Tag Archives: Helicopters

U.S. Marines Request Contractors To Provide Russian-Built Mi-24 Hind Attack Helicopters

Russian Mi-24 Attack or Mi-17 Transport Helicopters Could Augment Training Authenticity.

A report in the Marine Corps Times from Friday, April 27 by journalist Kyle Rempfer revealed that the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force Training Command has filed a solicitation for contractors to provide Russian-built Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter or an Mi-17 Hip transport helicopter to serve as accurate opposing forces threat simulation aircraft.

The aircraft would be equipped with electronic tracking pods for integration into simulated combat exercises at the MCAS Yuma Range and Training Area (RTA), a large training facility in the Arizona desert. The Yuma Range and Training Area accurately replicates current and potential threat environments throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

According to Rempfer’s report for the Marine Corps Times, the solicitation read in part,
“The [Mi-24] attack helicopter, due to its size, flight profile, firepower and defensive maneuvering capabilities, constitutes a unique threat creating a realistic, dissimilar and credible opposing force.”

In their potential role as a technically realistic opposing force flying against U.S. Marine ground forces in training the helicopters would accurately replicate the threat capabilities of many potential adversary forces. While the Mi-24 attack helicopter is primarily an air-to-ground attack helicopter the report also mentioned a potential role for any Russian helicopters acquired or contracted as providing a simulated opposing force capability against U.S. Marine Helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft to possibly include the UH-1Y Venom, AH-1Z Super Cobra and MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor.

The U.S. Marine Training Command’s request went on to read, “The scope of this effort is to provide familiarization of flight characteristics, capabilities and limitations of the foreign adversary rotary-wing and propeller driven aircraft,” according to the solicitation. “This will be accomplished by having accessibility to two foreign adversary contractor-provided aircraft that shall participate in certain exercise events as part of a realistic opposing force.”

The request for the opposing forces helicopters will include up to five annual training operations and a maximum of 40 total hours of flight time in VFR (daylight, fair weather Visual Flight Rules) conditions. Of further interest is a notation indicating interest in fixed wing aircraft. Russian fixed wing aircraft such as the Sukhoi Su-27 have already been observed and photographed flying over the Nellis Training Range in Nevada.

A privately owned Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter at Nellis AFB, Nevada. (Photo: Tom Demerly/TheAviationist.com)

In the combined air/ground combat role most commonly performed by the U.S. Marine Corps one relevant adversary aircraft for threat simulation may include the Sukhoi Su-25 (NATO codename “Frogfoot”), although no specific information indicates an interest in the Su-25 from the U.S. Marines.

A remarkable 57 countries currently use the Mi-24 Hind attack helicopter, built at the Mil Helicopter Plant in Moscow, Russia. The aircraft is infamous in western nations for its rugged survivability and significant combat capability. The request for actual Mi-24 Hind helicopters seems to acknowledge the type’s unique and significant capabilities as a potential adversary.

There are currently at least two Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters privately owned in the U.S. by the Lancaster Air Museum in Lancaster, Texas. The aircraft fly frequently at events and airshows around the country.

Watch A Russian Ka-52 Gunship Helicopter Accidentally Fire Rockets At Spectators During Exercise

Close call: This Is What It Looks Like When An Attack Helicopter Fires At You.

The following video is pretty scary: it shows a Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter accidentally firing rockets towards parked cars and bystanders.

The Kamov Ka-52 Alligator is an all-weather attack helicopter featuring the distinctive coaxial rotor system of the Kamov design bureau. The footage shows two such gunship helicopters approaching what is probably a range, where a group of several cars is parked. Then, suddenly, one of the helicopters fires a rocket at a nearby object almost hitting the cameraman.

According to some sources, the clip, that leaked online on Sept. 19, was allegedly filmed during the ongoing Zapad 2017 drills; however the Russian military denied the claims that spread through the social media and, while not saying when and where it happened, it said the incident happened during another exercise.

“All the reports on social media about a barrage of rockets hitting a crowd of journalist and a large number of casualties are either a deliberate provocation or someone’s personal stupidity,” an official statement reported by RT said.

A public intelligence source cites one of the missiles on the KA-52 as being the Vikhr anti-armor missile and reports that the missiles are, “Virtually jam-proof and the system features automatic guidance to target.” The Kamov KA-52 also carries unguided High Velocity Aircraft Rockets (HVAR’s) of both the S-13 122mm rocket and the smaller S-8 80mm rocket both launched from multiple-round rocket pods. It is not known which munition was discharged in this incident.

The Vikhr anti-armor missile. (Credit: Minpromtorg.gov.ru)

H/T Dawid Szczesniak for the heads-up

 

Watch this video of Finnish NH-90 helicopters in action during Ex. Cold Blade and under Aurora Borealis

An interesting video shows Finnish helicopters at work in Arctic weather.

Cold Blade 2016 was a European Defence Agency’s Helicopter Exercise Programme’s exercise conducted in Finnish Lapland between Feb. 29 and Mar. 18.

The objective of the exercise was to strengthen interoperability and improve operating capabilities in arctic conditions.

The following video, released by the Finnish Defense Forces shows Finnish NH-90 and German CH-53GA helicopters perform white-out approaches and landings at remote locations located in uninhabited areas, in snowy and extremely cold environments.

The footage shows also the helicopters parked under a sky set alight by the Aurora Borealis.

Aurora (“Aurora Borealis” or “Northern Lights” in the northern hemisphere and “Aurora Australis” or “Southern Lights” in the southern one) is a natural light display caused by the collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere).

 

A glimpse into the cockpit of the HH-101A “Caesar” Special Operations Helicopter

The “Caesar” is considered one of the most advanced helicopters for CSAR and Personnel Recovery duties available today.

On Feb. 25, the Italian Air Force took delivery of its first AgustaWestland (now a division of Finmeccanica Group) HH-101A “Caesar” medium-lift helicopter during an official ceremony held at Cervia airbase, Italy.

The helicopter, a military variant of the AW.101, is one of four HH-101A helicopters, out of a total requirement of 15, delivered from the Finmeccanica Helicopter Division’s assembly line in Yeovil (UK) to date.

It will be used to perform personnel recovery and special forces missions, SAR (Search And Rescue) and CSAR missions, as well as medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) tasks.

Interestingly, the helicopter will also be used to counter small aerial threats undertaking the Slow Mover Intercept

According to Finmeccanica, the HH-101A is able to accommodate up to five crew members plus twenty fully equipped troops or six crew members plus 8 troops for special operations, ensuring maximum mission flexibility.

It features three M134 7.62 mm pintle mounted Gatling-type machine guns installed on right and left sides and on the rear ramp provided by Finmeccanica Defence Systems Division, armoured cockpit seats, ballistic protection for machine gun operators as well as for critical systems and an Integrated Electronic Warfare System.

The chopper is also equipped with some cutting-edge avionics, sensors and self-protection systems including radios, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), crypto, Link 16, intercommunications system, Gabbiano radar system, Laser Warning Receiver (LWR) and a Missile Launch Detection System (MILDS).

By means of a kit the HH-101A can extend its operating range performing HAAR (Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling) ops.

HH101 delivery

Image credit: Finmeccanica

[Photo] KFOR Multinational Multi-Helicopter formation over Kosovo

Eight combat helicopters belonging to four different air arms have taken part in a multinational mission over Kosovo. And here are some interesting shots.

The pictures in this article were taken on Jul. 12, by Cpt. Rory J. McCarthy, a UH-60 pilot who flew aboard an Mi-171 during a multinational multi-helicopter mission which included two Croatian Mi 171sh, one Swiss AS-532 Cougar, one Slovenian AS-532 Cougar, and four U.S. UH-60/A Blackhawk choppers.

The mission was flown to prepare the aircrews to operate with troops on board, to fulfill a tactical exercise requirement KFOR, the NATO-led international peacekeeping force, has in Kosovo.

KFOR Multi-ship UH-60

As a part of the NATO Multinational Task Force, KFOR helicopter detachments support a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement Kosovo wide. On order, Croatian, Slovenian, Swiss and U.S. helicopters work together to move 90 Crowd Riot Control (CRC) equipped troops Kosovo wide on short notice.

In addition to troop transport, select helicopters are equipped for MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation), fire fighting, airborne and SPIES (Special Patrol Infiltration and Exfiltration System) operations.

KFOR Multi-ship takeoff

Image credit: Cpt. Rory J. McCarthy