Russian Air Force News & Discussion


Super Moderator
One of the supposed disagreements is a claim that the USA is saying that UAE F-35s must be limited so that they can't pose a threat to Israel. I've not seen any details of what exactly that means. The weapons to be carried? Limits to sensors? Degradation of stealth? No idea.

This reminds me of the limits to the weapons that the USA would sell the UAE 20 odd years ago. So the UAE bought slightly modified Scalps, which blew a hole in the limit.


Well-Known Member
In the past certain things sold to Arab countries had downgraded capabilities. In the case of fighters this usually involved downgraded radars and EW.

If I recall correctly M-1s sold to Saudi did not have DU armour and the E-3s too were downgraded quite a bit.

I don't blame the Emiratis for kicking a fuss. They are after all paying in hard cash, have been a good customer for U.S. gear over the years, have never been interested in picking a fight with Israel and are in agreement with the U S. on most issues. If the Americans are unable to be flexible it's their lost. This time around however there will probably be less opposition from the pro Israeli lobby. Remains to be see if that changes with regards to future sales in the coming years, in the event UAE/Iran ties improve.

The UAE wants a mix of European and American because it makes them less reliant on any one source and buying from both cements the bilateral relationship with both. A major logistical/support nightmare but then they can afford it. It's the strain on manpower which is the main issue I suppose, having 2 create and maintain a training/support infrasructure for Rafales and F-35, on top of what already is being operated.
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Super Moderator
Staff member

There are reports that the VVS took delivery of 4 Su-57s, as originally planned. Full confirmation is pending. The VVS also received 4 additional Su-34s (for a total of 8 this year) and 3 Su-35S. Both the Su-34 and Su-35 are part of add-on buys likely connected to delays in the Su-34M and Su-57 programs respectively. It's also been stated that Su-34 regiments are planned to transition to a 3-squadron structure (36 jets per regiments). This is despite some units still operating Su-24s.

15 Ka-52Ms are planned for delivery in 2022. The type had been tested with new munitions and improvements to the electronics. It's likely we will also see a radar upgrade.

The VVS also took delivery of the 7th A-50U, with the 8th aircraft planned in 2023. The program is moving at a glacial pace, and AEW is one of the major deficiencies the VVS faces.

Some footage of the Buk-M3 from the 53rd air defense bde.

The first upgraded An-124-100M has conducted it's first flight since the upgrades. The upgrade includes new avionics, a protection suite from MANPADS, and a replacement of some foreign components. It's an open question how many aircraft the VVS plans to overhaul and upgrade. Currently they don't use their entire fleet, some are sitting inactive. The type did see active use during operations in Syria.

The 210th air defense regiment took a delivery of S-400s. Instead of replacing older S-300s in this case it's replacing another set of S-400s. The regiment was part of training exercises in Belarus and appears to have left behind one of its btln equipment sets for the Belarussians. The handover is likely permanent since they're taking deliveries of replacements.

Trials of the long range Altius UAV have completed. It's unclear whether this refers to state trials or factory trials.

Trials of an Orion variant carrying a radar under the fuselage are due to complete by the end of this year (2022).

Some interesting footage of the Forpost-R (a domesticated upgrade of the Searcher MK2) dropping a KAB-20 small-sized PGM, and of the S-70 dropping an unspecified munition.

Some footage of the Orion UCAV shooting down a helicopter UAV target type with a modified Kornet missile.

An entire regiment of MiG-31s has been formed for carrying the Kinzhal RS-74 air-launched ballistic hypersonic missile. Personally I wonder how worth-while is it to keep an entire fighter regiment from being used for anything other then a single type of mission with a single munition. The new index for RS-74M carries is MiG-31IK.

The Mi-171A3 has had it's first flight. This modification is meant for use on off-shore drilling platforms. The venerable Mi-8 family remains a popular machine on both civilian and military markets.

3 Pantsyr btlns were planned for hand over in 2021. It's unclear whether this took place. The term btln also caught my attention, as normally it's 1 Pantsyr battery per S-300/400 btln. It's possible that they're moving to a separate Pantsyr btln in each air defense regiment (which for 2 btln regiments would mean a spare battery of SHORAD).

The famous airbase in Voronezh region, nicknamed Baltimore, has completed a rebuild and is receiving aircraft again. It's home to the 47th bomber regiment flying Su-34s. The Su-34 is of course not a bomber but a strike fighter, something the VVS is well aware of. During the crisis in Syria in 2015, Su-34s flew defensive counter-air, armed with R-27s and R-73s, and this very 47th regiment has been spotted doing assymetric air-to-air combat training against the MiG-29SMTs in Kursk.


Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Russia has flown the first newly built Tupolev Tu-160M strategic bomber to roll of its newly reconstituted production line for the first time at Kazan Aviation Plant on 12 January 2022.

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