U.S. F-22 Narrowly Avoids Collision With Russian Su-25 Over Syria | World Defense

U.S. F-22 Narrowly Avoids Collision With Russian Su-25 Over Syria

Atalay

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US fighter planes fired warning flares after Russian jets entered an agreed non-conflict area over Syria, the US defence department says.
The two Russian Su-25s flew east of the Euphrates River and into US-designated air space on Wednesday, the Pentagon said.
One of the US F-22 jets was nearly involved in a mid-air collision with a Russian plane, according to the US.
However, the Russian defence ministry has denied the US account.
In a statement it said the two Su-25s had been escorting a humanitarian convoy near a town beside the Euphrates when they were approached by the two F-22 jets.
At the weekend Russian official Igor Konashenkov said he was bewildered the US had staked a claim over part of Syria's air space and accused the US-led coalition of "operating in Syria illegally".
This is the most serious such incident involving Russian and US planes over Syria, BBC Defence Correspondent Jonathan Marcus says.
According to the Pentagon, numerous calls were placed "on the emergency channel to convey to the Russian pilots that they needed to depart the area".
A Pentagon spokesman said a verbal agreement was made between Washington and Moscow over the "deconfliction zone" in early November.
Under the agreement, the US considers the area to the north and east of the Euphrates River part of their "skies", while Russia has freedom to patrol west of the river.
But the US says Russian planes have flown into its zone six to eight times a day.
"It's become increasingly tough for our pilots to discern whether Russian pilots' actions are deliberate or if these are just honest mistakes," the spokesman said.
What this means
By Jonathan Marcus, BBC News Defence Correspondent
This is the most serious incident so far involving an encounter between US and Russian warplanes over Syria.
It reflects the proximity of Russian-backed and US-backed forces in the Euphrates River valley, as the campaign against the remnants of so-called IS moves into a new phase.
The battle now is about who controls territory on the ground, previously part of the IS "caliphate".
Washington and Moscow have agreed that some 70km (43 miles) of the Euphrates River should be a de facto demarcation line between their air operations but, over recent weeks, Russian jets have frequently crossed into air space on the eastern side of the river.
The firing of flares by the US aircraft in this latest episode is not an offensive action but one intended to underline their presence, after which it appears the Russian aircraft withdrew. But it is a worrying sign of the growing potential for accident or misunderstanding.
 

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U.S. F-22 Raptor Allegedly Interfered With Russian Su-25s Over Syria And “Chased Away” By Su-35S, Russian MoD Claims
Dec 09 2017
By David Cenciotti

A close encounter between an F-22, two Su-25s and one Su-35S occurred over Syria some weeks ago. Many things about the
incident are yet to be explained though. CENTCOM: “There is no truth to this allegation.”


Several Russian media outlets are reporting an incident that involved a U.S. F-22 and some Russian aircraft over Syria, to the west of the Euphrates on Nov. 23, 2017. Some details of the close encounter were unveiled by the Russian MoD’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, who described the episode “as yet another example of US aircraft attemptsto prevent Russian forces from carrying out strikes against Islamic State,” according to RT.

According to the Russian account, a Russian Su-35S was scrambled after a U.S. F-22 interfered with two Su-25s that were bombing an Islamic State target. Here’s Sputnik news version:
“An American F-22 fighter actively prevented the Russian pair of Su-25 attack aircraft from carrying out a combat mission to destroy the Daesh stronghold in the suburbs of the city of Mayadin in the airspace over the western bank of the Euphrates River on November 23. The F-22 aircraft fired off heat flares and released brake shields with permanent maneuvering, imitating an air battle.”
At the same time, he [Major-General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesperson] noted that “after the appearance of a Russian multifunctional super maneuverable Su-35S fighter, the American fighter stopped dangerous maneuvers and hurried to move into Iraqi airspace.”
Many things are yet to be explained making the story really hard to believe:
  • it’s not clear why the F-22 was flying alone (most probably another Raptor was nearby);
  • why did the stealth jet release flares and perform hard maneuvering (lacking a direct radio contact, was the American pilot trying to catch the Russian pilots attention using unconventional signalling)?
  • was the F-22 mission a “show of force”?
  • what are the RoE (Rules Of Engagement) in place over Syria?
  • were there other coalition aircraft nearby? Where? Did they take part in the action?
  • how was a Su-35 scrambled from Hmeymim airbase able to chase away the F-22? Did the Flanker reach the area in time to persuade the Raptor to leave?
Update Dec. 10, 06:53 GMT: we have just received an email from CENTCOM CJTF OIR PAO with their version of the alleged incident that denies and debunks the Russian MoD claims:

There is no truth to this allegation. According to our flight logs for Nov 23, 2017, this alleged incident did not take place, nor has there been any instance where a Coalition aircraft crossed the river without first deconflicting with the Russians via the deconfliction phone line set up for this purpose. Of note, on Nov 23, 2017, there were approximately nine instances where Russian fighter aircraft crossed to the east side of the Euphrates River into Coalition airspace without first using the deconfliction phone. This random and unprofessional activity placed Coalition and Russian aircrew at risk, as well as jeopardizing Coalition ability to support partner ground forces in the area.
Any claims that the Coalition would protect Daesh, or hinder, a strike against Daesh are completely false. We strike them hard wherever they are found. What we can tell you is that we actively deconflict the airspace in Syria with the Russians to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh in the region. We will continue to work with our SDF partners, just as we will continue to deconflict with the Russians for future Coalition strikes against Daesh targets in Syria.



Anyway, the (alleged) episode reminds the incident that occurred on Jun. 18, 2017, when an F/A-18E Super Hornet belonging to the VFA-87 “Golden Warriors” and piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Michael “Mob” Tremel,” shot down a Syrian Arab Air Force Su-22 Fitter near the town of Resafa (40 km to the southwest of Raqqa, Syria), after the pro-Assad Syrian Air Force ground attack aircraft had bombed Coalition-friendly SDF positions. In the official statement released from the Coalition about the incident the Combined Joint Task Force stated, “The Coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The Coalition does not seek to fight the Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition partner forces from any threat.”

If confirmed, the one on Nov. 23 would be the first “official” close encounter between F-22 and the Su-35 over Syria.
The Su-35 is a 4++ generation aircraft characterized by supermaneuverability. Although it’s not stealth, it is equipped with a Irbis-E PESA (Passive Electronically-Scanned Array) and a long-range IRST – Infrared Search and Tracking – system capable, (according to Russian sources…) to detect stealth planes like the F-35 at a distance of over 90 kilometers.

The Su-35S was deployed at Hmeymim airbase, near Latakia in Syria at the beginning of 2016, to provide cover to the Russian warplanes conducting raids in Syria in the aftermath of the downing of a Su-24 Fencer by a Turkish Air Force F-16. During the Syrian air war the aircraft carried Vympel R-77 medium range, active radar homing air-to-air missile system (a weapon that can be considered the Russian counterpart of the American AIM-120 AMRAAM) along with R-27T (AA-10 Alamo-B), IR-guided air-to-air missiles.

Shortly after being deployed to Syria the Su-35S started shadowing US-led coalition aircraft: a German Air Force spokesperson explained that the Russian Flankers were among the aircraft used by the Russian Air Force to shadow the GAF Tornado jets carrying out reconnaissance missions against ISIS; a VFA-131 video that included footage from the cruise aboard USS Eisenhower in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, in Syria and Iraq showed a close encounter with what looked like a Su-35S Flanker-E filmed by the Hornet’s AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pod.

Aviation analysts have long debated the tactical value of the Russian Su-35S supermaneuverability displayed at airshows in the real world air combat environment. Are such low speed maneuvers worthless to fight against the U.S. 5th Gen. stealth aircraft, such as the F-22, that would engage the Su-35S from BVR (Beyond Visual Range) exploiting their radar-evading capabilities?
It depends on several factors.

The F-22 is a supermaneuverable stealth aircraft. Raptor’s stealthiness is maintained by storing weapons in internal bays capable to accommodate 2x AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, some AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missiles (the number depending on the configuration), as well as 2x 1,000 pound GBU-32 JDAM or 8x GBU-39 small diameter bombs: in this way the Raptor can dominate the airspace above the battlefield while performing its mission, be it air superiority, OCA (Offensive Counter Air), or the so-called kinetic situational awareness “provider”. Moreover its two powerful Pratt & Whitney F-119-PW-100 engines give the fifth fighter the ability to accelerate past the speed of sound without using the afterburners (the so-called supercruise) and TV (Thrust Vectoring), that can be extremely useful, in certain conditions, to put the Raptor in the proper position to score a kill.

All these capabilities have made the F-22 almost invincible (at least on paper and mock engagements). Indeed, a single Raptor during one of its first training sorties was able to kill eight F-15s in a mock air-to-air engagement, well before they could see it.

In its first Red Flag participation, in February 2007, the Raptor was able to establish air dominance rapidly and with no losses. As reported by Dave Allport and Jon Lake in a story which appeared on Air Force Monthly magazine, during an Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) in 2008, the F-22s scored 221 simulated kills without a single loss!

Still, when outnumbered and threatened by F-15s, F-16s and F-18s, in a simulated WVR (Within Visual Range) dogfight with particularly limiting ROE, the F-22 is not invincible. For instance, during the 2012 Red Flag-Alaska, the German Eurofighters not only held their own, but reportedly achieved several kills on the Raptors.

Even though we don’t know anything about the ROE set for those training sorties and, at the same time, the outcome of those mock air-to-air combat is still much debated (as there are different accounts of those simulated battles), the “F-22 vs 4th Gen aircraft” is always a much debated topic.

In fact, although these 4th Gen. aircraft are not stealth, they are equipped with IRST (Infra-Red Search and Track).

Indeed, F-22s and other stealth planes have extremely little radar cross-section (RCS) but they do have an IR signature. This means that they can be vulnerable to non-stealthy planes that, using their IRST sensors, hi-speed computers and interferometry, can geo-locate enemy LO (low observability) aircraft.

Indeed, there are certain scenarios and ROE where IRST and other tactics could greatly reduce the advantage provided by radar invisibility and this is one of the reasons why USAF has fielded IRST pods to Aggressors F-16s in the latest Red Flags as proved by shots of the Nellis’s Vipers carrying the Lockheed Martin’s AN/AAS-42. According to some pilots who have fought against the F-22 in mock air combat, the IRST can be extremely useful to detect “large and hot stealth targets like the F-22″ during mock aerial engagements at distances up to 50 km.

That said, the F-22s remains the world’s most advanced air superiority aircraft and would be able to keep an edge on an Su-35S at BVR (Beyond Visual Range): even though AAMs (Air-to-Air Missiles) are still somehow unreliable and jamming is sometimes extremely effective, the U.S. stealth jets (as well as the F-15s and F/A-18s operating over Syria) rely on a superior intelligence and tightly integrated one another. This means that the F-22s would be able to arrange the engagement based on a perfect knowledge of the battlefield; a true “information superiority” that is probably more important than the aircraft’s peculiar features. However, if forced to closer range (within range of the IRST) to comply with limiting ROE or for any other reason, the F-22 would find in the Russian Su-35S a fearsome opponent, and would have to rely mainly on the pilot’s experience and training to win in the aerial engagement against Moscow’s top super maneuverable combat aircraft.

https://theaviationist.com/2017/12/09/u-s-f-22-raptor-allegedly-interfered-with-russian-su-25s-over-syria-and-chased-away-by-su-35s-russian-mod-claims/
 

Khafee

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The Reason U.S. F-22 Stealth Jets and Russian Su-35S Flankers Are Shadow Boxing Over Syria May Have Nothing to Do with Syria
Dec 15 2017
By Tom Demerly

F-22-head-on.jpg


Are U.S. And Russia in Last-Minute Intelligence Grab Over Syria?

International news media has been crackling with reports of intercept incidents between U.S. and Russian combat aircraft along the Middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV) de-confliction line over Syria since late November. Two incidents, one on November 23 and another two days ago on December 13, made headlines in Russia and the U.S. with differing accounts of the incidents and the reasons they happened. We reported on the first one of these incidents here.

With the war on ISIS in Syria reportedly reaching its final phase according to many analysts, especially Russian, are these last few months of Russian/U.S. close proximity operations a rare opportunity for both parties to gather a significant amount of intelligence about each other’s’ capabilities? The answer is likely “yes”.

There are reportedly about 3,000 ISIS insurgents left in the Middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV) area according to intelligence reports, and it is possible those remaining insurgents may be purposely seeking refuge in this region because of the complex de-confliction requirements between U.S. and Russian air forces. These de-confliction requirements could compromise the response times of both sides to conduct effective air strikes against ISIS due to the risks of potentially unintentional conflict.

The encounters between Russian and U.S. aircraft over Syria are not new. “We saw anywhere from six to eight incidents daily in late November, where Russian or Syrian aircraft crossed into our airspace on the east side of the Euphrates River,” Lt. Col. Damien Pickart of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command told U.S. news outlet CNN on Saturday. “It’s become increasingly tough for our pilots to discern whether Russian pilots are deliberately testing or baiting us into reacting, or if these are just honest mistakes.”

Lt. Col. Pickart went on to tell news media, “The greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces.”

As the complex, multi-party proxy war over Syria appears to be winding down these final weeks provide what may be a last, great opportunity for a rich “intelligence grab” for both the U.S. and Russia about their newest aircraft’ capabilities when flying in controlled opposition to one another. Picture a “Red Flag” exercise where the “red air” element is actually “red”, albeit with live weapons and higher stakes.

Russia_US-Deconflict_F-22-706x470.jpg

Intelligence gathered by using the U.S. F-22 against the latest Russian SU-35s will likely be invaluable in assessing future tactics and understanding Russian capabilities. (Photo: Tom Demerly/TheAviationist.com)


USAF Lt. Col. Pickart’s remarks about the Russians “deliberately testing or baiting us” are indicative of a force managing interactions to collect sensor, intelligence and capability “order of battle”. This intelligence is especially relevant from the current Syrian conflict as it affords both the Russians and the U.S. with the opportunity to operate their latest combat aircraft in close proximity to gauge their real-world sensor capabilities and tactical vulnerabilities, as well as learn doctrine. It is likely the incidents occurring now over Syria, and the intelligence gleaned from them, will be poured over in detail for years to come.

For instance, we have often explained how Raptors act as “electronic warfare enabled sensor-rich multi-role aircraft” over Syria, providing escort to strike packages into and out of the target area while gathering details about the enemy systems and spreading intelligence to other “networked” assets supporting the mission to improve the overall situational awareness. In fact, the F-22 pilot leverage advanced onboard sensors, as the AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar, to collect valuable details about the enemy, performing ELINT-like missions and then sharing the “picture” with attack planes, command and control assets, as well as Airborne Early Warning aircraft.

Moreover, as we have reported, it is well known that the U.S. has operated relatively current Russian aircraft photographed in air combat simulation training in the remote desert over Nevada. But those aircraft are at least an entire generation behind the current Russian aircraft flying over Syria in the final phase of the vigorous anti-ISIS Russian air operations.

Su-27-turning-left-towards-the-camera.jpg

Russian built Sukhoi SU-27 aircraft were photographed last year over the Nevada test ranges near where Lt. Col. Eric Schultz’s accident may have occurred. (Credit: Phil Drake)

The danger of these close-quarter Russian/U.S. shadow boxing matches is that one of them could accidentally “turn hot”. Since both sides are carrying live weapons the reliance on maintaining adherence to current Rules of Engagement (ROE) on both parties is critical.
Another risk is air-to-air collision.

New York Times reporter Eric Schmidt wrote about an incident in November when, “In one instance, two Air Force A-10 attack planes flying east of the Euphrates River nearly collided head-on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer just 300 feet away — a knife’s edge when all the planes were streaking at more than 350 miles per hour. The A-10s swerved to avoid the Russian aircraft, which was supposed to fly only west of the Euphrates.”

The risks of this new-age cold war over Syria going hot are likely worth it in terms of the intelligence being collected on both sides though. It is reasonable to suggest that, with the recent media attention to the incidents, the pressure to keep this cold war from getting hot are greater than ever.

Hopefully those pressures on both the Russian and the U.S. air forces will keep this new version of the cold war from boiling over.


Su-35S-in-Syria-706x382.jpg

Deployment of Russia’s latest SU-35 to Syria will give the Russians a wealth of information about how the aircraft performs against the U.S F-22 Raptor in the ongoing shadow-boxing between the two aircraft over the Middle Euphrates River Valley. (Photo: Sputnik)


https://theaviationist.com/2017/12/15/the-reason-u-s-f-22-stealth-jets-and-russian-su-35s-flankers-are-shadow-boxing-over-syria-may-have-nothing-to-do-with-syria/#respond
 

Khafee

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F-22s Fire Warning Flares at Russian Jets in Coalition Territory

14 Dec 2017
By Oriana Pawlyk

f22-raptor-flare-1800.jpg

FILE -- A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor deploys counter measure flares during a training sortie, June 16, 2014. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

Two U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth fighters intercepted two Russian Su-25 fighter jets Wednesday, conducting multiple maneuvers, firing warning flares and, in one instance, aggressively flying to avoid colliding with one another, U.S. officials tell Military.com.

The Su-25s -- single-seat, twin-engine aircraft -- "flew into coordinated coalition airspace on the east side of the Euphrates River near Abu Kamal, Syria, and were promptly intercepted," Air Forces Central Command spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart told Military.com in an email.

The F-22s, the U.S.' most advanced fighter aside from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, were in the area providing air cover for partner ground forces conducting operations against the Islamic State, he said.

"The F-22s conducted multiple maneuvers to persuade the Su-25s to depart our deconflicted airspace, including the release of chaff and flares in close proximity to the Russian aircraft and placing multiple calls on the emergency channel to convey to the Russian pilots that they needed to depart the area," Pickart said.

During one maneuver, an Su-25 flew so close to an F-22 "that it had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision," he said.

An F-22 ended up trailing the Su-35 after it flew across the river into territory deemed unsafe to coalition aircraft.

"The incident lasted approximately 40 minutes before the Russian aircraft flew to the west side of the river. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders at the [Combined Air Operations Center in Al Udeid, Qatar] contacted the Russians on the deconfliction line to de-escalate the situation and avert a strategic miscalculation," Pickart said.

AFCENT officials said the Russians had "verbally agreed" in November through the deconfliction line that they would remain west of the Euphrates River, and the coalition would operate to the East, he said.

"Since agreeing to this deconfliction arrangement, the Russians have flown into our airspace on the east side of the river 6-8 times per day, or approximately 10 percent of the Russian and Syrian flights," Pickart noted.

"If either of us needs to cross the river for any reason, we're supposed to first deconflict via the line," he said. "It's become increasingly tough for our pilots to discern whether Russian pilots' actions are deliberate or if these are just honest mistakes."

Officials have said recently that coalition aircraft -- more than a dozen air forces cooperating to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria -- are concerned about the shrinking airspace.

"The coalition's greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We train our aircrew to take specific actions and to make every attempt possible to de-escalate the situation wherever possible."

He continued, "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians -- our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them."

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/12/14/f-22s-fire-warning-flares-russian-jets-coalition-territory.html?ESRC=eb_171215.nl
 

Scorpion

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The F-22 beats the su variants for sure. I take whatever the Russians are saying with a pinch of salt. They should be ashamed after this.

 
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Khafee

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The F-22 beats the su variants for sure. I take whatever the Russians are saying with Take with a pinch of salt. They should be ashamed after this.

Garmin GPS?

Which aircraft? Looks like a Su33.
 

Atalay

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Two SU-25 were intercepted during CAS for SAA by a F-22, they have no chanche at all.
But a SU-35 is said to have scrambled and dogfighted with the F-22.

That's all we can find in open sources.
 

Scorpion

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Two SU-25 were intercepted during CAS for SAA by a F-22, they have no chanche at all.
But a SU-35 is said to have scrambled and dogfighted with the F-22.

That's all we can find in open sources.
The Russians always lack behind the US in tech. I wouldn't believe it until I see a real confrontation.
 

Atalay

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The Russians always lack behind the US in tech.
Lets assume you are right. Why the USA has no balls for a direct confrontation with Russia ?

Georgian territory occupation, Krim annex, Syria bases.........
 

Scorpion

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Lets assume you are right. Why the USA has no balls for a direct confrontation with Russia ?

Georgian territory occupation, Krim annex, Syria bases.........

Why would the US engage in a direct confrontation with Russia when Russia is fulfilling what the US wants in ME? War of attrition, money laundering, unstable oil market, test of new weapons, buying allies...etc. Its not always US vs Russia.
 

Khafee

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Two SU-25 were intercepted during CAS for SAA by a F-22, they have no chanche at all.
But a SU-35 is said to have scrambled and dogfighted with the F-22.

That's all we can find in open sources.
Two F22, Pls see below:

 
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