Combat Aircraft - March 2014

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US NAVAL CARRIER AIR POWER 2014

STRIKE FROM THE SEA
 Despite a series of severe cutbacks, the US Navy still maintains by far the most impressive naval air arm in the world. Its most visible, and versatile, elements are the air wings that serve aboard the fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Tom Kaminski and Rick Burgess present a comprehensive review of the aircraft, the air wings and the carriers of the fleet

FEATURES

SPECIAL REPORT: INSIDE JAPAN’S NEW DEFENSE PLAN

Kyle Mizokami evaluates Japan’s five-year defense plan, which includes a raft of measures to bolster air power capabilities

AFSOC: UNDER COVER
In recent years the US Air Force Special Operation Command (AFSOC) fleet has had numerous lesser-known types added to its inventory as its missions and areas of operations have expanded. Tom Kaminski details them

SPECIAL REPORT: THUNDER IN THE EMIRATES
Piet Luijken joins the Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17 Thunder demonstration team at Dubai Airshow, and reports on the latest developments with the type

HARRIER SURVIVORS
The Harrier was conceived as the world’s first vertical/short take-off and landing attack aircraft. As such, its success has been without equal, and it has forged a niche role in supporting troops on the ground. Jamie Hunter examines the Harriers that remain in service around the world.

NEW LIFE FOR BRAZIL’S AMX
Santiago Rivas explains how the Brazilian Air Force is progressing with the modernization of its fleet of AMX fighter-bombers

FOXBAT FINALE
Almost 40 tonnes of steel, aluminum, titanium and kerosene flying at close to three times the speed of sound: the mighty MiG-25 is unlikely to leave anyone who sees it unimpressed. Stefan Büttner and Alexander Golz report exclusively on the last ‘Foxbats’ and their retirement from Russian service

COLD SNAP
Ofer Zidon was able to arrange a photo-shoot with a number of Israeli Air Force rotorcraft over the 2,814m peak of Mount Hermon, which in December experienced its heaviest snowfall in recent history

ALWAYS VIGILANT
Alexander Klingelhöller joins Germany’s helicopter door gunners during their realistic training in the CH-53G

KINGS OF THE PERSIAN GULF
Iran’s two naval air arms — the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Aviation (IRINA) and Islamic Revolutionary Guard of Corps Navy Aviation (IRGCNA) — combine to form the biggest maritime aviation force in the Middle East, as Babak Taghvaee outlines

GLORY DAYS: ‘SHAKE AND BAKE’
Robert F. Dorr recounts the often overlooked activities of the US Air Force’s A-37 Dragonflies in South-east Asia

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

USAFE 2014
The modern United States Air Forces in Europe is but a shadow of its former self. With this reality comes the need to encourage strong partnerships, as Jamie Hunter reports, with the views of Lt Gen Craig A. Franklin, the current commander of the 3rd Air Force. Jamie Hunter

NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
Gripen triumphs in Brazil, US Army aviation faces tough decisions and Typhoon flies with Taurus

US NEWS
F-35 production reaches 100, C-27Js going to the Coast Guard and latest carrier aviation news

UK NEWS
RAF opens doors to UK Reaper operation, new Chinook HC6s arrive in UK

WORLD NEWS
China unveils new and modified J-20 and new support helicopter, Omani F-16 deliveries re-commence

EUROPE NEWS
Austrian Eurofighters on Davos patrol and first Dutch pilot flies F-35A