Category: Commercial Pilot Maneuvers Requirements

Real Thaw 2022: The Portuguese Multi-Domain Exercise

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Real Thaw 22
The take-off of 2 Portuguese F-16AMs each with the tail paint referring to the squadron to which they belong, 201st Falcões and 301st Jaguares. (All images: Author)

Let’s focus on Real Thaw 2022, a large scale multi-domain exercise led by the Portuguese Air Force.

Real Thaw is an annual military exercise, organized, planned, and executed by the Portuguese Air Force to train and prepare its operational units to carry out missions in the framework of international cooperation at NATO and European Union level.

Coordinated from Air Base 11 in Beja, between June 26 and July 8, 2022, the activities were mostly carried out in central Portugal.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80356" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_4/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_4.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1657026503","copyright":"","focal_length":"105","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_4" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Front line where the Portuguese Air Force F-16AM/BM fighters were parked from 201st and 301st Squadron.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-14.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-1.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-80356″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-1.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-1.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-14.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-15.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-16.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_4.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Front line where the Portuguese Air Force F-16AM/BM fighters from 201st and 301st Squadron were parked.

Objectives

The main goals of Real Thaw 2022 were to provide training to the tactical level forces with the participants focusing on the execution phase, considering the training objectives, constrains and restrictions inherent in military exercises, a special scenario was developed for the drills to meet the following requirements:

  • Provide an operating environment as realistic as possible and typical of current operations in which Portuguese military may participate.
  • Provide appropriate training to various participants taking into account the different types and assets (air, land and sea) and respective training requirements.
  • Provide interoperability between countries and respective means.
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80357" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_5/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_5.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1657026534","copyright":"","focal_length":"105","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_5" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Tails of the Portuguese F-16s where the special paintings are visible, one of the 201st “Falcões” and two of the 301st “Jaguares”.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-17.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-2.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80357″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-17.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-18.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-19.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_5.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Tails of the Portuguese F-16s where the special paintings are visible, one of the 201st “Falcões” and two of the 301st “Jaguares”.

Participants

This year’s Real Thaw was the largest ever in terms of personnel and air assets, despite many air forces are contributing to the NATO operations in eastern Europe following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This eleventh edition of RT22, saw the participation of 54 air assets and 900 military personnel and involved all the Portuguese national armed forces, Air Force, Navy and Army and military forces from France, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Lithuania, the United States and NATO. This provides further objectives for all participating nations to prepare for international missions in operational scenarios.

Portugal as host nation, participated with a large share of air assets: 10x F-16AM (201st Squadron “Falcões” and 301st Squadron “Jaguares” ); 2x AW-119 Koala ( 552nd Squadron “Zangões”), 1x EH-101 Merlin ( 751st Squadron “Pumas”), 1 C-130H Hercules ( 501st Squadron “Bisontes”), 1 C-295-M Persuader (502nd Squadron “Elefantes”), and 2x P-3C Cup+ Orion (601st Squadron “Lobos”), as well as Navy and Army forces.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80367" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_23/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_23.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656609510","copyright":"","focal_length":"185","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0004","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_23" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Return of the Rafale with the special painting commemorating the 80th anniversary of the squadron.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-20.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80367″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-20.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-21.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-22.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_23.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Return of the Rafale with the special painting commemorating the 80th anniversary of the squadron.
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80358" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_2.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"16","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656592325","copyright":"","focal_length":"105","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Helicopters present at Real Thaw belonging to Squadron 751 “Pumas” (EH-101) and Squadron 552 Zangões (AW-119).

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-23.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-4.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80358″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-4.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-4.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-23.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-24.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-25.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_2.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Helicopters present at Real Thaw belonging to Squadron 751 “Pumas” (EH-101) and Squadron 552 Zangões (AW-119).
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80359" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_3/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_3.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"16","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656593855","copyright":"","focal_length":"62","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_3" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Two P-3C Cup+ belonging to Esquadra 601 Lobos that were involved in RT22.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-26.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80359″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-26.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-27.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-28.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_3.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Two P-3C Cup+ belonging to Esquadra 601 Lobos that were involved in RT22.

Belgium participated with 6x F-16AM ( 31st Squadron “Tigers”), France with 5x Rafales (Squadron 2/30 Normandie-Niemen), 1x E-3F AWACS and 1x A-330 MRTT, Spain with 5x EF-2000 Typhoon ( Ala 11, Moron AB ); United States took part with 18 F-16CM (480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing Spangdahlem AB) and 1x KC-135 Stratotanker and from NATO were present 2x E-3F AWACS. And JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) from Portugal, Belgium, United States, Netherlands and from Lithuania also participated.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80360" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_9/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_9.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656584439","copyright":"","focal_length":"430","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_9" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The new paint of a fully armed Spangdahlem F-16CJ.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-29.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-6.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80360″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-6.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-6.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-29.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-30.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-31.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_9.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The new paint of a fully armed Spangdahlem F-16CM.
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80361" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_7/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_7.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"20","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656582968","copyright":"","focal_length":"600","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_7" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Tactical take-off of two Rafales from Squadron 2/30 Normandie-Niemen in RT22.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-32.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-7.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80361″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-7.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-7.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-32.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-33.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-34.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_7.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Tactical take-off of two Rafales from Squadron 2/30 Normandie-Niemen in RT22.
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80362" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_13/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_13.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656599448","copyright":"","focal_length":"600","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_13" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Take-off of Belgian Air Force 31 Squadron F-16AM X-Tiger for a training mission in RT22

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-35.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80362″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-8.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-8.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-35.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-36.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-37.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_13.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Take-off of Belgian Air Force 31 Squadron F-16AM X-Tiger for a training mission in RT22
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80363" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_19/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_19.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656605478","copyright":"","focal_length":"279","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_19" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Detail of the salute of the Spanish pilot on the returning to the park area.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-38.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-9.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80363″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-9.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-9.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-38.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-39.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-40.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_19.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Detail of the salute of the Spanish pilot on the returning to the park area.

Participating in the ground was a Force Protection Unit and air traffic controllers, while other involved units included the Portuguese army military special OPS team, paratroopers and high-altitude operational jumpers and the Navy Special Actions Detachment, and a large number of militaries from maintenance areas, support, operations, information, audio-visual and public affairs relations all took part.

Main Missions

The missions were essentially air defense, convoy protection in humanitarian missions, close air support to ground forces and special operations, extraction operations of military and civilian elements, cargo and paratroopers drop operations, combat Search and Rescue, medical evacuations, civil – military cooperation, conventional guided and high accuracy ordinance attacks, and conventional attacks on maritime forces.

During this year’s iteration, aerial refueling missions were also carried out to increase the flight time of each aircraft.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80364" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_14/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_14.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656605331","copyright":"","focal_length":"389","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_14" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Taxiing of two Portuguese Air Force F-16AMs.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-41.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-10.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80364″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-10.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-10.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-41.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-42.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-43.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_14.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Taxiing of two Portuguese Air Force F-16AMs.

Numbers of Real Thaw

A total of 436 military missions were carried out on the Real Thaw, the air assets flew around 750 hours, around 15,000 liters of water were distributed, and 16,500 meals were served.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80366" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_11/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_11.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"20","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656599209","copyright":"","focal_length":"150","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_11" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Tactical take-off of the C-295M.

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Tactical take-off of the C-295M.

Conclusions

Since 2009, the Portuguese Air Command has conducted the Real Thaw exercise series annually. The favorable meteorological conditions make Real Thaw the ideal venue for NATO Allies to develop and hone flexible capabilities for current and future challenges.

Real Thaw is a fundamental exercise for the Portuguese military since it allows the air force to operate jointly within the Army, the Navy and other international forces to develop a better understanding of multi-national and Multi-service military operations. This level of preparations is vital for the successful of any assignment that the Portuguese forces might be called upon to perform and the Real Thaw provide the opportunity for crews to perform, practice and execute complex missions that currently are extremely important in the international area.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80365" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_21/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_21.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656608810","copyright":"","focal_length":"600","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_21" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Arrival of the Portuguese F-16BM with tiger-painted drop tanks.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-47.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-12.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80365″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-12.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-12.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-47.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-48.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-49.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_21.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Arrival of the Portuguese F-16BM with tiger-painted drop tanks.

The Author wishes to thank the Public Relations of the Portuguese Air Force for the support provided in the preparation of this story.

About Jorge Ruivo
Jorge Ruivo is a freelance journalist based in Marinha Grande, Portugal. Since 2000, he has contributed with photography works and articles on the topic of Military Aviation published by the Portuguese press. More recently he has started working with various international media outlets publishing articles and photographs in several magazines, including Combat Aircraft and Airforces Monthly. His main areas of interest are the Portuguese Air Force, its flight squadrons, foreign deployments and military exercises.

Let’s Talk About The Explosions That Rocked Russian Navy’s Saki Air Base In Crimea

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Crimea explosions
A photo of the smoke coming from Saki Air Base after the explosions. In the box: the destroyed Su-24 bomber. (Photos from Twitter)

Sources say it might be the result of a Ukrainian attack, but no official word from Ukrainian MoD yet. Russia denies the attack.

Massive explosions, visible from miles away, rocked a Russian airfield near Novofedorivka in Crimea on August 9, 2022, at about 15:20LT. The airfield in question is Saki Air Base, home of the Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet’s 43rd Independent Naval Attack Aviation Regiment (43 OMShAP), which flies Su-24 Fencer bombers and Su-30 Flanker fighter jets.

The cause of the explosions is not clear at the moment. A statement from the Russian Ministry of Defence says that the explosions originated from “violations of fire safety rules” which resulted in “several aviation munitions destroyed”, without damages to the airbase and aircraft and without victims. The officials also say “there are no signs or evidence that it was done deliberately.”

“As a result of the explosion, no one was injured. Aviation equipment at the airfield was not damaged,” says the statement released to the press. “Measures are being taken to extinguish the fire and find out the causes of the explosion. According to a report from the site, there was no fire impact on the bunded ammunition storage area at the airfield”

The Ukrainian MoD didn’t acknowledge an attack on the Crimean airfield, but some anonymous officers told the New York Times that the Ukrainian forces were behind the attack, but they did not elaborate on how it was performed, other than saying that “a device exclusively of Ukrainian manufacture was used.” The airfield is more than 200 km from the frontlines, well behind the reach of many Ukrainian weapons, including the Tochka-U Short-Range Ballistic Missile system, which has a range of about 120 km.

Either way, videos surfacing online, which have been geolocated at Saki Air Base, are showing the opposite of what has been disclosed to the press by the Russians. At least a Su-24 Fencer bomber has been completely destroyed on the flight line, and heavy damage can be seen throughout the airfield. Since satellite photos always show aircraft parked in close proximity on Saki’s apron, it is possible that multiple aircraft have been either damaged or destroyed.

The timing of the supposed attack is also interesting, as few hours later Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said that the war will end after Ukraine gets back all occupied territories, including Crimea. Yet Ukraine still denied any responsibility for the explosions. Meanwhile, Russian nationals on vacation in Crimea are now being evacuated, according to Russian officials.

About Stefano D’Urso
Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he’s also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.

U.S. E-4B ‘Doomsday’ Plane Makes Airshow Debut Outside The U.S. at RIAT

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E-4B RIAT
The E-4B is one of the highlights of this year’s RIAT at RAF Fairford. (Image credit: RIAT)

Royal International Air Tattoo in the UK, marks the first airshow appearance of a U.S. Air Force E-4B Nightwatch, outside the U.S.

The RIAT (Royal International Air Tattoo), underway at RAF Faiford, UK, is, at least in Europe, the real highlight of the airshow season, attracting, as usual, several interesting aircraft types from all over the world. Making its first appearance at RIAT 22, the first ever at an airshow outside the U.S., is this year a very rare assets, the U.S. Air Force E-4B Nightwatch.

The E-4B is a modified B747-200 that serves as National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC) providing a flying command, control and communications center to direct nuclear (and conventional) forces, by receiving, verifying and relaying EAM (Emergency Action Messages). Four E-4B are in service with the U.S. Air Force and operated by the Air Force Global Strike Command out of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. One aircraft is usually airborne every 12 hours, with another one ready for departure with a 5-minute notice.
The one on static display at RIAT 22, registration 73-1676, arrived in the afternoon on Jul. 15, 2022 as GORDO 01. The aircraft could be tracked online on flight tracking websites as it did a holding pattern and then a low pass before coming back to landing.

The E-4B, designed to carry the U.S. SecDef as well as other U.S. top officials and always supporting Air Force One’s trips abroad, is specifically designed to keep American decision makers alive in case of nuclear wars, crisis, zombie invasions or alien attacks. Therefore, it has to be able to fly through any EMP (electromagnetic pulse) with unharmed systems. That’s why this highly-modified Boeing 747 does not feature modern glass cockpit but old fashioned, analogue-style avionics are more resilient to EMPs.

The E-4B is protected against the effects of electromagnetic pulse and has an electrical system designed to support advanced electronics and a wide variety of communications equipment. An advanced satellite communications system provides worldwide communication for senior leaders through the airborne operations center. Other improvements include nuclear and thermal effects shielding, acoustic control, an improved technical control facility and an upgraded air-conditioning system for cooling electrical components.

According to the U.S. Air Force fact sheet, the Nightwatch aircraft’s main deck is divided into six functional areas: a command work area, conference room, briefing room, an operations team work area, communications area and rest area. An E-4B may include seating for up to 112 people, including a joint-service operations team, Air Force flight crew, maintenance and security component, communications team and selected augmentees.

The following clip shows the arrival of the “Doomsday” plane in 4K.



About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

48th Fighter Wing’s New Heritage F-15E Pays Visit To Mach Loop Before Arriving At RAF Fairford

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The Heritage F-15E flying flying

with the Mach Loop on Jul. 14, 2022 (Simon Pearson-Cougill ). In package, the airplane touchdown at RAF Fairford( Stewart Jack) Here are some fascinating shots of the brand-new Heritage F-15E Strike Eagle. The U.S. Air Force 48th Fighter Wing simply introduced a brand-new heritage F-15E Strike Eagle to commemorate the Wing’s 70th year of trip procedures, along with the USAFE’s 80th wedding anniversary and also the Air Force’s 75th wedding anniversary. The jet was formally revealed at RAF Lakenheath on July 12, 2022, as well as on July 14 flew with thepopular Mach Loop in the Low Flying Area (LFA) 7, prior to touchdown at RAF Fairford for this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo.”We have actually repainted an F-15E with an unique paint plan to commemorate the abundant background of Liberty Pilots, Maintainers, as well as all Airmen of the 48 FW “, claimed the 48th FW on social media sites.”Additionally, the paint system is based upon the Skyblazers airborne demo group from the 1950’s and also 60’s, recognizing an item of USAFE’s 80-year background.”

Another shot of the Heritage F-15E in the Mach Loop on Jul. 14, 2022(Simon Pearson-Cougill)The airplane concerned is the F-15E with identification number 92-0364, appointed to the 492nd Fighter Squadron(492nd FS), nicknamed”the Bolars”as well as”the Madhatters “. The Strike Eagle landed at Fairford at around noontime, with the callsign STRIKE31 as well as accompanied by a F-35A of the 495th Fighter Squadron” the Valkyries”, after a fast air to air photo session. As you can see in the images right here in this tale, the F-15E has actually been repainted with the United States flag’s shades on the trip as well as the nose surface areas. The internal sides of the twin tails reveal the logo design for the USAFE’s 80th wedding anniversary, while the external sides reveal the logo design for the 48th FW wedding anniversary. Particularly, you can see the Statue of Liberty, which is the sign of the system and also as a result understood additionally as the” Liberty Wing “, bordered by the forms of the airplane that offered within the device. A larger recreation of the Statue of Liberty is located additionally on the rate brake, come with by the form of the United Kingdom, which organizes the device considering that the 1960s, in addition to the United States as well as UK flags. The 48th FW was initial developed in 1952 at Chaumont-Semoutiers Air Base, France, and also designated the 492d,

493d, as well as 494th Fighter Squadrons. Just in 1960, when French President Charles de Gaulle required the elimination of NATO pressures from the nation, the device transferred to RAF Lakenheath, which at the time was a vacant Strategic Air Command hefty bombing plane base. Currently, as the Liberty Wing is transitioning right into the future, the F-15Cs have actuallybeen switched for new F-35As as well as designated both to the 493rd FS “Grim Reapers”and also the lately reactivated 495th FS”Valkyries “. The system is not brand-new to these type of heritage jets, with some fantastic instances seen for the 75th wedding anniversary of Operation Overlord, when each armada repainted a jet in heritage shades for the celebration. The heritage F-15E as it lands before the crows at RAF Fairford. (Photo: Stewart Jack) About Stefano D’Urso Stefano D’Urso is an independent reporter and also factor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A grad in Industral Engineering he’s additionally examining to accomplish a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions as well as OSINT strategies put on the globe of present disputes and also armed forces procedures are amongst his locations of competence.

A-10 Demo Pilot Narrates Display Routine Step-By-Step In This Crazy Cool Video

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A-10 Demo
A wide angle view from inside the A-10C’s cockpit during the demo. (Photo: Erik Johnston)

“Gator” narrates the flight step-by-step for the viewers to enjoy all the work and dedication behind the demo flights performed across the United States.

The U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II demonstration team is the unit in charge of highlighting the A-10C’s capabilities during airshows across the United States and to recruit, retain and inspire the next generation of Airmen. For the 2022 airshow season, the team, assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, is flying a special color A-10C which was unveiled last year for the 2021 season.

The Team said that the paint scheme was inspired by the F-105 Thunderchiefs that the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing (former designation of the current 355th Fighter Wing based at Davis-Monthan) flew during the Vietnam War. To honor the Prisoners of War, Missing in Action and Veterans, the starboard side of the A-10’s nose features the names of all the unit’s members who lost their lives or were captured during the conflict, accompanied by the National League of Families POW/MIA flag.

The upper surfaces of the A-10C have thus been painted with medium green, dark green and dark tan patches, while the lower surfaces have been painted with camouflage gray, in line with the same colors used by the US Air Force aircraft during the Vietnam conflict. On the fuselage the aircraft also shows the insignias of the 354th and 357th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, which have been redesignated 354th and 357th Fighter Squadrons in 1991.

Our friend Erik Johnston worked with the A-10C Demo Team during the Rose City Airfest at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, Texas, bringing us an interesting video showing the entire demo routine narrated by the pilot, Maj. Haden “Gator” Fullam, from the preflight briefing to the shutdown at the end of the show. The video was shot over two days, showing both the standard gray and the camo A-10C at work.

After the preflight briefing with the entire team, the show begins, with “Gator” boarding the “Warthog”, preparing the cockpit for the flight. The startup sequence alternates both internal and external views, showing the pilot starting the jet as the ground crew perform the checks with precisely orchestrated movements. An interesting point during the startup is the rollover check, where Maj. Fullam explains that the A-10C does not have parking brakes so, whenever the chocks are removed, he needs to hold the brakes as the aircraft with the throttle at idle has enough power to taxi pretty fast.



After performing a low departure, with the A-10 leveled off at 20 ft above the runway, “Gator” performs a quick site survey to confirm all the references on the ground, before climbing all the way to the top of the reserved airspace to build some energy. The demo is flown almost entirely on max power, with few exceptions, so it is important that the aircraft climbs to get a lot of airspeed (thanks to the exchange between potential energy linked to the altitude and kinetic energy linked to the speed) as the demo has to be flown with whatever energy the A-10 can build up before it enters the show area.

After a quick G-warmup, Maj. Fullam begins a 45° nose low dive to the show center to get as close as possible to the A-10’s max speed, which is 450 kts or Mach 0.75. The show in fact takes the jet to its limits, both for the speed and G-force (for the latter the A-10 is rated at 7.33 G), as the pilot demonstrate the aircraft’s agility. Part of the demo is also dedicated to the tactical capabilities, simulating gun runs on the runway, often accompanied by pyrotechnics.

As we already mentioned, the video continues all the way to the shutdown procedure, showing as the maintenance crew meticulously check the aircraft for any faults before shutting down the engines. These checks are fundamental to guarantee the safety of the flight, making sure that the aircraft is in top shape before the next demo.

About Stefano D’Urso
Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he’s also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.

U.S. B-2 Spirit Bombers Have Deployed To Australia

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B-2 Australia
A B-2 on the ground at RAAF Base Amberley, Australia (Image credit: USAF)

Four B-2A stealth bombers have deployed to RAAF Base Amberley, Australia in the last couple of days.

The largest deployment of U.S. Air Force B-2A in recent times is currently underway in Australia where two pairs of Spirit aircraft have landed on Jul. 10 and 12, 2022. Supported on their way by several KC-135 and KC-10 tankers, the U.S. Air Force stealth bombers belonging to the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, have landed at RAAF Base Amberley to support a Pacific Air Forces Bomber Task Force (BTF) deployment.

According to a Pacific Air Forces press release, the rotational Bomber Task Force operates in support of the Enhanced Cooperation Initiative under the Force Posture Agreement between the United States and Australia. In such context, the B-2s will conduct training missions and strategic deterrence missions with allies, partners and joint forces in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Noteworthy, the last time the B-2s deployed to the INDOPACOM area of responsibility as part of a BTF was in August 2020.

“This deployment of the B-2 to Australia demonstrates and enhances the readiness and lethality of our long-range penetrating strike force,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Kousgaard, 393rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander in the press release. “We look forward to training and enhancing our interoperability with our RAAF teammates, as well as partners and allies across the Indo-Pacific as we meet PACAF objectives.”

Bomber Task Force operations are carried out almost routinely by U.S. Strategic Command across the globe “as a demonstration of U.S. commitment to collective defense and to integrate with Geographic Combatant Command operations and activities.” Indeed, it is quite likely the aircraft will launch extended deterrence mission towards China and the Korean peninsula from Australia.

“This deployment is in line with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability. The BTF enables different types of strategic bombers to operate forward in the Indo-Pacific region from a broad array of overseas and Continental U.S. locations with greater operational resilience.”

As already mentioned, this deployment is remarkable since it involves four stealth bombers (valuable assets that, normally, deploy in smaller numbers, usually 2 or 3 airframes at a time) and because the last time the B-2s deployed to the INDOPACOM area of responsibility as part of a BTF was little less than 2 years ago, in August 2020.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

Mi-24V Attack Helicopters Donated By Czech Republic Are Now In Ukraine

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Czech Mi-24 Ukraine
The 2 previous Czech Mi-24V strike helicopters

in Ukraine.(Photo: Stratcom Centre UA)At the very least 2 gunship helicopters have actually been identified with their initial camouflage as well as Czech markings changed by Ukrainian flags. The U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin divulged on May 23, 2022, that the Czech Republic contributed an undefined variety of helicopters to Ukraine, along with storage tanks as well as rocket systems. As done by lots of nations, the Czech Republic is maintaining the checklist of the contributed devices personal, so it is not feasible to establish which as well as the number of helicopters were moved from the stock of Mi-24 as well as Mi-17 helicopters.

The Centre for Strategic Communications and also Information Security under the Ministry of Culture as well as Information Policy of Ukraine launched an image on Saturday, revealing that a minimum of 2 Czech Mi-24V Hind assault helicopters are currently in Ukraine. The helicopters are still using their initial Czech camouflage, with huge Ukrainian flags on the body that are likewise covering the markings of the Czech Air Force. The Hinds additionally obtained the white bands on the tail boom as the various other helicopters currently in solution in Ukraine.

According to Czech media, both helicopters were taken straight from the trip lines rather than being drawn from storage space. The helicopters have actually been recognized with the serials 3370 and also 7353, which match to the more recent set of Mi-24V/ Mi-35 gotten by the Czech Air Force in between 2003 as well as 2005 as component of the settlement of the Russian financial debt in the direction of the nation. The helicopters were likewise supposedly lately revamped.

Comparable information was reported likewise by Key.Aero, which reported that 2 Mi-35s, with serials 3362 as well as 3370, were being planned for transfer to Ukrainian Army Aviation and also both have actually lately been revamped by LOM Praha Helicopters at Kbely. Particularly, the Mi-35 3362 was provided back to the 221st Helicopter Squadron at Namest nad Oslavou in August 2021.

It is not understood when the helicopters where moved, nevertheless their last trips were reported at the end of April. Taking into consideration that the contribution was introduced on May 23, it is feasible that the helicopters were provided in Ukraine right after, as occurred with the contribution of Slovakian helicopters. The Slovakian Minister of Defence introduced the contribution of a Mi-2 and also 4 Mi-17s transportation helicopters to Ukraine on June 16 and also a day later on they were currently identified throughout their distribution by roadway.

The Czech Air Force runs concerning 15 Mi-24/ Mi-35 Hind strike helicopters as well as concerning 20 Mi-17 Hip transportation helicopters. These helicopters are intended to be changed by 4 AH-1Z Viper assault helicopters as well as 8 UH-1Y Venom energy helicopters, whose manufacturing has actually started previously this year at Bell’s centers in Fort Worth, Texas.

About Stefano D’Urso Stefano D’Urso is an independent reporter as well as factor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A grad in Industral Engineering he’s additionally examining to accomplish a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions as well as OSINT strategies put on the globe of present disputes as well as armed forces procedures are amongst his locations of competence.

Super Hornet Blown Off Flight Deck Of USS Truman In Mediterranean Sea

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Super Hornet Truman
File photo of an F/A-18F Super Hornet on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class E. T. Miller/Released)

A U.S. Navy Super Hornet blew off deck due to very bad weather.

A Super Hornet belonging to Carrier Air Wing 1 aboard USS Truman sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, blew off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier last week, the U.S. Navy said in a statement released on Sunday July 10, 2022.

The mishap is not related to the aircraft going overboard and occurred as the U.S. flattop was conducting a replenishment-at-sea, which was safely terminated through established procedures when it was hit by “an unexpected brief period of intense winds and heavy rains Friday morning” Stars and Stripes reported. No one was aboard the F/A-18E or F (the exact variant has not been disclosed). One sailor was injured due to the heavy weather but in stable condition and anticipated to make a full recovery, U.S. 6th Fleet said.

The incident is at least bizarre: while aircraft can go overboard during routing flight operations at sea, they shouldn’t be blown off the deck by weather. In fact, when rough seas or heavy weather is anticipated, aircraft and anything else that could potentially move, like tractors, carts, etc, are chained down when they are not used, so that they don’t fall from the flight deck. In the past, some aircraft have also been blown off the deck by the jet blast of other aircraft (for this reason carriers are equipped with JBDs – Jet Blast Deflectors – normally raised behind the catapult so that the exhaust from a departing jet does not hit and endanger flight deck crew or other aircraft), as happened on Apr. 18, 1995, when a VF-21 F-14 Tomcat was blown off the flight deck of USS Independence (CV-62) by another Tomcat that was about to depart. Pilot and RIO successfully ejected from the aircraft and were rescued.

Another similar incident happened in the 1970s to an F-14 on USS Kennedy: on Sept. 14, 1976, during a cruise off the Orkney Islands the Tomcat BuNo 159588 went out of control while taxiing, rolled off the deck and fell into the sea. The crew safely ejected before the Tomcat went over the edge. Unlike the USS Independence incident, in this case the plane ended up intact on the ocean floor. Since they were concerned that the Soviets might recover the Tomcat and learn valuable secrets (especially about the Phoenix missile), the U.S. Navy launched a recovery operation: the lost F-14 was recovered two months later.

Back to the incident in the Med Sea on Jul. 8, 2022, a decision as to whether the Super Hornet airframe will be recovered has not been made yet, said Cmdr. Richlyn Ivey, a spokeswoman for U.S. 6th Fleet, according to Stars and Stripes.

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) was deployed to the 6th Fleet AOR (Area Of Responsibility) in December and ordered to stay in the Mediterranean Sea region rather than move on to the Middle East as initially planned amid raising tension with Russia for the situation in Ukraine. From the Adriatic Sea, the carrier’s Air Wing has taken part in “Neptune Strike 2022” and in a three carrier exercise during which HSTCSG integrated with the French carrier Charles de Gaulle’s (R 91) Task Force 473 and Italian carrier ITS Cavour (C-550) strike groups.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the USS Truman has operated in the Mediterranean Sea supporting NATO enhanced air policing over Eastern Europe and also deploying some of its embarked assets to forward operating locations in the region.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

U.S. Air Force Releases Photos Of Mock B61-12 Nuclear Bomb Test Loaded On B-2A Bomber

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A non-nuclear mock B61-12 Joint Test Assembly (JTA) being prepared for test loading inside the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber’s bombs bay. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

The testing of the new nuclear weapon is continuing with the integration on the Spirit stealth bomber.

The U.S. Air Force recently released on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) website a series of interesting photos from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The photos, taken on June 13, 2022, show a high-fidelity, non-nuclear mock B61-12 Joint Test Assembly (JTA) being prepared for test loading inside the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber’s bombs bay. To our knowledge, these should be the first public photos of the weapon with the Spirit since testing aboard the aircraft has begun few years ago.

The Air Force did not provide many details and did not even mention the name of the bomb, simply stating “the 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron test loads a new nuclear-capable weapons delivery system for the B-2 Spirit bomber”. The 72nd TES, a geographically separated unit of Eglin AFB’s 53rd Wing based at Whiteman, is in charge of all testing and evaluation of new equipment, software and weapons systems for the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.”

It is not clear what the caption refers to with the term “nuclear-capable weapons delivery system”. The unofficial Nuclear Matters Handbook of the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters, gives us the following definition:

A nuclear weapon delivery system is the military platform and delivery vehicle by which a nuclear weapon is delivered to its intended target in the event of authorized use (by the President of the United States, who retains sole authority to employ nuclear weapons). Most nuclear weapons have been designed for a specific delivery system, making interoperability potentially challenging.

In addition to the mix of silo-based Minuteman III (MMIII) ICBMs, Trident II D5 Life Extension (LE) SLBMs carried on Ohio-class SSBNs, and B-2A and B-52H nuclear-capable heavy bombers, the U.S. nuclear force includes dual-capable aircraft (DCA), that can carry conventional or nuclear weapons.

Judging by this definition, the weapon delivery system in question should be the B-2A bomber, however the fact that the caption mentions the test loading aboard the aircraft might mean that this system is a new weapon rack inside the bombs bay designed to work with the new B61-12. Available public info states that the Spirit was designed to employ a Bomb Rack Assembly (BRA) for conventional munitions and a Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA) for the delivery of conventional or nuclear weapons.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80002" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/07/07/usaf-b61-12-tests/b-2_spirit_tests_b61-12_1/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_1.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,571" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_1" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron test loads a new nuclear-capable weapons delivery system for the B-2 Spirit bomber on June 13, 2022 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The 72nd TES conducts testing and evaluation of new equipment, software and weapons systems for the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-4.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-1.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-80002″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-1.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”394″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-1.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-4.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-5.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-6.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_1.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron test loads a new nuclear-capable weapons delivery system for the B-2 Spirit bomber on June 13, 2022 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The 72nd TES conducts testing and evaluation of new equipment, software and weapons systems for the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

The BRA was later upgraded between 2003 and 2006 and became a Smart Bomb Rack Assembly capable of carrying as many as 80 independently targeted, JDAM GPS-guided weapons. So, since the new B61-12 in equipped with a guidance kit, it is possible that also the RLA is now being upgraded to use the new bomb. The new bomb variant will replace the B61-7 and B61-11 currently available for the B-2 fleet.

As we already reported, The B61 entered service 50 years ago and has undergone a Life-Extention Program (LEP) to consolidate and replace four legacy bomb variants, the B61 -3, -4, -7, and -11 mods, into the B61-12. The refurbished B61-12 will allow the retirement of the larger B83, becoming the only remaining gravity delivered nuke in the inventory. The bomb will carry a low-yield nuclear warhead with four yield options, reportedly 0.3 kilotons, 1.5 kilotons, 10 kilotons and 50 kilotons, instead of larger warheads like the models it is replacing (which can reach 400 kilotons depending on the variants).

The 12-foot, 825-pound bomb is designed to be delivered from the air in either ballistic or guided-gravity drop modes, thanks to a new Boeing-built tail assembly that includes an Inertial Navigation System (INS) precision-guidance package and two spin rocket motors that improve the bomb’s stability on its longitudinal axis during the descent. The LEP is said to be increasing the B61’s accuracy so much (with a reported 30 m Circular Error Probability instead of the original 100 m) that it will have the same capability against hardened targets as the much more powerful weapons it is replacing.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80003" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/07/07/usaf-b61-12-tests/b-2_spirit_tests_b61-12_2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_2.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,681" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Another image of the tests conducted at Whiteman AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-7.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-2.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80003″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-7.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-8.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/u-s-air-force-releases-photos-of-mock-b61-12-nuclear-bomb-test-loaded-on-b-2a-bomber-9.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/B-2_Spirit_Tests_B61-12_2.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Another image of the tests conducted at Whiteman AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Devan Halstead)

About Stefano D’Urso
Stefano D’Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he’s also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.

South Korea’s KF-21 Begins Ground Tests Ahead Of Imminent First Flight

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KF-21 Boramae

A screenshot from the video clip of the KF-21 throughout the ground examination. The airplane was discovered cabbing to the path at Sacheon flight terminal, residence of Korea Aerospace Industries’centers. The initial model of the KF-21 Boramae (Korean for”Hawk” ), the next-generation competitor created by KAI(Korea Aerospace Industries), was found throughout ground screening as well as recorded in a brief video clip that is currently making the rounds online. The airplane was captured by spectators at Sacheon airport terminal, house of Korea Aerospace Industries’ manufacturing centers where the models are being developed.

The airplane, introduced in 2015 by South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in as an inexpensive, less-stealthy choice to the American F-35, is anticipated to be fielded by the ROKAF (Republic Of Korea Air Force) by the 2030s to change its fleet of aging F-4E Phantom as well as F-5E/ F Tiger II airplane. 6 models, consisting of 2 twin-seat airplane, are being developed to sustain the screening project that is anticipated to last up until 2026, when complete range manufacturing is anticipated to start.

afterburning turbofan engines were evaluated with the model protected in the engine examination bay. Oriental reporters were likewise welcomed witness the occasion. The video clip, which you can discover right here listed below, reveals the KF-21 as it taxis cab to the path, where the examination pilot did a run-up to examine all the criteria prior to launching the brakes as well as increasing for a brief range and afterwards reducing.

This very first low-speed taxi examination will certainly be adhered to by comparable examinations, prior to transferring to high-speed taxi examinations as the last action prior to the very first trip. Some unofficial resources on social media sites are reporting that the initial trip could occur on July 22. proceeded … pic.twitter.com/7pibQZ70xG– @Rupprecht_A(@RupprechtDeino)January 23, 2022 South Korea as well as Indonesia concurred in 2014 to collectively establish the competitor in a job worth 7.5 trillion won (6.3 B United States), with Indonesia dedicated to paying 20%of the overall advancement price.