Tag Archives: United States Navy

Stunning images of U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler jets flying at dusk

EA-6B Prowlers during a training sortie.

Based at MCAS Cherry Point, in North Carolina, Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1 (VMAQT-1) is responsible for training of student pilots and electronics countermeasures officers destined to fly the EA-6B Prowler.

The unit, previously VMAQ-1 (Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 1), was assigned the training role in 2013, when the U.S. Navy transition from the Prowler to the EA-18G Growler forced the Marine Corps to assume the responsibilities of “insourcing” training its EA-6B aircrews (previously trained by the USN at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington) in order to feed its squadrons until 2019.

Prowler 2

Prowler training focuses on the U.S. Marine Corps aviation tasks: assault support, anti-aircraft warfare, offensive air support, electronic warfare, control of aircraft and missiles and aerial reconnaissance.

Prowler 1

On Apr. 14, 2015 VMAQT-1 student pilots and electronics countermeasures officers took part in a training mission aimed at improving their skills to perform dynamic maneuvers while focusing on communication and radar jamming.

Prowler flares

In this post you can find some stunning images taken from the cargo door of a C-130.

Prowler flares 2

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps


French Rafale omnirole fighter jet operates from U.S. aircraft carrier in the Arabian Gulf

Every now and then, French Navy warplanes operate from U.S. flattops.

The cooperation between the Marine Nationale (French Navy) and the U.S. Navy is not limited to the recent joint exercise during which a French nuclear-powered submarine scored a simulated carrier kill on USS Theodore Roosevelt and part of its escorting Strike Group.

The images in this post show a Rafale Marine aircraft belonging to the 11F embarked aboard the French navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) operate aboard the U.S. Navy nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

USS Carl Vinson is deployed along with its Carrier Strike Group to support air strikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

This is not the first time French aircraft operate from a U.S. aircraft carrier: in January 2014, two French Navy Rafales, landed and were later launched from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during carrier qualification integration.

Operation Inherent Resolve

Image credit: U.S. Navy


U.S. Navy UCLASS drone requirements leaked

A U.S. Navy document has revealed the requirements that would be the guideline for UCLASS (Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike) drone program.

Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

The key performance perimeters (KPPs) selected for the program, leaked to the press, are the operational range and maximum price.

UCLASS drones are to be introduced in the U.S. Navy by 2020. The contest for the drone is to be conducted in 2014. When it comes to KPP the minimum range of the drone is 600 Nautical Miles, and price per orbit has not to exceed $150 million. Keeping in mind that multiple UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) are required to keep a single orbit, this means that the flyaways cost includes the amount of drones needed to ensure the capability to patrol 600 miles away from a carrier in a 24 hour period; it does not mean a single drone will cost 150 million USD.

The UCLASS has to have ability to have operational radius of 1200 NM with aerial refueling.

Some more details about the UCLASS payload also have leaked: drones will have to be able to carry 1,360 kg of armament, one third to be air-to-ground weapons. 500 lbs JDAM bombs should constitute the basic munition for the drone.

Drones will be still just a complement for traditional manned aircraft, as the payload of UAS is much smaller than that of conventional fighters.

Obviously, there is still much to do when it comes use drones in combat. Or even in peacetime, as there is a large scope of problems involved in the issue of drones flying in the open airspace with civilian traffic.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

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Photo: Harrier night flight operations aboard a forward-deployed amphibious assault ship

Taken on Aug. 29, the following pictures show night flight operations on the deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) by U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jump jet aircraft assigned to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 542.

The ship is currently operating in the Philippine Sea.

Note the green night formation lights, used by combat plane to make formation flying easier after dark.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

Top Gun director Tony Scott commits suicide. He personally paid 25,000 USD to keep an aircraft carrier on course and shoot the F-14s backlit by the sun

On Aug. 19, at around 12.30 pm, Tony Scott, film director of Top Gun, committed suicide by jumping from a Los Angeles county bridge.

Although he directed and produced many successful movies, his most famous hit is Top Gun, filmed in 1986.

Actually Top Gun 2 was in the works too with Tom Cruise initially thought to be a drone pilot and then “diverted” to the F-35 test pilot role. The future of the sequel project is obviously uncertain now that 68-year-old Tony Scott has died.

One of the most interesting things about Tony Scott and Top Gun was unveiled by the director in an interview included in the Special Edition DVD issued for the movie’s 25th anniversary.

During the filming, Tony Scott and his crew spent some days onboard USS Enterprise to shoot aircraft as they landed and took off from the aircraft carrier. Since the U.S. Navy’s flattop was on an operational cruise, the crew had to film normal flight ops. However, Tony Scott wanted to shoot flight deck activitiey with planes backlit from the sun. So, when the ship changed course with a consequent change of the light, Scott asked it the commanding officer could keep on the previous course and speed for a little longer.

However, he was answered by the commander that it would cost 25,000 USD to turn the ship, so he wrote the aircraft carrier captain a check so that the ship could be turned on the previous route for five more minutes thus giving him the possibility to shoot under the desired lighting conditions for another five minutes.

The footage was used during the movie’s stunning opening scene.

Although I’m not sure whether that check was eventually collected, I think this story shows how much Tony Scott cared about the success of Top Gun.

As tweeted by BBC News Producer Johnny Hallam:

“I hope some crazy pilot buzzes the #Miramar tower today in memory of Tony Scott and Top Gun #AvGeek”