Tag Archives: Plane

Russia spy plane intercepted in NATO airspace: alliance

By on Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

NATO fighter jets intercepted a Russian spy plane over the Baltic Sea after it breached Estonian airspace, the alliance said Wednesday in the latest of such incidents amid tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.

The Ilyushin IL-20 “intelligence collection aircraft”, which took off from the Russian Baltic coast enclave of Kaliningrad on Tuesday, was first intercepted by Danish F-16 jets when it approached Denmark, NATO said in a statement.

It then flew north towards non-NATO member Sweden which also sent jets to intercept the plane.

Nearly four hours later the plane flew towards NATO member Estonia and was detected in Estonian airspace “for a period of less than one minute, which represented an incursion of about 600 metres (yards) into NATO airspace,” it said.

Portuguese F-16s spotted the Russian propeller plane and escorted it out of NATO airspace, the alliance said.

The Ukraine crisis has produced the worst east-west tension since the end of the Cold War.

NATO has stepped up its Baltic air patrols due to what it says is a surge in intercepts of Russian warplanes near Polish and Baltic airspace since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March.

The Swedish Navy meanwhile has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week, although it said Wednesday it was pulling back some of its ships.

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US military’s robot space plane lands back on Earth

A top secret US robot space plane landed back on Earth on Friday after a 22-month orbit, officials said, although the craft’s mission remains shrouded in mystery.

The unmanned X-37B, which looks like a miniature space shuttle, glided into the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California after having launched on December 11, 2012, on a mission that military officers say is still strictly secret.

“I’m extremely proud of our team for coming together to execute this third safe and successful landing, said commander Keith Balts of the US military’s 30th Space Wing, after the 9:24 am (1624 GMT) landing.

Analysts say the X-37B could be a platform for spying from space, including possibly snooping on other countries’ satellites.

But officials have previously denied the project had anything to do with creating a “space weapon” that could knock down other satellites.

The Air Force says the X-37B can test technology for “reusable” spacecraft and conduct unspecified experiments that can be studied on Earth.

The latest mission was the third and the longest so far for the vehicle. An initial flight launched in 2010 lasted about eight months and a second flight had the spacecraft in orbit for more than 15 months.

The X-37B, manufactured by aerospace giant Boeing, weighs five tonnes and measures about 29 feet (8.8 meters) long, with a wing span of roughly 15 feet across.

Traveling at speeds 25 times faster than the speed of sound, the vehicle is launched into space on the back of a rocket and, once its mission is complete, returns from orbit like a plane.

But, unlike NASA’s civilian shuttle, it has two stabilizers in the rear instead of one, forming a “V” shape.

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2 dead in Algeria military plane crash

By on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

An Algerian air force plane crashed Monday in the south of the country during a training exercise, killing the two soldiers on board, the defence ministry said.

It said the Sukhoi Su-24, a bomber first developed in the former Soviet Union, went town near Hassi Bahbah in the Djelfa region, 270 kilometres (165 miles) south of Algiers.

An investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the accident.

On July 24, an Air Algerie plane crashed in Mali, killing all 116 people on board. And the crash of a military transport plane in eastern Algeria in February killed 77 soldiers and family members.

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Russian Fighter Jet 10m from Swedish Plane

By on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Russian fighter jets have been acting more aggressively around Swedish reconnaissance aircrafts lately, according to Anders Grenstad, deputy director of operations in the Swedish Armed Forces.

On Friday a photo was released by the authority for signals intelligence, FRA, of a Russian Su-27 flying only a few meters away from a Swedish surveillance aircraft. According to Grenstad this more aggressive behavior is a new development.

“You ought to keep a distance of between fifty and one hundred and fifty metres if you want to show that you are there and assert your country’s interests. But this is much more intrusive and, of course, it could go wrong if the pilot is not sufficiently skilled in the maneuvering that he is forced to do here,” Grenstad told Swedish Radio News.

It is in particular in the international air space that the Russian planes have become more aggressive, Swedish Radio reports. The photo released by FRA show a plane only ten metres away from the Swedish aircraft, and the pilot makes sure he turns the plane in a way that the six air-to-air missiles under the plane can be seen.

But there are also examples of when Russian planes have flown into Swedish air space. In September two Russian planes flew over the island of Öland off the Swedish east coast. The then Foreign minister Carl Bildt said that was the most serious violation of Swedish air space that he had experience as a foreign minister.

In the interview with Swedish Radio News, deputy director Anders Grenstad does not want to answer directly the question if the Swedish security alert has been raised because of this, but he says the military preparedness is constantly adjusted to the existing situation.

“Things are looking different out there. So the people who work in that environment are mentally prepared for a situation where there is a more intrusive courting or something,” he said.

But shall we be concerned that Russia would suddenly attack Sweden? asks Swedish Radio News.

“No, absolutely not,” replied Grenstad.

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Ukrainian Buk battery radar was operational when Malaysian plane downed

By on Saturday, July 19th, 2014

On Thursday, when a Malaysian Airlines plane was apparently shot down over Ukraine, a Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missile battery was operational in the region, the Russian Defense Ministry said, contradicting Kiev’s statements.

The battery was deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner, the ministry said in a statement. It said radiation from the battery’s radar was detected by the Russian military.

The Russian equipment detected throughout July 17 the activity of a Kupol radar, deployed as part of a Buk-M1 battery near Styla [a village some 30km south of Donetsk],” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the radar could be providing tracking information to another battery deployed in the region, which was at a firing distance from the plane’s flight path.

Earlier Kiev said it could not have fired a missile at the passing civilian plane because it had no Buk missile launchers deployed in the region. At the same time the Ukrainians said the militias had no Buk systems in their hands, according to a statement from the country’s Prosecutor General.

After the Russian ministry came out with the statement, Bogdan Senyk, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reiterated Kiev’s position, saying that “anti-aircraft missiles have not been deployed during the anti-terrorist operation … they are all in place.

The Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 carrying almost 300 people on board crashed on Thursday as it was flying over Ukraine’s Donetsk Region. The plane was apparently shot down by a surface-to-air missile, although both Kiev and the local militias fighting against it deny responsibility. A flurry of condemnations and calls for a swift investigation followed the disaster.

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Britain scrambles jets after Russian plane approaches airspace

By on Friday, April 25th, 2014

Two British Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled after two Russian military aircraft were detected approaching northern Scotland on Wednesday, the Ministry of Defence said.

The jets from RAF Leuchars in Scotland were sent to “determine the identity of unknown aircraft”, which turned away before reaching British airspace.

“The aircraft were subsequently identified as Russian military aircraft,” said a ministry spokesman.

“The Russian military aircraft remained in international airspace at all times as they are perfectly entitled to do so.”

RAF jets were deployed in similar circumstances eight times last year, but no Russian military flights ever entered UK airspace without authorisation, the spokesman said.

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Indonesian Firm is Lone Bidder for P800-M PAF Plane Contract

26 September 2013

NC-212-200 of the Indonesian Navy (photo : skuad600)

MANILA, Philippines — An Indonesian aircraft manufacturer was the only firm to bid for a Department of Defense contract to supply the Philippine Air Force with two medium-lift transport planes worth more than P800 million.

This was first revealed by reliable military sources and later confirmed by Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo who, when asked, said in a text message that the “big is (still) being evaluated.” 

He did not elaborate.

According to one source, three companies bought bid documents but only PT Dirgantara Indonesia/Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) and Sikorsky Aircraft submitted offers.

When the bids were opened at the DND in Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday, only PT Dirgantara qualified as a bidder. It offered a price of P812,550,000.

Another source said Sikorsky had offered the C27 Skytruck while PT Dirgantara offered the NC212-200 Aviocar.

“Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez has given the (Air Force’s) technical working group seven days to evaluate (PT Dirgantara’s) bid,” he said.

The Indonesian firm describes the NC-212-200 in its website as “a light transport that was designed to operate in areas lacking in infrastructure and unpaved runways. It has a high-wing configuration and fixed landing gear, is fitted with twin turboprop engines, and has excellent Short Take Off and Landing capability.”

The firm was established in 1976 and bills itself as “one of the indigenous aerospace company in Asia with core competence in aircraft design, development and manufacturing of civilian and military regional commuter aircraft.”

(InterAksyon)

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