Tag Archives: Aleppo

Watch a Russian Su-33 depart from Kuznetsov aircraft carrier in cool 360-degree 4K video

A panoramic camera brings you aboard Russia’s only aircraft carrier during “blue waters operations.”

Flight operations on the deck of Admiral Kuznetsov continue in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Shot with a 360-camera the following video shows Sukhoi Su-33 fighter jets being prepared for take-off and then another Flanker taking from the sky-jump of the Russian carrier.

Although the Su-33s are mainly used for air-superiority missions, screenshots from clips shot aboard the carrier showing the aircraft carrying FAB-500M-52 bombs on the centerline stations have made the rounds on social networks in the last few days, while the Russian MOD announced the beginning of the first air strikes launched from the carrier on targets located around Aleppo.

Still, we haven’t seen any clear footage of the aircraft actually taking off from Kuznetsov in that configuration even if it must be said that it’s not easy to spot the bombs carried underneath the fuselage between the air intakes.

On Nov. 13 a Russian Navy Mig-29KUBR operated by the 100th Independent Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment crashed while recovering aboard the carrier. The pilot managed to eject from the Fulcrum and was rescued by one of the Kamov helicopters embarked on Adm. Kuznetsov.


Russian MiG-29K from Adm. Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has crashed in Mediterranean sea

Pretty embarrassing incident for the Russian aircraft carrier at its debut in the air war in Syria. Fortunately, the pilot ejected safely according to the first reports.

As reported by Combat Aircraft a Russian Navy Mig-29KUBR embarked aboard Adm. Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has crashed on Nov. 13.

The aircraft is one of the four naval Fulcrums operated by the 100th Independent Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment.

According to our sources, the incident occurred around 14.30Z and involved a two-seater Fulcrum in a formation of three Mig-29s operating from the carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off Syria: whilst one of the remaining aircraft recovered aboard the Kuznetsov the third one diverted for unknown reasons to Syria.

Footage allegedly showing Mig-29s in the skies over Aleppo had happered earlier on the same day.

The pilot of the doomed aircraft ejected safely and was rescued by a helicopter while the Russian Navy radioed all the nearby vessels to remain 5NM away from the crash point.

Needless to say the incident unfolded while several NATO aircraft and warships closely monitored the operations aboard Russia’s only carrier.




Russia’s aircraft carrier group is ready to launch strike on Aleppo in the next 24 hours

Russia’s MOD has just announced that Kuznetsov aircraft carrier group prepares to strike Daesh targets in the province of Aleppo. Here’s from where.

The only Russian Navy aircraft carrier has eventually arrived in the eastern Mediterranean Sea from where, along with the rest of its battle group, it prepares to launch air strikes on Syria.

Interestingly, the first raids are being announced beforehand.

Indeed, according to the State-run Sputnik News, Russia’s MoD told Gazeta.ru that the Adm. Kuznetsov group is going to attack “terrorists in the province of Aleppo in the next 24 hours. The attack, which will likely engage Kalibr cruise missiles, will target militants outside of Aleppo, and not the residential areas.”

The naval group, includes among the others the Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser, the Severomorsk and Kulakov anti-submarine destroyers, and the Adm. Grigorovich Kalibr-armed frigate (believed the be the one that will be involved in the cruise missile launch). Reportedly, three submarines armed with cruise missiles (two Akula-class submarines and a diesel-powered Kilo-class sub) have joined the strike group in the deployment to the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Noteworthy, a  NOTAM has been issued (and publicly available) covering the Nov. 10 to 22 timeframe, with details about the area of a “Russian Navy Exercise” allegedly featuring “training flights and rocket test firings” (not actual firing activity….)

350540N0344715E. SFC – FL300, 10-15 17-22 0500-2100, 10 NOV 05:00 2016 UNTIL
22 NOV 21:00 2016. CREATED: 03 NOV 12:46 2016

Based on the NOTAM, the airspace where the Russian Navy is probably going to operate can be found in the top image (processed using SkyVector.com).

As a consequence of NOTAM A1323/16 another one (A1324/16) was issued to notify airmen of the closure of the affected airways in the area east of Cyprus, off Syria.

2.R/UR 78, M/UM978 (ALSUS-NIKAS)
4. W/UW10, L/UL619 (VESAR-NIKAS)
6. UR655 (BALMA- LCA)

SFC – FL300. 10-15 17-22 0500-2100, 10 NOV 05:00 2016 UNTIL 22 NOV 21:00 2016.
CREATED: 03 NOV 13:10 2016

Top image credit: screenshot of map edited on SkyVector.com

This may be the first video to show an ISIS jet in flight in Syria

A video, filmed in central Syria today allegedly shows the first ISIS jet in flight.

In the last few days, several media outlets reported the news that the Islamic State has started combat operations using “Mig” fighter jets from an airbase in Syria.

Indeed, in 2014, ISIS has captured two airbases in central Syria, Tabqa and Kshesh, where Islamic State fighters have seized some Syrian Arab Air Force airplanes. Among these aircraft, several Mig-21s and L-39s, some of those, if not airworthy, were probably at least in pretty good shape.

Photos of IS fighters posing next to intact L-39s at Kshesh, about 70 kilometers to the east of Aleppo, have been published on several websites and social media: some of them show the combat trainers in near operational conditions.

Obviously, the mere fact that some aircraft, with some missing parts were captured by ISIS, does not mean they now have an Air Force. Still, their capability to bring a few of those “Migs” to flight conditions should not be underestimated: with the help of the Iraqi personnel formerly serving with the Iraqi Air Force the three planes were reportedly brought back to operational status at Kshesh. Most probably piloted by Iraqi, IS supporters or mercenaries.

On Oct. 18, a video reportedly filmed near Kshesh emerged. It shows a jet landing at the airbase under IS control in central Syria.

Although it’s not easy to guess the type of aircraft, it may be an L-39.

As said, the fact that some aircraft have been brought to operational status is far from being surprising. What’s weird is that U.S. aircraft involved in Operation Inherent Resolve (as the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS was dubbed) have not yet targeted Kshesh airbase to wipe out the first three aircraft of the quite basic IS Air Force…

Top image is a file photo of a Syrian Arab Air Force L-39 during an air strike over Aleppo.


Photo allegedly shows interception of a fleeing Syrian Mig-23 by two Turkish F-4 Phantoms

On Jan. 5, 2013, a Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-23 whose pilot had been ordered to attack Aleppo, fled to Turkey.

Upon entering Turkey’s airspace, the defecting pilot replied to the radio calls of the Turkish Air Defense controllers and requested asylum.

It was then intercepted by a flight of two F-4 Phantom that were flying a routine CAP (Combat Air Patrol) sortie near the southern border that escorted the Syrian Mig to a safe landing at Adana airbase.

It took only 35 minutes for the Turkish Air Force to intercept the Syrian plane. Last year TuAF F-16s intercepted a Syrian airliner that was flying through Ankara’s airspace with suspect materials on board.

Noteworthy, some Turkish media outlets used the image below to show the interception.

Image source: Yenişafak

However, the image does not show the interception and it seems to be extensively photoshopped.

Indeed, the interception took place in the evening (between 20.40 and 21.15 LT); the two Turkish Phantoms in the image are not armed; the depicted Mig-23 is not a BN variant in service with the SyAAF but a Flogger in the typical Russian grey color scheme.

A quick Google search returned this Mig-23 photo that seems to have been used to compose the fake interception image.

Image via FAS website

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