Combat Aircraft - April 2013

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Features

END OF THE LINE FOR LECHFELD WING
On 31 March the Luftwaffe’s Jagdbombergeschwader 32 will be disbanded and the Tornado ECRs formerly concentrated at its Bavarian base transferred to AG 51 ‘Immelmann’ at Schleswig-Jagel, as Alexander Golz details

GRIPEN FLIES ‘RED FLAG’
During a period of two weeks between 21 January and 1 February, the Swedish Air Force deployed eight JAS 39C Gripens to
the US for participation in the large-force multi-national Exercise ‘Red Flag 13-2’. Gunnar Åkerberg reports

IN FOCUS: F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER
Lockheed Martin’s F-35 is designed to be the ultimate answer to future multi-role fighter requirements. Built in three variants, Lockheed Martin could manufacture over 3,000 of these aircraft, with a high production rate designed to minimise
costs. But, as testing continues, questions mount as to whether the F-35 will deliver all that it promises. Jamie Hunter reviews the programme

WHITE EAGLES IN AFGHANISTAN
Bartosz Bera journeys to Forward Operating Base Ghazni, and flies with Poland’s Independent Air Assault Group and its 11
Mi-24 and Mi-17 helicopters that provide the Polish Task Force (TF White Eagle) with mobility and security in their Afghan
operations

AIR POWER REVIEW: ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
Sérgio Santana reviews the Royal Australian Air Force and finds an air arm emerging from a major re-equipment programme that has seen the continued introduction of new aircraft to replace ageing equipment

IN FOCUS: CHINA’S SPECIAL MISSION ‘CUBS’
Andreas Rupprecht details the licensed development of the original Antonov An-12 ‘Cub’, the Yun-8 and its specialised
versions

TYPHOONS OF LOS LLANOS
By 2020 the Spanish Air Force will have two wings equipped with the Eurofighter, Ala 11 at Morón (near Seville) and Ala 14
at Los Llanos (Albacete). Salvador Mafé Huertas reports from the latter as the Mirage F1M force is being phased out

‘WARTHOG’ AT 40 (Part 2)
Ken Neubeck completes our comprehensive review of the A-10 with a review of its performance in Operation ‘Desert Storm’ and how it became the US Air Force’s close air support weapon of choice for future military campaigns

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

Factfile: Perfecting the defenders
Sérgio Santana reports on how the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s Eagles are being updated under the F-15 Kai initiative. Jamie Hunter

News

HEADLINE NEWS
US military braces for harsh cutbacks, first production F-35C makes initial flight

US NEWS
First F-35A for Nellis operational test unit, end of the line for QF-4 programme and storm-chaser A-10 is readied

UK NEWS
First production Wildcat makes maiden flight, UK spells out spending plan for next decade

EUROPE NEWS
Second ‘retro’ F-4F unveiled, Eurofighters on Davos patrol and latest on French action in Mali

WORLD NEWS
Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoons prepared for delivery, Indian C-17 on test and Iran’s ‘stealth fighter’