Ukrainian air force on high guard under hybrid war

2017/02/18 • News

UA TV went into the cockpit of a flight simulator which is identical to the MiG-29, or Fulcrum, as it’s known by NATO. It’s where Ukrainian pilots practice taking off from any airfield at any time and in any weather. They’ll perform complex aerobatic maneuvers, test their combat abilities against air, land and sea targets. The simulator will also prepare pilots for emergency situations — such as a burnt out engine or being hit by enemy fire. And, given the time each pilot will spend here, it’s something they’ll rarely forget.

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MiG29, “Fulcrum”

Oleksandr Koretskyi, head of the MiG-29 flight simulator, told that a pilot has to fly about 30 hours a year on this flight simulator, depending on the class of the pilot, and each pilot, even an experienced one, needs 20-40 minutes on the simulator, before an actual mission, depending on the tasks to be performed in flight.

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L39 “Albatros”

The main airplanes in Ukraine’s military airforce are the MiG-29 and L-39. They now take off daily. Since the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine, flights have increased significantly. If a pilot logged less than 10 flight hours a year prior to 2014, now he’s sure to spend between 60 to 80 hours in the sky per year.

Oleh Hes, Ukrainian airforce:

“At the current moment, in accordance with the Minsk Agreements, missions cannot be executed in the conflict zone. So we carry out assignments required by the combat training courses near our airfield. Additionally, flight crews fulfill assignments to protect the airspace near the state border of Ukraine. Our brigade is constantly on alert.”

Nearly every pilot logs two flights per week, usually lasting 40-to-50 minutes. They generally fly at speeds of between 400 and 900 km/h and at heights of between 300 meters and 5 kilometers, although the aircraft are capable of much more. Volodymyr Kravchenko, the commander of a tactical aviation brigade, told that they are constantly on guard:

“We must always we ready to carry out assignments. Other than aerobatics, the aircraft can intercept air targets at altitudes of between 25 km and lower. The range of destruction of intermediate-range missiles is about 50km. The aircraft also allows us to carry out assignments related to destroying land-based targets by switching the type of weapon from missiles to bombs.”

Ukrainian Air Force commanders acknowledge that they’re making a bet on the youngest generation of Ukrainians. They’re allocating more time to young pilots, hoping to improve their skills and prepare them to be ready to defend their homeland and air at any moment.

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  • Alex George

    This is building for the future.

    Ukraine has about 200 combat aircraft, but they date back to well before the Maidan. At present, Ukraine does not have the money to update its air force, but it can train pilots. This takes longer than getting new aircraft.

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    There’s no mention of the Su-25 ground attack aeroplane, which is also still in service and was used against the Kolorads in 2014 with significant effect.

  • Victor Victory

    Wait until Ukraine joins NATO and the EU they will have the best western made aircraft… Too bad Ukraine can’t use their Air Force in Donbas anymore it was very affective until the terrorists starting using Anti air weapons

  • туфтуф

    Amidst the fuel crisis, ukro illegal gvt moves mobile crematoria near the front line. Pic from a friend. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eeb637cc76f430d466aa931c877cac7f819c606bf1ac65f579e8f5e45c52cde9.jpg

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      False caption. It is, indeed, a mobile crematorium, but a Dwarfstanian mobile crematorium. This type has been transferred to Rostov oblast, at least seven but this number may well have been increased recently to cope with increased “demand”. It is manufactured in St Petersburg, and can cremate 8-10 bodies per 24 hours.

      Try again, туф-туф.

    • Alex George

      Wow, you really are desperate, aren’t you!

      This is a picture of a RUSSIAN vehicle!

      There is no point in Ukraine using such measures – all its casualties are a matter of public record. The Ukrainian government takes care to announce them, and to ensure that deceased soldiers are given highly public funerals in their home towns.

      It all helps to get the whole country behind the war effort, and determined never to let the Kremlin get an inch more of Ukrainian land.

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        The contrast couldn’t be greater. On the Ukrainian side, a public funeral with full military honours.
        But on the Dwarfstanian side, cremation in secret, and the ashes dumped unceremoniously in secret into the Sea of Azov at night. And the next of kin, IF they are informed about the death of their son, brother, father, husband, told to shut up- or else.

        Says it all, really.

  • Alex George

    Russian mortar units in Donbass are still managing to kill their own soldiers through incompetence:http://en.censor.net.ua/news/428562/10_militants_eliminated_by_friendly_fire_in_donbas_today_ministry_of_defense