Russians training Syrian MiG-29 pilots in air-to-air combat

by Jeremy Binnie

A still from the Zvezda TV footage shows a Syrian MiG-29 taking off from Tiyas Air Base. (Zvezda TV )

The Russian Air Force is training Syrian MiG-29 pilots in air-to-air training, the Russian Ministry of Defence's Zvezda TV channel reported on 15 November.

“An important stage in the training of any pilot is the launch of guided air-to-air missiles,” Zvezda quoted Maxim Aleksanin, a Russian squadron commander, as saying. “For the first time, Syrian pilots used R-73 guided missiles from MiG-29 aircraft. In the future, we plan to improve the tactics of conducting close and long-range air combat in order to prevent provocations in the skies of Syria, as well as near its borders.”

The video that accompanied the report showed two Syrian MiG-29s (3431 and 3436) being prepared and taking off with R-73 missiles, although not launching them, and at least one was shown carrying a missile as it landed.


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North Korea launches two more ‘tactical missiles'

by Jon Grevatt & Rahul Udoshi

The Japanese Ministry of Defense said the North Korean missiles launched on 17 January from Pyongyang fell near the east coast of North Korea, outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone. (Japanese MoD – https://www.mod.go.jp/j/press/news/2022/01/17b.html)

North Korea launched two more missiles on 17 January, the latest in a series of similar drills since the beginning of 2022. Janes assesses that the new launches featured a version of the KN-24 short-range ballistic missile (SRBM).

Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the two “tactical guided missiles” were fired from the “western region of our country [and] hit an island target in the East Sea of Korea with precision”. The East Sea of Korea is also known as the Sea of Japan or East Sea.

KCNA added, “The inspection [and] firing test was conducted for the purpose of selectively inspecting the tactical guided missiles being produced and verifying the accuracy of the weapon system.

“The Academy of Defence Science has confirmed the accuracy, safety, and operational effectiveness of this weapon system being produced.”


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Spain flies Eurofighter with Meteor

by Gareth Jennings

A Spanish Eurofighter combat aircraft carrying a pair of Meteor missiles on its underfuselage weapon stations. (Spanish Air Force)

The Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire Espanol: EdAE) has begun flight operations of the Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft armed with the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), the service announced on 15 January.

According to the service's official Twitter account, a Eurofighter (designated C.16 in national service) flew operationally for the first time with the Meteor missile on 14 January.

“Yesterday, a Eurofighter of the Ala 14 [No. 14 Wing] of the EdAE carried out, for the first time, its mission equipped with a Meteor missile,” the post said, adding that the milestone followed installation of the Phase 2 Enhancements B (P2Eb) software enhancement performed on the aircraft of Ala 14.


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China's XAC reveals possible new tanker variant

by Andreas Rupprecht & Alessandra Giovanzanti

China's Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC) is progressing rapidly with the development of both the Y-20B heavy transport aircraft fitted with Shenyang WS-20 high-bypass turbofan engines and its KJ-600 carrier-capable airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, satellite imagery captured in late November 2021 shows.

The images – published on 12 January 2022 on several social media platforms – show at least four WS-20-powered Y-20B transport and three green KJ-600 AEW aircraft at the Xi'an-Yanliang airfield, which is home to both a XAC plant and the China Flight Test Establishment. Together with one more already painted KJ-600 prototype, four of these aircraft are confirmed to be in existence.

At least two of the Y-20Bs appear to be fitted with in-flight refuelling pods, suggesting that besides the Y-20U dedicated aerial refuelling aircraft, which is being built in larger numbers for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), a new tanker variant based on the improved Y-20B is under development, possibly for the PLAAF or the People's Liberation Army Naval Air Force.

The Y-20B had its maiden flight in November 2020 and in October 2021, a second aircraft was confirmed.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/russians-training-syrian-mig-29-pilots-in-air-to-air-combat

The Russian Air Force is training Syrian MiG-29 pilots in air-to-air training, the Russian Ministry ...

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