Combat Aircraft - June 2012

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FLORIDA LIGHTNINGS
With the last F-15 Eagles having left Eglin in 2009, the 33rd Fighter Wing has been extremely busy as it prepares for training US and customer nation pilots and maintainers on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The result - a unique, tri-service, multi-national effort - is now beginning to make progress, as Jake Melampy reports

MEXICO'S NAVAL AVIATION CORPS: THE LEAP AHEAD
I¤igo Guevara Moyano details how the Mexican Navy has undergone a profound restructuring since 2007, and details the country's new Naval Aviation Corps

21st-CENTURY `BONE' Part 1 LANCER ENHANCERS
In the first of a comprehensive, two-part run-down detailing the current status of the mighty B-1B, Jake Melampy talks to the airmen responsible for test and evaluation within the B-1 community, as well as the training effort centred on Dyess Air Force Base, Texas

GLORY DAYS: TOMCATS IN OPERATION `ANACONDA'
Part 1
Although developed during the Cold War as a fighter, the mighty F-14 Tomcat had evolved into the US Navy's premier precision-strike platform by the autumn of 2001. Tony Holmes reflects on how the type's effectiveness in this mission was shown time and again during the US-led Operation `Enduring Freedom'

ENDANGERED PELICANS
Luigino Caliaro visits 82ø Centro CSAR at Trapani and discovers how the Italian Air Force's 15ø Stormo has participated in varied and difficult operations on numerous occasions, still relying upon the venerable HH-3F Pelican

PROTECTING FIRE AND ICE
Between 6 and 29 March, the Luftwaffe sent four F-4F Phantom IIs to Keflavik in Iceland. Rich Cooper, Steve Comber and Frank Cr‚bas visit the former USAF base as the F-4s go on patrol one last time

SPECIAL OPERATIONS AT KIRTLAND
A fabulous dusk shot of a 58th Special Operations Wing HC-130J. In this issue we report from Kirtland Air Force Base, the home of `special ops' training for the US Air Force.

GUARDIANS OF TEHRAN
Babak Taghvaee reports on the MiG-29 `Fulcrums' of the 11th Tactical Fighter Squadron. Based at TFB.1 Mehrabad, the unit is Iran's premier MiG-29 operator

FUTURE ROTORS
In the 2020s the US military could be flying the fastest rotorcraft in the world - Rob Coppinger evaluates Sikorsky's S-97 Raider light attack helicopter and other concepts

`FENCER' FORCE
Over 20 years since the end of the Cold War, nuclear strike scenarios and tactical operations involving hundreds of `Fencers' simultaneously are no longer realistic eventualities. Despite this, the mighty Su-24 remains a critical element within the modern Russian Air Force, as Stefan Bttner explains

`JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY. JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.'
Robert F. Dorr reports on the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, with exclusive photographs from James Haseltine to illustrate the home of US Air Force Special Operations training

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

NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
Lockheed Martin marks 4,500th F-16 delivery, first F-35 for the UK takes to the air

US NEWS
First P-8 Poseidon delivered to VP-30, F-35 tanks at night, US Navy forced to reverse air wing disbandment and latest deployments news

UK NEWS
Voyager tanker/transport enters service, Tornado GR4 pilots get helmet sight

EUROPE NEWS
First Dutch F-35 rolled out, Cambrai closes, France looks again at Brimstone

WORLD NEWS
Final Korean F-15K delivered, Japan looks again at Typhoon, show news from FIDAE in Chile