Two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers performed a 19-hour mission over the Atlantic Ocean. They were intercepted multiple times along the way.
On Jan. 29, two Russian Air Force Tu-95 strategic bombers from Engels airbase successfully completed a 19-hour long range mission over neutral waters near the Barents and Norwegian Seas, the Atlantic Ocean.
Even though according to the Office of Press and Information of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation “All flights of the [Russian] Air Force were carried out in strict accordance with international regulations on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states,” during their tour, the strategic bombers flew quite close to the UK airspace, causing “disruption to civil aviation”.
RAF Typhoons supported by a Voyager tanker deployed to Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas to take part in Ex. Red Flag. And here are a few cool photos of the lead formation en-route.
Last week, the lead formation of RAF Voyager and four Typhoon FGR4 multi-role aircraft deployed to Nellis AFB, near Las Vegas, where they will attend exercise Red Flag.
The formation crossed the Atlantic Ocean and went “feet dry” over the U.S. East Coast near Charleston then few across the U.S. the last leg of their 6,000 mile trip to the airbase in Nevada which brought the formation over the Grand Canyon.
The flight over the Grand Canyon National Park provided a unique opportunity for the RAF photographers aboard the tanker to take some stunning images of the snow-capped rims.
UK may be forced to review Falkland Islands air defenses to face a renewed threat in South Atlantic.
According to a report in the Daily Express newspaper, the Argentine Air Force is to get a dozen Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer attack planes from Russia in return for foodstuff.
As a consequence, the UK Ministry of Defense is in the process of reviewing the Falkland Islands air defenses, as the delivery of the supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft ahead of the delivery and full operating capability of the two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers could pose a threat to the islands, referred to as “Malvinas” by the Argentine.
We don’t know whether the potential deal includes armament; still the possible delivery of Su-24s to Argentina makes the Falkland Islands a bit more vulnerable to an attack by the Fuerza Aérea Argentina than it will be until the FAA operates a fleet of aging Mirage III or A-4 Skyhawks, the same jets defeated by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy during the Falklands War.
“Dummy” weapons (identical in shape and weight to the original ones) were tested during 9 flights in different configurations of both weapons types on two F-35Bs, flown by Billie Flynn, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 test pilot and Squadron Leader Andy Edgell from the RAF.
According to the team, which included personnel from BAE Systems, “the initial tests are an important step in integrating weapons onto the F-35B, allowing test pilots to understand how they affect the way the aircraft performs and handles.”
Such tests are the first step towards full interoperability of the two weapons, already used by the Royal Air Force on its existing fleet, with the F-35B, destined to enter in UK’s active service, with both the RAF and Royal Navy by 2018.
As already highlighted in the past, whilst carrying significant payload on external wing pylons makes the JSF more “convincing” as a multi-role platform, it makes the plane much less stealthy as well.
Indeed, it looks like someone mistook the vapour contrails left by one the aircraft based at RAF Lossiemouth waiting for landing on a holding pattern, and thought that a rude shape was drawn on purpose by one of the British pilots.
However, as you can see in the photo below, much fantasy is needed to see something pervert in the so-called “racetrack” flown by the RAF jets at high altitude…
The contrails (short for condensation trails) appear for the quick condensation of the water vapour that is contained in the exhaust of the engines and in the surrounding air (due to a quick decrease in pressure and temperature) and crystallization of it around the solid aerosol particles ejected by the aircraft’s engines. As temperatures where the change of state happens are extremely low (from -40° Celsius), contrails should appear from altitudes around 8.500 meters (in ISA, International Standard Atmosphere, that has a ground temperature of 15° C and a vertical temperature gradient of -6,5° C/1,000 meters).
RAF Lossiemouth is one of the main operating bases within UK, home to both Tornado and Typhoon squadrons.