The fact that some recent scenarios give combat planes the opportunity to quietly operate at medium or high altitude with standoff weapons, because of the lack of anti-aircraft threats, doesn’t imply there’s no longer need to train for flying at low level.
Aircraft involved in special operations, reconnaissance, Search And Rescue, troops or humanitarian airdrops in trouble spots around the world may have to fly at low altitudes as this may be the best way to penetrate the enemy airspace avoiding detection by the enemy’s air defense system.
Even a stealth plane (or helicopter), spotted visually by an opponent, could be required to escape at tree top height to survive an engagement by enemy fighter planes or an IR guided missile.
Low level flying is quite demanding because of the risk involved with flying at high speeds few meters above the terrain. That’s why it’s still part of the Red Flag exercise.
In this impressive HD video, you’ll join a Polish Air Force C-130 as it flies at low altitude between the valleys of Alaska during a RF sortie.
- Typhoons, Raptors, Vipers and Eagles at the latest Red Flag Alaska. With many firsts and lasts. (theaviationist.com)
- If you want to know what a Red Flag’s mass launch from Nellis Air Force Base looks like, watch this video (theaviationist.com)
- Farnborough 2012: “Yesterday we had Raptor salad for lunch” Typhoon pilot said after dogfighting with the F-22 at Red Flag Alaska (theaviationist.com)
- F-22 Raptor kill markings shown off by German Eurofighter Typhoons. “The F-22 is not invincible” saga continues. (theaviationist.com)
- Russian Air Force to take part in next Red Flag exercise. Who’s gonna play the Aggressor role? (theaviationist.com)
- [Photo Gallery] Colombian Air Force Kfir combat planes at their first Red Flag ever (theaviationist.com)
- Video: Red Flag night launch and recovery time lapse (spanning about 5 hours or so in just 3 minutes). (theaviationist.com)