Tag Archives: Russian Air Force

Russian supermaneuverable Su-35 Flankers have started flying over Syria

Russian Gen. 4++ fighter jet has joined the air war over Syria.

Yet another Russian modern weapon system has joined the Syrian Air War.

Previously exposed by images appeared on some Russian aerospace forums (that allegedly showed the aircraft during trailing a Tu-154 during the deployment), supermaneuverable Su-35S fighters have started “to carry out military tasks last week”, as confirmed by Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov.

The (four) aircraft will provide cover to the Russian warplanes conducting raids in Syria, that are already being covered by both RuAF and Syrian jets as well as the S-400 Triumf battery installed at Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia.

According to the Interfax News Agency, the aircraft belong to the first batch delivered in October-November last year “that were initially attached to the 23rd fighter aircraft regiment of the 303rd guard combined aviation division of the 11th Air Force and Air Defense Army of the Eastern Military district stationed at the Dzengi airfield and relocated to the Privolzhsky airfield in Astrakhan in a later period.”

The aircraft deployed to Syria following the usual route over the Caspian Sea, Iran and Iraq.

The 4++ generation Su-35 is characterized by supermaneuverability. Although it’s not stealth (even if some sources say it can detect stealth planes like the F-35 at a distance of over 90 kilometers…), once engaged in a WVR (Within Visual Range) air-to-air engagement, it can freely maneuver to point the nose and weapons in any direction, to achieve the proper position for a kill.

The deployment will give the Russians an opportunity to test their new combat plane in a real war environment.

Image credit: Oleg Belyakov/Wiki

 

A Russian Su-34 Fullback bomber has violated the Turkish airspace yesterday

It looks like it has happened again….

Turkey has summoned the Russian envoy after a Russian Air Force Su-34 Fullback bomber allegedly violated the Turkish airspace during a mission from Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, in northwestern Syria.

The incident, took place on Friday Jan. 29, and according to Ankara, several warnings in Russian and in English were radioed to aircraft: in other words, something similar to what happened little more than 2 month ago, on Nov. 24, 2015, when a Su-24 Fencer was shot down by a Turkish Air Force F-16 near the border with Syria.

However, unlike the last violation, that eventually led to the downing of the Fencer (and the death of one of the two crew members) this time, the Russian Su-34 was not shot down (even though we don’t really know if the Turkish Air Force attempted to…)

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: “We are making a clear call to the Russian Federation not to violate Turkish airspace, which is also NATO airspace.”

Perhaps, the Turkish authorities don’t want to further escalate the crisis with Russia caused by the Su-24 incident: following the Fencer shootdown, Russia equipped its planes flying in Syria with air-to-air missiles for self-defense, escorted the bombers with Su-30 Flankers, sent a S-400 missile system to Hmeymin airbase and moved the S-300F-equipped Moskva guided-missile destroyer off Latakia, enforcing a MEZ (Missile Engagement Zone) over Syria.

Anyway, what’s worth noticing is that the Russian planes continue to breach into the Turkish airspace every now and then, in spite of the warnings, onboard navigation systems and the risk of being engaged by the TuAF: it all started on Oct. 3 and 4, when a Russian Air Force Su-30SM and Su-24 aircraft reportedly violated the Turkish sovereign airspace in the Hatay region causing the NATO to protest. TuAF F-16s in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) were scrambled to identify the intruders and according to Turkish sources a Russian Su-30SM maintained a radar lock on one or both the F-16s for a full 5 minutes and 40 seconds!

Following the incident Ankara said it would shot down any aircraft violating their sovereign airspace as done in the past with the Syrian Mig-23 and Mi-17 maintaining the promise on Nov. 24, 2015, when the doomed Su-24 entered its sovereign airspace for 17 seconds.

Image credit: Russia MoD

 

Dramatic video shows Russian Tu-95 bomber exploding after left wing erupts in a ball of flame during take off

A minute-long footage shows the Tu-95MS crashing during take off at Ukrainka airbase in Russia’s Far East.

As we reported last year, the Russian Ministry of Defense suspended all the Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear flights after a strategic bomber suffered an incident in Russia’s Far East on Jun. 8, 2015: the +60-year old Russian four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform skidded off the runway and exploded after the left wing caught fire during the take off run at Ukrainka airfield.

As a consequence of the incident, the second involving a Bear in two years (followed, on Jul. 14, 2015 by another incident), two of the five-man aircrew were reportedly killed (only one casualty according to the first reports.)

Now, a video of the incident has been released. It shows the aircraft’s left wing catching fire during the take off roll, causing the aircraft to steer off runway and explode.

Along with the two Tu-95s, the last Summer’s Russian crashes include a Su-24 Fencer, two Mig-29 Fulcrums and a modern Su-34 Fullback.

H/T ‎Miguel Vargas-Caba‎ for the heads-up

Russia to deploy Ka-52 attack helicopters to Syria to protect Latakia air base

The “Hokum-B” combat helicopters will be used to protect the Russian contingent at Hmeymim airbase.

Russian Kamov Ka-52 (NATO reporting name “Hokum-B”) helicopters would be about to deploy to Syria according to a source who talked to ITAR-TASS.

The attack choppers will be used to protect the Russian Task Force deployed to Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, as well as to conduct CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue) missions as the one launched to rescue the two pilots who ejected from the Su-24 Fencer shot down by a Turkish Air Force F-16 in November 2015 (during which, a Mi-8AMTSh Hip helicopter was hit by ground fire and later destroyed).

Interestingly, the first Ka-52 deployment will also be an opportunity for the Russians to test new technologies as the KRET Vitebsk EW (Electronic Warfare System).

According to the manufacturer, the Vitebsk can protect the helicopter from anti-aircraft threats in a range of several hundred kilometers, determining who is aiming at the aircraft and, once a missile is fired by a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System), forcing it away from the designated target.

“Interestingly, when this system is onboard, it can protect not only the helicopter or plane, but everything within a certain radius, forming an “electronic canopy” around the object being protected.”

Actually, this is not the first time the Ka-52s are reported to be about to deploy or already deployed to Syria: at the end of November, Sputnik News published a video showing Hokum-B helicopters allegedly operating in Syria. Looks like the segment showing the combat helicopter was old footage filmed somewhere else.

Image credit: ITAR-TASS

 

New Russian forward-swept wing jet trainer has made its first flight. And here’s the video.

Developed by a private Russian design bureau, the SR-10 (CP-10) is a single engine, all-composite jet trainer with a (moderate) forward-swept wing.

The footage below shows the first flight of SR-10, a Russian subsonic, single engine, all-composite dual-pilot jet trainer aircraft developed by KB SAT.

Developed by a private Russian design bureau called KB SAT, the aircraft features a rather unusual moderate forward-swept wing (FSW) scheme: although widely tested since 1936, the FSW has never found applications in fast jets, mainly because of the instability and structural problems induced by the design.

In fact, in spite of a better maneuverability at high AOA (Angle Of Attack), the FSW is characterized by a significant directional instability about the yaw axis, is subject to aeroelasticity issues at the wing tip, and is pretty unstable in stall conditions.

In the 1980s, Grumman built two FSW technology demonstrator, designated X-29, that first flew in 1984 and showed controllability up to 67° AOA. More recently, in 1997, Sukhoi developed the Su-47 Berkut, a supersonic demonstrator that never entered production but only conducted flight testing and performed at several air shows.

X-29 NASA

In a 2009 powerpoint presentation by KB-SAT, the SR-10 was slated to enter production as a trainer in 2011 with an export potential during the period until 2020 assessed in the volume up to 1,000 aircraft in several nations under the Russian influence across all the continents.

According to the same “Engineer note,” the base variant of the aircraft provides for the equipping with the dual-flow turbojet engine AI-25TLSh,  K-93 ejection seats with 0-0 capability (and safe escape up to 950 km/h), a “training efficiency” 10% higher on the average than the efficiency of its next analog – the L-39, and an operating cost much lower than the Yak-130: 2,500 USD vs 8,000 USD/fh.

Not sure if those figures are still valid today.

Top image credit: KB-SAT

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