Combat Aircraft - May 2012

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RAFALE RIDING HIGH
While 2011 ended well for Eurofighter, with an unexpected approach from the United Arab Emirates, and with optimism over the prospects of receiving an order from India, things got worse as 2012 began. Jon Lake looks at Dassault's victory in India and the embarrassing dressing down for the Typhoon in the wake of Switzerland's fighter decision

REAPERS OF KANDAHAR
Angus Batey visits Kandahar's detachments from the US Air Force and the Royal Air Force that are responsible for the launch and recovery of the US and UK fleets of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)

GUNFIGHTERS OF MOUNTAIN HOME
Combat Aircraft editor Jamie Hunter flies with the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base, the residence of three squadrons of Strike Eagles. It is a diverse and extremely busy wing, and one that looks set to grow as a Strike Eagle hub for the future

BRAZILIAN AIR POWER 2012
Santiago Rivas and Carlos Filipe Operti detail how Brazil has embarked on a long-term project to become the most powerful nation in the southern hemisphere, to defend Brazilian territory and participate in peacekeeping missions

AMAZONIAN WARRIORS
The upgrade of the Brazilian F-5 fleet is nearing completion and the long-awaited modernisation of the A-1 (AMX) has recently been initiated, Dr S‚an Wilson visited Santa Cruz to see the types in action

UGANDA'S FLANKERS
The most recent addition to the air arm of the Uganda People's Defence Air Force has been met with widespread opposition from many in that country, which remains one of the world's poorest nations, as S‚rgio Santana explains

Freedom Falcon
Belgian and Norwegian Air Force F-16AMs take on fuel from a USAF KC-135R during Operation `Unified Protector' last year. Belgian F-16 pilots fared extremely well in the Libyan campaign, with some remarkable results

GLORY DAYS: PEACE WAS THEIR PROFESSION
Robert F. Dorr launches our new regular nostalgia feature with a look back at how US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress crews held the world in their grasp while on nuclear alert during the tense years of superpower stand-off

THUNDER LAB
As long as the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been in Afghanistan, one of its main goals has been to establish armed forces that will be able to support the Afghan government long after the international contingent departs. Neil Dunridge discovers how Thunder Lab is leading the way

NORDIC HORNETS' NEST
As the Finnish Air Force prepares to introduce its Mid-Life Update 2 standard F-18C/D Hornets and a long-awaited airto-ground capability - Perttu Karivalo examines the future of the jet within an air arm that has been hit hard by recent defence cutbacks

CREWROOM
Combat Aircraft's new interactive letters and feedback page

OPERATION `FREEDOM FALCON'
The Belgian Air Force F-16AMs that participated in Operations `Odyssey Dawn' and `Unified Protector' dropped 472 bombs over Libya with an accuracy rate of 97 per cent and without collateral damage - Jos Schoofs reveals how this was the best result achieved among coalition partners

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

HEADLINE NEWS
UK looks again at F-35B, Japan and Canada watch F-35 price as weapons trials get under way


UK NEWS
Typhoons on exchange, RAF prepares students for Hawk T2 and No II(AC) Squadron centenary colours

US NEWS
Strike Eagles deploy, A-10 gets new wings, first production P-8 is delivered and ANG fights back over cuts

EUROPE NEWS
German F-4s over Iceland, Polish `Vipers' in Israel and Italian Air Force receives first HH-149A

WORLD NEWS
Australia goes for Growler, Israel orders M-346, UAE Dash 8 delivery and Malaysian Typhoon bid is submitted