Monthly Archives: June 2014

[Video] Iraqi Air Force receives surplus Russian Air Force Su-25 attack planes to fight ISIS

The Iraqi Air Force is receiving 12 Su-25 Frogfoot attack planes from Russia to fight ISIS.

On Jun. 28, the Iraqi Air Force (IQAF) received the first of 12 ex-Russian Air Force Su-25s attack planes. Seven Iraqi Air Force Su-25s fled to Iran in January 1991 and Tehran added them to the fleet operated by the Pasdaran (informal name of the IRGC – the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution)

The “new” aircraft will be used to put more pressure on rebel ISIS (Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) forces, that have taken over large parts of the country in recent weeks and back the Mi-35 gunships, involved in antiterrorist operations against militants.

Another Iraqi Army Mi-35 Hind gunship involved in an insertion of special forces into the football stadium of the Salahaddin University campus was shot down by ISIS last week.

Russia has plenty of surplus stocks of Su-25s that the IQAF used to fly until the early 1990s. But few pilots and no groundcrews are currently available to fly according to editor Tom Cooper.

For this reason, for the next few months, Iraqi personnel will be supported and trained by Russians to operate the aircraft, until they become once again autonomous on the type.

The aircraft will be based at Tallil.

Cooper has noted the aircraft were not even overhauled before delivery, as the following screenshot, showing signs of corrosion on one of the first two delivered Su-25, shows.

IQAF Su-25 28Jun14 side

Top image credit: Reuters


F-16, F/A-18 and Mig-29’s Solo demos at Roma International Air Show 2014

Two F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, one F-18 Hornet and one Mig-29 Fulcrum were among the most interesting foreign guests of Roma International Air Show 2014.

Along with the Frecce Tricolori and Patrouille de France display teams and the usual solo displays by the Italian Air Force’s F-2000, Tornado IDS, AMX and C-27J, Roma International Air Show 2014, didn’t fail to meet the expectations of about 1 million spectators bringing in the skies over Ostia, on the coast to the west of Rome, Italy, some really interesting guests: the Dutch F-16 Demo Team, the Belgian Air Force F-16 demo team, the Swiss Air Force F-18 demo and the Polish Air Force Mig-29 demo.

In this page you can see some images taken on Jun. 28, during the airshow rehearsals.

F-16 RNlAF Demo team:

F-16 RNlAF demo

Swiss Air Force F/A-18 Hornet:

F-18 Swiss Air Force

F-18 SAF

F-18 fast climb

F-16 BAF Demo:

F-16 BAF turn and burn

F-16 BAF climb

F-16 cloud

Mig-29 Polish Air Force

Mig-29 pass

Mig-29 cloud

Mig-29 Polish Air Force

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”


Rare video of Marines AV-8B Harrier no nose gear vertical landing on amphibious assault ship

One of the few (if not the only) video showing a Harrier Jump Jet (nose) gear up landing on USS Bataan.

Here’s something you don’t see every day.

On Jun. 7, 2014, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Mahoney, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), had to perform Vertical Landing on USS Bataan, after his AV-8B Harrier aircraft experienced a front landing gear malfunction.

USS Bataan was operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to augment U.S. Crisis Response forces in the region when Mahoney took off from the amphibious assault ship.

As he was climbing away from the deck he suddenly realized he had a gear malfunction. He immediately slowed down in order not to overspeed the landing gear, returned above the ship at 2,000 feet and started talking to “Paddles” (LSO – Landing Signal Officers), a pilot in the control tower who could provide assistance by radio.

Harrier no nose gear down

The Harrier flew the approach at 300 ft so that the LSO could see the landing gear and give some guidance to put the nose on a tool the ship has for this kind of issues: a sort-of stool.

Since there’s no way to train to land in this kind of situation, the pilot had to fly a perfect vertical landing, using the ship lighting system and the help of LSO on his first attempt.

Luckily, he stabilized at 20 feet and managed to land in the proper spot as shown in the video (that, weirdly, was removed by the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet feed that had published it; luckily, we found it again and reuploaded it since it is unclassified and released as you can see in the first frames of the footage).


Smoking Tires! F-16D Fighting Falcon (hard) touchdown at Konya

Turkish Air Force F-16D hard touchdown during Anatolian Eagle 2014-2

Top image shows a Turkish Air Force F-16D Block 40 of the 162 Filo landing on runway 01L at Konya the end of “Eagle 2” wave of Anatolian Eagle 2014-2 exercise on Jun. 18.

The aircraft performed a hard landing, bounced a little and eventually landed back on the tarmac.

Here below, the same aircraft, nose up, shortly after the second touchdown on the runway.

Smoking tires F-16D

Below, a Eurofighter Typhoon of the Royal Air Force depicted at the touchdown (as smoking tire shows).

Typhoon landing