Combat Aircraft - July 2014

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BACKFIRE TO THE FUTURE
Russia is preparing its Tu-22M3 long-range bombers for several more decades of service, as one by one the aircraft undergo major overhaul. Piotr Butowski describes the twists and turns of the Tu-22M’s recent history

EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL REPORT: PERUVIAN AIR FORCE ON SHOW
Alexander Golz and Stefan Fax gain a rare glimpse of the Peruvian Air Force as it put on an impressive demonstration of its capabilities in the skies over the country’s capital Lima

AIR POWER REVIEW
MAINTAINING THE GUARD: US AIR NATIONAL GUARD 2014
Operating close to 1,150 aircraft, the Air National Guard represents the world’s fifth largest air force. More significantly for the US military and policy-makers, it makes up  19 per cent of the total USAF force structure. Tom Kaminski reviews the ANG today

GLORY DAYS: CORSAIRS ON GUARD
Whether engaged in training sorties and exercises at home in the US, or deployments the world over, the A-7 Corsair IIs of the Air National Guard served with great distinction. As Ben Dunnell discovers, no wonder former ANG pilots remember the ‘SLUF’ so well

EXERCISE REPORT: FRISIAN FLAG 2014
Frank Crébas/Bluelife Aviation heads to this year’s Exercise ‘Frisian Flag’, which took place at Leeuwarden air base in the Netherlands in the first two weeks of April

SPECIAL REPORT: PACIFIC STRONGHOLD
Gordon Arthur visits the US Air Force’s premier installation on the Pacific island of Guam to speak about the increasing importance of Andersen Air Force Base with Steve Wolborsky, director of plans, programs and readiness for the 36th Wing

RUSSIA CELEBRATES VICTORY DAY
On May 9 each year, Russia celebrates the defeat of Hitler’s fascism, and stages military parades in Moscow and elsewhere. Even before recent developments in Crimea, the growing scale of Victory Day parades demonstrated a return to Soviet traditions in modern Russia. Stefan Büttner reports

UNIT REPORT: ‘SCREWTOPS’ — RULERS OF THE PLANET
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 123 has made numerous deployments supporting national taskings. Gary Wetzel tells the story of how it is to fly and fight in the E-2C Hawkeye

PILOT PROFILE: LIGHTNING BOSS AT LUKE
Rens van Rijn and Dennis Vink/Phodocu meet the new commander of the 61st Fighter Squadron, Lt Col Michael Ebner, as he explains how he became involved in the Joint Strike Fighter program, and the challenges that lie ahead

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

LIGHTNING II TRAINING WITH THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
Brad Elward joins the US Navy and Marine Corps Fleet Replacement Squadrons (FRS) at Eglin AFB, Florida, and sees Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 ‘Warlords’ and Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 101 ‘Grim Reapers’ in action. Lockheed Martin

NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
Sikorsky ‘wins’ Presidential helicopter contract, Iraqi F-16s start flight testing as AT-6 is ordered

US NEWS
CH-53K rolled out and becomes King Stallion, B-1 upgrades take flight, and rare NC-135W seen on test

EUROPE NEWS
Latest updates on the Ukraine crisis as Baltic air policing steps up, and Switzerland says ‘no’ to Gripen E

WORLD NEWS
Israeli C-130J delivered to Nevatim, Marrakech air show and Australia increases F-35A purchase