Military Review

"Swallow" nicknamed "Phoenix"

At the end of last year, the Serbian Air Force began to receive new aircraft - for the first time in the twenty years that have passed since the SFRYU. And, curiously, domestic-made aircraft.

Of course, it would be naive to hope that this would turn out to be an ultramodern fighter: although aviation there was industry in Yugoslavia, with deep roots and marked by the development of good aircraft, but its highest achievement was the development of light jet attack aircraft. But that was a long time ago, since then, Yugoslavia has disappeared, and the aviation industry, like other military industries, has suffered not only from economic turmoil, but also from NATO bombing. And yet, new aircraft with the optimistic name “Lasta” - “Swallow” went into the series.

Utva Aircraft Industry has existed since 1937 and is engaged in the development and production of light aircraft, its plant is located in Pancevo. Continuing the line of piston combat training aircraft, at the beginning of the 1980-s, the successful Utva 75 training aircraft was replaced by the development of the new UTS 95 training center. The machine also had to be a piston, but with improved aerodynamics, avionics and the ability to use outboard weapons. The main external difference was a different placement of pilots - in tandem, and not side by side, as on the “Utva 75”, which was generally designed more like a tourist plane. From the "Utva 95" pilots had to change to the cockpit of the jet Soko G-4 Super Galeb, and from there to the MiG-21 or MiG-29.

“95 Ustva 1 Lasta” first flew into the air in 1985, in the 1986, the second prototype appeared, “2 Lasta”. It had significant differences from the first - the fuselage was shorter by half a meter, but the wingspan was as much larger, and the horizontal plumage increased. A Feranti ISIS-282D sight appeared in the cockpit - the same as on Super Galeby.
According to the results of testing the first prototypes, a series of ten pre-production planes was modeled on the model “Lasta 2”.

Since it happened back in the time of Yugoslavia, it was decided to distribute the production between the plant in Pancevo and the company Soko in Mostar. In Bosnia, wings were to be manufactured, and then delivered to Serbia, where the fuselages were made and the final assembly took place. But things went yourselves know how, and instead of cooperation, war began. Before she managed to collect six pre-series "Swallows", but their fate was sad: five aircraft were destroyed by NATO bombs in 1999, the sixth also came under attack, they did not restore the damaged car to a flying state and sent it to an aviation museum at Belgrade airport behalf of Nikola Tesla.

It would seem that this was the end of both “Swallows” and “Utva”, however, the plant did not suffer much, it was restored, and in the 2003 year it was even possible to assemble two “Utvs 75” from the remaining parts. At the same time, at Utva, they began to think about resuming the production of Flipper, but in an updated form, especially since after the bombings and changes in the Serbian leadership, international sanctions were lifted, and the country was able to produce military equipment using foreign units and components.

At first they tried to build something out of reserve for the "two", but then they decided that the car needed more significant processing. The Serbs chose the American 295-strong Lycoming AEIO 540-L 1B5.D with the three-bladed propeller Hofman HO-V-123-KV / 200 AH as the power plant. The glider was noticeably refined - new materials were used, the length became somewhat larger than that of the “two”, and the wingspan increased by almost a meter. Shorter chassis were installed, which reduced the weight of the aircraft. It became even easier after replacing the electrical system and batteries, so that in the end it was possible to save as much as 200 kilograms. And this is in spite of the fact that equipment is installed on board that provides flights in adverse weather conditions and at night, landing in category II both on concrete and on grass, ejection seats, and weapons. The Swallow has a Feranti ISIS-282D sight and two suspension units under the wings on which containers with machine guns (ammunition up to 500 cartridges per barrel), 57-mm unguided rockets (seven pieces per block) or one hundred kilogram bombs can be hung. "Swallow", thus, turned out with very predatory claws and beak.

"Swallow" nicknamed "Phoenix"

The public, the new aircraft, not named “Lasta 3”, but “Lasta 95”, was shown in 2007 year. The project was strongly supported by the Americans, who most recently bombed Serbia. We must pay tribute to the Yankees: after the carrot they after a while offered gingerbread to the Serbs. Gingerbread was an order from Iraq on 20 (plus an option on 16) aircraft, received in 2007 year; at the same time, Iraqis (more precisely, the Americans behind them) ordered a large batch of rifle weapons, only 350 million dollars, so that the carrot was very sweet - especially when you consider that the Serbian military did not have the money to ensure the fine-tuning of the aircraft and the deployment of mass production. But the Serbian Ministry of Defense did not fail to anoint American gingerbread with domestic jam, stating the desire to buy more 15 airplanes, and the Swallow turned from a semi-theoretical development into a fat bird in the hand, and the plant turned into a quite promising enterprise.
True, there were doubts that a country whose military-industrial complex is going through hard times, even after receiving money, will be able to provide assembly and technical support for the aircraft at the proper level, especially since the plant in Pancevo was practically in a state of bankruptcy. However, both the equipment and the 330 people of the staff appeared, and the work began to boil.

The first flight of the updated aircraft took place at the beginning of 2009 of the year, and deliveries of the Lasta 95Н series machines to Iraq began in the summer of 2010. In February, 2012, the Iraqis received the last, twentieth car, while the option was not being implemented, but the production of the Swallows for the Serbian Air Force began to gain momentum. The first was commissioned last fall, so far three pieces have been delivered. New aircraft, which differ from Iraqi equipment (for example, Garmin G500 avionics), arrive at the 252 training squadron at the Batainitz base, where they continue to be used during the Utva 72 SFRY.

Will there be new orders for Last?

Competition in the external market is great, and such gifts as the Iraqi order are most likely not foreseen. But a small number of aircraft could probably be sold to neighbors in the former Yugoslavia, something somewhere in Africa and poor Arab countries (Swallows were interested in Algeria and Libya, they have prospects in Uganda and Angola) or elsewhere third world where there is no money for Pilatus or Super Tucano- to Myanmar there or even Afghanistan. After all, the cost of the car is only about 300000 euros, the cost of the flight hour is 300 euros.

But potential customers will probably be more interested in the new aircraft created by the Utva on the basis of the Flipper, and with export intentions. "Swallow", as already mentioned, can be used as a light attack aircraft, but still it is not enough for this speed and carrying capacity. And then the Algerian military seemed to have submitted the idea of ​​equipping the aircraft with a turboprop engine and reinforced armament, turning it into an “anti-terrorist” —this is “anti-partisan” —with the possibility of using it as a training one.
The designers of “Utva” did not protest and in April of this year they presented the world with “Swallow” with a turbine, which began to be called more militantly: “Kobac”, that is, a falcon, small falcon.

In appearance, this is a typical "anti-guerrilla" aircraft, in which the already classic solutions like fuel tanks at the wingtips have been applied. Improved sighting equipment mounted in a small container under the fuselage, under the wing, a total of four suspension units, designed for 100 kg (internal) and 250 kg (external) loads in the form of bombs, rocket containers and machine guns.

Some experts have expressed doubts that the "Cobatz" can become a normal combat aircraft. The main problem is the weakness of the structure: what was acceptable for the Swallows with an engine of three hundred forces and a maximum speed of 350 km / h is not enough for a car with a turbine (probably Honeywell) twice as large. Of course, the “Kobats” wing is reinforced, however, the declared maximum horizontal speed (500 km / h) is obtained only by 50 km / h less than the maximum for the structure. But, on the other hand, the work goes according to the wishes of the customers, and as they continue, they agree with such restrictions.

True, “Kobats” has a long time to bring - the first flight has been assigned so far to the beginning of 2013 of the year. But the creation of “Lasta 95” reminds of the legend of Phoenix: the plant and the aircraft were revived almost from the ashes, which is good news. So, in the year of its centenary, the Air Forces of Serbia come in, if not the most powerful in their stories, but still replenished by good domestic production aircraft. For a small country there is reason to be proud!
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  1. GUSAR
    GUSAR 25 September 2013 08: 39
    If it were not for the war and not the whole mess that happened in Yugoslavia, we would have seen even more interesting weapons that Yugoslavia was well known for, the Yugoslavs even planned to produce their own 4th generation fighter, but did not have time. In general, one of the reasons why NATO decided to kill Yugoslavia was because Yugoslavia was the leading exporter of inexpensive and very high-quality weapons and equipment for the countries of the 3rd world, and who needs such a competitor ?!
  2. smiths xnumx
    smiths xnumx 25 September 2013 10: 00
    To begin with, Yugoslavia had a fairly developed aviation industry even before World War II, so under the German license at the state aircraft manufacturing plants in Kraljevo, Dornier Do 17K medium bombers were made. Until April 1941, when the German invasion of Yugoslavia began, they managed to fully assemble only 30 Do 17 K. At the Rogozarski factory, under the English license, 100 Hurricane fighters were built, of which 40 were assembled. Ikarus IK-2, Ikarus IK-3 fighters, light reconnaissance aircraft and auxiliary aircraft were developed and launched in a series. At the same time, the IK-3 fighter was equipped with a licensed Hispano-Suiza-Avia HS 12Ycrs engine, which had a power of 890 hp, reached a speed of 526 km / h, was armed with a 20 mm gun and two 7.92 mm machine guns.
    IK-2 Air Force of Yugoslavia

    IK-3 Air Force of Yugoslavia

    After the war, the first Yugoslav fighter was the S-49, the basis of which was the Soviet Yak-9 fighter. The new aircraft received a government order for 45 aircraft, which were commissioned before 1951 and entered service with the 204th and 117th IAPs in Zemun. Both units replaced several airfields until in 1957 the fighters were withdrawn from service.

    After the severance of Soviet-Yugoslav relations in 1948, American Saber, Thunderget, Thunderbolt fighters and British Mosquito light bombers began to enter service with the Yugoslav aviation.
    1. smiths xnumx
      smiths xnumx 25 September 2013 10: 20
      In 1957, the Yugoslav Air Force issued a task to create a new jet aircraft, which was created in 1961 and was named "Galeb" (Chaika) with the British turbojet engine "Viper II" Mk.22-6 (thrust 1134kgs).
      G-2A Air Force of Yugoslavia

      In 1968, on its basis, the J-1 "Yastreb" attack aircraft was created, with a more powerful Viper 531 engine with a thrust of 1361 kgf, armed with 3 12,7-mm machine guns and a combat load of 800-1250 kg on 8 hardpoints and a reconnaissance RJ-1.
      J-1 Yugoslav Air Force

      The aircraft entered service with the Yugoslav Air Force and were exported. The first importer was Zambia, acquiring first 6 Galeb G-2A, and then 6 Hawks - four J-1E and two RJ-1E. Libya signed a fairly large contract, ordering 70 Galeb G-2AE and receiving the last of them in 1983.
      1. smiths xnumx
        smiths xnumx 25 September 2013 10: 39
        In the late 1960s, the governments of Yugoslavia and Romania began to explore the possibility of jointly creating a multipurpose subsonic fighter. This option made it possible to split the costs that each of the smaller countries alone could not afford. In 1972, designers from the Yugoslav Air Force Technical Institute and the Romanian National Institute of Science and Technology completed work on a joint project and in May 1972 the first prototype of the aircraft took off. In 1981-1982, the aircraft, designated J-22 "Orao" (Eagle), began to enter service with the Air Force. The J-22 developed a speed of 1020 km / h and was armed with a pair of 23-mm GSh-23L cannons with 200 rounds per barrel and carried 2800 kg of combat load on 5 hardpoints, including 2 AGM-65 air-to-ground missiles "Maverick" or Yugoslavian X-66 "Thunder". "Orao" was actively used in
        all armed conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Moreover, during the conflict in Kosovo, Lieutenant Colonel Zhivota Djuric on "Orao" committed the so-called fire ram. According to some Russian and Ukrainian researchers (Ilya Goryachev and Mikhail Zhirokhov), "Orao" was hit by NATO fighters, after which Dyurich carried out an aerial ramming of one of the enemy aircraft. According to other sources, according to eyewitnesses, the plane of Djuric was shot down by fire from the ground during an attack on the Kosovo Liberation Army camp on Mount Chichavica, and the pilot directed the burning car at a cluster of militants.



        J-22 Air Force of Yugoslavia

        J-22 Air Force of Serbia and Montenegro
        1. smiths xnumx
          smiths xnumx 25 September 2013 10: 46
          In 1978, a new aircraft, the G-4 Super Galeb, began to be created to replace the outdated Galeb 2 and Yastreb. It was a completely modern multipurpose aircraft, capable of competing with the newest Western aircraft of the same class - the English Hawk and the German-French Alpha Jet. The aircraft went into production in 1982. The Yugoslav Air Force made a large order for these aircraft to SOCO, but the collapse of the country led to the termination of aircraft production. In total, 1989 aircraft were built until 132, of which 6 were sold to Burma. "Super Galeb" was equipped with the British turbojet engine DMB (Rolls-Royce) Viper Mk.623-46, developed a speed of about 900 km / h, was armed with 1 23-mm double-barreled cannon GSH-23L with 200 rounds and carried a combat load of 1280 kg 4 suspension nodes. At the same time, the plane turned out to be very tenacious. So during the war in Croatia, "Super Galeb" was hit in the tail section by a missile MANPADS "Strela". Nevertheless, the plane remained in the air and the pilot was able to land it on the airfield. Later, the car was restored in the field, and its tail section is now in a museum.
          G-4 Air Force of Yugoslavia

          The last breakthrough Yugoslav aircraft could be the Novi Avion (new aircraft), which was on a par with the latest Western and Soviet projects, but the collapse of the country did not allow this development to come true. The plane was created together with the specialists of the French company "Dassault" and was extremely similar to the "Rafale". It was planned to purchase 150 aircraft in total, but 1991 came and Yugoslavia collapsed ...
          1. mirag2
            mirag2 25 September 2013 14: 54
            A very interesting addition, in no way inferior to the main material!
  3. Dmitry 2246
    Dmitry 2246 25 September 2013 10: 20
    I applaud Serbian engineering and willpower. The plane is small but its own.
  4. Gorinich
    Gorinich 25 September 2013 10: 35
    The Serbs were well taught that it is better to have your own good aviation and army ....
  5. dzvero
    dzvero 25 September 2013 12: 08
    According to the parameters, an analogue of the Yak-52B is obtained.
    The other day there was an article about Scorpio. It turns out that in the world there is a niche for light piston attack aircraft. And since the production of such machines is also available to small companies, I hope that we will see really interesting samples.
  6. Geisenberg
    Geisenberg 25 September 2013 12: 15
    That was the country, and there is no country. And some wise men throw gingerbread cookies for them for 350 million dollars, probably thirty on the nose ...
    1. mirag2
      mirag2 25 September 2013 14: 58
      Yes, I wonder what they cost these 350 million. If we were eaten for an Afghan helicopter contract (either 17 million, or 170 million, I don’t remember), they almost ate with the goon.
  7. slacker
    slacker 25 September 2013 12: 52
    It’s known what happens to those who don’t feed their army
  8. cobalt
    cobalt 25 September 2013 19: 50
    I found a video about Yugoslav aircraft. Of their entire set, I always liked the J-22 Orao most, a good light attack aircraft for my time.