Eyes in the Sky: Russian Aircraft to Monitor US Military From Above

Ту-154М Лк-1


Russian inspectors will conduct an observation flight over the United States between November 30 and December 5 under the Treaty on Open Skies, according to the head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center.

The Tu-154M-LK-1, a Russian surveillance plane, will carry out an observation flight over the United States between November 30 and December 5 in accordance with the Treaty on Open Skies, RIA Novosti quoted Sergey Ryzhkov, the head of Russia’s National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, as saying.

“An observation flight will be conducted from November 30 to December 5 from Travis Air Force Base in California. The maximum range of the flight will stand at 4,250 kilometers,” Ryzhkov said.

In the course of the mission, US specialists on board the aircraft will monitor compliance with the agreed parameters of the flight and the use of agreed observation equipment.

This will be Russia’s 39th observation flight over territory held by a signatory of the Treaty on Open Skies in 2015.

The treaty establishes an unarmed aerial surveillance program whereby signatory states may conduct flights over the entire territory of fellow participants.The document was signed in March 1992 and became one of the major confidence-building measures established in Europe after the Cold War.
It entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 States Parties, including Russia and most NATO countries.

Moscow ratified the Treaty on Open Skies on May 26, 2001. The document allows its participants to openly gather information on each other’s military forces and activities.


Aerospace Force’s mission in Syria more effective than American – press secretary

Dmitry Peskov also said that the Russian and French military have been discussing already an action plan for Syria

Russia’s presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov

Russia’s presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov

© Anna Isakova/press-service of the State Duma of the Russian Federation/TASS

VLADIVOSTOK, November 28. /TASS/. The mission of the Russian Aerospace Force in Syria is more effective in quality than the U.S. mission, Russia’s presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the Vesti V Subbotu (News on Saturday) television programme.

“The territory, controlled by terrorists is shrinking (over the time of the Russian mission),” he said. “This proves the mission is qualitatively different. It is more effective. Those are not conclusions of political analysts, but the reality, which may be announced.”

He called an “undeniable fact” result of the U.S.-led coalition’s actions, which had been in Iraq and in Syria for 15 months.

“Unfortunately, that mission, which lasted for over a year, has resulted in bigger territories controlled by IS (Islamic State),” he said. “It is for the first time now, thanks to the mission of the Russian Aerospace Force, which is not that long yet, the tendency has changed radically”.

Russian, French military discuss action plan in Syria

The Russian and French military have been discussing already an action plan for Syria, though it is too early yet to announce the coalition is ready to cooperate, said Russia’s presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov.

The Russian side keeps the door open for any cooperation acceptable for the U.S.-led coalition, he said, adding “as yet, we cannot see, say, mutual readiness.”

He continued saying some countries had chosen to leave now the “pressing position” demanding an immediate resignation of Bashar Assad.

“Now that most Syrian territory is controlled by IS, Nusra and other terrorist organisations, it seems unrealistic to organise whatever elections,” the press secretary said. “Nor realistic are talks about a political settlement. The only force on the ground, which is fighting terrorism, is the Syrian Armed Forces”.

Russia is adamant about territory integrity of Middle East countries

Russia is for territory and political integrity of the Middle East countries, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told.

“You know, it is a very sensitive region, and thus inarguable provision is to remain – the territory and political integrity of all the countries in the region: both Syria, and Turkey, and Iraq,” he said. “Otherwise, the consequences may be catastrophic for the region, which actually neighbours our borders.”

The anchorman said about various political and ethnic groups acting in the region, including, for example, the Kurdish militia.

“The Kurdish militia, well, in fact they are fighting most effectively both in northern Iraq, and fighting effectively the Islamic State (a terrorist group outlawed in Russia),” Peskov said. “They are a more realistic force in fighting IS than the ephemeral Free Syrian Army.”

The presidential press secretary preferred to leave unanswered a question from the anchorman whether Russia should intensify contacts with the Kurds.

“Here, I have said everything I could,” Peskov replied.

Forgotten Russian MiG Resurrected as New Chinese 5th Generation Jet?

Chengdu J-20

The first Russian fifth generation fighter is not the much advertised T-50, which according to plan should begin to arrive into the Russian Military and Space Forces in early 2016, but the almost forgotten project MiG 1.44, which was abandoned in the early 2000s.

The MiG 1.44 was developed in conjunction with the F-22 and could have gone into service in the late nineties but the collapse of the state, along with the difficult economic situation in the country, did not allow this to happen and the project had to be abandoned, with preference given to the ‘Sukhoi’ series.

Despite the fact that the project was canceled in Russia, MiG 1.44 sparked great interest in China as the country is currently developing two of such fifth-generation fighters.

According to the Chinese, the J-20 will become the first full-fledged Chinese fifth-generation fighter but more interesting is that J-20 has a number of obvious resemblances to the MiG 1.44, and according to analysts of the Defence Aviation these similarities are striking.

“Both have a delta wing and a V-shaped tail part, which means that the Chinese while developing the aircraft kept the Russian prototype in mind,” Defence Aviation noted.

However, there is a main difference and that is that the Chinese J-20 at its center has “stealth” technology, whereas, the Russian MiG-1.44 was designed for air combat and eventually turned out, according to the Defence Aviation, very maneuverable for its size.

The Chief Editor of “Arms Export” Andrei Frolov noted that the Chinese have still not reached the level of technology needed to build a fifth-generation fighter.

“In particular, this applies to the engine — powerful and reliable, with variable thrust vector, as well as electronic warfare, which in turn makes our participation in the development of J-20 almost inevitable,” website Warfiles reported Frolov as saying.

In this context, Frolov mentioned the recent deal to sell 24 Russian Su-35, which was sold to the Chinese complete with the latest Russian AL-41F1engines, also known as the “Article 117”. China does not need the plane, however the engines are essential for the continuation of the R&D of the fifth generation jets.


Berlin May Send 1,200 Military to Syria to Participate in Air Campaign

Eurofighter Typhoon of German airforce


The German armed forces may send up to 1,200 servicemen to enable the country’s Air Force take part in combat missions in Syria, Inspector General of the Bundeswehr Volker Wieker said.

  Germany is a member of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State militant group, but it is not currently launching airstrikes against the group’s positions, only providing logistical and technical assistance.

“From the military point of view, to ensure the operation of aircraft we need about 1.200 military personnel,” Wieker told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview.

According to him, the beginning of the overseas mission depends on the receipt of a respective mandate.

Earlier this week, Henning Otte, the German lawmaker of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party said Berlin was considering the possibility of sending Tornado reconnaissance aircraft to Syria to contribute to the struggle against the ISIL extremists.

The debates in the German parliament on the possibility of the Bundeswehr participation in the military operation in Syria are due to begin next week.


China’s New Hypersonic Weapon Capable of Defeating US Air Defense System

WU-14 hypersonic glide vehicle


China successfully conducted a sixth flight test of its DF-ZF (previously known as WU-14) hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) designed to defeat US missile defenses.

“The DF-ZF is an ultra-high-speed missile allegedly capable of penetrating US air defense systems based on interceptor missiles,” Bill Gertz of The Washington Free Beacon wrote.

The DF-ZF HGV was launched at the Wuzhai missile test center in central China’s Shanxi Province. It was transported by a ballistic missile near the edge of the atmosphere, where it separated from its launcher and then glided to an impact range a few thousand kilometers away in western China, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

“The DF-ZF flight was tracked by US intelligence agencies and flew at speeds beyond Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound,” Gertz noted.

The DF-ZF HGV warhead is carried to the boundary between space and Earth’s atmosphere, roughly 100 km above the ground, by a ballistic missile booster.

“Once it reaches that height, it begins to glide in a relatively flat trajectory by executing a pull-up maneuver and accelerates to speeds of up to Mach 10.”

The DF-ZF can allegedly reach speeds of between Mach 5 and Mach 10, or 6,173 kilometers (3,836 miles) per hour and 12,359 (7,680) miles per hour. Whether it will be armed with nuclear or conventional warheads remains unclear.


Moscow’s Missile Shield Will Last for Decades to Come

Almaz Antei Air Defense Holding company


Moscow’s air defense system will be able to effectively protect the Russian capital against any attack for many decades, a senior Aerospace Forces commander said in a radio interview on Saturday.

“The A-135 Amur system will stay ahead of the emerging threats  for the next few decades…. We are constantly upgrading our pride and joy – the Don-2N radar — and deploying new missiles that will double the system’s combat characteristics,” Colonel Andrei Cheburin told Russian News Service radio on Saturday.The missile defense system protecting Moscow and the Central Industrial Region consists of a number of silo-based antimissiles traveling at twice the speed of a bullet.

“That’s why the Americans call them ‘gazelles’…Their state-of-the-art homing system ensures 100 percent acquisition and destruction on incoming ballistic targets. Righty now we are modernizing our antimissiles to further improve their combat characteristics,” Colonel Cheburin said.


Turkey Scaled Down Greek Airspace Violations After Downing Russian Bomber

A missile-loaded Turkish Air Force warplane takes off from the Incirlik Air Base, in the outskirts Adana, south-eastern Turkey, Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Greece has seen a dramatic drop in the number of violations of its airspace by Turkish military aircraft since Tuesday’s downing of a Russian bomber over Syria, the Greek General Staff said on Saturday.

Turkish warplanes stray into Greek airspace dozens of times each day with more than 50 such incidents registered this month alone.However, not a single such violation happened on Tuesday with RIA Novosti quoting a diplomatic source in Athens as saying that “there was zero Turkish military activity in the Greek Flight Information Region over the Aegean Sea, and we know why.”

On Tuesday, November 24, a Russian Su-24 bomber was shot down by an air-to-air missile fired by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet over Syrian territory and crashed four kilometers from the Turkish border.

“On November 25 a squadron of six Turkish warplanes, two with arms on board, strayed into Greek airspace, but no such incidents have been registered ever since,” the Greek General Staff said in a statement.