Combat Aircraft - March 2012

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CARRIER POWER
Serious questions are being voiced over the UK's carrier project; in this issue Jon Lake evaluates just what the new carriers will mean for British air power.

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

GLOBAL REACH ON A SHOESTRING
Jon Lake evaluates the UK's Carrier Strike program that many believe may threaten to distort UK defense spending and risk the ability to maintain a balanced air force

AIR POWER OVER LIBYA: THE FINAL ANALYSIS
What began as a multi-national mission to enforce a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians from Col Gaddafi's forces ended last October 31 with the collapse of the Gaddafi regime. David Cenciotti assesses what worked and what didn't in the air war against Gaddafi

SLOVAK FIGHTER TOWN
Cees-Jan van der Ende flies with the Slovak AF for a stunning report on its MiG-29s and L-39s - both of which are stationed at the former Soviet air base of Sliac

TRAINING TOWN TEXANS
The T-34C Turbo Mentor has long served as an excellent platform for teaching new Naval Aviators. Ted Carlson/Fotodynamics heads to NAS Whiting Field, Florida, to see the replacement trainer in action, the Hawker Beechcraft T-6B Texan II

JUNGLIES IN THE SNOW
Neil Pearson joins the Royal Navy's `Clockwork' detachment in northern Norway during the Commando Helicopter Force's winter training regime, and previews Exercise `Cold Response

THE LAST OF THE `FOXBATS'
Most are long-retired, but a handful of MiG-25 `Foxbat' reconnaissance jets remains active in Russia, as Ivan Voukadinov reports

MARINE ROTORS OVER HELMAND
In the second part of our coverage of US Marine Corps air assets in Afghanistan, Neil Dunridge joins the rotary-wing transport contingent of the busy 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) - 2nd MAW (FWD) - at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province

KANDAHAR PHOTO FILE
A photo report from Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, one of the busiest air bases in the world and which hosts a fascinating variety of types supporting the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission
KANDAHAR KING AIRS
A photo report on the often secretive range of Beech King Air-based special mission aircraft currently operating in the skies of Afghanistan as part of ISAF taskings

`IMMELMANN' LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
Alexander Golz and Stefan Bttner head to Jagel and report how the resident Aufkl„rungsgeschwader 51 (Reconnaissance Wing 51) `Immelmann' will enjoy a leading role in the 21st century Luftwaffe
JAPAN'S FADING PHANTOMS
Japan may be known as the Land of the Rising Sun, but the service career of its F-4 Phantom IIs is now in its twilight. With the F-35A now chosen to replace the F-4 under the drawn-out F-X competition, Rich Cooper brings a timely tribute to the prolific Phantom in Japanese service

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

New
HEADLINE NEWS
Super Tucano selected by USAF for LAS contract, massive Saudi F-15SA deal

UK NEWS
Commando Helicopter Force readies for Merlin, Puma upgrade under threat
US NEWS
First production F-35Bs delivered to US Marine Corps, US ends Iraq mission, USAF bomber plans advance

EUROPE NEWS
Latest Su-34 deliveries, A400M test ªfleet is complete, Germany offers Bulgaria Eurofighters

WORLD NEWS
Saudi Typhoon latest, Mexico buys T-6 Texan IIs, Indonesian `Flanker' deal, Australian Hornet upgrades