The situation update of this week is characterized by multiple events. Airstrikes were very intense in Benghazi, Derna by LNA AF (Libyan National Army Air Force) and in Abu Grein area by LDAF (Libya Dawn Air Force). In addition, the first images of new MiG-23 being refurbished appeared.
New MiG-23s for LNA AF
After the commissioning of one MiG-23ML and two MiG-23BNs the last months, mechanicians and engineers started working on MiG-23UB serial number '8008' and MiG-23BN serial number '9119'. This aircraft has no refueling probe contrary to MiG-23BNs serial '4136' and '8985'.
New MiG-23UB for LDAF
Just like its rival, mechanicians and engineers started working on a new MiG-23UB. LDAF has already had a two-seaters 'Flogger' in service, but on 23rd March 2015, MiG-23UB serial '01' crashed after it carried out an attack on Zintan airport killing the pilot. Only two MiG-23MLD remain currently operational.
On 10th May, LDAF announced that its fighter jets have performed more than forty airstrikes in the vicinity of Abu Grein area during the past four days. The LNA AF carried out bombing in Assabri district - north of Benghazi - against terrorist groups
LDAF Mirage F1ED takes off from Misrata AB in May 2016
MiG-21 over Assabri district after carried out airstrikes
On 11th May, operation "Volcano" was launched by LNA to liberate the city of Derna, led by Omar al-Mukhtar operations group and coincided with the launch of the LNA AF operations. Fighter jets implemented six sorties, targeting individuals and technicals gathered to the north gate, locations and concentrations of terrorist militias on a farm. An air raid on the western entrance of the city caused damage in the vicinity of the Turkish company.
Mi-8 and Mi-35 involved in operation Volcano in support of the advance of LNA armed forces
Moreover, LNA AF MiG-23ML bombed terrorist groups in Al Quarsha area in south pipe plant site. This air raid coincided with the bombing of MiG-21 on another site in the vicinity of Libyan European hospital. Between 11th and 13th May, LDAF launched many airstrikes in the vicinity of Abu Grein (eight bombing missions on 13th). On 13th, an Italian C-130 took off from Misrata airport to Rome taking 17 fighters wounded in the battle with ISIS near Abu Grein.
LDAF Mirage F1ED takes from Misrata AB on 13th May 2016 (copyright @Honeybal)
Italian C-130 took off from Misrata airport to Rome (copyright @Honeybal)