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Tom Cooper

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About Tom Cooper

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  1. If I answer your questions, this thread is going to get locked by admins.
  2. 'Problem' are characters who got so scared of the democracy and pluralism, that they 'must' terrorise, launch military interventions and bomb civilians - and run PRBS-campaigns to cover up all of their own misdeeds. EDIT: Studying this incident slightly further, it reminds me of a similar case that was quite famous in its time. February 1959, Jordanian King decided to make holiday in Europe. He packed his family into a Dove, and flew with Jock Dalgleish (ex-RAF) via what was then 'Eastern Province of United Arab Republic' (see: Syria) in direction of Lebanon. Hardly inside the UAR airspace, two MiG-17s of the UARAF appeared. Their pilots first signalled the Dove to follow them, when this was ignored, they opened fire. Dalgleish took over and evaded MiGs with a series of downward spirals, and some hard manoeuvring at low altitude. Everybody damned 'Syrians' and eventually - much latter - the involved UARAF pilots even admitted they not only knew what kind of aircraft that was, and who was on board, and that they were ordered to force the Dove down or destroy it. But, crucial fact was: the entire incident became possible only because the C-in-C Royal Jordanian Air Force forgot to send King's flight plan to Damascus. UARAF intel found out about the flight, nevertheless, and concluded Hussein was trying to steer troubles in the Eastern Province... Lesson: such things happen because of a mistake in communication. If one side is not clearly stating its intentions, the other is left free to draw its own conclusions.
  3. Well, the situation in my case is this: I like aircraft too, no matter from where they come, and some more and others less (no matter the nationality). I like to study aircraft, their camouflage colours, and their markings. But also: I like to know and understand why are they used: for what purposes, for what reasons. I have friends in Turkey, and in Russia, and in the USA - but also in Syria, and few other places. I'm happy - and proud - to help them, and anybody else in need, whenever I can. And I'm sad when some of these friends are blamed for little else but predilections of chauvinistic and religious nature. I'm sad when they suffer from accusations they do not deserve. I'm sad when others of my friends are suffering from a government that can't stop lying: they didn't deserve that. But foremost: I'm sad for my friends languishing in prisons of a regime that is terrorising them since 40 years, that is gasing and barrel-bombing them and their families. I am ashamed that they are declared for cut-throats and terrorist by whoever only could and in most cynical fashion: I'm ashamed that this was the case already before they began their entirely peaceful protesting (I'll never forget my wife's reaction when she heard I would travel to Syria for the first time, and that's nearly 20 yers ago: her reaction didn't came out of nothing, but because we've all been taught for decades that Syrians - some of most noble and friendly people I know - are all crazy and irresponsible terrorists). I am ahsamed that they have been publicly abandoned and forgotten, and are now kicked around like trash. But as an independent analyst and historian, I 'must support' absolutely nobody: I'm entirely free to draw my own conclusions, irrespectivelly of factors like somebody else's prejudice, religious beliefs, and that shameful creation called 'political correctness'. And I'm stubborn in not letting any kind of predilections colour my conclusions, and calling a spade a spade. Regarding who is happy about what: once again, neither the one who issued the order to open fire, nor the 'trigger-puller' knew the target was Russian - precisely because warnings were issued, as agreed in advance, and there was no reaction. This is the crucial matter of fact. The second most important matter of fact (in this case) is: those who are unhappy need not fabricating evidence - because they were (and still are) speaking truth right from the start. That's slightly different to those who are not only unhappy, but also ashamed, who know they are guilty but ignore this, and now are longing for 'revenge' for entirely wrong reasons - and making themselves to war criminals while bombing civilians to 'avenge'.
  4. It's OK if the Russian MOD says '83': I don't mind. The rest, though, 'stinks', to put it mildly. Here a recapitulation of facts known so far, as posted on forum and gradually updated the last few days - and in combination of info from various sources (just so that nobody here would think I'm day-dreaming, constructing or facbricating facts). - On 3 and 5 October 2015, VKS combat aircraft - including fully armed Su-30SMs (on 3 October, around 12.10hrs) - have violated Turkish airspace at least two times. They have locked-on their radars on Turkish aircraft, and kept them locked-on for up to five minutes. This is a generally-known fact, about which nobody disagrees. Note: in the world of fighter-pilots, alone a radar lock-on is an aggressive act, that - under specific circumstances (always dictated by ROEs) - can become a perfect excuse to provoke the other side to open fire. In a situation where Russian über-super-turbo Su-30SMs are equipped with such obsolete SARH MRAAMs like R-27ER-1 only (the VKS has never ordered a single R-77, and therefore has none in operational service), which are not only two generations behind, but also shorter ranged AIM-120C-5/7 as operated by the THK... this was anything else but a 'sound introduction' by Russians to the local scene... - On 5 October 2015, Russia de-facto apologised for violation of airspace and explained this with navigational mistake. Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu warned that Ankara would activate 'military rules of engagement irrespective of who violates its airspace'. - On 6 October, Turkey warned it cannot endure further violations of its airspace. - On 15 October, Deputy C-in-C VKS, Sergey Dronov, visited Ankara to talk with the THK. During that meeting, a special comms channel between the THK and VKS was agreed to be used in order to prevent further airspace violations. This channel was selected because older VKS types - foremost Su-24Ms - do not have the internationally used guard channel. - On 16 October 2015, a Russian UAV was shot down while inside Turkish airspace and it crashed inside Turkey. Russians denied this was their UAV... ho-hum... - On 17 October, Turkish PM Ahmat Davutoglu publicly warned that Turkey would shot down any military aircraft violating Turkish airspace. Additional warnings of this kind were repeated in the Turkish media 34 times in the next 30 days. If somebody wants the full list, let me know. Here an 'extra' for readers of this forum about few relevant developments on the ground during mid-November (there's much moore of this on forum because we're tracking this war on day-to-day basis). Through October and early November, a conglomerate of forces usually described as 'Syrian military' - but actually consisting of IRGC-led militia gangs of Hezbollah/Lebanon, Hezbollah/Iraq, Hezbollah/Syria, Syrian Nazi Party, Syrian Ba'ath Party, Palestinians of the PFLP-GC, etc., supported by Russian Airspace Force and Russian Army artillery units have launched a series of uncoordinated offensives on a large insurgent-held territory spreading from North Eastern Lattakia over all of Idlib into southern Aleppo provinces of Syria. Most of these offensives were not only fruitless, but resulted in very heavy losses for attacking force. Indeed, in some places (especially in northern Hama), they ended in utter defeats of the IRGC-led troops and them losing much ground. In the north-eastern corner of this territory - close to area where Syrian-Turkish border ends on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea - this territory is protected by the 1st and 2nd Coastal Divisions of the Free Syrian Army. These are units entirely staffed by Syrian Turkomen: they are members of the Turkish minority in Syria, with Syrian citizenship, about 100,000 of whom are living there since 11th Century. Even maps released by Russian MOD show absolutely no presence of that pseudo-Islamic State (Daesh) in that area, nor indeed anywhere within 150km from there. Starting with 17 November, the VKS began bombing Turkomen villages in this area, driving a wave of refugees over the border into Turkey. Then the Coastal Shield Brigade of the Syrian regime (an 'Alawites only' outfit) launched an offensive and captured four villages. The 1st and 2nd Coastal Divisions FSyA have recaptured all the four villages in one day. The Russians then deployed more of their artillery, and reinforced air strikes, but this didn't help the least: another attack of the Coastal Shield Brigade, reinforced by SSNP troops, was cut to pieces. Finally, Russians deployed their own ground troops - including T-90 MBTs - and re-captured the same four villages in two days of fighting. Turkomen counterattacked, and re-captured all four in a matter of hours, on 23 November. Another note: talking about Russian reports about what's going on in Syria, it should be kept in mind that nearly all of relevant releases by the Russian government - including the Russian MOD - about activities of Russian armed forces have been proven as lies. Pure, and undisputed lies. For details see What Russia's own Videos and Maps reveal about Who they are bombing in Syria. Crucial issue here is that Russia is all the time claiming to be 'bombing Daesh', and to have flown 3,000 sorties 'against Daesh' (supposedly more than the US-led coalition in one year). Until today, the Russian MOD released about 90 videos of its 'precise attacks on the Daesh'. Only three of these were geolocated as recordings of Russians having hit anything at all in parts of Syria held by the Daesh. On the contrary, there are hundreds of videos showing Russians bombing civilians, foremost camps for internally displaced persons, apartment houses, hospitals, bakeries, mills, poultry farms, water-supply installations and similar objects in insurgent-held areas. According to various international NGOs, Russian bombardments have caused a wave of 200,000 Syrian refugees to flee over the border into Turkey (if somebody wants to see the sources, let me know). Unsurprisingly... - On 19 November, Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu summoned the Russian ambassador to Ankara, demanding Russians to stop bombing Syrian Turkomen villages near Turkish border. Note: Russian bombardment of Turkomen villages constitutes a war crime, i.e. a violation of the Article 51 of Protocol I to the Geneva Convention. Moreover, Sinirlioglu repeated the warning that Turkey would shot down any military aircraft violating Turkish airspace on this occasion, 'only' for 36th time. - On 23 November, Turkey reported further air strikes on Turkomen villages in northern Syria, reported that these caused 1,700 refugees to flee over the border, and demanded a meeting of the UN Security Council. As far as is known, this demand was simply ignored by everybody else. Now we're coming to the actual incident. Here it's important to observe that ever since unrest spread through Syria, back in March 2011, the THK is keeping at least two F-16s on a CAP station above the Hatay province. Sometimes there are up to 8 other F-16s on 4 additional CAP-stations down the rest of the 1,200km long border between Syria and Turkey. And that 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Hatay is a Turkish province, airspace over it is Turkish airspace, and the THK was protecting this all the time since 2011, not only since Russian military intervention in Syria began, in late August 2015, and not only since Russians began bombing Turkomen civilians. - On 24 November, the THK had two two F-16s above Hatay again. It remains unknown from what THK unit were the two F-16s in question. Most of reports are indicating 8 AJÜ (Diyabakir, 181 or 182 Filo, F-16C Block 40s), but some are indicating 3 AJÜ (Konya, 132 Filo, F-16C Block 50s). Further THK units probably active around this time were nearly-certainly one Boeing 737-700 AEW&C, at least two PAC-2 SAM-sites covering this area, one of two OTH long-range early warning radars the THK has along the border to Syria, plus any of several mobile 'gap-filler' radar stations. - Sometimes after 09.30hrs local time, THK detected two unknown aircraft taking off from Hmemmem AB/BAAIAP (50km south of Turkish border) and flying in direction of the Turkish border. As the two unknown aircraft approached to within '27 miles' from a pair of THK F-16s on a CAP over the Turkish province of Hatay, the THK began warning them - on guard, and on that special channel. During he following five minutes, Sukhois flew at least one orbit parallel to the Turkish border, all the time within less than 15km from Turkish airspace. - During that time, the THK continued issuing a total of 10 warnings. Because there was no reaction from the Russian side to any of warnings issued by that time - on guard and on special channel - Turks concluded that the aircraft must be Syrian. Meanwhile, somebody called Ankara to ask what to do, probably explained this with 'no reaction to warnings' to Erdogan, and an order was issued to open fire. - Meanwhile, the two unknown aircraft continued their orbit by making a turn north, then west, first into the two F-16s, then in direction of the Turkish airspace. This is something about which both sides agree, even if the two 'maps' produced (literaly) by the Russian MOD are actually contradicting each other (except for one of these indicating VKS' Su-24s flying turns no Su-24s could physically fly), see: - As these two aircraft did that, the THK issued its final, 10th warning, and then ordered its pilots to open fire. Recording with three repeats of the Turkish warning can be heard here. - Russian MOD says Turks didn't air any kind of warnings, but a Dutch civilian pilot said to the RT that he not only had the two THK F-16s on the radar of his airliner - and well inside Turkish airspace - but also has heard their warnings for Russians. He could not see the Russians, though. - Moments before THK F-16s opened fire, the lead VKS Su-24 (still unknown to the THK to be Russian) turned away. But, the Russian No.2 didn't follow his flight lead: it continued in western direction. At that time - and according to calculations based on data provided by Turkish government in that letter to the UN (can provide a copy, though this is widely available on the internet too) the two Sukhois were underway at an altitude of 5,791m (19,000ft) and a quite slow speed of only about 391km/h (242mph). - One AIM-120C-7 was fired from BVR, from well inside the Turkish airspace, and at a target moving nearly perpendicular to the firing F-16, from its 10 towards 1 o'clock, and as Russians had the F-16s somewhere around their 2 o'clock. Reported range was between 15 and 20 kilometres, with - considering the time of the day and their relative positions - the two Sukhois being up-sun from Turks, and thus 'invisible' (under 'normal' circumstances, a Su-24 can be visible from as much as 20km). - Except for Russian claims, there is no evidence of THK fighters violating Syrian airspace. - According to what can be seen on the videos showing that Sukhoi going down in flames, the missile must have proximity fuzed next to it - probably below it, like ARH and SARH MRAAMs often did in earlier air wars: it didn't score a direct hit, then there are no holes, and no missing pieces to be seen (even the fin can be clearly seen on the videos). That the missile probably proximity fuzed can be concluded on the basis of the fact that the falling Sukhoi was streaming lots of (burning) fuel too: it was 'sprayed' with shrapnel, not 'hit in the fin' as subsequently explained by surviving Russian crewman. The crew comprising Lt Col Oleg Peshkov and Capt Konstantin Muratkin ejected. - Claims by some of Russian media that the THK F-16s attacked VKS Su-24Ms from behind, and with AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, cannot be confirmed. - Videos of the badly damaged Su-24M going down are showing it streaming burning fuel and with wings in 'fully spread' position, indicating it was still flying at slow speed when abandoned by the crew. - Peshkov is assessed to have been KIA by a group of Turkish Jihadists that have sided with the JAN - and NOT by the 10th or 13th Coastal Brigade/1st Coastal Division FSyA, as often reported - and this while still descending under his parachute. Whether he was killed while still coming down, or only after landing, remains unclear, and might require an autopsy to definitely find out (importance would be that if he was still under his parachute, that is a war crime according to Customary International Humanitarian Law[/ur], which is considered valid for irregular armed forces world-wide, so also JAN-allied Turkish Jihadists). - Muratkin came down unharmed and escaped. - The VKS launched two pairs of helicopters for the CSAR-operation, each consisting of one Mi-8ATMSh-V and one Mi-24. One of Mi-8ATMSh-Vs, bort '252' (RF-95601) was hit by insurgent ground fire and forced to make an emergency landing. One of 12 crewmembers and Russian Marines on board, Aleksander Pazynich, was shot in the neck and KIA. After the helicopter was evacuated, it was knocked out by a TOW fired by the 1st Coastal Division FSyA (as can be seen on the , and NOT 'by mortar', as explained by the Russian MOD (means: another Russian lie). - Crew of the downed helicopter and Muratkin were subsequently extracted by a team of 12 Syrian and 6 Hezbollah/Lebanon 'special force' operators. - Like in so many other of his statements related to Syria, and in so many releases by the Russian MOD, in his first reaction to the shoot-down President of Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin lied that: Namely, there is no known presence of the Daesh for about 150km around the area where the Sukhoi was shot down. This can be seen even on the maps of Syria published by the Russian MOD, like this one: Furthermore, if Russia is concerned that any of its nationals that have joined the Daesh might return to Russia 'at any time', then it should STOP sending its Islamists to join the Daesh (<= read this, it's a VERY informative piece of research!). Well, sorry, but from my POV, nearly everything is clear in this case. ************* BTW, reliability of Russian military's 'objective monitoring data' is more than well-known (at least to me). Have spent most of the last 10 years working myself through related documentation and publications. According to such data, and to name only a few out of hundreds of examples, alone Syrian MiG-21s should have shot down 100+ Israeli aircraft in October 1973... Libyans have shot down 5 USN aircraft on 24 March 1986, and another three on 15 April 1986, while Americans used 'Bullpup laser-guided missiles with range of 120km' - to hit Tripoli... So, sorry Gekko, but I'm simply not buying it. Or if I should, then explain me one thing: aren't Russian Airspace Force pilots actually ashamed of complaining that there were no warnings from Turkey? I mean; by side all the officially issued, public warnings via the media in the days prior to this shoot-down. ...and even if the Turks haven't issued any kind of warnings via radio (which would be ridiculous, because it's norm in the NATO, and they had that agreement with the VKS): but what do the Russians expect, that Turks should now do navigation for VKS combat aircraft involved in combat operations over Syria - too?
  5. Can't see any difference on any of available photos. Are there any 'subtle' differences?
  6. Sorry Lars, for very specific reasons, I'm intentionaly not having any other accounts where I could/would post photos (while is my website/forum). But even if: '19' used to wear just the usual, standardized VKS camo for Su-24M. Perhaps the nose was slightly more dirty than on most of other examples I've seen this year. The only thing I do not know about her is the number of missions completed before 24 November. *********** One update (about 30min old): the F-16 pilot prepared attack on two aircraft, but fired only one AIM-120C-7 after all. That one went for the second Sukhoi - and this because it did not turn away (from Turkish airspace). The lead Sukhoi was not targeted - precisely becasuse it turned away. Moreover: Turks did track the two Sukhois right since their take-off, but didn't know they were Russian, and never VID-ed them (their ROEs did not demand VID). Namely, on 15 October, Deputy C-in-C VKS, Sergey Dronov visited Ankara, and a special comms channel between the THK and VKS was agreed in order to prevent further airspace violations. This channel was agreed because older VKS types - like Su-24M - do not have the internationally used guard channel. When the Turks began warning these two Su-24s, they aired warnings on both of these channels: on the guard, and on that 'special' one. 'No response' led the THK to conclusion that the incoming Sukhois are not Russian, but Syrian.
  7. @Alex no doubt, there are plenty of sophisticated weapons computers ... and only one good reason for 'wind corrected ammo'. But trust me, the latter wins most of the times.
  8. I have always thought of the Su-24 as at least a Russian F-111F. It turned out it couldn't match the F-111A.... Re. missile used: I know everybody says 'AIM-9', but no way. This was a BVR shot, apparently by two AIM-120C-7s, one of which missed. Namely, the F-16 was quite far away, and the Russians flying perpendicular to it (range 15-20km, Sukhois up-sun and F-16s at their 2 o'clock). Those informed about weaknesses of pulse-Doppler radars in relation to targets 'in beam' to them, should know what a complex shoot this was (and why all the theories about 'conspiracies' and 'ambush' are little else but wet dreaming by... sigh... trolls). Plus, the Russian formation leader turned away - apparently right after the F-16 fired. That's why 'only' one was shot down.
  9. Mate, trust me one thing: with strong winds pre-evalent in most of central and northern Syria (it's really 'blowing' there, most of the times), and from an altitude of 6,000m... sigh... one couldn't hit the Wembley Stadium with dumb bombs, no matter how slow-flying. EDIT: there is a damn good reason for Western air forces 'changing' to PGMs, 20+ years ago. Yup, a single PGM costs 'millions'. But hundreds of 'dumb' bombs that are missing their targets cost at least as much - especially if one adds the price of all the fuel, spares, and crews necessary to drop them.
  10. In essence: yes. The original nav/attack system is a powerful one, no doubt - for 1980s. Nowadays, it's not only hopelessly obsolete, but outright problematic. For example, it takes very long to program the next mission into it (enter waypoints etc.), it takes very long to spool-up prior to mission (some 45-50 minutes), it prohibits any kind of evasive manoeuvring immediately prior to weapon release etc. - and this in addition to an already aged airframe that was always a handful to maintain (approx one third of VKS' Su-24s deployed in Syria is grounded and waiting for maintenance at any point in time since mid-October; you can 'read' this by quite varrying number of 'kill markings' applied for combat sorties on different airframes too: some have 50+, others 20 or even less). Re. speed: it seems the two Sukhois were underway at between 300 and 350 knots, and an altitude of 6,000m (18,000+ ft). If you wonder why... well, it's nearly impossible to explain the entire situation without going into something that many here (including admins) might consider 'politics'.
  11. There is one, quite a good photo of that bird, taken early this year, and showing her in her full markings (including the RF-serial). ...there is even a photo of the F-16C said to have scored that kill... 'Problem': both were posted on forum, so I can't really 'link' them here (i.e. only registered users can see them)...
  12. M2 is Sukhoi's own upgrade. SVP-24 is run by GEFEST and reportedly several times cheaper, while resulting in same improvement. In essence, both upgrades are addressing such weaknesses of the Su-24M like low accuracy of the navigational platform, long time needed for mission planning and data-input, and limitations related to compatibility with 'dumb' bombs only, and weapons deployment from straight-line flight only. With other words: lacking money for PGMs, Russians are attempting to make do by improving accuracy and flexibility of their fighter-bombers in delivery of 'dumb' bombs. A total of 24 Su-24Ms were upgraded to M2, and up to 50 to SVP-24 standard so far. Flankerman is likely to know more, but AFAIK, the only visible outside difference to 'vanilla' Su-24Ms is addition of a GLONASS (Russian GPS) antenna on the left side of the spin, behind the cockpit.
  13. Original majority were Su-24Ms, but meanwhile there are at least four M2s, and up to 8 SVP-24s. The downed example was apparently a SVP-24.
  14. NP, take your time (I'm quite 'under pressure' currently too). Anyway, this photo is showing what is - AFAIK - their original colour (ignore splotches of 'camo pattern': these were added recently):
  15. BTW, are you building any? If yes, and if you need reference, contact me per PM, please, so we can arrange something like a 'transfer of few photos'. ;-)