Monday, 16 January 2017

Tanks and BMPs delivered to Syria

The blog diana-mihailova has published these photos. Supposedly they were taken at Tartus, a naval base used by the Russian Navy. The tanks seem to be T-55 or T-62 and they have been recently refurbished because there are no traces of damage or even dirt. These vehicles would be for the Syrian Army. Russia retired the T-55 and T-62 back in 2011.


Blog article: T-55/62 retirement in Russia (2011)

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Boomerang launching a Kornet AT missile

The manufacturer of the Russian vehicle Boomerang hus published a video showing one of these vehicles launching a Kornet AT missile (2:12).


Saturday, 14 January 2017

“Coraza Avanzada” maneouvers in Spain

A few weeks ago the Spanish Army and Navy carried out the exercise  Coraza Avanzada” (Advanced Armour). It took place in Rota and the brigade Guadarrama XII practised embarking and disembarking from the ship L-61 “Juan Carlos I”. 16 vehicles from the brigade participated as part of a tactical subunit. The disembarking from LCM-1E ships was also practised.


Friday, 13 January 2017

Admiral Kuznetsov and its Task Force to head home


According to Fox News the number of sorties carried out from the ship was 154 in 2 months, a much lower figure than that provided by the media (420). The operability of Admiral Kuznetsov has been questioned since she left Russia.


The Russian government is scaling down its presence in Syria, and the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier will be heading back to their base in Northern Russia. There hasn't been much information about the ship in recent weeks, especially the amount of sorties performed by the air wing. 

The truth is that its presence was not really needed, as the Aerospace Forces (VKS) already have a base. The deployment was more for PR than practical purposes. It has not been exactly sucessful. The tempo of operations did not seem that high, and 2 fighters were lost, including an almost new MiG-29KR.



Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Russian aircraft at Farnborough 1992

Farnborough 1992 went into history as the one with the highest number of Russian -and other CIS countries- aircraft. The USSR had just imploded and Russian companies were eager to sign agreements to make up for the lack of orders at home. Also, the relations between Russia and the West were at an all-time high. A selection of photographs is provided below.

 Sukhoi Su-27.

Sukhoi Su-35.

Sukhoi Su-27UB.



 Sukhoi Su-24M.
Sukhoi Su-25TK.

Yakovlev Yak-38.

Yakovlev Yak-141.

Yakovlev Yak-141.
Tupolev Tu-22M3.

Ilyushin Il-76.

 Antonov An-124.

Antonov An-72.

Mil Mi-17.

 Mil Mi-34

Kamov Ka-50.

 Mil Mi-26T.

Tupolev Tu-204 with Rolls Royce engines.

Sukhoi Su-29.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Supply of new combat and training aircraft to Russian Armed Forces (2008-2016)

The analysis blog bmpd.livejournal has published a table with the yearly deliveries of new combat and training aircraft to the Russian Armed Forces from 2008 to 2016. The data do not include updated aircraft. Since 2013 the acquisition rythm has been very significant, and has surpassed 100 per year. To give you an idea, the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS)plans to have ~700 combat aircraft.

In 2008 the only supplied aircraft was a Su-34. On this year Russia was still recovering from the 1990s economical crisis, and up to this period, priority was given to modernisations. the peak in 2009 is caused by the 28 SMTs acquired and later rejected by Algeria.

Table 1: Supply of new combat and training aircraft (2008-2016).

The acquisition of Su-27SM3 and Su-30M2 was widely discussed because of the origin of these birds. The Su-27s could have been manufactured from components originally produced for China. In 1995 this country signed an agreement to produce under license 200 Su-27SKs, but it was cancelled in 2004. The upgrade to the SM3 variant is logical because the original version was obsolete.

The possible origin of the Su-30M3 is similar. The production is actually quite spread during several years. In 2016 the last ones were delivered. Nowadays they operate in 3 regiments (22, 23 and 38 IAP) belonging to different variants.

The other types are well know. It is likely that the deliveries have been adjusted to make room for export contracts and to take into account the economical crisis. In 2016 Russia exported:

- 6 MiG-29K to India.
- 8 Su-30MKA to Algeria.
- 2 Su-30SM to Kazakhstan
- 4 Su-30MK2 to Vietnam.
- 4 Su-35 to China.
- 4 Yak-130 to Belarus
- 3 Yak-130 to Myanmar.
- 2 Yak-130 to Bangladesh.

In 2017 deliveries of Su-30SMs, Su-34s and Su-35s will continue. The MiG-29SMTs will no longer be acquired because the last unfinished frames were completed with the last contract. In the newt years the MiG-35s will be acquired instead. The Navy should carry on buying MiG-29Ks.



Monday, 9 January 2017

Israel puts 40 F-16/B for sale

The Israeli government is going to sale 40 F-16A/B which were recently retired. At the moment there are no details about the selected aircraft. Israel acquired a total of 125 F-16A/B; 75 were new and 50 from US stocks. The latter were transferred in the 90s after the Gulf War in exchange for Israel’s restraint. Most of them had ¼ of its flying hours’ left. 

Israel considered replacing these aircraft in the 1990s, but it was found to expensive. The aircraft were modernised to the ACE variant (Avionics Capabilities Enhacement). According to the designers, it provided 80% of the Block 40 capabilities at 1/8 of the cost.

The main modification was the integration of a IAI/Elta EL/M-2032 radar and a Lahav datalink. The cockpit received an El-Op HUD and Dash helmet. An Elisra SPS-1000 RWR and ASPS EW kit were installed. The aircraft could also use a Elta EI/L-8222 pod.

Some countries will definitely be interested (Argentina, Croatia…). The type is in widespread service, which eases the maintenance. The life can be extended up to 8,000 hours, even more. 


- Air War on the Edge: A History of the Israel Air Force and it's Aircraft Since 1947, by B. Norton Midland Publishing (2004)