Tag Archives: Surface to Air Missile

The Russian Air Force has tested a strategic cargo plane in bomber role

Russia has turned an Il-76 strategic cargo plane into bomber during recent trials

The Russian Air Force has conducted tests with an Il-76MD (NATO codename Candid) aircraft carrying  training bombs during trials organized in the Tver region, north of Moscow, Ilyushin announced on Jan. 30.

According to the company, the aircraft carried four 50-kg P-50T dumb bombs on hard-points under the wings.

T-50 bomb

The “attack run” would see the crew find the airfield, visually inspect it with flares and then drop the bombs ahead of landing on the field, located well behind the enemy lines.

The drops should be conducted with 500 km/h of speed (ca. 270 knots) and 500-1000 m (1650 – 3280 feet) of altitude.

Ilyushin claims that bombs will make it possible to employ the Il-76MD in operations which would involve airfields with unprepared or unfamiliar runways, located in a contested territory.

VVS aims to train 10 crews in the new “strike” role; teams that, according to IHS Jane’s, will be stationed in the Tver, Orenburg, Pskov, and Taganrog regions.

IHS Jane’s additionally notes another issue – the place where the specially trained crews are stationed, excluding the Orenburg region, which borders Kazakhstan, will make it possible for the transport jets to conduct strikes over Ukraine or the Baltic States.

Generally speaking, using bombs with a transport aircraft is not a new idea. One should take into account the (armored and heavily armed) U.S. AC-130 gunships which were fairly successful when employed as CAS (Close Air Support) platforms. U.S. Air Force has also used transport aircraft to drop GBU-43/B MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast, also known as the Mother of All Bombs) thermobaric weapons. These were dropped with the use of C-130 Hercules aircraft, mostly the MC-130E Combat Talon I or MC-130H Combat Talon II variants.

C-17 Globemasters were also said to be capable to deliver this armament.

Il-76 landing

Even though transport aircraft have been successfully transformed in bombers in the past, the heavy and scarcely maneuverable aircraft carrying weapons can only be employed during low-intensity conflicts, in areas where virtually no air-defenses exist. Otherwise, using a troop-carrier as a heavy bomber to drop dumb bombs through a SAM-infested airspace, as the one surrounding an enemy airfield, would be almost suicidal.

Il-76 taxi

Image credit: Ilyushin

 

Video shows A-10 Thunderbolts support Peshmerga forces attacking ISIS militants near Mosul

BRTTTTTTTTT…..

The first 20 seconds of the following footage show an A-10 Thunderbolt, attacking ISIS positions near Mosul, Iraq, on Jan. 22.

Interestingly, the footage shows, once again, a U.S. Air Force A-10 flying at medium/low altitude over the battlefield, where the Warthog face the threat of MANPADS known to be in possession of Islamic State forces: according to a recent report, American A-10s were shot at with four Strela missiles during previous close air support missions in the same area.

U.S. A-10 reportedly shot at by ISIS militants with Strela MANPADS in Iraq

U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft face the threat of Man Portable Air Defense Systems in Iraq.

According to a report by Iraqi News, American A-10 were shot at with four Strela missiles during the recent air strikes carried out by the Warthogs (as the Thunderbolts are referred to by the pilot community) on ISIS positions near Mosul, in Iraq.

Based on reports by unnamed sources who witnessed the attack, the A-10s killed and wounded several terrorists but were also targeted by the ISIS militants who allegedly attempted to shoot down the U.S. planes fling at low altitude using 9K32 Strela-2 (NATO reporting name SA-7 Grail) man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude, IR (infra-red) guided, surface-to-air missile systems.

Even though the Warthogs were not hit by the surface-to-air missiles, the episode seems to confirm that, flying at medium and low altitude and loitering over the battlefield, the A-10s deployed to Kuwait face the threat of MANPADS known to be in possession of Islamic State forces.

Still, the “Hog” is a tough plane, that has already shown its special ability to bring the pilot back to the homebase in spite of heavy damages by ground fire.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

[Video] Pro-Russia separatists shoot down Ukrainian Su-25, inspect wreckage

Two Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 Frogfoot attack planes were shot down in eastern Ukraine lately. Here’s the video of pro-Russia separatists inspecting the wreckage.

On Jul. 23, two Ukrainian Air Force Su-25s flying a CAS (Close Air Support) mission near Today, July 23, near Dmytrivka terrorists were shot down by the pro-Russia separatists.

According to the Ukrainian MoD, the two attack planes were part of a flight of four Frogfoot jets egressing the area of operation, when they were hit by anti-aircraft missiles.

Su-25 crash site

At the beginning of the footage you can see the flares deployed by one of the two aircraft, a sign that it was most probably targeted and downed by a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System) rather than a SARH (Semi-Active Radar Homing) surface to air missile (as the Su-11 Gadfly “Buk”, believed to have downed the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying as MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on Jul. 17).

Analysis: what these signs on the wreckage tell us about the missile strike that downed MH17

Evidence of shrapnel damage to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has emerged from images taken at the crash site.

Photos taken at the MH17 crash site clearly show shrapnel signs on various parts of the wreckage of the Boeing 777 shot down over eastern Ukraine while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people on board.

Among all the images published on media outlets from all around the world, the one first published by Financial Times over the past weekend, struck our attention.

The piece of wreckage, reportedly measuring 1 mt sq, has a couple of distinctive features that may help the identification: the colored stripes of the Malaysia Airlines livery and the bolts of the cockpit side windshield.

Based on these details, with the help of our contributor Giuliano Ranieri, we identified (and obviously we were not the only ones) the piece as a chunk of front fuselage located next to the cockpit (slightly below it), on the left hand side of the plane.

The piece has several burn marks, a large central hole and several smaller punture marks surrouding it. The edges of the small holes seem to be bent outwards, evidence of something that got out of the skin from the inside of the plane.

This is a sign the missile, most probably fired by an SA-11 system according to almost all reports to date, equipped with a proximity fuse, detonated on the right side of the aircraft not too far from the nose, scattering several fragments of shrapnel so fast that they traversed the plane from side to side: they entered through the right side of the airframe and got out from the left one.

Furthermore, considering the amount of puncture marks concentrated at the base of the cockpit window’s we can assume both pilots were hit by high speed, hot shrapnels that most probably did not give them time to realize what was going on.

MH17 part with holes identified

Image credit: FT.com/graphic by Giuliano Ranieri

Update:

New, higher resolution images of the same part of wreckage have emerged. These images seem to point in a different direction.

Indeed, the holes have edges that appear to be inward. This could be coherent with a missile which did not blast on the aircraft’s right hand side, but on the left one, between the nose and the leading edge of the left wing. Still, the type of puncture marks and the concentration are suitable with a SARH.

new debris

Image credit: Jeroen Akkermans Flikr account