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AirForces Monthly Nov 2017

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Against the backdrop of the Dubai Airshow, November’s AFM concludes its round-up of air forces of the Gulf Cooperation Council, with details of the expanding inventories of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Fighters veteran and cutting edge are in the spotlight, with Pakistan’s Mirages firmly in the former category. AFM went behind the scenes at the Mirage Rebuild Factory to see how these delta-winged fighters are maintained. Meanwhile, with the F-35 now entering service in numbers, Jon Lake contends that the Lightning II’s reliance on legacy weapons could be a chink in its otherwise formidable armour.

Uruguay’s naval air arm has been operating the Turbo Mentor since 1981. As we report, the two surviving T-34Cs are busy despite a lack of spares and operational budget.

HMS Ocean was at the forefront of the UK’s humanitarian relief effort after hurricanes struck the Caribbean in September. AFM caught up with the Commando Helicopter Force that provides most of its aircraft.

For decades Egypt has maintained a strategy of procuring new fighters from different sources. One of the latest examples is the MiG-29M/M2, which we profile in detail.

We also report on the 70-aircraft fleet of the Colombian Air Force’s Comando Aéreo de Combate 4 – the largest helicopter unit in Latin America.

Regular features include Exercise Reports from Integrated Training Exercise 4-17 at Twentynine Palms in southern California, and Brilliant Arrow at Wittmund. The final part of the Force Report on the Nigerian Air Force examines post-2014 combat operations, future plans and provides a full air order of battle. Finally, Air Marshal (Ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB, CBE continues his briefings by examining the growing importance of unmanned aircraft systems.

As ever, you will find all the world’s military aviation news, details of recent military accidents, plus AFM’s letters page and latest book reviews.