Tag Archives: Syrian Air Force

Syrian Air Force has “upgraded” its gunships: Mi-25 can drop double barrel bomb attack

Assad’s choppers now capable to perform dual barrel bomb attacks.

Footage released lately by SMART Syria news agency shows a Mil Mi-25 (the export version of the Soviet Mil Mi-24 Hind) dropping two improvised barrel bombs, on Free Syrian Army positions.

Since they were used for the first time in combat, single 1,500 – 2,000 lb bombs made of barrels filled with explosives, shrapnel or oil were dropped by the cargo door of the Mi-8/17 Hip helicopter or the wing pylons of the Mi-25 gunships one at a time.

Now it seems the Syrian Hinds have got the capability to drop two at a time, with doubled devastating effects: according to some sources, barrel bombs have caused some 20,000 casualties since the beginning of the uprising in 2011.


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Syrian Air Force Su-22 leaking fuel after being hit by rebel fire

The above screenshot was taken from a video, shot on Oct. 7, that allegedly shows a Syrian Arab Air Force Su-22 Fitter hit by rebel fire in the province of Daraa.

According to some unconfirmed reports, the aircraft crashed later. Indeed, it appears to be leaking fuel from the left wing (and from the tail section).

Syrian combat planes and helicopters have been particularly active in the last days: on Oct. 5, Su-24 Fencer attack planes and Mi-17 Hip choppers flew towards the border with Turkey and turned back a few miles before violating Ankara’s airspace.

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Syrian Air Force becoming increasingly aggressive near Turkish border

Whereas the news spread that Syria may have relocated some of its warplanes in Iran, to save them from an eventual U.S. attack, on Oct. 6, the Turkish General Staff made a press announcement about the increased activity by the Syrian Arab Air Force close to the border with Turkey on Oct. 5.

According to the Turkish authorities

Two Turkish F-16’s took off from Diyarbakr 8 AJU at 07.50LT on Oct. 5 and established a Combat Air Patrol around Gaziantep – Hatay region. During their mission:

a) A SyAAF Su-24 Fencer approached south of Oncupinar, Kilis, followed by the CAP package to be directed towards it. The Fencer broke off its course 5.6 nautical miles (NM) to the border.

b) A SyAAF Su-24 (it is unclear whether this was the same) approached Cilvegozu, Hatay province. The same package directed to intercept it, which broke off course 8.6 NM from border.

c) A SyAAF Su-24 (still unclear whether this was the same) flew close to Oncupinar. The F-16s flew to the area and the Fencer withdrew 10nm from the border.

The CAP package completed its mission on 11.59 LT.

The second flight of 2 F-16s, which took off from Incirlik 10 AJU, started CAP around Gaziantep – Hatay from 11.24LT.

A SyAAF Mi-17 Hip (hence, the same of type of helicopter shot down by a Turkish Air Force F-16 last month) approached Karbeyaz, Hatay. The CAP package were directed there and the Mi-17 broke off course 4nm from the border.

The patrol flight completed CAP at 15.25LT.

The next flight of 2 F-16s took off from Incirlik and conducted CAP at the same region between 15.03 and 19.20LT, without any incident.

Noteworthy, the Su-24 Fencer attack plane seems to be Damascus’s asset of choice to perform this kind of actions: few weeks ago Assad launched some Fencers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea allegedly to probe Cyprus air defenses.

Image credit: TuAF

H/T to Arda Mevlutoglu for translating on the ACIG forum the Turkish press release

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Assad launched two Syrian Air Force Su-24 attack planes towards Cyprus to probe British airbase’s air defenses

Last week we reported the news that, on Sept. 2, the RAF Typhoons based in Cyprus, to provide the air defense of the island following the Syrian crisis, were scrambled from the British base at Akrotiri whereas two Turkish Air Force took off from Incirlik airbase and headed towards the island.

In the following days, more details about the Cyprus incident emerged.

Journalist Andrew Potter talked to the British MoD spokeperson who said: “The MOD can confirm that Typhoon Air Defence Aircraft were launched from RAF Akrotiri yesterday to  investigate unidentified aircraft over the Eastern Mediterranean; the aircraft were flying legally in international airspace; no intercept was required.”

On Sept. 8, The Sunday People / Sunday Mirror revealed that Syrian Su-24 Fencers were actually involved.

“RAF Typhoon fighters won a mid-air showdown with two Syrian warplanes heading towards Britain’s main base in Cyprus, the Sunday People can ­reveal. The dramatic confrontation came after President Bashar al-Assad’s air chiefs sent two Russian-made Sukhoi Su-24s to probe our air defences. The Syrian bombers refused to respond to repeated attempts by the control tower at the UK’s Akrotiri air base to contact them.”

RAF Typhoons from the XI Sqn in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duty on the island, were scrambled before the Su-24s, that were flying in international airspace and were spotted by a flying E-3D AWACS could enter the 14-mile air exclusion zone. Otherwise, they would have been intercepted and identificated, and eventually escorted out of the restricted airspace.

Buzzing the enemy airspace to test its reaction time or actively disturbing the enemy training activities is not rare.

For instance, the Turkish RF-4E Phantom shot down by Syria in 2012 was probably violating the Syrian airspace to probe Damascus’s air defense readiness.

H/T to TJ for the heads-up

Image credit: SANA/Reuters


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Syrian Air Force Mig-21 fighter jet flying over Damascus

If Mil Mi-8/17 Hip and Mil Mi-25 Hind gunship helicopters, L-39 combat trainers, Mig-23 fighter bombers were the assets most frequently employed against the rebels since the beginning of the uprising, other aircraft, less frequently depicted in images and footage from Syria because initially grounded by lack of spare parts, or because operating at higher altitudes or in remote areas located away from the main cities, are becoming increasingly active in the skies around Damascus.

Among them, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) Mig-21s.

A video (now removed) clearly showed a Fishbed overflying the rebel positions. Noteworthy, unlike other similar footage, the aircraft performed a 180° turn without releasing flares to deceive IR anti-aircraft missiles (possibly a sign that MANPADS were not reported in the area where the video was taken).

In Sept. 2012, a video emerged showing the remains of a Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-21 shot down near Idlib.

In June of last year a Mig-21 defected to Jordan.

H/T to Ted (@tedgforce) for the heads-up

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