Tag: Military – Aviation

France Retires ‘Legacy’ Mirage 2000C RDI Fighter Jets

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France Retires ‘Legacy’ Mirage 2000C RDI Fighter Jets
Mirage 2000
A moment from the flypast during the retirement ceremony of the Mirage 2000C RDI. (Photo: Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace)

The older Mirage will be replaced by the Rafale, while the Mirage 2000D and 2000-5F will remain in service.

The Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace bid its farewell to the last Mirage 2000C in service during a ceremony at the Air Base 115 in Orange on June 23, 2022. The aircraft, which entered service in 1984, was the “legacy” version of the Mirage 2000, which was becoming increasingly obsolete after more than 235,000 flight hours and almost 40 years of service.

Along with the aircraft, the French Air Force also bid farewell to the Escadron de Chasse 2/5 «Île-de-France» (Fighter Squadron), which was the last unit operating the Mirage 2000C. The version in service with the EC 2/5 is the Mirage 2000C RDI, where C stands for Chasse (Fighter) and RDI stands for Radar Doppler à Impulsions (Pulse Doppler Radar), and entered service in 1988. The unit is now expected to return to the skies soon, as it will receive the Rafale in 2024 as its new fighter jet.

For the very special occasion, Orange hosted current and former pilots and maintainers who worked on the French delta-wing fighter jets. Static displays with all the aircraft currently in service have been set up for the visitors, as well as the dynamic presentations of the Patroulle de France with their Alpha Jets, the Equipe de Voltige with their Extra 330s and the Gusto Tactical Display with their Mirages. A Mirage 2000 also received a special “Mission Accomplie” (Mission Accomplished) livery.

Quel honneur !

Le meilleur des meilleurs a fait le trajet pour nous.

Katsuhiko Tokunaga 🇯🇵 à immortalisé notre livrée…

Pubblicato da Escadron de Chasse 2/5 Ile de France su Sabato 18 giugno 2022

“Today, the disbandment of the Escadron de Chasse 2/5 «Île-de-France» is accompanied by the withdrawal from service of the Mirage 2000C RDI after more than 235,000 flight hours,” said General Stéphane Mille, Chief of Staff of the French Air and Space Force. “This legendary combat aircraft will have marked the history of the largest units of the Air Force and Space”.

Entering service in 1984, the year of the 50th anniversary of the French Air Force, the aircraft has fought in many theaters, from Operation Daguet in the Persian Gulf in 1991 to Barkhane in the Sahel, from which the Mirage 2000s returned at the end of May. The Mirage 2000C RDI fighters of Orange and the EC 1/5 «Vendée» were also the protagonists of the 2005 action film “Les Chevaliers du ciel”, showing the aircraft flying over France and Djibouti to stop a terrorist plot which involved a stolen Mirage 2000.

“This aircraft has multiplied, for more than 30 years, operational engagements with success. Deployed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and then in the Balkan theatre, the Mirage 2000C RDI has once again distinguished itself in recent years”, said General Mille. “Thus, on African territory, it participated in operations Epervier in Chad and Barkhane in the Sahel, demonstrating the multiplicity of its capabilities and the versatility of its pilots and mechanics.”

While the Mirage 2000C RDI has now been retired, the ground attack Mirage 2000D and the newer multirole variant Mirage 2000-5F will still continue to fly for some years. The twin seater Mirage 2000B are expected to be moved to Nancy, where they will be used to train crews for the Mirage 2000D and 2000-5F. The Mirage 2000C will keep flying for some time so they can be moved to storage, and three aircraft are also expected to take part in a flypast over Paris for Bastille Day on July 14.

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.

Antidotum Airshow Leszno 2022: The Biggest Airshow in Poland This Year

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Antidotum Airshow Leszno 2022: The Biggest Airshow in Poland This Year
Leszno
Swiss Super Puma Flares Drop. (All images: Author)

Leszno: A growing gem of the European air show calendar.

We’ve been worryingly observing the Polish air show calendar this year. Leszno has always been and still is, one of its highlights, nonetheless, the cancelation of the LOTOS Gdynia Aerobaltic (caused by the war in Ukraine) has brought in some concern as to what would happen to the second most significant aviation event planned in Poland, at the small Leszno Flying Club. Leszno-Strzyżewice (EPLS) is a small, but growing GA (General Aviation) airport, with a grass strip. Now it also has a hardened runway, and a set of runway lights which is unusual for a Polish GA airstrip, but seems to be a natural way to go, given the fact that the venue is the home of the Antidotum Airshow – currently one of a very few, and certainly the biggest of the Polish air shows that consistently organizes day and sunset/night display programs.

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Slovenian PC-9.

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Slovenian PC-9.

The show took place on Jun. 17 and Jun. 18, 2022. It is an afternoon/evening event, with the displays scheduled between 4 PM and 11 PM. The airfield’s location, with the beautiful sunsets providing a stunning backdrop for the spectacle in the air only adds to the spectacular, stunning nature of what was happening in the air.

Not everything according to the plan

Unfortunately, the organizers this year also had to overcome some obstacles.

For instance, neither did the pre-announced A-26 Invader, nor the original Yak-3 come to perform at the show – the owner of both aircraft is still working on the A-26’s transatlantic transit tackling relevant formalities with the FAA. This was somewhat causing distress among the show’s social media crowd, but that matter remained out of the hands of the organizers. They, righteously, focused on what they could have done. Last-minute confirmations resulted in the appearance of the single-seater Lim-2 (MiG-15) and Yak-3UPW in the Leszno sky – so all credit for saving the program gaps go to the Antidotum Air Show team. The Red Bull’s P-38 and B-25 – even though their participation was also confirmed – also could not have made it to Leszno because of technical problems.

<img data-attachment-id="79890" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/24/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-report/1-35/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/1.jpg" data-orig-size="1280,853" 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="MiG-15" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Polish single-seat Lim-2/MiG-15 – The only one flying in Europe.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-22.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79890″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-22.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-23.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-24.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/1.jpg 1280w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Polish single-seat Lim-2/MiG-15 – The only one flying in Europe.

Red Bull Special – Trojan is back

The highlights of the show included the new Red Bull’s T-28 Trojan. The airframe wears its original US Navy livery – and for now, at least – it also does not have the smoke system that was one of the trademarks of the former RB T-28. The Red Bull flying department seems to like the air show at Leszno – despite the tragic accident en route back last year, with the loss of the T-28 – the Austrian aviation heritage restorers came to Leszno in numbers. Apart from the T-28 they also brought the F-4U Corsair and Cessna Push-Pull to perform at Leszno. Red Bull also brought its Piper Carbon Cub with the  Air Race’s Luke Czepiela flying it in a comedy act – copying Kyle Franklin’s drunk pilot comedy routine.

Additionally, the show also included Luca Baumann, who did RC model aerobatics, and Blacky, who performed a hang glider aerobatic routine, with smoke and pyro – an unusual sight at an airshow of any kind.

<img data-attachment-id="79893" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/24/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-report/2-23/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/2.jpg" data-orig-size="1280,720" 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="T-28" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Red Bull’s new T-28

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Red Bull’s new T-28

Vintage Delight

In the warbirds department, we also had the chance to watch the OV-10 Bronco display during the day, and night portion of the show as well. The aircraft wore a very special Desert Storm livery, whilst the night display also involved lights and pyro show. It could have come by as a surprise how dynamic that airframe is, and how agile the Bronco can be!

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OV-10 Bronco wearing the Desert Storm Camo

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-29.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79903″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-5.jpg” alt=”OV-10″ width=”706″ height=”397″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-29.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-30.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-31.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-32.jpg 678w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/12.jpg 1280w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

OV-10 Bronco wearing the Desert Storm Camo

The program also involved skydivers, and they were using a very unique platform in their display – a Hungarian Lisunov Li-2 (Soviet-made DC-3 copy), which is a very unique aircraft, and a rare treat at any air show.

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Lisunov Li-2

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Lisunov Li-2

Helicopter Bonanza

This year’s Leszno helicopters line-up was quite rich, with five very different dynamic displays performed. The first was the Czech Air Force W-3 SAR role display demo. This has to be one of the best SAR/helicopter displays in Europe right now. Not only are the Czechs showing what a proper SAR operation should look like, but the Sokol’s pilot also seems to squeeze every inch of performance out of his ride. The second helicopter display came in a form of the Red Bull’s Cobra – a very challenging aircraft to photograph given its twin-blade main rotor. One needs a slow shutter speed to show it move.

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Swiss Super Puma Flares Drop

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Swiss Super Puma Flares Drop

The show organizers in Leszno like to improvise, and Cobra flew a duo display with Bronco this year. The third helicopter display was the Polish Bolkov Bo-105 display team, with smoke and pyro – the Bolkov did two, fantastic displays solo – at night, and during the day, and also one display together with the British Aerosparx display team – that one was arranged in Leszno ad hoc. If there’s one lesson that this air show teaches its audience, it is that you may expect the unexpected.

The fourth, and the most expected of the helicopter displays was the Swiss Super Puma Demo Team, the display of which also involves a massive flares drop in its final phase – especially spectacular when done in the late part of the show, with the sun beginning to set. The fifth helicopter partaking in the show was a Polish military Mi-17, showing off a spectacular display, showcasing some elements of SOF flying tactics.

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Polish Air Force’s Mi-17 role demo.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-40.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79895″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-8.jpg” alt=”Mi-17″ width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-8.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-40.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-41.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-42.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/4.jpg 1280w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Polish Air Force’s Mi-17 role demo.

Jets – Vintage

Unusually for an “air picnic” at a small GA airport, the Antidotum Air Show distinguishes itself by the fact that jet displays may also be expected. And both vintage aircraft invited to Leszno this year were unique in their own way. The first one – the Polish MiG-15/Lim-2 is unique because it, for now, remains the only single-seat MiG-15 aircraft in Europe. Its participation was unexpected, but the aircraft filled in the gap left in the program by the A-26 – this shows great flexibility and willingness to put on the best show of the organizers – even if one piece of the puzzle disappears, the Leszno airfield team still has an ace up its sleeve.

<img data-attachment-id="79897" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/24/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-report/6-11/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/6.jpg" data-orig-size="1280,720" 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="L-29" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The Slovak L-29 Delfin

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The Slovak L-29 Delfin

The uniqueness of the second aircraft stems from the fact that it landed at Leszno, using a grass strip – this refers to the L-29 Delfin. It did this last year as well, but still, seeing a military trainer aircraft land at a small GA airport is a sight to behold.

Jets – Modern

Modern military aviation is not a very usual sight at a small air show – yet, the Antidotum Air Show in Leszno featured two acts of the kind: the Polish Air Force F-16 Tiger Demo Team, and the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter Demo. Both of these aircraft were reaching the venue flying from the Krzesiny (EPKS) airbase.

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Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter demo team.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-47.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-10.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79898″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-10.jpg” alt=”GAF Eurofighter” width=”706″ height=”397″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-10.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-47.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-48.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-49.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-50.jpg 678w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/7.jpg 1280w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter demo team.

The personnel at the Krzesiny base helped the organizers in securing these displays, as both aircraft can be proudly distinguished as members of the NATO Tigers community. The personnel from Krzesiny openly said they were amazed by the air show, and this may be a sign that Leszno would host more military aircraft in the future. Possibly, this could mean that there would be a necessity to reformulate the air show and arrange it as a classic, weekend (Saturday and Sunday) event, but we will see what the future may bring.

Also, one more military highlight came in a form of a Slovenian PC-9 demo – with copious amount of impressive negative G maneuvers being the highlight of the routine.

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F-16 Tiger Demo Team of the Polish Air Force

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-51.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-11.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79899″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-11.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”397″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-11.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-51.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-52.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-53.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-54.jpg 678w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/8.jpg 1280w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

F-16 Tiger Demo Team of the Polish Air Force

Gliders and Wilgas

One of the more interesting displays was performed by a trio of Leszno-based Wilgas, towing the Flying Club’s gliders and flying in a 6-aircraft formation. Wilga alone is an exotic sight to behold, three Wilgas towing gliders are a treat. Wilga was also used as a tow plane by Guy Westgate, in his GliderFX act including a pyro-take-off, and roll-on-tow elements. Notably, the Leszno show has its roots in the Glider Picnic series of events held there, and it is nice to see that the organizers are not forgetting their sailplanes heritage. A pair of Alon A2 Ercoupes was another act performed on behalf of the Aeroklub Leszczyński.

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Leszno-based PZL-104 Wilga

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Leszno-based PZL-104 Wilga

Polish Military Props

The Polish 33rd Airlift Base also made a unique contribution to the Leszno program. First, we have seen a dynamic display of the Polish Air Force’s C-130 Hercules and M-28 Bryza STOL aircraft. And this was during the daytime portion of the show. Secondly, the C-130, as it did last year, also has shown its spectacular flares drop, releasing all of its flares at once, in a single pass, leaving the audience amazed. The C-130’s flare display has now, undoubtedly, become a trademark of the Leszno show and no images or videos do it justice – it must be witnessed live.

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Massive flares drop by the Polish C-130

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Massive flares drop by the Polish C-130

Night show

The Hercules was opening the night pyro portion of the show. This part has been a usually spectacular (however ridiculous it may sound) part of Leszno’s magic – AeroSPARX, OV-10 Bronco, and The Flying Dragons Team on paramotors, all performed a stunning, night spectacle. So far the evening/night portion of the show has been the main reason to go to Leszno, it seems now that the organizers are starting to strike the right balance between the night and day sections (with the daytime section now being so expansive and rich).

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Marek Choim’s night display routine

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-62.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-14.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79902″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-14.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”472″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-14.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-62.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-63.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/antidotum-airshow-leszno-2022-the-biggest-airshow-in-poland-this-year-64.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/11.jpg 1280w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Marek Choim’s night display routine

Overall, it is great to witness the growth of this small, Polish GA show, to the size of a proper international display. We do hope, and we have our fingers crossed, that Leszno would soon become a solid element of the European air show calendars, attracting more than just the local audiences. A show like that deserves to evolve and grow at a rapid pace, considering the amount of effort and passion the small team of organizers has for this event.

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Aerosparx night show finale, long exposure shot showing the pyros.

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Aerosparx night show finale, long exposure shot showing the pyros.

More photos of the airshow can be found here.

About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.

Spain Has Ordered 20 New Eurofighters To Replace Part Of Its Legacy F-18 Hornets

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Spain Has Ordered 20 New Eurofighters To Replace Part Of Its Legacy F-18 Hornets
Eurofighter Spain
Eurofighter HALCÓN on ground(Image debt: Airbus)The Halcón arrangement, revealed at the ILA air program in Berlin, will certainly see Spain obtain 16 single-seater and also 4 twin-seater Eurofighters to change component of the tradition F-18 Hornets. On Jun. 23, 2022, Eurofighter GmbH, NATO EF2000 and also Tornado Development, Production and also Logistics Management Agency (NETMA), and also Eurojet Turbo GmbH authorized the Halcón(Hawk)agreement that will certainly sustain the ongoing modernisation of the Spanish Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon fleet. The brand-new agreement was authorized at an unique event at ILA by Miguel Aěngel Martiěn Peěrez, General Manager NETMA; Carlo Mancusi, Chief Executive Officer, Eurofighter GmbH; and also Gerhard Baehr, CEO Eurojet Turbo GmbH. The finalizing was participated in by elderly armed forces, market, as well as polite very important people from the Eurofighter core countries.

As component of the Halcon program, Spain will certainly get 20 newest generation Eurofighter jets, containing 16 single-seaters and also 4 twin-seaters, together with 48 brand-new EJ200 engines. The E-Scan (Electronically Scanned) radar-equipped airplane, similar to those in the German Quadriga program checked in 2020, will certainly likewise be furnished “with future-proofed equipment, software program, and also an also wider multi-role capacity for involving air and also ground targets”.

The Euro-canard airplane has actually remained in solution with the Ejército del Aire given that 2003. The Eurofighters are run from Morón (ALA 11– 11th Wing) as well as Albacete (ALA 14), where they perform QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) solution, protecting Spain’s region. The airplane are additionally routinely released to sustain NATO Air Policing objectives in the Baltics and also a lot more just recently the Black Sea. The brand-new airplane, that will certainly expand the fleet of Spanish Eurofighters expand to 90 airplane, will certainly be made use of to furnish a 3rd base with Eurofighter jets: Gando, on the Canary Islands, which is house to the ALA 46. The local-based ALA 46/Esc. 462 flies the tradition EF-18 Hornets, surplus U.S. Navy Horne supplied to the Spanish Air Force in between 1995 as well as 2000.

The very first brand-new airplane are because of be provided in 2026.

Eurofighter HALCÓN(Image debt: Airbus)Worth 2.043 B Euro, the procurement, that additionally consists of a simulator as well as assistance solutions, was accepted
by Spain’s Council of Ministers on Dec. 14, 2021.’

This added order enhances Spain’s dedication not just in the direction of the Eurofighter yet additionally to its advancement as well as commercial atmosphere. I would love to say thanks to the consumer for its company placement relative to European protection at once when it is required most,” stated Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence as well as Space, in a public declaration. According to Airbus:”The Spanish Eurofighter is set up, checked and also provided at the Airbus Getafe website(Spain )as well as its commercial impact equates right into greater than 20,000 indirect and also straight tasks in Spain alone. The major nationwide protection and also technical firms are associated with the production procedure. Plane has actually likewise been operating at Getafe in sychronisation with the Armament as well as Experimental Logistics Centre(CLAEX )of the Spanish Air Force to make different alterations such as the execution of the brand-new CM02+software for the Tranche 1 Eurofighters. A significant tactical enhancement supplied by this software program is the brand-new ability for automated targeting of air-to-surface tools complying with combination of the Litening-III targeting hull. Air-to-surface and also additionally air-to-air abilities have actually likewise been presented, together with enhancements to the interactions systems.” About David Cenciotti David Cenciotti is a self-employed reporter based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and also Editor of”The Aviationist”, among the globe’s most renowned as well as review army aeronautics blog sites. Given that 1996, he has actually created for significant globally publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and also numerous others, covering aeronautics, protection, battle, sector, cyberwar, knowledge and also criminal offense. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia as well as Syria,

as well as flown numerous fight aircrafts with various flying force. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, an exclusive pilot as well as a grad in Computer Engineering. He has actually composed 5 publications and also added to a lot more ones.

‘Magnum!’ Flying A Wild Weasel Mission With The Tornado ECR And The F-35

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‘Magnum!’ Flying A Wild Weasel Mission With The Tornado ECR And The F-35
Tornado ECR
A Tornado ECR and an F-35A during a joint SEAD mission. (All images: Author)

We had the unique chance to see how the Italian Tornado ECRs team up with the F-35s to carry out a SEAD mission.

“Wild Weasel” is a code name given by the United States Air Force to an aircraft of any type, equipped with anti-radiation missiles and tasked with the SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) mission: destroying the radar and Surface-to-Air Missile installations of enemy air defense systems. Within the Italian Air Force, the Wild Weasel mission is assigned to the 155° Gruppo ETS (Electronic Warfare Tactical Suppression) “Pantere Nere” (“Black Panthers”) of the 6° Stormo (Wing) based in Ghedi Air Base, northern Italy. The squadron operates with the Tornado ECR MLU RET8.

Just like the IDS fleet, that will officially celebrate its 40th anniversary in September this year, the Tornado ECR have, over the years, been modernized since they were first inducted into active service. Between 2013 and 2018, 15 Tornado ECRs were upgraded to the RET8 standard as part of a Mid-Life Update that introduced new avionics sub-systems and a new mission software, and required changes to the weapons management system in order to expand the array of armaments and mission loads the aircraft can carry.

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Tornado ECR with two AGM-88 missiles.

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Tornado ECR with two AGM-88 missiles.

Along with the INS/GPSintegrated NAV system aided by a MMR (Multi-Mode Receiver), the Tornado ECR MLU RET8, designated EA-200D in accordance to the Italian MOD Mission Design Series, is equipped with an upgraded IFF system, and Data-link system, with a new NVG-compatible internal and external lighting systems as well as new MFDs (Multi-Function Displays) in both the pilot and navigator’s cockpits.

“Our primary role is SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) and DEAD (Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses), two kinds of mission we carry out with the Tornado ECR,” says Lt. Col. Michele, Commander of 155° Gruppo ETS, as he welcomes us in his office. “In terms of sensors, the ELS (Emitter Location System) is the onboard system that allows us to identify and geo-localise, in a pretty fast and accurate way, the ground radars that can be associated with the enemy anti-aircraft defenses.” Although somewhat similar, SEAD and DEAD missions are quite different: the missile used for SEAD missions can destroy an enemy radar making it unavailable for a certain period of time. However, if a replacement antenna is available, the air defense site can be restored and put back into service in a matter of a few days (if not hours). The DEAD mission aims at destroying both the radar and the launchers so that the SAM site is rendered inoperative for a longer period.

For DEAD missions, the Tornado’s arsenal has been expanded in 2016 with the addition of the GPS-guided GBU-32 JDAM (Joint Defense Air Munition) bombs that complemented the ARM (Anti Radiation Missiles) used for SEAD missions: the AGM-88B HARM and the AGM-88E AARGM (Advanced Anti Radiation Guided Missile). The latter is a follow-on variant of the HARM (High Speed Anti Radiation Missile), developed under a US and Italian joint acquisition programme led by the US Navy. It features new software, improved ability to geo-locate and neutralize the threats thanks to a multi-mode seeker that embeds a passive radar, and an active millimeter wave sensors coupled with a GPS-aided inertial navigation system.

<img data-attachment-id="79866" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/22/magnum/ecr_160222_0479/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0479.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"David Cenciotti","camera":"Canon EOS 7D Mark II","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1645022995","copyright":"\u00a9 David Cenciotti","focal_length":"65","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="ECR_160222_0479" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The 155° Gruppo, at that time belonging to the 50° Stormo, based at Piacenza, received the first Tornados for the Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) role in 1993. Designated IDS-HARM, those aircraft were fitted with avionics for integrating the AGM-88B HARM. The current Tornado ECRs, started being delivered in 1998.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-14.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79866″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-14.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-15.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-16.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0479.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The 155° Gruppo, at that time belonging to the 50° Stormo, based at Piacenza, received the first Tornados for the Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) role in 1993. Designated IDS-HARM, those aircraft were fitted with avionics for integrating the AGM-88B HARM. The current Tornado ECRs, started being delivered in 1998.

The new missile was introduced after a successful Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) campaign, dubbed “Blazing Shield”, that saw four Tornado ECR deploy to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, in April 2018, to undertake a series of tests and two live firing events. “Although we have received the new AGM-88E, the squadron retains a capability with the AGM-88B: we still maintain the Bravo version as it can be useful is certain scenarios. For this reason we train and fly with both types. For us, the missile is itself a sensor and this is the reason why we fly training missions usually carrying one or two AGM-88s”.

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Although the training is role-specific, Tornado of both variants can fly with mixed aircrews if needed: for instance, a pilot from 155° Gruppo and a navigator from 154° Gruppo on a Tornado ECR or vice versa, thanks to the standardized training provided by the Operational Conversion Unit.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-17.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-4.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79867″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-4.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-4.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-17.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-18.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-19.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0546.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Although the training is role-specific, Tornado of both variants can fly with mixed aircrews if needed: for instance, a pilot from 155° Gruppo and a navigator from 154° Gruppo on a Tornado ECR or vice versa, thanks to the standardized training provided by the Operational Conversion Unit.

Although a phase-out date has not yet been officially confirmed, the Italian Air Force has already decided that the SEAD/DEAD mission will transition to the F-35A Lightning II when the Tornado ECR is retired.

<img data-attachment-id="79872" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/22/magnum/ecr_160222_0681/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0681.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"David Cenciotti","camera":"Canon EOS 7D Mark II","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1645022995","copyright":"\u00a9 David Cenciotti","focal_length":"53","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="ECR_160222_0681" data-image-description data-image-caption="

In a typical cooperative SEAD mission, data collected and fused by the F-35 is passed to the Tornado ECR by means of Link 16. The AM puts a lot of effort into improving the integration between 4th and 5th gen. assets.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-20.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79872″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-20.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-21.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-22.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0681.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

In a typical cooperative SEAD mission, data collected and fused by the F-35 is passed to the Tornado ECR by means of Link 16. The AM puts a lot of effort into improving the integration between 4th and 5th gen. assets.

“The current weapon system still allows us to carry out our mission in an effective way. But we have already started operating jointly with the F-35, that is the future of the Air Force: some of our pilots have already completed the transition to the F-35 and this is important because we are this means that we are pouring some of our experience into the Lightning line.” It’s worth remembering that while it has the ability to locate and track enemy forces, until the AARGM-ER (Extended Range) is integrated on the type, the F-35 still lacks a missile for SEAD missions, although it can use various stand-off weapons, including the GBU-39 SDBs (Small Diameter Bombs) that can be carried inside the weapons bays, to attack ground targets itself. During the transition of the SEAD mission, 155° Gruppo and 13° Gruppo (the squadron that flies the F-35A of 32° Stormo out of Amendola AB) are exploring new ways to exploit the best capabilities both aircraft are able to make available to the Wild Weasel mission.

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The Tornado ECRs of the 155° Gruppo regularly train alongside the 154° Gruppo, that flies the Tornado IDS in the attack role. Both units are assigned to the 6° Stormo at Ghedi Air Base, along with the 102° Gruppo OCU (Operational Conversion Unit).

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-23.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-6.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79868″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-6.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-6.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-23.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-24.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-25.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0642.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The Tornado ECRs of the 155° Gruppo regularly train alongside the 154° Gruppo, that flies the Tornado IDS in the attack role. Both units are assigned to the 6° Stormo at Ghedi Air Base, along with the 102° Gruppo OCU (Operational Conversion Unit).

More details about the 155° Gruppo can be found in the story by this Author “Italian Wild Weasels”, in the July 2022 issue of Combat Aircraft Journal, at newsagents now!

In order to see how the F-35 and the Tornado work together, we were given the opportunity to fly aboard a Tornado ECR during a SEAD mission that involved three Tornados (2 ECRs + 1 IDS) from Ghedi (callsigns PANTE 1-3) and two F-35A of the 13° Gruppo of the 32° Stormo from Amendola (FALCO 31-32). Here’s how it went.

Hunting radars with the Black Panthers

On Feb. 16, 2022 we flew a mission with the 155° Gruppo. The mission was planned to take place inside R48, a restricted airspace located above central Italy, more or less mid-way between the departure airbases of the “Tonkas” and the F-35 Lightnings that joined us to carry out a SEAD mission that could leverage the capabilities of both 4th and 5th generation aircraft. The take-off time was at 13.00Z (14.00LT) with a WALK to the aircraft at 12.00Z so we spent most of the morning in the planning of the mission that, unlike sorties flown with only local assets, also included a Secure Video Conference with the two F-35 pilots from Amendola AB to review the whole plan, including block levels, task sharing and safety measures. For instance, to ensure proper deconflictions, we were assigned block altitudes between FL130 and FL150 (with aircraft separated by 1,000 feet) whereas the F-35s were assigned the block FL160-180. The transit time to the operational area was about 30 minutes, then we had 30-45 minutes “play time” before the RTB phase (lasting another half an hour).

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Selfie in the backseat of the Tornado ECR.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-26.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-7.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79869″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-7.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”397″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-7.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-26.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-27.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-28.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-29.jpg 678w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/155-Gr-top.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Selfie in the backseat of the Tornado ECR.

The sensitivity of the mission and the type of assets involved in the sortie don’t allow us to disclose many details about the actual “kinetic” part of the sortie, but what we can say is that the mission was planned so that the F-35s used their sensor cooperating with ECRs in order to locate and ID the targets, share positions witihin platforms and allow Tornados to employ AGM-88: the two ECRs carried two inert Harm missiles, whereas the IDS, flown by a 155° Gruppo pilot, did not carry any armament but it took part in the mission flying the same mission profile as the rest of the ECR. The mission had a two-fold goal: put the SEAD/DEAD tactics to test and improve the 4th/5th generation cooperation. Among the various possible scenarios, a SEAD mission jointly carried out by the two types can see an initial phase where F-35s use their ESM (Electronic Support Measures) capabilities cooperating with ECRs to detect the emissions of the enemy radars, gather the EOB and pass the relevant targeting information to the Tornado ECRs in order to employ AGM-88 from outside the envelope of the SAM batteries. The traditional “Magnum” codeword (used since the first Gulf War by the SEAD aircraft upon firing their anti-radiation missiles) is radioed to announce the launch of an AGM-88.

As said, we can’t provide many more details about the mission other than saying that it was “successful”.

“The integration with the F-35 is crucial. We exploit the F-35’s sensor fusion and the ability of the 5th generation aircraft to disseminate the information to us via Link 16.” Lt. Col. Michele’s words are echoed by the F-35s pilots we had the opportunity to talk to: “The SEAD/DEAD capability is the F-35’s core business. The pilots of our squadron have already gained an enormous experience in the use of the aircraft in this kind of mission, that is part of the training of an F-35 pilot since the very early stages of the training process.” Simulated SEAD/DEAD missions that see the integration of the Tornado ECRs and the F-35s are flown quite frequently. “We train for this kind of mission with legacy assets whenever we have the opportunity. The training profile of the F-35 pilots includes a specific mission that embeds Fighter Integration tactics during which the two assets cooperate using two different air-to-surface weapons”.

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The Tornado ECR and IDS of the 6° Stormo regularly train with the F-35A of the 13° Gruppo/32° Stormo from Amendola: the 5th generation aircraft will replace both types in the future.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-30.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79870″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-8.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-8.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-30.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-31.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/magnum-flying-a-wild-weasel-mission-with-the-tornado-ecr-and-the-f-35-32.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ECR_160222_0905.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The Tornado ECR and IDS of the 6° Stormo regularly train with the F-35A of the 13° Gruppo/32° Stormo from Amendola: the 5th generation aircraft will replace both types in the future.

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.

The Netherlands Selects The Embraer C-390 As New Tactical Cargo Aircraft

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The Netherlands Selects The Embraer C-390 As New Tactical Cargo Aircraft
C-390
File photo of a Brazilian C-390M converted to the KC-390 tanker variant. (Photo: Embraer)

The C-390 will replace the four aging C-130Hs of the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

The Dutch Ministry of Defense identified the new tactical cargo aircraft, that will replace the current fleet of four aging C-130H Hercules aircraft: the  Embraer C-390 Millennium. With the selection of the Brazilian-made cargo aircraft, the Netherlands are bound to become the third European country to order it after Portugal and Hungary. The C-390 was the winner of the assessment against the U.S.-made Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules.

The replacement of the C-130H fleet was initially planned between 2031 and 2033, however a persistent low deployability and the changed security situation in eastern Europe pushed the government to replace the fleet earlier than expected. The evacuation from Afghanistan, for an instance, underlined the importance of guaranteed availability of tactical and strategic transport capability, with the Dutch armed forces recognizing in the Defense Memorandum 2022 an increased need for transport, taking the required flying hours from 2,400 to 4,000 hours.

Other than the flight hours, the MoD set a number of requirements: a payload of at least 60 paratroopers; the ability to transport different types of equipment over a distance of 2,000 nautical miles to unpaved and short runways or eventually to be airdropped; a MEDEVAC/CASEVAC capability for seriously injured people who require continuous medical care while in flight; self-protection systems and secure communication systems. Last but not least, the aircraft has to be already available as Military Off The Shelf.

The assessment for the new cargo aircraft was performed on the only two candidates considered suitable for the role: the C-130J and C-390M. The documents released by the Dutch MoD mention that the C-390M was assessed to be the only candidate within the budget that can meet the requirements set within the framework of Commercial/Military Off The Shelf (COTS/MOTS), as well as meeting the delivery and certification time schedule set by the MoD.

Also, the MoD says that, compared to the C-130J, the C-390M has greater availability and requires significantly less maintenance, allowing more hours to be flown with the same number of aircraft. The documents continue by explaining that the C-390M scores higher than the C-130J on a number of operational and technical requirements, meeting the operational needs, while the C-130J can meet the Dutch operational needs, but must then be equipped with various mission-specific elements that are not available as COTS/MOTS.

<img data-attachment-id="79858" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/21/c-390-for-rnlaf/embraer_c-390m_netherlands_2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Embraer_C-390M_Netherlands_2.png" data-orig-size="1024,682" 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="Embraer_C-390M_Netherlands_2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

File photo of two Dutch C-130Hs. (Photo: RNLAF)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-netherlands-selects-the-embraer-c-390-as-new-tactical-cargo-aircraft-2.png” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-netherlands-selects-the-embraer-c-390-as-new-tactical-cargo-aircraft.png” class=”size-large wp-image-79858″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-netherlands-selects-the-embraer-c-390-as-new-tactical-cargo-aircraft.png” alt width=”706″ height=”470″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-netherlands-selects-the-embraer-c-390-as-new-tactical-cargo-aircraft.png 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-netherlands-selects-the-embraer-c-390-as-new-tactical-cargo-aircraft-2.png 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-netherlands-selects-the-embraer-c-390-as-new-tactical-cargo-aircraft-3.png 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/the-netherlands-selects-the-embraer-c-390-as-new-tactical-cargo-aircraft-4.png 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Embraer_C-390M_Netherlands_2.png 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

File photo of two Dutch C-130Hs. (Photo: RNLAF)

Another comparison is related to the number of aircraft needed to fly the required flight hours: the C-390M can meet the minimum requirement of 2,400 flight hours with four aircraft and the requirement of 4,000 flight hours with five aircraft. On the other hand, according to the information obtained by the Dutch MoD, the C-130J already requires at least five aircraft for 2,400 flying hours and they are not sufficient to meet the requirement of 4,000 hours.

The Dutch Defense is now going ahead with the acquisition of five C-390M aircraft plus a cargo hold simulator and cockpit simulator. During the assessment phase it was expected to replace the first C-130H with the first C-390M from 2026. Even with some delays during the assessment process, Embraer assured the MoD that it will still be able to deliver the five aircraft and simulators in accordance with the delivery schedule. The costs of the replacement programme are estimated between € 1 billion and € 2.5 billion.

H/T @Gerjon for the heads-up

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.

Norway Permanently Terminates NH90 Operations And Contract

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Norway Permanently Terminates NH90 Operations And Contract
Norway NH90
A Norwegian NH90 during a SAR exercise. (Photo: Norwegian Armed Forces)

The Norwegian MoD is also demanding a refund of the money spent on the NH90 programme.

The Norwegian government has decided to immediately halt all operations with the NH90 helicopters and to terminate the contract with the manufacturer NHIndustries. In a statement released by the Ministry of Defence on June 10, 2022, delays, errors and time-consuming maintenance are mentioned as the cause of this abrupt decision that put an end to the programme after 20 years.

“Regrettably we have reached the conclusion that no matter how many hours our technicians work, and how many parts we order, it will never make the NH90 capable of to meeting the requirements of the Norwegian Armed Forces”, said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Mr. Bjørn Arild Gram. “Based on a joint recommendation by the Armed Forces and associated departments and agencies, the Norwegian Government has therefore decided to end the introduction of the NH90 and has authorized the Norwegian Defence Material Agency to terminate the contract”.

The Norwegian Defence Material Agency has subsequently notified NHIndustries about the contract termination and is now preparing to return the NH90s along with any spares and equipment received. At the same time, the agency will also request a full refund from NHI, which will include the approximately NOK five billion (USD 522.5 million) it has paid under the contract, in addition to interest and other expenses.

“We have made repeated attempts at resolving the problems related to the NH90 in cooperation with NHI, but more than 20 years after the contract was signed, we still don’t have helicopters capable of performing the missions for which they were bought, and without NHI being able to present us with any realistic solutions”, said Gro Jære, Director General of the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency.

The NH90 was developed in the mid-1990s by NHIndustries, a partnership between Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo Helicopters and Fokker Technologies. Norway decided to join the programme in 2001, with the order of 14 helicopters for Coast Guard and Anti-Submarine Warfare duties originally slated for delivery by the end of 2008. However, only eight helicopters have so far been delivered in a fully operational configuration, which were expected to provide 3,900 flight hours annually but in recent years it has averaged less than a fifth of that value, about 700 hours, according to the MoD.

<img data-attachment-id="79851" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/19/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-ops/norway_cancels_nh90_2-1/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Norway_Cancels_NH90_2-1.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,767" 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="Norway_Cancels_NH90_2 (1)" data-image-description data-image-caption="

A Norwegian NH90 in a maintenance hangar. (Photo: Norwegian Armed Forces)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-4.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-2.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-79851″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”529″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-4.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-5.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-6.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-7.jpg 678w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-8.jpg 326w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/norway-permanently-terminates-nh90-operations-and-contract-9.jpg 80w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Norway_Cancels_NH90_2-1.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

A Norwegian NH90 in a maintenance hangar. (Photo: Norwegian Armed Forces)

The decision to terminate the NH90 contract follows a comprehensive review of Norway’s maritime helicopter capabilities requested by the MoD, which concluded that, even with significant additional financial investments, it would not be possible to bring the performance and availability of the NH90 to a level that would meet Norwegian requirements.

NHIndustries did not take very well the news: “NHIndustries is extremely disappointed by the decision taken by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and refutes the allegations being made against the NH90 as well as against the Company”, reads the statement. “NHIndustries was not offered the possibility to discuss the latest proposal made to improve the availability of the NH90 in Norway and to address the specific Norwegian requirements. NHI Industries considers this termination to be legally groundless”.

The company also said that a total of 13 helicopters have already been delivered and the last one on order was ready for acceptance. In the meanwhile, the MoD will shortly begin the process of identifying an alternative maritime helicopter to fill the capability gap left by the NH90.

The situation is very reminiscent of what happened in Australia last year, when the Australian Defence Force has announced that it will retire its entire fleet of MRH90 Taipan helicopters a decade earlier than scheduled and replace them with UH-60M Black Hawks and MH-60R Seahawks. As for the Norwegian case, poor availability rates were among the causes that forced the retirement of the Australian NH90s.

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.

United State Forces Have Captured Another Daesh Senior Leader During Night Helicopter Raid

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United State Forces Have Captured Another Daesh Senior Leader During Night Helicopter Raid
Syria raid
< img src="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/u-s-forces-have-captured-another-daesh-senior-leader-during-night-helicopter-raid-1.jpg"alt ="Syria raid"title=

“Syria_raid_Night_Stalkers_1b”> A screenshot from the video clip listed below revealing the Chinook in trip at extremely reduced elevation. In package a data picture of a MH-47G of the 160th SOAR.( Photo: Boeing/U. S. Army)The raid occurred in northeast Syria, near the Turkish boundary. Among the leading leaders of Daesh’s Syrian branch was recorded throughout an evening raid in northeast Syria on June 15, 2022.

The caught person is a seasoned bomb manufacturer and also functional facilitator, which U.S. authorities determined as Hani Ahmed Al-Kurdi, additionally referred to as the “Wali of Raqqa “(Governor of Raqqa).”The objective was carefully prepared to reduce the threat of civilian casualties or private injury. The procedure succeeded; no private citizens were damaged neither existed injuries to Coalition pressures or damages to Coalition airplane or properties”, stated the news release from the Combined Joint Task Force– Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).

6 helicopters were apparently associated with the procedure, with video clips arised on social media sites revealing CH-47 Chinook as well as UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in the Aleppo countryside. Offered the sort of goal as well as the truth that they were flying really reduced as well as quickly, it is nearly specific those helicopters were certainly MH-47Gs and also MH-60Ms of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), much better referred to as the Night Stalkers.

Information regarding the raid are questionable, with battle surveillance teams claiming that the target was a residence on the side of the town of al-Humayra. Some resources state that the town is inhabited by Turkish-backed militants, which supposedly likewise opened up fire versus the helicopters, while boxer jets as well as UAVs slackened over the location.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that below were 7 mins of armed clashes in between the soldiers as well as individuals inside the town prior to the helicopters flew off. They likewise reported that the helicopters later on landed at a base in the Kobane area in eastern Aleppo district, complying with the effective raid.

Previously this year, one more raid in north Syria caused the fatality of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the leader of the Islamic State militant team. Because celebration, among the helicopters was deserted and also ruined far from the target substance, while the hefty clashed in between United States pressures as well as the militants resulted additionally in the fatality of a variety of private citizens inhabiting the target structure.

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 related to the globe of existing problems as well as armed forces procedures are amongst his locations of experience.

Sweden Might Acquire Second-Hand C-130Js From Italy

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Sweden Might Acquire Second-Hand C-130Js From Italy
C-130J
File photo of an Italian C-130J during a takeoff from an austere runway. (Photo: Aeronautica Militare)

The aircraft would replace the Swedish Air Force’s old C-130Hs

Sweden is looking to replace its six old C-130Hs (Tp84 according to the Swedish MoD designation) with four second-hand C-130Js from Italy, as the procurement of the latter has been judged as a better option than an upgrade program. While this has not yet been officially confirmed from the two countries, Air Forces Monthly reported the news after an interview with the Swedish Air Force Chief of Staff.

“We are buying the first two from the Italian Air Force, which will be modified at a later stage”, said Major General Carl-Johan Edström. “We hope to acquire six and the second pair will also come from Italy. So, replacing all six C-130Hs with six C-130Js.” In fact, it is being reported that the Italian government has put six C-130s on sale.

Before the decision to completely replace the C-130H fleet, Sweden has been looking at ways to upgrade the aircraft currently in service. However, the upgrade program would have reduced the number of the operational aircraft for the time being. “We decided not to modernise our C-130Hs, because it meant the fleet numbers would drop for several years while they were away being modified, which would take six to nine months at a time”, said Major General Edström.

According to AFM’s interview, the first two aircraft might be delivered already next year, while the complete replacement of the C-130H fleet might happen by 2025. The acquisition of the C-130J has been judged a perfect choice by Major General Edström: “It’s a great decision to go for the C-130Js. They can fulfil the needs of the special forces, army and air force – it’s the perfect design for the Armed Forces.”

The Aeronautica Militare received 12 C-130Js and ten longer C-130J-30s, which were delivered between May 2000 and February 2005 and assigned to the 46^ Brigata Aerea (Air Brigade) at Pisa-San Giusto airport. Several of these aircraft are reportedly in storage, with Scramble reporting at least three aircraft noted stored at Pisa and around five aircraft at Venice-Tessera airport. The numbers seem to add up with the reports about six aircraft being up for sale.

Three of the Italian C-130Js have been converted to KC-130J tankers, although the Italian Air Force originally acquired six air-to-air refueling kits. One of the six  Swedish C-130Hs is a tanker aircraft (Tp84T) that is used to keep the Gripen pilotshttps://theaviationist.com/2018/07/25/swedish-air-force-jas-39-gripen-c-jet-dropped-gbu-12-bomb-to-cut-forest-fire-near-military-range-in-sweden/ current in the air-to-air refueling qualification. It is unclear at this time if the aircraft will be replaced by a KC-130J or by a standard C-130J and later upgraded with the air-to-air refueling kit.

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.

All The German F-35s To Be Stationed At Büchel Air Base

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All The German F-35s To Be Stationed At Büchel Air Base
F-35 Germany
File image of a USAF F-35A

( U.S. Air Force picture by Heide Couch) The F-35A jets of the Luftwaffe(German Air Force )will certainly be based in Büchel, in the Eifel area of western Germany. The Bundeswehr(the militaries of the Federal Republic of Germany)have actually made a decision that all the brand-new F-35A stealth jets predestined to the Luftwaffe(German Air Force)will certainly be posted at Büchel Air Base. Pointing out a representative of the Bundeswehr, Südwestrundfunk, a local public broadcasting firm offering the southwest of Germany, reported that the 5th generation airplane will certainly be based at the landing field in the Eifel area, in the western component of Germany, after the intended remodelling jobs of the path in Büchel. The building job, setting you back around 170 million euros, is anticipated to be finished in February 2026. According to SWR, a brand-new 11.5-km external fencing, worth 18M Euro has actually been put up around the air base to stop demonstrators, that continuously

climbed up the old fencing, from horning in the army installment. The choice to base the F-35s there is not unexpected: Buchel is the homebase of the Tornado IDS of the Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 33(TLG33)and also, most of all, according to a number of records (never ever been formally validated), it is likewise the base where the U.S. nukes needed to satisfy NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangement, are saved. By 2030, the nuclear strike goal will certainly change from the Tornado IDS to the F-35A, with the last able to bring the B61-12 bomb in the inner tools bay. F-35A AF-6 launches inert B61-12 throughout a twin qualified airplane(DCA)examination trip overhead over Edwards Air Force Base, California, on Nov. 25, 2019.(Image: DoD)A total amount of 35 Lightning II airplane will certainly be made use of to cover the jobs presently appointed to the Tornado IDS, consisting of the nuclear strike duty, while a variety of Eurofighter ECR, an Electronic Combat Reconnaissance (ECR)/ Suppression of Enemy Air Defences(SEAD)variation of the Eurofighter Typhoon that was very first revealed by Airbus back in 2019, is slated to change the Tornado ECRs as well as cover additionally the IuWES [Luftgestützte Wirkung im Elektromagnetischen Spektrum(

luWES )] Digital Attack demand Germany has actually dedicated to supply to NATO. H/T Jens Hameister for the heads-up About David Cenciotti David Cenciotti is an independent reporter based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder as well as Editor of”The Aviationist”, among the globe’s most popular as well as check out army air travel blog sites. Considering that 1996, he has actually created for significant around the world publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and also numerous others, covering air travel, protection, battle, market, criminal offense, knowledge as well as cyberwar. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and also Syria, as well as flown a number of fight airplanes with various air

pressures. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of

the Italian Air Force, a personal pilot as well as a grad in Computer Engineering. He has actually composed 5 publications and also added to much more ones.

‘MiG Killer’ F-16D Has Been Given A New Retro Camouflage Color Scheme

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'MiG Killer' F-16D Has Been Given A New Retro Camouflage Color Scheme
Seen on touchdown at Luke AFB, the F-16D 90-0778 with the brand-new paint plan( All photos: Thomas “Taj” Backus )The airplane that racked up the very first airborne triumph by an American F-16 in addition to the initial kill for the AIM-120 AMRAAM, currently sporting activities a desert brownish color pattern. The F-16D Block 42 # 90-0778 is a rather popular airplane: on Dec. 27, 1992, throughout Operation Southern Watch( OSW ), making use of callsign “BENJI 41″ and also zipped Capt. Gary” Nordo “North, this two-seater Fighting Falcon designated to the 19th FS( Fighter Squadron)yet on car loan to the 33rd FS released to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, rejected an Iraqi MiG-25 Foxbat E jet that had actually flown southern of the 33rd parallel, getting in the NFZ (No Fly Zone) implemented complying with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, embraced on Apr. 5, 1991.

That kill noted the initial by a U.S. F-16 along with the initial accomplished utilizing an AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile) “Slammer”.

A MiG-25 eliminate noting was positioned on the left side simply listed below the cover structure of # 90-0778 that showed off the standard two-tone grey color design of all the U.S. Air Force”Vipers”(the F-16’s label)at the time of the airborne interaction. The identical airplane, presently in solution with the 310th FS at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, has actually lately been offered an entirely brand-new paint plan as the images

in this write-up, sent us by our close friend Thomas”Taj”Backus, program. The brand-new livery appears to be based upon the”delicious chocolate chip cookie”pattern, a sort of speculative desert color design that was put on the F-16C Block 25 # 84-1212 in December 1990

, throughout Operation Desert Shield, as the airplane, appointed to the 33rd TFS(Tactical Fighter Squadron), from Shaw AFB, as well as released to Al Dhafra Abdominal Muscle, UAE. F-16D MiG-killer on last at Luke AFB on Jun. 9, 2022. Another shot of the MiG-killer According to some resources, the F-16C flew with the speculative color pattern for simply one week: the desert livery made the jet tough to detect, boosting the danger of mid-airs as well as looked like the one made use of by the Israeli Air Force Vipers. For these factors, it was rapidly gone down. Up until today: the old speculative camouflage has actually been”restored”as well as utilized on a MiG-killer airframe with markings that commemorate the Dec. 27, 1992 downing throughout Operation Southern Watch. F-16D 90-0778 touchdown at Luke AFB. For contrast, this is 90-0778 with the previous paint system. About David Cenciotti David Cenciotti is an independent reporter based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and also Editor of”The Aviationist”, among the globe’s most renowned and also review armed forces aeronautics blog sites. Considering that 1996, he has actually composed for significant globally publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, as well as several others, covering aeronautics, protection, battle, market, knowledge, cyberwar as well as criminal activity. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and also Syria, as well as flown a number of fight aircrafts with various flying force. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a personal pilot as well as a grad in Computer Engineering. He has actually composed 5 publications as well as added to a lot more ones.