Tag Archives: U.S. Navy

Photo shows 38 warships and 4 submarines during RIMPAC 2014′s group sail

An impressive naval armada was arranged for RIMPAC 2014 photo.

It does not happen too soon to see +40 warships sailing together.

The reason is quite obvious: first, there are some navies that are made by little more (if not less) than 40 serviceable surface ships. Second, even though it would not be that easy to come too close to the naval formation (considered that the flagship is a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier), this *could be* an huge target for air, naval and underwater assets involved in maritime attack/anti-ship missions.

Nevertheless, the sight is quite impressive and, alone, it can represent a good deterrent.

The photo was actually taken during RIMPAC 2014, the 24th exercise in the series of world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise taking place in the Pacific Ocean from Jun. 26 to Aug. 1.

Twenty-two nations are taking part to this year’s edition of the drills that marks the first particpation of China with four ships belonging to the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

RIMPAC 2014 reportedly involve 55 vessels, more than 200 aircraft, and some 25,000 personnel.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

 

[Photo] EP-3E ARIES II spyplane over Tripoli during U.S. Embassy evacuation

U.S. Embassy “relocation” was supported by F-16, MV-22 Osprey as well as EP-3E Aries II aircraft

The US embassy in Tripoli, Libya, was evacuated with staff “relocated” to Tunisia in the early hours of Saturday Jul. 26 amid continuing clashes between rival militias in the capital and fighting at the airport.

Although the DoD said both F-16s and MV-22 Ospreys and ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft supported the evacuation, it did not unveil U.S. Navy EP-3E ARIES II signal intelligence platforms were involved in the operation.

The presence of the U.S. Navy spyplane was exposed by a picture that was posted on the Facebook page of Ejjaw Kollah group.

The ARIES II is a highly modified version of the P-3C that became famous on Apr. 1, 2001 when one such planes and its crew were detained for 11 days  following a collision with a Chinese J-8IIM fighter (that crashed causing the death of the pilot) and the subsequent emergency landing at Ligshui airbase, in Hainan island.

The U.S. Navy spyplane, most probably operating out of Sigonella, Italy, was already spotted over Libya in 2012. At the time there were rumors the aircraft was involved in operations aimed at detecting and tracking smuggled weapons travelling towards Egypt and destined to Gaza.

Below, an image of an F-16 (from Aviano airbase?) circling over Tripoli.

F-16 over Libya

Image credit: Ejjaw Kollah

MQ-8C extended-endurance Fire Scout unmanned helicopter caught “on the road” in California

An MQ-8C Fire Scout was spotted on a trailer on I-405 Northbound at Newport Beach, California

The MQ-8C Fire Scout is a Bell 407 helicopter modified with autonomous controls from the MQ-8B drone copter.

It weighs 2.7 tons, has a 1,000 lb payload, can fly for 24 hours and can carry AGM-176 Griffin missiles, APKWS II guided 70 mm rockets, and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.

It first flew in October 2013 and the first two unmanned choppers currently involved in flight testing have already surpassed 100 flight hours.

The Navy plans to operate 28 MQ-8Cs for naval special operations forces. One of those (188688) was seen on a trailer moving northbound on Interstate 405 near Newport Beach, California.

 

MQ-8C on the road

Image credit: “Spencer”

 

Air-to-Air Images of Mig-29N Fulcrum and Su-30 Flanker jets….taken from U.S. Super Hornet

Mig-29N and Su-30 flying in formation with F/A-18E during PASSEX exercise in Malaysia.

Cope Taufan 14, a biennial Large Employment Exercise which took place from Jun. 9 to 20 in Malaysia, was attended by U.S. F-15s from 104th Fighter Wing, from Barnes ANGB (Air National Guard Base), Massachusetts, F-22 Raptor stealth fighters from the 154th Wing, Joint Base Peal Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, as well as several other aircraft belonging to the U.S. Air Force and Royal Malaysian Air Force, including RMAF MIG-29N Fulcrum, Su-30, BAE Hawk, and F/A-18D Hornets.

A new maritime exercise is currently taking place in the same region, involving U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and Royal Malaysian Air Force and Navy: PASSEX.

Here are a couple of cool and rare images taken during Passex 2014 from inside a U.S. Navy Super Hornet while flying a mixed formation with the RMAF Russian aircraft.

Mig-29N RMAF from F18 2

Image credit: U.S. Navy

 

[Video] U.S. F-16s, Swedish Gripens refuel from KC-135 tankers during Baltic Operations

Tankers play a major role during real ops and large drills. Like BALTOPS 2014.

The following videos were filmed from different KC-135s belonging to the 100 ARW (Air Refueling Wing) from RAF Mildenhall, during BALTOPS 2014 exercise in Northern Europe.

One of the KC-135s equipped with flying boom, refueled some of the 18 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, deployed to Lask Air Base, Poland.

The other Stratotanker refueled Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripens by means of the hose released by the underwing pods. The so-called hose and drogue system is used for aircraft equipped with the IFR (In Flight Refueling) probe (U.S. Navy standard) whereas the rigid, telescoping tube with movable flight control surfaces (the “boom”) is used to refuel those aircraft equipped with the U.S. Air Force standard AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) receptacle.

Noteworthy, the U.S. planes depicted in the footage carry (dummy) missiles, whilst Swedish Gripens are unarmed.

H/T to Lars-Gunnar Holmstrom for the heads-up