Monday, August 21, 2017

My publication for summer 2017


This summer, two of my stories are published in issue 20 of The Aviation Historian magazine and september issue of Air Forces Monthly. First one is the story of the Libyan Tu-22s "Blinder" engaged in Chad against Chadian and French written in collaboration with my colleague Tom Cooper. Two of them were lost during the air raids against N'Djamena in 1986 and 1987. The second article (Flaspoint) establishes an assessment of the air war in Yemen since March 2015.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Libyan National Army Air Force MiG shot down over Derna

The Libyan National Army Air Force has lost a new aircraft over Derna today, shot down by Derna Mujahidine Shura Council (DMSC) militants. The pilot, Adel Al-Jihani, and the co-pilot, Wael Al-Wakwak, ejected but Al-Jihani died from his wounds shortly after it was detained by DMSC. According to LNA spokesman, the aircraft was a MiG-21, but other LNA sources claimed it was a MiG-23. The fact that the crew took off from Tobruk airbase would confirm that it would indeed be one of the three remained MiG-21UMs of the fleet (serial number 073, 076 or 117).


Edit 30 July 2017 : It seems that the pilot, Adel Al-Jihani was a MiG-23 pilot and has been executed in retaliation of previous airstrike performed by him ... The lost aircraft is therfore MiG-23UB '8008'


Video of the supposed crash site

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My publication in July 2017


En juillet, je contribue au n°130 du magazine "Défense & Sécurité International" avec un article sur la "guerre aérienne face à l'Etat Islamique en Irak et en Syrie" depuis 2014.

In July, I have contributed to Issue No. 130 of "Défense & Sécurité International" magazine with an article about the "Air War against Islamic Sates in Iraq and Syria" since 2014.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rapport du Groupe d'Experts du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations-Unies sur la Libye

Mon travail sur la crise libyenne depuis un an confirmé par les Experts du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations-Unies sur la Libye

Version en français de l'article publié sur War Is Boring le 14 juin 2017

Le 9 juin 2017, le Groupe d’Experts des Nations Unies créé à la suite de la résolution 1973 sur la Libye a publié son rapport final sur son travail pour le Conseil de Sécurité. Ce document, long de près de 300 pages, inclus notamment des détails sur l’évolution politique et la sécuritaire du pays, la violation des droits de l’homme, la violation de l’embargo sur les armes, la prévention des exportations illicites de pétrole brut, le détournement de fonds publics et le financement des groupes armés.


Une grande partie du chapitre concernant la violation de l’embargo sur les armes, soit une trentaine de pages, a mentionné, réutilisé et/ou confirmé mes recherches et analyses publiées depuis un an sur plusieurs médias spécialisés (War Is Boring, Middle East Eye et le magazine DSI).

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Egypt Has Joined the Air War in Libya


On May 26, 2017, armed men traveling in pickup trucks gunned down 28 Coptic Christians and wounded 26 as the Christians were on their way to visit a monastery in Egypt’s Minya province. Islamic State has claimed its responsibility for the attack. That same evening, Egypt announced that its air force had carried out six air raids on ISIS camps near the Libyan city of Derna. Cairo suspects that the Derna Mujahideen Shura Council, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated coalition of Islamist militias that formed in December 2014, supported the murders.

The strikes involved F-16C/D Block 52s covered by at least two Rafales. Weirdly, the Egyptian government posted a video supposed illustrating the operation, but the footage actually depicts a later strike on the city of Hun.

Egypt Has Joined the Air War in Libya - The skies are getting crowded


Sunday, June 4, 2017

My publication in June 2017


In June Issue of Air Force Monthly magazines, I published the second contribution to my new series of monthly reports named the "Flashpoint" : "Wolves in sheep's clothing", the concept of transforming Antonov transports into auxiliary bombers starting in 1967 in the Indian Air Force and used recently in the battle of Mosul by Iraqi AIr Force.

Friday, June 2, 2017

How Iraq Makes Combat Pilots


During the occupation that followed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, most Iraqi combat aircraft — MiG-23s, MiG-25s and Su-25s — were discovered by coalition forces in poor condition on various air bases, while others were discovered buried outside their bases or in nearby towns and villages where they had been abandoned.

Most IrAF aircraft were destroyed during and after the invasion, and any remaining materiel was discarded in the immediate aftermath of the war. No aircraft acquired during the era of Saddam Hussein would be retained in service by the new Iraqi air arms.

How Iraq Makes Combat Pilots


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The military escalation in Fezzan can lead to an open conflict between Tobruk and Misrata


This analysis was to be published initially on Middle East Eye, but this publication has been canceled. So I decided to share it for free on my blog ...

For six months, escalation is increasing in the Tamanhint area – 30 kilometer northeast of Al Sebha – between the LNA’s 12th Infantry Brigade and Misrata’s Third Force. The latest major confrontation was the attack on Brak al-Shati — 80 kilometers north of Al Sebha — infrastructure on 18 May which let about 140 LNA militaries and civilians killed, and an entire key military air base ravaged. How a militia like the Third Force managed to fall such airbase so easily ?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Iraqi secret Intelligence Service aircraft revealed


On May 10, 2017, a ceremony took place at Al Muthana air base in Iraq in the presence of Iraqi air force commander Gen. Anwar Hamad Amin. In the background of photos taken that day, a De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter with an Iraqi flag on the tail is visible.

The presence of this DHC-6 is surprising because no such aircraft has been reported as having been delivered to Iraq. According to sources War Is Boring agreed not to name, this airplane arrived in Iraq in secrecy in 2014 and is currently being used by the Iraqi intelligence service.

We’ve Spotted Some Secret Iraqi Spy Planes


My interview in Libération newspaper on 21 May

My interview (in French) in Libération newspaper on 21 May 2017 about the attack performed on Brak al-Shati airbase in southern Libya.

L'armée du maréchal Haftar ravagée dans le Sud libyen



Monday, May 15, 2017

New loss for Iraqi Army Aviation in the battle of Mosul

Iraqi Army Aviation has lost a Bell IA-407 on 13 May in western Mosul near Al-Qayrawan region. The pilots managed to land safely in a PMU (Popular Mobilization Units) base after being hit by ground fire and later evacuated. This is the second Bell IA-407 down in five weeks. Previous one was down on 6 April in Al-Muhandisin district of Mosul city. A Mi-35 crashed near Baiji on 4 January and another Bell IA-407 was lost in Mukeshefah area North of Samarra at 140 km north of Baghdad on 29 October 2016. Seven Bell helicopters were captured, crashed or shot down in three years of fighting against Islamic State.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dropping the Big One

by Krzysztof Dabrowski

The Big One usually refers to a nuclear weapon, a nuclear bomb in particular. In case of the AN602 (AH602) this term is especially fitting for this thermonuclear weapon was indeed big both in terms of its yield as well as weight and dimensions. The bomb went under several other designations including RDS-202 (РДС-202), RN202 (PH202) and names such as Ivan (Иван). It was also called Kuzkina mat (Кузькина мать) literally meaning the mother of Kuzma which was a reference to the Soviet Union’s leader of that time Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev ( Ники́та Серге́евич Хрущёв) exclamation "Мы вам покажем Кузькину мать!" – phonetically “My vam pokazhem Kuzkinu mat!” – which literally means we will show you Kuzma’s mother but colloquially expresses the intention to teach others a harsh lesson. However arguably the weapon is best known as the Tsar bomba (Царь-бомба) even if the Soviets themselves never actually used this term. Since it is pointless to “swim against the tide” Tsar bomba will henceforth be used in this piece as well. The said “doomsday device” was developed by a team of physicists headed by Yulii Borisovich Khariton (Ю́лий Бори́сович Харито́н) which also included many other distinguished Soviet scientists with Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov (Андре́й Дми́триевич Са́харов) among them.
While considerable attention is usually devoted to the bomb itself and its test – that hardly being surprising – the aircraft which delivered it and the men who flew it usually stay in relative obscurity. Yet a nuclear bomb without a bomber remains useless for obvious reasons. Thus it begs to devote a few words to the Tu 95V bomber which was an aircraft devised specifically to carry and drop the Tsar bomba.

The bomb undergoes the necessary preparations

Friday, May 5, 2017

Misrata has recruited new mercenaries for its air force



Forces loyal to the Libyan renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar claim foreign mercenaries are being recruited to bolster the air power of rival fighters in the city of Misrata. Colonel Ahmed Almesmari, of Haftar's Libyan National Army, said this week that the 11 mercenaries had entered the city, including "nine jet technicians from Ecuador, one Ukrainian pilot, one missile expert from Georgia".
A source close to the international mission in Libya, who asked to remain anonymous, also confirmed this to Middle East Eye. Almesmari told MEE that the Libyan National Army (LNA) was "not in a stage to comment further". "In case we decide to announce detailed info, it will be on our official outlets," he added.
The mercenaries were reported by MEE's source to have entered the cities of Misrata and Mitiga. The hiring of mercenaries would break UN resolutions on arms control in Libya.

Libyan militia building mercenary air force, rivals claim

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My publication in May 2017


Two publications in May 2017 : in DSI issue No.129, I talk about the engagement of Egyptian and Emirati Air Forces in Libya with a focus on the UAE deployment at al-Khadim airbase; I have also written a short piece about the latest batch of four F-16IQs delivered to Iraqi Air Force in Issue No.350 of Air Forces Monthly magazine

Monday, April 24, 2017

The LNA Air School rehabilitated nine pilots and upgraded eight


The Libyan News Agency published on 16 April 2017 a video from inside the Libyan National Army Air School at Tobruk where new pilots are being trained on Mi-2 helicopters. Colonel Pilot Mohamed Ben Ali, commanding officer of the Mi-2 Squadron, said that the military personnel carried out 1553 sorties, which lasted 1200 hours and 45 minutes. Ben Ali explained that these flights included military operations in addition to other training that contributed to the rehabilitation of nine pilots from the combat squadrons, and raise the efficiency of eight other pilots on Mi-2 Squadron.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My publication in April-May 2017


In March-April, two of my articles are published in DSI and Combat Aircraft Monthly magazines. The first one is the story of the Garud commando forces, the special forces dedicated to the Indian Air Force in DSI special Issue. In Combat Aircraft Monthly, I published a short piece about the latest Aero Vodochody L-159s delivered to Iraqi Air Force.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Libyan National Army Is Running Out of Air Power

The Libyan National Army Air Force — part of the eastern-based Tobruk regime, one of two competing governments in Libya — lost two fighter-bombers and an experienced pilot in fewer than two weeks. A MiG-21 shot down over the Al Sabri district in Benghazi and a second MiG-21 that crashed near Tobruk after a mission to Derna, killing the commander of Gamal Abdul El Nasser air base.


The LNA/AF, under the command of Gen. Khalifa Haftar, also lost a Mi-35 gunship helicopter that the air arm abandoned at Ras Lanouf air base during a militant attack — and then destroyed.The losses have sharply reduced the LNA/AF’s combat capability as it battles western-based Misrata militants who are determined to hold Libya’s central oil crescent.

The Libyan National Army Is Running Out of Air Power

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

My publications in March-April 2017


In March-April, two of my articles are published in Airpower and Air Force Monthly magazines. The first one is an analysis of the future of the F-35 : "Le F-35 est-il condamné ?". In Air Forces Monthly, I published the first contribution to my new series of monthly reports named the "Flashpoint" : "Dusty' goes to war", the secretive Libyan war record of the Air Tractor.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

How Emirati/Egyptian air power turned Haftar's Libyan oil ports disaster to victory


On 14 March, General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army launched a counterattack against the fighters of the Saraya Defend Benghazi and the Petroleum Facilities Guard coalition, which had managed to take most of the coastal cities near the oil terminals 10 days earlier.

This lightning counter-offensive has left observers skeptical. How could an army have lost an entire region in a few days - and then recovered it so quickly?



Balloon busting

by Krzysztof Dabrowski


With various events commemorating the centennial of the First World War or the Great War as the global conflict is also known the attention of aviation enthusiasts is among other things drawn to the so call balloon busting – that is to the shooting down of enemy aerostats which was an important part of World War One aerial warfare. This was so despite the fact that powered flight was by that time already well established. However aerostats still played an important role, especially observation blimps were of great use allowing to watch enemy positions and look behind his lines. For obvious reason neither of the warring side could tolerate this and hence the aforementioned balloon busting. It is less known however, that many balloons and other aerostats were also shot down in times chronologically much closer.  In particular the Cold War saw many such incidents occurring but they also took place even more recently – leaving the former for another time it seems fitting to bring to attention the latter.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A new offensive in the Oil Crescent could reshuffle the cards in Libya


On March 3, 2017, fighters from Saraya Defend Benghazi — also known as Benghazi Defense Brigade, an Islamist militia group that formed in June 2016 to oppose the dominant Libyan National Army and its popular leader Gen. Khalifa Hafter — together with members of Ibrahim Jadhran’s Petroleum Facilities Guard and Misrata’s Al Marsa Brigade, attacked An Nawfaliya, Bin Jawad, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf in Libya’s Oil Crescent.

Their goal was to seize the oil terminals in those towns. And thus control Libya’s wealth. The attack has upended the Libyan civil war.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Russia has provided at least one fighter jet to Libya National Army

By Arnaud Delalande and Wolfgang Pusztai

On Feb. 24, 2017, photographs taken by Libyan National Army Air Force technicians — and which appeared on social media — revealed that Russia appears to have supplied at least one warplane to forces under the command of Marshal Khalifa Haftar.


Haftar’s army, concentrated in eastern Libya and based in Tobruk, is the chief rival of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord based in the western capital of Tripoli. The 73-year-old marshal, who once lived in exile near the CIA headquarters in Virginia, has received military support from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, among other countries.

And, as the evidence strongly suggests, Russia as well.

Friday, February 24, 2017

My publication in March


This month, two of my short reports are published in March Issue of Air Force Monthly about the deployment of Nigerian Air Force in Gambia and a combat report about Iraqi Air Force and Iraqi Army Aviation in action in the battle of Mosul.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Les émirati sont sur le point de déployer des chasseurs en Libye

Base aérienne d'al-Khadim au 30 décembre 2016 (TerraServer)

De nouvelles photos satellites de la base aérienne d’al-Khadim prises en décembre dernier montrent clairement que les Emirats Arabes Unis sont sur le point de déployer des chasseurs sur le territoire libyen. L'engagement de la force aérienne d'Abu Dhabi aux côtés du maréchal Haftar a déjà été confirmé depuis plusieurs mois. En effet, les IOMAX AT-802 Air Tractor et les drones Wing Loong de fabrication chinoise sont situés sur la base aérienne d'al-Khadim depuis au moins le mois de juillet. Leurs pilotes - la plupart d'entre eux des mercenaires américains travaillant pour Erik Prince – ont régulièrement effectué des missions de soutien aérien au profit de l'Armée Nationale Libyenne contre les groupes islamistes à Benghazi.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Emirati are on the verge of deploying fighter jets in Libya


New satellite photos of the al-Khadim airbase taken in December clearly show that the United Arab Emirates are on the verge of deploying fighter jets on Libyan territory. The engagement of the air force of Abu Dhabi alongside Marshal Haftar has already been confirmed for several months. Indeed, IOMAX AT-802 Air Tractors and Chinese-made Wing Loong drones are located on al-Khadim airbase since at least July. Their pilots - most of them are American mercenaries working for Erik Prince as source told War Is Boring in January - regularly carried out air support missions for the benefit of the Libyan National Army against Islamic groups in Benghazi

Emirati Fighter Jets Could Help Tip the Libyan Civil War - A deployment of Mirage 2000s appears to be imminent


Friday, January 27, 2017

The JAPCC has reviewed "Iraqi Air Power Reborn"

The Joint Air Power Competence Centre has published a review of my book Iraqi Air Power Reborn in the 23rd issue (p115) of the JAPCC journal.


The Joint Air Power Competence Center (JAPCC) is a NATO-accredited, multinational Center of Excellence (COE) based in Kalkar, Lower Rhine. The main focus of the JAPCC is the further development of the strategic / operational leadership and deployment principles for the use of NATO and JAPCC nations' airspace and space. This multi-national center of excellence, which is based on a German initiative, was launched in 2005. Since then, the JAPCC has been stimulating the further development of "Air and Space Power" through numerous concept papers and publications as well as the participation of various committees and working groups.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

My publication in January



This month, I published in issue 18 of The Aviation Historian magazine about the story of Dassault Mirage in Zairian Air Force (FAZA). These aircraft were often piloted by French instructor for training Zairian, but also for attack missions, notably during the second Shaba war in 1978 (or Kolwezi crisis).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mon interview pour RFI le 16 janvier 2017

Mon interview avec Olivier Fourt pour RFI (Radio France Internationale) le 16 janvier à propos des opérations menées en Libye par les pilotes d'Erik Prince (fondateur de l'ex-Blackwater) aux commandes des avions AT-802 "Air Tractor" déployés par les Emirats Arabes Unis en soutien au Général Haftar.

Interview audio




Erik Prince, fondateur de la société Blackwater, louerait ses services en Libye


Monday, January 16, 2017

Islamist militia used Chinese made dispersed landmines in Benghazi


On 8 December 2016, pro-LNA social-media account published footage of an unused Chinese made Type 84 remotely delivered antivehicle landmine with TYPE 122-15 ATML rocket found in Ganfouda district in Benghazi in a place seized from BRSC fighters few days ago. This is believed to be the first recorded use in Libya since the 2011 uprising and first by islamist militia forces fighting the LNA.

Terrific — Libyan Militants Now Have Deadly Chinese Landmines



Sunday, January 15, 2017

LNA Air Force has now only one 'Flogger' in its fleet

Today, Libyan National Army Air Force lost its sole MiG-23ML in service, serial number '26453'. According to LNA Spox, the aircraft was shot down and crashed in Ganfouda / Bosnib area in Benghazi. The pilot, Colonel Younes Aldinạli, ejected, but suffered of a broken ankle on the left foot and some bruises. MiG-23ML '26453' entered in service in February 2016 soon after the lost of three others 'Flogger' in two months. Two MiG-23BNs were added to the fleet in April and May, but serial '8985 crashed on 6 July.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Erik Prince’s Mercenaries Are Bombing Libya



On Jan. 11, 2017, Intelligence Online — a professional journal covering the world’s intelligence services — revealed that the pilots of Air Tractor attack planes flying from Al Khadim air base in Libya are private contractors working for Erik Prince, the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater. War Is Boring’s own sources in Libya confirmed the assertion. Our sources said that the pilots flying the United Arab Emirates Air Force IOMAX AT-802 Air Tractors — converted crop-dusters — are mercenaries and aren’t Arabs. Most of the for-profit aviators are American, according to IOL. Prince denied involvement in the UAE air operations.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A New Civil War Could Break Out in Libya

A New Civil War Could Break Out in Libya
Fresh fighting would pit the Libyan National Army against the Government of National Accord

by Wolfgang Pusztai and Arnaud Delalande


Beginning in December 2016, the Saraya Defend Benghazi — also known as Benghazi Defense Brigade — an Islamist militia group that formed in June 2016 to oppose Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s Tobruk-based Libyan National Army, was involved in the attack on facilities in Libya’s Oil Crescent.

The LNA decisively repulsed the attacks. But the wider conflict is only deepening — and could spark a new civil war in Libya pitting the two major claimants to the country’s leadership. Haftar and his allies in Tobruk on one side. On the other, the Government of National Accord in Tripoli.

Resource constraints on both sides could head off further fighting — assuming the local allies of both Haftar and the GNA behave themselves.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Il y a 30 ans, l'Armée de l'Air frappait une nouvelle fois Ouadi-Doum

Yvon Goutx à bord de son Mirage F1CR au-dessus du Tchad (Crédit photo : Yvon Goutx)

Au cours de l'opération Manta, les forces françaises avaient établi une "Ligne rouge" le long du 15e parallèle - une position ayant pour but le blocage de toute avance des troupes de Mouammar Kadhafi ou de Goukouni Oueddei dans le sud du Tchad - qui fut étendue au 16e parallèle lorsqu'un Jaguar fut abattu et son pilote tué en janvier 1984. Le 16 février 1986, l'armée de l'air française lança un premier raid aérien sur une base aérienne libyenne construite près de l'oasis de Ouadi-Doum dans le nord du Tchad. La piste fut complètement détruite par onze Jaguar utilisant des bombes BAP-100, ainsi commençait l'Opération Epervier. Au début de janvier 1987, Habré voulu profiter de l'engagement des Libyens dans le Tibesti pour attaquer la ville de Fada. En représailles, les chasseurs libyens franchirent la ligne rouge pour frapper Oum-Chalouba et Arada, les forces françaises basées à Kalaït recevant quelques bombes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Iraqi Army Aviation Mi-35M crashed near Baiji

An Iraqi Army Aviation Mi-35M crashed near Baiji this morning killing the four crew members : Pilot Mojtaba Kazazi Hilal, Lieutenant Hussein Kamel, Joey Omar Arif, Weapons technician Jabbar. The 35th Attack Squadron of Iraqi Army Aviation lost four others Mi-35M before, one crashed at Al-Saqlawiyah near Fallujah on 16 June 2014 and another was shot down on 3 October 2014 by a FN-6 MANPADS between Baiji and al-Senniyah. On 4 November, a pilot managed to make an emergency landing after beeing wounded by ground fire west of Ramadi. The helicopter and its crew were safe. On 22 August 2015, Mi-35M serial “YI-361” has made an emergency landing in a safe area west of Samarra after hit a power line. The crew was wounded and the helicopter suffered damages after starting to burn. On 4 April 2016, another Hind crashed near al-Kut airbase injuring the two crew members. On mid-2013, a contract was signed for an order of 28 Mi-35M and fifteen Mi-28NE helicopters. Twenty units have been already delivered into five batches of four : first in November 2013, the last on 26th August 2015. The fifteen remaining helicopters are in service with 35th Attack Squadron.