Tag Archives: Libya

Specially-configured Metroliner aircraft involved in surveillance operations in Libya crashes shortly after takeoff from Malta

Chilling dashcam video shows a Fairchild SA227-AT Expediter crashing after takeoff from Malta killing 5 people on board.

On Oct. 24, a twin-prop Fairchild Metroliner aircraft, in a special configuration required to undertake surveillance missions, crashed shortly after takeoff from Malta International Airport at 07.20AM LT.

The SA227-AT, painted overall grey and carrying civil registration N577MX, is one of two such aircraft (the other being N919CK, that carries a different surveillance suite) is operated by the Luxemburg-based CAE Aviation on behalf of the French government for missions in Africa.

A dashcam captured the last few seconds of the flight: the aircraft can be seen banking (seemingly to the left) before crashing into the ground in the video posted on Facebook (beware, it can be considered graphic content).

The French MoD confirmed the aircraft was involved in a surveillance operation and that three defense ministry officials and two private contractors were killed in the incident.

The aircraft was reportedly involved in tracing routes of illicit trafficking, both of humans and drugs, along the more than 1,200 km of Libyan coastline: indeed, N577MX was part of a fleet of sensor-filled planes involved in intelligence gathering missions in North Africa along with several other special missions aircraft in civil disguise (whose tracks are often exposed by their Mode-S transponders.)

Such para-military, unconventional spyplanes operate from airbases in the Mediterranean Sea (including Malta, that is one of the main operating bases considered the proximity to the area of operations) performing a wide variety of clandestine tasks, sometimes in support of special forces on the ground, including hunting ISIS terrorists.

Image credit: courtesy Ruben Zammit

 

Salva

Salva

Take a ride in an EA-18G Growler with the awesome VAQ-140 cruise video

Footage is from deployment in 2015-2016 to the Arabian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean.

The video in this post comes from U.S. Navy’s Electronic Attack Squadron 140 (VAQ-140).

Based at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, the squadron’s last deployment took the “Patriots” to the east coast on the USS Harry S Truman (CVN-75). This was the ship’s and Airwing 7’s first deployment supporting Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), with targeted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as part of a comprehensive strategy to defeat the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The VAQ-140 “Patriots” fly the EA-18G Growler. Based off of the F/A-18F, the most noticeable difference with the Super Hornet are the wingtip pods housing the ALQ-218 signals receiver suite, which helps to detect and geolocate emitters and signals.

The aircraft carry the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System underneath the wings instead of bombs carried by conventional fighters. These jamming pods delay, degrade and deny the enemy’s use of the electromagnetic spectrum. Controlling what information and communication is available provides an immense tactical advantage on the battlefield and enables Coalition forces to carry out their missions with impunity.

The Growler is also capable of carrying the HARM (High speed Anti-Radiation Missile) and AARGM (Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile); these weapons are designed to seek out threat weapons systems and emitters, guiding on their energy, and destroy them.

Many thanks to Christian Long and the “Patriots” for sending this over to us!

 

Air Force Special OPS plane carrying US Commandos makes “surprise” landing in Libya

A U.S. Air Force C-146A Wolfhound with SOF made an unannounced landing at an airbase in Libya.

Early in the morning on Dec. 14, a C-146A Wolfhound (US military designation of the Do-328), serial number 13097, registration N307EF, operated by the 524th Special Operations Squadron of the 27th Special Operations Wing, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, landed at al-Watiyah airbase southwest of Tripoli, Libya.

Interestingly, the aircraft carried a team of armed people wearing civilian clothes: according to some sources they landed at 6 AM on December 14 without any coordination with the local authorities and that’s why they were asked to leave. Although it was later confirmed that they were US SOF (Special Ops Forces) the reason of their “trip” to Libya has yet to be explained.

Moreover, it’s at least weird they somehow posed for photos that appeared on Social Media.

The aircraft could be tracked online flying northbound after the trip, using callsign “Magma 30.”

The C-126A can be frequently tracked online as it flies between Stuttgard and airports in southern Italy, especially Pantelleria, a little Italian island off Tunisia, sometimes used by a U.S. Beechcraft King Air 350ER carrying registration N351DY, the civil version of the MC-12W ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) platform operated by the U.S. Air Force, flying missions over the western Tunisia regions (where jidahist terrorists behind the Bardo Museum attack have been hiding).

Noeworthy, the C-146A flew again towards Libya later on the same day from Pantelleria island.


Top image, screenshot from Flightradar24.com

Watch this video of a Libyan Mig-23 performing an insanely low flyby

The lowest and fastest flyby by a Libyan Mig-23 Flogger

We have already posted a cool shot showing FLAF (Free Libya Air Force) Mig-23 Flogger jets fly fast at ultra-low altitude on photographers at an airbase in Libya.

Here is the video filmed by a nearby cameraman.

Seven feet off the ground or more? Whatever, it’s a really a fast and low passage.

As already reported, the Libyan Air Force is currently believed to operate two MiG-23MLs (6472 based at Benina and 6132 based at al-Watiya) involved in the war of attrition against Libya Dawn forces.

H/T @Marguer_d for the heads up

 

Cool photograph of a head-on ultra-low level flying Mig-23 Flogger

Libyan Mig-23 Flogger performs insanely low flyby.

Some videos showing FLAF (Free Libya Air Force) Mig-23 Flogger jets have emerged recently: filmed from at an unknown airbase and posted on the official FB page of the Libyan Air Force they show the Soviet-era jets thundering at ultra-low altitude.

In this post you can find another image that has surfaced on the social network, reportedly released by the FLAF showing one of the flybys from a quite privileged standpoint.

According to the always very well informed Oryx Blog, the Libyan Air Force currently has two MiG-23MLs operational: 6472 based at Benina and 6132 based at al-Watiya. The two aircraft support the war of attrition against Libya Dawn forces that also operate one remaining Mig-23ML (the other one crashed after attacking the airstrip of al-Zintan on Mar. 23, 2015).

Image credit: FLAF