Tag Archives: Syria

Iranian UAV spotted over Syria could be a heavily modified drone (with Predator inputs)

Shahed 129 modified

A better look at the images of the Iranian drone emerged so far highlighted something interesting.

New screenshots coming from Syria give a better view of the Shahed 129 spotted over Damascus on Apr. 10.

Noteworthy, such photos show that the version used by the Syrian Armed Forces of the made-in-Iran UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), is sensibly different by the one unveiled in September 2013 in Tehran.

Indeed, the remotely piloted aircraft features a nose section whose shape resembles that of a U.S. Predator/Reaper and a tall antenna mounted on top of it.

Judge by comparing the image on top with the following one:

US MQ-9

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

This seemingly extensive modifications make the drone’s front part more similar to an MQ-9/1 than a Israeli Hermes 450 model.

Iran is not unfamiliar with domestic modifications to western drones: they have been able to recover/capture some U.S. remotely piloted aircraft, including a Scan Eagle (and the famous stealthy RQ-170).

The question is: did they put their hands on some parts of an MQ-9 as well?

 H/T to Kasra Ghanbari for the heads-up

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Iranian Shahed 129 drone appears over Damascus

Shahed 129

Footage filmed in Syria once again shows a made-in-Iran drone flying over Damascus.

A “Shahed 129″, type of drone based on the Israeli Hermes 450 model or the Watchkeeper 450 model, but larger than those types, was spotted over Syria on Apr. 10.

The Shahed 129 is a remotely piloted vehicle claimed to have an endurance of 24 hours and an operative range up to 2,000 kilometers. Noteworthy, in September 2013, Tehran unveiled a version of Shahed 129 domestically modified to carry weapons, making the Iranian drone a real UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle).

Still, the Shahed filmed today doesn’t seem to carry any weapon, at least based on the blurry images currently available.

It’s not the first time a new Iranian drone was delivered to Assad: in November 2013, a Yasir drone, a modified copy of the Boeing ScanEagle (captured by the Iranians in 2012) was filmed over Damascus suburb Hujaira AlBalad, in Syria.

The comment we made back then is still valid today: it’s at least funny how fast any “new” Iranian UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) is delivered to Assad’s forces.

 

H/T to @hlk01 for the heads-up

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Syrian Air Force has “upgraded” its gunships: Mi-25 can drop double barrel bomb attack

Mi-24 modified

Assad’s choppers now capable to perform dual barrel bomb attacks.

Footage released lately by SMART Syria news agency shows a Mil Mi-25 (the export version of the Soviet Mil Mi-24 Hind) dropping two improvised barrel bombs, on Free Syrian Army positions.

Since they were used for the first time in combat, single 1,500 – 2,000 lb bombs made of barrels filled with explosives, shrapnel or oil were dropped by the cargo door of the Mi-8/17 Hip helicopter or the wing pylons of the Mi-25 gunships one at a time.

Now it seems the Syrian Hinds have got the capability to drop two at a time, with doubled devastating effects: according to some sources, barrel bombs have caused some 20,000 casualties since the beginning of the uprising in 2011.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Israeli Air Force reportedly hit targets in Bekaa Valley near Lebanon-Syria border

F-16 takeoff

Although still unconfirmed, it looks like Israeli planes have conducted raids against Hezbollah targets.

Several media outlets in both Lebanon and Israel are reporting about a series of air strikes conducted by Israeli warplanes in the evening of Feb. 24 on the Lebanese-Syrian border area.

Al-Arabiya TV quoted witnesses according to those “more than two Israeli airstrikes have targeted Hizbullah posts in the outskirts of the towns of Janta, Brital and al-Nabi Sheet,” even if it is still unclear whether the airstrikes hit targets located inside Syria or Lebanon.

According to Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency two Israeli airstrikes were conducted on “the outskirts of al-Nabi Sheet near the Lebanese-Syrian border,” whereas LBCI TV said the Israeli planes struck targets “in the countryside facing the towns of Janta and Yahfoufa,” inside Syria.

Similar attacks were launched against Syrian targets in May 2013, one of those hit a convoy with weapons destined to Hezbollah near Damascus with PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions) and plenty of EW (Electronic Warfare) support.

Image credit: IAF

Written with David Cenciotti

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

There is an Air War still going on in Syria

SyAAF MiG-23 2013-12-24

Syrian Arab Air Force bombers are constantly pounding rebel forces across Syria.

Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer, Mig-29 Fulcrum and Mig-23 Flogger bombers are those most frequently depicted in footage emerging on a daily basis from Damascus, Idlib and any other city or village where loyalist forces fight Free Syrian Army insurgents.

Noteworthy, clear blue skies and better cameras are providing some clearer shots of the Syrian planes usually operating at high altitude.

Furthermore, Assad planes are also continuing to threaten Turkey’s borders: according to a Turkish military statement, on Dec. 27, two Turkish Air Force F-16s were scrambled to intercept a Syrian Su-24 that approached the border.

The SyAAF Fencer moved away from the border when it was only 5 nautical miles from violating the Turkish airspace.

SyAAF Su-24 2013-12-23.jpg

Similar incidents have already taken place several times since a Turkish RF-4E was shot down in Syrian airspace in Jun. 2012. On Sept. 16, a Syrian Mi-17 Hip helicopter was shot down by a Turkish F-16 after flying into Ankara’s airspace for 2 km ignoring any warning.

SyAAF MiG-23MF Idleb-Kafrunbel 2013-12-21

 

Enhanced by Zemanta