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AirForces Monthly Sept 2017

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With the European airshow season reaching its crescendo, the September issue includes two favourites. Cover star is the Tornado GR4 – in ‘desert pink’ as a tribute to Operation Granby in 1991 – which was recently retired as the type enters its final chapter in Royal Air Force service. The Mirage 2000D also features, with a report on the French Air Force’s latest display team.

There’s more fast-jet action from Iceland, which earlier this year hosted six Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornets as part of Operation Reassurance. Another NATO air policing mission profiled is the reinforcement of Romanian Air Force LanceRs with RAF Typhoons, as the alliance responds to increased Russian air activity over the Black Sea. Meanwhile, in the wake of the first US kill of a manned aircraft since Operation Allied Force in 1999, AFM went aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H W Bush in the eastern Mediterranean for a first-hand report of the shoot-down at a time of escalating tensions in the region.

On the rotary-wing front, we examine one of Europe’s latest and most advanced maritime helicopters: the Italian Navy’s multi-mission SH-90A.

Having outsourced flying training over the past ten years, the UK MOD is now preparing for the next challenge. A new element of the Military Flying Training System is now taking shape – the Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) contract – as described in our regular Intel Report. The Force Report this month covers the Nigerian Air Force, making efforts to become an efficient, modern air arm in the face of constant terrorist threats and sectarian violence

The Israeli Fight Test Center is the first in a new series of features examining military flight test establishments. Other articles cover Britain’s newest and biggest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, and we launch a new Survey with a rundown of European maritime patrol aircraft.