AirForces Monthly - Dec 2017

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Regular features

INTEL REPORT: Iraqi L-159s in combat
This November marks the second anniversary of the Aero Vodochody L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft’s (ALCA’s) arrival in Iraq. Since then, the Czech-built fighter has proven its qualities to the Iraqi Air Force (IQAF) during a time of great need, as Alan Warnes discovers.

EXERCISE REPORT: Falcon Leap 2017
Falcon Leap, an international paratrooper exercise organised by the Royal Netherlands Army’s 11 Air Mobile Brigade, has its roots in the commemoration of World War Two’s Operation Market Garden. Manolito Jaarsma reports.

SURVEY: European MPAs Part 2
AFM’s correspondents continue their round-up of the maritime patrol aircraft fleets of Europe’s NATO and Partnership for Peace members. This month, the focus turns to Greece, Ireland and Italy.

EXERCISE REPORT: Grifone 2017
Personnel from armed forces and government agencies attended the tenth Grifone exercise – held in Dobbiaco in the Dolomites from September 4-8 – in order to acquire new skills and share experiences of mountain search and rescue. Alberto Celsan and Marco Bazzan investigate.

FORCE REPORT: People’s Liberation Army Air Force Part Two
AFM continues its analysis of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), with Andreas Rupprecht assessing its latest structure and providing an up-to-date order of battle for its frontline units.

COMMANDER’S UPDATE BRIEFING: War games or gamers?
Air Power Association President Air Marshal (Ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE looks at the challenges of providing future frontline pilots with operational readiness training that meets the demands of fifth-generation fighters.

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

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

Features

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

Future imperfect?
Tim Ripley looks at the implications for the country’s air arms in the run-up to the latest UK defence review.

Raptors on the road
In October, F-22A Raptors from Joint Base Langley-Eustis stopped off at RAF Lakenheath for a Fighter Training Detachment en route home from combat operations in the Middle East. Jamie Hunter caught up with the 1st Fighter Wing team as they completed their spell in the UK.

Rafale in Chammal
Three years on from the launch of Opération Chammal, the French military campaign against so-called Islamic State, Jean-Marc Tanguy examines the Rafale mission and talks to the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force André Lanata.

Belgian-French jet training connection
At the end of next year the last Belgian Air Component jet pilot students will complete their training with ETO 2/8 ‘Nice’ at Cazaux in southwest France. Stefan Degraef appraises the bi-national Advanced Jet Training School.

Rotary reshuffle for RTP
The Royal Thai Police Aviation Division is undergoing modernisation, with several helicopter types being replaced, writes Dino van Doorn.

Fight to win
The Luftwaffe’s Fighter Weapons School is becoming established at Laage air base in northeast Germany. Stefan Petersen discovered how the school provides demanding training for top Eurofighter pilots and support personnel.

Always and everywhere
Under current plans, time looks to be running out for the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s unique Gulfstream IV, as Stephan de Bruijn reports.