Wednesday, December 7, 2016

No new 'Hind' helicopter for Libyan National Army

On 29 November, photos of supposed new overhauled Mi-35 gunship helicopters located at al-Marj airbase and grounded since 1994, were shared on Libyan social media. It appeared that this information is completely wrong.

One of the supposed three new Mi-35s overhauled at al-Marj airbase (via Oded Berkowitz)

New photos acquired by Aero Histo blog confirmed that this chopper was already in service in Libyan National Army Aviation. Serial number '619' seen below was acquired in April 2015 together with two other units. Indeed, United Arab Emirates purchased three Mil Mi-35Ps (serial numbers '301', '353' and '619') from Belarus, and then delivered them to the LNA/AF on 26th in Marj airbase. On 11 August 2015, serial '301' and '353' were seen in flight in GANAB near Tobruk.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Libyan An-32P Firekiller returned to service

Photos appeared on Libyan social media confirmed that a new Antonov An-32P was overhauled by technician and engineer at Misrata airbase. This "Cline" (serial '3507', code '5A-DRE') was built in 2005 and delivered to the Libyan Air Force on 1st September of the same year. it was previously used as firekiller and was seen during LAVEX airshow in october 2007. Since this period, it was stored at Mitiga airbase near Tripoli. This aircraft is the second An-32P in service with the ex-LDAF (Libya Dawn Air Force). The first one was seen operated on 28th August 2016 during the evacuation of wounded fighters in the battle of Sirte.

Monday, December 5, 2016

UAE warplanes are killing civilians in Benghazi

Twice in November 2016, the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, or BRSC — a group with ties to Al Qaeda — published photos of United Arab Emirates Air Force AT-802 and Reaper-style drones in the sky over the Ganfouda area of Benghazi in eastern Libya. On Nov. 2, 2016, an S-100 Camcopter drone performed a reconnaissance mission over this district two hours before a Reaper or similar unmanned aerial vehicle carried out an air strike on a residential area. Ten days later, an Air Tractor belonging to the UAEAF struck the same area, killing at least four civilians including two children — and injuring another child. Drones launched four others air strikes in Ganfouda later the same day. Evidence is mounting that the UAE is indiscriminately bombing militant strongholds in Libya. And civilians are caught in the crossfire.

Guess Who’s Bombing the Crap Out of Libya - UAE warplanes are killing civilians in Benghazi

Saturday, December 3, 2016

My publication in December

In December, I publish, in collaboration with Tom Cooper, an article in DSI special issue No. 51 about the "Aerial military transport in the Syrian and Libyan civil wars" with a focus on Iranian and Russian air-bridge.

En décembre, je publie, en collaboration avec Tom Cooper, un article dans le HS N°51 de DSI Magazine à propos du "Transport aérien militaire dans les guerres civiles syrienne et libyenne" avec un focus sur le pont aérien iranien et russe.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Libyan airstrikes Situation Report : 7 - 30 November 2016

On 26 November, an airstrike was performed on Kilinja checkpoint some 350 kilometres south west of the Tebu village of Rebyana, itself 150 kilometres from the desert oasis town of Kufra. Some sources claimed this bombing mission was carried out by an Emirates AT-802 aircraft but the location of the attack is too far from al-Khadim where are based the "Air Tractors". But, this strike could have been realized by one of the three Wing Loong UAV which seem to have left al-Kadhim in October for an unidentified airbase.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fighting are tough for Iraqi helicopter pilots

Iraq’s war on Islamic State has taken a heavy toll on the Iraqi army’s helicopter crews. And the battle of Mosul that began in October 2016 has only increased the pressure on the young aviation force, which formed with American assistance in 2007.

Many of the Iraqi army’s chopper crews fly from Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan and Qayyarah airfield south of Mosul. The force suffered its latest loss on Oct. 29, 2016, when a Bell IA-407 belonging to the army’s 21 Squadron crashed in the Mukeshefah area north of Samarra.

We spoke to two pilots who’ve been fighting ISIS for more than two years.

Iraqi Army Chopper Pilot — ‘The Fighting Must Continue!’

Monday, November 28, 2016

Libyan National Army Air Force added a second 'Fitter' in its fleet

Following the seize of al-Watiya airbase in summer 2014 by the Libyan National Army (or LNA), LNA Air Force technicians and engineers started working on the refurbishing of former former Su-22s. Ten to twelve of these Su-22Ms were stored in shelters before the uprising and escaped the destruction by NATO because they were decommissioned.

LNA AF Su-22UM-3K in flight over al-Watiya AB

Friday, November 25, 2016

Les Emirats Arabes Unis en guerre en Libye

Au cours du mois de novembre, le Conseil des Révolutionnaires de la Shura de Benghazi, ou BRSC - un groupe ayant des liens avec Al-Qaïda - a publié des photos d’avions AT-802 "Air Tractor" et de drone de type MQ-9 Reaper de la force aérienne des Emirats Arabes Unis (UAEAF) en vol au-dessus de Ganfouda, un district de la ville de Benghazi dans l'est de la Libye.

IOMAX AT-802U "Air Tractor"de la force aérienne émirati envol au-dessus de Ganfouda le 12 novembre quelques minutes avant qu’il ne frappe

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Enquêtes Exclusives - La poudrière libyenne : menace aux portes de l'Europe

Dimanche 20 novembre, M6 diffusait l'émission Enquêtes Exclusives : La poudrière libyenne : menace aux portes de l'Europe.  Se déplacer dans un pays comme la Libye n'est pas aisé et comporte beaucoup de risques. Aussi, pour réaliser leur reportage les journalistes de la chaîne n'ont pas eu le choix que de s’assurer de la protection de l’Armée Nationale Libyenne fidèle au Général Khalifa Haftar.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Libya’s Chinook Helicopters Are Old as Hell

The Libya Dawn Air Force, one of two competing air arms in Libya, is overhauling two former Libyan air force CH-47C Chinook heavylift transport helicopters at Mitiga air base in Tripoli, with the goal of returning the twin-rotor copters — serial numbers LC-017 and, probably, LC-010 — to service in Libya’s grinding civil war.

The CH-47Cs are old … with an incredibly rich history.

Libya’s Chinook Helicopters Are Old as Hell - But they’re about to take flight again

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Iraqi Army Aviation Bell IA-407 crashed North of Samarra

An Iraqi Army Aviation Bell IA-407 belonging to 21st Armed Reconnaissance Squadron crashed in Mukeshefah area North of Samarra at 140 km north of Baghdad on Saturday 29 October. The two crew members, pilot Hussein Ali Kadhim and First Lieutenant Ali Hafez were killed. This is the fifth Bell IA-407 lost in more than two years. One was captured at al-Mosul when Islamic States militants have taken the base on 9 June 2014. On 8 October 2014,  Capt Haidar Hamad Jaber and Capt Yazan Mohammed Abdel-Rahman al-Lami were KIA when their helicopter was shot down by FN-6 MANPADS near Baiji during support mission for a Mi-17. On 28 September 2015, Bell IA-407 serial number 'YI-125' was hit by ground fire and crash-landed west of COB Speicher. The crew was rescued by an EC635. On 17 February 2016, Maj Ahmed Nehru and 1st Lt Oumid were KIA when their helicopter was shot down near Amiriyat Al-Fallujah.

Update 4 Nov. 2016 : according to my colleague Marco Dijkshoorn, this Bell IA-407 was serial number 'YI-137' and may have belonged to 22nd Armed Reconnaissance Squadron, not 21st.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Fierce Air War Over Libya’s Oil Fields Has Killed Innocent Civilians

While merciless - frequently intentional - bombardment by Assadist and Russian air forces in Syria, which is causing dozens of civilian casualties every day, is finally catching public attention in the West, there are now reports about similar attacks being flown in Libya too. Contrary to Syria, where it is crystal clear who is flying such air strikes, the situation in Libya is quite murky.

On 20 September 2016, unidentified aircraft struck a leisure park at Nina Agricultural Project in Sokna, in Al-Jufrah district, 200 kilometres (125 miles) south of Sirte, killing at least seven people and injuring up to twenty others. The two armed factions, the Libyan National Army (LNA) and militia forces affiliated to the Government of National Accord (GNA), denied involvement and accused each others of the strike.

A Fierce Air War Over Libya’s Oil Fields Has Killed Innocent Civilians