Tag: Russian Aerospace Forces

Video Clip Shows Ultra-Low Level Flying Russian Gunship Helicopter Shot Down In Ukraine

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Video Clip Shows Ultra-Low Level Flying Russian Gunship Helicopter Shot Down In Ukraine
Screenshot from the video clip of the Mi-35M obliterated in Ukraine. The clip is a tip that low-flying Russian helicopters are prone to MANPADS(as well as ATGMs) in Ukraine. A video clip, revealing a Russian Mi-35M gunship helicopter rejected by an undefined Ukrainian projectile, perhaps one discharged by a MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense System), has actually begun distributing online on Jun. 16, 2022.

The video footage, that shows up to have actually been videotaped by a drone, reveals the Russian helicopter flying at ultra-low degree over the areas till it obtains struck in the engine exhaust location (at the base of the primary blades), begins to rotate and also accidents right into the ground.

The clip was geolocated: the Mi-35M was rejected in Donetsk Oblast, eastern Ukraine.

While it was feasible to geolocate where the Russian gunship was rejected, it appears harder to identify which type of rocket was made use of, thought about likewise the range of systems being used in Ukraine (and also the truth that some helicopters have actually been obliterated utilizing Anti-Tank Guided Missiles). Some resources declared it was an Igla while others claim it was a Stinger MANPADS.

Surprisingly, the exact same video, decreased to 1/10 of the initial rate plainly reveals the rocket originating from the left hand side of the structure, from a little greater elevation.

Noteworthy, the absence of apparent tracking smoke and also the rate of the rocket can additionally recommend the British Starstreak short-range man-portable air-defence system was utilized.

As reported in a previous blog post right here at The Aviationist:

The Starstreak high-velocity rocket system was provided to Ukraine by Britain last month in addition to a more delivery of Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs).

“STARStreak’s extremely special style considerably distinguishes it from various other SHORAD rockets”, claims Thales web site. “Designed as well as established from very first principals to involve quickly, greatly armoured or incredibly elusive pop-up targets, done in a brief duration, the system is needed to take a trip at extremely broadband. All at once, it needs to be light and also little sufficient to be guy portable on the field of battle where it might significantly require to be released in metropolitan settings.”

“The rocket itself consists of 3 tungsten darts, launched from a provider which is powered by a rocket electric motor. The darts are sped up to a rate over of Mach 3.0 as well as the fire control system’s laser beam of light riding support makes sure phenomenal precision whilst being virtually completely immune to countermeasures.These distinct features as well as the phenomenal rate of STARStreak present a substantial difficulty to foe pilots that are not likely to have enough time to respond when an interaction starts. This, together with the failure to jam the projectile, has a significant effect on the human awareness of pilots as well as an extremely turbulent impact on objective preparation as well as implementation.”Whatever sort of rocket was made use of to obliterate the Mi-35M

, the video clip (that is noticeably comparable to an additional one we uploaded at the start of the battle) is a plain tip that choppers flying reduced to make use of surface masking or to prevent radar discovery are incredibly at risk to the Ukrainian MANPADS (and also ATGMs)in Ukraine, also when they run in Russian regulated locations. 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 popular and also check out armed forces air travel blog sites. Given that 1996, he has actually created for significant globally publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and also several others, covering

aeronautics, protection, battle, sector, cyberwar, criminal offense and also knowledge. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia as well as Syria, as well as flown numerous battle 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 created 5 publications and also added to much more ones.

The Ukrainian Air Force Claims One Of Their MiG-29s Has Shot Down A Russian Su-35 Today

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The Ukrainian Air Force Claims One Of Their MiG-29s Has Shot Down A Russian Su-35 Today
A selfie

of a Ukrainian MiG-29 pilot.( Image credit report: Ukrainian Air Force)According to the Ukrainian armed force, the Fulcrum downed the Flanker by-product over Kherson area previously today.”Today, May 27, around 14.00 o’clock a MiG-29 competitor of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine rejected a Russian boxer Su-35, which postured a risk to Ukrainian airplane overhead of Kherson area “. This is the extremely brief message that has actually been launched couple of hrs back on Telegram and also various other social media networks by the Ukrainian Air Force.

No extra information concerning the airborne interaction in the area simply north of Crimea has actually been supplied yet; neither have any type of pictures of clips revealing the ultimate wreck of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) Su-35 Flanker-E have actually arised on social networks to validate the cases.

If verified, this would certainly be the 2nd Su-35S the Russians have actually shed airborne battle over Ukraine: the very first Su-35S Flanker-E collapsed near Izium, in eastern Ukraine, some 120 kilometers to the southeast of Kharkiv, on April 3, 2022. According to the Ukrainian resources, that Su-35S was additionally rejected by the Ukrainian air defenses, although this could not be confirmed. At that time, the remains of a Kh-31 anti-radiation projectile (ARM) can additionally be IDed amongst the remains of the Flanker, recommending the airplane could have been entrusted with a SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) goal, to disable the opponent ground-based air protection systems radars.

According to Ukraine’s General Staff, Russia has actually shed a total amount of 206 battle airplane, 170 helicopters, 503 UAVs, and also 115 cruise ship projectiles overhead over Ukraine considering that the start of the Russian intrusion. Independent resources have actually had the ability to confirm the loss or damages of 27 airplane and also 43 helicopters, up until now.

Beyond, Russian MOD’s spokesperson Igor Konashenkov has lately claimed that “In overall, considering that the start of the unique army procedure, 178 airplane, 125 helicopters, 995 unmanned airborne cars, 320 air protection systems, 3,243 containers as well as various other armored battle lorries, 425 numerous rocket launchers, 1,658 area weapons as well as mortar weapons, in addition to 3,124 devices of unique armed forces cars have actually been ruined”.

We have actually thoroughly clarified in the past right here at The Aviationist, why all insurance claims originating from both celebrations have to be taken with a grain of salt nowadays.

A Russian Su-35S Flanker flying at MAKS 2017(Jacek Siminski)The Su-35S” Flanker E”is the 4++generation alternative of the Su-27 Flanker airplane. The multirole airplane attributes thrust-vectoring, radar-absorbent paint, Irbis-E passive digitally checked selection radar, IRST(Infra-Red Search and also Track), the Khibiny radar jamming system together with the capacity to make use of some intriguing tools, consisting of the ultra-long variety R-37M air-to-air rocket that can target HVAA (High Value Air Assets )such as AWACS as well as vessel airplane. Even more contemporary and also much better complete than the Ukrainian Fulcrums, a Su-35S can still discover in one or even more MiG-29s a quite difficult challenger as well as the reality that a Flanker was supposedly fired down by a Ukrainian Air Force Fulcrum is not unusual at all: the downing of a challenger in a dogfight is virtually never ever an issue of

technology/capability of the airplane however a mix of training, abilities, exterior assistance, methods as well as, in some cases, good luck. Likewise many thanks to the assistance obtained in the last years from the California Air National Guard via the State Partnership Program(SPP ), Ukrainian AF has actually currently verified to be able as well as well ready to run and also make it through also if the Russian Air Force surpasses the Ukrainians virtually 10 to 1, and also to to”respond to punch “the Russians from time to time. Anyhow, allow’s see if extra information concerning this claimed air-to-air kill arise. 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 renowned as well as check out army air travel blog sites. Because 1996, he has actually created forsignificant globally publications, consisting of Air

Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, as well as lots of others, covering aeronautics, protection, battle, sector, cyberwar, knowledge and also criminal activity. He has actually reported

from the U.S., Europe, Australia and also Syria, and also flown numerous battle airplanes 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 created 5 publications and also added to a lot more ones.

See This Insane Footage Of Two Su-25s Maneuvering At Ultra-Low Altitude To Evade MANPADS in Ukraine

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See This Insane Footage Of Two Su-25s Maneuvering At Ultra-Low Altitude To Evade MANPADS in Ukraine
A screenshot of the video clip revealing 2 Su-25 flying ultra-low degree to escape MANPADS risk in Ukraine. Ultra-low degree handling is just one of the techniques required to evade IR-guided MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems ). The video clip that you can discover in this message has actually begun doing the rounds in the last number of days. According to some resources, it was fired in the Severodonetsk area, in the eastern side of Ukraine, as well as reveals 2 Ukrainian Air Force Su-25s [the individual that recorded it is supposedly Ukrainian and also states “it’s ours”], whereas various other resources on social media sites recognized the assault airplane as Russian Aerospace Forces Frogfoot airplane.

Given that both the Ukrainians and also the Russians fly the key in the disputed airspace over Ukraine, is truly tough to ID the driver [somebody also recommended the camouflage system does not seem dark as the among the Russian Aerospace Forces’ Su-25, implying the Frogfoot jets in the clip * could * sporting activity a digitized light grey paint system however, once again, this shows up difficult to confirm with the poor quality of the clip]

Whatever, the video clip, that seems authentic (although we can not state when and also where it was fired), is actually excellent: also if it was tape-recorded with a mobile phone thus unsteady as well as partially indistinct, it shows exactly how reduced tactical airplane demand to run in Ukraine to avert the hazard of MANPADS and also their deadly IR-guided rockets. You can construct 2 Sukhois transforming at reduced degree while launching flares to evade feasible rockets terminated at them. The cameraman locates it hard to comply with one or the various other however the scene is quite clear: you can construct both airplane attempting to continue to be rapid as well as reduced while flying an unforeseeable course. As well as going down lots of flares.

There are 2 various variation of the very same video clip in fact. The initial one is unstable, as the outcome of the cameraman zooming to obtain a better sight of the Su-25s.

The 2nd one provides a bigger angle and also enables the audience to see the entire scene from range. We have actually currently discussed exactly how the battle in Ukraine will possibly alter the strategies of lots of air

pressures, a minimum of for those which had (virtually )deserted the ultra-low degree flying consequently of the experience acquired in those air projects (like Desert Storm in Iraq, Allied Force in the Balkans and also Unified Protector in Libya )where the air prevalence permitted the assault airplane to run at tool or top-level, as opposed to flying at treetop elevation(as provided for circumstances like the Falklands War). As a lot of the video clips originating from Ukraine plainly highlighted, opposed airspace and also MANPADS hazard have actually made reduced degree flying abilities pertinent once again. Russian Su-25 in the Donbas. https://t.co/N71m2GTvhi pic.twitter.com/QbPXiXKTEg– Rob Lee(@RALee85)May 16, 2022 H/T to our close friend @bjoernen_hj for the heads-up! 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 well-known as well as review army air travel blog sites. Given that 1996, he has actually created for significant globally publications, consisting ofAir Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and also numerous others, covering

air travel, protection, battle,
market, knowledge, cyberwar and also criminal activity. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and also Syria, as well as flown a number of fight airplanes 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 created 5 publications as well as added to a lot more ones.

‘Stop Spreading Fake News: The Ghost Of Kyiv Is A Legend’, Ukrainian Military Says

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'Stop Spreading Fake News: The Ghost Of Kyiv Is A Legend', Ukrainian Military Says
One of the photos that flowed on-line allegedly showing the” Ghost of Kyiv “.(Ukrainian Air Force )Some insurance claims regarding the “Ghost of Kyiv” that went viral recently and also various other current “urban myths”were simply formally unmasked.” Hero of Ukraine Stepan Tarabalka is NOT” Ghost of Kyiv “and also he did NOT struck 40 aircrafts.”This is just one of one of the most fascinating declarations consisted of in a main declaration shared on social media networks by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The blog post, was released in the mid-day European time on Apr. 30, 2022, as well as seems an action to the records that began to flow on British media electrical outlets on Apr. 29. Pointing out Ukrainian resources, The Times was the initial to report that a Ukrainian Air Force pilot, Maj. Stepan Tarabalka, 29, a daddy of one, obliterated while flying a MiG-29 on Mar. 13, 2022, was the epic”Ghost of Kyiv “, a competitor pilot that rejected “greater than 40 Russian airplane

“. We initially reported concerning the tale of the “Ghost” on Feb. https://edpillsbelgium.nl/kopen-sildenafil-generiek-belgie.html25, soon after the Russian soldiers had actually begun their intrusion of Ukraine and also the information a secret pilot that singlehandedly obliterated “6 Russian airplane” in an issue of couple of hrs, had actually gone viral.

According to social media sites blog posts, eventually right into the battle, the “Ghost of Kyiv” had actually come to be the very first air fight ace over European dirt given that World War II, attaining the ace-in-a-day (obliterating greater than 5 adversary airplane) standing. As we clarified at that time, the tale began with a collection of 3 tweets revealing an only Ukrainian boxer jet operating over the resources, which were retweeted countless times. The Spanish paper Marca was amongst the initial to assert that the Ghost of Kyiv had actually downed the 6 airplane. Amongst his supposed eliminates, the Ghost originally declared no much less than 2 Russian Sukhoi Su-35s, a Russian Su-27 Flanker, a Russian MiG-29 as well as 2 Russian Su-25 ground assault airplane.

Also the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense uploaded concerning the Ghost, retweeting video of a MiG-29 dealing with a Russian airplane in what was later on disclosed to be a video clip videotaped in the trip simulator DCS World. Previous Ukrainian head of state, Petro Poroshenko, uploaded on Twitter a picture of a competitor pilot, declaring it to be the actual Ghost of Kyiv. Clearly, there is no chance to verify his actual identification and also his air-to-air eliminates, however, for numerous the one from the previous head of state showed up to transform a wild urban myth right into truth.

Given that the actual start, the tale really did not include up: as we plainly discussed in our initial article on the “Ghost”:

There’s only just catch: there probably possibly no “Ghost of Kyiv” and as well as internet net tale probably possibly trueReal

The tale of the “Ghost of Kyiv” is likely an instance of peculiar distortions as well as adjustments of reality or near-fact that are enhanced throughout the disorder of battle, specifically a brand-new battle throughout the opening hrs. These tales often contend the very least some basis actually, however as they take a trip with language obstacles as well as throughout boundaries at the rate of light through social media sites, they come to be ornamented, retransmitted as well as retweeted as “information”. There might have been Ukrainian air-to-air triumphes in the opening day of the battle. There might have also been 6 overall, or a few other number. The probability that 6 of these declared airborne triumphes belongs to a particular, gallant “ace-in-a-day” is remote.

In spite of the absence of proof, lots of people declared that the Ghost existed and also maintained combating Russian jets, while several began to think the “Ghost” was possibly simply a tale, that had actually come to be the around the world symbol of the Ukrainian resistance, a moral-booster in addition to the major personality of lots of fascinating art work.

While tales concerning the “Ghost of Kyiv” have actually arised every once in a while after the very first week approximately of the battle, the dominating concept was that the mystical pilot was simply a tale that might provide Ukrainian individuals wish, satisfaction as well as need to combat, functioning as an instance of valor as well as love for the homeland to adhere to. Up until the presence of the famous pilot was supposedly sustained by some Ukrainian resources pointed out by The Times as well as by different British papers instantly afterwards.

Ultimately, also the main Ukrainian accounts have actually needed to publish a main declaration to reply to such records that might most likely harm the online reputation as well as reputation of Kyiv’s armed forces in addition to its future and also previous insurance claims.

The blog post by the Ukrainian army approximately convert as adheres to:

❗ PLEASE DO NOT FILL THE INFO SPACE WITH FAKES ❗———————–Once more, we ask the Ukrainian neighborhood NOT to neglect the standard guidelines of info health, not to release the preferred one as legitimate, examine the resources of info prior to spreading it. ❗ Hero of Ukraine Stepan Tarabalka is NOT”Ghost of Kiev “and also he did NOT
struck 40 planes.On March 13, 2022, Major Stepan Tarabalka was heroically eliminated in an air fight with the leading pressures of the Russian inhabitants. Right here’s the info concerning him on the main web site of the KPSU: https://www.facebook.com/kpszsu/posts/339462291555059!.?.!Ghost of Kiev is a superhero-legend whose personality was developed by Ukrainians! This is a much faster gathered picture of pilots of the 40th Air Force tactical air travel brigade, that shield the skies of the funding. What all of a sudden show up where they are not anticipated! ❗ Military pilots are not yet examining abroad on F-16, as high as most of us desire it.No main declaration on this issue has actually been released in the media! ❗ Well, as well as finally, for specifically innovative– American bombing planes do not fly over Ukraine either!Keep tranquility and also make use of main resources of info. Splendor to Ukraine! Public Relations Service Command Air Force Armed Forces of Ukraine To put it simply, Maj. Stepan Tarabalka was a hero pilot that was eliminated at work on Mar. 13, 2022, yet he did not obliterated 40 Russian airplane. The article likewise dealt with a few other current insurance claims, as the one
that Ukrainian pilots would certainly be
educating on F-16s in Germany or that American bombing planes would certainly be

flying over Ukraine. As described at the start of the battle, the”Ghost of Kyiv”was a still is a meme, a cumulative picture of all Ukrainian competitor

pilots who that fearlessly combat Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft airplane Ukraine: a symbol icon instead an actual real, no matter issue some media outlets electrical outletsHypothesize 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 popular as well as check out army aeronautics blog sites. Because 1996, he has actually composed for significant around the world publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, as well as several others, covering aeronautics, protection, battle, sector, cyberwar, knowledge and also criminal offense. 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, an exclusive pilot and also a grad in Computer Engineering. He has actually composed 5 publications and also added to much more ones.

Russian Su-35S Flanker-E Confirmed Destroyed In Ukraine

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Russian Su-35S Flanker-E Confirmed Destroyed In Ukraine

The wreckage of the Su-35S wreck crashed in Ukraine.(through Twitter )The Su-35S collapsed near Izium, Ukraine. It appears like it was set up for

SEAD(Suppression Enemy Air Defenses)goal. Pictures of the wreck of an airplane of the Russian Aerospace Forces(VKS)have actually begun to distribute online in the mid-day(European time)on Apr. 3, 2022. The jet decreased near Izium, in eastern Ukraine, some 120 kilometers to the southeast of Kharkiv. Solitary seater, without canards, outfitted with the L-265M10P/ R ECM wingtip sheaths as well as including thermal barrier on the stabilizers: the airplane was promptly determined as an Su-35S Flanker-E multirole 4++generation supermaneuverable jet. The very first to be shed because the start of the Russian intrusion in Ukraine. A Russian Sukhoi Su-35 downed near Izium pic.twitter.com/YmoasatJBP– Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko )April 3, 2022 We can see Russian dominance airborne

[Upgraded] Video Clip Emerges Of Russian Mi-28 Shot Down By MANPADS After Lobbing Rockets Over Eastern Ukraine

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[Upgraded] Video Clip Emerges Of Russian Mi-28 Shot Down By MANPADS After Lobbing Rockets Over Eastern Ukraine
The downing of the Russian Mi-28 in Ukraine. Utilizing ballistic rocket-launching method really did not conserve this Russian gunship helicopter. Simply the other day , we commented a video clip published by the Russian MOD that verified that the Ka-52 Alligator helicopters are still lobbing unguided rockets at targets in Ukraine in the similar method we had actually observed a number of weeks previously, when the very first clips of Russian Aerospace Forces Ka-52 as well as Mi-28 Mayhem helicopters had actually begun distributing online. The method is the following: the helicopters fly at reduced degree after that bring up right into high climb, as well as introduce the rockets on top of the allegorical arc of their flightpath, sending them downrange, after that they damage tough left as well as retreat quick at reduced elevation once again to stay beyond male mobile air protection systems’ kill area. As we discussed, the above technique, that transforms the Russian helicopters right into air-borne MLRS (Multiple

Launch Rocket System)launchers, expands the variety of the rockets yet is much from precise, and also might just be efficiently utilized versus soft location targets that do not need precision or be made use of to place mental stress on the opponent. At the exact same time, this strike account enables the gunships to assault their location targets from longer range while continuing to be outside the series of the MANPADS Not also this technique can conserve the assault helicopter from the Ukrainian air protection systems: US-made FIM-92 Stinger or Polish Piorun GROM Thunder MANPADS have actually been specifically dangerous throughout the battle versus the Russian intruders. As the complying with video clip, that has actually arised on Apr. 1, 2022, verifies.The video footage reveals the minute a Russian Mi-28 Havoc helicopter took a straight hit by a MANPADS projectile that blew off its tail triggering it to collapse to the ground.

Supposedly, the occasion happened in the Luhansk Oblast. Surprisingly, at the start of the clip you can likewise see the gunship helicopter make use of the ballistic rocket-launching technique, execute an evasion maneuver to egress the location

at reduced degree as well as be struck in the exhaust location by the projectile that triggered the tail boom to divide from the remainder of the airplane.

— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) April 1, 2022

Remarkably, The Times media electrical outlet reported that the Mi-28 may have been rejected by a British Starstreak projectile: A Ministry of Defence resource thought that the video clip revealed Starstreak at work over Ukraine. The resource included that the anti-aircraft system had actually been released in the nation for nearly a week. Elderly support market resources that analyzed the movie additionally think it to be the tool.”

Starstreak is a British short-range man-portable air-defence system produced by Thales Air Defence, in Belfast. The Starstreak high-velocity rocket system was provided to Ukraine by Britain last month in addition to a more delivery of Next Generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAWs).

“STARStreak’s extremely one-of-a-kind layout dramatically distinguishes it from various other SHORAD rockets”, states Thales internet site. “Designed and also established from initial principals to involve quickly, greatly armoured or incredibly elusive pop-up targets, done in a brief duration, the system is needed to take a trip at remarkably broadband. Concurrently, it needs to be light and also tiny sufficient to be guy portable on the combat zone where it might significantly require to be released in metropolitan atmospheres.”

“The rocket itself makes up 3 tungsten darts, launched from a provider which is powered by a rocket electric motor. The darts are increased to a rate over of Mach 3.0 and also the fire control system’s laser beam of light riding advice guarantees phenomenal precision whilst being virtually entirely immune to countermeasures.These one-of-a-kind features as well as the phenomenal rate of STARStreak present a considerable obstacle to opponent pilots that are not likely to have adequate time to respond when an interaction starts. This, combined with the lack of ability to jam the projectile, has a significant effect on the human awareness of pilots as well as an extremely turbulent result on goal preparation and also implementation.”The system was apparently supplied to Ukraine recently. According to a lot of records it does need much training, it is generally not a point-and-fire system. 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 well-known as well as check out army aeronautics blog sites. Given that 1996, he has actually created for significant globally publications, consisting of Air Forces

Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and also several others, covering aeronautics, protection, battle, market, cyberwar, knowledge and also criminal activity. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and also Syria, as well as flown numerous fight aircrafts with various flying force. He is a previous 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a personal pilot and also a grad in Computer Engineering. He has actually composed 5 publications and also added to much more ones.

Using ADS-B Data And Satellite Imagery To “Observe” Interesting Military Aircraft Movements (And Intercepts)

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Satellite image shows the close encounter between an EP-3E and a Su-30SM over the Black Sea. (Image via @Gerjon_)

New open source tools complement ADS-B and allow you to spot military activities (including close encounters) all around the world.

We have been researching ADS-B as a tool to carry out OSINT (Open Sources INTelligence) on aircraft movements for more than 10 years now. Some of our most loyal readers will probably remember when, during the opening hours of Operation Odyssey Dawn, we wrote about the tankers that could be tracked online as they supported the first air strikes in Libya.

Since then, Flightradar24, PlaneFinder, Plane Plotter, and (more recently) ADSBExchange have grown their popularity becoming very well known apps and websites that let anyone (aviation enthusiasts, geeks, journalists, etc) track flights in real-time just using an Internet connection and their desktop, laptop or smartphone.

Both these “services” (some of those are completely free, others requiring purchases to unlock some of the features), rely on Mode-S transponders with ADS-B capability. Here’s what we wrote about this technology in a previous article here at The Aviationist:

The ADS-B system uses a special Mode-S transponder that autonomously broadcasts data from the aircraft’s on-board navigation systems about its GPS-calculated position, altitude and flight path. This information is transmitted on 1090 MHz frequency: ground stations, other nearby aircraft as well as commercial off-the-shelf receivers available on the market as well as home-built ones, tuned on the same frequency, can receive and process this data.

The flight tracking websites rely on a network of several hundred (if not thousand) feeders who receive and share Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) transponders data and contribute growing the network and covering most of the planet.

Obviously, only ADS-B equipped aircraft flying within the coverage area of the network are visible.

While not all aircraft broadcast their GPS data, in those areas where coverage is provided by several different ground stations, the position can be calculated also for those planes that do not broadcast their ADS-B data by means of Multilateration (MLAT) of their Mode-S transponder signals. MLAT uses Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA): by measuring the difference in time to receive the signal from four different receivers, the aircraft can be geolocated and tracked even if it does not transmit ADS-B/positioning data.

Although the majority of the aircraft you can track are still civil airliners and business jets, today, military aircraft belonging to different air forces as well as contractor and special operations planes can be regularly tracked while flying over Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Egypt, as well as over the Med, Black Sea, Baltic, South China Sea and and many other “hot spots”.

In the last few years, other interesting tools have emerged to complement the ADS-B monitoring. Satellite imagery is among them. By combining ADS-B data with satellite shots you can get an even better “picture” of what is happening in a certain part of the world. This is what our close friend @Gerjon_ has been increasingly exploring in the last few years. A Dutch image analyst and aviation tracker, he’s started working on publicly available satellite shots to gather additional details on the military activity all around the world exposed by Mode-S/ADS-B data.

“Since around 5 years there are 2 Sentinel-2 satellites orbiting around Earth,” @Gerjon_ explained in an email to us.

“With their pixel size of 10 meters (at ground level), you are able to see and *just* able to identify aircraft. For example, an Ilyushin Il-76 will be around 5 pixels wide and long. The great bit is that these images are easily accessible (without login) for anyone, here.”

The main challenge of this kind of investigation is usually to know where to look.

“For aircraft using ADS-B in areas with ADS-B coverage, the solution is pretty simple: all you need to do is find the flight track on a tracking website, find the exact time a satellite image was made over that area, and look for the aircraft in the satellite image around the location indicated on the tracking website. For most civil aircraft and some military aircraft (P-3, P-8, RC-135) this is pretty easy because their light grey or white color is a clear contrast with the environment, especially over sea.

Some darker grey military aircraft (B-52H) can also be spotted on Sentinel-2 imagery, but the lack of contrast makes them much harder to see. For smaller aircraft (e.g. fighter jets, RQ-4 Global Hawk) size is an extra challenge: they show up less brightly because the aircraft only fills part of the pixels. Aircraft show up as three different aircraft (a red one, a green one and a red one for a white aircraft) because the satellite image is created band by band, so the different colors are made a fraction of a second after each other. Finding one aircraft usually takes me anywhere between a minute and an hour. Because there’s a revisit time of 5 days (so it will take 5 days for an identical satellite image to be taken, although an area can be covered by multiple images), there is often no image available.”

By using this technique, @Gerjon_ was able also to spot the recent close encounter between a U.S. EP-3E Aries II and a Russian Su-30SM over the Black Sea.

“After @Ameliairheart informed me about the event over the Black Sea, I browsed to the Sentinel EO-Browser and matched up the flight data and Sentinel-2 images. I managed to identify the EP-3E Aries II over the Black Sea without trouble by matching it up with Flightradar24 – it was pretty easy given the high quality of the track on Flightradar24 and the clear weather conditions. The Sukhoi Su-30 simply happened to be close to the easily findable P-3 at the moment the satellite image was made. Without the Flightradar24 track, finding the Sukhoi Su-30 (going by the Russian Ministry of Defence’s tweet) would have been considerably more difficult, because I would have no idea where to look, since they use no ADS-B.”

To finish off: here are some of his earlier finds on Sentinel-2 which you may find interesting too.

2x RQ-4 Global Hawks around Crimea (very hard to find given their size and cloud cover):

Various aircraft including aerial refueler with receivers, over the North Sea:

A recent, unidentified American ferry flight from the Gulf, a bit harder to see:

A Boeing B-52H Stratofortress likely returning from operations over Afghanistan, very hard to see in the EO Browser:

6x United States Air Force Boeing F-15 Eagle heading east over Germany, contrailing:

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 four books.

Two Russian Tu-160s And Four Flankers Intercepted By Italian F-35s, Danish F-16s and Swedish Gripens Over The Baltic

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One of the two Tu-160s involved in the June 15, 2021 mission over the Baltic. (Image credit: Russian MOD)

Two Russian Tu-160s, two Su-27s and two Su-35s were escorted at various stages by NATO and Swedish fighters in the Baltic region.

Two Russian Tu-160 (NATO reporting name “Blackjack”) bombers carried out an 8-hour mission over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea on Jun. 15, 2021. Interestingly, the two “White Swan” missile-carrier bombers were escorted by two Su-35S aircraft of the Aerospace Force and two Su-27 fighters of the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation during their trip.

The Tu-160s belong to the 121st Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment stationed at Engels-2 Air Base in Saratov, Oblast, southwestern Russia, the only unit to fly the 14-16 Blackjack bombers believed to be operational with the Russian Aerospace Forces.

The Russian Long Range Aviation (LRA) mission in the Baltic region caused several NATO aircraft in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duty to scramble: Italian Air Force F-35As, Royal Danish Air Force F-16s and Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripens were scrambled to identify and shadow the Russian “package” as it progressed across the region.

The crews of Russian long-range aircraft regularly perform flights over the neutral waters of the Arctic, the North Atlantic, the Black and Baltic Seas and the Pacific Ocean, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

Today’s intercept comes less than a week after the first close encounter between an Italian F-35 and a Russian Su-30SM escorting an An-12 transport aircraft flying to/from Kaliningrad oblast, off Estonia.

As already explained, the Italian F-35A involved in the intercept are two of the four Lightning II aircraft, belonging to the 13° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 32° Stormo (Wing), from Amendola Air Base, in southeastern Italy, that are currently stationed at Amari, in Estonia, where they arrived on Apr. 30, 2021, to carry out the augmenting role in NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. The Italian F-35s, operating within the Task Group Falco of the Task Force Air Estonia, in support of “Baltic Eagle II” (as the mission has been dubbed at national level), will remain in Estonia for the BAP mission until August.

As a matter of fact, no photographs nor videos of the most recent intercepts were released by NATO and Italian Air Force. However, it is possible that some images will be made available in the next few days (as happened for the F-35’s first intercept in support of BAP on May 14, whose photos were cleared many days after the event), as the number of intercepts increases.

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 four books.

Russian Tu-95 And Tu-160 Bombers Conduct Cruise Missile Exercise In “Surge” Of Military Drills Across The Country

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A Tu-160 Blackjack takes off for the cruise missile exercise. In the box: The Kh-555 cruise missile being loaded in the Tu-160’s bomb bays. (Photo: Russian Air Force)

Both the Russian Aerospace Forces Tu-95MS “Bear H” and the Tu-160 “Blackjack” launched Kh-555 cruise missiles at a range in the Komi Republic.

The Long-range Aviation Command of the Russian Air and Space Force conducted a command-staff exercise as part of the routine winter training, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence. Notably, the exercise included the launch of cruise missiles from its Tu-95MS “Bear H” and Tu-160 “Blackjack” bombers. This exercise is one of the many disclosed during the recent surge of Russian Military activity across the entire country and especially in the Black Sea region.

About ten aircraft, including the Tu-95MSs, Tu-160s and their supporting Il-78 “Midas” tankers, flew from the Saratov region to a range in the Komi Republic, in northwestern Russia, west of Urals, where they struck ground targets with the cruise missiles, returning to their base after more than 7 hours. The mission included “[air-to-air] refueling at an altitude of more than 6,000 meters [about 19,700 ft] and a speed of about 600 kilometers per hour [about 320 kts], as well as air patrolling in a given zone”.

Although not mentioned in the statement from the MoD, the bombers involved should belong to the Bomber Regiments based at Engels airbase, which is in fact in the Saratov region, while the unspecified range should be the Pemboy range, which is in fact in the Komi Republic about 60 kilometers from Vorkuta. The same range was also used in 2019 to perform the first test of the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile in the Barents Sea region.

As for the cruise missiles, the MoD published a video from this exercise showing inert Kh-555 missiles being loaded in the bomb bays of both the Tu-95 and the Tu-160. The Kh-555 is a conventionally armed variant of the Kh-55 (NATO reporting name AS-15 “Kent”) nuclear-tipped subsonic cruise missile, with an improved guidance system and a range of at least 2,500 km (1,350 nm), with some sources reporting it up to 3,000/3,500 km.

The missile became operational in the early 2000s and can be carried by the Tu-95 (six or 16 missiles, depending on the bomber’s version) and the Tu-160 (12 missiles). According to some sources, the Su-34 “Fullback” is also capable of carrying one Kh-555, while it is not known if the Tu-22M3 “Backfire” has been fully integrated with the missile, even if it was being tested. The Kh-555 was used during Russian strikes against ISIS ground targets in Syria in 2015.

Russian Bombers Cruise Missile Exercise
A Tu-95MS Bear H takes off for the cruise missile exercise. In the box: The Kh-555 cruise missile being loaded in the Tu-95’s bomb bays. (Photo: Russian Air Force)

“Surge” in military drills.

This is just one of the bombers exercises in what some analysts called a “surge” of Russian Military activity. Another notable one happened a day after the cruise missile exercise, with two Tu-160 Blackjacks performing an eight-hour mission over the Baltic Sea escorted by Su-35Ss of the Aerospace Forces and Su-27s of the Baltic Fleet’s Naval Aviation, supported by an A-50 “Mainstay” Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft.

In response, NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem (Germany) launched allied fighter aircraft from bases in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland to intercept and identify the approaching Russian aircraft as some of them were not identifiable by transponder signal and no flight plan had been filed, posing a flight safety hazard for civilian air traffic.

More precisely, NATO specified that the Russian aircraft were intercepted by German and Italian Eurofighter Typhoons from the Baltic Air Policing mission in Estonia and Lithuania, respectively, and Polish Air Force F-16Cs fighters from Poznan Air Base. In addition, the Royal Danish Air Force national air operations centre scrambled their F-16s from Skrydstrup Air Base. The bombers stayed in international airspace above the Baltic Sea and returned to mainland Russia after roughly three hours.

These recent bomber missions do not seem to be related to the Russian buildup around Ukraine and Crimea which has caused concern among the international community. Officially, according to the Russian MoD, the buildup is due to scheduled exercises which are taking place in Crimean training ranges and the Black Sea to check the readiness of the Armed Forces.

Numerous armored and air defense units, tactical aircraft and warships have been deployed in the area, under the eyes of cellphones and social medias on the ground and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft in the sky. As always, disinformation and fake news are playing their part to further complicate the understanding of what is happening in the area and what we should expect in the near future.

Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

[Updated] Ejection Seats Activation During Preflight Operations On Russian Tu-22M3 Bomber Kills Three Crew Members

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File photo of a Russian Tu-22 Backfire taxiing during AVIADART 2018 exercise (Image credit: Giovanni Colla)

The incident occurred as the Russian Air Force Tu-22M3 prepared for a mission at Shaikovka airfield, near Kaluga, Russia.

Three crew members perished in an incident that occurred on Mar. 23, 2021, as the aircrew of a Russian Air Force Tu-22M3 bomber, most probably belonging to the 52nd Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment, was preparing for take off at Shaikovka, a base located near Kaluga Oblast, in western Russia.

According to the information released by the Russian Defense Ministry, for reasons yet to be determined, crew were ejected during the preflight operations.

Three of them received fatal injuries, as their parachutes did not deploy in time: “The altitude was too low for the parachutes to work, and three crew members have received fatal injuries when they landed,” the Russian MOD said in a statement. Although not mentioned in the official Russia MOD release, according to a source in the medical community of the region who talked to TASS News Agency, one of the crew members survived. He’s currently in the infirmary of the medical unit in Shaikovka. In fact, based on the latest updates, the forced ejection cause three crew members to be ejected according to the standard scheme as the commander of the aircraft, sitting on the left hand seat, leaves the plane on his own. In this case, he did not leave the aircraft.

An alleged preliminary report, possibly leaked online, was posted at the Aviaforum site. Here’s an excerpt translated from Russian:

In preparation for the training flight, after launching the APU and working with the cockpit equipment, Captain, who is the deputy squadron commander, switched on all CB (Circuit Breakers) on the CB panel with the lever of the console.

At the same time, the system of forced departure of the crew was triggered according to the standard scheme (the commander of the aircraft leaves the plane on his own). When the forced exit system was triggered, four canopy door were dropped and three crew members were ejected. The mechanisms of the ejection seats worked normally, the separation of the crew members and the launching of the rescue parachutes took place normally, but due to the lack of conditions for safely leaving the aircraft (speed less than 130 km / h), the parachutes were not filled.

Three crew members were fatally injured when they fell onto the concrete surface of the aircraft parking lot at high vertical speed. Chairs KT-1M. KT-1M is an ejection seat developed by the Tupolev Design Bureau. Currently installed on Tu-22M3 and Tu-22MR aircraft.

Ejection is carried out in the following sequence: operator, navigator, right pilot, commander. Both individual and forced ejection are possible. Forced ejection of the crew is performed by the commander, for which it is enough to lift the cap and turn on the “Forced exit” toggle switch on the left side of the cockpit.

At the same time, a red banner “Forced Leaving” lights up at each workplace and the EMRV-27B-1 time relay is switched on for the seats of the right pilot, navigator-navigator and navigator-operator, which are set for a time corresponding to 3.6 s, 1.8 s , 0.3 s.

After 0.3 s, the time relays trigger the EK-69 pneumatic system solenoid valve on the navigator-operator’s seat, while the “Readiness” system is triggered on the seat (triggering the arms and legs scatter limiters and tightening the harness) and pressing the limit switch for resetting the lantern cover.

When the “Readiness” system is triggered, the ACh-1,2 temporary automatic machine is activated on the seat, which after 1 s pulls out the combat pin of the firing mechanism.

Among the crew members who died in the incident there was also the regiment commander, Colonel Vadim Beloslyudtsev, who was pilot-instructor on the planned flight.

Russian Air Force Tu-22M3
File photo of a Tu-22M3 Backfire. (Reader’s submission)

The Tu-22M3’s crew consists of four members. Two pilots seated side-by-side in front (pilot on the left and co-pilot on the right) and the navigator (right) and weapons system officer (left) seated to their rear. All crew members have KT-1M (Kreslo Tupoleva, “Tupolev’s seat”) ejection seats connected within the ASS (automatic rescue system). A minimum speed of 130km/h (81 mph) is required for safe ejection at altitudes below 60m (200ft) according to “Russia’s Warplanes Vol. 2”, by Piotr Butowski (although our sources state that 140km/h is the minimum speed).

The Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 is a twin-engine supersonic bomber with variable geometry swept wings. The Tu-22M3 and M3M variants are in wide service in Russia, with over 80 reported in flying with the Russian Air Force and more than 40 in use with Russian Naval Aviation as long-range maritime patrol, surveillance and attack aircraft. Indeed, the aircraft was primarily developed as an anti-ship missile carrier for the Soviet/Russian supersonic Kh-22/32 anti-ship missiles with range of up to 1,000 km (621 miles) as well as for smaller Kh-15 missiles with range of up to 300 km (160 miles).

The latest deadly incident involving a Tu-22 occurred on Jan. 22, 2019, when three crew members were killed when the Backfire attempted to land in bad weather at the airfield in Olenegorsk (Murmansk region); a crash that was also caught on camera.

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 four books.