Monthly Archives: July 2014

What’s this helicopter hidden below a protective covering spotted near Sikorsky plant?

What’s the type of helicopter hidden below a protective cover?

A reader sent us this photo he took from his car of a helicopter being moved on trailer not far from Sikorsky plant in Stratford.

Here’s what the reader wrote to describe the scene he witnessed on Jul. 30:

“[…]. The reason I took a picture of this is that I’ve seen them put UH-60’s without covers on trailers, and this time, there was a convoy of probably 4 hummers and 2 deuce & a half’s I saw in the vicinity, as well. It was unusual – especially at 1545 on a Wednesday.”

Even though the chopper is hidden below a protective covering, its shape can be guessed: based on the position of the tail boom in relation to the cabin and the tail boom angling we can say it has something in common with the U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk.

Someone may believe the aircraft is the Stealth Black Hawk helicopter used by the Navy SEALs in the Osama Bin Laden raid. However it’s almost impossible to believe they would move the radar-evading U.S. black MH-X chopper exposed by Operation Neptune’s Spear in daylight and by trailer.Our reader seems to agree:

“I’ve seen and experienced how they transport aircraft/inventory that is most likely categorized at the SCI level – They get about 20 DoD Dodge Chargers with take downs and spot lights on everywhere, they shut down every on/off ramp for about 5 miles in front and behind the cargo, and set up a “dome of light” so it’s difficult to see the angles of the “cargo”.”

So, is it a UH-60?

Most probably, yes. Still, we can’t exclude is a mock-up, a movie prop or something else.

 

[Photo] KFOR Multinational Multi-Helicopter formation over Kosovo

Eight combat helicopters belonging to four different air arms have taken part in a multinational mission over Kosovo. And here are some interesting shots.

The pictures in this article were taken on Jul. 12, by Cpt. Rory J. McCarthy, a UH-60 pilot who flew aboard an Mi-171 during a multinational multi-helicopter mission which included two Croatian Mi 171sh, one Swiss AS-532 Cougar, one Slovenian AS-532 Cougar, and four U.S. UH-60/A Blackhawk choppers.

The mission was flown to prepare the aircrews to operate with troops on board, to fulfill a tactical exercise requirement KFOR, the NATO-led international peacekeeping force, has in Kosovo.

KFOR Multi-ship UH-60

As a part of the NATO Multinational Task Force, KFOR helicopter detachments support a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement Kosovo wide. On order, Croatian, Slovenian, Swiss and U.S. helicopters work together to move 90 Crowd Riot Control (CRC) equipped troops Kosovo wide on short notice.

In addition to troop transport, select helicopters are equipped for MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation), fire fighting, airborne and SPIES (Special Patrol Infiltration and Exfiltration System) operations.

KFOR Multi-ship takeoff

Image credit: Cpt. Rory J. McCarthy

 

Israeli drone spotted over Gaza with new, unknown (firing?) pod

Even if it may seem to be a standard drone carrying two long range tanks, the Hermes photographed over Gaza in the last days carry an unknown type of pod. A firing pod according to our source

An Israeli source who wishes to remain anonymous sent us the photos you can find in this post.

They were taken on Jul. 24 and Jul. 29, over the southern Israeli Gaza border by AFP photographer Jack Guez and show an Hermes 450 drone.

Noteworthy, the Israeli UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) carries two previously unknown underwing pods. At first glance, they may resemble the two fuel tanks of the Hermes 450LE (Long Endurance) variant but a closer look shows they are not attached to a standard pylon but they are directly attached to the wing. Furthermore, the rear edge of this new pod, is aligned to the wing’s trailing edge.

According to our source, this is “a firing pod for a light missile,” possibly used to attack Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip but we are unable to verify it.

For sure the pod is something new, whose shape (loosely trapezoidal) reminds that of some gun pods carried by some warplanes. Hard to say whether it can really house a light missile or something else, even though we can’t completely rule it out.

Hermes 450 with new pod 2

Image credit: AFP/Jack Guez

 

This Typhoon pilot’s selfie is one of the best we’ve ever seen

Pilots from all around the world continue to send us cool, really cool “selfies”. Here’s the latest from a Typhoon pilot.

Although it was slightly edited to make it resemble a Blade Runner – inspired image, or a drawing out of comic strip, this self-portrait photo or “selfie”, taken by a Eurofighter Typhoon pilot with a Go Pro camera, is simply stunning.

We have already posted some stunning selfies in the past, like the one by an F-16 pilot with a Dreamliner on the left wing, or the one by a Danish F-16 pilot while firing a live Air-to-Air Missile.

The latest one, proves that not only “Viper” pilots, but also Typhoon fighter jocks can take fantastic selfies.

 

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