Additional Info On Israeli Air Force Raid In Syria, BDA, & Loss Of Russian Recce Acft

By a Finnish blogger.  RCP

The Unlucky COOT

ON SEPTEMBER 22, 2018 BY CORPORAL FRISKIN AIR

For the second time since the start of the Syrian Civil War, a reconnaissance aircraft was shot down over the Mediterranean by the Syrian air defences this week. However, unlike the last time when it was a Turkish RF-4E Phantom, this time it was Russian Il-20M (NATO codename ‘COOT-A’) which was brought down. The friendly fire incident caused quite a stir, and the fallout is yet to settle.

HMS MONTROSE TRACKS RUSSIAN WARSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS

An Il-20M similar to the aircraft downed in Syria, here photographed when it kept an eye on western ships during exercise BALTOPS 14. Source: PO(Phot) Si Ethell/MOD via Wikimedia Commons

The loss of the Il-20 is by far the most serious aircraft loss suffered by the Russian forces in Syria. This is regarding both the highly specialised aircraft as well as the large crew of intelligence specialists (likely 10 out of 15 killed). The single Il-20 arrived at the very beginning of the Russian operation in Syria. The exact mission in Syria is unclear, but likely includes eavesdropping on enemy ground forces as well as signal gathering from NATO ships in the Med and unfriendly air assets in Syria. It seems a single Il-20 has been on strength throughout the operation. It was e.g. caught on satellite pictures back in March 2017, and is visible on Google Maps.

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Corporal Frisk@CorporalFrisk

 · Mar 19, 2017

…and I would argue that despite all fast jets and attack helicopters, one of the most interesting aircrafts is actually found in third pic https://twitter.com/eliothiggins/status/843468883906453504 …

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Corporal Frisk@CorporalFrisk

/2 i.e. the #Ilyushin right there. Either an Il-20 #ELINT plane or Il-38 maritime patrol aircraft/sub-hunter. #Syria #MPA #SIGINT pic.twitter.com/FlsGDaTdxP

10:47 AM – Mar 19, 2017

View image on Twitter

However, recently a total of three similarly looking aircraft has been spotted at the base, though these likely include the Il-38 (NATO codename ‘MAY’) anti-submarine aircraft which have been deployed to Khmeimim, and are based on the same Il-18 passenger aircraft. Much have been made of the fact that the Il-20 is based on an airliner that first flew in 1957, making it an ancient design by aircraft standards. However, it should be noted that this is not rare when it comes to larger specialised airframes, with the corresponding US type, the P-3 Orion, being based on the Lockheed L-188 Electra which first flew the same year. The C-135 family still in widespread western use is based on the Boeing 707, which made its debut the following year.

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