Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

An answer to Offiziere.ch and Mr Chris Biggers ad hominem attacks

On 20 September 2016, Offiziere.ch published on his website an update of Mr Chris Biggers article following a piece that was published on War Is Boring in August in which I made a criticism of his analyse. Offiziere presented me as "a military aviation enthusiast for over 25 years", that's true as readers of my blog can see here, but it is a little reductor seeing Offiziere presented Mr Biggers as a "10 years of experience in analyzing satellite imagery for government and clients". I also published around thirty articles in English and French specialized magazines (samples here), I am author/co-author of four books included three with Tom Cooper with whom I worked since at least five years. My latest book is Iraqi Air Power Reborn edited by Harpia Publishing.

In his update, Offiziere has used ad hominem attacks, while I only made a review of a content.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Which side will join the Libyan cadets who train in foreign Air Force Academies ?

In the last three years, perhaps more than 100 Libyan air force cadets have trained at foreign air force academies. Most of them began their training in 2012 and 2013 before the Libyan government split into two — and the two factions divided up Libya’s air force between them. So now here’s the problem. You’re a Libyan military pilot and you’ve just graduated from training abroad. Which air force do you join? The Government of National Accord’s Libya Dawn Air Force in Tripoli, or the Libyan National Army Air Force, which answers to Gen. Khalifa Haftar in Tobruk?

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 1 - 18 September 2016

The first two weeks of September saw an increassing use of cluster bombs by Libyan National Army Air Force in Benghazi and the Oil Crescent which was captured between 11 and 13. No airstrikes were reported by Misrata Operation Room which is still supported by US bombings since 1st August. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

My publication in September

This month, I published in collaboration with Tom Cooper a big article (14 pages) in September issue of the new French military aviation magazine Airpower. We make a state of the situation in Libya, including the hypothetical engagement of French fighter-bombers in the air strikes, but also on the air forces of each side and the US strikes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Libyan MiG-23ML has dropped two RBK-250s cluster bombs in Oil Crescend area today

Since the seize of oil terminal headquarters of the Oil Crescent between Saturday and Monday and Sidra and Ras Lanuf oil terminal towns from the central region’s Petroleum Facilities Guards (PFG), the Libyan National Army Air Force (LNA/AF) engaged its fighter jets for armed reconnaissance sortie in support of the ground forces to secure the oil area. This morning, the MiG-23ML serial '26453' was engaged in such missions in Brega, Ras Lanuf, Sidra and south of the ground forces after the port of Sidra. The aircraft was loaded with two SAMP French made bombs and two RBK-250s cluster bombs. Such munition were already used on Mi-8Ts the last weekend and on MiG-21s in Mid-August.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Libyan National Army still loads its Mi-8s with cluster bombs

New photos published last weekend confirmed that the Libyan National Army  Air Force (LNA/AF) still uses cluster bombs. The photos below show one Mi-8T helicopter loaded with a RBK-250 under the right stub wing on Saturday, September 10, evening. The same night, LNA/AF media confirmed that one of its Mi-8s carried out air strike near the Acyl resort targeting supposed concentrations of IS and armed allied militias. This is the seventh time that the use of cluster munitions is reported in Libya.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Who plagiarize who Mr Taghvaee ?

Following the publication of my article about Iraqi Su-25s on War Is Boring, Mr Babak Taghvaee accused me to have used his work without his permission and not have given the sources. I know Mr Taghvaee since at least two years. He is an Iranian author and journalist specialized in military aviation. We have always exchanged about Middle East Air Forces and Conflicts, especially Iraq and Syria, and more recently Libya. We have often exchanged on ACIG forum and by mail. In April 2015 issue of Combat Aircraft Monthly Magazine, I published an "Air Power Review" article about the new Iraqi Air Force using Mr Taghvaee's information about the ex-Iranian Frogfoot with his permission. At the end of the article I have of course thanked him for his help.

Monday, September 5, 2016

How many Su-25s operational in Iraqi AIr Force ?

A Sept. 2, 2016 analysis of satellite imagery from July seems to confirm that the Iraqi air force — the IqAF — maintains 21 Su-25 Frogfoot attack jets at Al Rashid air base.

According to the website Offiziere, the space-based photo suggests that two shipments of the rugged, twin-engine Su-25s — Russia’s answer to America’s A-10 Warthog — have occurred since the beginning of 2016.

Offiziere is wrong. But here’s how the website understandably arrived at that incorrect conclusion.

Let’s Account for All of Iraq’s Tank-Busting Jets - Counting Baghdad’s Su-25s is tricky business

Thursday, September 1, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 10 - 31 August 2016

Following the death of commander of Misrata Air Force, Brigadier General Mukhtar Fakroun and Colonel Omar Dogha, in the crash of their L-39 near university of Sirte on 10th August, Air Force emergency operations room has commissioned pilot Mohammed Umesh as spokesman on 15th. Very few activities were reported by aircraft affiliated to GNA (Government of National Accord).

Saturday, August 27, 2016

New evidence of the using of cluster bombs in Libya

Official photos from the Libyan National Army, published on Aug. 15, 2016, indicate that the LNA is using cluster munitions in Libya.

The LNA, headed by Gen. Khalifa Haftar — a former officer in the regime of Muammar Gaddafi — has pledged allegiance to the House of Representatives faction in Tobruk, one of many competing political entities in Libya.

In May 2014, the LNA launched Operation Dignity, its ongoing campaign against Islamist armed groups in Benghazi and Derna. Now we can reasonably assert that this campaign involves cluster munitions, which spread small explosives over a wide area and risk disproportionately endangering civilians.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

SIGINT and reco missions over Iraq - warning Mig-25

53-BZ  with UN markings inflight during operation TARPAN in 2003
(Credit photo Adj Trestard, ERS 1/91)

In April 1992, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 688, calling on Baghdad to cease its crackdown on Iraq’s rebellious Shia majority and “ensure that the human and political rights of all Iraqi citizens are respected.”

Operation Southern Watch, the U.S.-led coalition effort to patrol the air space over southern Iraq, began that August. Its goal — to protect the Shia in line with Resolution 688.

But as French pilots soon discovered, the Iraqi air force didn’t just roll over and let coalition planes operate unopposed over Iraqi territory.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 21 July - 10 August 2016

This period was caracterized by the 'official' engagement of US aircrafts in the battle of Sirte on 1st August and the death of commander of Misrata Air Force, Brigadier General Mukhtar Fakroun and Colonel Omar Dogha, in the crash of their L-39 near university of Sirte and claimed shot down by IS on 10 August.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

"The two Libyan Air Forces" Who’s backing who ?

On May 16, 2016, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council expressed their readiness to lift the world body’s arms embargo on Libya in favor of the new Government of National Accord. For one reason. The GNA’s deputy prime minister Musa Al Kony had requested planes and helicopters to equip his forces fighting the Islamic State. The GNA relies on the Libyan Dawn Air Force, or LDAF, for its air power. But the LDAF is really suffering. The request highlighted Libya’s confusing politics. The GNA, based in Tripoli in western Libya, has many rivals. And arguably the strongest of these rivals is the House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Iraqi Air Force uses transports as auxiliary bombers

On July 17, 2016, the first photo appeared on social media depicting an Iraqi air force An-32B Cline transport aircraft carrying a bomb on an external pylon. It’s not the first time that transport aircraft have pulled double duty as bombers.