Air International 2017-09
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A.Mladenov, A.Zinchuk - Naval Aviation Parade /Military/
Kacha-based Be-12, RF-12012, is operated in the maritime patrol role over the Black Sea and is also used for a variety of secondary tasks involving the combat training of ship companies. The main mission equipment of the Be-12 is the Initsiativa-2B analogue search radar used for long-range maritime surveillance and offshore navigation. Against large surface ships its detection range is 136 nautical miles, and for detection of a submarine periscope or life raft it offers a detection range of 9 nautical miles. The handful of Be-12s remaining in active service were built in the early 1970s and are expected to remain in the frontline role until the early 2020s.
Russian Naval Aviation has two squadrons of MiG-31 Foxhounds, one of which is assigned to the 98th SAP at Monchegorsk, flying the upgraded MiG-31BM version shown in this shot. Until 2015, the 98th SAP was assigned to the Russian Air and Space Force, and transferred to naval aviation service following the establishment of Strategic Command North, a Russian Navy command that controls all forces based in Russia’s extreme northern regions and the Russian sector of the Arctic. Monchegorsk-based MiG-31BMs were among the first Foxhounds upgraded to production standard and entered service in 2008 and 2009.
Upgraded Il-38N May maritime patrol aircraft currently serve with three Russian Naval Aviation squadrons, one assigned to the Northern Fleet and two with the Pacific Fleet, and the training centre at Yeisk. The recently integrated Leninets Novella-P-38 all-new mission suite transforms the 1970s-vintage May into an effective multi-role maritime patrol and reconnaissance platform adequate for the maritime environment. The Il-38N is also used for SAR, minelaying, electronic and signals intelligence gathering, and maritime pollution surveillance.
Il-38N, side number 78, carries artwork themed on anti-submarine warfare and serves with the 7062nd Air Base at Nikolaevka near Vladivostok. Russian Naval Aviation's ultimate intention is to upgrade and extend the service life of its entire 28-aircraft fleet until 2020. Due to a programme delay, completion is not expected before the mid-2020s.
Four carrier-capable MiG-29KRs were in the air parade, including RF-92320. All four were assigned to the 100th OKIAP based at Severmorsk-3 near Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula. Russian Naval Aviation received 20 single-seat MiG-29KRs and four two-seat MiG-29KUBRs in 2015. The 100th OKIAP was reactivated on December 1,2015, with its fighters tasked to operate from the sole Russian aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, assigned to the Northern Fleet.
A Tu-142MK crew lined up in front of their aircraft, ready for flying a rehearsal mission for thr parade over St Petersburg.
Tu-142MK, side number 95, belongs to the resident squadron assigned to the Kipelovo-based aviation group with the 7050th Air Base headquartered at Severomorsk-1 near Murmansk. Each aircraft in the squadron has its own name, a rare thing in the Russian Naval Aviation. The Bear-F fleet is slated for a major upgrade of its mission suite, including integration of a powerful surface search radar supplied by AO Zaslon, based on the model originally developed for the upgraded Il-38N.