Turkish Air Force has been training for real operations like those in Iraq and Syria for 15 years.
On Jul. 24, Turkey launched “Operation Martyr Yalcin” against ISIS positions in Syria and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in Northern Iraq.
The air strikes actually began in the early morning on Jul. 24, a day after Islamic State militants attacked a Turkish border patrol in the town of Elbeyli in Kilis Province, killing one soldier and injuring two others. The operation was named after the Turkish soldier killed in the initial attack, Yalçın Nane.
At around 3:40 LT three F-16s from 181 Filo took off from Diyarbakir airbase and bombed 3 ISIS positions in northern Syria dropping GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bombs. The Turkish jets did not violate the Syrian airspace but dropped their bombs from inside the Turkish airspace.
Post strike analysis assessed 35 ISIS militants were killed by the first wave of raids that was followed later on the same day (starting around 22:30 LT) by a larger air strike against PKK positions in northern Iraq. The mission is said to have involved 20 F-16s from 181 Filo that according to witnesses and initial reports violated the Syrian and Iraqi air space.
The air strikes in Iraq allegedly killed the PKK commander Murat Karayılan among the others.
On Jul. 25, a third wave of air strikes was launched against PKK: it was divided into three sub-waves, the first and second of those involved 70 F-16s that conducted their mission, returned to Dyarbakir were re-armed and re-launched, and by a third wave reportedly conducted by 25 F-4E-2020 Phantoms from Eskisehir, temporarily deployed to Erhac.
In the subsequent days, F-16s (from 181 Filo with support from 161 Filo) from Dyarbakir, mainly focused on PKK positions in both in northern Iraq and inside Turkey, as well as on ISIS targets in northern Syria.
The Turkish Air Force has been preparing to conduct a similar air campaign for about 15 years through Anatolian Eagle (AE) series of exercises.
Actual flight time to an altitude of about 4 km: 20 seconds
The following video was filmed from inside the cockpit of a Pakistan Air Force F-16 BM Block 15 belonging to 11 th Squadron “Arrows,” piloted by TAI test pilot Murat Keles (in the front seat) and Murat Özpala (in the rear seat) during a test flight.
The F-16 takes off, gains speed at low altitude few feet above the runway and then climbs vertically above the clouds reaching well over 4km in altitude in a matter of 45 seconds from the beginning of the roll on the tarmac with the actual flight time of less than 20 seconds.
Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
This is the kind of performance you’d expect in an interceptor.
H/T Lasse Holmstrom and Arda Mevutlogu for the heads up
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.
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.
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.
The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito flew to Konya to take the stunning images you can find in this post.
Hordes of spotters have been allowed to take photographs during the Spotters Days on Jun. 17, 18 and 19.
An Airbus A400M aircraft crashed near Sevilla airport, in Spain, at 12:57 pm local time killing 4 crew members and injuring 2.
On May, 9, the Airbus A400M with the serial number MSN023, departed from Sevilla Airport at 12:45 pm local time for the first production flight crashed to the northwest of the airport.
Four of the six crew members, all Airbus Defence and Space employees of Spanish nationality, died in the incident. According to the last press release, the 2 remaining crew members are currently in hospital in a serious condition.
MSN023 was foreseen to be the third aircraft to be delivered to the Turkish Air Force, whose formal delivery was scheduled for June 2015.
The A400M, using callsign CASA423 was tracked by Flightradar24 via ADS-B: according to the charts posted after the incident, it reached a maximum speed of 173 kts at an altitude of 1,725 feet, then it started descending.
The last log, shows the plane has hit the ground at 167 knots with a vertical speed of about -3,000 feet per minute.
It is the F-16C serialled 91-008, belonging to the 182 Filo (squadron), that shot down a Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-23 Flogger on Mar. 23, 2014.
On that day, the SyAAF Mig-23, flying with another aircraft of the same type, approached the Turkish-Syrian border at around 13.00 LT. While one of the Floggers turned back, the other aircraft violated the Turkish airspace by about 1 km, at 13.13LT. It then continued to fly inside Turkey’s airspace for about 1.5 km until it was hit by an AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) fired by the F-16C 91-008 in Combat Air Patrol near the border.
The Syrian pilot successfully ejected from the Mig.