Combat Aircraft - August 2011x

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WORLD NEWS
Typhoon milestones
First UK F-35 takes shape
Raptor remains grounded
C-295 AEW&C takes flight
J-20 latest
PLUS! Special reports on the Algerian AF and Luftwaffe training operations in New Mexico

FRONT LINE
Our hard-hitting regular column by Robert F. Dorr

OPERATION `UNIFIED PROTECTOR'
Jamie Hunter provides an update on the latest developments in Libya including the introduction to the campaign of UK Apache AH1s

MISSION: POSSIBLE
The USAF Weapons School's Mission Employment phase is one of the largest exercises in the world. Jamie Hunter visits Nellis AFB to report on the latest instalment in June

FULCRUM VS VIPER
Lt Col `Cricket' Renner compares these old adversaries and details recent dissimilar air combat training deployments between the USAF and the Bulgarian AF, with exclusive images by John Dibbs

BULGARIAN AIR POWER
Dr S‚an Wilson and Paul Mulligan detail the Bulgarski Voenno Vazdushni Sili (Bulgarian AF), an air arm that has downsized and reorganized into a compact yet still capable force

THE DEADLIEST WEAPON
In the first of four reports from Afghanistan, David Axe discovers how Apache gunships are NATO's biggest advantage, keeping tabs on insurgents and providing overwhelming firepower when called upon

SPEEDBALLS AND SLING-LOADS
US Army Black Hawk crews play a critical role in supporting the ground troops in Afghanistan. The UH-60 has made the resupply mission its own, as David Axe describes

TASK FORCE `FENICE'
Italian Army helicopters remain busy with the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Giovanni Colla embeds with Task Force `Fenice'. Includes latest A129 Mangusta upgrade details from Davide Daverio

FLYING TIGERS
When a French AF Mirage 2000D crashed in the Afghan desert in May, it was the A-10s of the `Flying Tigers' that were among the first to respond. Neil Dunridge visited the 74th Fighter Squadron on deployment for Operation `Enduring Freedom'

STRIKE FORCE SOUDA
The French AF deployed its Mirage 2000D force from Solenzara, Corsica, to the Greek air base at Souda on the island of Crete on April 18 for ongoing Libya no-fly zone missions. The Mirage 2000Ds were accompanied by four Mirage 2000N-K2s from early May as Gert Kromhout describes

ORIONS OF `ORUNGAN'
S‚rgio Santana details the Brazilian AF P-3AM Orion procurement program designed to take on the task of surveillance and defense of the nation's borders

PORTUGAL'S POTENT PUNCH
This year has been one of change for the Portuguese AF F-16 fleet. With the original Block 15 OCU versions rendered obsolete, survivors have now been upgraded under the European MLU (Mid-Life Upgrade) program. Jorge Ruivo reports

HOLDING THE LINE
Operating from bases at Osan and Kunsan in South Korea, a US Air Force fleet of F-16s and A-10s is focused primarily on air-to-ground support of troops if a new Korean War should erupt. Robert F. Dorr details how fighter pilots would expect their share of air-to-air action in the opening hours of a conflict

CAPE TOWN'S COASTAL GUARDIANS
Fulfilling an essential peacetime role using WW2-era aircraft might be considered surprising, even in this age of increasing defense budget pressures. John Miller tells how this is exactly what South Africa's Cape-based 35 Squadron does on a day-to-day basis, operating a fleet of Dakotas. Exclusive images by Frans Dely

CUTTING EDGE
Combat Aircraft's new monthly column reporting from the front line of aerospace technology, by David Axe