This VFA-131 cruise video includes rare ATFLIR view of a Russian Flanker encountered during anti-ISIS mission

Jan 17 2017 - 8 Comments

VFA-131 Operation Inherent Resolve Cruise Video includes rare footage of Russian Flanker (and Iranian F-4 Phantom) encountered by the U.S. Navy Hornets.

The footage below is not the usual USN Squadron cruise video.

Indeed, along with the standard carrier launch, recovery, air-to-air refueling, high-g maneuvering stuff that you can find in all these videos, this one from VFA-131 also contains some pretty rare footage filmed during the cruise aboard USS Eisenhower in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, in Syria and Iraq.

In particular, a close encounter with a RuAF Flanker, most probably a Su-35S Flanker-E from Hymeim airbase near Latakia. Filmed by the Hornet’s AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pod, a multi-sensor, electro-optical targeting pod, incorporating thermographic camera, low-light television camera, target laser rangefinder/laser designator, the IR footage shows the Russian aircraft carrying only one R-77 RVV-SD (on the starboard wing’s inner pylon) and two R-27 air-to-air missiles.

Noteworthy, talking to the WSJ, a U.S. Air Force official has recently claimed that Russian planes regularly fly too close to U.S. fighter jets, risking collision in the crowded skies above Syria. According to Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Corcoran, commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Russian pilots fail to emit identifying signals on the agreed hotline during flights, adding to confusion in the air, an allegation that is refuted by the Russia’s Defense Ministry.

Moreover, there’s some interesting dogfight with a French Rafale (at 09:38 and 11:57) and (at 09:01) another close encounter, with an F-4 Phantom, most probably an Iranian one met over the Gulf.

Here below you can find a screenshot showing the Phantom.

And here’s the full video.



  • leroy

    I like the first one. Below, at X/XX nautical miles and on their six. This is where you’ll find F-22 and F-35 right before they stick a missile right up the Flanker’s as_! Even the “all-powerful”, “fighter-extraordinaire” Su-35. And the sad part about it (for the Su-XX)? They’ll never see it coming. And more than likely the deceleration/concussion/explosion will make sure they never get a chance to use those “famous” Zvezda ejection seats. You know, the ones the Flanker and MiG cheerleaders think are so great and better than MB. God up there cruising unaware at 600 kts they seem like balloons floating around waiting to be popped – AMRAAM-D being the very pointy needle (Meteor if fired from a Euro-JSF). And for them it’s gonna get worse! Soon they’ll have to deal with Raytheon’s new hyper-advanced SACM.

    I feel sorry for the Russians and Chinese. They really think they can compete in air-combat against American 5th gen fighters. Little do they know (or maybe they do – look at all the paid trolls browbeating the F-35). They don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell. Blind, deaf and dumb. But when you consider the question of good vs evil, isn’t that the way things are supposed to be? The bad guy always loses? I think so. Russia and China? Straighten up your acts or some day face what for you would be very unbearable consequences.

  • Nawaponrath

    US are illegally flying in Syria and they dare to complain about Russia AF

  • Super Rhino

    Nice to see the Rafale through the HUD of the veteran Hornet…

    • Frederick Murre

      I’ve seen that nose-point voodoo.

      I was privvy in the early 90s, to a showboating A- Hornet that went a little too soon over the top of a loop, that was at about 1000 AGA feet. The nose just magically popped up from pointing straight down, and he was now falling, level at 400 feet, and ended up holding altitude at about 20 feet, with burner thumps, and sod and mown grass getting thrown up from his exhaust.

      I was already filling out the witness report in my freaking head, I swear.

  • Uniform223

    Russia uses cluster munitions to cover a 50×50 meter grid square and carpet bombing, calling it “precision” attacks.

  • Super Rhino

    Thankfully you put the video on time.
    I included those two new victims in to the trophy Salon of the F-18s

    • Yak

      Nice video, lots of good WVR action !

      However, seeing the “ennemy” through your HUD doesn’t always mean a gun kill in a dogfight training. And to be fair, let’s not forget that Hornets (of all types) can be seen through the HUD of many of these worthy opponents as well :) .

  • thebeeishorrid

    Private video.