Tag: Ukraine

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

United State Plans To Sell Armed MQ-1C Gray Eagle Drones To Ukraine ‘In The Coming Days’

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United State Plans To Sell Armed MQ-1C Gray Eagle Drones To Ukraine 'In The Coming Days'
Gray Eagle

File Photo of a Gray Eagle (Dugway Proving Ground supply image.)The White House has strategies to market Ukraine 4 MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to assist Kyiv in the battle versus Russia. The Biden management intends to offer Ukraine 4 MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones that can be equipped with AGM-114 Hellfire projectiles for combat zone usage versus Russia, 3 individuals aware of the circumstance claimed according to an special Reuters record uploaded on June 1, 2022.

“The sale of the General Atomics-made drones might still be obstructed by Congress, the resources stated, including that there is likewise a threat of an eleventh hour plan turnaround that might scuttle the strategy, which has actually been under evaluation at the Pentagon for numerous weeks,” the record stated.

Ukraine has actually made comprehensive use numerous smaller sized armed UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles), with the Bayraktar TB2 tool elevation long endurance (MALE) unmanned battle airborne automobile (UCAV) of the Ukrainian pressures becoming the actual celebrity of the air battle, causing Russian pressures hefty losses, a few of those captured on tape as well as distributed online. As clarified commenting the video footage fired by TB2 obtaining a Tor mobile short-range surface-to-air rocket system (also known as SA-15 “Gauntlet”) or sustaining the air campaign of 2 Ukrainian Su-27 on Russian centers on the renowned Snake Island in the Black Sea, all the video clips (together with the accounts that TB2s purportedly aided decoy the Moskva’s protections) confirm what a drone with a long-range FLIR and also a large selection of tools can do, in a “straight” or “indirect” method, in a contemporary dispute like the one in Ukraine.

The Gray Eagle are bigger and also have a greater MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight): it can lug a vast selection of sensing units, both inside or in outside capsules, as well as, up to 4 AGM-114 rockets, each being dual the weight than the Turkish MAM-L artilleries lugged by the TB2.

File picture of an MQ-1C unmanned airborne system, additionally referred to as Gray Eagle, coming from Company D, 10th Aviation Regiment, as it prepares to carry out a goal at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.(
U.S. Army picture by Staff Sgt. Isolda Reyes )The Gray Eagles are made by General Atomics as well as are presently utilized by the U.S. Army, with battle experience in Iraq and also Afghanistan. They have actually likewise been made use of in the AFRICOM location of procedure as lately as 2021. As clarified

in a previous post regarding an emergency situation touchdown of a United States Army MQ-1C in Niger: The Gray Eagle is a sophisticated by-product of the Predator concentrated on supplying straight procedure control by Army area leaders. It can fly Reconnaissance, Surveillance, as well as Target Acquisition(RSTA); convoy security; Improvised Explosive Device(IED)discovery in addition to offering real-time airborne images to ground patrols lugging likewise PGMs(Precision Guided Munitions): simply put, it can sustain a wide array of

goals consisting of assault, attack, exfiltration, seepage and also reconnaissance, as well as any type of type of unidentified or recognized unique procedures you might picture. The kind has actually been flying over the U.S. locations around the globe for rather time currently(consisting of Iraq, where one was shed in 2015). Handling Niger, armed U.S. drones have actually been running out of Niger Air Base 201, situated around 5 kilometres southeast of Agadez, given that 2019, many thanks to a reciprocal contract in between the U.S. and also Nigerien federal governments. Formerly, U.S. from another location piloted lorries, in addition to various other manned ISR(Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance)airplane had actually been running out of Niger’s funding, Niamey. Exactly how they will certainly be truly used and also, the length of time training on the brand-new tools system will certainly take, are still open concerns; nonetheless, if verified, the sale would certainly would increase the capacities of the Ukrainian drone fleet, making it much more with the ability of striking Russian pressures on the combat zone. 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 and also review army air travel blog sites. Considering that 1996, he has actually created for significant globally publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, as well as numerous others, covering aeronautics, protection, battle, sector, cyberwar, criminal offense as well as knowledge. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia as well as Syria, as well as flown numerous 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 composed 5 publications as well as added to a lot 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
MiG-29
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
Su-25 low level
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.

Bayraktar TB2 Videos Show New Wave Of Ukrainian Attacks Against Russian Forces On Snake Island

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Bayraktar TB2 Videos Show New Wave Of Ukrainian Attacks Against Russian Forces On Snake Island
TB2 video
A display capture from the video clips listed below revealing both Su-27s( circled around in red

)as they flop the targets on Snake Island. The current TB2 video clips reveal numerous drone assaults versus Russian devices and also air defenses, which led the way for a Su-27 bomb strike. As you might have discovered from the numerous records released considering that the start of the intrusion, the Bayraktar TB2 Unmanned Aerial Combat Vehicles of the Ukrainian pressures are playing a starring duty in the battle, becoming an actual thorn in the side of the Russian pressures as well as causing them hefty losses. In the last couple of days, video footage has actually arised on the internet revealing the drone at work over the renowned Snake Island, bring upon countless losses as well as apparently leading the way for an airstrike by 2 Su-27 Flanker boxer jets.

The initial video clip reveals a TB2 getting a Tor mobile short-range surface-to-air rocket system, additionally called the SA-15 “Gauntlet”, which was hidden near buildings by the island’s lighthouse. After being struck, the tracked lorry began sending out smoke up until it was swallowed up in fires and also blew up due to the ammunition cook-off. An additional TB2, which was flying regarding 100 kilometres away, revealed from a various viewpoint the strike and also the succeeding surge.

A 2nd Tor rocket system was damaged soon prior to being unloaded at the island’s pier on the north coastline. The lorry was being transferred on a Project 11770 Serna course touchdown craft, which was additionally damaged in the assault. The very same video clip reveals a structure being struck also, potentially near the lighthouse. The strikes on both Tor systems have actually been additionally validated by satellite images, which reveal thick black smoke climbing from both areas.

Su-27 striking Russian centers on the popular Snake Island in the Black Sea, in impressive video shot by a TB-2 drone. As we can observe, there is major damages. pic.twitter.com/ogN3gOU8uJ– Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons)May 7, 2022 Amongst the targets on Snake Island there is additionally a Russian Mi-8 transportation helicopter . As we can see in the video clip, the helicopter

helicopter, revealing the whole island, it is not feasible to recognize if the structures were still undamaged or ruined and also therefore recognize if the helicopter was damaged prior to of after the Su-27s flopped the island. The video clip was published online after the bomb strike, yet that does not always imply that the helicopter was damaged after the Flankers”seen “Snake Island. It is unclear currently if Ukrainian pressures are preparing to reclaim the

the intrusion, showing once more that the matter of the losses need to not be taken as given, unless there is engaging proof. Whatever, these video clips( together with the accounts that TB2s purportedly aided decoy the Moskva’s supports )once more confirm what a drone [we make use of the term “drone” every once in a while in the post, although this tool system is, as described, a UCAV or, extra generally, a from another location

piloted car] with a long-range FLIR and also a broad variety of tools can do, in a”straight “or”inderect “method, in a contemporary problem like the one in Ukraine. About Stefano D’Urso Stefano D’Urso is a self-employed 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 and also OSINT strategies put on the globe of existing disputes as well as armed forces procedures are amongst his locations of know-how. 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 review armed forces aeronautics blog sites. Given that 1996, he has actually composed for significant around the world publications, consisting of Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, as well as lots of others, covering air travel, protection, battle, sector, criminal offense, cyberwar and also knowledge. He has actually reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia as well as Syria, and also flown numerous battle airplanes 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 created 5 publications as well as added to a lot more ones.

Vermont Air National Guard’s F-35s On Their Way To Germany To Support NATO In Eastern Europe

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Vermont Air National Guard’s F-35s On Their Way To Germany To Support NATO In Eastern Europe
Vermont F-35
A VT ANG F-35A prepares for take off to Spangdahlem AB, Germany, on May 2, 2022. Note the RCS enhancers fitted to the aircraft.

F-35A Lightning II fifth generation aircraft from the Vermont Air National Guard departed to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

At least eight F-35A stealth aircraft, belonging to the 158th Fighter Wing of the U.S. Air Force are currently deploying to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to support Enhanced Air Policing mission on NATO’s Eastern Flank. The aircraft launched from their base at Burlington ANGB, Vermont, early on May 2, 2022.

Supported by at least four tankers, the “Green Mountain Boys” of the 158th FW are due replace the F-35A jets belonging to the 388th FW and 419th FW  from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, that have been operating out of Spangdahlem since Feb. 16, 2022. In the beginning, the VT ANG will not completely replace the Hill AFB’s F-35s but they will complement the Hill AFB F-35s as the Lightning II jets of the various active, ANG and Reserve’s jets are expected to operate together from the German base for some weeks.

The images of the F-35As launching from Burlington ANGB, show that the aircraft were fitted with their RCS Enhancers/Radar Reflectors/Luneburg Lenses (as per normal procedure for ferry flights). It will be interesting to understand whether they will operate in “stealth mode” (without radar reflectors/Luneburg lenses) during their patrols over Eastern Europe, as done by the Hill’s F-35s.

<img data-attachment-id="79506" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/05/02/vt-ang-f-35-to-spangdahlem/upcoming-april-f-35-night-flying-operations/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/VT-ANG-deploying-to-Spang-2.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,572" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"5","credit":"158th Fighter Wing","camera":"NIKON D5","caption":"An F-35A Lightning II pilot assigned to the 134th Fighter Squadron, Vermont Air National Guard, prepares for launch during routine flying operations at the Vermont Air National Guard base, South Burlington, Vermont, Sept. 23, 2020. The Vermont Air National Guard will begin three weeks of night flying operations starting Tuesday, April 6, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by A1C Jana Somero)","created_timestamp":"1600833600","copyright":"Public Domain","focal_length":"70","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"5","title":"Upcoming April F-35 Night Flying Operations","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Upcoming April F-35 Night Flying Operations" data-image-description data-image-caption="

File photo of an F-35A Lightning II pilot assigned to the 134th Fighter Squadron, Vermont Air National Guard, prepares for launch during routine flying operations at the Vermont Air National Guard base, South Burlington, Vermont, (U.S. Air National Guard photo by A1C Jana Somero)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/vermont-air-national-guards-f-35s-on-their-way-to-germany-to-support-nato-in-eastern-europe-5.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/vermont-air-national-guards-f-35s-on-their-way-to-germany-to-support-nato-in-eastern-europe-2.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79506″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/vermont-air-national-guards-f-35s-on-their-way-to-germany-to-support-nato-in-eastern-europe-2.jpg” alt=”Vermont F-35″ width=”706″ height=”394″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/vermont-air-national-guards-f-35s-on-their-way-to-germany-to-support-nato-in-eastern-europe-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/vermont-air-national-guards-f-35s-on-their-way-to-germany-to-support-nato-in-eastern-europe-5.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/vermont-air-national-guards-f-35s-on-their-way-to-germany-to-support-nato-in-eastern-europe-6.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/vermont-air-national-guards-f-35s-on-their-way-to-germany-to-support-nato-in-eastern-europe-7.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/VT-ANG-deploying-to-Spang-2.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

File photo of an F-35A Lightning II pilot assigned to the 134th Fighter Squadron, Vermont Air National Guard, prepares for launch during routine flying operations at the Vermont Air National Guard base, South Burlington, Vermont, (U.S. Air National Guard photo by A1C Jana Somero)

Airmen from the 158th FW started deploying to Europe aboard an Omni Air International B-767 on Apr. 29, 2022.

“We are proud to send our Airmen to support the collective defense of our allies and partners,” said Army Maj. Gen. Greg Knight, the adjutant general of Vermont in a public release. “This deployment demonstrates some of the strategic capabilities the Vermont Air National Guard can provide to the nation when needed.”

These regular deployments, part of a series of standard U.S. rotations in the European Area of Operations, are part of the U.S. commitment to training and interoperability with our European allies.

“Being called upon only four months out of conversion to an operational F-35 fighter wing is a testament to our team, their professionalism, commitment and proven capabilities,” said Air Force Col. David Shevchik, commander of the 158th Fighter Wing. “It is when we are needed most that we are at our best. The Green Mountain Boys are ready and proud to answer this call, and we’re grateful for the support of our families, employers and communities.”

The one to Europe amidst growing tensions with Russia following the invasion Ukraine, is the first Vermont Air National Guard deployment in 6 years. Previously, flying the F-16 “Viper” (as the aircraft is dubbed in the fighter pilots community) the Wing took part in several deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism. During 9/11, the Vermont Air National Guard rapidly mobilized to provide area security patrols over New York City, a mission they maintained for over 120 consecutive days. This short-term deployment is conducted in full coordination with host nations and NATO military authorities, and although temporary in nature, they are prudent measures to increase readiness and enhance NATOs collective defense during this period of uncertainty.

The 158th Fighter Wing ceased their F-16C/D Block 30 operations on Apr. 6, 2019, after flying the jet for 33 years. The first F-35A in 158th FW markings (AF17-5265) made its first flight from Lockheed Martin Ft. Worth facility, Texas, on Jul. 31, 2019. The first two ANG F-35A aircraft landed at their home in Burlington ANGB, Vermont, on Sept. 19, 2019.

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.

‘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
Ghost of Kyiv
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.

Video Allegedly Shows Ukrainian MiG-29 Taking Off Seconds Before Russian Artillery Strike On Airfield

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Video Allegedly Shows Ukrainian MiG-29 Taking Off Seconds Before Russian Artillery Strike On Airfield
MiG-29 Ukraine
A screen capture from the video posted below. In the box: a file photo of a Ukrainian MiG-29 with pixelated camouflage.

The video appears to be from the very first days of the Russian invasion.

A short video surfaced online just few days ago showing the Ukrainian countryside being shelled by Russian artillery, with dense smoke columns on the horizon. About halfway through the video, a MiG-29 appears taking off just seconds before the artillery struck the runway. Even if the video is not very high quality, the aircraft seems to be painted in the Ukrainian Air Force pixelated camouflage.

It was not possible to completely verify the video, but at a close look it appears to be authentic and not extracted from videogames like happened with some of the “Ghost of Kyiv” footage that emerged at the beginning of the Russian invasion. The exact date and location of the filming is unknown, however most sources seem to agree that it could have been recorded during the very first days of the Russian invasion because of the number of attacks on Ukrainian airfields in that timeframe and the vegetation shown in the video.

It is also possible that the Fulcrum was not operating by an airfield but from a road, as many Ukrainian aircraft were dispersed away from airfield to avoid destruction, and was scrambled to a new location as soon as artillery rounds begun hitting the area. This possibility is highly probable, as the Ukrainian Air Force often practiced the use of improvised, forward dispersed highway landing areas.

Also, the Fulcrum is designed with some features to allow this type of operations. In fact, many Russian-built aircraft, such the MiG-29, are equipped with a ventilated cover that lowers over their intakes at landing speeds to prevent the ingestion of foreign objects into the engine when operating from unimproved areas such as a highway or field.



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.

Aboard Moskva: That Time We Got An Unprecedented Tour Of The Russian Guided-Missile Cruiser

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Aboard Moskva: That Time We Got An Unprecedented Tour Of The Russian Guided-Missile Cruiser
Moskva
The Russian Navy Moskva in February 2008. (All images: Giovanni Maduli/TheAviationist)

Years ago we had the unique chance to visit the Russian guided missile cruiser “Moskva”. And here are all the photographs we took during that unprecedented tour.

As explained in detail in a previous article, the Project 1164 Slava class cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, suffered heavy damage and its 510-crew forced to evacuate. The guided missile cruiser, that eventually sank, was operating in the Black Sea when an explosion occurred: the Russians claim that a fire broke out on board causing ammunition to explode, whereas the Ukrainians claim the Moskva was hit by anti-ship missiles.

Moskva is considered one of the Russian Navy’s most important warships and a key asset to support the Odesa beach landing. That’s why the loss is a significant blow for Russia. Because of its armament, the warship is considered as a credible anti-access/area denial asset which essentially restricted the movements of Ukrainian forces in the south of the country. The Mosvka was previously deployed in the Syria conflict where it supplied Russian forces in the country with naval protection in exactly the same role, following the downing of a Russian Su-24 by the Turkish Air Force in 2015.

Moskva was built in Ukraine during the Soviet-era and entered service in the early 1980s with the name Slava, before being recommissioned in 2000 with the current name. The cruiserunderwent a major refit five years ago, and in its current configuration is armed with 16 P-1000 Vulkan anti-ship missiles, 64 S-300F (SA-N-6 Grumble) long-range surface-to-air missiles, 40 OSA-MA (SA-N-4 Gecko) short-range surface-to-air missiles, a twin AK-130 130mm dual purpose gun, as well as six AK-630 close-in weapon systems and electronic warfare systems and decoys to provide a high degree of protection.

Earlier, in 2008, the warship made a port visit to Civitavecchia in central Italy, on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Those were much different times: back then, the Russian warship made the port call along with the Italian Frigate Maestrale. They spent together a few days at the port located about 60 kilometers to the northwest of Rome before departing for a joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea.

<img data-attachment-id="79351" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2008/02/09/the-guided-missile-cruiser-moskva-at-civitavecchia/moskva-civitavecchia/" data-orig-file="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-2.jpg" data-orig-size="683,630" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202471044","copyright":"","focal_length":"40","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva Civitavecchia" data-image-description data-image-caption="

A look at the bow section of the Moskva.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-28.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-2.jpg” class=”size-full wp-image-79351″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-2.jpg” alt width=”683″ height=”630″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-2.jpg 683w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-28.jpg 460w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/Moskva-Civitavecchia-104×96.jpg 104w” sizes=”(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px”>

A look at the bow section of the Moskva.

The port visit of the Russian guided missile cruiser was announced by the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) on their official website: the ship arrived on Feb. 5 and could be visited on Feb. 7, 2008, the day before sailing away to take part in the drills. The Aviationist‘s Giovanni Maduli went aboard the ship and took the exclusive images you can find in this post, the wide majority of those were never released before.

These detailed shots provide an unprecedented look at the flagship of the Russian Navy Black Sea fleet before it was damaged.

<img data-attachment-id="79363" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_01/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_01.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202474969","copyright":"","focal_length":"67","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_01" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The stern of Moskva.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-29.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79363″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-29.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-30.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-31.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_01.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The stern of Moskva.
<img data-attachment-id="79365" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_03/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_03.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"9","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202474885","copyright":"","focal_length":"28","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.00625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_03" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Boarding the cruiser.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-32.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-4.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79365″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-4.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-4.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-32.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-33.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-34.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_03.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Boarding the cruiser.
<img data-attachment-id="79364" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_02/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_02.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202474898","copyright":"","focal_length":"82","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_02" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Fire control radar of the S300F system.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-35.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79364″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-35.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-36.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-37.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_02.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Fire control radar of the S300F system.
<img data-attachment-id="79366" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_05/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_05.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202474788","copyright":"","focal_length":"50","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_05" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The radar mast.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-38.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-6.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79366″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-6.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-6.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-38.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-39.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-40.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_05.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The radar mast.
<img data-attachment-id="79367" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_06/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_06.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202474723","copyright":"","focal_length":"40","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_06" data-image-description data-image-caption="

A look at the Long-range anti-ship missile launchers

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-41.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-7.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79367″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-7.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-7.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-41.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-42.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-43.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_06.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

A look at the Long-range anti-ship missile launchers
<img data-attachment-id="79369" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_08/" data-orig-file="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-8.jpg" data-orig-size="683,1024" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202474684","copyright":"","focal_length":"105","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_08" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Flag at the bow.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-44.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-full wp-image-79369″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-8.jpg” alt width=”683″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-8.jpg 683w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-44.jpg 307w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_08-64×96.jpg 64w” sizes=”(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px”>

Flag at the bow.
<img data-attachment-id="79371" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_10/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_10.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202470249","copyright":"","focal_length":"60","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_10" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The Ka-27 helicopter.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-45.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-9.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79371″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-9.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-9.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-45.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-46.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-47.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_10.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The Ka-27 helicopter.
<img data-attachment-id="79372" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_11/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_11.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202470095","copyright":"","focal_length":"55","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_11" data-image-description data-image-caption="

45-mm naval anti-aircraft gun.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-48.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-10.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79372″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-10.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-10.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-48.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-49.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-50.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_11.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

45-mm naval anti-aircraft gun.
<img data-attachment-id="79373" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_12/" data-orig-file="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-11.jpg" data-orig-size="683,1024" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202470050","copyright":"","focal_length":"24","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_12" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Aboard the Moskva.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-51.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-11.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-full wp-image-79373″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-11.jpg” alt width=”683″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-11.jpg 683w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-51.jpg 307w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_12-64×96.jpg 64w” sizes=”(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px”>

Aboard the Moskva.
<img data-attachment-id="79374" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_13/" data-orig-file="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-12.jpg" data-orig-size="683,1024" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202470013","copyright":"","focal_length":"60","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.00625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_13" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Long range 3d mp-800 radar.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-52.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-12.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-full wp-image-79374″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-12.jpg” alt width=”683″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-12.jpg 683w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-52.jpg 307w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_13-64×96.jpg 64w” sizes=”(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px”>

Long range 3d mp-800 radar.
<img data-attachment-id="79376" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_15/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_15.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"9","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202469942","copyright":"","focal_length":"24","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.00625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_15" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The multipurpose AK-130 130-mm gun.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-53.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-13.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79376″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-13.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-13.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-53.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-54.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-55.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_15.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The multipurpose AK-130 130-mm gun.
<img data-attachment-id="79378" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_17/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_17.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202469871","copyright":"","focal_length":"95","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_17" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Another look at the AK-130 cannon

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-56.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-14.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79378″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-14.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-14.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-56.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-57.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-58.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_17.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Another look at the AK-130 cannon
<img data-attachment-id="79379" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_18/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_18.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202469859","copyright":"","focal_length":"24","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_18" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The AK-130 from the pier.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-59.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-15.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79379″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-15.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-15.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-59.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-60.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-61.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_18.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The AK-130 from the pier.
<img data-attachment-id="79380" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_19/" data-orig-file="https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-16.jpg" data-orig-size="683,1024" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202469606","copyright":"","focal_length":"105","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_19" data-image-description data-image-caption="

One of the ship antennas.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-62.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-16.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-full wp-image-79380″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-16.jpg” alt width=”683″ height=”1024″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-16.jpg 683w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-62.jpg 307w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_19-64×96.jpg 64w” sizes=”(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px”>

One of the ship antennas.
<img data-attachment-id="79382" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_21/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_21.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202469512","copyright":"","focal_length":"60","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_21" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Two Russian Navy sailors.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-63.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-17.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79382″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-17.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-17.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-63.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-64.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-65.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_21.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Two Russian Navy sailors.
<img data-attachment-id="79385" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_24/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_24.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"11","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202469422","copyright":"","focal_length":"40","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.004","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_24" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Long-range anti-ship missile launchers marked 1 and 3.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-66.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-18.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79385″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-18.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-18.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-66.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-67.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-68.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_24.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Long-range anti-ship missile launchers marked 1 and 3.
<img data-attachment-id="79387" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_26/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_26.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202469254","copyright":"","focal_length":"28","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.01","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_26" data-image-description data-image-caption="

We were unable to ID this.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-69.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-19.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79387″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-19.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-19.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-69.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-70.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-71.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_26.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

L140 mm PU PK-2 / ZIF-121 Tertsiya (KL-102) decoy launcher.
<img data-attachment-id="79393" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_32/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_32.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"14","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202468250","copyright":"","focal_length":"24","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.0125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_32" data-image-description data-image-caption="

This image gives an idea of the size of Moskva.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-72.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-20.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79393″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-20.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-20.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-72.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-73.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-74.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_32.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

This image gives an idea of the size of Moskva.
<img data-attachment-id="79392" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_31/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_31.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"14","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202468272","copyright":"","focal_length":"60","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.0125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_31" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The Kamov Ka-27 Helix

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-75.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-21.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79392″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-21.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-21.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-75.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-76.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-77.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_31.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The Kamov Ka-27 Helix
<img data-attachment-id="79391" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_30/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_30.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202468959","copyright":"","focal_length":"55","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_30" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Kamov Ka-27

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-78.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-22.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79391″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-22.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-22.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-78.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-79.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-80.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_30.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Kamov Ka-27
<img data-attachment-id="79390" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_29/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_29.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 5D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202469099","copyright":"","focal_length":"35","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_29" data-image-description data-image-caption="

3R41 Volna radar.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-81.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-23.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79390″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-23.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-23.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-81.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-82.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-83.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_29.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

3R41 Volna radar.
<img data-attachment-id="79394" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_33/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_33.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 20D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202388846","copyright":"","focal_length":"400","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.001","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_33" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Moskva coat of arms.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-84.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-24.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79394″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-24.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-24.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-84.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-85.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-86.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_33.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Moskva coat of arms.
<img data-attachment-id="79395" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/14/aboard-moskva/moskva_civitavecchia_2008_34/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_34.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,683" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"10","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 20D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1202383885","copyright":"","focal_length":"160","iso":"200","shutter_speed":"0.001","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_34" data-image-description data-image-caption="

A prancing horse “zapped” on the Ka-27

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-87.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-25.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79395″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-25.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-25.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-87.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-88.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/aboard-moskva-that-time-we-got-an-unprecedented-tour-of-the-russian-guided-missile-cruiser-89.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Moskva_Civitavecchia_2008_34.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

A prancing horse “zapped” on the Ka-27

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.

F-35: Capabilities, Missions, Kinematics, Role In Ukrainian Crisis And Beyond. Interview With Billie Flynn

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F-35: Capabilities, Missions, Kinematics, Role In Ukrainian Crisis And Beyond
USAF Demo team during the RIAT 2018. (Image Credit: Author)

“The F-35 was designed to operate in highly contested airspace, with capabilities precisely focused on what we have been seeing in Ukraine today.”

We have had an expansive chat with Billie Flynn recently. When it deals with the Lightning II, no one has Flynn’s knowledge. He is a 5th Generation experimental test pilot and airshow pilot who has been a part of development of the F-35. He authored the famous 2017 Paris Air Show routine that busted many myths about the Lightning II’s performance.

He can be considered a sort of global spokesman for the F-35 program and we interviewed him so as to have his view of the Lightning II stealth aircraft, as it becomes proliferated in Europe and is deployed to NATO’s Eastern Flank amid growing tensions with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

<img data-attachment-id="79276" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/07/f-35-interview-with-billie-flynn/billie-flynn/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Billie-Flynn.jpg" data-orig-size="1780,1402" 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="Billie Flynn" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Billie Flynn poses next to an F-35. (Image courtesy Billie Flynn – billieflynn.com)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-16.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-2.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-79276″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”556″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-16.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-17.jpg 122w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-18.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-19.jpg 1536w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Billie-Flynn.jpg 1780w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Billie Flynn poses next to an F-35. (Image courtesy Billie Flynn – billieflynn.com)

The Aviationist: Given the state of the Polish Air Force – how do you think Poland could integrate the F-35 in the Air Force? What the major challenges would be, when it comes to interoperability between the Lightning II, and the Polish Viper fleet? Where would, in your opinion, the F-35 fit?

Billie Flynn: So, let’s talk about the state of the Polish Air Force. Let’s use the F-16 integration as the first step in this example. I served in Europe and understood the Eastern Bloc’s capabilities. As a Lockheed Martin test pilot, I flew the Polish Block 52 aircraft during their acceptance flights and I’m very familiar with their capability. When the Polish Air Force took on the F-16, it took was a massive step forward to westernize a former Eastern Bloc air force, to (make them) understand how we think in the West and adapt to a very capable, very lethal 4th generation fighter. We see now, years later, how successful the training and the integration has been and how capable the pilots in the Polish Air Force are with that aircraft. So now the Polish Air Force needs to think how to integrate the F-35, building on that F-16 experience. I think that the successful integration of the F-16, and that huge leap forward that has been taken by the Air Force, will be mirrored when we look at the F-35.

<img data-attachment-id="79261" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/07/f-35-interview-with-billie-flynn/b-52-works-with-polish-f-16s-2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/7-scaled.jpg" data-orig-size="2560,1829" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"9.5","credit":"1st Combat Camera Squadron","camera":"NIKON D5","caption":"A Polish Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon engages in a planned intercept of a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress during Bomber Task Force Europe 20-1, Oct. 28, 2019, over Poland. This deployment allows aircrews and support personnel to conduct theater integration and to improve bomber interoperability with joint partners and allied nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Duncan C. Bevan)","created_timestamp":"1572235200","copyright":"Public Domain","focal_length":"98","iso":"140","shutter_speed":"0.0013333333333333","title":"B-52 works with Polish F-16s","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="B-52 works with Polish F-16s" data-image-description data-image-caption="

A Polish Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon engages in a planned intercept of a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress during Bomber Task Force Europe 20-1, Oct. 28, 2019, over Poland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Duncan C. Bevan)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-20.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79261″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”504″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-20.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-21.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-22.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-23.jpg 1536w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/7-2048×1463.jpg 2048w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

A Polish Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon engages in a planned intercept of a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress during Bomber Task Force Europe 20-1, Oct. 28, 2019, over Poland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Duncan C. Bevan)

It would be essentially a foundation for the next steps, right?

Well, it shows the potential of the pilots, and the Air Force itself, to adopt something dramatically new. Because the F-35 is the most sophisticated fighter in the world today, bar none, dramatically more capable than the Block 52, the Eurofighter, or any other 4th generation jet. This 5th gen capability is astonishingly lethal. Remembering what the Air Force just did this over the past decades with the F-16 should give confidence that it will be able to integrate the F-35 with the F-16. Learning to leverage the F-35 advantages will keep the F-16s survivable. The F-16 is not survivable in the very highly contested world, like the Ukraine, for example, with significant numbers of sophisticated surface-to-air threats that the Russian Armed Forces have. The F-16 would never survive by itself. However, the F-35 was designed to operate in highly contested airspace, with capabilities precisely focused on what we have been seeing in Ukraine today. If you have F-35s, you do not necessarily need F-16s to do the damage that the F-35 would bring. They’re a monstrously capable and lethal platform, against SAMs or any kind of ground defenses or troops. But once Air Dominance is achieved, when you need additional firepower, you use the F-35 to protect the F-16s.

How would the F-35 fit in the Polish IADS – what could it do, how it could become a valid asset. We know that Poland has procured the Patriot MRAD, along with the IBCS network – so the F-35 can be plugged into it. What are the real-life benefits of this?

Here we start talking about multi-domain operations. Surface-to-air capabilities and airborne assets, integrate, operating in a joint, multi-domain effort: Instead of having separate forces – the air force, army, and navy will leverage the notion of joint capabilities. As you see with the F-35 plus the sophisticated anti-aircraft capability like the Patriot is, there is synergy in joint operations. F-35 brings sees so much with its sensors, like no legacy 4th generation platforms which help build a battlespace picture that would not be capable of being constructed with the other assets that would be flown. With that battlespace picture, and seeing the threats that are coming in, the Patriot comes into the equation.

So that really makes the F-35 a high value asset, right?

Truly, it’s more than just a tactical aircraft.

Do you think procurement of communication assets for legacy platforms is key? How could the Vipers talk to the Lightning, using MADL – should a pod be designed for that purpose, or should some new avionics be used – to benefit from the sensor fusion? How big the difference is in the comms department, as opposed to the 4th gen, and what impact does it have on the freedom of data exchange. What impact does it have on situational awareness, compared to the 4th generation aircraft?

Let’s talk about the two different methods of communications with datalinks and sharing information. Link 16, which is the NATO standard, both in 4th gen and 5th gen, is like a big lighthouse – and you broadcast your information everywhere, to everyone on the network. It’s omnidirectional, so it’s everywhere. And anyone can pick up that signal. If you’re transmitting as a part of a datalink network, you can be found, because you are an emitting source. That’s the first problem.

And the second problem is, there really is not a lot of sophisticated data that goes across on Link 16. It is essentially the position data, some elements of what weapons you are carrying and how much fuel you have, and some communications information that goes in the back and forth. But the F-35, and F-22, (each with a different format), the datalinks are designed as low probability of intercept stealthy networks. They are not omnidirectional, but instead uniquely directed on to those aircraft in the network, communicating with each other. Packets of data are sent directly back and forth but not in a continuous stream of data as in Link 16. Intercepting that data would be cosmically difficult to do and that’s how it remains stealthy.

When transmitting through MADL, no one can find the four, or eight aircraft in the network. F-35 is not just sending position data and simple communications but exactly what my aircraft sees in data-fused packets so that everything I see is shared with everyone else and vice versa. Our situational awareness is dramatically more comprehensive than anyone could imagine. Can a 4th Gen platform share this 5th Gen data? At present, no. Those 4th Gen airplanes cannot absorb or process the extraordinary amount of data that F-35 sensor fusion can handle. There is no processing capability in an F-16, or in an F-18, or in F-15EX, or in any other 4th generation airplane. In the future, we can perhaps design some data link that allows us to use a stealthier format to pass on information – and that way it’s not going to expose everyone on the datalink, the way the Link 16 does.

So, basically what you’re saying is – even if there’s a pod, or avionics designed for 4th gen, the remainder of the system would not be able to consume the data that the F-35 produces?

You’ve used the right term. They would not be able to CONSUME the data that the F-35 would transmit.

So, it’s Link 16 for now?

Yes, it’s Link 16 for NATO for now. As we’ve introduced the F-35 to NATO nations, think about Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, the UK and even now with Danish pilots are transitioning to the F-35, there is more incentive for us collectively, to figure out how to pass information to our 4th generation assets, without exposing us in F-35s. We need to get data to those platforms while staying safe in our sanctuary, operating as very low-observable fighters.

<img data-attachment-id="79264" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/07/f-35-interview-with-billie-flynn/3-14/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/3.jpg" data-orig-size="2048,1365" 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="3" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Luke AFB Aerial Shoot with a Lockheed Martin F-35A-2B “Lightning II” (JSF) (s/n 12-5056) and a General Dynamics F-16C Block 42A “Fighting Falcon” (s/n 87-0360) – (Image Credit: Robert Sullivan/flickr)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-24.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-4.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79264″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-4.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-4.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-24.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-25.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-26.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-27.jpg 1536w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/3.jpg 2048w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Luke AFB Aerial Shoot with a Lockheed Martin F-35A-2B “Lightning II” (JSF) (s/n 12-5056) and a General Dynamics F-16C Block 42A “Fighting Falcon” (s/n 87-0360) – (Image Credit: Robert Sullivan/flickr)

It can be said then that this is one of the major problems for figuring out interoperability between legacy platforms and 5th gen.

We have a lot of learning, and we are learning rapidly now, that the F-35 is in Central Europe. The F-35s participate in the Frisian Flag exercise right at this day, this week that we’re talking. We are learning how to use a 5th gen asset with the 4th gen platforms that are out there as blue air, as the good guys, and figuring out how best to optimize the F-35 and its lethality, but also how to keep the 4th gen platforms survivable. As we move forward, we will get smarter about exactly what will enable that better – moving forward.

In Poland, there has been this recurring myth on the Lightning II – those who question the procurement say that Warsaw does not need a deep-strike/SEAD/DEAD platform like the F-35 – calling it an offensive aircraft – and that we should procure an air superiority, defensive jet. Is the F-35 really solely an ‘offensive’ strike aircraft?

Well, the F-35 is a truly multi-role platform, in terms of defensive capability and offensive capability. But the aircraft that Poland will get will be able to carry six AMRAAM air-to-air missiles inside the weapons bay plus two AIM-9 or ASRAAM IR missiles, on the outward wing stations; that’s 8 missiles on the F-35 which is as lethal as anything else that’s out there. By the way, the picture of F-15EX with 22 AMRAAMs hides the fact that it could not take off with a maximum load of fuel, plus all those missiles at the same time. And no one has 22 AMRAAMs to load on a single fighter. A realistic loadout is six plus two that you will see in the later lots of the F-35. The F-35 is meant to protect other nations that have bought the jet, which are defensive in nature including Switzerland, Finland, and Canada In Finland, they’re worried about 1400 kilometers of border shared with Russia. In Switzerland, they would never anticipate flying the F-35 outside of their border, their job is to protect the nation. With its exceptional reach and sensor performance, across many spectrums, a very significant air-2-air loadout, and a stealthy platform, the F-35s will give those air forces a dramatic advantage over everything else. It is the most capable defensive platform out there.

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F-15EX (Image Credit: Boeing)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-28.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79265″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”395″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-28.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-29.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-30.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/5.jpg 960w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

F-15EX (Image Credit: Boeing)

Somewhat related to that, here’s another question: there is a lot of talk, currently, regarding the capabilities of the F-35, and the meaning they may have for Poland in the wake of the recent geopolitical events. Some voices in the debate suggest that Poland would be better off procuring the F-15 – as it is faster, flies higher, and acts as a better kinematic platform for launching the missiles, with the mythical FL400 quoted as a reference altitude for the Flankers to fly at. Is this an area in which the F-35 would struggle – as we have seen in Ukraine, most of the strikes are done in a stand-off setting, and some experts claim that one needs a long stick to shoot the shooter? Are Germany and Finland wrong to procure the F-35 for the DCA role? How can the F-35 features be used in a DCA role?

The high-end speed of aircraft when they are clean, slicked off, is interesting. I was at 1.9 Mach when I was a Eurofighter Typhoon test pilot in Germany 20 years ago. I’ve been Mach 2.05 in the F-16 many times. For the F-35, its endpoint is 1.6 Mach. The two previous cases – the Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-16 – they cannot go to their maximum Mach number with their weapons and fuel loaded out. With their electro-optical Litening pods, Sniper pods, and equivalents – they can’t do their max Mach. The max speed of an F-15 – Mach 2+ – will never be achieved with a weapons loadout on the airplane because the drag on the outside will always prevent the jet from getting there. An F-35 will fly 1.6 Mach, with a weapons bay full of missiles and wingtip missiles, and I, as a test pilot have demonstrated that repeatedly. During the envelope expansion program, in my case flying the F-35B, and F-35C models I regularly at 1.6 Mach, with bombs and missiles in the weapons bay, and IR missiles on the outboard stations. F-35 flies 1.6 Mach which is necessarily faster than those two other aircraft.

Kinematics – In attrition warfare, where each airplane can see each other, whoever’s missile gets there first, hopefully kills the other airplane. With two missiles in the air there, one does not get to time out, because the launch aircraft died. You always wanted to be able to shoot first. To do that, you want to go as fast, or as high as you can to give your missile basically the fastest push – so it would go higher, faster, and get there first, before the other person’s missile hits you. That assumes that we both saw each other. And we’ve been playing this cat and mouse game of who gets missiles in the air, and who turns away from each other, to slow the closure velocity of the aircraft, as the missiles come out of each other, making the missiles fly further. It’s an old game of attrition warfare. But what happens when I’m in a very low observable F-35, and cannot be seen by the adversary, is that I to get to shoot my missile wherever I want before he (the other pilot) ever even knows I exist. My missile is in the air. My weapons bay doors have opened fired the missile, closed the weapons bay doors, and I may even have turned around, while my missile is impacting his jet. I am no longer playing the kinematic tactic that has been a part of our world for through all the years of 3rd gen and 4th gen weapons and fighters. I’m not trading kinematics as we did with 4th gen weapons.

<img data-attachment-id="79266" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/07/f-35-interview-with-billie-flynn/6-10/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/6.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,576" 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="6" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Italian Eurofighter Typhoon demo at RIAT 2018. (Image Credit: Author)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-31.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-6.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79266″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-6.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”397″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-6.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-31.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-32.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-33.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-34.jpg 678w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/6.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Italian Eurofighter Typhoon demo at RIAT 2018. (Image Credit: Author)

One last thing about the F-15EX: It is a wonderfully capable airplane. It will serve as a defensive capacity in North America which is why the US Air Force is buying it. The F-15EX is the last iteration of this fabulous design that’s been around for decades upon decades. It is based on the Saudi Arabian F-15SA that has since become Americanized. But it’s on its last life and there will be no major upgrades from this point on as opposed to the F-35, whose future growth potential looks out over thirty to forty years ahead. The F-35 remains at the beginning of its lifetime, not like the F-15EX, which is, necessarily, the last version of the F-15, and it does not have decades ahead of it – like the F-35 has.

Moreover, all those nations in Europe would be operating the F-35. Where the dedicated air superiority platform like the Typhoon was present, the F-35 comes in as an addition, but some nations had no air superiority platform in their possession before, like the Netherlands, Denmark, and so on. And they are not looking out to get the Eagle, right?

No, they are not. Use the F-16 example as the way forward when we talk about multi-role interoperability and what the F-35 will be. Remember, I flew the CF-18s in Baden-Soellingen Germany, and in a 4th gen fighter I went to the Tactical Leadership Programme to learn about NATO interoperability. The standard was the F-16. Air forces that had 2nd gen F-104s, F-100s in the case of Denmark, or F-5s, made the leap to the F-16 and learned how to fly and fight using the same type of fighter. Those air forces became great at the air-to-ground mission plus having an air-to-air capability that evolved over time.

The F-35 does those air-to-air and air-to-ground missions plus Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. The F-35 performs every mission set. We learned in 4th gen how to fly together, how to share tactics and execute multi-role missions, with the F-16 as our baseline. With the F-35, everyone is flying the same platform, sharing data, between Danish, Italian, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Belgian, British, and American aircraft. But in 5th Gen we are not just dropping bombs, as an air-to-ground airplane or flying relatively simple air-to-air missions. In F-35, we are executing the most sophisticated mission sets ever in our air forces. The term that I use is not multi-role but instead multi-mission.

Regarding the multi-mission capabilities: Is CAS sortie flown by the F-35 very much different from one flown by the Viper? Has a new CAS doctrine been developed for the F-35?

We have learned how conduct CAS in the F-35 led by the US Marine Corps. The core doctrine of the US Marine Corps is to really protect the Marines on the ground and all assets are there to protect those Marines on the ground, fighting the fight. There’s a place for medium altitude CAS, operating in the sanctuary, targeting dropping the weapons required. The reality is that that does not work when the enemy is close. In an Iraq or Afghanistan type scenario, when you need bullets or weapons close to friendly troops, dropping weapons from 25,000 feet will not be acceptable. There’s a reality that you’d probably take any asset that would be brought down to the high-threat environment because you’re protecting troops on the ground.

I guess what I said to you is: medium altitude CAS exists, we’ve learned how to do that in Afghanistan and Iraq, but there may be a time when the troops are in contact and you’re going to come down and use the gun in the F-35, just like the Marines would have to do with a gun pod in an F-35B, and like the A-10 had to do over the years. That’s a lot of risk for an 80-million-dollar F-35 but our job is to protect the troops on the ground. We will become very good at medium altitude CAS, dropping JDAMs, Small Diameter Bombs, Paveway IV in the case of the UK. We will certainly work on those tactics but at some point, you do have to protect the troops on the ground.

<img data-attachment-id="79267" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/07/f-35-interview-with-billie-flynn/guns-on-deck-history-is-made-2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/8-scaled.jpg" data-orig-size="2560,1707" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"9","credit":"3rd Marine Aircraft Wing","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"LtCol Joseph Freshour, the commanding officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, accelerates as he prepares to launch from the deck of Her Majesty's Ship (HMS) Queen Elizabeth armed with a Gun Pod Unit (GPU) – 9\/A, at sea on 28 September, 2020. Freshour became the first F-35B Joint Strike Fighter pilot to fly from the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth while carrying a GPU. This milestone continues VMFA-211's preparation for the United Kingdom's Carrier Strike Group global deployment.","created_timestamp":"1601265600","copyright":"Public Domain","focal_length":"70","iso":"640","shutter_speed":"0.0015625","title":"Guns on Deck, History is Made","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Guns on Deck, History is Made" data-image-description data-image-caption="

LtCol Joseph Freshour, the commanding officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, accelerates as he prepares to launch from the deck of Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Queen Elizabeth armed with a Gun Pod Unit (GPU) – 9/A, at sea on 28 September, 2020. Freshour became the first F-35B Joint Strike Fighter pilot to fly from the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth while carrying a GPU. This milestone continues VMFA-211’s preparation for the United Kingdom’s Carrier Strike Group global deployment.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-35.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-7.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”wp-image-79267 size-large” src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-7.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-7.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-35.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-36.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-37.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-38.jpg 1536w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/8-2048×1365.jpg 2048w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

USMC F-35 with a GAU-22 gun pod. (Photo by 1st Lt. Zachary Bodner, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing)

Or devise a new CAS platform.

Or devise a new CAS platform. We all love the A-10, there is no conversation ever that any aircraft can truly and effectively replace the A-10, even after all these years. Everyone on the ground will tell you that it has proven itself to be invaluable.

What about the self-defense measures and countermeasures that the F-35 uses – is the difference significant, as opposed to the 4th gen?

Absolutely. I am not going to talk about the specifics of what’s on board. But absolutely, the self-protection capabilities of the F-35 are more high-end that you will find on any 4th gen platform, anywhere in Europe. Absolutely.

Given your experience flying the F-35 and other types – has the myth that the F-35 is a poor dogfighter been busted already, during your Paris Air Show routine, or is this still a major problem? How effective the F-35 is in the BFM scenario – if it comes to it – because we know that this is an aircraft designed not to get into BFM – but still, if you were to take on a Flanker, how would it go?

Yes. We’ve busted the myth about the maneuverability of the F-35, when I flew in Paris, in June 2017, almost 5 years ago. That demonstration crushed the conversation about whether the F-35 was maneuverable or not. We showed the square loop, the slow speed pass at 35 degrees AoA, and performed a pedal turn at 50 degrees AoA, spiraling around at 50 degrees a second yaw rate. There’s only one other aircraft in the western world that can do that – and that’s the F-22 Raptor; it has thrust vectoring and we did not. We showed astonishing maneuverability. In the air show demonstrations shown by the United States Air Force F-35 demo pilots since then, they have reinforced the maneuverability and what the F-35 can do.

Do we still do BFM? We absolutely still train BFM. It’s one of those core skills to teach a pilot about how maneuverable his aircraft is. He (or she) has to get in there, and see how aggressive the aircraft can be, to gain the confidence in their own abilities and how to maneuver the aircraft aggressively and learn what the aircraft can really do. BFM will always be an essential skill we want to teach fighter pilots. Do I ever want to give up all of the amazing capabilities that I had in my F-35 leading into a merge – all the situational awareness I had, all the time I had to complete the kill chain, to kill the adversary, before facing him across the circle in a Top-Gun type fight? I would never want to make that mistake and miss those opportunities.

Would it happen? It would be so arrogant and mistaken to state that there could never be a BFM fight in an F-35. What’s the aircraft like to fight in BFM? I was originally a CF-18 pilot and then later in my career I’ve spent much of my time in F-16s and Eurofighter Typhoons. These fighters have different flight-control logics. The Hornet loves to fly slow. It has that incredible capability in slow-speed maneuvering whereas the F-16, Gripen, Eurofighter and Rafale are all meant as high-speed fighters. They have 9G limits and they’re really meant to go around the corner, chasing the adversary, quickly and fast. They are beautifully flying airplanes, even at the aggressiveness of the 9G. But it’s two different philosophies. One tries to point its nose quickly at the adversary and shoot quicker – like the F-18 – and the other one tries to race around the circle faster – F-16, Eurofighter, Rafale, Gripen.

The F-35 is more like an F-18 – remember the air show demonstrations of 50 degrees AoA, and a square-loop, and pedal turn. That’s what its highlight capability is – different than F-16 or the Typhoon. It is just a different philosophy. Where should the F-35 advantage be? As a minimum, I should enter the combat environment having seen my adversary long before he could see me with a significant advantage even before the fight starts. That’s really what the F-22 had learned over all these years. When they allow themselves to get into air combat, they have a huge advantage, because they’ve seen the adversary much, much earlier than the adversary sees them, so the fight typically ends much quicker like that.

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Billie Flynn flying his Paris Air Show 2017 F-35 demo. (Image Credit: Karol Piętka)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-39.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79268″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-8.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”397″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-8.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-39.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-40.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-41.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-42.jpg 678w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/9.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Billie Flynn flying his Paris Air Show 2017 F-35 demo. (Image Credit: Karol Piętka)

So, the F-35 is more of a nose-position fighter, than a circle fight type airplane?

Yep.

There is a great deal of talk about how low RCS has an impact on air combat. What does it mean for a pilot – in practical terms, when it comes to fighting – in OCA and especially in the DCA setting – let’s talk about some hypothetical, real-life scenarios here?

There really is a transition in how you think – remember, I’m a 4th gen baby, CF-18, F-16, Typhoon – and then I learned how to fly the F-35. It was hard for me to understand at the beginning that the adversary can’t see you. Instead of being defensive as you approach your adversary, assuming that he has already seen you, and always watching for someone entering and attacking us, you’re now looking ahead in the F-35, knowing he does not see you, and knowing that you see everything out there. That switch to the offensive mentality is a complete change of mindset. When you learn to believe, when you learn to accept that you really are invisible, that’s when you become incredibly potent with the F-35. That’s when you start killing the adversary quickly. We have seen, time and again, whether it’s Red Flag exercises, other large-scale exercises, in deployments overseas, or as we saw when I led the F-35 deployment for Finland’s H-X Challenge just how capable the aircraft is. It’s not a fair fight, and I don’t ever want it to be fair. I want us to be 20:1 better than the adversary, or even more dominating than that.

So, was the 20:1 figure in the Red Flag a marketing figure, or an oversimplification?

No, it was not. It’s the real thing. Much like the F-22 demonstrated for so long – nobody beats F-22. They have been dominating for their entire operational life. Now the F-35 shows up and we’re winning better than 20:1 in the most aggressive scenarios against adversary pilots who are better than the Russian pilots ever would be. The western fighters who pretend to be the adversaries, the Red Air as we call them, are more capable than the real Russian aircraft are. And yet, we still win better than 20:1 in the highest contested environments, which are very much mirrored to what we have been seeing in Ukraine now.



Given the proliferation of the F-35 among European users, do you think that the F-35 is on its way to becoming the next standard fighter for NATO, like the F-16 and the F-104 did in the past?

It’s going to be like the F-104 was as a 2nd Gen fighter and the F-4 as a 3rd Gen fighter. The 4th gen NATO standard was the F-16, a franchise program with more than 4,700 of them built thus far and Lockheed Martin building even more. The total number of F-16 built will surpass 5,000 ultimately. Now you see how the F-35 has gained so much traction. It has proven itself with the United States Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy, the Israeli Defense Force, in the UK now. Every user loves what this aircraft can do. There will be more than 3,000 F-35s built over their lifetime. It’s THE platform of 5th gen. It’s a franchise platform, as I call it.

So, a 5th gen. franchise…

Yes, as the F-16 was. The F-16 over all the years evolved from this lightweight fighter, with a very poor radar and only an AIM-9 capability to this incredibly capable, lethal airplane that it is now; the iterations of Block 52, UAE Air Force F-16 E/F Block 60, or the now emerging Block 70. It’s remarkable how the capability of the Viper grew over the years. You will see that same pattern of growth with the F-35 over its lifetime. It is the NATO standard already. Germany with 35 aircraft that are not going to be just nuclear-capable delivery airplanes, replacing Tornado. The Luftwaffe is now going to find out that they have this astonishing, capable new aircraft that does every mission set better than any other platform. Those aircraft will transform and push the Luftwaffe, as happened with other air forces, dramatically higher in capability than they could’ve imagined.

So maybe we’ll see a future German procurement of more F-35s?

I don’t know. I’ve spent many years as a German test pilot, and I recognize how important the industry is there. But I do think the 35 aircraft will transform the Luftwaffe, its philosophy, and what the air power can do in the mission sets that it performs.

For Poland to adopt the F-35, do you think procurement of AEW, and tankers would be a beneficial force multiplier?

I think we will, collectively in NATO, rethink our airborne early warning platforms. Clearly AWACS has done amazing service, it has taken us through the first Gulf War, through my experience in combat in Kosovo in 1999, to Iraq, Syria, Libya, since then, right? But it’s at the end of its days. We see the effective Wedgetail, first in Australia and now has the interest of the USAF. We’ve seen what that kind of capability does and why it’s interesting to have a platform like that. 5th Gen fighters like F-35 gather so much knowledge of the battlespace.

But to ask an individual pilot to orchestrate and be that commander of the overall battle is probably too much for that one person in the cockpit. If that information comes back to a AEW platform that has great capabilities, but also can coordinate the air battle based on all that knowledge gathered by the fighters and then dictate and task the fighters to prosecute the battle plan. In that case you are effectively using a platform to allow them to control the battle much like AWACS did a generation ago back in 4th gen. Does Poland acquire such a platform, or does NATO evolve and pick a NATO platform that all NATO nations can contribute to, as happened for the NATO AWACS in Gelsenkirchen where it has been based for so many years? Yes.

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Royal Australian Air Force Wedgetail AEW platform. (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Sergey Ryabtsev)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-43.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-9.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79269″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-9.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”482″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-9.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-43.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-44.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-45.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/11.jpg 1199w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Royal Australian Air Force Wedgetail AEW platform. (Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Sergey Ryabtsev)

Do you need tankers? Does NATO collectively need more tankers? Absolutely, if they are going to deploy like we ended up in Kosovo, back again 20+ years ago, when we needed airborne refueling assets to allow us to go deep into Serbian territory. Or, in our case today potentially, into Russian territory. The nations, collectively, need tankers. Do individual countries need their own tanker assets? I do not think so because the F-35 has more range and better persistence than any other legacy fighter. The F-35A has 18,500 pounds of internal fuel which is more gas than is carried by a legacy F-16, or Typhoon, or Hornet. All that fuel means that the F-35 can go further, and stay airborne longer, than even the F-16, which has really good legs. I do not know if you need tankers as individual nations. NATO has to look at the tanker assets and decide what the nations collectively need.

So, this goes back to the Eagle: do you say that Lightning has a longer loiter time, station time, than the F-15?

This depends, if we’re asking Eagle to carry 3 fuel tanks, is he loitering now, does he have a lot of missiles on the outside, which adds to its drag? The F-35 has a very efficient, 5th generation Pratt & Whitney F-135 engine. It was designed like a commercial engine, more efficient than any of the 4th gen fighter engines could be. Those 4th gen engines are based on 40-year-old technology, as opposed to much more advanced 5th Gen technology. The F-35 is more efficient when it’s airborne, has less drag, and carries a lot of gas. It can sit on station a long time. I flew a long, long time, being airborne in the F-35 for all those years, a lot longer than I ever did on those legacy platforms like the F-16, F-18, or the Typhoon.

F-35 and legacy airframes (F-16/F-15/MiG-29). How much training is needed to cross between the two?

OK. When I answer this, all of the MiG-29 pilots in Poland that I know, that I knew back in the airshow days, are going to hate me. And they never going to speak to me again. Will the F-16 pilots transition to the F-35? Absolutely which is what happened with many of the air forces that transitioned to F-35 already. We had to take the experienced pilots, from the Netherlands, Norway, as examples, and let them transition to be the tactical leaders in the new F-35 squadrons as their air forces learn to adopt the F-35. Only then can you eventually bring in the young pilots who only know the F-35. But to start you have to transition those 4th gen pilots, who have the airmanship, the tactical leadership and flight-lead experience to be the core of the future squadrons, They are going to be the senior Captains, Majors, and Squadron Commanders. There is no place for the MiG-29 pilots in the sophisticated world of 5th gen, with a transition made directly to the F-35.

Even now the Polish Air Force is separated. There’s very much the Russian, Eastern Bloc mentality vs the Western F-16 cadre. And those fighter pilots do not cross back and forth between MiG-29 and F-16. For any pilot, it is such a leap to go to the F-35. Asking a very capable MiG pilot to transition to this cosmic spaceship is far too much to grasp. Every part of how we mechanize the aircraft in the West is different from how Russians design their aircraft, every part of philosophy of how you fly an airplane, how you design cockpits, how you process information is different. To say to an F-16 pilot: Hey, we’re Lockheed Martin, and we build the aircraft the certain way, and switches the certain way, and now we’re going to give you the next generation of that, there’s a logic flow of our design, of the F-16, as the baseline, that kind of looks like what the F-35 is. This is a logical step forward. That does not exist for the MiG cadre. And I think the MiG cadre will end up atrophying, spending their time in that jet until the MiG-29 phases out. You need to take the F-16 cadre and make them move forward to the F-35. That is going to make me very unpopular with the MiG-29 guys in Poland.

How much training would be needed between the Viper, and the Lightning? Is it a long program?

I think here we shall look at what the other nations have done. Remember our example, like the USAF – with lots of F-16 pilots converting to F-35, we see the Netherlands, Norway, and now Denmark. We’ll see Belgium send their F-16 pilots to convert to F-35 at some point. We know that there’s a transition of experienced pilots, from every F-35-user nation, to be pushed through the F-35 training system. It is a mature pattern right now around for years since that we’ve been out training pilots for these aircraft to be operational. We obviously do not actually know how long it will take for Polish Air Force pilots to transition to the F-35whether it’s 6 months, or 9 months, or 10 months. But there’s a system in place now.

An oddball question, but as a test pilot who actually took part in development of that system: what are your thoughts on A-GCAS? Is it a nuisance, or a great asset? The second part of the question refers to the claims made by Soviet pilots back in the day, as back in the 1990s there was a real fear of fly-by-wire, as the Soviet pilots quoted in the old Wings of the Red Star series stated. They claimed that it can be a thing that prevents them from gaining advantage, if it does not let them conduct a much needed maneuver in given circumstances? Do you think Auto-GCAS would be a problem for a really experienced guy, who knows what he’s doing? Is it a nuisance?

Let me explain so the people reading this will understand. The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System is this capability where the aircraft senses that it’s going to impact the ground, whatever the terrain is – mountains or the flat ground. And it says: Look, for some reason the pilot has not done anything. I’m going to take control from the pilot, I’m going to orient the aircraft upright, fly away from that terrain and then I’ll give back the control to the pilot. In the period from 2009 to 2011, I was a part of the Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works Team – a very famous name – along with NASA and USAF team that matured the technology for Auto GCAS. That technology was later fielded in the F-16, and more recently in the F-35.

A derivative of that Auto GCAS design went to the US Navy, and it’s going into Super Hornets and legacy Hornets. There are so many guys that we’ve known, in every air force, who have hit the ground over the years, for so many reasons. It’s disorientation, inexperience, of loss of consciousness from pulling too much G. There’s a host of reasons, Controlled Flight Into Terrain as it is called is an indiscriminate killer. It kills young and old, experienced, and inexperienced, day and night and there is no common denominator.

Over the years CFIT has killed so many that everyone else knows someone who has died. And Auto GCAS now is essentially flawless. When it takes over, it is beyond the threshold of what the human could tolerate. As a test pilot during its testing, I could never fly myself past the limit, of when Auto-GCAS would take control from me. When it takes over, you’re really beyond what the human can stand, and you really are going to die. In a pilot’s lifetime, he will likely never see the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System activation because he’s never going to fly that close to the ground, orient himself upside down or try to kill himself by flying that way. If and when Auto GCAS comes on, it’s meant to save you.

There are YouTube videos of an F-16 where the system activates and saves the life of the pilot who has blacked out and is going to die. Auto GCAS orients the airplane and flies it up away from the ground and saves him. He would have died if auto-GCAS had not be in the jet. So, nuisance? There is no sense of nuisance with Auto-GCAS. It is the most important contribution to the flight safety in the past 50 years, since fly-by-wire technology was introduced in the western world. The Auto GCAS team was awarded the 2018 Collier Trophy which is the highest award in aviation and is given out be the National Aeronautic Association, because of just the potential of this technology to save lives. I think that we should all be thankful that Auto-GCAS is in the F-16, and F-35, it’s now going into the legacy and Super Hornet fleets. Seven of the sixteen fatalities in the Canadian CF-18 over its 40-year lifetime were from hitting the ground where Auto-GCAS could save lives.

As time moves on, Auto GCAS will continue to save many, many lives, and billions of dollars in assets, over many, many years to come.



Let’s hope it goes into general aviation soon as well.

Yes, that’s really the future, right? Like a lot of technologies in the military world – think of the HUD – which we’ve flown for forty years and now, many years later after proving itself in fighter jets see it in modern day GA, or 787, or C-17, or C-130J. You will see an Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance [System] in the 737 at some point. You’ll see it in a Gulfstream jet, Bombardier Global Express or Dassault’s iteration of corporate jets at some point in the future.

Coming back to the F-35:. How does it feel to fly using DAS to look through the airframe? Does it feel weird? Is it a useful concept? How does it compare to Striker or JHMCS?

Distributed Aperture System, as you know, is a meshing of six mid-wave IR cameras that are flush mounted on the aircraft. There are two DAS cameras in the sides, two at the bottom, front and back, two at the top, front and back. Those six cameras build a huge picture that is stitched together, to spherically give an infra-red image around the airplane. Wherever you look in your helmet, you see, when DAS is turned on in the helmet, this infra-red hot and cold contrasted image. As you say – if you look between your legs, underneath the aircraft, you see as if the skin of the airplane is not there. During the day, I seldom found a practical application to have the DAS image projected on my helmet because you and I could look out and see what’s on the ground with the naked eye. But at night, I can speak about flying over the East Coast of the US or over the mountains of California, with zero Moon, and all of a sudden, I see, with perfect orientation, the mountains, highways, electrical power lines, rivers and lakes, and while it’s not daytime acuity, I have remarkable situational awareness and essentially see as I would in the day.

That kind of situational awareness allows me to treat flying at night much more matter of fact as when I am flying during the day. That is not the case without DAS when it is pitch black outside, and I don’t have any orientation at all. DAS gives me a view so I can see everything around me and orient myself better. In the F-35 we essentially treat night-time missions like daytime missions. We fly some place up in the sky, where no one sees us. On our screens, there’s no difference between day to night. With DAS I have better orientation looking around to allow me to feel more comfortable at night than I would in a legacy platform.

If you ask about the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, or Scorpion, which is another version of a monocular helmet, I will tell you that they are dramatically less capable than the F-35 Helmet Mounted Display. JHMCS, as a monocular helmet displays on a single eye where my targets of interest are, and in some cases, it gives me some information about the airplane state. But that image is not the stereoscopic view that I get from the F-35helmet. DAS does not exist in the Striker helmet either. Although Striker is, by all accounts, a very capable helmet. I think that when you’re talking about the F-35 helmet, you’re talking another order of magnitude in capability to aid the pilot. The F-35 HMD is seamless for the pilot to wear and use and we’ve matured all of the growing pains over the many years of testing. We have figured out the problems with it along the way and fixed them. You could fly the F-35 without it, but why wouldn’t you want the helmet on your head? I regularly flew 5-hour missions at Pax River in Maryland on the east coast of the US, and over the ocean, doing testing in F-35Bs and F-35Cs. It sat on my head, and I never noticed any part of it being heavy, or out of balance. It was a seamless part for me. I really want the helmet to be able to look out and understand what the display is telling me with all my targets projected so that I do not have to translate that onto a touch screen in front of me.

There is a real enhancement to my lethality and effectiveness, with the helmet on my head.

<img data-attachment-id="79270" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/07/f-35-interview-with-billie-flynn/f-35-helmet/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/10.jpg" data-orig-size="720,480" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"419th Fighter Wing","camera":"","caption":"U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Farnsworth, 419th Operations Support Squadron, poses for a photo to demonstrate the F-35 Generation III Helmet-Mounted Display at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, on July 10, 2021. The display provides the pilot critical information, built-in night vision, and allows a 360-degree view of the aircraft\u2019s outside environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erica Webster)","created_timestamp":"1625889600","copyright":"Public Domain","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"F-35 Helmet","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="F-35 Helmet" data-image-description data-image-caption="

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Farnsworth, 419th Operations Support Squadron, poses for a photo to demonstrate the F-35 Generation III Helmet-Mounted Display at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (Image: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erica Webster)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-46.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-10.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79270″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-10.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-10.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-46.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-47.jpg 128w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/10.jpg 720w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Farnsworth, 419th Operations Support Squadron, poses for a photo to demonstrate the F-35 Generation III Helmet-Mounted Display at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. (Image: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erica Webster)

Is the fitting process slow for the helmet?

Well, it does take time. It’s easy to project an image on one eye. Or either eye. But to get both eyes focused, so I’m not confused, with them being exactly focused, so I am kind of looking at a movie screen – that takes time. We’re much more sophisticated now in how we adjust this, when we fit a new helmet to a pilot. In the beginning, we were not as efficient and had to learn the techniques. Now the process is much easier. For a human to adapt to wearing the helmet is intuitive, and simple to use; Pilots adapt to it right away.

Could you please comment on the photos we have posted of the F-35s without radar reflectors doing patrols over Poland near Ukraine? Is this giving away the signatures to the potential adversary?

I’m not going to comment on that. What I will say though is that having the F-35 on the eastern flank of NATO, where they are deployed now, is a significant deterrent to Russia continuing their ambitions to push further eastward. Because the F-35 represent an extraordinary lethal threat. The F-35 was designed precisely for an environment that we are seeing in Ukraine now and its capacity to neutralize the enemy cannot be matched by any other airplane that flies in anybody else’s air force. So just the fact that the F-35s are there, scares everybody on the other side.

<img data-attachment-id="78346" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/03/02/f-35-without-reflectors-over-poland/usaf-fueling-natos-collective-defense/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/F-35-no-radar-reflectors.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,572" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"22","credit":"86th Airlift Wing\/Public Affairs","camera":"NIKON Z 6","caption":"The 388th Fighter Wing\u2019s F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter cruises in Eastern European airspace, Feb. 28, 2022, in support of NATO\u2019s collective defense. U.S. Air Forces in Europe \u2013 Air Forces Africa\u2019s ability to support and integrate with NATO\u2019s air policing missions continually hardens the alliance\u2019s solidarity, collective resolve, and ability to adapt to a dynamic warfighting environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Edgar Grimaldo)","created_timestamp":"1646024400","copyright":"Public Domain","focal_length":"74","iso":"500","shutter_speed":"0.002","title":"USAF: Fueling NATO\u2019s collective defense","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="USAF: Fueling NATO’s collective defense" data-image-description data-image-caption="

U.S. F-35A during refueling. The aircraft does not carry any radar reflectors (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Edgar Grimaldo)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-48.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-11.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-78346″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-11.jpg” alt=”F-35 radar reflectors” width=”706″ height=”394″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-11.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-48.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-49.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-50.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/F-35-no-radar-reflectors.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

U.S. F-35A during refueling. The aircraft does not carry any radar reflectors (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Edgar Grimaldo)

The Ukrainian air war seems to be an old-styled conflict, with many reported aerial engagements and aircraft flying mainly low level. How would the F-35 perform in such a scenario?

First of all, as we all watch what happens in Ukraine, we are witnessing the incredible courage and bravery of the men and women who are defending their homeland, against the Putin’s war of choice. It is miraculous how they have performed thus far, in really deterring the Russian army and doing damage to the significant force that has invaded. I think this has surprised everybody around the world. They are true warriors and heroes. We have seen that the Russian style of warfare is so different from what we have imagined in the West. We saw glimpses of their complete, indiscriminate bombing, old-school tactics in Syria. This style of warfare is certainly not how we in the West have evolved in our very sophisticated way to use our very potent assets. NATO does not want to be dragged into this war, because bringing us in escalates this beyond the conflict in Ukraine and makes it, essentially on its way to WW3. It’s an escalation we collectively know we could not control. If we consider what a fifth gen capability contribute to a theater, like in the Ukraine, recall that the F-35 was designed precisely to fight this high-end fight.

F-35 with a stealth platform that cannot be seen and excels at the Wild Weasel mission flown for years by the F-16. The F-35 is exceptionally capable at executing the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses mission set. It would go in and kill every surface-to-air missile threat that was out there, and neutralize all the threats on the ground, and achieve air dominance because it would kill all the air-to-air assets also. Remember: we see them, they don’t see us. It’s like playing football, when one team’s invisible, and the other team is not with a gross advantage on behalf of the F-35. F-35 would see all the enemy air-to-air threats and kill them all, plus completely neutralizing the surface-to-air missile threat to achieve air dominance. From that point, the forces can conduct their air-to-ground war. That’s what the F-35 was meant to do. So, in a parallel world, because we do not want to be dragged into the Ukraine, the F-35 would completely destroy the Russian forces.

<img data-attachment-id="79263" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/04/07/f-35-interview-with-billie-flynn/1-34/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/1.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,576" 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="1" data-image-description data-image-caption="

F-35 demo team, during RIAT 2018. (Image Credit – Author).

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-51.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-12.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79263″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-12.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”397″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-12.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-51.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-52.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-53.jpg 768w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-54.jpg 678w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/1.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

F-35 demo team, during RIAT 2018. (Image Credit – Author).

Could you comment on EW/ESM capabilities the F-35 has, compared to 4th gen platforms? Many air forces are going to replace their SEAD aircraft with the F-35. Along with the EW and ESM capabilities don’t you think the aircraft still miss a dedicated Anti-Radiation Missile – is AARGM-ER a valid option here?

As I said before. The F-35 was designed for the SEAD mission. It’s designed as an VLO platform that is capable of identifying targets on the ground and neutralizing them. That’s where the weapons capabilities that come already with the F-35, are perfectly suited for the SEAD mission. Does it have a very potent electronic warfare capability, electronic attack capability? We have talked about that in public briefings for a long time and I certainly briefed it in Poland when I came to discuss the F-35’s capabilities. That possesses a very lethal capability in terms of electronic attack – that’s jamming – and also in terms of self-protection. How you use that in combination with a stealth platform is part of the tactic of staying survivable with an F-35 in a highly contested environment. Managing our signature, how you could see us or not see us, is hugely important. It serves no purpose to be stealthy in the radar environment, but emitting electrons all over, and so everyone can see us because we’re emitting electromagnetic energy. How we manage our energy signature is secret to us staying unobserved.

Last question: could you please comment on partner nations using the F-35 just for QRA. Isn’t it overkill? Isn’t it a waste of resources?

No. F-35 is a jet that’s meant to sit on QRA as it does right now in Norway, and by the way when F-35s are deployed to Iceland. I expect the F-35 to be able to be flashed up and sent airborne as quickly as possible. F-35s will sit on QRA in Canada and the United States for NORAD missions. F-35, once it gets airborne its sensors can see further than any other legacy platform and is perfectly suited for that intercept mission.

<img data-attachment-id="79098" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/03/24/swiss-f35s-produced-in-italy/f-35-for-swiss-air-force-2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/F-35-for-Swiss-Air-Force-2.jpg" data-orig-size="1024,572" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1570718163","copyright":"","focal_length":"28","iso":"100","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="F-35 for Swiss Air Force 2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

An Italian Air Force F-35A at Keflavik, in Iceland. (Image credit: David Cenciotti)

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-55.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-13.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79098″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-13.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”394″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-13.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-55.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-56.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/f-35-capabilities-missions-kinematics-role-in-ukrainian-crisis-and-beyond-interview-with-billie-flynn-57.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/F-35-for-Swiss-Air-Force-2.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

An Italian Air Force F-35A at Keflavik, in Iceland. (Image credit: David Cenciotti)

What should I have asked you that I did not?

We talked about a lot of questions that people have about the F-35. And it’s important that we answer those questions because the doubts remain until those nations start to use the F-35. Once the national pilots come home speak about F-35’s capabilities, the doubts fade. We saw this in the Netherlands, when the Dutch pilots were able to speak about flying the F-35 and how they really believed in the aircraft. They talked about how it really is more effective, more survivable, more lethal, than they ever imagined, and this changed people’s views on the jet and the program. We see that confidence from Italian, Norwegian and certainly from the United States Marine Corps pilots, as the leading F-35 service in the United States. If you went to Israel, you’d find the same answer. So, I think it’s important that we ask all these questions now – to help build the confidence until the aircraft shows up. Because then you are going to find out from the Polish pilots that they think the jet is astonishing. It’s not marketing. It truly is as effective, survivable, and lethal, as we all imagine.

Let me finish by saying: for so many of us warfare was going to be relegated to an asymmetric warfare style for now, and for decades to come. It was the Balkan conflicts in the early 1990s, Kosovo in 1999, Iraq, and Afghanistan, it was. There were never going to be large scale conflicts again. Peace had broken out, post-Cold War, and we were never going to have the world’s largest most powerful forces fight each other again. The world has had a real awakening in the last 35, 36 days showing that this is not true anymore. we see that WW3 is a real possibility. And we are not going to get over the threat of Putin and Russia for decades to come. We in the free world have been threatened. We are collectively stronger, as NATO, than anyone ever imagined. As American, if you want to bring us together, then show us a single enemy, and we really know how to focus our energies. And that’s what Putin has done. He has resurrected and re-energized the unification of NATO. We will together train to the high threat environment, and we will no longer believe that the threat in front of us is just another Balkans conflict, with old surface-to-air missiles. We get it.

The new threat involves highly sophisticated surface-to-air missiles, highly contested airspace. We understand that we have to acquire and possess the most lethal and survivable capabilities now and will maintain the readiness needed to fight a Russian-type threat for decades to come. That’s where the F-35 conversation comes in. Had Ukraine not happened, it would have been hard in many countries to justify the F-35 moving forward. So many people would have believed that buying the F-35 was overkill, hat it was an American strike weapon as it was thought of in Canada. That is not the conversation anymore. The announcement in Canada, on March 28, 2022, validates what we all know, that the world has woken up, and we’ve realized that we are threatened in the western world now. We take that threat this seriously with platforms like the F-35.

Germany even more, right?

Absolutely. Did anyone possibly predict Germany to reverse course on Growler and Super Hornet, to defy what their previous defense minister had said when she vetoed F-35 from even the conversation to immediately commit to 35 F-35s. Germany’s posture reflects what we are all feeling in NATO now. We’re threatened, and we’re going to feel that way for the next decades to come and the F-35 fits perfectly in this construct moving forward.

That sums it up, thank you very much for your time and for the fascinating conversation!

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.