Tag Archives: Free Libyan Air Force

New video shows yet another insane Libyan Mig-23 low pass over a beach

Libyan pilots like to fly their Migs low and fast.

We have already posted some cool shot and a video of the two Libyan Air Force MiG-23MLs (6472 based at Benina and 6132 based at al-Watiya) perfroming ultra low level flybys on photographers at an airbase in Libya.

Here is a video of a Free Libya Air Force Mig-23 performing another crazy flyby over a beach near Benghazi, a sign that Libyan pilots keep flying low and fast.

Cool, but risky.

H/T @fromtheskies and @green_lemonnn

 

Libyan Mig-21 Fishbed fighter jets over North Africa

Even if the remote south’s illegal traffic, smuggling and mass jail breakouts have become a Libyan Government concern, the sea routes to the oil ports remain Tripoli’s main asset.

For this reason Free Libyan Air Force (FLAF) Mig-21s conduct frequent reconnaissance missions along the coast and over the Gulf of Sidra to detect suspicious ships, as the one during which the images in this post were taken.

Noteworthy, the aircraft in the photographs are unarmed, however, according to the FLAF FB page: “The Air Force is ready to carry out orders to bomb any target approaching the maritime and territorial waters, especially oil ports.”

Mig-21 2

Image credit: Free Libya Air Force page

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Nigerian gunships, European airlifters (and weaponized U.S. drones) join Mali Air War

Here’s the latest (unofficial) Order of Battle of the Mali Air War.

Dealing with the French contingent of Operation Serval:

  • 4x Rafale Air, 5x C-135FR, 1x A310, 1x C130, 3x C-160 Transal, 3x Mirage 2000D, 1x CN235 at N’Djamena, Chad
  • 2x Mirage F1CR, 8x Gazelle, 3x Mirage 2000D, 4x Super Puma, 3x Tigre helos at Bamako, Mali
  • 2x Harfang drones at Niamey, Niger
  • 5x French Navy’s Atlantique II MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) at Dakar, Senegal, performing ISR (intelligence surveillance reconnaissance)

After chartering a Volga Dnepr An-124 and an Il-76 with Belarus registration, the French have used an An-225 Mriya, world’s biggest airlifter, to carry troops and equipment from Istres, to Bamako. The first round trip saw the aircraft returning to Istres (possibly to be loaded again) on Jan. 24.

The U.S. DoD has been supporting the French operation with five C-17 Globemaster II cargo planes (the same kind of plane dispatched by the Royal Canadian Air Force and by the UK’s Royal Air Force). Actually, one of the American airlifters was spotted in Mauritania on Jan. 16, well before Washington officially stepped in.

Noteworthy, according to ACIG‘s Editor Tom Cooper, along with the unarmed RQ-1 and RQ-4B Global Hawk, the U.S. Air Force is currently flying weaponized MQ-1 Predator drones over Mali.

The Italian Air Force is sending two C-130J cargos, belonging to the 46^ Brigata Aerea from Pisa, and one Boeing KC-767A tanker, from the 14° Stormo at Pratica di Mare, to Mali as well. The latter can be used as a strategic airlifter too.

Other airlifters are being provided by Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands and UAE.

About 60 airlift missions have been flown so far to support the build-up phase of the Mali war by France and partner countries.

KC-767A

The Nigerian Air Force has deployed two Alpha Jet light attack planes (NAF 455 and NAF 452) from the domestic wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to Niamey, in Niger, where they will be based during the Mali operations.

The Nigerians have deployed Mi-35 gunships from Nigeria to Mali in the last few days.

Nigerian_Air_Force_Mil_Mi-35P_Iwelumo-1

Image credit: Wiki

The Nigerian Army deployment to Mali was supported by NAF C-130 aircraft that have airlifted personnel and equipment.

Noteworthy, after conducting an attack on a camp possibly used by smugglers close to the border with Chad and Sudan on Dec. 18, the Free Libyan Air Force reportedly struck an alleged AQIM convoy of four vehicles originated from Mali, that had entered Libya from Niger.

In the meanwhile, the French Air Force has released the first videos of the air strikes in Mali.

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Renascent Libyan Air Force strikes smuggler camps near the border with Chad and Sudan

According to the Libyan Herald, on Dec. 18,  Libyan airforce jets hit a camp possibly used by suspected smugglers located close to the border with Chad and Sudan, not far from Kufra.

The strike took place two days after the National Congress had passed a resolution to declare the temporary closure of the borders with Niger, Chad, Sudan and Algeria would be temporarily closed to improve security in the southern Libya.

The remote south has become a Libyan government’s concern because of illegal traffic, smuggling and mass jail breakouts.

Even if the type of aircraft used to perform the air-to-surface activity in unknown, the Free Libyan Air Force (FLAF) planes most frequently appearing in updatesposted on open Facebook groups/pages are the Mig-21 and Mig-23 bombers.

Image credit: klna.libya

Noteworthy, a slightly different kind of FLAF roundel seems to have been applied to Libyan planes as the image posted above (taken on a FB page) shows.

Compare the roundel with the one in the photo below on the Mirage F1s returning home after defecting to Malta at the beginning of the uprising.

H/T to Marguerite Dehler for the heads-up

Image credit: Brendon Attard

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Malta International Airshow 2012 Highlights

Once again, the yearly Malta International Airshow, held on the Sept. 29 – 30 weekend, featured some of the most interesting and rare aircraft of the airshow season.

Among the highlights of the 2012 edition, held in the Sept. 29 – 30 weekend, the C-130J-30 Super Hercules of the Qatari Emiri Air Force and the CH-47 Chinook of the Free Libya Air Force.

Sunday Show’s Gran Finale saw a newly painted Air Malta Airbus A320 flying in formation with the Old Flying Machine Company Spitfire to Commemorate the 70 years of the George Cross.

The Red Arrows had to take part to the airshow but experienced technical difficulties on their way to Malta on Sept. 28 and had to divert to Decimomannu airbase, in Sardinia. Even the Free Libya Air Force Mirage F1 cancelled its “return journey” to Luqa.

Roderick Agius took the following interesting pictures of the airshow.

Image credit: Roderick Agius