Monthly Archives: November 2014

Video shows Russian nuclear submarine test-fire intercontinental ballistic missile

The footage of a ballistic missile launched from a submarine below the surface of the water is always quite impressive.

The Borei-class strategic nuclear submarine Aleksandr Nevsky, successfully launched a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile from the Barents Sea firing range Kura, located on the Kamchatka Peninsula, from an underwater position Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Nov. 28.

The test completes this year’s launch series of the new weapon.

Borei class submarines carrying Bulava missile will form the backbone for Russian Naval strategic nuclear forces by 2025-2030.

Each submarine of the class will be able to carry 16 Bulava missiles, each one with a range up to 11,000 km and able to carry ten nuclear warheads.

American ICBM missiles can be launched by E-6 Mercury “doomsday planes” acting as Airborne Command Posts by means of Airborne Launch Control System.

 

Italian Police Forces to use Air Force’s Predator drones

Italian Police and Military Police can use Italian Air Force Predator drones for a wide variety of missions.

On Nov. 26, the Polizia (Police), Carabinieri (Military Police) and the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) signed a deal for the use of the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) in various urban activities as well as to support relief operations in case of natural disasters.

The Italian Air Force operates a mixed force of 6 MQ-9 Reaper and 6 MQ-1C Predator A+ both assigned to the 28° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing) at Amendola airbase.

The Italian drones have flown ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions) as well as MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation), support to TIC (Troops In Contact), IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) monitoring and Convoy Escort in Iraq and Afghanistan; they have supported Operation Unified Protector in Libya, Mare Nostrum operation in the Mediterranean Sea near Lampedusa (where they have monitored the migratory flows and consequent tragic ship wreckages off the island) and they are also currently deployed in Kuwait (to support the US-led anti-ISIS operation in Syria and Iraq) and Djibouti, where  they are used to monitor the seas off the coast of Somalia in anti-piracy missions.

Leveraging their persistence on the target area (up to 20 hours), the drones will now enable Police forces to monitor major events and support anti-crime and riot-control operations.

Italian Air Force Predators have already flown similar missions during the G8 summit in 2009 when they contributed to the event’s security; among all the other things, a Predator provided real-time imagery of the Obama motorcade from Pratica di Mare airbase (where the Air Force One had landed) to L’Aquila, the location chosen for the meetings.

Image credit: EUNAVFOR

 

These Are Some Of The Most Spectacular Israeli Air Force F-15 Jets Photographs Ever

Israeli Air Force F-15 “Baz” and “Ra’am” as you have never seen them before.

The Heyl Ha’avir (Israeli Air Force) operates a fleet of about 70 F-15 Eagle jets in the A/B/C/D and I variants.

Besides the F-15I “Ra’am” (Thunder in Hebrew), which is a version of the F-15E Strike Eagle developed especially for Israel, the other types of F-15s in service with the Israeli Air Force have been improved through a series of upgrades and custom modifications which have made the “Baz” (Falcon), some of the most advanced and famous Eagles in service all around the world.

F-15I take off smoke

The Israeli F-15s, performing in the air superiority as well as in the air-to-ground role have taken part in all the regional wars, special operations and air strikes Israel has fought since the first Eagles were delivered in 1976.

F-15 Baz take off
The first ever kill by an F-15 was scored by an Israeli Eagle in 1979 over Lebanon, followed, two years later by the first worldwide kill of a Mig-25 Foxbat. Since then, Israeli F-15s were credited with 60 air-to-air victories mainly against Syrian Mig-21, Mig-25 and Mig-23 jets.

F-15 exhaust close up

The photographs in this post show the Israeli combat-proven F-15s at work.

They were taken by renowned aviation photographer Nir Ben-Yosef who has been documenting the IAF’s people, aircraft and operations for well over a decade.

F-15 take off afterburner

F-15I night takeoff

Image credit Nir Ben-Yosef (xnir.com)

 

North Korea’s Leader Kim Jong Un meets female fighter pilots (and their venerable Mig-15 jets)

North Korean Leader poses next to a takes shots of Mig female fighter pilots.

An always smiling Kim Jong Un visited a North Korean airstrip where he met, congratulated and took pictures of the first two female fighter pilots posing in front of their jets.

“I am very satisfied and pleased to see the emergence of excellent female pilots and their brave flight in a matter of just a few months after I gave orders to train them,” North Korea’s Supreme Leader said according to the state agency KCNA.

North Korea’s Air Force inducted the first unit for women in 1993 but until today, pilots were not qualified for fighter jets.

Indeed, the first Korean People’s Army Air Force’s female pilots must be brave to fly the obsolete Soviet-era Migs with flight gear which looks like the one used in the ’60s or ’70s.

Although when and where the images were taken was not unveiled, the airfield may be Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang.

Last week, the U.S. Air Force announced F-22 Raptor multi-role stealth jets were deployed to Japan as deterrence to North Korea. For sure, Mig-15s would not pose any threat to 5th Generation (or previous generations) U.S. combat planes.

Kim visit

Image credit: Yonhap News

 

F-35B successfully completed initial tests with ASRAAM and Paveway IV weapons

UK F-35B has conducted first tests with ASRAAM and Paveway IV weapons at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, United States.

A British test team, has successfully completed initial trials with ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles and Paveway IV LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs) on the F-35B, the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, at NAS Patuxent River, US.

“Dummy” weapons (identical in shape and weight to the original ones) were tested during 9 flights in different configurations of both weapons types on two F-35Bs, flown by Billie Flynn, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 test pilot and Squadron Leader Andy Edgell from the RAF.

According to the team, which included personnel from BAE Systems, “the initial tests are an important step in integrating weapons onto the F-35B, allowing test pilots to understand how they affect the way the aircraft performs and handles.”

Such tests are the first step towards full interoperability of the two weapons, already used by the Royal Air Force on its existing fleet, with the F-35B, destined to enter in UK’s active service, with both the RAF and Royal Navy by 2018.

As already highlighted in the past, whilst carrying significant payload on external wing pylons makes the JSF more “convincing” as a multi-role platform, it makes the plane much less stealthy as well.

Image credit: BAE Systems