Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New MiG-21s and Mi-8s for Libyan National Army Air Force

Sunday, March 6th, 2016, a formation of six new MiG-21s and six new Mi-8s arrived at Gamal Abdel Nasser airbase near Tobruk according to Libyan National Army Air Force pilot officer. The origin of these aircrafts is not yet known, but suspicion focused on Egypt, which has already delivered at least eleven Mi-8Ts and seven MiG-21MFs which we must add the numerous spare parts for the maintenance of the fleets of "Fishbed". On the three first photos below, the Mi-8s are seen flying over Tobruk. On the fourth pictures, we can notice that the Egyptian serial, flag and roundel are hidden. The Libyan National Army Air Force has now in its inventory 26 fighter jets : 23 MiG-21s, one MiG-23ML, one Su-22UM, one Mirage F1AD; the Libyan National Army Aviation has 27 helicopters : five Mi-35s, 21 M-8s and one Mi-171.

The six new Mi-8s in the sky of Tobruk on March 6th, 2016

Two of the six new Mi-8s with hidden serial, flag and roundel, seen at Gamal Abdel Nasser AB on March 6th, 2016

Since the begining of operation "blood of the martyr" launched by LNA against Benghazi Islamist militia groups’ bases from 20 February, the air force pilots of the two sides (LNA and Libya Dawn) were very sollicited. On February 21st, L-39 aircrafts coming from Misrata carried out airstrikes on the positions of ISIS in Sirte. Indeed, ISIS fighters have changed their positions through Sirte after the US air strike on his recruits at Sabratha on 19th. On 23rd, L-39s targeted the "River Company" ( held by ISIS) around the city. On 27th, massive air raids (led by the MiG-21s of Tobruk) targeted the sites of terrorist militias in central Qnfodh and Hawari near the cement plant. The Mi-35s, meanwhile, attacked a group of freighters off Benghazi, destroying three of them and forcing the fourth to flee. It would seem that these vessels were carrying reinforcements and supplies to SCBR (Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries) and headed for the Jewel Resort west of Benghazi. On 28th, a convoy of 15 vehicles was attacked by unidentified aircraft in the Shimikh Valley near Bani Walid, the US and the LNA denying any involvement in the attacks. On 29th, L-39 aircrafts coming from Misrata touched a boat off the coast of Sirte and destroyed a hotel in the city. Takeoffs take place several times a day from the base of Misrata. On March 3rd, a Mi-35 targeted a bulldozer coming from Misrata and carrying ammunition and weapons while the Mi-8Ts and Mi-35s were conducting intensive air raids on a number of terrorist groups affiliated ("February 17th Martyrs Brigade") in the axis of Garyounis and Sabri.

One MiG-21bis from Gamal Abdel Nasser AB landed at Benina AB after striking the cement plant in Benghazi on March 5th

On 6th, LNA AF targeted a few sites, including one ammunition store at Sabri, in the center of Benghazi. Yesterday, 28 of ISIS elements were killed in air raids on the city of Sirte while the Air Force flew above the city of Benghazi and bombed ISIS sites in the western axis.

MiG-23ML serial "26453" seen at Benina AB on March 6th. This aircraft was not yet engaged in airstrikes.


  1. Renforts augmentant de 20 % la flotte libyenne; mais y a t'il assez de pilotes opérationnels ?

    Peut on imaginé des raids héliportés avec dépose de commandos ou cela n'est pas encore dans leurs capacités ?

    1. Le problème est surtout la disponibilité des appareils qui sont anciens (surtout les MiG-21bis). Cet apport de nouveau Fishbed va certainement palier à ce soucis ...

      Il y a déjà eu des déposes par hélico de troupes, mais il n'y a pas trop d'infos sur ce sujet.