AirForces Monthly - Dec 2018

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

Postcard from Myanmar
Aircraft from one of the world’s most secretive air arms were photographed by Hans Jacobs during a recent visit to Yangon.

Forever young
The Portuguese Air Force bucked the training trend in the mid-1990s when it returned seven old de Havilland Canada Chipmunks to operational status. These veterans are still performing a vital task, as Stefan Degraef and Edwin Borremans discover.

Italy’s desert wind
The Italian Air Force’s versatile AMX fighter-bomber is now found solely at Istrana air base, in the north of the country. Roy van Sonsbeek, Robin Coenders and Niels Roman visited the home of the ‘Ghibli’ and the 51° Stormo.

Polish Air Force at 100
AFM completes its review of the three Polish air arms with an analysis of the air force in its centenary year, as Bartek Bera and Filip Modrzejewski examine the most significant force to wear the famous red and white chequerboard.

Future fighters
The market for manned fighter aircraft has been estimated to be larger than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Jon Lake looks at some of these programmes and explains why the long-predicted ‘rise of the machines’ has not materialised in quite the way many had expected, and how tomorrow’s fighters might differ from today’s combat aircraft.

Sentry successor
Reports emerged over the summer that the Royal Air Force is looking to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning and control aircraft. Tim Ripley examines the options.

Operação Ostium
Sérgio Santana describes the most recent operation organised by the Brazilian Air Force - Operação Ostium - intended to thwart drug running along the country’s borders.

Merlin magic
Three decades on from the first flight of the EH101, Ian Harding visited Leonardo’s Yeovil facility to reflect on the type’s ongoing success, while Tom Williams headed to RAF Valley to see Royal Danish Air Force Merlins in action in the mountains.

‘Rhinos’ at Andravida
The glory days of the F-4 in Europe are now over, and in Greece only one squadron remains. Gert Kromhout speaks to the Phantom drivers of 338 Mira.


FLASHPOINT: Burkina Faso
The air arm of Burkina Faso has had different titles over several years, gaining combat experience in the process. Today it’s part of the multi-national ‘G5 Sahel Joint Force’, as Arnaud Delalande explains.

INTEL REPORT: Albatros stretches its wings
Alan Warnes was on scene to witness the rollout of the new L-39NG on October 12, marking a new chapter for the Aero Vodochody company which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original L-39 Albatros on November 4.

FORCE REPORT: Montenegrin Air Force
In light of the first anniversary of Montenegro’s membership of NATO, Igor Božinovski summarises the 12-year history of the tiny Montenegrin Air Force and analyses the current status and ongoing modernisation of Europe’s youngest air arm.

AFM’s letters page

Air Power Association President Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE considers the fundamentals of battle/airspace management - a key concern for today’s combat pilot.

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

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

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