Sunday, February 28, 2016

Libyan National Army Air Force MiG-23ML serial #26453 entered in service

As already written on this blog, mechanicians began engine tests on the new MiG-23ML serial #26453 mid-February. Yesterday, this new "Flogger" entered in service in the LNA AF fleet. According to some Libyan militaries, this aircraft made its first flight at Tobruk air base, but no photo or video can prove such information at that time.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Video of the first sortie of the two Iraqi Air Force L-159s led by Iraqi pilots

This morning took place the first sortie of the two Iraqi Air Force L-159s led by Iraqi pilots who have completed their training in Czech Republic. This first test flight was performed under the supervision of General Anouar Hamad Amin. These two aircrafts of Squadron 115 will be involved in combat operations in the near future. The two first L-159As arrived at Balad AB in November 2015.

One of the two L-159s on the runway at Balad AB on 27th February 2016 (IqAF pilots)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Libyan National Army Air Force MiG-23ML soon operational

During the Libyan uprising in 2011, most of the Libyan Air Force aircrafts were destroyed by NATO airstrikes. After the first civil war, the Free Libyan Air Force was reduced to a few former G-2 Galebs, J-21 Jastrebs, L-39s, Mig-21bis, Mig-21UMs, Mig-23MLs and 23UBs, with the adding of the two Mirage F1EDs that defected to Malta and some transport aircrafts like An-32 and C-130H in poor flying conditions. The Libyan Army Aviation consisted in Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters.

On May 16th 2014, General Haftar forces launched “Operation Dignity” against Benghazi Islamist militia groups’ bases using helicopters, fighter jets and ground forces in the assault. On July 13th, “Operation Libya Dawn” was launched by Misrata militias and Islamists on Tripoli International Airport. On October 15th, airstrikes were performed against “Ansar al-Sharia” and “February 17 Martyrs Brigade”. Haftar’s forces claimed these attacks, but conflicting reports might involve Egyptian in this operation. However, in October, Libyan Air Force received three Mig-21MFs and three Mi-8s that can be armed with UB-16 rocket pods.

Ex-Egyptian MiG-21MF

Sunday, February 21, 2016

LNA Air Force launched intense airstrikes against Ansar al-Sharia bases on the outskirts of Benghazi yesterday

At eight o'clock in the morning on February 20th, 2016, LNA (Libyan National Army) Air Force launched an operation dubbed "blood of the martyr". MiG-21s fighter jets carrying S-24 rockets (diameter 24 cm or 9.4 inches) and Mi-35s carried out successive air strikes in support of the LNA forces against Ansar al-Sharia group in Benghazi (allied with IS) destroying eight targets in Abu A'atni, Sidi Faraj and al-Hawari district. Intense fighting were also reported on Garyunes, al-Laithi & al-Sabri fronts. Since the losses of its three MiG-23s in the last two months over Abu Hadi, Derna and Garyunes, LNA AF can now rely on seventeen "Fishbed" and the only Su-22 in service, together with cinq Mi-35 gunship and fifteen Mi-8T helicopters.

S-24 rocket carried by MiG-21 from LNA AF on February 20th, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New helicopter lost for Iraqi Army Aviation

After the crash of a Mi-17 of 85th Training Squadron yesterday, Iraqi Army Aviation lost another hélicopter today. One Bell IA-407 from 21st Armed Reconnaissance Squadron has been shot down near Amiriyat Al-Fallujah. The two crew members, Major Ahmed Nehru and 1st Lieutenant Oumid, were killed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Iraqi Army Aviation Mi-17 crashed in al-Kut city

On February 16th, Iraqi Army Aviation lost one of its Mi-17 in eastern area of al-Kut city. The helicopter was on the way from Shuaiba AB to al-Taji AB when he suffered technical problem killing nine militaries including the two pilots Captain Mohammed Qasim and Captain Mohammed Ghaeb. This Mi-17 belonged to the 85th Training Squadron which is used for advanced training flight before pilots moving to operational squadron.The 85th Squadron is equipped with Mi-17-V5 and Mi-17CT.

Monday, February 15, 2016

My publications in February

In February, I publish two articles in AIR FAN and DSI Magazines, The first celebrates the 30th anniversary of the raid on the Libyan air base of Wadi Doum in Chad by Jaguars of the 11th Escadre de Chasse. The second is devoted to the Kargil war in 1999 during which the Indian Air Force had some difficulties because of the high altitude of the targets and had to adapt to new rules of engagement.

En févier, je publie deux articles dans les magazines AIR FAN et DSI. Le premier célèbre les 30 ans du raid sur la base aérienne libyenne de Ouadi-Doum au Tchad par les Jaguar de la 11ème Escadre de Chasse. Le second est consacré à la guerre du Kargil de 1999 au cours de laquelle la force aérienne indienne eurent quelques difficultés en raison de la haute altitude des cibles et dû s'adapter à ces nouvelles règles d'engagement.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Libyan Air Force lost its last MiG-23

Following the loss of its two MiG-23MLs serial "6132" three days ago and serial "6472" on January 4th, Libyan Air Force lost its last "Flogger" in service today, MiG-23UB serial "7834" shot down over Garyunes, leaving only 17 MiG-21s and one Su-22 in its fleet, one Mirage F1AD is still in engine tests. The two crew members ejected safely in the sea. A CSAR mission with two Mi-8Ts was launched quickly, but pilots are still not recovered by LNA. Yesterday, Libyan Air Force started to launch several airstrikes on Garyunes, Sidi Fredj (Benghazi) and in the neighborhood of 400 in Derna.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Libyan Air Force Su-22UM-3K made its first flight

In December 1st, 2015, Libyan Air Force added one Su-22UM-3K to its fleet (see New Mirage F1 and Su-22 in Libyan Air Force's fleet ). This aircraft started to be refurbished one year ago by cannibalizing other aircrafts stored in shelters. On February 9th, this two-seater Su-22, made its first flight at al-Watiya AB. After the loss of the last MiG-23ML in service the day before, this new fighter jet is welcome ! The video below show the take-off, the embedded flight and the landing.

Monday, February 8, 2016

MiG-23ML from Libyan Air Force shot down over Derna ?

On Sunday morning February 7th, 2016, unidentified aircrafts striked the city of Derna. Bab Tobruk District and an area controlled by Shura Council were targeted killing four civilian and two fighters. According to some sources, the airstrikes have hit ammunition and weapons stored in residential area by DMSC (Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council) resulting in huge explosions. Colonel Muftah Hamza from LNA (Libya National Army) denied all the rumors that say that the Libyan Air Force was behind these attacks. Egypt or Emirates Air Force were suspected for the bombings. Today, MiG-23ML serial "6132" from Tobruk carrying out strikes on Derna was hit by DMSC and the pilot, colonel Younes Al-Dinali ejected safety. Later, this pilot claimed that its aircrafts suffered technical malfunction led to a fire in the engine. This events confirmed that the unknown jets were finally aircrafts from Libyan Air Force contrary to what was told by LNA. On January 4th, another MiG-23ML (serial "6472") crashed due to technical problemes and the pilot was safe.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Iraqi Air Force received a batch of two F-16IQs

Two new F-16IQs arrived today to Balad AB, this brings to six the number of aircraft in service in the 9th Fighter Squadron. The two aircrafts were previously affected to 152nd Fighter Squadron part of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing which operates the Air Force's international F-16 training academy. The two aircrafts, serial "1614" (RA-08) and serial "1612" (RA-06) previously seen at NAS Fort Worth on 16th and 20th September 2015, were spotted at Lajes/Azores on January 27th.

Copyright Tiago Silva (Source :