Tag Archives: F-16 Block 52

Here Are Some Details And Photographs About The Polish F-16s Involved In The Air War Against The Islamic State

Polish Air Force F-16 Jets Log More than 1,500 Hours in Support Of Operation Inherent Resolve Against Daesh.

Little is known about the missions carried out by the Polish Air Force F-16 Block 52+ combat aircraft deployed to the Middle East in support of the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

According to the report issued by the Polish Altair.com.pl media outlet, the four Polish F-16s, that are restricted to the reconnaissance role using the DB110 recce pod, have logged more than 1,500 hours of flight time.

The F-16 operations in Kuwait, carried out by the Polish Air Force within the framework of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), are supported by 150 military.

Interestingly, according to the Polish officers deployed in theater, quoted by Altair, while conducting their sorties, the Polish F-16 pilot also got a chance to encounter some non-coalition aircraft: this, undoubtedly, contributes to the amount of combat experience gained during the Kuwaiti deployment, even though, at least officially, the Polish fighter aircraft do not carry ordnance other than the air-to-air weaponry required for self-defense purposes. Indeed, at least according to the few photos recently released by the U.S. Air Force, the Polish F-16s carry 2x AIM-120 AMRAAM and 2x AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, two drop tanks along with the DB110 recce pod and the Sniper XR targeting pod.

A Polish air force maintainer looks on as an F-16 Fighting Falcon prepares to taxi for a mission at the 407th Air Expeditionary Group, April 24, 2017. The Polish Airmen are part of the 60-nation coalition force supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in the fight against ISIS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)(Released)

Notably, throughout the recent period we have observed a major spike in activities undertaken by the Polish Air Force, with the F-16 platform. Not only were the Łask Air Base pilots deployed to Kuwait in a reconnaissance role, but beginning on May this year, a detachment of Polish F-16 jets from the Poznan-Krzesiny Air Base deployed to the Baltic to take over the NATO’s Baltic Air Policing duties so far usually assigned to the Polish MiG-29 aircraft from either the Malbork, or the Minsk Mazowiecki Airbase.

A Polish air force pilot performs preflight checks in an F-16 Fighting Falcon before taxiing for a mission at the 407th Air Expeditionary Group, April 24, 2017. The Polish Airmen are part of the 60-nation coalition force supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in the fight against ISIS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)(Released)

This may be due to different reasons.: maybe the Polish Air Force looks to transition most of the combat duties to its modern assets, or this is a mere political gesture, showcasing the involvement of the most modern Polish aircraft abroad, in order to flex some muscles.

Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that the Polish, domestically based, F-16s are currently stationed at the Krzesiny AB, while Łask Air Base undergoes runway maintenance works, with the strip being extended to accommodate a C-5 Galaxy aircraft: according to the rumors, Łask is going to become a major NATO hub on the Eastern Flank.

A Polish air force maintainer looks on as an F-16 Fighting Falcon prepares to taxi for a mission at the 407th Air Expeditionary Group, April 24, 2017. The Polish Airmen are part of the 60-nation coalition force supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in the fight against ISIS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)(Released)(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)(Released)

 

Polish F-16s prepare to take part in NATO Baltic Air Patrol mission for the very first time

Poland is about to support the air policing mission over the Baltic States.

The Polish Air Force is to commit some of its F-16 jets to the NATO BAP (Baltic Air Policing) operation beginning in May.

This is going to be the first time long-term deployment to Lithuania for the Polish Vipers: so far, Poland has contributed to the mission with the venerable MiG-29 Fulcrum jets.

Pilots and soldiers of the 31st Airbase of Krzesiny (in the vicinity of Poznan) are going to be tasked with operating four F-16 airframes during the BAP mission. Furthermore, as Polska Zbrojna reports, the operation is going to have a very joint and expansive character, since the deployment is to include personnel of the Łask 32nd AB (which is the second base hosting the Polish Air Force’s Lockheed jets), navigators and air traffic controllers, weather specialists, Polish military Police, as well as intelligence and counterintelligence servicemen.

This is the first time that the Polish F-16 replaced the Soviet-era Fulcrums in the Baltic Air Policing task. A few years back, doubts were voiced, as to why the F-16 could not deployed in the Baltics, ranging from cost considerations, to FOD damage risk.

It seems that tape M6.5 update, recently implemented, was required to have the jets deployed.

It is interesting to notice a change in the Polish F-16’s engagement doctrine: along with operating in the “recce role” against ISIS in the Middle East, they will also support BAP from Lithuania.

If you want to find out more about the Polish F-16 aircraft, check out our feature article published last year.

The “Orlik” Deployment is going to be stationed at the BAP MOB (Main Operating Base) in Šiauliai. Intelligence and ATC officers and navigators are going to be stationed at the control and recce center of Karmelava.

The Polish rotation is going to last from May 1 to Aug. 31, with the Polish pilots of the Krzesiny AB carrying out the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) and air policing duties. Deployment of the forces is going to begin in late April, and it is going to be preceded with “Orlik-17” exercise, planned in Poland.

This is the seventh Polish rotation in support of Baltic Air Policing operation, with the Poles now taking over the responsibilities from the Dutch RNlAF pilots flying the F-16 fighter aircraft, who have been on duty in Lithuania since Jan 5, 2017.

The first ever Polish deployment took place back in 2006. The mission has been carried out since 2004, when Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia asked NATO to provide air assets to protect their airspace.

Image Credit: Wojciech Mazurkiewicz

 

Polish Air Force F-16 jets deploy to Kuwait to fight Daesh

The Polish Vipers join the coalition fighting ISIS

Polish Air Force F-16 fighters from the Łask Airbase, located close to the city of Łódź in the central part of Poland, have departed their homeland for the Middle East on Jul. 5.

Operating from the territory of Kuwait, the Polish Vipers are going to become a part of the global coalition fighting against ISIS, providing reconnaissance capabilities in support of Operation Inherent Resolve

According to the Polska Zbrojna, officers of the detachment are also going to provide their support to the Qatar multinational air operations centre, from where the reconnaissance sorties carried out by the Polish F-16s using the Goodrich DB110 recce pod will be coordinated.

Four additional aircraft have departed from the 23rd Air Base in Minsk Mazowiecki, not from Łask, which is their usual gathering point (Minsk Mazowiecki airbase is being currently used by the Polish Air Force MiG-29 jets).

Aerial refueling along the route is going to be provided by the Royal Netherlands Air Force KDC-10 tankers.

A report published by Polskie Radio quotes Lt. Col. Tomasz Jatczak, Lt. commander of the Polish detachment in Kuwait, who in an interview for the IAR outlet stressed that the sortie would constitute a great challenge for the pilots, since it is the first operational combat deployment of the Polish F-16 jets.

The observational character of the mission does not mean that the Polish fighters would be exempted from flying over the enemy territory, and this, as Jatczak claims, may be seen as a demanding task.

The Kuwaiti deployment, according to the reports emerging in the media, involves 130 persons.

Simultaneously Polish special forces are also going to be operating in the region, deploying 60 specialists who would provide training and consultancy support for the Iraqi Army, as Polskie Radio claims.

According to Polska Zbrojna, the Kuwaiti deployment is a direct result of a order issued by President Andrzej Duda. Two detachments have been created, which are to remain on alert within the period between Jun. 20. and Dec. 31. this year.

Image Credit: Michał Gajzler

Salva

Rare insight into Moroccan F-16C/D Block 52+ jets operations

Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16 jets as you have never seen them before.

The following interesting footage, brought to us by Farmorocco page, provides an interesting as well as rare insight into RMAF F16 Block 52+ operations at Ben Guerir Air Base, a former U.S. Air Force base located about 36 miles (58 km) north of Marrakech.

The video shows Moroccan F-16s operating from the base which served as a Transatlantic Abort Landing (TAL) site for the Space Shuttle, carrying CFT (Conformal Fuel Tanks), Sniper XP ATP pod, AIM120C7 and AIM9M air-to-air missiles, and AGM-88 HARMs (High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles).

Noteworthy, pilots wear JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System) helmets.

 

H/T to Farmorocco’s Ysf Zhr for the video.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

U.S. KC-135 refuels Moroccan F-16 Block 52 jets during Aeroexpo Marrakech

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker, from 191st Air Refueling Squadron from Salt Lake City, Utah, took part at the 2014 Aeroexpo Marrakech Trade Show in Morocco. And refueled some Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16s during its stay in North Africa. 

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 37th Airlift Squadron based out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany and a KC-135 Stratotanker took part to the 2014 Aeroexpo Marrakech Trade Show.

These assets were chosen because “they are critical to the success of current and future multinational military operations in Africa.”

The importance of aerial refuelers in the region was also highlighted by the Libya War in 2011, when the U.S. had to support the air campaign with the majority of the tankers required to sustain the air strikes.

During its stay at the show, the KC-135 took also part to a training mission, during which it refueled three F-16 Block 52 jets from the Royal Moroccan Air Force as the images in this post show.

Morocco F-16s

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

Enhanced by Zemanta