Tag Archives: Su-34

Watch 71 Russian military aircraft fly over Moscow during Victory Day air parade

Military planes flying over Moscow rooftops on Victory Day

71 combat planes and helicopters flew over central Moscow to celebrate the 71st anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two on May 9.

The air parade included most of the Russian “hardware” that took part in the Air War over Syria, including the Tu-95 Bear, Tu-22M3 Backfire and Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers and the Su-34 Fullback “multidimensional” fighters.

The flypast also featured the Il-76 and AN-124 airlifters, the Russian MiG-29SMT fighter jets, the “Kubinka diamond” made of MiG-29s of the Strizhi (Swifts) and Su-27s of the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) as well as Mi-28Ns, Mi-35s and Ka-52 combat helicopters flying over the monument of Minin and Pozharsky at Red Square in Moscow.

Here’s an interesting video that shows all of them.

As a side note, the air parade was advertised with banners that had an F-15 painted on them:

Victory Day 2016 F-15

Update: some Russian readers have pointed out that the above one is just an advertising of one of the political parties in the Bryansk city. So, surely, it is a funny designer mistake, bit it’s not connected with any of the officials participating in the parade.

Hawaiian F-22 Raptors deploying to UAE to join air war on ISIS

Six Hawaii Air National Guard are deploying to the CENTCOM area of responsibility.

Six Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptors are enroute from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, to Al Dhafra, UAE, to join the CENTCOM area of responsibility.

Once there, the aircraft will replace the U.S. Air Force Raptors already there for a 6-month rotational deployment that will see the aircraft take part in Operation Inherent Resolve in the airspaces of Iraq and Syria: although they can attack their own targets using Precision Guided Munitions (two 1,000-lb GBU-32 JDAMs or 8 GBU-39 small diameter bombs) while covering other aircraft in a typical swing role mission, the F-22 have proved to be useful in the air war against ISIS by making other aircraft more survivable, acting as electronic warfare enabled sensor-rich multi-role aircraft that provide “kinetic situational awareness” to other aircraft involved in the air strikes.

Who knows, maybe they will even come close to the Russian Su-30s and Su-34s involved in the raids against IS terrorists across Syria (or they will simply be spied by the Russian Il-20 Coot deployed there).

For the 199th Fighter Squadron this is the first combat tour of duty since the deployed to Saudi Arabia in 2000, to patrol the southern NFZ (No Fly Zone) of Iraq. At that time the squadron flew the F-15 Eagle; it transitioned to the F-22 Raptor in 2010, flying the 5th Generation stealth planes in partnership with the 19th Fighter Squadron.

On their way to the Middle East, the aircraft made a stopover in Moron, Spain, and Sigonella, Italy.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

Here’s an interactive map of all the Russian airstrikes in Syria

The Russian contingent has launched its airstrikes in Syria. And this interactive map shows them all.

On Sept. 30, the Russian Air Force launched its first airstrikes in Syria (with controversial results).

Since then, the RuAF contingent has launched more raids, some of those conducted by the six Su-34 Fullback bombers, the most advanced tactical jets in the Russian inventory, deployed to Latakia just a couple of days before they were used for the first time in combat.

The following interactive map by @Radicalenzyme shows the location of all the known attacks so far.

As the RuAF Su-24s, Su-25s and Su-34s deliver their unguided and guided munitions on ISIS (and, according to some reports, Free Syrian Army) targets there is some concern that the lack of coordination with the US-led coalition may cause some trouble sooner or later.

Considered the number of sorties launched by the coalition (from 1 to 6, according to the daily reports by U.S. CENTCOM) the risk of mid-air between Russians and U.S. planes is still quite low. Beginning on Oct. 2, Su-30SMs have appeared next to the attacking Russian planes: they are equipped with good air-to-air radars, useful to have an idea of the “picture.”

According one of our sources with deep knowledge of Operation Inherent Resolve, who wishes to remain anonymous “with a growing presence of Sukhois across Syria and little notification, we can’t completely rule out that different packages will one day come a bit too close each other. Can you imagine what happens the first time an escort plane supporting a strike package starts tracking a Russian plane, or vice versa? The best solution is to divide the Syrian airspace into different areas and assign them to the different parties.”    

NATO worried by an “unusual level of Russian air activity over European airspace”: 19 warplanes intercepted today

Russian air activity across Europe is surging: three more formations intercepted today.

As reported yesterday, on Oct. 28, the German Air Force Eurofighter jets on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) to provide NATO Baltic Air Policing were scrambled to intercept 2x MiG-31 Foxhound, 2x Su-34 Fullback, 1x Su-27 Flanker and 2x Su-24 Fencer jets over the Baltic Sea.

The following day, Oct. 29, three large packages of Russian planes skirting NATO “airspace” were detected and monitored by aircraft on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) in both northern Europe and Turkey.

“These sizable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace,” said NATO in an official statement.

At approximately 3:00 a.m. CET NATO radars detected and tracked eight Russian aircraft flying in formation over the North Sea, in international airspace.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force scrambled its F-16s in QRA that intercepted and identified the Russian aircraft as four Tu-95 Bear H strategic bombers and four Il-78 tanker aircraft.

In what can be seen as a “show of force”, two of the Russian strategic bombers flew parallel to the Norwegian coast, heading to the south-west and were intercepted by Eurofighter Typhoon jets scrambled by the Royal Air Force (whereas the remaining 6 Russian Air Force planes returned towards Russia).

West of Portugal the two Bears were intercepted by F-16s from the Portuguese Air Force.

According to NATO, “The bomber and tanker aircraft from Russia did not file flight plans or maintain radio contact with civilian air traffic control authorities and they were not using on-board transponders. This poses a potential risk to civil aviation as civilian air traffic control cannot detect these aircraft or ensure there is no interference with civilian air traffic.”

Later on the same day, whilst the Tu-95 returned towards Russia, NATO radars detected and tracked four Russian aircraft flying over the Black Sea in international air space: 2 Tu-95 Bear-H bombers and 2 Su-27 Flanker fighter jets.

Turkish Air Force F-16s were scrambled and intercepted the Russian aircraft in international airspace.

During the afternoon of Oct. 29 October, NATO radars detected and tracked 7 Russian planes over the Baltics (needless to say, in international airspace): 2x MiG-31 Foxhound, 2x Su-34 Fullback, 1x Su-27 Flanker and 2x Su-24 Fencer jets (these were probably the very same aircraft intercepted on Oct. 28).

Portuguese F-16 Fighters assigned to the Baltic Air Policing Mission were scrambled from Šiauliai, Lithuania. It’s unclear whether they reached the package or not; anyway, the Russian Air Force planes returned to Russia’s airspace.
Image credit: UK MoD / Crown Copyright

German Typhoons have intercepted 7 Russian Air Force combat planes over the Baltic Sea today

NATO Baltic Air Policing mission is quite busy these days….

According to the Latvian military, on Oct. 28, the German Air Force Eurofighter jets on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) at Amari, Estonia, to provide NATO Baltic Air Policing were scrambled to intercept seven Russian Air Force planes flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

The German interceptors identified the Russian planes as a large package, made of attack planes and escort, which included 2x MiG-31 Foxhound, 2x Su-34 Fullback, 1x Su-27 Flanker and 2x Su-24 Fencer jets.

Regardless to whether the Russian aircraft were involved in one of the frequent training missions in the Baltics or were commuting to/from the Russian airfield in Kaliningrad oblast, the package on Oct 28 represents one of the largest “formations” intercepted by NATO fighter planes during the last couple of years.

Usually, close encounters involve Russian, Swedish or U.S. spyplanes intercepted before (or after) violating sovereign airspaces. Sometimes, scrambles are required to greet Moscow’s Tu-22 or Tu-95 bombers on long-range training patrols or strike packages involved in (alleged) simulated air strikes on one of North Europe’s states (usually, Sweden).

Anyway, Russian Air Force missions in the Baltic area have surged, to such an extent NATO presence has quadrupled in the last year: from one nation providing four aircraft in QRA at one base in Lithuania (Šiauliai), to four nations (currently Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Canada) at two airbases (the second being Amari, in Estonia).

Image credit: Eurofighter – Geoffrey Lee, Planefocus Ltd