Tag Archives: Libya

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


U.S. Army Mysterious Sensor plane spotted over Libya. Along with a US Navy Spyplane

There are very few images of the U.S. Army EO-5C. Here’s one taken over Benghazi, Libya, few days ago.

The fact that U.S. Navy EP-3E ARIES II signal intelligence platforms were involved over North Africa was known, since images had already exposed the presence of the Navy spyplane over Libya during the evacuation of the U.S. embassy earlier this year.

What was unknown is that at least one secretive U.S. Army Dash 7 surveillance aircraft, designated EO-5C, has operated in the skies of eastern Libya, the same region where the U.S. has recently identified camps hosting a couple hundred ISIS militants.

The presence of an Army aircraft packed with sensors, known as ARL (Airborne Reconnaissance Low), is usually kept obscure: the aircraft does not wear military markings and some of its sensors can be retracted making the airplane a regional liner rather than a special operations plane on clandestine mission.

But photos of the aircraft overflying Benghazi on Nov. 29 have appeared on Twitter.

The EO-5C can detect and fix enemy transmissions on all the radio spectrum, collect both IR (Infrared) and visibile-light very high resolution imagery, track moving ground targets as well as monitor how footprints in the sand change over time.

The Navy’s ARIES II also seen operating over Benghazi is a highly modified version of the P-3C used to perform SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) missions. This variant of the Orion maritime patrol aircraft became famous on Apr. 1, 2001 when one such planes and its crew were detained for 11 days  following a collision with a Chinese J-8IIM fighter (that crashed causing the death of the pilot) and the subsequent emergency landing at Ligshui airbase, in Hainan island.

One of these Navy aircraft was spotted over Libya in 2012 when there were rumors that it might be involved in operations aimed at detecting and tracking smuggled weapons travelling towards Egypt and destined to Gaza.

In this case, the U.S. Navy spyplane, along with the Army EO-5C was probably seeking ISIS militants.

Image credit: Stoah News Agency