Tag Archives: U.S. Navy

Watch the heat distortion and tip vortices generated by an EA-18G Growler landing at Nellis AFB

Red Flag 16-1 underway at Nellis Air Force Base, near Las Vegas.

With RF16-1 underway, cool images and footage showing Red Flag participants taking off and recovering to Nellis have started to pop up.

Here’s an interesting one, filmed by Dave Stein, showing a VAQ-138 EA-18G Growler on base turn for final: take a look at the heat distortion and wingtip vortices highlighted by the desert mountains in the background.

U.S. Navy bids farewell to the S-3 Viking

The last two U.S. Navy S-3 Vikings have performed the final Navy flight.

After more than 40 years of service the last pair of S-3B Vikings took off for the last time from the runway at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, California, on Jan. 11.

Developed to replace the S-2 Tracker, the “Hoover” (as the S-3 was nicknamed by its aircrews) entered the active service in 1974 and served in a wide variety of roles such as the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), the air-to-air refueling, the electronic intelligence and the carrier onboard delivery (COD).

Officially withdrawn from U.S. Navy front-line service in 2009, two retired Vikings were assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 30 to monitor the vast Point Mugu Sea Range.  As explained by Capt. John Rousseau, who led the charge to bring the retired aircraft to VX-30, the S-3B was the perfect aircraft to patrol the range: “It’s got legs, it can go fast and long. The radar, even though it’s old, there’s not many better. We still spot schools of dolphins and patches of seaweed.”

The VX-30, that still operated three Vikings, retired the first of its S-3Bs in November when the airplane was flown to the military aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.

Unlike the two that launched from Point Mugu for the final Navy sortie, at least one will continue flying with NASA.

S-3 Viking Farewell
Top image: Scott Dworkin / U.S. Navy; Bottom image: Photographer’s Mate Airman Apprentice Nathan Laird / U.S. Navy 

This Seahawk helicopter FLIR video shows Iranian vessel firing rockets near a U.S. aircraft carrier

This video shows that an Iranian ship actually fired rockets near USS Harry S. Truman.

As reported by several media outlets on Dec. 26, 2015 an Iranian vessel approached aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) while transiting the Strait of Hormuz and fired rockets in a direction away from the American flattop.

According to some U.S. Central Command officials, 20 minutes before the incident occurred, the Iranians announced over maritime radio that they would carry out a live-fire exercise.

Few days later Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ spokesperson Gen. Ramezan Sharif claimed that none of its ships fired rockets near the American flattop.

But, as reported by Marinecorpstimes.com, a video of the incident released on Jan. 9, 2016 by U.S. Navy officials to Military Times in response to a Freedom of Information Act request proves that Gen. Sharif statement was wrong.

In fact, as shown by the following Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) footage taken by a U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter operating from the U.S. aircraft carrier, an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) fired several unguided rockets near the USS Harry S. Truman and other Western warships and commercial craft.

Noteworthy this is not the first interaction between Iranian forces and the U.S. Navy, but while these “encounters” are usually professional, this last one was not, since the event was contrary to efforts to ensure freedom of navigation and maritime safety in the global commons.

A claim confirmed by Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, who affirmed that even though the rockets traveled away from the carrier, firing weapons “so close to passing coalition ships and commercial traffic within an internationally recognized maritime traffic lane is unsafe, unprofessional and inconsistent with international maritime law.”


Impressive video of night Field Carrier Landing Practice shows what landing in pitch black conditions looks like

The following cool video gives an idea of FCLP at night.

Taken on May 14, 2015 this impressive footage features naval aviators from Carrier Air Wing 5, deployed with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73), participating in night Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) at Iwo Jima, Japan, whose airfield provides conditions similar to landing at sea.

Field carrier landing practices consist in touch and goes that just like those performed on an aircraft carrier are observed by a landing signal officer (LSO) who grades and critiques each landing.

Usually an FCLP session lasts 45 minutes and two to four aircraft performing about 8 to 12 touch and goes are involved.

In order to be certified to operate from the deck of a flattop, naval aviators must complete also some night FCLPs during which they have to land in pitch-black conditions that resemble those the aircrews will find in real aircraft carrier night ops.

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Gorgeous time lapse video shows a US Seahawk helicopter conducting deck landing qualifications at dusk

Watch this awesome time lapse video showing a Seahawk  helicopter in action in the South China Sea.

Taken on Jun. 4, 2015, the following spectacular footage creates stunning light effects transitioning from day to night as an MH-60R from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 conducts deck landing qualifications (DLQs) aboard the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3).

When this clip was filmed USS Fort Worth and two Philippine ships, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) were taking part to the bilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise, where the Philippine Navy helicopters too conducted deck landing qualifications on the LCS’s flight deck.