Tag Archives: Russian Air Force

Russian An-30 spyplane crashes in Czech Republic during Open Skies mission

On May 23, at 11.50 LT, a Russian Air Force An-30B (registration 04 black) took fire after skidding off the runway on landing at the Czech air force base in Caslav, 20 miles east of Prague.

Of the 23 people on board (14 Russians and 9 Czechs), five Russians and one Czech national have suffered injuries, mostly burns. The plane and Russian officials were in the Czech Republic on a regular monitoring mission.

Indeed, the aircraft was involved in a mission in the skies of the Czech Republic under the Open Skies Treaty. Signed in 1992, at the initiative of President Bush, the Treaty established a regime of unarmed observation flights over the territories of its 34 member states to promote transparency of military forces, installations and activities.

During such flights, that feature the typical OSY (Oscar Sierra Yankee) radio callsign, Russian/US and local officials on board the plane monitor the implementation of agreements on the use of technical equipment for the observation.

Aircraft involved in such monitoring missions (An-30, Tu-154, C-130J etc.), carrying special cameras and sensors, may be provided by either the observing or observed nation (at the latter’s choice).

Image credit: AP Photo/CTK, Josef Vostarek

Norwegian P-3 maritime patrol aircraft’s close encounter with an aggressive Russian Mig-31 Foxhound

According to the Norwegian newspaper Andoyposten which gave the news, Apr. 10, 2012 will go down as a date that one particular Royal Norwegian Air Force P-3 crew will never forget.

Whilst flying over the Barents Sea on a routine mission, the P-3 Orion came across a Russian Air Force Mig-31 Foxhound. Nothing unusual, apparently, as the RNoAF planes come close to the Russian ones, especially when the Norwegian F-16s are called to intercept Russian aircraft approaching Norwegian airspace, normally without incident.

However, on this occasion, the Norwegian crew initially observed the Mig-31 twice shadowing the P-3 at a safe distance, then disappearing. Moments later the Russian fighter jet came back from behind the patrol aircraft, so fast and close it was in danger of a mid-air collision.

Fortunately, in spite of the “uncomfortable distance” the Orion did not collide with the Foxhound and the aircraft could safely return to its homebase.

Quite upset by such shows of bravado by the Russian interceptor Lt. Col. John Espen Lien, communications director of the RNoAF HQ said that the incident “will be dicussed with the Russian Armed Forces”.

On Sept. 13, 1987, a RNoAF P-3B had a mid air collision in similar circumstances with a Soviet Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker over the Barents Sea.

Although damaged, both planes were able to land safely, but both episodes show how close encounters are inherently dangerous.

By the way, do you remember the Hainan Island Incident when a U.S. EP-3E collided with a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) J-8II interceptor?

David Cenciotti contributed to this post.

Image credit: Matt Morgan / Flickr

Rare behind the scenes video of Iranian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer operations

The following interesting video shows daily operations at the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer, belonging to the 72nd Bomber Squadron at TAB-7 in Shiraz.

Mission briefing, dress rooms, flying clothing as well as a taxi ride by a journalist in the Fencer (this explains why he doesn’t wear a flight suit). Also cockpit images during buddy refueling and air-to-air footage of a KH-29L (AS-14 “Kedge” in NATO designation) air-to-surface laser-guided missile test fire.

A rare and quite long (unfortunately in original language) “behind the scenes” of one of the most interesting Iranian combat planes.

Russian strategic bombers, reconnaissance planes and AWACS skirt Japanese islands (and get photographed) during long range patrol flights.

On Feb. 8, the Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) had to scramble fighter jets to intercept multiple Russian military planes flying near Japan.

Five Russian planes flew over the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan off Hokkaido and the Tohoku region in northeast Japan: two Tu-95 Bear, two Su-24 Fencer (Fencer E according to the information released by the Japanese authorities even if the released image seems to show a Fencer D) and an A-50 Mainstay, an airborne early warning aircraft seldom seen accompanying strategic bombers along patrol flights over the ocean near Japan.

Even if the Russians flew close to the Japanese coast, all flights took place in the international airspace (that is to say, the airspace outside the territorial waters, located within 12 nautical miles from the coast) in compliance with the international rules.

Noteworthy, talking to the RIA Novosti, the Russian Air Force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik, said that the Russians were intercepted and escorted by “Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft,” even if the JASDF is not equipped with the F-16 but with the indigenous Mitsubishi F-2 that is based on the Fighting Falcon (hence similar to the American “electric jet”).

Images via FNN news

Russian Sukhoi Su-27s + Iranian F-14s + Iranian F-4s = the most exotic formation ever!

Although some pictures of this unbelievable formation have been already published on aviation website, the Russian Knights, Russian Air Force aerobatic display team has released some more images of the weird formation of Russian Su-27s (with the supporting Il-76), IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) F-14 Tomcats and F-4 Phantoms taken during the ferry flight that took the the team home from the Bahrain International Air Show 2012.

A unique opportunity to see some really “exotic” planes flying in (quite loose) formation over Iran, in a quite tense period.

Image credit: Sergei Shcheglov Russian Knights via http://sergeydolya.livejournal.com/423952.html (visit this site for more pictures)