Swedish Gripens are unarmed.

H/T to Lars-Gunnar Holmstrom for the heads-up