Tag Archives: Syria

Watch this: Anti-Aircraft Fire misses Syrian Mig-21 by inches during ground attack

A Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-21 is almost hit by ground fire as it releases its bomb.

The following video shows a shell (57mm one according to the uploader) streak past a Syrian Mig-21 Fishbed attacking a target near Idlib. The SyAAF jet releases its bomb just in time to escape the direct hit.

Quite impressive.

H/T to Matt Fanning for sending us the link to the video

 

How a Syrian nuclear facility was destroyed by the Israeli Air Force 7 years ago today

On Sept. 6, 2007 the Israeli Air Force (IAF) conducted a precision air strike, code-named Operation Orchard, against a Syrian nuclear installation.

Even if Israel has never publicly admitted that some of its aircraft destroyed the facility, some details about the mission have been either disclosed or leaked throughout the years.

Some of them are well described in the book The Sword of David – The Israeli Air Force at War, written by Donald McCarthy.

According to McCarthy, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1968 before becoming a respected and well informed historian, the information for Operation Orchard is alleged to have come from Ali Reza Asgari, an Iranian general disappeared in February 2007, who may have been the source of the intelligence required by the Syrian nuclear site attack.

After gathering the required details, the Israelis planned a secret mission that was launched on Sept. 6 2007, at night.

At least a four F-16I Sufa (Storm) jets and another four F-15I Ra’am (Thunder) aircraft crossed the Syrian border, in bound to the nuclear plant located near the city of Dir A-Zur, in eastern Syria.

McCarthy points out the fact that Syria as well as other Arab countries were equipped with advanced Russian air defense systems, such as the Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound as reported by NATO designation), claimed to be immune to electronic jamming. At the time of Operation Orchard, Syria operated twenty nine of these advanced air defense systems, so it remains unclear how the IAF aircraft flew undetected into the night sky out over the Mediterranean Sea, across the Euphrates River and along their route to the nuclear facility.

As explained by McCarthy, according to the most widely accepted theory the strike force included one or more Gulfstream G550 aircraft, equipped with the IAI Elta EL/W-2085 radar system.

Indeed, the success of the operation was largely attributed to effectiveness of the Israeli Electronic Warfare platforms that supported the air strike and made the Syrian radars blind: some sources believe that Operation Orchard saw the baptism of fire of the Suter airborne network system against Syrian radar systems.

This system, combined with the F-15Is electronic warfare capabilities, shut down Syrian air defense systems, providing the other airplanes the cover they needed to hit and destroy the Dir A-Zur nuclear plant.

F-15I Orchard

After the attack, the initial reports stated that the IAF aircraft had almost entirely destroyed the nuclear site, claims that were also confirmed by the comparison of pre and post-attack satellite imagery.

Even if the incident was shrouded in secrecy, Turkish media outlets reported that external fuel tanks were found on the ground not far away from the Syrian border: as reported by Shlomo Aloni & Zvi Avidror in their book Hammers Israel’s Long-Range Heavy Bomber Arm: The Story of 69 Squadron, these external fuel tanks were identified by foreign press as belonging to F-15 aircraft.

Operation Orchard showed the capabilities of the Israeli Air Force, capabilities that were most probably used to carry out an air strike on a weapons convoy and military complex near Damascus, at the beginning of 2013. As done in 2007, on the night between Jan. 29 and 30, 2013, Israeli bombers entered and egressed the Syrian airspace almost completely undetected by the Syrian air defenses: a sign that Syrian radars can do nothing against Israel’s Electronic Warfare systems, most probably further improved to embed the capability to inject malware from F-16s into enemy networks.

Image credit: IAF

 

Video shows Syrian Arab Air Force Su-22 Fitter jet during rocket attack on Aleppo

Assad’s Su-22 Fitters are a constant presence in the Syrian Air War.

The following footage, recorded last week, shows a Syrian Arab Air Force Su-22M-4K Fitter fire S-8 rockets at a ground target at Aleppo, Syria.

Su-22s have been employed against Syrian insurgents since the second half of 2012.

There are several videos (most of those of poor quality) available on Youtube and Liveleak showing Syrian  Su-22s as well as other fighter bombers, using unguided munitions against rebel position at low and medium altitude (and remarkable use of flares for self-defense from MANPADS).

It’s not easy to film a fast jet maneuvering to perform a rocket strike attack. Still, looks like someone managed to do it pretty well.

 

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[Video] Here’s What It’s Like Being On The Receiving End Of A MiG-21’s bomb in Syria

Rule: if you see a Syrian warplane maneuver to drop a bomb on you, you better run!

Do you remember the video showing a Syrian Mig-29 strafe the cameraman who was filming the Fulcrum in Syria?

Here’s another footage showing a Mig-21 Fishbed drop a bomb quite close to the position of the Syrian rebel who was filming it.

Once again, better not film the attack from the target’s point of view.

H/T to @Johnnyrocket69 for the heads-up

 

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Iranian UAV spotted over Syria could be a heavily modified drone (with Predator inputs)

A better look at the images of the Iranian drone emerged so far highlighted something interesting.

New screenshots coming from Syria give a better view of the Shahed 129 spotted over Damascus on Apr. 10.

Noteworthy, such photos show that the version used by the Syrian Armed Forces of the made-in-Iran UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), is sensibly different by the one unveiled in September 2013 in Tehran.

Indeed, the remotely piloted aircraft features a nose section whose shape resembles that of a U.S. Predator/Reaper and a tall antenna mounted on top of it.

Judge by comparing the image on top with the following one:

US MQ-9

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

This seemingly extensive modifications make the drone’s front part more similar to an MQ-9/1 than a Israeli Hermes 450 model.

Iran is not unfamiliar with domestic modifications to western drones: they have been able to recover/capture some U.S. remotely piloted aircraft, including a Scan Eagle (and the famous stealthy RQ-170).

The question is: did they put their hands on some parts of an MQ-9 as well?

 H/T to Kasra Ghanbari for the heads-up

 

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