AirForces Monthly - April 2014

£4.95 (Approx $7.20 or €6.33)



Opinion – F-35: Still More Questions than Answers?
A year on from his first look at the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme, David Hamilton reviews the latest US Government report.

COVER STORY: The F-35 Lightning II – a Quantum Leap for the RAF
Group Captain Harvey Smyth is Station Commander at RAF Marham in Norfolk, but previously spent several years serving on the F-35 Lightning II project. Guy Warner talked to him about what F-35 means for UK forces.

COVER STORY: Phoenix Rising for JSF
Lewis Gaylard considers what the F-35B will bring to the Royal Navy.

Panther’s New Claws
The French Navy’s Flottille 36F is in the middle of a major upgrade programme with a new variant of the proven Panther helicopter being introduced. Henri-Pierre Grolleau reports from Hyères.

Pyrenean Pumas
The Escadron d’Hélicoptères (EH) 1/67 ‘Pyrénées’ is the only combat search and rescue squadron in the French Air Force. Jan Kraak joined aircrews on a typical training mission in the Pyrenean Mountains.

China’s Flying Shark
Mike Yeo looks at the Chinese Navy’s new carrier fighter.

Werewolves in the Desert
The US Air Force Reserve’s 69th Fighter Squadron, known as the Werewolves, claims to be the largest and most experienced in the world. Lt Col Robert ‘Cricket’ Renner, USAF (Retired) and Richard Verrall go behind the scenes to see what makes them so successful.

Guardians of Armenia
Armenia became an independent state again in 1991 but still relies on Russia for its air defence, as Babak Taghvaee explains.

Argentine Fightinghawks
Santiago Rivas details the A-4AR of the Argentine Air Force, some of the last A-4 Skyhawks in operational service in the world.

Antipodean Tiger
Gordon Arthur reviews the status of the Royal Australian Army’s new Tiger helicopter.

MIZAR – Spanish Hercs in Afghanistan
With a fleet of just seven C-130 ‘Dumbos’ – as the Hercs are affectionately called in Spain – the nation’s air force has worked hard to maintain a single aircraft in Afghanistan. Erwan de Cherisey witnessed the MIZAR team in theatre.



Force Report: US Air Force Reserve Command
The US Air Force continues to rely on the full-time reservists of Air Force Reserve Command. Bob Archer describes the organisation.

More from the Editor’s postbag.

Ops Board:
Events and airshows coming up.

Force Report: Spanish Naval Aviation
The Spanish Fleet Air Arm has been hard hit by budget cuts during the last six years and has responded with drastic measures, as Salvador Mafé Huertas reports.

Exercise report: Cazaux live-fire
Joris van Boven reports on what was expected to be the Mirage F1’s final live firing exercise.

Exercise Report: Iceland Air Meet
Martin Kaye braved the elements and flew to Keflavik in Iceland for the inaugural fighter meet by Scandinavian air forces.

Postcard from... Singapore
The fourth edition of the biennial Singapore Airshow returned to the Changi Exhibition Centre between February 11 and 16.

And Finally…
Over the Fence Today Graham Robson looks at RAF Bentwaters in Suffolk, which closed in 1993.