Tag Archives: Islamic state

Watch this interesting video of the Russian planes (with Red Star painted over) at work in Syria

Take a look at what happens inside Latakia airbase, where the Russian Air Force contingent is based.

The following exclusive video by RT brings you inside al-Assad International Airport, near Latakia, where Russian Air Force contingent, currently made of 36 combat planes, is based.

The footage is extremely interesting as it clearly shows the six Su-34 Fullback aircraft returning from the first combat sorties against Islamic State targets in Syria.

A closer look at the warplanes provides the confirmation that all the aircraft, including the Su-25s and the Su-34s, were removed the standard Russian Air Force markings and the typical Red Star: most probably the Russians don’t want their symbol to be shown off along with the wreckage of a plane in case one is shot down or crashes in Syria.

By the way, the insignia were overpainted on the Su-30SMs and the Su-24Ms as well, even if these are not clearly visible in this video; however there are screenshots in the social media that prove the same applies to Flankers and Fencers.

Su-34 tail

Su-25 Latakia

This is not the first time aircraft taking part in real operations are stripped off their national markings. UAE F-16s deployed to Jordan to take part in Operation Inherent Resolve didn’t wear the national flag while some U.S. drones deployed in sensitive areas perform their clandestine missions “unmarked.”

Five Rafales, one Atlantique 2 and one C-135 involved in France’s air strike in Syria

The French contingent has struck IS positions in Syria earlier today.

On Sept. 27, five Rafale jets, an Atlantique 2 and a C-135 tanker aircraft “launched by airbases located in Jordan and the Persian Gulf,” were involved in the first mission against an ISIS training camp in Syria as part of Operation Chammal.

Launched on Sept. 19, 2014, Chammal has seen a contingent counting now 12 tactical jets (six Rafale, three Mirage 2000D and three Mirage 2000N aircraft) and one Atlantique 2 MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) take part in the air strikes (bombing targets and flying reconnaissance missions) against Islamic State positions in Iraq.

The first air strike in Syria was preceded by 12 ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) missions conducted from Sept. 8 to 24, that helped to identify targets of interest located in the regions controlled by the terrorist organization: a “self-assessment” capacity, as the French MoD dubbed it in an official statement released after the mission.

The air strike targeted a training camp located in the Euphrates valley, south of Deir Ez Zor: a “deliberate strike” on a target previously recognized and cross-checked with the help of the US-led coalition.

The mission lasted five hours (with a take off time at 06:30AM French time) and the target was successfully destroyed.

Image credit: French MoD

 

A U.S. Air Force Intel team turned a comment on social media into an airstrike on ISIS building

A comment on a social media can attract three JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions).

It looks like the imprudent use of social media cost ISIS an air strike and three JDAMs dropped by U.S. attack planes on one of their buildings.

According to Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, airmen belonging to the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, at Hurlburt Field, Florida, were able to geo-locate an ISIS headquarters building thanks to a comment posted on social media by a militant.

As Carlisle explained to Defense Tech:

“The guys that were working down out of Hurlburt, they’re combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command. And in some social media, open forum, bragging about the command and control capabilities for Daesh, ISIL. And these guys go: ‘We got an in.’ So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later through that very building, three [Joint Direct Attack Munitions] take that entire building out.”

Although the U.S. Air Force did not release any further information about the location of the headquarters or the aircraft that carried out the attack, the story is quite interesting as it proves that not only are social media used by ISIS for propaganda and recruiting purposes, they are also used by U.S. intel team to identify ground targets, supplementing ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) activities conducted with the “usual” platforms, like satellites, spyplanes and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).

U.S. and NATO soldiers are always made aware of the risk of using social media and, generally speaking, digital technologies which embed information that can be exploited by the adversaries in various ways. Still OPSEC (Operations Security) breaches occur.

In 2007 four Apache helicopters were lost in Iraq because of smartphone geotagging: insurgents were able to determine the exact location of the AH-64s and successfully attack them because some soldiers had taken pictures on the flightline and uploaded them (including geotagging data) to the Internet.

Now even IS militants have experienced how dangerous an incautious use of social media can be.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

Jordanian F-16 allegedly downed by ISIS in Syria. Pilot captured.

A Rojal Jordanian Air Force F-16 was allegedly downed by ISIS in Syria. Pilot has been captured by IS militants.

Although it has not been officially confirmed yet, pictures posted on Social Media seems to prove a Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16 has crashed in Syria. Pilot, whose military ID card was recovered and posted on Twitter, was captured by Islamic State militants.

According to several sources, the aircraft was downed by ISIS militants, 11 km to the east of Al-Raqqa, in the northern part of central Syria.

ISIS captured RJAF pilot

Although the reasons of the crash are still unknown, if it was not flying at high altitude, the aircraft may have been hit by ground fire.

ISIS forces are known to operate MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems) along with anti-aircraft artillery pieces: the effectiveness of such weapons systems against low/medium flying jets and helicopters has been proved by the number of Syrian Arab Air Force aircraft shot down by local insurgents.

F-16 downed in Syria

H/T Lorenzo Mainardi for the heads-up

 

Video of E-3F AWACS refueled mid-air by French tanker over Iraq

French C-135FR refueling Belgian Air Force F-16 and E-3F AWACS over Iraq during air strikes on ISIS.

You don’t see an AWACS refuel mid-air too often. Although AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) of E-3s take place quite often, the size of the aircraft and the rotating radar dome may make the operation a bit more difficult than usual.

In this case, the video shows a French Air Force E-3F taking gas from a French C-135FR over Iraq, during air strikes on ISIS in both Syria and Iraq.

During the same sortie, the French tanker refueled also an F-16AM of the Belgian Air Force, carrying a GBU-12 LGB (Laser Guided Bomb), a GBU-38 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), two AIM-120 AMRAAMs (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles) and two AIM-9 Sidewinder IR-guided air-to-air missiles.

The aging fleet of C-135FRs, the French variant of the C-135 used as dual-role tanker/cargo and troop carrier aircraft, will be replaced with A400M and A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) aircraft.