Not only in the Soviet Union quickly filled the technological gap throughout the war that had separated them from the other powers , but the USSR also managed to develop in secret and in a very short time similar aircrafts if not superior, to those of the block of Western countries. The Soviets managed to get these exceptional results thanks to various effects: first the immense effort of organization and production in the final phase of the conflict. Also because they managed at the end of the war to get their hands on German technological papers and studies. The last one which is still controversial today is that Great Britain has provided some models and indeed some production plans of engines and especially the Rolls-Royce Nene. Thanks to this unexpected technological gift Soviet technicians were able to go on the same footing as the Western and develop aircraft in in a very short time. The MiG-9 and Yak-15 were the first fighters to have jet engines: they were both equipped with engines of German origin. The first approach to a new Yakovlev prototype propulsion is embodied by the Yak-15. The project was implemented in 1945, immediately after the arrival of the Soviet Union. After testing, production continued for two years and gave the 400 aircrafts that NATO code named “feather”. The Mig-9 also represented the first attempt by Mikoyan and Gurevitch in the development of a fighter jet. The prototype flew on the same day of the Yak-15 did its first flight. It was equipped with two BMW engines of 800 kg of thrust each. The development of the aircraft was delayed by a series of structural problems and the production did not begin until 1946. The MiG factory produced 500 aircrafts during the next two years. NATO attributed the code name “Fargo” to the MiG 9.

When Russia is playing with fire

Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force had to scramble fighter jets in response to flights by Russian military aircraft near Japanese airspace on Wednesday, Kyodo news agency said on Thursday citing the Defense Ministry. According to the ministry, a total of five Russian planes, including two Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers, two Su-24 Fencer reconnaissance planes and an A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning and control aircraft skirted Japanese territory on Wednesday.

“They flew over the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan off Hokkaido and the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan,” Japanese officials said, adding that it was the first time a Russian AWACS plane was spotted near Japan. “All flights by air force aircraft were carried out and are carried out in strict accordance with international rules on use of airspace above international waters, and not violating the borders of other states,” he said. “They were escorted by on their flights by Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft,” Drik said.

This episode reminded the Japanese that the Russians never play, as the 747 shoot down over Sakhaline demonstrated a few decades ago. So what is frightening is the reasoning behind this exercise by the Russians, who are willing to scare a neighbor and eventually show themselves to the world as warmongers. This is not reassuring a few months from the Russian presidential elections which should reinstate Vladimir Poutine back to the throne.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans in August 2007. Yesterday’s flights by Russian Air Force aircraft close to the coast of Japan were carried out strictly in accordance with international rules and took place over international waters, air force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said on Thursday.