According to the ABCnews agency, a wreckage from a Polish fighter jet that disappeared from radar Monday was found near a domestic air base, but the pilot of the Russian-made plane survived the crash.
Deputy Defense Minister Bartosz Kownacki said the pilot was able to eject before the MIG-29 fighter went down near the central Polish town of Minsk Mazowiecki, which hosts an air base. The Defense Ministry said the accident took place on the jet’s approach to the base.
Col. Piotr Iwaszko, commander of Tactical Air Force Base in Minsk Mazowiecki, said the crash was the first of a MiG-29 in Poland. He said he has grounded the 15 remaining MiG-29 planes at the base.
The pilot had not reported any problems before the plane crashed in woods close to the village of Kaluszyn, Iwaszko said.
The ministry said the 28-year-old pilot suffered broken limbs, but was conscious when he was taken to a military hospital in Warsaw. His life wasn’t considered to be in danger, the ministry said.
Prosecutors and army police have opened an investigation into the cause of the crash, according to the ministry.
Earlier, Polish state television news channel TVP INFO reported that 10 teams of firefighters were searching for a missing fighter jet that had disappeared from radar near the base.
The Polish air force uses mostly NATO hardware and U.S. F-16s, but still operates some Russian equipment, including the MiG-29, which is being upgraded, but also gradually phased out.
Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber skidded off runway during the takeoff in Syria on Tuesday and the crew was killed, the Defense Ministry said.
As Russian News Agency “TASS” reported that the accident occurred at the Hmeymim air base, in Latakia Governorate, when the aircraft when building up speed before the takeoff. The jet was on a combat mission.
“The plane’s crew failed to eject and died,” the ministry said, adding that no damage on the ground was reported. Technical malfunction could have been the cause of the accident, it said.
Earlier, some media claimed the plane that crashed in Syria had allegedly violated Turkish airspace and was shot down by Turkish Air Force planes.
Russian airstrikes against the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria started on September 30. Russia intensified its airstrikes against the terrorists after it was reported that the crash of the Russian A321 plane in Egypt was caused by a terrorist bomb exploding on board. Russia has involved long-range aviation in its air strikes and has enforced the air grouping deployed in Syria. Russia’s air grouping involves 69 aircraft, including Su-34 bombers, Su-24M and Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-30SM and Su-27SM3 fighters and Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.
As reported by the Tass Russian news agency, fighters of the Russian Aerospace Force over past week nine times took off to intercept foreign reconnaissance aircraft – fewer than a week earlier, the Krasnaya Zverzda (Red Star) newspaper reported on Friday.
A week earlier, the defense authority reported the aircraft were scrambled 14 times to intercept foreign aircraft.
The Defense Ministry’s info-graphics, published in the newspaper on Friday, shows 58 foreign aircraft conducted air reconnaissance, where 46 were at the western strategic direction, seven – at the Arctic, four – at the eastern and one – at the southern direction.
As Popular Mechanics reporting on September 5, a U.S. Air Force aircraft crashed at the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), killing the pilot. But even a week later, the Air Force has refused to reveal the type of aircraft involved in the incident. The hush-hush treatment has left many people wondering what the plane could be, and whether the Air Force is developing a new “black” aircraft that has not been declassified to the public.
The incident, which took place at a training facility in Nevada, has sparked speculation that some kind of previously unknown aircraft was involved. The pilot involved in the crash, Lt. Col. Eric Schultz, was a squadron commander of an Air Force unit that tests and evaluates foreign aircraft. If this is the case, the most likely explanation is that Schultz was piloting a foreign jet at the time of the crash.
Airmen who flight test foreign military planes, sometimes called Red Hats, are part of an unnumbered unit within Detachment 3 of the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group, stationed out of Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. A press release from Nellis indicates that the aircraft involved in the incident belonged to Air Force Material Command, which oversees Detachment 3 of the 53rd. Flight testing foreign jets was previously conducted by the 413th Flight Test Squadron and the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron before that.
These units have been known to operate a variety of Russian-built fighter aircraft, including the MiG-29 and several jets built by Russian aviation contractor Sukhoi. The Su-27 air superiority fighter, for example, was spotted flying over the Nevada Test and Training Range this past January.
The exact aircraft type involved in the crash is still unknown, though it could be an Su-27 or possibly even the newer Su-30 multirole fighter, which Russia has sold to multiple U.S. allies such as Indonesia and Vietnam. Evaluating Russian aircraft has become a priority for the U.S. Air Force these days, as aerial encounters between the two militaries over Syria and the Baltics have become more common.
The mystery of the crash is compounded by the fact that Schultz was an experienced test pilot and engineer. A holder of six degrees, including a doctorate in aerospace engineering, Schultz had flown combat missions in the F-15E in Afghanistan and early flight test evaluations in the F-35, racking up more than 2,000 hours in a variety of aircraft over his career.
Sources: Aviation Week
The MiG-31 is famous, primarily, for its ability to accelerate to an incredible speed of 3000 kilometers per hour and operate at altitudes of more than 20 kilometers. Because of that, the aircraft was nicknamed Foxhound.
The MiG-31 is unique in all respects and still have no competitors in the world. They will cover Russia’s air borders in the next ten years, after which will be replaced with even more advanced long-range aircraft MiG-41 which will be able to destroy targets already outside the atmosphere, in outer space.
The issue of the resumption of production of the MiG-31 or the development of a new high-altitude interceptor was replaced by it for a long time and was so overripe that in 2013 the Duma heard hearings on this topic. They were the first in the history of the lower house of parliament devoted to the fate of a specific weapon. Parliamentarians called on the government to resume production of the MiG-31 and to extend the life of already flying cars. The deputies then talked a lot about NATO’s expansion to the East, the development of the US missile defense system and some plans of the West “for a large-scale militarization of outer space.” In this difficult situation, in their opinion, only the MiG-31 will be able to close the Russian air borders to a reliable lock.
MiG-31 is really a very interesting aircraft, although it was developed in the early 70’s. Its characteristic rapid silhouette is easy to recognize by the chopped wingtips, the rigid contours of the glider, the huge nozzles and beveled shells of the air intakes of the D-30F-6 engines. Due to their monstrous total thrust, these engines accelerate the 40-ton machine to speeds close to hypersonic. Of the weapons – six-barrel 23-millimeter gun and six points of suspension of a variety of air-to-air missiles. The maximum combat load is nine tons.
As previously reported, the PAK DP will be called the MiG-41 and is developed on the basis of the MiG-31. At the same time, the aircraft will not become a product of the profound modernization of the MiG-31, but will be a completely independent completely new car. The first deliveries to the Air and Space Forces could begin already in the mid-2020s in the event of orders from the Ministry of Defense. PAK DP will be hypersonic itself (claimed speed is 4500 km / h) and will be able to carry hypersonic missiles. The creators plan to “sharpen” it for work in the Arctic zone and eventually, perhaps, “re-qualify” in drone.
As Ilya Tarasenko, General Director of RAC MiG, said earlier on the Zvezda TV channel, the aircraft will have unique combat capabilities, in particular, it will be invisible to the enemy radars and even be able to work in outer space. Some versions of the MiG-31 can already launch small satellites into near-earth orbit.
The main qualities for a high-altitude interceptor are speed and range of action, and not maneuverability, said the Honored Test Pilot of the USSR, Hero of Russia Anatoly Kvochur. According to him, promising “high-altitude” can be used for peaceful purposes, such as, for example, combating space debris in low orbits.
It should also be noted that, apart from eliminating reconnaissance aircraft and enemy bombers, the important tasks of distant high-altitude interceptors remain the search and destruction of ballistic and cruise missiles in the air defense system. Their effectiveness in this they have already proved. In the summer, the MiG-31 successfully shot down a missile flying at an altitude of 12 kilometers at a speed three times the speed of sound.