Tag Archives: Syria

Russian Su-33 crashed in the Mediterranean while attempting to land on Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

Less than three weeks after losing a MiG-29, it looks like the Russian Navy has lost another aircraft during Admiral Kuznetsov operations: a Su-33 Flanker.

Military sources close to The Aviationist report that a Russian Navy Su-33 Flanker carrier-based multirole aircraft has crashed during flight operations from Admiral Kuznetsov on Saturday, Dec. 3.

According to the report, the combat plane crashed at its second attempt to land on the aircraft carrier in good weather conditions (visibility +10 kilometers, Sea State 4, wind at 12 knots): it seems that it missed the wires and failed to go around* falling short of the bow of the warship.

The pilot successfully ejected and was picked up by a Russian Navy search and rescue helicopter.

Considered that on Nov. 14 a MiG-29K crashed while recovering to the aircraft carrier, if confirmed this would be the second loss for the air wing embarked on Admiral Kuznetsov in less than three weeks and a significant blow for the Russian Naval Aviation during its combat deployment off Syria.

*Update: the Russian MoD has confirmed the incident. According to an official release the arresting wire snapped and failed to stop the aircraft.

Image credit: Russian MoD

 

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Russian MiG-29K from Adm. Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has crashed in Mediterranean sea

Pretty embarrassing incident for the Russian aircraft carrier at its debut in the air war in Syria. Fortunately, the pilot ejected safely according to the first reports.

As reported by Combat Aircraft a Russian Navy Mig-29KUBR embarked aboard Adm. Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has crashed on Nov. 13.

The aircraft is one of the four naval Fulcrums operated by the 100th Independent Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment.

According to our sources, the incident occurred around 14.30Z and involved a two-seater Fulcrum in a formation of three Mig-29s operating from the carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off Syria: whilst one of the remaining aircraft recovered aboard the Kuznetsov the third one diverted for unknown reasons to Syria.

Footage allegedly showing Mig-29s in the skies over Aleppo had happered earlier on the same day.

The pilot of the doomed aircraft ejected safely and was rescued by a helicopter while the Russian Navy radioed all the nearby vessels to remain 5NM away from the crash point.

Needless to say the incident unfolded while several NATO aircraft and warships closely monitored the operations aboard Russia’s only carrier.

 

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Russia’s aircraft carrier group is ready to launch strike on Aleppo in the next 24 hours

Russia’s MOD has just announced that Kuznetsov aircraft carrier group prepares to strike Daesh targets in the province of Aleppo. Here’s from where.

The only Russian Navy aircraft carrier has eventually arrived in the eastern Mediterranean Sea from where, along with the rest of its battle group, it prepares to launch air strikes on Syria.

Interestingly, the first raids are being announced beforehand.

Indeed, according to the State-run Sputnik News, Russia’s MoD told Gazeta.ru that the Adm. Kuznetsov group is going to attack “terrorists in the province of Aleppo in the next 24 hours. The attack, which will likely engage Kalibr cruise missiles, will target militants outside of Aleppo, and not the residential areas.”

The naval group, includes among the others the Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser, the Severomorsk and Kulakov anti-submarine destroyers, and the Adm. Grigorovich Kalibr-armed frigate (believed the be the one that will be involved in the cruise missile launch). Reportedly, three submarines armed with cruise missiles (two Akula-class submarines and a diesel-powered Kilo-class sub) have joined the strike group in the deployment to the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Noteworthy, a  NOTAM has been issued (and publicly available) covering the Nov. 10 to 22 timeframe, with details about the area of a “Russian Navy Exercise” allegedly featuring “training flights and rocket test firings” (not actual firing activity….)

A1323/16 – RUSSIAN NAVY EXERCISE (TRAINING FLIGHTS
ROCKET TEST FIRINGS) WILL TAKE PLACE IN AREA :
342940N0343345E
343000N0350700E
343327N0351850E
343345N0353548E
354500N0352540E
354500N0345600E
350540N0344715E. SFC – FL300, 10-15 17-22 0500-2100, 10 NOV 05:00 2016 UNTIL
22 NOV 21:00 2016. CREATED: 03 NOV 12:46 2016

Based on the NOTAM, the airspace where the Russian Navy is probably going to operate can be found in the top image (processed using SkyVector.com).

As a consequence of NOTAM A1323/16 another one (A1324/16) was issued to notify airmen of the closure of the affected airways in the area east of Cyprus, off Syria.

A1324/16 – DUE TO RUSSIAN NAVY EXERCISE AS REFERED IN
NOTAM LCNC A1323/16, THE FOLLOWING AIRWAYS WILL BE
CLOSED:
1.W/UW 17 (BALMA-NIKAS)
2.R/UR 78, M/UM978 (ALSUS-NIKAS)
3. B/UB15 L/UL620 (BALMA-ALSUS)
4. W/UW10, L/UL619 (VESAR-NIKAS)
5. R655 (BALMA-KOBER)
6. UR655 (BALMA- LCA)

SFC – FL300. 10-15 17-22 0500-2100, 10 NOV 05:00 2016 UNTIL 22 NOV 21:00 2016.
CREATED: 03 NOV 13:10 2016

Top image credit: screenshot of map edited on SkyVector.com

Watch Russian warships in the Mediterranean Sea launch cruise missiles against targets in Aleppo

Some interesting footage shows the Russians are not only launching air strikes from Iran…

On Aug. 19, at around 10:55LT in the morning, the Zeliony Dol and Serpukhov small-sized missile ships of the Black Sea Fleet, sailing in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, performed 3 launches of Kalibr cruise missiles  against facilities of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist grouping in Syria.

According to the information released by the Russian MoD, the cruise missiles targeted a command center and a terrorist base near the Dar-Taaza inhabited area as well as a plant manufacturing mortar munitions and a large depot with armament, in the Aleppo province.

The data collected by the Russians “confirmed the elimination of the planned targets.”

The Russian Defence Ministry published some footage of the launches, of the destruction of their targets and the subsequent Battle Damage Assessment (filmed from a UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) on their Youtube channel.

It was not the first time the Russian Navy hit targets in Syria from the Med: in December 2015, a Russian improved Kilo-class Rostov-on-Don submarine launched the Kalibr-PL cruise missile against targets in the area of Raqqa.

The Kalibr-PL is a submarine-variant of the 3M14TE Kalibr-NK cruise missile with a maximum range of 2,600 km, fired by the Russian small-sized missile ships earlier today.

Anyway, the cruise missiles attack shows the Russians continue to pound targets in Syria from different directions and with different weapons systems as it comes few days after at least four Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers conducted their first air strike in Syria departing from their temporary deployment airfield at Hamedan airbase in Iran.

Noteworthy, it seems that the deployment of the Backifres to Iran has already finished: the more recent imagery shows only four Su-34 Fullback bombers on the ground at the Iranian base.

 

 

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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