Black Sea Fleet’s aviation group in Crimea gets new Sukhoi-30SM fighters

Three newly-manufactured Sukhoi-30SM fighter jets have been delivered to the Black Sea Fleet’s aviation group, the fleet’s press-secretary Vyacheslav Trukhachyov said on Monday.


The planes have already arrived at their permanent base Saki in Crimea.

“The planes were manufactured at the Irkutsk Aircraft-Building Plant and handed over to the Black Sea Fleet under a program for upgrading its aviation group. Upon completing a long flight the jets joined a separate air assault regiment of the Black Sea Fleet,” Trukhachev said.
The Sukhoi-30SM crews earlier underwent training at a center in Yeisk.
The Sukhoi-30SM is a generation 4++ highly-maneuverable multi-role fighter. The Black Sea Fleet has been using them since 2015.




Russia’s Aerospace Force to fully renew aircraft by 2026

The Russian Aerospace Force will fully renew the pool of its aircraft and helicopters within ten years, Head of the Force’s Engineering and Aviation Service Colonel Yuri Sivokonenko said on Wednesday.




“The planned measures allow maintaining a high fitness level of aircraft while the pool of planes and helicopters will be fully renewed by 2026,” he said.




This year, Russian Aerospace Force units have received more than 100 advanced aircraft, the officer said.

“Part of the hardware is still being accepted and will arrive for the troops in December. Defense enterprises will implement their obligations in full until the end of the year,” he added.
Russia’s Aerospace Force’s Engineering and Aviation Service is celebrating its centenary on Wednesday.



Another crash for F/A-Hornets

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Kyle “Chet” Turco. (RELEASED)

One of the Marine Corps’ F/A-18 Hornet jets crashed off Japan Wednesday, military officials tell CBS News, on the 75th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.

The pilot, who was from the to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, ejected from the plane during a regular training mission at about 6:40 p.m. local time, 120 miles southeast of Iwakuni in southern Japan, the Marine Corps said in a statement.

A search-and-rescue operation has been launched, officials said. The cause of the accident and the fate of the pilot are not clear at this time.



U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is in Japan for the anniversary. He delivered remarks Wednesday with Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada.

“It’s a testament to the strength of our alliance and the character of the Japanese people that a mere 75 years after Pearl Harbor, my friend and counterpart, Minister Inada, and I can stand next to each other proudly and discuss how our two countries can strengthen the security of this region together,” Carter said.

He stressed his view that U.S.-Japan relations have never been stronger. “America’s interests in this region are enduring,” he said in reference to speculation about the direction of President-elect Trump’s Asia policy.

The Marine Corps has air installations in at least two places in Japan, including in the large base on Okinawa.

This would be the 9th major incident involving a “Legacy Hornet” (including the Canadian CF-18 lost on Nov. 28, 2016) in the last 6 months.

Although each crash has its own root causes and may depend on several contributing factor (including the human error), we can’t but observe, once again, that the rate of crashes involving legacy Hornets is alarming.

Two U.S. Marine Corps F-18 Hornets from MCAS Miramar crashed on Nov. 9 near San Diego. Another one on Oct. 25. A Swiss Air Force Hornet was lost on Aug. 29, whereas a Navy F/A-18C crashed on Aug. 2. On Jul. 27 USMC F/A-18 crashed so as the Blue Angels Hornet that crashed on Jun. 2.

This is how we commented the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 crash:

“In the wake of the Hornet crashes from June through October, the U.S. Marine Corps temporarily grounded its non-deployed Hornets. Unfortunately, few days after the ban was lifted, two more F/A-18Cs were lost on Nov. 9.

Hornet crashes over the last year have depleted the number of available airplanes for training and operations. According to USNI News the service had 85 Hornets available for training, compared to a requirement for 171.

In order to face the critical shortage of operational fighters caused by both crashes and high operational tempos, the U.S: Marine Corps has launched a plan that will see Boeing upgrade 30 retired legacy Hornets (currently stored at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona) to a standard dubbed F/A-18C+.

With this upgrade, that will also embed new avionics, the service will be able to keep up with its operational tasks until the F-35 is able to take over.

Once upgraded to the C+ standard, these “gap fillers” should be more than enough to conduct combat operations in low-lethality scenarios like those that see the USMC at work these days.

Furthermore, once these “refreshed” Hornets are delivered to the squadrons, older airframes can be retired, improving flight safety.”

Once again: aircraft may crash for a variety of reasons, not always technical. Still, the rate of Legacy Hornet crashes in the last months seems to be unusual and, as such, concerning.



The Aviationist

CBS News

Admiral Kuznetsov loses second aircraft as Su-33 crashes into sea

The Russian Navy’s Admiral Kuznetsov air wing suffered its second loss in less than a month when a Sukhoi Su-33 ‘Flanker’ combat aircraft crashed into the sea following a landing mishap, the Kremlin confirmed on 5 December.

The multirole fleet defence fighter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria after one of the ship’s arrestor cables snapped, state media quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying. The accident happened just days after a MiG-29KR ‘Fulcrum’ was forced to ditch into the sea on 14 November after a problem with Admiral Kuznetsov’s arrestor cable had prevented it from landing before the pilot ran out of fuel. On both occasions, the pilots were rescued.

With these losses the carrier’s fixed-wing combat force of at least five Su-33s and four MiG-29Ks has been depleted by about 20%, just weeks into its much vaunted debut operational deployment.

While the ship was seen enroute to the Mediterranean carrying five Su-33s, four MiG-29Ks, one Kamov Ka-52K attack helicopter, two Kamov Ka-29TB assault helicopters, two Kamov Ka-27PS search-and-rescue helicopters, and one Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopter, satellite imagery taken of Humaymim Air Base in Syria on 20 November and obtained by IHS Jane’s showed a large proportion of these assets now operating from land rather than from Admiral Kuznetsov .






IHS Jane’s 360





New engine being designed for 5th generation Russian fighter aircraft

The United Engine Corporation (UEC), part of Rostec state holding company, successfully conducted the first ground-based ignition of the second stage of the engine for the Prospective Airborne Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK FA T-50 aircraft).

In order to carry out the testing, gas generators had to be prepared for it, in addition to the demonstrator engine.

Currently, the PAK FA is using a first stage engine, a modernized Al-41.

According to Pavel Bulat, avionics specialist and head of the Kupol Group of Companies, the AI-41 is an updated version of engines used for the Su-27, Su-30 and other models in that series.

“The engine for the T-50 was significantly upgraded from the original models, incorporating the latest control system, compressors, etc. Nevertheless, it still falls short of the 5th generation model, and is very noticeable on radar screens,” said the expert.





The new second-stage engine is one of the most advanced in the world, said Bulat. It enables the T-50 to accelerate to supersonic speed, and maintain that velocity throughout the flight, without using afterburners.





“The speed will be as much as Mach 1.6 (about 1,200 mph), depending on the terrain over which the flight is taking place. The engine will also significantly improve the stealth properties of the PAK FA, thanks to the use of new composite materials,” said Bulat.

The designers expect to start testing the new engine on fighter jets in 2018, and for the motor to be fully integrated in 2020.

“In addition to the engine, a radar station also needs to be modified, and engineers need to remove the last deficiencies in the airframe concept, which, among all the aircraft flying today, is the most modern in the world,” said the analyst.

New fighter’s weapons
30-mm cannon

The firing unit consists of one of the lightest cannon in its class, the 9-A1-4071K, which is designed to destroy armored vehicles or armored enemy targets. During one flight, the pilot can shoot 150 rounds from the 30-mm cannon.

The future T-50 5th generation fighter will also carry high-explosive and volume-detonating bombs, Sergey Rusakov, General Director of the Techmash Group, announced on September 22.

Rusakov said they are now considering high-explosive incendiary OFZAB-500 aviation bombs for the PAK FA, and volume-detonating ODAB-500PMV, which are currently being used in Russian operations in Syria. Engineers have already produced a set of warheads for future tests.





According to the rearmament program, Russian Armed Forces will receive a batch of 12 T-50 fighters before the end of this year. A new contract for the supply of 5 th generation aircraft will be discussed with the Ministry of Defense at the end of 2016, after which the War Department will decide how many new aircraft are needed.







Nikolai Litovkin
Russia beyond the headlines

Russian knights received the second installment of Su-30sm

Airport Kubinka:

Aerobatics Air-group “Russian Knights” received the four fighter Su-30sm, and on 1th December, will start to fly on the new technique, reported in the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.




“The second batch of Su-30sm have just arrived in Kubinka from the factory. “Russian Knights” is fully equipped with new fighters, so from 1 December, the pilots will fly a new aircraft.” – representative of the Russian military department said. He added that the air group pilots passed the theoretical and simulator training on the Su-30cm in Lipetsk Air Base, and have already performed several flights with an instructor pilot.

“Squadron, which formed on the basis of air group” Russian Knights “, will now fly on airplanes of two types – the Su-27 and Su-30sm”, – noted in the Ministry of Defense.

Su-30cm is a super-maneuverable multifunctional fighter generation “4 ++”, with combined functions of a fighter, attack aircraft and bombers, equipped with radar with a phased antenna array, engines with thrust vector control and canards.



Why did a Russian MiG-29K crash into the Mediterranean?

A Russian fighter trying to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier after flying a mission as part of Russia’s Syrian operation on Nov. 13 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea due to the failure of both engines, according to sources in the Russian Defense Ministry.





A source familiar with the organization of flights on the aircraft carrier told that the MiG-29KR from the Admiral Kuznetsov missile aircraft carrier had fallen into the sea because both of its engines broke down in mid-flight.

The source added that the fighter’s pilot, who is chief of the service for Black Sea aviation flight safety and who ejected from the plane, has more than 200 landings on the Admiral Kuznetsov under his belt.

A source from the Defense Ministry also said that the pilot is highly qualified and is “one of the most experienced” of those trained in deck landings.

After the incident the Defense Ministry’s information and mass communications department made an official statement explaining the reason for the plane’s technical malfunction.

Urgency during landing

The source told that the deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov has four arresting gears.

When carrying out a landing the pilot must try to have the plane’s tailhook catch the second cable or if it can, the third (there is even a fourth, reserve cable). If the pilot tries to catch the first cable, there is a danger the tailhook may touch the ship’s deck, especially since at sea the aircraft carrier is subject to rocking.

On Nov. 13, the day of the accident, three MiG-29KRs took off from the aircraft carrier. After completing their flight missions the planes returned to the ship. The landings were to be conducted at an interval of three-four minutes.

The first fighter landed without any complications.






The second MiG-29KR caught the second arresting cable, tore it and in the end caught the fourth, reserve cable. The torn second cable got tangled up with the third cable and incapacitated it for a plane’s landing.

For some time it was basically impossible for the planes to land on the aircraft carrier. At that time the third MiG-29KR was approaching.

Since the aircraft carrier’s team needed some time to fix the arresting cables, the flight supervisor told the pilot of the third plane to land after circling the ship a second time.

While the plane was waiting to land both of its engines broke down. According to a preliminary theory, fuel had stopped entering the engines. In such cases, a jet plane plummets like a rock and the pilot can do only one thing: eject.


Russia beyond the headlines   


Russia’s new combat aircraft A-60 to be armed with high accuracy laser — KRET

Russia’s newly-developed combat aircraft A-60 will be capable of destroying enemy targets with a high accuracy laser, an adviser to the deputy CEP of Russia’s Concern of Radio-Electric Technologies (KRET, an affiliate of Rostec), Vladimir Mikheyev, has told TASS Russian news agency.


By Alexxx1979 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,




“It will boast super-accurate navigation. The crew are to be able to precisely determine the plane’s position to direct the narrow laser beams at the selected targets,”






The airborne laser will be so powerful that the plane itself will have to be properly protected.

KRET is the manufacturer of an overwhelming majority of avionics installed on Russia’s aircraft. The new plane will be very special and equipped with a heavy-duty electric power supply system and protection from enemy radio-electronic jamming.
Also, the plane will have a very powerful onboard defense system providing protection from the most sophisticated means of attack.

Attempts at creating an airborne laser were made back in the Soviet era. The first sample of the A-60 aircraft, based on the Ilyushin-76MD transport plane was flight-tested in 1981. Several years ago the media said the project, mothballed for quite a while, was resumed. The United States conducted its own research into an airborne laser. The program that produced an experimental combat aircraft, Boeing YAL-1, was curtailed at the end of 2011.


United Engine Corporation is resuming production of engines for deck-based fighters Su-33



According to the report, the new engines for marine heavy fighters will be produced with the introduction of improvements that have already been applied to a family of engines AL-31F series of modern appearance. The Su-33 armament naval aircraft engines will go after all the testing phases.





Turbofan engines are the fourth generation of the AL-31F and designed for installation on the Su-27 and its modifications (Su-30MK, Su-33, Su-34 and others). A feature of the AL-31F series 3 is the possibility of introducing an additional special mode that is used when the aircraft take-off from the deck with a full combat load or emergency care in the second round.
















Ria Novosti

Russian operation in Syria: one year on


On September 30, 2015 Russia’s Federation Council (the upper house of the two-chamber parliament) voted in support of President Vladimir Putin’s request for permission to use the national armed forces in Syria against the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist groups outlawed in Russia)




* The Russian Aerospace group dealt the first strikes against the militants’ positions later in the day.

* Initially, the group consisted of 50 combat planes and helicopters. In November 2015 Russia’s long-range bombers started flowing sorties to Syria.

* With time Russia’s Navy was involved in the operation as well. Combat ships in the land-locked Caspian Sea and in the Mediterranean Sea launched cruise missiles.

* On March 15, the main contingent of the Russian Aerospace group began to be pulled out of Syria on President Putin’s orders, while the Russian support facilities in Tartus and at the air base Hmeymim have maintained routine operation ever since. The remaining Russian planes continued to provide combat support for Syrian troops.

* According to May 2016 statistics more than 10,000 sorties had been carried out and 30,000 targets, including 200 oil extraction and refining facilities, were wiped out.

* The Pentagon estimates that by that time the Islamic State militants lost 45% of the territory they had controlled in Iraq and 20% of the territory in Syria. The Syrian army regained Palmyra to turn the tide of the campaign. The Russian military participated in the operation.
* Russia has airlifted to Syria 1,000 tonnes of foods, medical supplies and essentials.


The first ammunition for T-50

Russia’s first fifth-generation fighter will soon begin military training. Today, news agency RIA Novosti reported that the Scientific and Production Concern “Tehmash”, which is part of the State Corporation “Rostec” produced the first batch of shells for the T-50, also known as the PAK FA.
According to the Group “Tehmash” General Director Sergey Rusakov already made the first batch of 30-mm shells automatic guns 9 A1-4071K. We are talking about the new heat-resistant ammunition, which will soon be transferred to the Sukhoi Design Bureau, engaged in the development and testing of the new fighter.
According Rusakov, the new fighter will be equipped with high-explosive incendiary bombs OFZAB-500 volume-detonating bombs ODAB-500PMV.

Tests : ODAB-500PMV

Ammunition OFZAB-500 and ODAB-500PMV allow the fighter to perform maneuvers with large overloads, as developed for use at high speeds with small heights. Bomb OFZAB-500 is designed to engage manpower and easily vulnerable field installations, warehouses and fuel depots, ODAB-500PMV – to engage manpower, industrial constructions, easily vulnerable technology, light engineering structures, as well as the demining of antipersonnel and antitank minefields.




T-50 (PAK FA) – Russia’s fifth-generation fighter, created to replace the MiG-29 and Su-27. The development of T-50 began in the 80s, but after the collapse of the USSR the project was put on hold until 2001. The first flight of a new fighter aircraft took place in January 2010, and in 2014 began its flight tests. According to plans of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the first production models of the PAK FA must be received by the Russian Army in 2018.




China Acquires Su-35 Multirole Fighter Jets From Russia

The first four Su-35 fighter jets from a 24 aircraft arms deal between the two allies are to be delivered before the end of the year according to a statement by the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aviation plant.

This week the governor of Khabarovsk Krai, a federal area located in the Russian Far East, said in a statement during the opening of a new aircraft production plant that China will receive the first four Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighter jets in consideration of a 24 aircraft deal between Moscow and Beijing signed in November of 2015.






From 2016 to 2018, the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production plant will build and deliver a total of 24 Su-35 combat jets to China, the governor said according to RIA news agency as part of the agreement first forged between the parties in late 2015.

The fighter jet has a maximum speed of 1,553 MPH (2500kmh) with advanced dry thrust and afterburner capabilities that enhance the aircraft’s dogfight maneuverability and semi-stealth design that makes it possibly the most lethal fighter jet in the sky.

The Su-35 is Russia’s top air-superiority fighter, until the fifth-generation PAK-FA stealth fighter comes into production, with a clear maneuverability edge over existing fighter jets and a limited radar cross section after adjustments were made to the engine inlets and canopy as well as a series of modifications including the use of “radar-absorbent material” that gives the flanker a stealth-like profile.






The fighter jet comes armed with K-77M radar-guided missiles with a range of over 120 miles (193km) providing pilots with standoff capabilities ensuring pilot protection, an R-74 infrared-guided missiles that allow for targeting by a pilot using a helmet-mounted optical sight, and a thirty-millimeter cannon with 150 rounds for dogfight battles.

The acquisition of the Su-35 by the Chinese is a major boon for the country’s defense as well as its avionics industry. China has worked to produce its own turbofan akin to the Su-35’s, known as the WS-10 turbofan, but it continues to underperform the Russian-made AL-117S. If China is able to reverse engineer the technology they may be able to rapidly overcome their avionics gap with the West.

Read more:  Sputniknews


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