Most of these aircraft, but not all, have tangled in some way (mostly unsuccessfully) with the Fleet Air Arm:

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21 MF - Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY),

Podgorica, Montenegro, 1994

KP. Looks like a crude kit at first, but in truth its not that bad. Mine was a genuine "cold war" issue from behind the Iron Curtain (early 1980s) which added a bit of authenticity. Repainted several times (used it as a test bed for some modelling techniques).

Forces of the FRY continued to use several variants of the MiG 21 after the break up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. FRY aircraft flying from odgorica and Croatian aircraft from other former Yugoslav air bases were regularly tracked by NATO naval units operating in the Adriatic sea, during                  Operation SHARP GUARD, the UN embargo on trade with the warring factions of the Former Yugoslavia.

Dassault Super Etendard - 2 Escuadrilla de Caza y Ataque,

Armada Argentina, Rio Grande, 1982.

Academy. Generally a nice kit, with good looking but not entirely accurate decals. The colours of the blue tail markings are far too vibrant and the squadron badge is overscale.

This aircraft was credited with the sinking of HMS SHEFFIELD in 1982 and took part in the later sinking of the STUFT container ship, Atlantic Conveyor. Both attacks used the Aerospatiale MM38 Air launched Exocet anti-ship missile. RN Ships were poorly prepared against this particular threat; British intelligence assessed correctly that Argentina was not capable of operating the missile at the start of the conflict, but although French technicians were withdrawn, on the basis of the information they had already passed to the Argentinians, local technicians were able to make the launch system operational. On the back of this success, Exocet's reputation around the world was greatly boosted, including sales to Iraq, who repeated the Argentinian success, this time launched from the Mirage F1 against commercial shipping in the Gulf and the US OHP class Frigate, USS STARK.

Douglas A-4Q Skyhawk - 3 Escadrilla de Caza y Ataque "Tábanos",

Armada Argentina, Rio Grande,1982.

This ancient Airfix kit was first issued in 1958 and represents the very early A model Skyhawk. As such it is theoretically just about an acceptable base for an Argentine A-4Q, albeit that it lacks the very distinctive "unskinned" rudder of the main A-4 marks. The kit itself is very much past its best and not recommended.

During the 1982 Falklands War, the Argentine Navy's A-4Q aircraft operated initially from the carrier 25 de Mayo, but following the sinking of the General Belgrano in May 1982 the aircraft were withdrawn to safer shore bases on the Argentine mainland to operate alongside the Argentine Air Force's A-4Ps and A-4Cs. Naval Skyhawks participated in the attacks on the San-Carlos landings, including the sinking of HMS ARDENT.

In all, 22 Argentine Skyhawks (10 A-4Ps, nine A-4Cs, and three A-4Qs) were lost during the war, including eight to Sea Harriers, seven to ship-launched missiles, four to ground-launched missiles and other anti-aircraft fire (including one to "friendly-fire") and three to crashes.

IAI Dagger - Gruppo 6 de Caza, VI Brigada, Fuerza Aerea Argentina, 1982

PM. Not recommended. Crude, inaccurate, skinny, poorly fitting and the (nice looking) decals disintegrated on contact with the water.

A development of the French Mirage 3 and 5, the Argentine Air Force used the Israeli supplied Dagger fighter in the FGA role against RN ships during the 1982 Falklands conflict to good effect, pressing home their attacks with outstanding skill and bravery. A large number were lost to SAM, AAM and ground fire, but they took a heavy toll on the British forces.

Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-15 Fagot, Korean People's Air Force, 1952.

This is the Iron Curtain era KP kit, which, for a long time, was considered to be the best MiG-15 in 1/72 scale. There are much better kits available nowadays, but with a little attention, this one can still hold its own.

When it first appeared above the skies of Korea the MiG-15 caused seismic shocks across the whole western military community. Powered by a developed copy of the advanced Rolls Royce Nene jet engine (which the UK Government had inexplicably gifted to the USSR), the MiG-15 was faster, more maneouverable and better armed than anything that the UN Forces fighting in Korea could field.

Flown initially by experienced Russian and Chinese pilots, the MiGs forced most propeller driven aircraft from the skies and were close to establishing outright North Korean air dominance, until the US managed to rush the part-developed F-86 Sabre into service. The Sabre was a good match for the MiG, with superior US training and tactics giving it that needed combat edge.

However, not all combat encounters went in favour of the MiG-15; in August 1952, a flight of 4 Fleet Air Arm Sea Furies from 802 Sqn achieved a startling victory, when they managed to destroy a Korean MiG, one of 8 attacking a mixed formation of Sea Furies and Fireflies. Two others were badly damaged, but managed to escape.

Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon-F. USSR Air Defences, Kamchatka.

PM (erroneously described as Su-21). This kit has often received a bad press, but I liked it. It is fairly simple, but goes together well, is nicely detailed and certainly looks the part.

An aircraft of this type was responsible for the infamous shooting down of Korean Airlines commercial Flight 007 near Sakhalin island in the Soviet far east. Conspiracy, incompetence, confusion or deliberate provocation (and by which side)? Regardless, the Flagon was a very capable aircraft, widely deployed by the USSR Air Defences in the 1970s and 1980s.

Yakolev Yak-38 Forger - Soviet Black Sea Fleet, 1984.

Hobbycraft. Not particularly accurate, but easy to build and looks fairly convincing.

The Forger was a poor equivalent of the Harrier, hamstrung by the USSR's lack of an effective VSTOL engine like the Harrier's Rolls Royce Pegasus. Intended for local area defence of the Soviet Fleet, it was hated by its pilots, operationally ineffective and demonstrably unsafe. However, it looked the part.

Adversaries: Cold War & Modern

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The other side German Aircraft Italian & Vichy Japanese Aircraft Cold War & Modern


US OHP class Frigate, USS STARK

Sinking of the Atlantic Conveyor

sinking of HMS SHEFFIELD in 1982

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IAI Dagger in detail

Sea Furies  vs MiG

Sukhoi Flagon in detail

Yak Forger in detail

Sukhoi Su-24M Fencer

Air Arm of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet,

Chernyakhovsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, USSR, 1989

Zvezda 1/72 with Neomega resin cockpit.. A nice if simple kit.  The Neomega parts are particularly good though.

The Fencer entered service with the Soviet Air Forces in 1975 as an advanced development of the Su-17 Fitter.  Often compared with the US F-111, with which it shares a general layout, the Fencer is more focused on tactical attack missions with a shorter range and lower weapons load.

As well as widespread service with the Soviet Air Force, Soviet Naval units in the Far East and Baltic also flew Fencers for long range anti-ship operations during the Cold War and a number remain active in this role with the Russian Navy today.  

Russian Air Force Fencers are currently (2015) deployed in Syria undertaking air strikes against ISIL and Syrian Opposition forces.  In mid November 2015, a Fencer operating against opposition rebels near to the Turkish border was shot down by two F-16s of the Turkish Air Force, who claimed that it had crossed into Turkish air space (Turkey also enforces a unilaterally declared no combat operations zone within 5 km of its border).  

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#mig-15 #mig-21 #su-15 #yak38 #su-24 #skyhawk #dagger #etendard #FITTER

Sukhoi Su-7 BKL FITTER A

Soviet Frontal Aviation, Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily (VVS)

USSR, 1965

KP 1/72

The Su-7 FITTER A started life in the late 1950s as a Fighter, but was quickly converted to the ground attack and strike role as the MiG-21 proved cheaper and more effective as a fighter.  In this new role, after modifications and strengthening to enable high speed operation at low altitude, the Su-7 proved capable and rugged, becoming the mainstay of Soviet tactical aviation during the 1960s and 1970s, serving in front line units right into the mid 1980s.  

Like many high-speed aircraft of that time, it suffered from very poor range and required a very long runway for take-off and landing, leading Sukhoi to develop a swing-wing variant, theSu-17/22 to try and overcome this shortfall.  FITTERs were widely exported to Soviet client states, and it is likely that some still remain in service with countries such as North Korea.

The BKL version depicted by this kit employed a unique skid arrangement alongside its main wheels to assist with operation on soft unprepared runways  or in snow, along with a larger nose wheel and twin braking parachutes.  Rocket JATO pods were then utilised to assist with subsequent take-off, making for  a spectacular sight !  Link to Build Page


Sukhoi Su-9 FISHPOT B

Soviet Air Defence Forces - Voyska ProtivoVozdushnoy Oborony (V-PVO)

USSR, 1965

Leoman 1/72

The Su-9 Fishpot B drew on Soviet post WW2 studies into optimum aerodynamic configurations for different roles. Although sharing its basic fuselage design with the swept wing Su-7 Fitter attack aircraft, as an interceptor the “Fishpot” gained a small tailed delta wing planform (similar to the MiG-21 Fishbed), optimised for speed at height, but needing a very long take-off run.  Unlike the MiG21, the Fishpot’s very specialised interceptor role made its export potential very limited, with only the Soviet Air Defences (PVO) fielding the aircraft.

In its original form, armament was the Kaliningrad K-5 (NATO AA-1 Alkali) beam riding missile, a first generation air to air weapon for attacking bombers with a short range (about 2miles) and limited engagement envelope, dependent on the launching aircraft continuing to point at and track the target with its fire control radar until the missile struck.  Later Su-9s carried the more advanced K-55 missile which used a semi active radar homing unit or infra-red seeker head. An improved variant, the Su-11 Fishpot C carried a larger radar and the far more advanced and longer range (14 Miles) AA-3 Anab missile.

The Su-9 shot briefly to fame in 1960 as a result of the Gary Powers incident in 1962. Although the aircraft involved was unarmed (on its delivery flight), it attempted to ram Powers U-2 and may have contributed to his downing.  Su-9s left Soviet service in the late 1970s to be replaced by the Su-11, Su-15 Flagon and the MiG25 Foxbat  Link to Build Page

Kamov Ka-25 Hormone A

Soviet Navy Red Banner Northern Fleet

Murmansk USSR, 1987

Airfix 1/72 with scratch built interior

Kamov OKB's contra rotating rotor designs are well suited to the anti-submarine role, allowing aircraft to hover safely and in extreme weather conditions. Based ashore and at sea, the Hormone was the main Soviet and Eastern Block ship-borne ASW platform during the Cold War.

Kamov Ka-27 Helix A

Russian Federation Navy Northern Fleet

Murmansk, Russian Federation 2010

Zvezda 1/72 with spare decals

The Helix was introduced inithe 19700s as an upgrade to overcome the bad weather and night operation limits of the Hormone.  The external dimensions of the earlier aircraft were retained to enable compatibility with existing ships and their hangars, whilst fitting much more powerful engines and rotor blades as well as a significantly bigger cabin to carry additional ASW equipment and systems.

#Ka27 #Ka25

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