Tag Archives: F-16

Polish Cold War era Su-22 Fitters have received a new color scheme as part of a modernization package

Polish Su-22 Fitters Receive A Modernization Package Including A Change Of The Color Scheme

Last year, the Polish Ministry of Defense decided to extend the operational life, that has lasted for 30 years, of 18 out of 32 Su-22 jets used by the Polish Air Force: 12 Su-22M4 single-seaters and 6 Su-22M3K two-seat trainers will remain in active service according to the report published by the Polska Zbrojna outlet.

All of the Polish Su-22’s are stationed in Świdwin, at the 21st Air Base.

The modernization plan assumes that the jets are going to be fitted with new avionics, including the imperial gauges in the cockpit, along with a new radio and flight recorder.

Still, the change which is most visible is the new camouflaged color scheme: the Polish fighter-bombers received a new, gray-toned paint scheme.

All of the modernization works are being carried out by the Bydgoszcz Military Aviation Works, the same facility which performs the maintenance of the Polish F-16. According to the statement made by Waldemar Topol, Director of Operations at the WZL plant, works on a single jet will take nine months on average.

The works involve disassembly and general repairs of the critical components that have a significant impact on flight safety. Structural properties of the airframes are also being closely examined.

Secondly, the cockpit flight instrumentation is going to be rescaled into the imperial system. Even though the Polish crews are used to quickly perform the units conversion, the change of the instruments is going to improve standardization (as well as pilots comfort), especially in case of the operations conducted together with the NATO allies.

The color change will give the Polish Fitters a livery similar to that of the Polish F-16s.

A flight test program is going to be executed, before the aircraft return to Świdwin.

What is more, during the Bydgoszcz Air Fair event, a modernized MiG-29 with a new paint scheme, resembling the one utilized by the Polish F-16 was also presented. Images emerged on some of the Polish aviation-related forums.

Prolonging the lifetime of the 18 airframes will make it possible to continue the training of the pilots who would be assigned to other squadrons, and the Fitters would still be supporting the Polish Special Forces or the Navy, as Polska Zbrojna reports.

When it comes to the Su-22 airframes that are not going to be refurbished, the last one is to be withdrawn in 2018. The pilots flying the Fitters claim that despite their age, the airframes are still very reliable.

Image Credit: Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze Nr 2 S.A.

 

U.S. F-15s, Turkish and Pakistani F-16s among the highlights of Exercise Anatolian Eagle

Turkish, U.S. and NATO combat planes took part in the Anatolian Eagle exercise at Konya airbase.

Constantly attracting a significant amount of foreign air arms, Anatolian Eagle, a medium-scale exercise held at Konya airbase, in central Turkey, has become a high-tech exercise that gives participating units the opportunity to assess their capabilities and readiness for war, to improve multinational cooperation, and to test new weapons systems: some extremely important tasks, especially for nations such as Turkey which face increasing instability, pressure and threats along their borders.

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The exercise features the same war environment Turkish and allied (or simply “friendly”) pilots would encounter during the very first days of a modern conflict: many aircraft, complex missions, COMAO (Combined Air Operation) packages, numerous targets and numerous threats, including SAM (Surface to Air Missile) systems and dreadful aggressors.

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This year, from Jun. 7 to 18, Ex. Anatolian Eagle was attended by large U.S. Air Force contingent, made of 12 F-15C Eagle jets, belonging to the 493rd Fighter Squadron from RAF Lakenheath accompanied by approximately 250 personnel, Pakistani Air Force F-16s, Spanish Air Force F-18 Hornets and RAF Typhoons, along with Turkish F-16s, F-4s and Boeing 737 AEW&C Peace Eagle.

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The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito flew to Konya to take the stunning images you can find in this post.

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Hordes of spotters have been allowed to take photographs during the Spotters Days on Jun. 17, 18 and 19.

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Stunning pics of a B-52 strategic bomber doing some heavy carpet bombing in Jordan

B-52 Stratofortress bomber doing what it does best.

The photographs in this post were taken during a combined live fire demonstration in Wadi Shadiya, Jordan, May 18.

They show a B-52H from 2nd Bomb Wing, from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, drop some 500-lb GBU-38 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) bombs during the “monumental military demonstration” that was the final event of Exercise “Eager Lion” a recurring multinational exercise designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, increase interoperability between partner nations, and enhance regional security and stability.

Noteworthy, the two B-52 Stratofortress bombers that marked the first participation of strategic bombers to Eager Lion, performed a 30-plus hour, 14,000 mile nonstop mission to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.

Buff carpet bombing

They coordinated the attack with Jordanian JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) and, after the attack run, overflew the range escorted by two Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16s.

In addition to 5,000 U.S. servicemen, the two-week yearly exercise saw the participation of Jordanian forces as well as contingents from 16 other countries for a total force of about 10,000 troops.

The exercise was held among five sites across Jordan and based on the scenario of a friendly contingent committed to the aid of an allied nation under threat by an aggressive neighbor. Along with the U.S. Air Force strategic bombers, Jordanian tactical planes and U.S. Army helicopters of the 185th Theater Aviation Brigade’s aviation task force, EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) teams, Seabees and patrol craft were used to perform port security in Aqaba, Jordan’s only coastal city, while a Marine crisis-response force out of Kuwait took part in the drills, practicing non-combatant evacuation operation (NCO) by means of MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft in the north.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

 

[Video] Red Flag 15-2 Night Launches

Evening activity at Nellis AFB during Red Flag Aerial Warfare Exercise 2015-2

We have already explained what happens on the flight line at Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas, during Red Flag exercises.

This video shows local planes along with aircraft deployed to the airbase in Nevada to attend Red Flag 15-2, including U.S. B-52 Stratofortress bombers, EA-6B Prowlers and Norwegian F-16s, taxi and launch for their night sorties.

Enjoy.

 

Polish Air Force F-16s join one of the most important NATO exercises in central Europe

Polish Air Force F-16s take part in Frisian Flag 2015 exercise

According to a report published by the Polska-Zbrojna media outlet, six Polish F-16 Block 52+ fighters from Łask airbase are currently involved in “Frisian Flag 2015” exercise, taking place at Leeuwarden AB, in the Netherlands.

The Dutch-based exercise is considered one of the most important NATO training events this year. It will involve U.S. Florida Air National Guard F-15 Eagles (currently deployed in Leeuwarden), Dutch F-16 Fighting Falcons, Finnish F/A-18 Hornets, German and Italian Eurofighters, along with NATO E-3A AWACS component and flying tankers from France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

When it comes to the Polish involvement, the PolAF has sent six F-16 jets to the exercise: five single-seater jets and one F-16D  two-seater aircraft.

Not only is the Frisian Flag exercise aimed at conducting training combat sorties, but it also aims to train COMAO (composite air operations), whose purpose is to practice sorties in large formations and to bolster the interoperability of the NATO air forces.

Notably, the exercise will also contribute to enhance skills in aerial refueling operations and in cooperation with JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) in air-to-surface missions; all missions will be conducted in a dense EW (Electronic Warfare) environment.

After attending Frisian Flag 2015, the Polish F-16 fighters are also going to attend the NATO “Air Meet” and the NATO Tiger Meet in Turkey, the annual meeting of the NATO Squadrons that have Tiger  emblems.

Image credit: Tim Felce/Wiki