AirForces Monthly - Sept 2018

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AFM’s opinion on the hot topics in military aviation.

Show of force in the Negev
Dr Andreas Zeitler was at Hatzerim Air Base to witness the Israeli Air Force’s impressive graduation ceremony. It was a rare chance to get a glimpse of the air arm in action.

Polish Naval Aviation at 100
Polish Naval Aviation isn’t quite as old as its air force and army cousins, but it is part of this year’s centenary celebrations as Bartek Bera and Filip Modrzejewski explain.

21st century ‘Battleherk’
The US Marine Corps is intent on improving the survivability, lethality and interoperability of its KC-130 fleet, as Joe Copalman discovers.

Rafale Solo Display
Revised colours, and a different display pilot: every other year, the Rafale Solo Display gains a new look. Frédéric Lert and Anthony Pecchi caught up with the team.

Controlling the fight
Maintaining excellence in close air support is the raison d’être of No 4 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force. Phil Buckley reports from this unit of No 78 Wing at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, to learn more of its specialist role.

Mountain avengers
The Italian Army’s 5° Reggimento Aviazione dell’Esercito ‘Rigel’ flies the powerful AH-129 Mangusta, iconic UH-205A ‘Huey’ and the all-new UH-90A. Robin Coenders, Roy van Sonsbeek and Niels Roman head to northern Italy to meet its aviators.

Belgian ‘Stingers’
Roy van Sonsbeek and Niels Roman look back at the highpoints in the history of 1 Squadron of the Belgian Air Component, which celebrated 100 years of operations last year.

Black Sea Berievs
The once mighty fleet of Be-12 amphibians operated by the Russian naval air arm has dwindled to just a handful. Alexander Mladenov provides an overview of the last survivors.

Storm warning!
The Farnborough International Airshow saw the UK launch its latest Combat Air Strategy and unveil a model of a brand new, next-generation fighter concept – the Tempest. Jon Lake investigates.

Regular features

EXERCISE REPORT: Thracian Eagle 2018
Oregon Air National Guard F-15 pilots recently flew shoulder-to-shoulder with their Bulgarian counterparts and were pitted against ground-based air defence systems. Alexander Mladenov reports from Graf Ignatievo.

INTEL REPORT: A summer of surprises
With the Farnborough International Airshow following hot on the heels of the Royal International Air Tattoo, July was a busy month for many in the industry. The publication of the UK’s Combat Air Strategy was just one of the talking points for aerospace observers at the shows. Alan Warnes reports.

FORCE REPORT: Defending Formosa: Part one
The ‘Taiwan question’ remains a sensitive political issue almost 70 years after the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. Marco Muntz and Wiebe Karsten assess the status of the Republic of China Air Force, charged with defending Taiwan against the might of its neighbour.

COMMANDER’S UPDATE BRIEFING: Airborne command and control
Air Power Association President, Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE, reflects on airborne early warning, a little understood mission that is nonetheless vital to modern coalition warfare operations.

EXERCISE REPORT: Sky Avenger 2018
For two weeks in June, six Texas Air National Guard F-16s flew with Czech Air Force fighters from Ĉáslav air base, 60 miles (96km) southeast of Prague in Central Bohemia. Alan Warnes was there.

Attrition
Dave Allport details accident investigations and the world’s recent military accidents.

Coming up
See what’s featuring in your AFM next month.