Combat Aircraft - January 2014

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US NAVY MARITIME PATROL SPECIAL

‘WAR EAGLES’ MAKE HISTORY
With the career of the US Navy’s aging Lockheed P-3C Orion approaching its end, the US Navy selected the Boeing P-8A Poseidon as its replacement aircraft. Brad Elward and Ted Carlson/ Fotodynamics talk with the first P-8A operational squadron, VP-16 ‘War Eagles’, as it prepared for the Poseidon’s debut fleet deployment

FACT FILE: THE VERSATILE ORION
Lockheed’s P-3 Orion is one of a handful of aircraft to have provided over 50 years of service to the US military. Ken Neubeck describes US variants with primary missions of maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare, as well as those adapted to meet the needs of other governmental and civilian organizations

FEATURES

A ‘FIRST DAY OF THE WAR’ HORNET
As Boeing unveils findings from its Advanced Super Hornet test flights at the company’s St Louis, Missouri, facility, Brad Elward profiles the latest advances made to the ‘Super Bug’

TAIWANESE AIR POWER
Mark Rourke reports from Taiwan, with a rare photo feature on some of its most important air bases

LONG-RANGE STRIKE BOMBER
Lockheed Martin and Boeing have forged a partnership to compete for the Long- Range Strike — Bomber (LRS-B), the new heavy bomber the US Air Force regards as among its top priorities. Robert F. Dorr reports

BACK FROMTHE BRINK: IRANIAN ‘FITTERS’
More than 20 years after the arrival of 40 Iraqi Air Force Su-22 ‘Fitters’ in Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force now plans to bring at least two squadrons of the swing-wing fighter-bombers into service, as Babak Taghvaee reveals

EXERCISE REPORT: CRIMEAN WAR GAMES
Alexander Golz covers the Ukrainian Air Force’s large-scale exercise this year, an event that once again drew front-line units to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: THE F-22 AND THE IRANIANS
It was the first encounter between an F-22 Raptor and a potential adversary. It happened in a tense, high-stakes situation where a confrontation easily could have escalated into conflict. Robert F. Dorr investigates the much-hyped incident

I TALIAN TORNADOS FACE THE FUTURE
Mathias Grägel visits the two remaining Italian Tornado wings, 6° Stormo at Ghedi and 50° Stormo at Piacenza, to examine the current state of the fleet

‘VIS ET UNGULA’ — POWER AND CLAWS
Just south of Seville in southern Spain lies the El Copero Army Aviation Base. Cristian Schrik visits Batallón de Helicópteros de Maniobra IV (BHELMA IV) — Maneuver Helicopter Battalion IV

GLORY DAYS: ZERO-VISIBILITY INTERCEPTS
The radar-equipped, rocket-armed F-86D held the line during some of the tensest years of Cold War stand-off. Warren E. Thompson spoke to the men who unleashed the ‘Sabre Dog’

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

NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
Typhoon tests Storm Shadow, Israel becomes first international V-22 Osprey customer and Dubai Air Show sees debut of UAE Air Tractor

US NEWS
F-35 launches AMRAAM, Lockheed Martin reveals SR-72 hypersonic striker and Prowler ‘sundown’ continues

UK NEWS
RAF receives first Rivet Joint, Cyprus defense mission stands down

WORLD NEWS
Saudi F-15SA on test, new Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle revealed and rare view of Mozambican MiG-21s undergoing upgrade

EUROPE NEWS
Italy signs up for MC-27J gunship, Netherlands and Belgium discuss joint operations and Typhoons head for Bulgaria