Tag Archives: Royal Air Force

Exotic planes, Special Colors and Display Teams at the Malta International Air Show 2014

The yearly Malta International Airshow at Luqa airport, once again proved to be one of the most interesting events in southern Europe.

Held at Malta International Airport in the weekend of Sept. 27-28, the traditional Malta International Airshow featured some really interesting visitors.

EAF C-130

Among the highlights of this year’s edition, the K-8E jet and C-130H Hercules cargo plane of the Egyptian Air Force, the German Navy P-3C, the AW139 of the Italian Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard), the BN2 and Alouette helicopter of the Armed Forces of Malta and the G550 AEW aircraft of the Israeli Air Force.

Egyptian AF K8

Noteworthy, during the Sunday’s Finale, the Red Arrows display team made a flypast escorting an Air Malta A320.

Photographer and The Aviationist’s contributor Estelle Calleja took the following interesting pictures of the airshow.

Image credit: Estelle Calleja

 

Video shows Brimstone anti-armour missile fired by RAF Tornado destroy ISIS armed pick-up in Iraq

Here’s the effect of the first British air strike on ISIS in Iraq.

On Sept. 30, RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft from RAF Akrotiri airbase, Cyprus, attacked ISIS positions in northwestern Iraq.

The two planes, were flying an armed reconnaissance mission when they were tasked to support Kurdish troops who were under attack from ISIS terrorists.

During the second strike, the British “Tonkas” destroyed a “technical” (armed pick-up truck) with a Brimstone missile.

The Brimstone, is a fire-and-forget anti-armour missile, first fielded during 2008 after an urgent operational requirement, used on the RAF’s Harriers during operations over Afghanistan, that became the RAF weapons of choice during  in the Air War over Libya.

The Tornado GR4, that didnt’ carry the Brimstone on their very first armed patrol over Iraq, carry a mixed load out with a single rack of three Brimstones and two Paveway IV 226kg bombs along with the Rafael Litening III targeting pod.

Optimized for use against fast moving platforms, these small guided missiles feature a warhead of 9 kg and have a range of 7.5 miles. They use a millimeter wave (mmW) radar seeker with a semi-active laser (SAL) that enables final guidance to the target by either the launching platform or another plane, and are perfect to destroy a vehicle with very low collateral damage risk, and an accuracy of about 1 – 2 meters.

Brimstone is an extensive redevelopment of the AGM-114 Hellfire and can be used on fast jets, helicopters and UAVs.

 

RAF Tornado GR4 attack planes perform first strike mission in Iraq (but don’t drop any bomb on ISIS)

Two Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s performed a mission over Iraq. Although they carried some Laser Guided Bombs, the two British attack planes didn’t use them, as they did not find suitable targets.

On Sept. 27, two RAF Tornado GR4s, deployed at Akrotiri airbase, in Cyprus, performed an armed reconnaissance mission in company with other planes from the international coalition, over Iraq.

Tornado Shader

Although the British Parliament has approved an attack role for the 6 “Tonkas” currently committed to Operation Shader and limited until yesterday to the reconnaissance role, the two attack jets which flew over Iraq earlier today did not drop any bomb on ground targets, as no “appropriate target” was identified.

The RAF Tornado jets, supported by a Voyager tanker, carried three Paveway IV LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs) and a Litening III pod that enabled the aircraft to gather intelligence that, according to the UK MoD “will be invaluable to the Iraqi authorities and their coalition partners in developing the best possible understanding of ISIL’s disposition and help acquire potential targets for future operations, either by aircraft or Iraqi ground forces.”

Tornado Shader Paveway

Image credit: RAF / Crown Copyright, Corporal Mike Jones/MOD

 

Russian “Bear” strategic bombers intercepted by Typhoon jet from base in Scotland for the first time

RAF Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland, intercepted Russian Tu-95 bombers.

This news would sound different if Scotland got independent anyway, on Sept. 19, Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 aircraft, based at RAF Lossiemouth were scramble for the first time since they relocated from RAF Leuchars, Scotland, to the most northerly Scottish base, to identify, intercept and escort Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bears.

This was the very first time the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) was launched since the Scottish base took on the role of defending the UK’s Northern airspace on Sept. 1.

The Bear bombers were flying a routine long-range training mission off the British Isles and did not enter UK airspace (unlike what two Su-24 did in Sweden earlier this week to probe Swedish Air Force readiness).

This is not the first time Typhoon from the 6 Sqn intercept Russian strategic bombers skirting the UK airspace: on Apr. 23, two RAF Typhoons from RAF Leuchars (where the squadron was previously based), intercepted and escorted two Tu-95 “Bear-H” aircraft that were approaching the British Isles.

Image credit: Crown Copyright

 

A 360 angle “globe” image of a Tornado GR4 aircraft

Here’s a Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 as you have never seen it before.

This is a No II (AC) Sqn Tornado GR4 based at RAF Marham, through a fisheye lens for an interesting 360 angle ‘globe’ image.

No. 2 Squadron’s role is Army Co-Operation as reflected in the “AC” of its title.

Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham have been conducting reconnaissance missions out RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, supporting UK airdrops in Iraq.

Image credit: Crown Copyright/SAC Lee Matthews