Tag Archives: Turkey

Turkey’s First F-35A Lightning II Stealth Aircraft Makes Maiden Flight

Here’s the first Turkish F-35 stealth jet.

On May 10, 2018, the first F-35A destined to the Turkish Air Force performed its maiden flight at Lockheed Martin Ft. Worth facility, Texas. Piloted by US Navy test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson, the aircraft (serial 18-0001) took off at 14.47LT and landed at 16.00LT. The photo in this post was taken by Highbrass Photography’s Clinton White during Tukey’s F-35’s (designation AT-1) first sortie.

Turkey should be officially delivered the first of 100 F-35As on order, on Jun. 21, in the U.S.

Chased by a LM two-seat F-16 the first F-35A destined to the Turkish Air Force flies over Ft. Worth.

Two TuAF pilots are currently being trained in the U.S.; after the training is completed, and another stealth aircraft is delivered, the F-35 jets are planned to be brought to Turkey in September of 2019. The trained pilots will fly the two F-35s from the U.S., accompanied by a refueling plane, the Turkish Anadolu Agency reported.

It looks like the delivery of the first F-35 fighter will take place in spite a number of U.S. congressmen have urged the U.S. administration to suspend the procurement of these fighters to Turkey because of the latter’s decision to buy Russian S-400 advanced air defense systems:  indeed, there’s widespread concern that the Turkish procurement could give Moscow access to critical details about the way their premiere surface-to-air missile system performs against the new 5th generation aircraft. “If they take such a step at a moment when we are trying to mend our bilateral ties, they will definitely get a response from Turkey. There is no longer the old Turkey,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told private broadcaster CNN Türk in an interview on May 6, according to Hurriyet Daily media outlet.

Make sure to visit Clinton White’s Flickr photostream for more cool shots!

Turkish F-16 patrolling the skies near Ankara could be tracked online

Quite surprisingly a Turkish Air Force F-16C Block 50 could be tracked on Flightradar24.

In the morning on Jul. 16, when it was already enough clear that the military coup in Turkey had failed, at least one Turkish Air Force F-16 was circling to the west of Ankara.

We don’t know whether the TuAF F-16C Block 50 was flown by a loyalist or a “rebel” pilot supporting the takeover because, since the beginning of the revolt, reports have been contradictory as to whether the Air Force supported the coup or remained loyal to Erdogan, that had landed at Istanbul Ataturk international airport overnight.

For sure, a certain number of aircraft supported the coup: Turkish Air Force F-16s performed ultra low-level passes, at rooftop altitude, with full afterburners over Turkey’s capital Ankara during the opening hours of the takeover. These were reportedly refuelled mid-air by TuAF KC-135s launched from Incirlik airbase.

However, some F-16s remained loyal to the Government as seems to be confirmed by the fact that a Turkish Black Hawk helicopter carrying some Turkish high-ranking officers supporting the defiant military was shot down by a Viper.

Anyway, what’s really interesting is that the presence of the Turkish F-16 and its route, altitude and speed (with GS varying from 180 to 570 kts) could be monitored online thanks to Flightradar24.com via MLAT.

The aircraft, serial number 94-0086, could be first spotted around 07.45 UTC and tracked until around 09.00 UTC when it egressed the area towards the southeast (in the direction of Incirlik).

Here below is a video recording of the mission flown by the Turkish F-16.

Image and video via Flightradar24

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Intense video shows Turkish AH-1W Cobra helicopter getting shot down by SA-18 MANPADS

A clip posted on Youtube shows the downing a Turkish AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter with a MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System).

A video posted online appears to show a Turkish AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter shot down by a Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) militant with an SA-18 MANPADS on May 13.

The clip was posted on Saturday by Gerilla TV, which is associated with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).

Starting at around 4:46 minutes into the footage, you can see a PKK fighter targeting the attack helicopter with a Russian/Soviet 9k38 Igla man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile.

The missile hits the chopper that starts to spin and breaks up mid-air before crashing behind a distant hill.

The Turkish Super Cobra was in the area to support Turkish soldiers engaged in clashes with the PKK.

A voice can be heard yelling “Cobra down! Well done!”

According to Rudaw, this is probably the first time the PKK have successfully used a MANPADS.

H/T to Gordon Bradbury for the heads-up

 

Saudi Arabia is deploying combat planes to Turkey to fight ISIS

Royal Saudi Air Force aircraft will launch air strikes against Daesh from Turkey.

RSAF aircraft are being deployed to Incirlik airbase, Turkey, from where they will launch air strikes against ISIS, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğluy said on Feb. 13.

Saudi Arabia has been part of the US-led coalition fighting Daesh since 2014; by moving its combat planes closer to the area of operations it will be able to increase the ops tempo.

F-15RSAF

Image credit: Antonio Muñiz Zaragüeta

It’s not clear how many RSAF aircraft will be deployed, what type of aircraft the Saudi will deploy nor when these will arrive. So far, Saudi officials have performed a site survey, the Turkish foreign minister siad.

Saudi Arabia is not the only country moving its aircraft to Turkey: according to some media reports, Qatar and UAE (both already belonging to the anti-ISIS coalition and launching their sorties from Jordan) will station their warplanes in Turkish airbases, including Diyarbakir, in the southeastern region of the country.

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Image credit: Alessandro Fucito

Turkish Air Force F-16 has just shot down a Syrian helicopter that violated the Turkish airspace

According to an official statement by Turkey’s deputy PM, a Syrian helicopter (possibly an Mi-8/17 Hip, based on the amount of such types in service) that had violated the Turkish airspace by 2 km was shot down earlier today by Turkish Air Force F-16s.

The episode took place at 4.00 PM local time in the southern province of Hatay, near Güveççi.

According to the first reports, a number of F-16s were scrambled to intercept the chopper as soon as it was nearing the border.

In June 2012, a Turkish RF-4E Phantom reconnaissance jet was downed by a Syrian Air Defense Unit. On Sept. 2, Assad launched two Syrian Air Force Su-24 attack planes towards Cyprus to probe British airbase’s air defenses; the aircraft turned back to Syria, after RAF Typhoons and TuAF F-16s were scrambled to intercept them.

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