AirForces Monthly - June 2017

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Regular features

INTEL REPORT: Patrolling hostile waters
The South China Sea is a magnet for trouble, but airborne maritime surveillance assets are still a scarcity, as AFM’s Alan Warnes explains.

EXERCISE REPORT: Chariots of fire
The latest Iniohos exercise featured an increased number of participants drawn from four air arms. Amit Agronov reports from Andravida air base, Greece.

EXERCISE REPORT: FAP in force
This year’s Real Thaw exercise – the ninth – involved aircraft from almost every squadron in the Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP, Portuguese Air Force). Jorge Ruivo watched the action.

EXERCISE REPORT: Hercs on tour
Together for the ninth time, Polish and American C-130 crews trained at Powidz, Poland, and got the chance to ‘tangle’ with MiG-29s, as Krzysztof Kuska reports.

SURVEY: European Gunships – Part 4
AFM concludes its review of Europe’s helicopter gunship fleets with a focus on the British Army Air Corps Apache.

FORCE REPORT: Syrian Arab Air Force
In the wake of the first US military action directed specifically at the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Tom Cooper lifts the veil, at least partially, of secrecy and mystery surrounding the Syrian Arab Air Force and its declining capability.

Attrition
Dave Allport details the world’s most recent military accidents.

Book reviews
AFM evaluates some of the latest offerings in aviation literature.

FLASHPOINT: Wolves in sheep’s clothing
Iraqi An-32 Clines have seen recent action in an offensive capacity, but the concept of transforming Antonov transports into auxiliary bombers is not new, as Arnaud Delalande reveals.

Coming up
See what’s featuring in your AFM next month.

Features

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

Watching Russia watching us
Tim Ripley examines the secretive world of RAF and USAF spy flights around Russia’s western borders.

Lightnings at Lakenheath
The US Air Force said it planned to make a first international operational deployment with its F-35As in 2017, and in April eight aircraft from Hill AFB, Utah, arrived at RAF Lakenheath, UK, to make that a reality. AFM’s Thomas Newdick details this landmark overseas exercise.

Three decades of Turkish Vipers
The Turkish Air Force celebrates its 30th anniversary as an F-16 ‘Viper’ operator later this year. Since its first aircraft were delivered in October 1987, the fleet has grown into the third largest after those of the US and Israel, as Alan Warnes explains.

Mexico’s rotary revival
Mexico is upgrading its helicopter fleet to a standard previously unknown in the region. Mariano García and Jose Quevedo visited Escuadrón Aéreo 108, the first Mexican Air Force UH-60M Black Hawk operator.

Italian Tornado force
Ghedi air base is home to 6º Stormo ‘Alfredo Fusco’. Since the disbandment of 50º Stormo, and 155º Gruppo’s return to 6º Stormo, the base has become home to all of Italy’s Tornado squadrons. Niels Roman, Roy van Sonsbeek and Robin Coenders report.