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July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘F-16’

Next US Air Force Chief Battle-Tested and Jewish

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Gen. David Goldfein, a command pilot who flew combat missions in the Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, and in NATO’s 1999 air war in the former Yugoslavia, has been nominated to be the US Air Force’s next chief of staff, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. Gen. Goldfein is Jewish. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Dawn A. Goldfein, since 1983. They have two married daughters; the oldest is serving in the USAF and the youngest teaches first grade in Dallas, Texas.

If approved, Goldfein will start his new commission on July 1. He has been the Air Force’s vice chief of staff since August 2015.

“I’m extremely humbled by the nomination to serve as the Air Force’s 21st chief of staff,” Goldfein said in an Air Force press release. “If confirmed, I pledge to serve our airmen and their families unwaveringly and honor our remarkable heritage and legacy of integrity, service and excellence.”

Gen. David Goldfein

Gen. David Goldfein

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James lauded Goldfein’s selection in the same release: “Gen. Goldfein possesses the experience and vision needed to address dynamic global challenges and increasing military demand. He knows how to build and sustain key partnerships, has important warfighting experience, and will exercise the critical judgment required to balance our manpower and resources as we shape tomorrow’s Air Force. There is not a better person to lead our airmen into the next century of airpower dominance.”

According to AirForce Times, Goldfein has more than 4,200 hours flying the C and D variants of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the stealth F-117A Nighthawk and the unmanned MQ-9 Reaper, as well as the T-37, T-38 and MC-12W. While flying a combat mission over Serbia in 1999, Goldfein was shot down when his F-16 was hit by a surface-to-air-missile.

Goldfein ejected, and trekked across farm fields, evading enemy patrols, until he was picked up by a rescue helicopter, that then flew into enemy fire, taking five bullets in the fuselage.

In 2007, Goldfein told the El Paso Times that he sends the men who rescued him in Serbia a bottle of “single malt, good quality” Scotch every year as a sign of his gratitude.

JNi.Media

Turkey Backpedals as Tensions Rise With Moscow, Says ‘Didn’t Know Downed Plane Was Russian’

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Turkey is starting to dial down its defensive stance in the face of Russian rage over the death of one of its pilots, and says it is ready for “all kinds of cooperation” with Moscow officials after shooting down a Russian Sukhoi-24M fighter jet on Tuesday over what it said was Turkish airspace.

At the time, Turkish military officials said its air force radar controllers repeatedly warned the jet it was violating its airspace and to redirect its flight path, but received no response. On Wednesday, Turkey released a recording of those warnings; a second clip was also published by media that was picked up from an entirely independent source as well.

“The nationality of the plane was not known…and the rules of engagement were automatically used,” the Turkish military said in a statement released early Thursday. Russian defense and military attaches were invited to Ankara headquarters for an explanation of the incident, Turkish officials added.

Moreover, Turkish military leaders said their troops had set out on a search and rescue mission to try and find the pilots after the Sukhoi-24M was shot down.

However, Russia has escalated the issue, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claiming on Russian TV on Wednesday that Moscow had “serious doubts” the incident was “an unpremeditated act. It looks very much like a planned provocation,” he said.

The Russian defense ministry announced late Wednesday it would deploy S-400 anti-aircraft missiles in Syria at its Hmeymim air base near Latakia, less than 30 miles from the Turkish border. The missiles have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) according to the Missile Threat website.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkey Releases Recording of Warning to Russian Fighter Jet

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The Turkish military has released to the public the recordings of the warnings that were broadcast to the Russian Sukhoi-24M warplane as it allegedly entered Turkey’s airspace on Tuesday, and before it was shot down.

Turkey says the same warning was broadcast every 30 seconds for five minutes before its F-16 fighter jet fired an air-to-air missile at the aircraft that was “violating its airspace,” for a total of 10 times.

Some aerospace analysts who have studied the radar map showing the “violation” say the Russian warplane could not have spent more than 17 seconds over Turkish territory.

Radar tracker visual of the flight path of the Russian Su-24M fighter jet shot down by the Turkish F-16 on Nov. 24, 2015.

Radar tracker visual of the flight path of the Russian Su-24M fighter jet shot down by the Turkish F-16 on Nov. 24, 2015.

The warnings — which rescued Russian navigator pilot Captain Konstantin Murakhtin denies ever having heard — were recorded by at least two separate sources.

A civilian pilot from Lebanon now has told Al-Arabyia that he also heard the repeated warnings — and not for the first time — being broadcast to “unknown aircraft” by a Turkish Air Force radar station. Each time, he said, the warnings were “met with silence” as they were from the Russian fighter jet “this time as well.” In fact, he said he has heard those warnings at least two or three times a week as he flies a plane for Middle East Airlines, Lebanon’s national carrier, although there is no way to confirm it.

On Tuesday, he heard the warnings again, but this time he said the air controller’s voice sounded much more tense and even urgent. Because of that, the Lebanese pilot recorded a 17-second clip of the warning with his smartphone, which was then passed on to Al-Arabiya.

According to The Telegraph and The Independent, the voice on the recording is heard saying in English:

“Unknown air traffic position onto Humeymim 020, redirect to 26 miles. This is Turkish Air Force speaking – en guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace. Change your heading south immediately.”

Turkey released that recording to prove those warnings from the Turkish Air Force radar station to the Russian warplane were, in fact, issued not once, but numerous times and to refute claims by the Russian Defense Ministry that no warnings were issued.

In addition to the recording from the Lebanese pilot, another clip was recorded on the international UHF emergency frequency 243.000 MHz by a reader of The Aviationist who “wishes to remain anonymous.”

According to this report as well, The Aviationist points out “we must highlight that similar messages have been radioed to unknown/Russian aircraft in the vicinity of the Turkish airspace in the past as well and recorded/heard by radio-hams and airband listeners located in Turkey and Greece.”

If such is the case, then in fact Turkey did indeed broadcast numerous messages to the Russian pilots; but the warnings did not come from the Turkish F-16 fighter jet which shot down the Su-24M. The pilots of the Turkish F-16 never contacted the pilots of the Russian Su-24M at all.

It is entirely possible that in the land of “diplospeak” this discrepancy point the way out of what might otherwise be the start of a nasty new conflict that could be fanned by interested parties into a third world war. Let’s hope so. It’s the first Russian warplane to be shot down by a NATO member since the end of World War II.

Hana Levi Julian

Rescued Russian Pilot Denies Turkish Contacts, Leaving Syria — But Turkey Releases Recording of Warnings

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

The pilot navigator of the Russian Sukhoi-24 fighter jet that was shot down by a Turkish F-16 says his aircraft never violated Turkey’s airspace and insists he was never contacted by Turkish air traffic control, either.

But Ankara released recordings to the media on Wednesday of the warnings that were repeated over and over, ordering the pilot to redirect his aircraft.

When he was rescued, Captain Konstantin Murakhtin vehemently denied ever leaving Syrian airspace.

“No, this is out of the question even for a one-second possibility, as we were at the altitude of 6,000 meters and the weather was clear,” he told the Rossiya-1 TV Channel in Russia. “All our mission flight was in my personal full control until the explosion of the missile.

“There was not even a slightest threat of getting into Turkey,” he said. “In fact, there were no warnings either via radio communication or optically. There were no contacts at all. That’s why we flew heading combat course as per normal,” he added, the TASS news agency reported.

“If they wanted to warn us they could have come out by flying on parallel courses. But this did not happen. And the missile came to our jet tail all of a sudden… We didn’t even see it to have time for missile evasive maneuver.”

Murakhtin told the interviewer he intends to ask permission to stay at his current base in Syria when he is discharged from the hospital. “I’ll ask the commanders for permission to stay on this airbase,” he said. “I have a debt to pay off on the part of my commander (the pilot who was shot dead by the Turkmen fighters on the ground as he parachuted from the burning warplane – ed.).”

A team of 18 Syrian special ops personnel carried out the 12-hour mission together with six members of an elite Hezbollah guerrilla unit to rescue the Russian airman, who was tracked to his hiding place via a radio signal. The body of the dead pilot, Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov, was not recovered. A rescue helicopter sent to search for the two pilots was also shot down, this time by Syrian rebel fire, and forced to make an emergency landing. A Russian Marine on board the helicopter, Alexander Pozynich, was also killed.

Turkey insisted it shot down the Russian jet because the aircraft had violated its airspace and its pilots did not respond to repeated warnings from military personnel. The Russian defense ministry claimed the Su-24 never left Syrian airspace.

But a civilian pilot from Lebanon now says he also heard the repeated warnings — and not for the first time this month, either. In fact, he said he has heard those warnings at least two or three times a week as he flies a plane for Middle East Airlines, Lebanon’s national carrier, although there is no way to confirm that claim.

On Tuesday, he heard the warnings again, but this time he said the air traffic controller’s voice sounded much more tense and even urgent. Because of that, the Lebanese pilot recorded a 17-second clip of the warnings with his smartphone, which was then passed on to Al-Arabiya.

 

 

Turkey has released that recording to prove those warnings from the Turkish Air Force radar station to the Russian warplane were, in fact, issued not once, but numerous times.

Hana Levi Julian

Britain Warns Turkish Airspace Incident ‘Very Serious’ as Russian Pilot Killed

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

The British Foreign Office warned Monday that the downing of a Russian warplane by the Turkish Air Force was a “very serious incident,” one that bears further investigation.

“We are seeking further details urgently,” the Foreign Office said Tuesday in a statement.

“Clearly this is a very serious incident but it would be unwise to comment further until we have more certainty on the facts,” the statement continued.

There is clearly a rising concern over increased tensions between Russia and the West as both confront the need to battle the spreading threat of global jihad.

European Union president Donald Tusk called for calm, noting that Turkey, a candidate for membership in the EU, is due to host a summit with the international body in Brussels on Sunday. “In this dangerous moment after downing of Russian let, all should remain cool headed and calm,” Tusk tweeted on the Twitter social networking site.

But Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov abruptly canceled his planned visit to Ankara for meetings with Turkish officials on Wednesday, and Moscow has posted a travel alert against the country.

According to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace. “Everyone must know that it is our international right and national duty to take any measure against whoever violates our air or land borders,” Davutoglu said in Ankara, according to AFP.

Russia insists –and said it could prove — the Sukhoi-24 jet had not left Syria air space, although an image of radar tracking of the flight path of the SU-24 seems to indicate otherwise.

“This goes beyond the normal struggle against terrorism,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement before a meeting in Sochi, Russia with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. “This was a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists.

“Our pilots and our plane did not in any way threaten Turkey. It is quite clear. They were carrying out an operation against Da’esh (ISIS) in the mountains of northern Latakia, where [terrorists] who originate from Russian territory are concentrated. So they were carrying out the key task of preventive attacks against those who could return to Russia at any time.”

Putin is also infuriated by the fact that the two pilots ejected before the jet crashed in Latakia province, but one died because Turkmen rebels in Syria killed him. The rebels admitted as much to reporters, according to Reuters.

NATO is set to convene an emergency meeting of ambassadors in Brussels at 4 pm GMT; the military alliance to which Turkey belongs said it was “closely” following developments in the situation, and remains in contact with the parties.

This is the first time Russia has lost a warplane since launching air strikes in Syria in defense of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Hana Levi Julian

Putin Accuses Turkey of ‘Stab in the Back’

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of a “stab in the back” after an F-16 Turkish fighter jet downed a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 with an air-to-air missile over Turkish air space.

Putin insisted the jet had been in Syrian airspace at the time and never threatened Turkish territory at all. He accused Turkey of aiding Da’esh (ISIS) and said Ankara was helping the terror group sell its oil in remarks prior to a meeting in Sochi, Russia with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. He warned the incident would have “serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations” but offered no details.

Turkey said in a terse statement the Russian warplane had violated its airspace and had been fired upon only after repeated warnings by Turkish pilots. The Turkish military also released a map that it said showed the plane was shot down as it flew east along a narrow strip of Turkish territory slightly more than a mile wide, along the Syrian border.

“The aircraft entered Turkish airspace over the town of Yaylidag in the southeastern Hatay province. The plane was warned 10 times in the space of five minutes before it was taken down,” the Turkish military said in a statement.

“In line with the military rules of engagement, the Turkish authorities repeatedly warned an unidentified aircraft that they were 15 kilometers or less away from the border.” When the Russian aircraft ignored the warnings, “the Turkish Air Forces responded by downing the aircraft,” said a Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered Turkey’s foreign ministry to consult with the United Nations and NATO, according to the statement from his office. NATO subsequently announced it would hold an emergency session Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the incident.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was scheduled to arrive in Turkey for talks on Wednesday, but in a ninth-hour move cancelled his trip, reportedly due to the downing of the Russian warplane.

In Sochi, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri S. Peskov told reporters, “It would be wrong now to give any assessments, assumptions or make any conclusions before we get a full picture. We have to be patient; it is a very serious incident, but again, without all of the information it is impossible to say anything, and it would be wrong.”

Footage of the Russian warplane dropping from the skies in flames into a forested area in northern Syria known to Turkish citizens as the Turkmen Mountains was broadcast over the Haberturk television channel on Tuesday.

Turkmen forces in Syria allegedly shot dead both of the pilots from the downed Sukhoi as they came down in their parachutes.

“Both of the pilots were retrieved dead,” Turkmen brigade deputy commander Alpaslan Celik told reporters, according to Reuters. “Our comrades opened fire into the air and they died in the air.” The Turkmen deputy commander held up what he said was a piece of one of the pilots’ parachutes.

Subsequently it was discovered that only one pilot was killed.

Hana Levi Julian

Lockheed Worried about IDF Unauthorized ‘Modifications’ in F-35

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Israel is in the process of preparing the infrastructure and capabilities needed to start operating its first F-35 Adir (Heb = Great) stealth strike fighters by the end of 2017, Defense News reported. The first pair of Adirs will arrive by December 2016, and fly out of the IAF Nevatim Air Base in the Negev.

According to the IDF blog, the new squadron of 19 F-35 jets will be incorporated into the Israeli Air Force beginning in 2019. The newly engineered fighters are a step up from the F-16I, especially with the addition of new state-of-the-art stealth technology and avionics. Each F-35 unit costs around $110 million, according to the Israeli defense ministry.

Steve Over, Lockheed Martin director for F-35 International Business Development, said that even though Israel will have “plenty of capability to do light maintenance in-country,” heavy maintenance of the Adir airframes and engines will be done at Joint Program Office-managed, company-established facilities “just like we do with all our other partners.”

“When you tear an airplane down, you expose its magic,” Over said bluntly. “So that type of work must be performed in designated places.”

Perhaps betraying their reservations about what usually happens the American weapons after the Israelis lay their hands on them, Lockheed executives said Israel would be able to add specific capabilities or upgraded functions—which the Israelis love doing—as long as it did not affect the overall design or the aircraft software. As Over put it:

The Israelis have an ability to do some unique things. But anything wholesale that would impact the design or capabilities driving all the airplanes for all the countries would have to be done by consensual agreement.

The IAF is preparing to send its first group of pilots to train in Arizona next year, at the Luke Air Force Base. At the same time, the IAF will be sending dozens of maintenance professionals to train at US Air Force logistics bases at Eglin, Florida, according to Defense News.

Washington has approved 75 F-35s for export to Israel, of which the IDF has contracted for 33, hoping to be able to absorb another 17 planes by 2020, according to Defense News.

According to the IDF blog, The stealth technology allows the aircraft to fly practically unnoticed by any enemy. For many years, these systems were too expensive to be deployed on small aircraft; therefore they could only be used on larger and more expensive bombers such as the B-2 or the F-117. The newly developed F-35 allows the incorporation of these features at a low maintenance price.

The F-35 is also manufactured with improved electronic systems onboard. Sensors including various radars, infrared systems, and active electronic warfare systems are all mounted on the aircraft during production. They serve as an integral part of the plane and not as “add-ons” which is common in other aircraft.

With these improvements, the IAF pilots will receive a more precise and complete picture of the battlefield in real-time. It will allow them to better position themselves and give them the advantage to come out on top of every mission they must face.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lockheed-worried-about-idf-unauthorized-modifications-in-f-35/2015/09/06/

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