Friday, December 11, 2015

Iraqi MoD confirmed first CH-4B airstrike


Iraqi Defense Ministry published yesterday the official video already revealed on Tuesday, December, 8th, by AeroHisto blog : the exclusive video of the first airstrike by an Iraqi Army Aviation drone CH-4B, confirming first airstrikes performed by its chinese made attack drones.


 

The first part of the video is similar to AeroHisto footages. The second part show a strike aborted few seconds before the HJ-10 ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) hits the target due to the presence of children in the area.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

First airstrikes for Iraqi CH-4B UAV

Two months ago, first official flight of an Iraqi CH-4B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was performed during the visit of Defence Minister, Mr. Khaled al-Obeidi at al-Kut Air Base. On December 6th, a CH-4B from 84th Squadron was engaged for the first time in an airstrike in Ramadi destroying an artillery piece hidden in a factory. This gun was targeting Iraqi forces stationed at Palestine Bridge north of the city. On 25 November, with the support of the bombing of the international coalition led by the US, Iraqi security forces (ISF) and anti-terrorism forces regained Palestine Bridge, which crosses the Euphrates. The video below show the FLIR of one of these drones targeting a gathering of ISIS fighters, western of the city of Ramadi, destroying one vehicle with an HG-10 ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile). Iraq ordered CH-4B to China, probably after the visit of Chinese foreign minister in February 2014. First batch was received on January 23rd, 2015.



Thursday, December 3, 2015

New Mirage F1 and Su-22 in Libyan Air Force's fleet

By the end of 2014, in al-Watiya AB, Libyan Air Force (i.e. General Haftar's Air Force) started to work to make operational 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. In March,on the same air base, photos appeared of a Libyan Air Force Mirage F1AD started to be repaired by cannibalizing other aircrafts. Since December 1st, Libyan Air Force added two new aircrafts in its fleet, a Mirage F1AD (serial 402) and a Su-22(UM-3K) at al-Watiya.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Exclusive photos of Iraqi L-159s ready to be delivered in Iraq

In 2014, Iraqi government signed a new agreement with Aero Vodochody for the supply of twelve L-159 light fighters. A preliminary agreement for 28 two-seater Aero L-159T1 aircrafts was presented in 2012, included 24 newly built aircrafts and four used aircrafts from the Czech Air Force. But this agreement was abandoned in 2013 and new negotiations began. On August 2014 it was announced that Aero would buy back thirteen single-seater L-159As and a few two-seat L-159Ts aircraft from the Czech Ministry of Defense. These would include eleven phased L-159As and four active aircrafts (two L-159As and two A-159Ts). At that time it was planned to deliver only twelve operational aircrafts (ten L-159As and two L-159Ts), while the two aircrafts were to be used as spare parts. On July 30th, Czech Republic Defense Ministry announced that thirty one Iraqi helicopter pilots were being trained. In addition, training of the ground staff was also being prepared to take care of the combat planes in Iraq.

Video : First shot of Ingwe missile by Iraqi Eurocopter EC-635

In 2009, Iraqi Mod signed a contract with France for two dozen Eurocopter EC-635. In 2010, Eurocopter (become Airbus Helicopters) wanted to integrated Ingwe anti-tank missiles (from Denel Dynamics) to the type as part of the Stand Alone Weapon System (SAWS) weapons kit. First helicopter, serial “YI-293” was then sent to South Africa. From early August 2015, according to Defence Web, Iraqi EC-635 added Denel's Ingwe ATGM at their range of weapons. Begining November they carried out first attacks with this new missile. The SAWS features a Belgian FN Herstal HMP–400 12.7 mm machine gun, a French Nexter NC-621 20mm cannon, FZ-233 70 mm rockets and Denel’s Ingwe ATGM. The two pictures below show EC-635 serial "YI-276" carrying Ingwe launchers.


My publication in November

This month, I publish in November issue of DSI Magazine with an article about the intervention of the arab coalition in Yemen inventory of the fighting, losses.

Ce mois-ci, je publie dans le numéro de Novembre de DSI Magazine avec un article concernant l'intervention de la coalition arabe au Yémen : bilan des combats, des pertes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Reborn of the Yemeni Air Force began ?

Since the begining of Operation Decisive Storm on March 26th, 2015, most of the Yemeni Air Force has been destroyed on the ground by the Saudi led coalition airstrikes. Begining May, Al-Dalaimi air base was targeting and one Mig-29, two F-5s, one Mi-8, three Su-22s, two IL-76TDs were destroyed. Most of these aircrafts were probably not airworthy (except the Ilyushins). On August 4th, one Su-22 and one Mig-21 were lost on Al-Anab (close to Aden IAP) during the battle for the taking of the base by coalition airstrikes.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Exclusive footage of Iraqi Army Aviation engaged near Ramadi and Baiji

The first video below was taken by the FLIR of a Bell IA-407 engaged in combat operation in Ramadi area together with Mi-28NE. The action took place precisely in Albu Faraj area near Ramadi on October 17th. Many ISIS positions were destroyed using Ataka missiles and rockets.





Saturday, October 17, 2015

My publications in October




This month, I publish two articles in DSI Magazine. First one in October issue with a paper about Iraqi Air Force Order of Battle and its engagement against Islamic State. The second in the special issue of October-November dedicated to British forces with a paper on Royal Air Force engagements history since the 1980's after the Falkland war.





Ce mois-ci, je publie deux articles dans DSI Magazine. Le premier dans le numéro d'octobre avec un papier sur l'ordre de bataille de la force aérienne irakienne et son combat contre l'Etat Islamique. Le second dans le numéro hors-série consacré aux forces britanniques avec un papier sur l'histoire de la Royal Air Force et de ses engagements depuis les années 1980 après la guerre des Malouines.



Thursday, October 15, 2015

In a close cooperation, Iran and Russia double down on Syria

Last July, a meeting between the Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani, and the Russian President, Validimir Putin, in Moscow was leaked to the media by western intelligence. While the contents of the meeting still secret,  it's believed that the two men discussed the deteriorating situation in Syria where forces loyal to the current President, Bashar Al Assad, lost most of Idlib province, part of Daraa and Homs provinces. Shortly after the meeting, Iranian media reported about a greater military involvement of Russia in Syria alongside Iranian (affiliated) forces.  In September, two major developments occurred. First, independent sources confirmed the transfer of Russian military assets to Syria including modern ground-attack aircrafts, air superiority fighters, armored vehicles. Second, a great "anti-terror" alliance between Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria (or what remains of it) was announced.  When Russia launched its first "anti-IS" airstrikes against "non-IS" forces it was unclear how this new alliance with Iran would materialize on the ground. Many believed Iran was already all out and couldn't do more in Syria. Further evidences show Iran, alongside Russia, has stepped up support for Syria after the Soleimani-Putin meeting.

Monday, October 12, 2015

First footage of Iraqi Air Force T-50IQ

The photos below show the first Iraqi Air Force T-50IQ with serial number "5001" after leaving the factory and after its first test flight on July 13th, 2015. In December 12th, 2013, 24 T-50 training aircrafts were ordered to K.A.I. (Korea Aerospace Industries). The first aircraft should be delivered in April 2016. The others plane having to be transferred within a 12-month period. Beginning July 2015, reports announced finally the arrival of the first aircrafts before the end of the year. In September, as reported here, Iraqi pilots started to train in Pakistan Air Force Academy (PAFA) at Risalpur on K-8 Karokorum aircrafts before join Korea to train on T-50. (All photos credits K.A.I.)



Saturday, October 10, 2015

Video - First official footages of Iraqi CH-4B UAV

On Saturday morning of October 10th, 2015, Iraqi Defence Minister Mr. Khaled al-Obeidi visited al-Kut Air Base and oversaw the launch of the first official flight of Iraqi CH-4B drone that will be used against ISIS. Iraq ordered CH-4B UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to China, probably after the visit of Chinese foreign minister in February 2014. According to Aero Histo sources, the first batch was received on January 23rd, 2015. First pictures of three units were seen in March.



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Video : embedded onboard an Iraqi Su-25

On June 28th, 2014, Iraqi Air Force started to receive Su-25 Frogfoots from Russia and Iran. Five of them where Su-25SMs, seven were ex-IRGCASF Su-25KMs (four units) and Su-25UBKMs (three units). They were based at Al-Rashid AB in the new 109th Attack Squadron formed officially on April 2015. One of the aircraft was lost in summer 2014 when it crashed on taking off. On July 13th, one new Su-25 was delivered by Iran in replacement for the aircraft lost. In September, a new Su-25K, was seen with new color scheme and serial “2502”.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Iraqi pilots train in Belarus and Pakistan

On September 20th, video appeared on social media showing the training of Iraqi pilots on Belarus Su-25. Su-25 serial "82" was already seen at Minsk on May 16th, for the 35th anniversary of the 50th airbase airshow.

Right picture : © Alexandr Lazarev

Monday, September 7, 2015

Video - Iraqi F-16IQ entered in action

On September 6th, the commander of the Iraqi air force, Lieutenant General Anwar Hama Amin told that Iraqi F-16IQ (IQ is for Iraqi F-16) began combat operations on September 2nd. They carried out reconnaissance mission and fifteen air strikes on enemy positions in five days in Salaheddin and Kirkuk provinces, north of Baghdad. Two of the targets were a manufacturing explosive laboratory and a house where a meeting of ISIS leaders was taking place in Hawija, 40 km north-east of Baiji. Three aircrafts were engaged in this mission. They intervened 19 minutes after the receipt of the information from intelligence with "smart weapons".


Monday, August 24, 2015

Video of Iraqi Mi-28NE using 9M120 Ataka missile

Iraqi Army Aviation received its first batch of Mi-28NE on August 28th, 2014. They were engaged in combat quickly. On 1st February 2015, a new batch of two helicopters was delivered by Antonov An-124 transport aircraft. By April, the "Havocs" were deployed to Camp Taji, some of them were used for the training of new pilots on the type. The Iraqi Mi-28 were already seen carrying rockets launchers, but never with ATGM, so that we wondered if the Iraqis had received some. This recent video below shows the FLIR of an Iraqi Mi-28NE in combat. It uses its canon and for the fist time the launching of one 9M120 Ataka missile (AT-9 Spiral-2) can be seen.

Translation :

Pilot 1 :
- "Ataka"
- "Has the missile been dispatched ?"
Pilot 2 :
- "It has been fired and is on it's way !"
Pilot 1 :
- "Can you switch the target now ?"






Monday, August 17, 2015

Libyan Army Mi-35P are now active

By Green Lemon and Arnaud Delalande

Background

After the election of 2012, Libya was governed by the General National Congress (GNC) headed by Muslim Brotherhood with Nouri Abusahmain as president elected in June 2013. In December, the GNC refused to hold new elections and decided an extension of its 18-month mandate for a year until the end of 2014. On February 14th, General Khalifa Haftar, a former officer under regime of Muammar Gaddafi ordered to dissolve the GNC and called for the formation of a caretaker government committee to oversee new elections with little effect on the GNC. On May 16, “Operation Dignity” was launched by General Haftar against the GNC and Islamist armed groups in Benghazi.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

New DIY heavy rocket deployed by Iraqi popular mobilization unit.


Image of a new type of rocket appeared on Iraqi social media, reportedly coming from source close to Asaib Ahl Al Haq (AAH).




Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) use a huge varieties of DIY heavy rockets.  Al Qaher, Al Batar, Al Ashtar, Falaq-2 improvised rocket assisted munitions (IRAM) are among the most used DIY rockets in Iraq. With the growing use of DIY rockets, whole brigades were dedicated to the development and the use of DIY rockets like Badr's Katiba Sawarikh Ababil. The DIY rockets differ in name, shape, weight but they adopt the same basic design which consist of  a (heavy) warhead and a rocket engine.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The discreet use of BGM-71 TOW ATGM in Iraq points to Iran

The discreet use of BGM-71 TOW ATGM in Iraq points to Iran

Iraqi security forces (ISF) and popular mobilization units (PMU) are fully engaged in a bloody fight against the self-named "Islamic State" (ISIS) and their local allies since June 2014 and the fall of Mosul city. In this fight, foreign support to Iraqi government revealed to be crucial. After the rapid expansion of ISIS, Iran poured fighters and military support into Iraq.  The not exhaustive list of Iranian military assistance to Iraq includes  IRGC Su-25K and Su-25UBKM-40 106mm recoilless canon & 107mm MRLS variant of Safir tactical120mm HM-20 and HM-27 MRLS, AM.50 sniperT-72S MBT, rifles, night vision equipments, munitions. On the anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) ground,  ISF and PMU are lightly equipped with Russian supplied 9M133 Kornet (ATGM) that some analysts took for the Iranian variant of the missile, the Dehlaviyeh. Despite producing a significant varieties of ATGMs, there was no evidence of Iranian supplied ATGM... until the battle of Jurf al Sakhr in October 2014. Indeed, Fars News Agency, an Iranian semi-official news agency, released a report on Jurf Al Sakhr on the 26th October 2014 who went unnoticed. Was included in the article a picture of Asaib-Ahl-Al-Haq fighters posing in front of a TOW ATGM launcher. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

New photos and video of Iraqi Mi-28NE training pilots

Pictures and videos of "Havoc" helicopters are rare because they are involved in a limited way for the lack of readiness of the crews. These footage were taken in Camp Taji few weeks ago during training mission for new Mi-28NE pilots. Currently, many pilots of others squadrons are sollicited to make the role of navigator. These two photos below were taken by a pilot of 21st Armed Reco Squadron who were involved in these training missions.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Iraqi Army Aviation used improvised base to be closer to the fighting

During the battle of Tikrit on March, Iraqi Army Aviation used an improvised base near Samarra to support operations over the city (see IQAF and IAA in the battle of Tikrit). Other type of airstrips are used by Iraqi forces like parts of highways for maintenance and refueling. Shortly before the liberation of the city, Bell IA-407 and Mi-171E were spotted by Badr Brigade fighters on the highway east. Actually, with the increase of the number of sorties, any valid place is used to drop helicopters.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

New drone video in Iraq lifts a corner of the veil on Iranian drone program

By @green_lemonnn


If Iranian drones in Iraq are new to you, please make you sure have read Adam Rawnsley articles on this subject (1).

Since the Fall of Mosul one year ago, Iran is fully committed to the Iraqi government in his anti-"Islamic State" organization fight. On the ground, the army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (IRGC) advisors were dispatched on various fronts to support Iraqi security forces. On the air, Iranian air force occasionally bombed Islamic State positions in Diyala & Salahuddin provinces (2). Iranian drones also joined the battle in the early July 2014 (3). While it's still unclear if the drones are operated by Iranian operators, it's now well known that Iranian made drones are used under Iraqi flag (4) or directly by Popular Mobilisation units (5).

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Meeting du centenaire de la BA705 de Tours

Ce dimanche 7 juin avait lieu le meeting du centenaire de la base aérienne 705 de Tours. C'est en effet le 1er octobre 1915 qu'est créé sur le site un premier centre d'entrainement sur biplan Caudron. En 1916, les premiers volontaires américains y sont formés. L'année suivante, l’armée américaine y transfert sa propre école. Jusqu'à la seconde guerre mondiale, vont se succéder plusieurs unités équipées de Potez XV, Bréguet 14 et 19, Potez 25, Nieuport 622, puis Potez 540 et Bloch 200 en 1937. En 1952, grâce à la création d'une nouvelle piste, la base peut accueillir les Mosquito puis les Meteor du groupe "Lorraine" qui sera rejoint par les groupes "Loire" et "Champagne" l'année suivante pour former la 30ème ECTT (Escadre de Chasse Tout Temps).

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My publications in June



This month, I publish in June issue of Combat Aircraft Monthly with a Combat Report about operation Decisive Storm and Air Forces / aircrafts known to be involved in the air campaign.

Ce mois-ci, je publie dans le numéro de juin de Combat Aircraft Monthly avec un article sur l'opération Decisive Storm et les forces aériennes / appareils engagés dans la campagne aérienne.



Saturday, May 23, 2015

Video - Chinook and Blackhawk from 160th SOAR in Iraq

The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as Task Force 160 (TF-160) or "Night Stalkers", is a special operations force of the United States Army that provides helicopter aviation support for general purpose forces and special operations forces. Missions include insertion/extraction of special operations forces (SOF), attack/assault, reconnaissance with the following helicopters:

    - MH-47E/G Chinook
    - MH-60K/L/M Black Hawk
    - MH-60L DAP (gunship variant)
    - AH-6 / MH-6 "Little Bird"

Monday, May 18, 2015

Normandie-Niemen: The French pilots of the Red Army

War rages in Europe. The country, defeated and occupied, continues to fight for freedom under the name of Free France, led by de Gaulle from London. In 1941, Hitler sweeping the USSR. The General proposes to send a French fighter squadron to help the Soviet army. A crazy project, which annoys allies. But de Gaulle persists and forms a squadron with the colors of Free France to fight in the east alongside the Soviets. "Normandie-Niemen" was born. The idea will allow France to sit at the table of winners. Focus on training and action, thanks in particular to unpublished documents (in French).

La guerre fait rage en Europe. Le pays, vaincu et occupé, continue à se battre pour la liberté sous l'appellation de France libre, dirigée par de Gaulle depuis Londres. En 1941, Hitler déferle sur l'URSS. Le général propose d'y envoyer une escadrille de chasse française afin de venir en aide à l'armée soviétique. Un projet fou, qui contrarie les alliés. Mais de Gaulle persiste et forme une escadrille aux couleurs de la France Libre pour combattre à l'Est aux côtés des Soviétiques. «Normandie-Niémen» est née. L'idée permettra à la France de siéger à la table des vainqueurs. Gros plan sur cette formation et son action, grâce, notamment, à des documents inédits.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Video of Iranian Air Force F-4E above the Persian Gulf

This video was taken in 2010 with cellphone by the RIO of a F-4E piloted by the commander of 61st TFS. His wingman and him were flying in such altitude two times a week during return from Gunnery Range. The RIO was Rezaiee, he was passed away in 2013, during crash of a F-4E. Colonel T. Z. is still in the air force. He is F-4E flight instructor and he is still commander of 61st TFS. This F-4E is training one, because it hasn't Azimuth indicator of RWR system.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Video - Nigerian AF Gunship helicopters against Boko Haram

The video below is part of the VICE News report embedded with Nigerian 103 Battalion and 72 Mobile Strike Force during Bama Assault. Nigerian Air Force Gunship helicopters were engaged in combat begining April. In Maiduguri airstrip ( north-east of the country), two Mi-24B (NAF 260 and NAF 261) from 97 Special Operations Group, two AS332M1 Super Puma (NAF 265 and NAF 567) from 88th Air Transport squadron and two Gazelle took off to support ground forces.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Iraqi Army Aviation engaged in south of Kirkuk

These two video footage show Iraqi attack helicopters in combat south ok Kirkuk. First one was taken near al-Huija on April 6 and second one in Hamrin Mountain two days later. One Eurocopter EC-635 from 55th Attack Squadron, one Bell IA-407 from 21st Armed Reco Squadron and one Mi-35M from 35th Attack Squadron can be seen in combat operations.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Complément à l'article d'AIR FAN sur les Mirage zaïrois

Pour compléter l'article publié dans le magazine AIR FAN n°437 d'avril, voici deux vidéos extraites des journaux télévisés français du 22 mai 1978 (TF1 et Antenne 2). Un Mirage 5DM s'apprête à décoller de la base de Kamina pour une mission d'appui aux légionnaires du 2ème REP à Kolwezi. Il est piloté par le français Jean-Pierre Fartek (casque blanc) qui a pour co-pilote le Major Luamba reconnaissable à son casque vert.

To complete the article published in April issue of AIR FAN No. 437, below are two videos extracted from the French TV news on May, 22, 1978 (TF1 and Antenne 2). One Mirage 5DM prepares to take off from Kamina base for a support mission to the legionaries of the 2nd REP in Kolwezi. It is piloted by the French Jean-Pierre Fartek (white helmet), with co-pilot Major Luamba recognizable by its green helmet.

My publications in April


This month, I published two articles. First one  in issue 437 of AIR FAN French magazine about the story of Zairian Mirage 5M/DM. These aircraft were often piloted by French instructor for training Zairian, but also for attack missions, notably during the second Shaba war in 1978 (or Kolwezi crisis). The second article is published in April issue of Combat Aircraft Monthly. I draw up the order of battle of Iraqi Air Force and Iraqi Army Aviation.

Ce mois-ci, je publie deux articles. Le premier dans le n°437 du magazine AIR FAN sur l'histoire des Mirage 5M/DM zaïrois. Ces avions étaient souvent pilotés par des instructeurs français pour la formation des zaïrois, mais aussi pour des missions d'attaque, notamment lors de la seconde guerre du Shaba en 1978 (ou crise de Kolwezi). Le second article est publié dans le numéro d'avril de Combat Aircraft Monthly. J'y établie l'ordre de bataille de la Force Aérienne Irakienne (IQAF) et de l'Iraqi Army Aviation (ALAT).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Photos and videos of aircrafts engaged in operation Decisive Storm

On the night of Wednesday 25 to Thursday, March 26, Saudi Arabia, in cooperation with Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Morocco, Qatar, Pakistan, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, launched "Operation Decisive Storm" over Yemeni territory (see Ten Arab countries formed a military coalition in order to strike Shiite militias in Yemen). These two videos and screen capture photos from Al Arabiya channel show most of the aircrafts engaged in those operations and based at King Khalid airbase : RSAF (Royal Saudi Air Force) F-15S carrying GBU-12 bombs and DB-110 reconnaissance pod, Tornado IDS, Typhoon, AS532M Cougar, C-130, Kuwaiti F/A-18C, Qatari Mirage 2000-5, Sudanese Su-24.

RSAF F-15S carrying GBU-12

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Photos and video of Iraqi Mi-35M over Tikrit

Three Mi-35M from 35th Attack Squadron are involved in Tikrit combats (see previous article IQAF and IAA in the battle of Tikrit). These rare photos and video show Mi-35M using twin-barreled 23 mm cannon GSh-23V and S-8 rockets during the battle of Tikrit. The gun can fire 3,400 to 3,600 rounds per minute with 450 to 470 rounds of ammunition. Mi-35Ms are mainly used for night attacks.



Mi-35M using its twin-barreled 23 mm cannon GSh-23V

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Photos and video of Iraqi Su-25 engaged in Tikrit battle

The first series of six photos of Iraqi Air Force Su-25 was taken at Al Rashid airbase near Baghdad by Rod Nordland (Foreign Correspondent for NYT). Three different "Frogfoot" can be seen. The first one is a former-Iranian Su-25UBKM delivered on July 2014 and coded "2500", the two others are former-Russian Su-25SM coded "2520" (c/n 03124 delivered on June 28) and "2522".On the video, Su-25SM "2520" is preparing to take off for a bombing mission over Tikrit. It carries two external fuel tanks and four FAB-250 bombs.


Former Iranian Su-25UBKM "2500"

Friday, March 13, 2015

IQAF and IAA in the battle of Tikrit

For more than ten days, combat for the recovery of the city of Tikrit in the hands of the Islamic State since June 2014 are intense. Iraqi forces managed to enter the Qadisiyah district on Wednesday 11. The Iraqi Air Force and the Iraqi Army Aviation were engaged from the beginning of the battle. Despite the heavy presence of IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) on the ground in the recent operations in Iraq, nor IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force), IRGC-ASF ( Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp's Aerospace Force) and IRIAA (Islamic Republic of Iran Army Aviation) hadn't any presence in the air. IQAF (Iraqi Air Force) have played very effective role with its own Su-25s and its own pilots whom a second group, ended its gunnery training sessions in Russia just three months ago. Also, Iraqi Army Aviation had a very important role during these operations. Actually, three Mi-35M (35th Attack Squadron), five Eurocopter EC-635 (55th Attack Squadron), five Bell IA-407 (21st Armed Reco Squadron), three UH-1H (2nd Utillity Squadron) and six Mi-17v5/Mi-171 (15th Special Operations Squadron) are used for attacks and reco missions. Mi-35 are intensively involved for night attacks. According to Iraqi sources, Iraqi Army Aviation airstrikes destroyed a six vehicle convoy on al-'Alam-Albu Ajeel road (East of Tikrit) on March, 4. The day after, three armoured vehicles and two explosives-laden oil tankers were hit in al-'Alam town. On March, 10, Iraqi Army Aviation struck two car bombs and two oil tanker bombs in central Tikrit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Iraqi Eurocopter EC 635 in action near Tikrit

The video below, taken by an Iraqi pilot, shows one Iraqi Army Aviation Eurocopter EC 635 from 55th Attack Squadron in action near Tikrit. It is armed of FN Herstal HMP-400 with 12.7 mm machine gun and with Hydra rocket launchers. On 25 March 2009, Iraqi Ministry of Defense ordered 24 Eurocopter helicopters EC 635 T2 + to France. The first two were delivered to Iraq, on Al Taji AB on June 18, 2010.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

My publication in March

This month, I published in issue 11 of Air Combat magazine about French Operation Limousin that followed independence of Chad. Ground troops were supported by robust helicopters and powerful aircrafts, AD-4N Skyraider and Sikorsky H-34.

Ce mois-ci, je publie dans le numéro 11 du magazine AIR Combat des éditions Caraktère avec un article consacré à l'Opération Limousin qui suivi l'indépendance du Tchad. Les troupes au sol furent appuyées par de robustes hélicoptères et de puissants appareils, dont le AD-4N Skyraider et le Sikorsky H-34.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The story of an Iranian F-4E that defected during Iran-Iraq war

On August 30, 1984, an Iranian F-4E from 61st TFS defected to Iraq. The pilot was Rahman Ghena'at Pisheh who brother was executed by the IRI due to political reasons. He flew in low altitude and fast speed to not permit his co-pilot, Davood Sehati Dehkharghani, to eject. The backseat crew was taken as military prisoner. The Phantom II serial 3-6552, was one of the best F-4Es of the 61st TFS at the time, which had fully operational fire control system (As you see on the video, it had missiles on board).

Friday, February 13, 2015

Former Jordanian Mirage F1 in Iraqi Air Force ?

According to Iranian defense expert Babak Taghvaee, a very well-known author of several publications about the Iranian air forces and a regular contributor to some of the most read aviation magazines, former Jordanian Mirage F1 may enter in service with Iraqi Air Force. The Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) has still 27 of the 34 Mirage acquired from France, including one twin-seater. Since many years, FlyingWings Company  based in Jordan, had put them on sale. Argentina which had an intension to lease ten of them decided finally to buy former Spanish Mirage F1s.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

IAF F-16 with most air-to-air kills retired from service

With 6,5 air-to-air kills, F-16A No. 107 of the Israeli air force is the dogfight champion of all Fighting Falcon in the world. It has been retired from service late 2014 and will be exposed in the IAF Museum in Hatzerim air base in the Negev. Since 1995, it was used as a training aircraft. In addition to his aerial victories in 1982, he participated in the raid of 7 June 1981 on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak with pilot Major General Amos Yadlin.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Operation Sand : 1972 - 1978

In 1972, Rhodesians pilots and technicians were secretly seconded to the South African Air Force (SAAF) to fly Mirage III. The "operation Sand" was starting . They were initially assigned to the Flying Training School based in Louis Botha, Durban and flying on Impala, the South African version of Aermachi MB-326M. A first pilot detachment then joined the Squadron 2 to Waterkloof to operate on Mirage IIICZ. The first two pilots were Rob Dayton Ed Potterton. An air base was also built secretly Flyde Rhodesia to rapidly deploy Mirage if necessary. It was rarely used. In mid 1978, a whole squadron of Mirage was flown by the Rhodesians. The pilots and the planes seem to have sometimes been involved in ground strikes in Mozambique to assist Rhodesian ground forces and also scrambled when Zambians Mig crossing the border Rhodesia / Zambia.