AirForces Monthly - Jan 2019

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INTEL REPORT: Showtime in Zhuhai
Alan Warnes was at Zhuhai Airshow where China’s advanced fighters were the main attraction alongside a burgeoning family of unmanned aerial vehicles.

By hosting an ambitious air exercise with participants from different NATO countries, the Ukrainian Air Force proved it has made giant steps towards adopting the Western doctrine of operations. Gert Kromhout reports.

EXERCISE REPORT: Baccarat 2018
For the second year, the French Army’s 4th Air Combat Brigade organised the large-scale Baccarat exercise in the country’s northeast Champagne-Ardenne region. Oliver Jonischkeit was there.

FORCE REPORT: Colombian Army Aviation
Colombian Army Aviation is the most powerful force of its type in Latin America, with a huge inventory of helicopters and a small but growing fixed-wing fleet. Having seen combat since its creation, it’s also extremely experienced, as Santiago Rivas reveals.

EXERCISE REPORT: Mare Aperto 2018-2
Riccardo Niccoli watched examples of most of the Italian Navy’s aircraft in action at Mare Aperto 2018-2 – its largest training exercise – conducted in the waters west of Sardinia.

COMMANDER’S UPDATE BRIEFING: Combined air operations centres
If an air campaign could be described as a symphony of activity, then the combined air operations centre is the conductor – keeping time and synchronising every element. Air Power Association President Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE investigates.

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

Dave Allport details the world’s most recent military accidents including the investigation into the US Air Force HH-60G loss in Iraq last March.

SURVEY: Su-25 Operators – Former Soviet states Part 2
After assessing the current status of the Su-25 in Russian service, Alexander Mladenov turns his attention to the Frogfoot operators among the other former Soviet states, beginning with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

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


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

Postcard from Mali
AFM contributor Benoît Denet shares his photographs from Mali where the Belgian Air Component completed a four-month deployment last summer.

Changing times for the French Air Force
The Armée de l’Air officially introduced the PC-21 and A330 MRTT into service less than three weeks apart. Henri-Pierre Grolleau reports on the end of a significant year for the French Air Force.

Spanish stingers
Spain’s Ejército del Aire operates a well-balanced fighter force of EF-18M/F/A-18A+ Hornets and Eurofighter Typhoons. Salvador Mafé Huertas assesses the Spanish Hornet fleet, active within three frontline wings.

A new Battle of the Atlantic?
Next year the Royal Air Force hopes to take delivery of its first Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, ending a nine-year capability gap in this vital arena of warfare. Tim Ripley looks at some of the challenges the crews will face.

Italy’s high-tech trainers
The Italian Air Force’s 61° Stormo at Lecce-Galatina has introduced a new training system based on the M-346 Master. Gian Carlo Vecchi investigates one of Europe’s most advanced military flying schools.

Tornado tales: A career in the cockpit
AFM begins a series of features celebrating the career of the ever-popular Tornado GR as it nears the end of its RAF service. First up, Jamie Hunter meets Flt Lt (ret’d) Bill Read, who talks about his time at the front end of the ‘Mighty Fin’.