Aircraft - SEPECAT Jaguar T.2A
Serial - XX141/T (C/N B6)
Operator - Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron - Aircraft Maintenance Instruction Flight (AMIF)/TCF
Date and Location - 25/04 RAF Cranwell (EGYD)
First flown 25 Jan 1974, XX141 was allocated to 226 OCU, 16(R) and 6 sqds during her RAF Service. The Aircraft was converted to T.2A in Feb 1985 and flew on until 1996 in service before it was retired and became a ground maintenance trainer with the Aircraft Maintenance Instruction Flight at Cranwell. Allocated the maintenance serial 9297M. A number of the jets have been kept in a taxiable condition and are used by the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering at both DCAE Cosford and DCAE Cranwell. The AMIF comes under the command of The Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering (Cranwell) and is responsible for Phase 2 initial specialist training for all RAF Engineer Officers and to prepare them to take up their first productive appointments. The Unit operate 5 of the type, which are used by the students operating and supporting the aircraft , carrying out all the tasks necessary to maintain and operate and deploy the aircraft. All the airframes have been repainted in black from their camo or grey operational schemes but XX965 sports yellow decals and the ‘Saint’ logo on the tail. The ‘Saint’ logo is the adopted logo of 16(R) Sqn due to their formation at Saint Omer.
Aircraft - Lockheed CP-140 Aurora
Serial - 140111 (C/N 5714)
Operator - Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Squadron - 14 Wing - Used by 404 Maritime Patrol and Training Squadron & 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron
Date and Location - 27/04 RAF Waddington (EGXW)
The RCAF currently have 18 CP-140 Auroras in service in the Martime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) Role operated by 19 Wing Comox and 14 Wing Greenwood. The CP140 has been in Canadian service sine 1980 to replace the CP-107 Argus and is based on the American Lockheed P-3 Orion but houses the electronics suite of the S-3 Viking. The aircraft's sensors are primarily intended for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) work but are also capable of maritime surveillance, counter-drug and search-and-rescue missions. The CP-140 is Canada's only strategic Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, conducting long range missions over land, water and littoral areas. The RCAF also operated a similar aircraft to the CP-140 Aurora designated the CP-140A Arcturus and are used primarily for pilot training and coastal surface patrol missions. Three surplus airframes were purchased by the Air Command, but delivered without the anti-submarine fit in 1991. 14 Wing's CP-140 Aurora crews conduct sovereignty and surveillance missions over the Atlantic Ocean routinely and supplied 2 Aircraft to perform maritime patrol missions in the Libyan waters in order to help in the enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya under Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Unified Protector. Several options have been suggested for a CP-140 replacement, these include the Boeing P-8 Poseidon and the Raytheon Sentinel R1.
Aircraft - Lockheed P3C Orion
Serial - 157319 (C/N 5534)
Operator - United States Navy (USN) Squadron - VP-45
Date and Location - 28/04 Malta International Airport (LMML)
The USN currently have 154 P3C Orion's in service in the Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) Role. The aircraft is based on the civilian L-188 Electra commercial airliner but has been extensively reworked for the MPA Role that means the aircraft is required to operate for long durations over water - in particular anti-submarine, anti-ship and search and rescue. A total of 734 P-3s have been built, and by 2012, it will join the handful of military aircraft such as the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress which have served 50 years of continuous use with its original primary customer, in this case, the United States Navy. The U.S. Navy's remaining P-3C aircraft will eventually be replaced by the Boeing P-8A Poseidon, of which 117 are planned. The crew complement varies depending on the role being flown, the variant being operated, and the country that is operating the type. In U.S. Navy service, the original normal flight crew complement was 12 until it was reduced to its current complement of 11. VP-45/VPB-45, nicknamed the Pelicans are based at Jacksonville NAS and began transitioning to the P-3A Orion aircraft in September 1963. In May of 1968, VP-45 responded in less than two hours to the tragic loss of the nuclear submarine USS SCORPION, flying extensive search and rescue missions from Bermuda and Lajes, Azores. Since the Unit have operated the type they have been involved in all US campaigns and operations.
Aircraft - Agusta Westland Merlin HM1
Serial - ZH857, ZH828, ZH860 (C/N 50151/RN37 50040/RN08 50104/RN40)
Operator - Fleet Air Arm (FAA) Squadron - 814 Naval Air Squadron
Date and Location - 26/04 RAF Valley (EGOV)
The FAA currently operates 42 Merlin HM1 helicopters in the Anti-submarine Warfare Role. 30 Merlin HM1 are to be upgraded to HM2 standard in the near future. The first fully operational Merlin was delivered on 17 May 1997, entering service on 2 June 2000. All aircraft were delivered by the end of 2002, and are operated by four Fleet Air Arm squadrons: 814 NAS, 820 NAS, 824 NAS and 829 NAS, all based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall. 814 Naval Air Squadron is a squadron of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. It was formed in December 1938 and has been disbanded and reformed several times and has nickname "The Flying Tigers". Equipping the the Merlin in October 2001, the unit is designed to be deployed aboard ships or operate from shore. It has seen operational service aboard HMS Illustrious, Operation Telic in Iraq and in the Persian Gulf area.The Merlin HM1 has been cleared to operate from the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, Type 23 frigates and a number of RFA vessels including the Fort Victoria class. The HM1 is to equip the new Type 45 destroyers. The upgrade to the HM2 will include a new mission system and digital cockpit. It had been planned to include the remaining 8 airframes but this has now been dropped for financial reasons. Alternative roles are being sought for these aircraft.
Aircraft - Lockheed C130T Hercules
Serial - 164995 (C/N 5300)
Operator - United States Navy (USN) Squadron - VR-53
Date and Location - 27/04 Prestwick International Airport (EGPK)
The USN currentlt operate 19 of the C130T aircraft in the Cargo/Transport Role. The C130T is the basic airlifer version of the C130 Hercules but is equipped with underwing external fuel tanks. The USN C-130T is similar to the C130R, but has additional avionics improvements and equipped with Allison T56-A-16 engines. The C-130T Aircraft provides rapid transportation for personnel or cargo for delivery by parachute or landing. The aircraft can be used as a tactical transport, or readily converted for ambulance or aerial delivery missions. The aircraft can land and take off on short runways, and can be used on landing strips such as those found in advanced base operations. It can provide mission capabilities such as emergency evacuation of personnel and key equipment, advanced party reconnaissance, and special warfare operations, as directed.The C-130T can haul much more cargo than a C-9B can accommodate, but the C-130T can only fly about half as fast as a C-9B or C-20G. A typical C-130T squadron has 4 aircraft. These aircraft are called on when there are very large unit movements, with the people going ahead in one or more C-9B's and the cargo following in a C-130T. The C-130T Logistics Support Aircraft is assigned to Naval Reserve Fleet Logistics Support Squadrons (VR) and was introduced from 1991. VR-53 have five aircraft assigned the unit based at Andrews Air Force Base.
Aircraft - Agusta Westland A109BA
Serial - H24 (C/N 0324)
Operator - Belgian Air Component (BAC) Squadron - 1 Heli Wing - Used by 17 Sqn MRH Griffon, 18 Sqn MRH Arès-Leonidas and 15 Sqn OCTU
Date and Location - 27/04 Beauvechain Air Base (EBBE)
The BAC currently have 27 (12 A109 and 15 A109 BA) of the type in service in the Light Attack Helicopter Role. The AW109 is a light-weight, twin-engine, eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter built by the Anglo-Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland. First flown as the Agusta A109 in 1971, the craft has proven itself in light transport, medevac, search-and-rescue, and military roles. The A109 entered service with the Belgian Armed Forces in 1988 with the Belgian Army before they were transferred to the Air Force in 2004. The former Army units were transferred to the COMOPSAIR, with the Agusta A109BA attack helicopter training and scout helicopter placed in the Heli Wing. The A109BA helicopters can be used in a diversity of roles: observation, anti-tank, tactical support, armed reconnaissance, medevac or transport helicopter although at the moment each helicopter has a fixed role to simplify maintenance and cost. The 1 Helo Wing is made up of 3 Units (17 Sqn MRH Griffon, 18 Sqn MRH Arès-Leonidas and 15 Sqn OCTU) all of which pool the aircraft for operations and sorties. 15 Sqn OCTU (Operation Conversion and Training Unit) is responsible for the tactical part of the A109 conversion and training. All the helicopters are "property" of the Wing Heli Maintenance Group which for historical reasons has gained the unusual numerical designation of 255 Maintenance Group.
Aircraft - Airbus A340-313X
Serial - 16+02 'Theodor Heuss' (C/N 355)
Operator - German Air Force (GAF) (Luftwaffe)) Squadron - FBS BNVg
Date and Location - 25/04 Cologne International Airport (EDDK)
The GAF have 2 of the type in service in the VIP/Government Transport role. The aircraft is operated by the Special Wing Command (Flugbereitschaft BMVg) who is based at Colonge. The unit also operated the A319, A340, CL-601 and the Global 5000. The Squadron was formed on 1 April 1957 and various aircraft in its history including the Tu-154M, Lockheed L-1329 Jetstar and the Piaggio P149D. The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. The responsibilities of the unit includes the management of the VIP/Government Flights, Other flight operations and air transport operations include passenger and cargo flights (If needed and directed by the government) as well as making and maintaining combat readiness of combat troop movements. A special feature of the unit is the ability to fly sick and wounded, and transportation assistance for humanitarian relief efforts. Both A340 and A310 10 +23 are named after politicians from the early days of the Federal Republic and the other four A310s are named after German aviation pioneers. A310 10 +21, both A319CJ all Global 5000 and bear no names. The A340 has been in service with the Flugbereitschaft BMVg since late 2011.
Aircraft - Bell 212 HP AH Mk1
Serial - ZK067 (C/N 30835)
Operator - Army Air Corps (AAC) Squadron - 25 Flt
Date and Location - 25/04 Compton Abbas (EGHA)
The AAC currently have 8 of the type in service and were used in the jungles of Belize and Brunei as a Battlefield Helicopter. The Bells are leased from, and maintained by, FBH Ltd, and are operated under a ‘Military Registered Civilian Owned’ arrangement. Based on the original UH-1 Uroquis, (more commonly known as the ‘Huey’), Bell 212 is perfectly suited to the jungle environment. Fitted with a winch the aircraft provides 25 Flt with an unrivaled Forward AeroMedical Evacuation (FAME) capability. 25 Flight were part of the British Army Training Support Unit in Belize that started its draw down in August 2011. The Unit had been stationed permanently in Belize from 1972 as the permanent air support for the British Armed Forces that have been provided to the Government of Belize. From the early days Army Aviation played a vital role in Belize. Sioux, Scout, Gazelle and Lynx have all operated there. However, these aircraft were not well suited to this challenging environment. It wasn’t until 2003, with the delivery of the first Bell 212 helicopter, that 25 Flt could meet this challenge with a suitable platform. The new role of 25 Flight at Middle Wallop will include supporting the Field Army, utilizing the aircraft for trooping, abseiling, Command and Control and under-slung load training.
Aircraft - Antonov An-124-100
Serial - RA-82078 (C/N 9773053259121)
Operator - Volga Dneper Airlines Squadron - N/A
Date and Location - 24/04 RAF Lakenheath (EGUL)
There are over 55 An-124s in service around the world in both Military and Civilian use. The An-124 is a strategic airlift jet aircraft and is the world's largest ever serially-manufactured cargo airplane and world's second largest operating cargo aircraft. Under the NATO strategic airlift Programme, An-124's are leased as a stop gap until the A400M is in NATO Service. An-124-100s of Antonov Airlines and Volga-Dnepr are used within the limits of NATO SALIS programme to transport cargo by requests of 18 countries: Belgium, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Canada, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, France, Germany, Czech Republic and Sweden. Other leasers of the type include NASA, Boeing and EADS for components and parts of their various projects. On May 1987, an An-124 set a world record, covering the distance of 20,151 km (10,881 nmi) without refuelling. The flight took 25 hours and 30 minutes; the takeoff weight was 455,000 kg. The previous record was held by a Boeing B-52H Stratofortress (18,245 km). The aircraft has a Maximum Payload of 120 tonnes, a Range of some 4,600 km, a Service Life of 24,000 hours (In the air) and a Crew of 6.
Aircraft - Boeing RC135V-6C 'Rivet Joint'
Serial - 64-14843 (C/N 18783)
Operator - United States Air Force (USAF) Squadron - 38th RS
Date and Location - 26/04 RAF Waddington (EGWX)
The USAF currently have 3 types of the RC135 in service at present - 3 RC-135S, 2 RC135U and 17 RC135V/W - in the Reconnaissance Role. The Boeing RC-135 is a family of large reconnaissance aircraft used by the United States Air Force to support theater and national level intelligence consumers with near real-time on-scene collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities. Based on the C-135 Stratolifter airframe, various types of RC-135s have been in service since 1961. Many variants have been modified numerous times, resulting in a large variety of designations, configurations, and program names. There are 16 different variants of the RC135 and has been in service for the past 30+ years. The RAF have 3 of the type on order to fly from RAF Waddington with 51 Squadron under the designation of RC135W 'Air Seeker'. The Rivet Joint is the USAF's standard airborne SIGINT platform. Its sensor suite allows the mission crew to detect, identify and geolocate signals throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. The mission crew can then forward gathered information in a variety of formats to a wide range of consumers via Rivet Joint's extensive communications suite. The crew consists of the cockpit crew, electronic warfare officers, intelligence operators, and airborne systems maintenance personnel. Operated by the 38th RS Squadron, under the command of the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, they have the Mission goal of providing RC-135 aircraft and personnel to conduct global reconnaissance for national intelligence agencies, key decision makers and warfighters. The Unit have operated the type since 1979.
Aircraft - Lockheed C130-J-30 Hercules
Serial - 06-8612/07-8613/08-8601/08-8607 (C/N 382-5612/382-5624/382-5609/382-5616)
Operator - United States Air Force (USAF) Squadron - 37th AS
Date and Location - 26/04 RAF Fairford (EGVA)
The USAF currently operate 91 of this version is service with the USAF in the Cargo Aircraft Role. The unit currently flies the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, but is transitioning to new Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, with the first 2 of 14 delivered. The USAF have a fleet of some 440 operational C130s of different versions in the Cargo role and are expected to operate 129 of the J version. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the venerable Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. The Super Hercules has been used extensively by the USAF and USMC in Iraq. The 37th AS are part of the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The Mission of the unit is to Conduct airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation operations and have operated from Ramstein since 1994. The Unit have operated this version of the C130 from 2009 and have been involved in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nicknamed the Blue Tail Flies the unit have been operational since 17th May 1966.
Aircraft - NH Industries NH90NFH
Serial - 2 (C/N 1020)
Operator - French Navy (Aéronavale) Squadron - 31F
Date and Location - 26/04 Guernsey International Airport (EGJB)
The Aéronavale currently have 3 of the type in service as a Multirole Mission Helicopter. The service currently has 27 of the type on order to supplement the role of the Lynx. The NH90 is a medium sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter manufactured by NHIndustries. The first prototype had its maiden flight in December 1995. To date fourteen nations collectively ordered over 573 helicopters with deliveries starting in 2006. The NH90s in service in the French Armed Forces (both NFH and TTH versions) will be named "Caïman" and are completed by Eurocopter France. The primary role of the NFH version is autonomous anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface unit warfare (ASuW), mainly from naval ships. These aircraft are equipped for day and night, adverse weather and severe ship motion operations. Additional roles include anti-air warfare support, vertical replenishment (VERTREP), search and rescue (SAR) and troop transport. First flown on 18 December 1995, each unit costs around 16 Million Euros and can be armed with two door guns. Operated by 31F based at Hyeres AB, the unit are replacing their Lynx Helicopters with the NH90. The first of which was delivered in 2010 with the unit due to receive 12 by 2020. One of these NFHs will be detached to Cherbourg, on the Channel for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. In the meantime, the first NH90s of Flottille 33F are being used to back the two EC225s of Flottille 32F at Lanvéoc-Poulmic in their permanent long-range SAR alert pool on the west coast of France and in the Channel.
Thats all for this week!Aircraft - Beechcraft C12U Huron
Serial - 84-00163/84-00160 (C/N Bl-093/BL-090)
Operator - United States Army Squadron - 52AVN
Date and Location - 24/04 Prestwick International Airport (EGPK)
The US Army currently have a fleet of 48 C12 Huron aircraft in service in the Crago/Transport Role. This particular aircraft is under the command of 52nd Aviation Regiment of the US Army and has the task to provide aviation general support to United States Army Alaska, transition to war, and conduct operations in support of Combatant Commanders. To accomplish that mission the unit consisted of 6 companies with a total of about 40 UH-60A and C-12F aircraft. The Unit is based at Fort Wainwright, Alaska and has the started a new General Support Aviation Battalion in the Alaskan Theatre. The C-12 Huron is the military designation for a series of twin-engine turboprop aircraft based on the Beechcraft Super King Air and Beechcraft 1900. C-12 variants are used by the United States Air Force, United States Army, United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. These aircraft are used for various duties, including embassy support, medical evacuation, as well as passenger and light cargo transport. Some aircraft are modified with surveillance systems for various missions, including the Cefly Lancer, Guardrail and Project Liberty programs.