Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 23 - 29 April 2016

Following the last situation update, many airstrikes were performed last week by the two Libyan Air Forces. Indeed, the week was characterized by greater communication from the LDAF (Libya Dawn Air Force) about its air strikes and one of its two Mirage F1EDs returned to service. LNA AF (Libyan National Army Air Force) also published new photos of the wreckage of the Mi-14 crashed at Labraq airbase.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Libya Dawn Air Force Mirage F1 returned to service ?

End of afternoon, the noise of an aircraft breaking the sound barrier was heard in the sky of Misrata. According to Misrata Air Academy, this fighter jet was one of the two Mirage F1EDs of Libya Dawn Air Force which has returned to service after having passed the test flight successfully. It is unclear when this Mirage really returned to service. On 17th April, local sources claimed that the two Mirage F1EDs have carried out airstrikes against IS positions in Sirte, but according to other sources close to LDAF, only one aircraft was operational.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Libyan Air Wars Part.2 : 1985-1986

Africa@War 21: Libyan Air Wars Part 2: 1985-1986

While the first volume in this mini-series spanned the first decade of confrontations between Libya, several of its neighbours but foremost the USA and France, between 1973 and 1985, the second is to cover the period of less than a year – between mid-1985 and March 1986, when this confrontation reached its first climax.

Friday, April 22, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 16 - 22 April 2016

This week began by the large communication (video and photos) made by the LNA AF about the refurbishing of the two MiG-23BNs (serial number "4136" and "8985") and ended with the lost of one Mi-14 helicopter.

New Aero Vodochody L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft for Iraqi Air Force

Yesterday took place the ceremony of the 85th anniversary of the foundation of Iraqi Air Force. Most of the types of aircraft in service participated to the air show organized on this occasion including the Aero Vodochody L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircrafts. Two of them overflew the runway after three F-16IQs, followed by three Cessna-208 Caravans. But one L-159 was seen in static position (see photo below). This single-seater aircraft carries serial number "5905" (previous serials were "5903" and "5904"). According to AeroHisto blog sources, this delivery was not officially reported (included within IqAF pilots). On 26th March, Iraqi Air Force Commander, Gen Amin announced that second batch of L-159s would arrive in April and the third batch, three months later or less.

Last November, the first two L-159s arrived at Balad airbase. In 2014, Iraqi government signed a new agreement with Aero Vodochody for the supply of twelve L-159 light fighters.

Special thanks to Ra'is Urafa Fayli

Monday, April 18, 2016

Iraqi Air Force finally received four Su-25s from Russia

Contrary to what spokesman of the Ministry of defence (Dr. Naseer Nouri Mohamed Al Tamimi) in a press release said yesterday, Iraqi Air Force did not received three, but four new Su-25s "Frogfoot" (three single-seaters and one two seaters) from Russia as the photos below show.

Update 21st April 2016 : The dual-seater serial "2501" is not a former Iranian aircraft. He was already spotted last October and was not part of the last delivery. The former user is not known ...

Video of Libyan MiG-23BN serial "8985" being refurbished

One weeks ago, the first photo of a former Libyan Air Force MiG-23BN being refurbished was published by this blog. Two of these "Flogger" equipped with refueling probe were stored since Libyan uprising in 2011 : serial numbers "4136" and "8985". "4136" was already seen with FLAF roundels and stored in a hangar contrary to "8985" which was stored outside. So, we could imagine that this MiG-23BN being renoved was "4136". Finally the video below show us this is serial "8985".

MiG-23BNs serial "4136" stored in a hangar with FLAF roundels and serial "8985" stored outside with green roundels of former LARAF

Iraq received three new Su-25s from Russia

Spokesman of the Ministry of defence (Dr. Naseer Nouri Mohamed Al Tamimi) in a press release of the Ministry's information centre announced the arrival of three new Sukhoi jets (Su-25), under contract with the Federal Republic of Russia, and tons of materiel (light, medium and heavy) from various global sources.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 9 - 15 April 2016

During the past seven days, air operations have intensified compared to previous week. In the early morning hours of 9th April, Libyan National Army Air Force fighter jets carried out sorties with high accuracy on terrorist groups holed up inside the University of Benghazi and Nowruz resort. They also performed airstrikes in the vicinity of the cement plant and Souk El Hout.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Iraqi Air Power Reborn: The Iraqi Air Arms Since 2004

After nearly a year of work with Harpia Publishing, my new book, "Iraqi Air Power Reborn" went to the printing house. In 2003, the Iraqi Air Force has been almost entirely decimated by coalition air strikes and during the insurgency that followed. Baghdad had to rebuild its air power from scratch. This book summarizes the history of the Iraqi Air Force and Iraqi Army Aviation until 2003 before detailing the acquiring of new training, reconnaissance, attack and fighter aircrafts and helicopters squadrons. The last part details the combats of the new Iraqi Air Force and Iraqi Army Aviation against local and foreign insurgents, including the so-called Islamic State. A map of all current Iraqi air bases complements the comprehensive photographic coverage and a detailed order of battle is included, together with squadron patches and artworks (drawn by Tom Cooper). A full list is provided of aircraft serial numbers and attrition to all causes since 2004.

Eight pages of the book are now available in preview on Harpia Publishing website. It should be available starting April 22nd and can be ordered in the following store :
- In Belgium, at the Librairie de l'Escadron
- In France, in Avions Bateaux and La Maison du Livre Aviation
- In the UK, at The Aviation Bookshop
- In the Netherlands, at Aviation Megastore
- In the US, at Casemate
(not before late May/early June)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

One MiG-23BN will soon enter in service with Libyan National Army Air Force

According to "Aérohisto blog" sources, one MiG-23BN will soon enter in service in Libyan National Army Air Force after being refurbished by technicians and engineers. This aircraft would be equipped with night vision system, missiles, guided bombs and refueling system ...

The new MiG-23BN refurbished by technicians and engineers during engine tests

Saturday, April 9, 2016

"Libyan airstrikes" situation update 2 - 8 April 2016

This week saw a significant events in Libya : the non-recognized (internationally) Tripoli government decided to step down. The following weeks will be interesting : Are there still going to be a separate LNA AF and LDAF ?


Otherwise, air operations continued. On 1st April, Mi-35P serial number "193" made an emergency landing due to technical problem. The crew was safe and rescue by a Mi-8 from Labraq AB. The "Hind" was in good condition and guarded by local militias pending the arrival of maintenance technicians who made the repairs on site. The helicopter took off again two days after.

The two crew members of Mi-35P serial number "193" (Credit : LNA AF)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Iraqi Mi-35M crashed near al-Kut airbase

An Iraqi Army Aviation Mi-35M crashed near al-Kut airbase this morning. The two crew members (injured in the accident) have reported a technical problem. This is the fourth "Hind" helicopter lost by Iraqi forces since June 2014 and the third helicopters (of all types) since the begining of the year. On mid-2013, a contract was signed for an order of 28 Mi-35M and fifteen Mi-28NE helicopters. Twenty units have been already delivered into five batches of four : first in November 2013, the last on 26th August 2015. The sixteen remaining helicopters are in service with 35th Attack Squadron.

Photo of the wreckage of the Mi-35 crashed near al-Kut airbase (via Ra'is Urafa Fayli)

Friday, April 1, 2016