Tag Archives: An-26

Here Are The Photos Of The First Italian Typhoons Alert Scramble In The Baltics This Year

The Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons intercepted a Russian An-26 transport aircraft over the Baltics. And here are some photos.

On Feb. 1, 2018, two Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon F-2000A jets executed their first Alert Scramble to respond to a Russian Federation Air Force aircraft that flew over the Baltic Sea with the transponder turned off.

The two aircraft were actually not launched but “diverted” from a training flight when the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem, Germany, detected an unidentified track crossing the Baltic airspace over international waters.

The two ItAF Typhoons, belonging to the Task Force Air 36° Stormo, identified the “zombie” as a Russian Federation Air Force An-26 transport aircraft. According to NATO, the two Italian aircraft flew alongside the transiting Russian plane and broadcast their transponder signal allowing civilian air traffic controllers to keep other air traffic clear of the area.

The Russian An-26 intercepted by the Italian F-2000As over the Baltics.

The Italian Air Force Typhoons have been deployed to Ämari Air Base, Estonia, augmenting NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission since early January 2018. Together with the Royal Danish Air Force lead detachment at Siaullai, Lithuania, their task is to provide 24/7 fighter capabilities that can be launched by the CAOC at Uedem, Germany, in response to unidentified air tracks in the Baltic Region.

The Italian detachment logged 100 flying hours during training flights over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania beneficial for both Italian pilots and Baltic military air traffic controllers to further improve skills and interoperability, on Jan. 25, 2018.

One of the two Typhoons shadows the intercepted Curl.

This is the second ItAF rotation in support of NATO BAP mission. From Jan. 1 to Aug. 27, 2015, as part of the TFA (Task Force Air) based at Šiauliai, Lithuania, four Typhoons of the 4°, 36° and 37° Stormo (the three Wings that fly the Euro-canard) logged about 900 flying hours, launching for 40 A-Scrambles (Alert Scrambles) and more than 160 T-Scrambles (Training Scrambles) during the first rotation as lead detachment of NATO BAP. Noteworthy, no photograph of intercepted Russian aircraft was released during and after the 2015 detachment, even though the Italians had some really interesting close encounters with some pretty interesting aircraft, including some Tu-160 Blackjack and Su-27 Flanker jets. However, unlike what happened three years ago, this time the Italian MoD has promptly shared some shots of the An-26 intercepted by the Typhoons, including those that you can find in this post.

Escort duty for this Italian Air Force Typhoon, at safe distance from the An-26 intercepted over the Baltics.

Image credit: Italy MoD

 

 

 

Russian warplanes used practice bombs with “To Berlin!” and “For Stalin” slogans during Baltic drills

Transport planes of the Russian Baltic Fleet used practice bombs signed “To Berlin!” and “For Stalin!” during recent drills in the Baltic Region.

At the beginning of August, the Russian Navy Baltic Fleet held an exercise at Chernyakhovsk airbase, in Kaliningrad Oblast.

Attended by aircrews from the Baltic, North, Black Sea and Pacific fleets, the drills saw live firing activity conducted by Su-24 and An-26 and Mi-24 and Ka-27: noteworthy, it was the first time the An-26 transport plane practiced in the bomber role in 20 years.

AN-26

As sometimes happens among Western air forces during real ops as well as live firing events, bombs used by the Russian planes during the exercise sported various inscriptions: interestingly, the images allegedly taken by the Russian Navy and posted on the naval news website Flot show two P-50SH bombs with the slogans “To Berlin!” and “For Stalin” similar to those used during WWII by the Soviet Red Army in its fight against Nazi Germany.

P-50SH bomb

“Neither while being stored in warehouses, nor, moreover, during any training or otherwise exercises had any inscriptions whatsoever been put on any ammunition,” said a Russian MoD source who talked to Sputnik News.

However, at least in Germany, such slogans have been taken seriously: Bild tabloid said the text on bombs show dangerous tendencies in the Russian leadership and army and that may be considered as a “bitter insight into of the Russian reality of 2015.”

AN-26 bomb

Image credit: Flot