Summary of DefensePhoto.com Activities – June and July 2019

We had intense two months. They were so intense we did not find any time whatsoever to write our blog on a monthly basis. Hence, here is a blog post summarizing what has been happening in June and July.

The two months in question have been hectic but fruitful. We’ve successfully accomplished some projects that were ‘in the making’ for quite some time now, and also started and finalized new, smaller assignments, keeping ourselves active.

Ślązak OPV – Publications

First things first. Starting from October 2018 until April this year we have been working on an assignment onboard the ORP Ślązak OPV. Capturing imagery and gathering the information for articles in the press we have finally managed to make it all go public. You can read a lenghty piece written by our partner in crime, Kamil Dąbrowski, in the latest edition of the Frag Out! tactical magazine. The piece is accompanied with our shots that we have captured, over the course of several visits onboard. We would like to thank the marketing department at PGZ for supporting our efforts. Another article was published in the reputable Nowa Technika Wojskowa monthly by Dawid Kamizela.

ORP Ślązak OPV
Ślązak OPV bathing in the rays of the sunrise. Gdansk Bay.

Luchtmachtdagen

In June we have attended the Luchtmachtdagen (full gallery – click the link) show in the Netherlands. The event took place, after 3 years of a break, at the Volkel airbase. Despite the expectations of a more spectacular air power demo, the show was still quite interesting. You can find our report from that event at The Aviationist, and another publication is also expected to be added to one of the future issues of the Frag Out! mag.

RNLAF C-130 in Volkel
RNLAF C-130 in Volkel with a spectacular flares release

F-35’s First Visit to Poland – Operation #RapidForge

In June we were witnessing historic events at the Powidz airbase, as the USAF F-35 fifth generation fighter aircraft landed on the Polish soil for the first time ever. Thanks to one of our sources we had a chance to go to Powidz on Jul. 16. to catch four F-35As and two  F-15Es landing in Powidz on that day.

F-35 in Powidz
F-35 Lightning II landing at Powidz – Operation Rapid Forge 2018
F-15E Strike Eagle in Powidz with Dragon's Eye pod.
F-15E Strike Eagle in Powidz with interesting external stores. These include LANTIRN navigation pod, Sniper-XR targeting pod and, last but not least, Dragon’s Eye AESA/SLAR pod.

The visit was also interesting as the F-15E Strike eagles carried some unusual external stores. We reported this visit via The Aviationist and also via Defence24. We have also written a short analysis for Defence24, concerning the F-15E’s toys inventory (in Polish). Another article will probably be published in print, but that has not been confirmed as of yet.

Earlier on we were photographing the Spangdahlem deployment of F-16s at the Krzesiny AB. Relevant pieces have been posted via The Aviationist and Defence24 too.

FalconWings.lt – Air Show at Siaullai

In July we also attended the FalconWings.lt air show, commemorating the centenary of the Lithuanian Air Force. Despite the modest first impressions, the show turned out to be a bomb. The Spanish Hornet display that has left everyone amazed. The high AoA performance of this 4th generation MRCA is still impressive even today. We have written a report from that event for The Aviationist and for Defence24.pl. You can find full gallery from that show on our website.

Spanish F/A-18 Hornet in Siaullai
Spanish Hornet at Siaullai, with its spectacular high AoA performance.

What’s next?

The air show season is still going on, and we have some assignments planned for August and September.

In August we are going to focus on the Aerobaltic event in Gdynia which, as for now, has quite interesting lineup. Then, in late August we are also headed east, to bring back photos from the Moscow MAKS aviasalon – we cannot wait to get back to Zhukovskiy, expecting a spectacular show. Meanwhile, when it comes to September we are planning to attend the Leszno Air Picnic, that is a pearl among the Polish civil aviation air shows, and the season of ‘official events’ is going to be brought to a closure in Ostrava – the NATO Days event.

We’re looking forward to all of those events. We are also hoping to  get some work with the military directly, after the season comes to an end. We already have something special to do at Ostrava this year. Not to attract the bad luck, we are not going to share the details at this point 🙂