Tag Archives: Strategic bomber

Russian Tu-22 bombers deploy to Iran and launch first air strikes on ISIS in Syria

Russian Air Force Tu-22M3 strategic bombers forward deployed to Iran have launched their first air strike on Daesh in Syria: old-fashioned carpet bombing.

Russian Air Force Tu-22M3 strategic bombers have been involved in the air strikes in Syria since Moscow has started pounding Islamic State militants last year.

The aircraft have carried out carpet bombings dropping OFAB-250-270 and FAB-500M-62 iron bombs on their targets.

Operating from Engels and Modzok airbases in southwestern Russia, the aircraft had to cover a distance close to 3,000 km. According to some sources, the aircraft were thus supported by several Il-78M aerial refuelers on their way to the targets and back: actually, it’s not clear whether the Backfire could be refueled since the retractable probe in the upper part of the nose was reportedly removed as a result of the SALT negotiations, but it can be reinstated if needed.

On Aug. 15, the first images of a contingent of 6 Tu-22M3 bombers forward deployed to Hamedan Air Base in western Iran, along with supporting Il-76 airlifters, emerged.

On Aug. 16, the Russian MoD confirmed that the Backfire aircraft deployed to Iran performed an air strike around the besieged city of Deir-ez-Zor in eastern Syria.

Based on the footage that was released after the first mission, the Tu-22s were escorted by some Su-30SM Flankers derivatives (launched from Latakia airbase), as happened during the previous airstrikes of the RuAF Tu-22s, Tu-160s and Tu-95s.

Under the newly signed agreement with Iran, Russian bombers will be able to cut their flight time by 60%, saving money and increasing the ops tempo: the current distance to Syria is roughly 900 km, meaning that more bombs can be loaded in the round-trip mission from Iran.

Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia, that has been the headquarters of the Russian aircraft since October last year was unable to accommodate the large (34m wingspan) Russian supersonic, variable-sweep wing, long-range strategic bombers.

Image credit: Dmitriy Pichugin/Wiki

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Impressive video shows a B-36 strategic bomber buzzing Forth Worth roofs

Watch a gigantic Convair B-36 performing a super low flyby over Forth Worth neighbourhood.

The following footage consists of two clips: the first one shows a standard Peacemaker take off and climb out  as it could be seen from Riglea area, south of Carswell AFB.  The second clip instead shows a very low pass that ripped TV antennas from roofs and severely damaged homes.

Built as a high altitude strategic bomber, this very low-level flyby seems a bit too risky for a B-36, still this video is quite impressive and it shows the Peacemaker as you have never seen before!

Rare video shows Russian Air Force Tu-160 Blackjack bombers activity in the Arctic

Interesting footage from aboard Russian Tu-160s bombers over the Arctic.

The Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bomber.

The Russian Air Force operates a dozen of Tupolevs of this type; only 5 examples are combat capable, one of those has been modernized since it entered active service.

The following video shows some interesting scenes of the Blackjacks operating in the Arctic region: takeoff, formation flying at low and high altitude, and some really cool cockpit footage.

In 2013 two Tu-160s deployed to Venezuela and Nicaragua after a 13-hour flight across the Pacific. On their 15-hour return flight to Engels airbase, in Russia, that included aerial refueling by Il-78 tankers over the Norwegian Sea, the two Blackjacks entered Colombian airspace and were intercepted and escorted by Colombian Air Force Kfir fighter planes for 5 minutes.

H/T Lasse Holmstrom for the heads up

 

Russia has grounded all its Tu-95 strategic bombers after one Bear skidded off runway and caught fire

Moscow has grounded its nuclear-capable bombers after a deadly incident in eastern Russia.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has suspended all the Tu-95 Bear bomber flights after a strategic bomber suffered an incident in Russia’s Far East.

“The Tu-95 ran over the runway during acceleration. There was no ammunition onboard. According to preliminary information, engine fire was the cause behind the accident,” Russia’s MoD said according to a report posted by Interfax news agency.

Five crew members were aboard the Bear bomber that skidded off the runway and caught fire at Ukrainka airfield: one crew member was killed and another seriously injured following the incident.

As a consequence, the Russian MoD has ground the Tu-95 fleet pending investigation: this was the second incident involving a Bear bomber in two years. In 2013, a Bear was damaged after fire started behind the cockpit while the aircraft was taxing down the runway preparing for departure.

The Tu-95 is a +60-year old Russian four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. The aircraft is often intercepted by U.S. and NATO planes during routine long-range missions across the world.

 Image credit: Aktug Ates/Wikipedia

 

Dutch F-16s intercepted U.S. B-52 bombers over Europe. And took some awesome photographs

U.S. Air Force B-52s launched on round-trip missions to the Arctic and North Sea last week were used as simulated targets for Dutch F-16s on Quick Reaction Alert.

On Apr. 2 two U.S. B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers, one assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and the other assigned to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, conducted round-trip missions from their home bases to the Arctic and North Sea regions respectively.

The two bombers were taking part in “Polar Growl”, an exercise aimed at testing the ability of the aircraft and their aircrews to operate with international partners in the northern part of the globe.

One of the aircraft, the one belonging to the 2nd Bomb Wing from Barksdale, flew in the North Sea and was intercepted multiple times by the Royal Canadian Air Force, the U.K. Royal Air Force and the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

RNlAF F-16 intercept B-52

The other “Buff” on the Arctic leg, belonging to the 5th Bomb Wing from Minot,  flew with Canadian CF-188 fighters and around the North Pole.

Interestingly the Dutch F-16s of the RNlAF took some stunning photographs of the (quite rusty!) B-52 they intercepted over the North Sea.

RNlAF F-16 intercept B-52 2

The U.S. regularly conducts similar combined training and theater security engagements with Allies and partners. In October 2014, B-52s were involved in NATO Exercise NOBLE JUSTIFICATION while in June of the same year Air Force Global Strike Command B-52s and B-2s deployed to RAF Fairford, U.K., in to train alongside regional partners.

RNlAF F-16 intercept B-52 4

Last time U.S. bombers were launched on Arctic missions, the Russians reacted with a spike in missions flown by their warplanes in the Baltic Sea and around the Scandinavian peninsula.

Image credit: Frank Crébas/Koninklijke Luchtmacht