Tag Archives: Royal Danish Air Force

Danish F-16s Intercepted A Low-Flying Russian Navy Tu-142 Bear-F Anti-Sub Aircraft In A Very Rare Close Encounter Over The Baltic Sea

A new video released by the Royal Danish Air Force shows a low-flying Tu-142MK aircraft: a rare sight in the Baltic region.

The footage below is particularly interesting as it shows a quite rare “visitor” to the Baltic: a Tu-142 Bear-F long-range maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

The Royal Danish Air Force F-16s from Fighter Wing Skrydstrup intercepted and shadowed the anti-sub aircraft flying at low-level in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

Derived from the Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber, the Tu-142 is a platform that entered active service in November 1980. It is operated by a crew of 10, including two pilots, two navigators, a nav/weapon systems operator, an on-board operator and a rear gunner.

According to “Russia’s Warplanes, Volume 2” by Piotr Butowski published by Harpia Publishing, one of the most authoritative sources on Russian-made military aircraft and helicopters today, the Russia’s Naval Aviation has two Tu-142 squadrons, one with Tu-142MK (NATO reporting name Bear-F Mod. 3) aircraft at Kipelovo-Fedotovo and one with Tu-142MZ (Bear-F Mod. 4) at Mongoktho.

The one involved in the close encounter with the Danish Vipers appears to be an MK from Fedotovo, located near railway station Kipelovo on a major railway to St.Peterburg. Indeed, the aircraft does not feature the typical chin fairings that characterize the MZ version.

The Tu-142MK and MZ are both able to carry a maximum of 9,000 kg (19,842lb) weapons load inside two fuselage weapons bays, with options including three torpedoes (the rocket-propelled APR-2/APR-3, or the electric AT-2M or UMGT-1) or depth charges (such as the Zagon/Zagon-2 guided charges and nuclear depth charges), mines and sonobuoys. The typical loadout of a Tu-142MK comprises 3x torpedoes and 66x RGB-75, 44x RGB-15, 10x RGB-25 and 15 RGB-55 sonobuoys.

According to the RDAF, the Tu-142 has only been seen in the area a few times earlier. In fact, the majority of the missions flown by the Russians over the Baltic Sea or around northern Europe involve long-range strategic bombers, such as the Tu-22M Backfire, the Tu-160 Blackjack and the Tu-95 Bear, rather than an asset specialized in ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare).

 

Salva

Salva

Targeting Pod footage shows a pilot ejecting from an F-16 over the North Sea

Here’s an interesting video showing an ejection from a different point of view….

On Oct. 27, 2015, a Royal Danish Air Force pilot was forced to eject from his F-16A block 20 MLU over the North Sea after jet suffered a landing gear problem that prevented it from safely landing back at Skrydstrup air base.

The pilot, belonging to ESK 727, successfully ejected from the jet (#83-1070) and was later rescued by a SAR (Search And Rescue) helicopter.

The video below tells his story.

It’s more than 1-hour long and, unfortunately, in Danish language only. Still, the very first seconds of the clip shows the moment the pilot ejected as seen through the Litening G4 Targeting pod footage.

Watch this: fantastic footage of F-16 firing AIM-9X and AIM-120 missiles, downing drone

Royal Danish Air Force F-16s involved in a LIVEX (Live Firing Exercise).

Last week some RDAF F-16 pilots were involved in a LIVEX over the North Sea.

During the Live Firing Exercise, the Danish pilots had the opportunity to fire AIM-9L and AIM-9X Sidewinder IR-guided air-to-air missiles against burning flares as well as AIM-120 AMRAAMs (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles).

And, fortunately, they also filmed the live firing activity with both GoPro cameras as well as the aircraft’s targeting pod (you will probably remember the epic selfie shot during a Livex last year by a RDAF pilot).

The RDAF video clearly shows the Danish pilots wearing the JHMCS (joint helmet-mounted cueing system) a multi-role system that enhances pilot situational awareness and provides head-out control of aircraft targeting systems and sensors.

The helmet can be used in an air-to-air role: in this case it was used in combination with the AIM-9X missile, as High-Off-BoreSight (HOBS) system, that enables pilots to cue onboard weapons against enemy aircraft merely by pointing their heads at the targets to guide the weapons.

 

Danish F-16 fighter pilot grows a mustache to honor a legendary U.S. Air Force ace pilot and becomes his look-alike

An F-16 fighter pilot grew a bulletproof mustache to honor a great fighter pilot and became Robin Olds’s look-alike.

Thomas “MET” Kristensen is a combat pilot of the Royal Danish Air Force.

Even though his name may be new to you, he’s actually quite famous, as “MET” is the man behind the world-famous Fox-2 selfie shot while he was firing an AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile from an RDAF F-16.

In an email to The Aviationist, Kristensen explains:

“I’ve just been deployed in Estonia with the Royal Danish Air Force F-16 detachment, to carry out air policing over the Baltic States. In this context, I acquired myself a bulletproof mustache in honor of a great fighter pilot who introduced it during the Vietnam War.”

The great pilot mentioned by “MET” is Robin Olds, a U.S. Air Force ace, with a combined total of 16 victories in World War II and the Vietnam War.

Olds, who retired as Brig. Gen. in 1973 and died in 2007 at the age of 84 (you can find many websites, books about him and his career), was also famous for the mustache he grew in Vietnam. The Wiki page has an entire section about Olds’s handlebar mustache.

Kristensen grew his own mustache to honor the legendary pilot and, as you can see in the pictures taken during the Baltic Air Policing deployment by photographer Casper Tybjerg, a Nikon Ambassador, the similarity with the original shots of Robin Olds is astounding.

Left is Col. Robin Olds (image from Wiki), right is “MET”.

Robin Olds

Image credit: Casper Tybjerg and Wikipedia (via Thomas Kristensen)

 

Incredible photo of F-16 fighter planes under sky set alight by Northern Lights

Here’s an unbelievable photo shot at Amari Airbase, Estonia.

Taken by photographer Gen Vagula at Ämari Airbase, Estonia, where the aircraft have been deployed to undertake Baltic States air policing duties, this awesome image shows four Royal Danish Air Force F-16 jets parked under a sky set alight by 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).

Ämari, located some 40 kilometers (25 miles) to the southwest of Tallinn, is the second airbase used by NATO to perform QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duties and provide air defense for those member states that have no fighter jets of their own to secure their airspaces: Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

NATO planes deployed to the Baltics (the other airbase is Siauliai in Lithuania), are often scrambled to intercept Russian planes flying to/from Kaliningrad oblast, performing long-range missions around Scandinavia and the British Isles, or simply spying in the Baltic region.

Image credit: Gen Vagula