Tag Archives: Afghanistan

[Photo] Caught in a huge Afghan sandstorm inside the cockpit of a C-130 Hercules

An Afghan sandstorm can literally turn day in night in a matter of seconds and these images show what the event looks like as seen from inside the cockpit of a C-130J Hercules waiting to taxi for a local mission.

Sandstorms move extremely fast and can completely obscurate large areas in a very short time.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Dramatic video recorded from a MEDEVAC pilot helmet camera shows how a medal of honor was earned in Afghanistan

Filmed more than four years ago during a MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation) in a valley in Afghanistan, the following video shows how Capt. Will Swenson of the U.S. Army earned the medal of honor will receive on Oct. 15.

The dramatic footage, recorded with a camera attached to the Black Hawk helicopter pilot’s helmet on Sept. 8, 2009 during the so called Battle of Ganjgal, shows Swenson in the middle of an ambush using a high visibility flag to mark the position where the MEDEVAC chopper would have to land to rescue a wounded sergeant first class.

Enhanced by Zemanta

“New” 41-year old WB-57 Canberra joins NASA fleet of high altitude special operations aircraft

On Sept. 12, NASA’s latest WB-57F, a 41-year old plane with registration N927NA arrived to Ellington Field, Texas, were it joined the other two flying WB-57Fs, NASA 926 and 928.

The aircraft arrived at its final destination after leaving the paint shop in Pinal Airpark Airport Marana, Arizona.

Based at Ellington Field, Texas, but often deployed to different bases, both within CONUS and abroad and, NASA’s Canberras conduct “special operations” alongside scientific research projects (on hurricanes, radiation impact on clouds, and so on).

In Afghanistan these unique aircraft have been used to test Northrop Grumman’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) a technological “gateway” system that allows aircraft with incompatible radio systems and datalinks to transfer information and communicate.

Even if the new aircraft has not been allocated to the BACN program yet, it is quite likely it will soon support its twin Canberras in high altitude relay missions above the U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Image credit: Christopher A. Ebdon

Enhanced by Zemanta

Polish Hind and Hip helicopter operations over Afghanistan in a Black Hawk Down style video!

The following spectacular video compiled and produced by Mariusz Adamski shows the operation of Polish Mi-8 Hip and Mi-24 Hind helicopters over the Afghan theater.

Things that are worth highlighting:

First of all, the helicopters, due to the high altitudes above sea level very rarely used the VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) capabilities; they rather used runways and wings in order to produce the lift needed for take-off.

Secondly one can notice use of flares as the insurgents were believed to be in possesion of Stinger AAMs

The Mi-8 has additional armor plates mounted that act to provide safety for the pilots and protect them from small arms fire. Hinds were used for SAR escort purpose.

Noteworthy, a Mi-24 can bee seen together with a SAR UH-60.

The flights were usually carried aut at low altitudes above the ground, as that would have a psychological effect on the enemy. Adding to that, the choppers were exactly the same models that Soviet Russians used during their operations in Afghanistan.

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist

Enhanced by Zemanta

Italian mini-UAV deployed to Afghanistan for Herat airbase surveillance

“The owl”, is the name given to the STRIX-C, the small tactical remotely piloted aircraft (RPV) that the provides surveillance of the base in Afghanistan that hosts the 2,500 men and women of the multinational contingent of Regional Command West.

Indeed, “Camp Arena”, Herat airbase, is guarded by the mini-UAV operated by the Italian Air Force Riflemen (“Fucilieri dell’Aria”) of the 16° Stormo (Wing) whose task is to provide Force Protection for the contingent in theater.

The drone is used to observe every movement around the base, even and especially at night. Only 8 kg in weight and completely portable, the 3-meter wide UAV is powered by an electric motor powered by two batteries, and can fly several hundred meters above the ground photographing, recording and transmitting “real time”  imagery to a FCS (Flight Control System) station from where two operators remotely control the drone.

The Strix-C, that has recently achieved the FOC (Full Operational Capability), is quiet and difficult to detect, that’s why it was used to secure the airport and the surroundings.

strix-c volo

Image credit: Italian Air Force

Enhanced by Zemanta