Saturday, 18 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Images from a recently released video shows additional details of now-former Afghan Air Force aircraft and helicopters that were still present at Kabul International Airport at the time of its fall to the Taliban. In addition to showing the damage caused to aircraft by U.S. forces as they sought to prevent future use of Afghan Air Force assets, the footage also reveals that three Mi-24V attack helicopters were captured intact by the Taliban. Other aircraft such as the C-208/AC-208 utility/attack aircraft and C-130 transport aircraft similarly appear to have suffered less damage than initially thought.

The flyable inventory of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Air Force currently consists of eight MD 530F attack helicopters, around a dozen Mi-8/17s and four UH-60 'Blackhawk' transport helicopters. The activation of more Mi-8/17s and a number of UH-60s is likely, although the operational lifespan of any Blackhawk will likely be limited without access to qualified technicians. Nonetheless, the capture of at least twelve UH-60s and fourteen Mi-8/17s at Kabul will likely provide the Taliban with a steady source of spare parts for years to come. 

Friday, 17 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Bin atlı akınlarda çocuklar gibi şendik - A thousand cavaliers, we were cheerful like children during the raids (Akıncılar, by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)
 
The A-10 Thunderbolt II was specifically developed as a close air support (CAS) aircraft, tearing up enemy tanks and providing air support against enemy ground forces with its powerful 30mm cannon. Largely designed around the GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, the mere presence of an A-10 over the battlefield is often enough to strike a lasting sense of fear into any foe on the ground. At a first glance, the Bayraktar Akıncı features little of the aspects that made the A-10 such a fearsome anti-tank hunter, even lacking any type of cannon armament whatsoever.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

This list aims to catalogue visually confirmed Coalition unmanned aerial aircraft (UAV) losses during the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen launched in March 2015. This list only includes visually confirmed losses recorded. Thus, the actual number of UAVs lost in the theatre is likely significantly higher than what is recorded here (for example drones that crashed inside Saudi Arabia but whose wreckages were never photographed). As the conflict is still ongoing, the list will be updated as new downings occur.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The shock of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) must have been immense when a Chinese-made M20 short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) impacted the flight line of Bahir Dar air base in northwestern Ethiopia in November 2020, during the early stages of the Tigray War. Although the targetting of Bahir Dar was bound to happen sooner rather than later after the capture of several ballistic missile systems by Tigray forces, the sheer precision with which the missile impacted still must have surprised the personnel at the base. Around the same time some 450 kilometres away, several loud blasts rocked Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, which similarly came under missile fire by Tigray forces. How Ethiopia and Eritrea ended up under fire of ballistic missiles will be the subject of this article.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

,

Images from a music video released in early September this year show Tigray forces handling S-75 and S-125 surface-to-air missiles (SAM) seized from Ethiopian government forces. Although captured as early as November 2020, fairly little is known about their subsequent use by Tigray forces. Still operational at the time of capture, only the defection of enough of their operators to the Tigray side could have allowed their use against the Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF). While their latest sighting did not include any of the launching systems associated with the missiles, it confirms that Tigray forces are still in control of several components of the systems.

Monday, 13 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The time when the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) almost solely relied on aging Soviet armament mixed in with some of their more modern Russian brethens is long gone. Over the past decade, Ethiopia has diversified its arms imports to include a number of other sources that presently include nations such as China, Germany, Ukraine and Belarus. Arguably more surprising is the presence of countries like Israel and the UAE in this list, which have supplied Ethiopia with a number of specialised weapon systems.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

,

A video released on the 9th of September 2021 shows an Iranian loitering munition impacting a target near Choman, Erbil Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan, as part of an ongoing offensive by Iran in the region. The military offensive comes two days after Mohammad Pakpour, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' Ground Forces, warned the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) against allowing groups hostile to Iran to use its territory to carry out attacks against Iran. [1] General Pakpour also threatened to attack the bases of these groups and advised civilians to stay away from their bases. Iran almost immediately made good on the threat, using artillery and loitering munitions to target these same bases just two days later. [2]