Thursday, May 25, 2017

The military escalation in Fezzan can lead to an open conflict between Tobruk and Misrata


This analysis was to be published initially on Middle East Eye, but this publication has been canceled. So I decided to share it for free on my blog ...

For six months, escalation is increasing in the Tamanhint area – 30 kilometer northeast of Al Sebha – between the LNA’s 12th Infantry Brigade and Misrata’s Third Force. The latest major confrontation was the attack on Brak al-Shati — 80 kilometers north of Al Sebha — infrastructure on 18 May which let about 140 LNA militaries and civilians killed, and an entire key military air base ravaged. How a militia like the Third Force managed to fall such airbase so easily ?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Iraqi secret Intelligence Service aircraft revealed


On May 10, 2017, a ceremony took place at Al Muthana air base in Iraq in the presence of Iraqi air force commander Gen. Anwar Hamad Amin. In the background of photos taken that day, a De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter with an Iraqi flag on the tail is visible.

The presence of this DHC-6 is surprising because no such aircraft has been reported as having been delivered to Iraq. According to sources War Is Boring agreed not to name, this airplane arrived in Iraq in secrecy in 2014 and is currently being used by the Iraqi intelligence service.

We’ve Spotted Some Secret Iraqi Spy Planes


My interview in Libération newspaper on 21 May

My interview (in French) in Libération newspaper on 21 May 2017 about the attack performed on Brak al-Shati airbase in southern Libya.

L'armée du maréchal Haftar ravagée dans le Sud libyen



Monday, May 15, 2017

New loss for Iraqi Army Aviation in the battle of Mosul

Iraqi Army Aviation has lost a Bell IA-407 on 13 May in western Mosul near Al-Qayrawan region. The pilots managed to land safely in a PMU (Popular Mobilization Units) base after being hit by ground fire and later evacuated. This is the second Bell IA-407 down in five weeks. Previous one was down on 6 April in Al-Muhandisin district of Mosul city. A Mi-35 crashed near Baiji on 4 January and another Bell IA-407 was lost in Mukeshefah area North of Samarra at 140 km north of Baghdad on 29 October 2016. Seven Bell helicopters were captured, crashed or shot down in three years of fighting against Islamic State.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dropping the Big One

by Krzysztof Dabrowski

The Big One usually refers to a nuclear weapon, a nuclear bomb in particular. In case of the AN602 (AH602) this term is especially fitting for this thermonuclear weapon was indeed big both in terms of its yield as well as weight and dimensions. The bomb went under several other designations including RDS-202 (РДС-202), RN202 (PH202) and names such as Ivan (Иван). It was also called Kuzkina mat (Кузькина мать) literally meaning the mother of Kuzma which was a reference to the Soviet Union’s leader of that time Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev ( Ники́та Серге́евич Хрущёв) exclamation "Мы вам покажем Кузькину мать!" – phonetically “My vam pokazhem Kuzkinu mat!” – which literally means we will show you Kuzma’s mother but colloquially expresses the intention to teach others a harsh lesson. However arguably the weapon is best known as the Tsar bomba (Царь-бомба) even if the Soviets themselves never actually used this term. Since it is pointless to “swim against the tide” Tsar bomba will henceforth be used in this piece as well. The said “doomsday device” was developed by a team of physicists headed by Yulii Borisovich Khariton (Ю́лий Бори́сович Харито́н) which also included many other distinguished Soviet scientists with Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (Андре́й Дми́триевич Са́харов) among them.
While considerable attention is usually devoted to the bomb itself and its test – that hardly being surprising – the aircraft which delivered it and the men who flew it usually stay in relative obscurity. Yet a nuclear bomb without a bomber remains useless for obvious reasons. Thus it begs to devote a few words to the Tu 95V bomber which was an aircraft devised specifically to carry and drop the Tsar bomba.

The bomb undergoes the necessary preparations

Friday, May 5, 2017

Misrata has recruited new mercenaries for its air force



Forces loyal to the Libyan renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar claim foreign mercenaries are being recruited to bolster the air power of rival fighters in the city of Misrata. Colonel Ahmed Almesmari, of Haftar's Libyan National Army, said this week that the 11 mercenaries had entered the city, including "nine jet technicians from Ecuador, one Ukrainian pilot, one missile expert from Georgia".
A source close to the international mission in Libya, who asked to remain anonymous, also confirmed this to Middle East Eye. Almesmari told MEE that the Libyan National Army (LNA) was "not in a stage to comment further". "In case we decide to announce detailed info, it will be on our official outlets," he added.
The mercenaries were reported by MEE's source to have entered the cities of Misrata and Mitiga. The hiring of mercenaries would break UN resolutions on arms control in Libya.

Libyan militia building mercenary air force, rivals claim

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My publication in May 2017


Two publications in May 2017 : in DSI issue No.129, I talk about the engagement of Egyptian and Emirati Air Forces in Libya with a focus on the UAE deployment at al-Khadim airbase; I have also written a short piece about the latest batch of four F-16IQs delivered to Iraqi Air Force in Issue No.350 of Air Forces Monthly magazine

Monday, April 24, 2017

The LNA Air School rehabilitated nine pilots and upgraded eight


The Libyan News Agency published on 16 April 2017 a video from inside the Libyan National Army Air School at Tobruk where new pilots are being trained on Mi-2 helicopters. Colonel Pilot Mohamed Ben Ali, commanding officer of the Mi-2 Squadron, said that the military personnel carried out 1553 sorties, which lasted 1200 hours and 45 minutes. Ben Ali explained that these flights included military operations in addition to other training that contributed to the rehabilitation of nine pilots from the combat squadrons, and raise the efficiency of eight other pilots on Mi-2 Squadron.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My publication in April-May 2017


In March-April, two of my articles are published in DSI and Combat Aircraft Monthly magazines. The first one is the story of the Garud commando forces, the special forces dedicated to the Indian Air Force in DSI special Issue. In Combat Aircraft Monthly, I published a short piece about the latest Aero Vodochody L-159s delivered to Iraqi Air Force.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Libyan National Army Is Running Out of Air Power

The Libyan National Army Air Force — part of the eastern-based Tobruk regime, one of two competing governments in Libya — lost two fighter-bombers and an experienced pilot in fewer than two weeks. A MiG-21 shot down over the Al Sabri district in Benghazi and a second MiG-21 that crashed near Tobruk after a mission to Derna, killing the commander of Gamal Abdul El Nasser air base.


The LNA/AF, under the command of Gen. Khalifa Haftar, also lost a Mi-35 gunship helicopter that the air arm abandoned at Ras Lanouf air base during a militant attack — and then destroyed.The losses have sharply reduced the LNA/AF’s combat capability as it battles western-based Misrata militants who are determined to hold Libya’s central oil crescent.

The Libyan National Army Is Running Out of Air Power

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My publications in March-April 2017


In March-April, two of my articles are published in Airpower and Air Force Monthly magazines. The first one is an analysis of the future of the F-35 : "Le F-35 est-il condamné ?". In Air Forces Monthly, I published the first contribution to my new series of monthly reports named the "Flashpoint" : "Dusty' goes to war", the secretive Libyan war record of the Air Tractor.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

How Emirati/Egyptian air power turned Haftar's Libyan oil ports disaster to victory


On 14 March, General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army launched a counterattack against the fighters of the Saraya Defend Benghazi and the Petroleum Facilities Guard coalition, which had managed to take most of the coastal cities near the oil terminals 10 days earlier.

This lightning counter-offensive has left observers skeptical. How could an army have lost an entire region in a few days - and then recovered it so quickly?



Balloon busting

by Krzysztof Dabrowski


With various events commemorating the centennial of the First World War or the Great War as the global conflict is also known the attention of aviation enthusiasts is among other things drawn to the so call balloon busting – that is to the shooting down of enemy aerostats which was an important part of World War One aerial warfare. This was so despite the fact that powered flight was by that time already well established. However aerostats still played an important role, especially observation blimps were of great use allowing to watch enemy positions and look behind his lines. For obvious reason neither of the warring side could tolerate this and hence the aforementioned balloon busting. It is less known however, that many balloons and other aerostats were also shot down in times chronologically much closer.  In particular the Cold War saw many such incidents occurring but they also took place even more recently – leaving the former for another time it seems fitting to bring to attention the latter.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A new offensive in the Oil Crescent could reshuffle the cards in Libya


On March 3, 2017, fighters from Saraya Defend Benghazi — also known as Benghazi Defense Brigade, an Islamist militia group that formed in June 2016 to oppose the dominant Libyan National Army and its popular leader Gen. Khalifa Hafter — together with members of Ibrahim Jadhran’s Petroleum Facilities Guard and Misrata’s Al Marsa Brigade, attacked An Nawfaliya, Bin Jawad, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf in Libya’s Oil Crescent.

Their goal was to seize the oil terminals in those towns. And thus control Libya’s wealth. The attack has upended the Libyan civil war.