AirForces Monthly - Nov 2018

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

Swiss PC-21: ten years of training
The Pilatus PC-21 first entered service with the Swiss Air Force’s Pilotenschule at Emmen in 2008. Bob Fischer reflects on a decade of operations.

A not-so-silent war
While Israel’s activity during the first six years of the Syrian conflict was shrouded in secrecy, over the past eight months many events have been brought to light either by Israeli officials or by the overt nature of its actions. Yissachar Ruas received some insight into the campaign from a high-ranking Israeli Air Force source.

Hungarian Gripens hit the north
Lt Col István Toperczer watched the Hungarian Air Force’s latest exercise in Vidsel, Sweden, to see its Gripens deliver live air-to-ground munitions for the first time.

Fighters at the end of the world
Based at Punta Arenas, near the tip of South America’s Patagonia region, the Grupo de Aviación No 12 and its Northrop F-5E/F Tiger IIs form the world’s southernmost fighter unit. Santiago Rivas reports on the group, with photography by Katsuhiko Tokunaga.

Always prepared
Martin Scharenborg and Ramon Wenink visited the Icelandic Coast Guard’s Aviation Department, based at Reykjavík Airport, to report on the challenges currently facing the unit that proudly honours the motto Við erum til taks – ‘always prepared’.

Easy does it
VMR Belle Chasse are the ‘people and parts’ specialists of the Marine Forces Reserve. Joe Copalman visited New Orleans to see the operational support airlift squadron at work.

Sea King ends its reign
The retirement of the venerable Sea King ASaC7 has finally called time on the type’s UK military career. Richard Scott reports from Culdrose.

Turkish testers
The demanding flight test requirements of the Turkish Air Force are met by 401 Filo, a specialist unit flying F-4s and F-16s from Eskişehir. Cem Doğut investigates its weapons trials work.

REGULAR FEATURES

EXERCISE REPORT: Sea Breeze 2018
The 17th Sea Breeze was the most important exercise in this series to date, featuring many firsts for its key participants, as Vladimir Trendafilovski discovered.

FORCE REPORT: Wings of the Armada
Spanish Naval Aviation – which celebrated a century of operations last year – is one of Europe’s most potent maritime air arms, capable of projecting power to almost any point in the world. José Matos examines its current order of battle.

Book reviews
AFM evaluates some of the latest offerings in aviation literature.

INTEL REPORT: Trainers with teeth
Alan Warnes considers the role of the light combat aircraft and assesses those available today.

EXERCISE REPORT: Ample Strike
NATO’s largest Joint Terminal Attack Controller exercise took place in the Czech Republic recently. Alan Warnes was there.

COMMANDER’S UPDATE BRIEFING: Combat cloud
Today’s armed forces are lagging behind their civilian counterparts when it comes to data sharing. Air Power Association president, Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE, examines the new demands being put on air power in the information age.

Attrition
Dave Allport details the world’s most recent military accidents.

SURVEY: Su-25 operators
The Su-25 is a rugged and affordable attack aircraft able to deliver heavy ordnance loads and withstand significant damage. In this issue AFM begins a round-up of current operators around the world, beginning with Russia.

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