Tag Archives: Sukhoi Su-27

This armed Russian Su-27 Flanker has (probably) violated the Finnish airspace today

The Finnish Ministry of Defense has released a photo of an armed Russian Flanker that possibly violated Finland’s sovereign airspace.

In the last few years we have reported several close encounters between Russian and NATO or allied aircraft in the Baltic region.

However, all these encounters occurred more or less in accordance with a standard “script”: the Russian aircraft, approaching or skirting some sovereign airspace, caused the fighter jets in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) to scramble to perform a VID (Visual Identification) and take some cool shots like those we have published here in the past.

And, above all, the Russians almost always remained in international airspace.

Until today.

Here’s the official statement of the Finnish Ministry of Defense:

A possible violation of Finnish airspace by a Russian SU-27 fighter has been detected in the Gulf of Finland south of Porvoo on Thursday October 6th at about 16.43 pm.

The suspected violation of Finnish airspace continued approximately one minute, and sided Finnish airspace for about 13 kilometers at a maximum of about one kilometer depth.

The Air Force conducted an identification flight.

The Finnish Border Guard will investigate the matter.

The “possible violation” must have been determined by means of primary radar returns and probably occurred before the Su-27 was intercepted by the Finnish F/A-18 Hornets.

Although close encounters with “Ivan” are nothing special, a real airspace violation is something much more rare (and interesting.)

Image credit: Finnish Ministry of Defense.

Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 Flankers rock Malta International Air Show

Two Ukrainian Air Force Su-27 Flankers and one accompanying Il-76 have been among the highlights of the Malta International Airshow. And here some really cool shots of such interesting aircraft.

Malta hosted the traditional airshow over the last weekend.

Even though bad weather conditions forced the organization to cancel the aerial display over Smart City on Sunday Sept. 25, the arrival of the participants as well as the Saturday’s show provided an opportunity to take some cool shots of the most interesting aircraft that visited Malta airport in Luqa for the event.

Surely, the most awaited guests of this year’s edition of the Malta International Airshow were the two Su-27 Flanker jets of the Ukrainian Air Force.

Indeed, a Su-27 and a Su-27UB (58 BLUE and 71 BLUE), supported by an Il-76 Candid landed at the Maltese airport on Sept. 22: the Ukrainian trio arrived in style, performing a low passage over the runway before coming to landing.

By the way, this once again proves that Ukrainian pilots do love low-level flying

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On Friday Sept. 23, some photographers were given the opportunity to get some shots of the aircraft at night. Our contributor Estelle Calleja was among them and took the stunning shots you can find in this post.

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The two-seater Su-27UB took part in the late afternoon flying segment over Smart City with a solo display that included release of flares. This was the first time the airshow took place over the area.

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Both aircraft left Malta on Monday Sept. 26. The two Flankers performed a formation takeoff for runway 05, followed by a right hand turn and a low pass to bid farewell to Malta after an attendance that will be long remembered.

Stay tuned for a new article about all the other highlights of the air show that we will publish in the next few days!

Image credit: Estelle Calleja

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Su-27 Flanker of the Russian Knights aerobatic team crashes in Russia. Pilot killed.

It’s not a good period for military aerobatic teams.

A Su-27 Flanker belonging to the Russian Knights aerobatic team crashed on Jun. 9 in Russia, killing the pilot, TASS news agency reported.

According to the first reports, the jet crashed in a forest located about 2 km from the village of Muranovo, in western Russia, after taking part with the rest of the aerobatic team to a flyover of the nearby monument to aviators in Ashukino, a ceremony attended by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force Viktor Bondarev.

One week ago, on Jun. 2, a Thunderbirds F-16 crashed near Colorado Springs after a flyover during the Air Force graduation ceremony attended by President Obama. The pilot managed to eject from the aircraft. On the same day a Blue Angels F/A-18C Hornet crashed during a display practice in Tennessee, killing the pilot: USMC Capt. Jeff Kuss.

Image credit: Dmitry A. Mottl / Wiki

Russian Su-27 interceptor performs Top Gun stunt over U.S. spyplane

An “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept over the Baltic Sea.

On April 14, a U.S. Air Force RC-135U Combat Sent electronic intelligence gathering aircraft flying a routine mission (in international airspace) over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in “an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez, U.S. European Command spokesman told the CNN.

According to EUCOM, the Flanker began the barrel roll from the left side of the U.S. RC-135 and went over the top of it to end on the right side of the aircraft, an aggressive maneuver (not compliant with the international standards) that brought the Russian jet dangerously close to colliding with the Combat Sent.

The episode comes few days after Russian Su-24s performed several low passes over a U.S. destroyer in the Baltic Sea, and it’s only the last in a long series of tense close encounters between American spyplanes and Russian fighters in the skies across the world.

On Jan. 25, 2016 a U.S. RC-135 intelligence gathering jet was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jet over Black Sea: during the interception, the Su-27 made an aggressive turn that disturbed the controllability of the RC-135.

On Apr. 7, 2015 another Su-27 flew within 20 feet of an RC-135U, over the Baltic Sea.

On Apr. 23, 2015 a U.S. Air Force RC-135U Combat Sent performing a routine surveillance mission in international airspace over the Sea of Okhotsk, north of Japan, some 60 miles off eastern Russia was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 Flanker that crossed the route of the U.S. aircraft putting itself within 100 feet of the Combat Sent.

Actually, some “reckless” intercepts on U.S. spyplanes have been conducted by Chinese pilots as well.

In 2014, a Chinese Flanker made a barrel roll over a U.S. Navy P-8 maritime surveillance plane 135 miles east of Hainan Island, a spot of a far more dangerous close encounter of another U.S. electronic surveillance plane with the Chinese Navy back in 2001.

On Apr. 1, 2001, a U.S. Navy EP-3E with the VQ-1, flying an ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) mission in international airspace 64 miles southeast of the island of Hainan was intercepted by two PLAN (People’s Liberation Army Navy) J-8 fighters.

One of the J-8s piloted by Lt. Cdr. Wang Wei, made two close passes to the EP-3 before colliding with the spyplane on the third pass. As a consequence, the J-8 broke into two pieces and crashed into the sea causing the death of the pilot, whereas the EP-3, severely damaged, performed an unauthorized landing at China’s Lingshui airfield.

The 24 crew members (21 men and three women), that destroyed all (or at least most of ) the sensitive items and data on board the aircraft, were detained by Chinese authorities until Apr. 11.

Anyway, not only have U.S. aircraft been harassed during intercept missions. Here are just a few examples.

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.

In Apr. 2012, whilst flying over the Barents Sea on a routine mission, a Norwegian P-3 Orion almost collided with a Russian Air Force Mig-31 Foxhound that had intercepted the patrol aircraft.

On Jul. 16, 2014, between Gotland and Latvia, a Russian Su-27 Flanker, armed with 6 air-to-air missiles, intercepted one of the two Swedish ELINT jet, and flew as close as 10,7 meters of the spyplane.

Top image: not an actual photo but a composition we made using Wiki images

 

This Infographic Sums Up All We Know About the Russian Air War in Syria

This Infographic says it all you need to know about Putin air war in Syria.

Prepared by CIGeography‘s Louis Martin-Vézian for the Offiziere.ch, the infographic in this post shows the evolution of Russia’s intervention in Syria: from the military build-up, to the deployment of the Russian Air Force attack planes to Latakia, to the air strikes conducted against terrorist targets across the country.

If you can’t see the infographic below, click here to download it in high-definition.

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Many thanks to Louis Martin-Vézian @CIGeography for allowing us to post the infographic on The Aviationist.