Combat Aircraft - January 2013

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EUROFIGHTER FUTURE: WHAT LIES AHEAD?
A lack of credibility and capability has often led to criticism of the Eurofighter Typhoon. However, the European fighter now finds itself on the verge of delivering much of its long-awaited promise. Jon Lake reports.

POLISH SMOKERS
Bartosz Bera and Maciej Wolański get exclusive access to Poland's MiG-29s and discover a force looking forward to upgrades to keep it at the sharp end for most of the next two decades

PEACE SKY VIPERS
The F-16's introduction was a key step in Poland's integration within NATO, as Bartosz Bera and Krzysztof Zieliński explain

GLORY DAYS - FLYING AND FIGHTING IN THE F-117
Four years after the type was retired from front-line service, the Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk remains shrouded in secrecy.
Jon Lake takes a look back at why the F-117 was so important, and how it was flown to such devastating effect

NORDIC RESCUE KINGS
Cristian Schrik visits the Royal Norwegian Air Force's search and rescue Sea King unit, 330 Skvadron headquartered at Rygge

AIR POWER REVIEW: VENEZUELAN WINGS
As it faces up to the realities of the US embargo, and prepares for another term under President Hugo Ch vez, Venezuela's air force is in the process of a wide-ranging fleet overhaul as detailed by S‚rgio Santana, with photos by Sergio J. Padr¢n A

FACT FILE - THE LAST SHARPSHOOTERS
Babak Taghvaee reports on the latest developments for the world's last surviving airworthy F-4Ds, still in Iranian military service

EAGLE DRIVERS IN `BIG SKY COUNTRY'
Robert F. Dorr talks to the 120th Fighter Wing and how the Montana Air National Guard has faced some challenging recent missions as it struggles to retain its F-15 Eagle role. With exclusive photos by Jim Haseltine

RUSSIA'S FLYING BATTLE TANK RIDES AGAIN
Alexander Mladenov provides a comprehensive review of the Mi-24 `Hind' family of assault helicopters and discovers something of a renaissance in recent years, with low-rate production continuing

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

NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
First `operational' F-35B arrives at MCAS Yuma, J-31 makes its maiden flight and China reveals new helicopter at Zhuhai

US NEWS
F-35 releases AMRAAM, nextgeneration fighter plans revealed, P-8 Poseidon basing options re-evaluated

UK NEWS
UK F-35 plans emerge, RAF fighter chief speaks about priorities, and the UK leads a Typhoon sales charge in the Middle East

EUROPE NEWS
Swiss Air Force details Gripen procurement plans and France retires its last Mirage F1CT

WORLD NEWS
All the latest news from the Chinese aerospace show in Zhuhai, Singapore M-346 deliveries commence and Korea receives third `Peace Eye' 737