The primary military air base in Kaliningrad has reopened after a major refit and expansion. Now Russia can operate more and larger aircraft from Chkalovsk.
Russia seems genuinely tired of Israel’s behavior when it comes to deconfliction during air strikes. They have presented evidence that Israel uses the established deconfliction channels very little and too late. Surprisingly, they praise the Americans for being very professional about safety.
Russia has presented evidence that Ukraine owned the BUK missile that shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. But their credibility record is really poor when it comes to explanations about MH17. This tops a week with several stories that make the Russian government look silly.
Official statistics support the notion that Russia has used Syria as a military training ground. Impressive numbers of personnel and equipment have rotated through the theater of operations.
The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of four Blackhawk helicopters to Latvia for an estimated cost of $200 million. This does not mean that a deal is made, but if Latvia decides to buy Blackhawk, they will get a good and reliable helicopter.
For the Russian Aerospace Forces, the air campaign has been a valuable source of experience. They have tested equipment, organization, and doctrine. Rapid rotations have ensured that most personnel in the Russian military have gained personal war experience from the otherwise limited operation.
In this piece I summarize some of the findings that Anton Lavrov makes in a new CNA report about The Russian Air Campaign in Syria.
Estonia has signed a new contract for Mistral missiles with French manufacturer MBDA. This gives Estonia a more robust air defense. There are still many shortcomings in the Baltic air defense, but the new short-range missiles are an important step to building a more credible deterrent.
Israel destroyed a Syrian Pantsir-S1 air defense system last week. Did this modern piece of Russian weapon technology fail, or is there another explanation? Poor tactics and neglect on the part of the Syrian soldiers have probably played an important role.
The U.S. State Department has approved Germany’s purchase of three C-130J transport aircraft and three KC-130J tanker aircraft. Germany will use them in a combined French-German squadron where France also contributes with four C-130Js.
A T-45 training aircraft stalled and crashed when the pilot instructor directed the student to perform dangerous maneuvers at low altitude. Leadership culture in the squadron and poor instructor qualifications are among the explanations.