Category Archives: Iran

Russian Tu-22 bombers deploy to Iran and launch first air strikes on ISIS in Syria

Russian Air Force Tu-22M3 strategic bombers forward deployed to Iran have launched their first air strike on Daesh in Syria: old-fashioned carpet bombing.

Russian Air Force Tu-22M3 strategic bombers have been involved in the air strikes in Syria since Moscow has started pounding Islamic State militants last year.

The aircraft have carried out carpet bombings dropping OFAB-250-270 and FAB-500M-62 iron bombs on their targets.

Operating from Engels and Modzok airbases in southwestern Russia, the aircraft had to cover a distance close to 3,000 km. According to some sources, the aircraft were thus supported by several Il-78M aerial refuelers on their way to the targets and back: actually, it’s not clear whether the Backfire could be refueled since the retractable probe in the upper part of the nose was reportedly removed as a result of the SALT negotiations, but it can be reinstated if needed.

On Aug. 15, the first images of a contingent of 6 Tu-22M3 bombers forward deployed to Hamedan Air Base in western Iran, along with supporting Il-76 airlifters, emerged.

On Aug. 16, the Russian MoD confirmed that the Backfire aircraft deployed to Iran performed an air strike around the besieged city of Deir-ez-Zor in eastern Syria.

Based on the footage that was released after the first mission, the Tu-22s were escorted by some Su-30SM Flankers derivatives (launched from Latakia airbase), as happened during the previous airstrikes of the RuAF Tu-22s, Tu-160s and Tu-95s.

Under the newly signed agreement with Iran, Russian bombers will be able to cut their flight time by 60%, saving money and increasing the ops tempo: the current distance to Syria is roughly 900 km, meaning that more bombs can be loaded in the round-trip mission from Iran.

Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, that has been the headquarters of the Russian aircraft since October last year was unable to accommodate the large (34m wingspan) Russian supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic bombers.

Image credit: Dmitriy Pichugin/Wiki

Salva

Salva

Salva

Tehran releases footage of Iranian navy submarine allegedly aiming at a U.S. aircraft carrier

The Iranian Navy has spied on a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz with drones and subs.

Iranian Tasmin News media outlet has aired a short video, allegedly filmed by a Ghadir-class submarine during a maritime exercise in the Strait of Hormuz.

The footage (click here) shows the submarine or a warship (the image above seems to be taken from a certain height from above the sea level…) somehow aiming or at least pointing its sensors at the American warship. According to the reports from the Iranian media, a drone took part in the surveillance operation as well, taking pictures of the American flattop from above.

In another video, you can see an IRGC drone flying close to the carrier (click here).

It’s not clear if and when the “close encounter” really happened nor the name of the “targeted” U.S. vessel; currently the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier is operating in the Persian Gulf supporting Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The incident occurred just a few days after ten U.S. sailors were abducted by Iran, following a technical malfunction that caused them to enter Iranian national waters near an island in the Gulf.

On Dec. 26, 2015 an Iranian vessel approached aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman while transiting the Strait of Hormuz and fired rockets in a direction away from the American flattop.

This is not the first time Iranian surveillance planes or even subs operate in the vicinity of an American aircraft carrier transiting across Hormuz. However, especially when sailing in troubled waters, all the aircraft carrier’s defenses (including surface to air missiles) are on heightened alert status and almost no suspect (manned or unmanned) aircraft approaching the ship goes unnoticed.

On the other side submarines can be a significant threat to the U.S. CSGs (Carrier Strike Groups).

During exercises and real ops, submarines regularly slip in the heart of the multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier’s defensive screen to pretend-sinking U.S. supercarriers, whose underwater defenses are far from being impenetrable.

Last year we reported about the U.S. aircraft carrier and part of its escort “sunk” by French submarine during drills off Florida.

H/T @RagazzidiTehran for the heads-up. Image: screenshot from Tamir News footage.

This Seahawk helicopter FLIR video shows Iranian vessel firing rockets near a U.S. aircraft carrier

This video shows that an Iranian ship actually fired rockets near USS Harry S. Truman.

As reported by several media outlets on Dec. 26, 2015 an Iranian vessel approached aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) while transiting the Strait of Hormuz and fired rockets in a direction away from the American flattop.

According to some U.S. Central Command officials, 20 minutes before the incident occurred, the Iranians announced over maritime radio that they would carry out a live-fire exercise.

Few days later Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ spokesperson Gen. Ramezan Sharif claimed that none of its ships fired rockets near the American flattop.

But, as reported by Marinecorpstimes.com, a video of the incident released on Jan. 9, 2016 by U.S. Navy officials to Military Times in response to a Freedom of Information Act request proves that Gen. Sharif statement was wrong.

In fact, as shown by the following Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) footage taken by a U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter operating from the U.S. aircraft carrier, an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) fired several unguided rockets near the USS Harry S. Truman and other Western warships and commercial craft.

Noteworthy this is not the first interaction between Iranian forces and the U.S. Navy, but while these “encounters” are usually professional, this last one was not, since the event was contrary to efforts to ensure freedom of navigation and maritime safety in the global commons.

A claim confirmed by Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, who affirmed that even though the rockets traveled away from the carrier, firing weapons “so close to passing coalition ships and commercial traffic within an internationally recognized maritime traffic lane is unsafe, unprofessional and inconsistent with international maritime law.”

 

This Infographic provides all the details about the Russian Strategic Bomber Fleet Operations over Syria

All you need to know about the Russian bombers missions against terrorists in Syria.

Beginning on Nov. 17, the Russian Air Force has started pounding Islamic State (as well as rebel forces) in Syria with its Stategic Bomber Fleet.

Tu-22M Backfire, Tu-95MS Bear and Tu-160 Blackjack bombers have carried out long round-trip missions from bases in mainland Russia dropping a wide variety of guided and unguided weapons over terrorists targets: from the FAB-250 iron bombs, to the KH-555 and KH-101 air launched cruise missiles.

On Nov. 20, for the first time ever, two Tu-160s carried out their mission taking off from a deployment base in Kola Peninsula: they flew around western Europe, through the Mediterranean Sea and, after meeting the Su-30SMs departed from Latakia, launched some ALCMs (Air Launched Cruise Missiles). Then, they entered the Syrian airspace and returned home via the eastern corridor: Iraq-Iran-Caspian Sea. A 13,000km journey.

On the same day, Su-34 Fullbacks launched 16 sorties against ground targets in Syria taking off from Krimsk airbase, in Russia.

Interestingly, during their transit across Middle East, the Russian strategic bombers were escorted by Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-14 Tomcat, Mig-29 Fulcrum and F-4 Phantom jets whose prior mission to visually observe activity of Russian bombers inside the Iranian airspace, from their entry point to the exit point.

Military aviation historian and journalist Babak Taghvaee has prepared an interesting infographic that provides lots of details about the Russian strategic bombers missions to Syria as well as about the Iranian chase planes.

Click below for a higher resolution version of the file.

Infographic Russian air strikes in Syria

Image credit: Babak Taghvaee

 

Watch this video of Iranian F-14 Tomcats escorting a Russian Tu-95 bomber during air strike in Syria

Persian Tomcat and Russian Bear fly together during a strike mission against ground targets in Syria.

Something really interesting details have been exposed by the material released by Russia’s MoD lately.

Indeed, as you can see in the video below, IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) F-14 Tomcat interceptors escorted Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear bombers flying in Iranian airspace during their 9h 30mins missions (from Engels airbase and back, along the Iraq-Iran-Caspian Sea 6,500 km-long corridor) against terrorist targets in Syria.

F-14 IRIAF escort Tu-95 composite

With the U.S. Navy retiring the legendary F-14 in September 2006, nowadays the IRIAF is the only operator of the Tomcat, a type of aircraft that Tehran has kept airworthy throughout the years in spite of the embargo imposed after the 1979 Revolution.

Not only did the Iranians keep some F-14s in active service but they have also upgraded it with some domestic avionics upgrades and weapons that should extend the life of the last flying Tomcats until 2030.