AirForces Monthly - March 2017

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AFM’s opinion on the hot topics in military aviation.

Tiger Demo
The Polish Air Force has steadily modernised with US equipment, most prominently with the Block 52+ F-16C/D, which is displayed by its Tiger Demo team. Krzysztof Kuska talks to the team’s primary display pilot.

Going out on a high
With the days of the RAF’s Tornado Force numbered, the type’s Operational Conversion Unit, No XV(R) Squadron, is set to disband on March 31. Alan Warnes visited the unit’s RAF Lossiemouth base as the final training courses came to an end.

Spirits strike
Babak Taghvaee reports on January's B-2A Spirit attack against targets of the so-called Islamic State in Libya.

Davos defenders
For a two-week period in January the Swiss Air Force protected the airspace over the World Economic Forum in Davos, as Neil Dunridge explains.

Show of ‘Force’
The US Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 20 'Force' is where cutting-edge systems are put through their paces. Gert Kromhout reports from its base at NAS Patuxent River.

Coming up
Details of what to look forward to in your AFM next month.

INTEL REPORT: Carrier power
The US Navy has ten, Russia one and now China also has an operational example. Aircraft carriers play a strategically important role for the major powers and AFM’s Alan Warnes reviews their current capability.

FORCE REPORT: Bulgarian Air Force
Alexander Mladenov and Krassimir Grozev look at the transformation of this small European air arm that still relies on Soviet-era frontline jets.

SURVEY: European gunships
Attack helicopter fleets within NATO’s European air arms are in a constant state of flux. Alan Warnes and a team of AFM correspondents examine the current status of the gunships of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France and Germany in the first of a new series.

INTEL REPORT: A long haul
AFM assesses the coalition air effort assembled to tackle so-called Islamic State, or Daesh, in Iraq and Syria under the cohesive effort of Operation Inherent Resolve. Including an extensive order of battle.

Attrition
Dave Allport details the world’s latest military accidents.