Tag Archives: Sukhoi Su-24

Russian Su-30SM, Su-24 violate Turkish airspace. Flanker locks on TuAF F-16 for +5 minutes

It looks like a Sukhoi Su-30SM deployed to Syria has had a close encounter with Turkish Air Force F-16s past the Syria-Turkey border.

Russian planes deployed to Syria violated the Turkish airspace twice in the last couple of days.

According to NATO, the violations occurred “on 3 October and 4 October by Russian Air Force SU-30 and SU-24 aircraft in the Hatay region. The aircraft in question entered Turkish airspace despite Turkish authorities’ clear, timely and repeated warnings. In accordance with NATO practice, Turkish fighter aircraft responded to these incursions by closing to identify the intruder, after which the Russian planes departed Turkish airspace.”

Some more (sometimes contradictory) details appeared on the Turkish media outlets: although the first reports said the aircraft (initially IDed as Mig-29 Fulcrums – a type flown by the Syrian Air Force and not deployed in theater by the RuAF) breached into the Turkish airspace for 5 miles, according to Ankara, the Russian Su-30SM multirole plane violated Tukey’s airspace by “only” some hundreds of meters and returned to Syria after it was intercepted by two F-16s from the Turkish Air Force out of 10 flying CAP (Combat Air Patrol) near the border.

Furthermore, it seems that the Russian Su-30SM (as said, initially referred to as a Mig-29, before it was determined it was a Flanker-derivative multirole jet) maintained a radar lock on one or both the F-16s for a full 5 minutes and 40 seconds.

According the Russians, the violation was due to a “navigation error”: quite funny considered the type of navigation systems equipping a modern Su-30SM.

Although the navigation error can’t never be ruled out a priori, considering the equipment carried by a 4++ Gen. aircraft, and that it was flying next to a “danger zone” there’s reason to believe that the two pilots on board were perfectly aware of their position.

What is even more weird is the fact that the Russian plane locked the Turkish F-16s for such a long time: instead of turning back the RuAF Sukhoi was ready to fire (or to respond to fire).

Almost no details are currently available about the Su-24 Fencer violation.

As explained when a Turkish RF-4 was shot down by a Syrian coastal anti-aircraft battery after violating the Syrian airspace in 2012, aircraft entering a foreign airspace should not be fired upon but warned, intercepted and eventually escorted outside the violated airspace.

In 2014, a Syrian Mi-17 was shot down by a TuAF F-16, while in 2013 it was the turn of a Syrian Mig-23. But now the Turkish F-16s defending Ankara borders face a different threat….

Image credit: Russian MoD

 

Watch this video: did a Russian Su-24 Fencer drop a cluster bomb over Aleppo?

Is it a cluster bomb, illumination flares or something else?

The following video shows a Su-24 Fencer (a Russian Air Force one based on reports) dropping *something* on Aleppo.

Since these shouldn’t be illumination flares that do not burst but burn for a few minutes and whose use in daylight conditions it’s at least weird, the one depicted in the footage appears to be the series of exploding cartridges of a cluster bomb.

Watch by yourself:

In particular, according to some of our readers, these could be submunitions of an RBK-250 or 500 cluster bomb.

Once ejected from the RBK container incendiary ZAB-2.5 fall down burning. In this case, there is only a quick mid-air burst that could be the visual effect of the ignition of the ZAB 2.5Ms rocket: once accelerated by the rocket, the submunitions can penetrate in the ground and then explode (from 0 to several minutes after the impact).

However, there is no evident sign of impact of the incendiary submunitions with the ground, therefore it could be a cluster bomb for anti-personnel shrapnels or flechettes (or something else, like mines or even leaflets). Any other guess?

 

H/T @JulianRoepcke for discovering this video and @BabakTaghvaee for the analysis

 

Watch this interesting video of the Russian planes (with Red Star painted over) at work in Syria

Take a look at what happens inside Latakia airbase, where the Russian Air Force contingent is based.

The following exclusive video by RT brings you inside al-Assad International Airport, near Latakia, where Russian Air Force contingent, currently made of 36 combat planes, is based.

The footage is extremely interesting as it clearly shows the six Su-34 Fullback aircraft returning from the first combat sorties against Islamic State targets in Syria.

A closer look at the warplanes provides the confirmation that all the aircraft, including the Su-25s and the Su-34s, were removed the standard Russian Air Force markings and the typical Red Star: most probably the Russians don’t want their symbol to be shown off along with the wreckage of a plane in case one is shot down or crashes in Syria.

By the way, the insignia were overpainted on the Su-30SMs and the Su-24Ms as well, even if these are not clearly visible in this video; however there are screenshots in the social media that prove the same applies to Flankers and Fencers.

Su-34 tail

Su-25 Latakia

This is not the first time aircraft taking part in real operations are stripped off their national markings. UAE F-16s deployed to Jordan to take part in Operation Inherent Resolve didn’t wear the national flag while some U.S. drones deployed in sensitive areas perform their clandestine missions “unmarked.”

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.”    

Syrian Mig-29 Fulcrums escorted the 28 Russian jets that deployed to Latakia hiding under cargo planes

According to our sources, some (if not all) the Russian Air Force formations that arrived in Syria were “greeted” by Assad’s Mig-29 Fulcrums.

A U.S. official who spoke to FoxNews has just confirmed what we reported with plenty of details yesterday: the 28 Russian Sukhoi jets hid under radar signature of cargo planes and made a stopover in Iran en route to Syria.

As already explained, the entire operation was closely monitored by the Israeli Air Force, that during and after the deployment launched several missions of G.550 Eitam CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) and G.550 Shavit ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) aircraft off Lebanon to gather intelligence on the Russians.

But, the Israeli spyplanes were not only “watching” the Sukhoi Su-30, Su-24 and Su-25 deploying to Latakia: they were most probably more interested in the Syrian Arab Air Force aircraft that were launched to greet and escort the Russians into the Syrian airspace. In fact, it seems that most if not all the formations of combat planes trailing the Il-76 cargo planes, were intercepted and escorted to Latakia by Syrian planes, including SyAAF Mig-29 Fulcrum jets, according to a source who spoke to The Aviationist under the condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Russian planes deployed to Syria have reportedly flown their first local (familiarization) sorties. It’s not clear whether they were accompanied by Syrian planes but, for sure, Israeli ISR (intelligence surveillance reconnaissance) assets were pretty active all day on Sept. 24, circling between Cyprus and Lebanon as their tracks collected by ADS-B on FlightRadar24.com show. Closely monitoring the Russians? Or the Syrian Migs? Most probably, both ones.

GLF5-2015-09-24_08_56

IAF-G550-961-2015-09-24_08_54

Top image: file photo of a Serbian Mig-29 (Wikimedia); bottom screenshots credit: Flightradar24.com

H/T to @obretix for contributing to this post