Monthly Archives: November 2013

Stunning image of Russia’s new stealth plane clearly shows new shark camouflage

As already explained, Russia’s 5th generation stealth fighter plane T-50 (PAK FA – Perspektivny Aviatsionny Kompleks Frontovoy Aviatsii—Future Tactical Air System), has receintly received a new camouflage.

A new image of the example 055 blue, taken on Nov. 22 by Artyom Anikeev gives a hint of what the paint scheme looks like as seen from the top (or when the aircraft is turning). Click on the image to open it at full resolution.

As a consequence of the new color scheme (seemingly inspired by the White Tip Longimanus shark typical of the Red Sea) a T-50 seen from distance would appear as a rhomboidal shaped aircraft, smaller than the actual airplane.

Image credit: Artyom Anikeev

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[Photo] HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during an anti-piracy boarding exercise

The picture in this post shows a U.S. Air Force HH-60G performing a simulated anti-piracy mission with the HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen involved in Operation Ocean Shield, in the Indian Ocean.

The exercise involved a RHIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) and two Pave Hawk choppers used to carry Pararescue jumpers and the team that boarded the ship seized by the pirates, took control of it and then evacuated a wounded pirate.

Counterpiracy 2

Image credit: NATO

 

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Eurofighter Typhoon flies with Storm Shadow air-launched Cruise Missiles

Integration of the MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto Eurofighter Typhoon multi-/swing role aircraft has started.

Eurofighter and Alenia Aermacchi have released some images of the initial flight trials that began on Nov. 27, by the Alenia Aermacchi Flight Test Center at Decimomannu airbase, in Sardinia, Italy. Such tests, supported by BAE Systems and Cassidians, are aimed to demonstrate that the air-launched cruise missile, already in service with both the Italian Air Force and Royal Air Force Tornado bombers (that used them in the 2011 Libya Air War), can be safely carried by the Typhoon.

The testing campaign involves the Instrumented Production Aircraft 2 (IPA2) updated to the Phase 1 Enhancement standard. The aircraft will conduct flutter tests and air data system large store interference assessment to validate the integration of the new weapon that will give the aircraft a significant capability to employ the stealthy, long-range precision weapon against high value, well defended targets, day or night, in all-weather conditions.

According to Eurofighter, the 1.300 kg standoff weapon (over 5-mt long) will be available to the 7 Typhoon operators (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman) from 2015 when the Eurofighter Typhoon Phase 2 Enhancements become operational.

Image credit: Eurofighter/Luigino Caliaro

 

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Chinese and Japanese jets fly into China’s controversial Air Defense Identification Zone

Tension in growing in the East China Sea where China established an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).

First, the ADIZ was “violated” by two U.S. B-52 strategic bombers that did not to comply with any of the rules set by Beijing for foreign aircraft entering the new airspace: they simply crossed the airspace, flying in international airspace without prior notification of their arrival.

Japanese military aircraft, including a P-3C maritime surveillance plane, that is supporting Japanese warships in the area, have carried out routine surveillance missions over the Senkaku islands (known as Diaoyu in China).

Some Japan Air Self Defense Force fighter jets carried out the first interceptions of China’s AEW aircraft patrolling the area few hours after the controversial ADIZ was established but more close encounters are to be expected: on Nov. 28, talking to state news agency Xinhua, People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) spokesman Shen Jinke said more fighter jets and an early warning aircraft were launched into the newly declared air defence zone.

The iarcraft conducted normal air patrols: “a defensive measure and in line with international common practices.”

So, what’s next?

Anything may happen, even if most probably Chinese jets will remain far away from Japanese or South Korean ones, that will continue to operate undistubed.

And, sooner or later, U.S. B-2s will be sent to fly an extended deterrence mission through the Chinese ADIZ.

Image credit: PLAAF

 

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[Photo] Fighter jet flies between sea twisters

Each time we receive a weird photo we always wonder whether the image is genuine or photoshopped. Some images are so accurately edited that it is extremely difficult to prove that they were doctored by post-processing softwares.

But, this is not the case.

The image (whose quality is poor because it’s a scan of a print) in this post has been taken well before Photoshop became so famous (we have had a printed copy of this photograph since the mid 1990s). It was taken at Giglio Island, by a photographer who then sold prints of it to aviation enthusiasts who happened to visit his store.

It depicts an Italian Air Force F-104 Starfighter flying over the Tyrrhenian Sea while two sea twisters (tornado) have formed near Giglio Island.

Since the island is quite close to Grosseto airbase, most probably the plane belonged to the local based 4° Stormo (Wing).

It must have been a tense couple of minutes for the badass pilot aboard the missile-with-a-man-in-it.

Image credit: Author’s archive

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