AirForces Monthly - May 2019

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

Prowler sundown
On March 8 the aviation world said farewell to both the last airborne electronic warfare squadron in the US Marines Corps – VMAQ-2 ‘Death Jesters’ – and its well-used but still trustworthy platform, the EA-6B Prowler.

Air power in Tehran
The Iranian Armed Forces’ Aerial Achievements Expo in Tehran earlier this year provided a rare glimpse of assets from five of the country’s air arms.

Forging Luftwaffe fighter pilots
The next generation of pilots destined for the Luftwaffe’s fighter fleet is trained at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, where a 55-week course includes 200 flight hours spent in the cockpit of the T-6A Texan II and T-38C Talon. Stefan Petersen finds out more.

Farewell to a legend
After 43 years of loyal service, the Belgian Air Component’s Sea King Mk48 helicopter completed its last mission on March 21. Danny Reijnen reviews an illustrious career.

Keeping the ‘legacy’ alive - Part two: Export operators
Exported to seven nations from Canada in the north to Australia in the south, the F/A-18A/B/C/D ‘heritage’ Hornet remains in service with every one of those customers in 2019.

Tornado Tales: Cold War front line
Before rising to become Deputy Commander-in-Chief Operations, RAF Air Command, Air Marshal (ret’d) Iain McNicoll CB CBE commanded a Tornado GR1 squadron in RAF Germany. He shared his recollections of the Cold War mission with Thomas Newdick.

Postcard from Honduras
AFM contributor Arnold ten Pas recently returned from Honduras, where he had the chance to document examples of most of the Fuerza Aérea Hondureña types in service at Base Aérea Hernán Acosta Mejia, located just outside the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Alpine target masters
The Swiss Armed Forces rely heavily on the small but dedicated Zielflugstaffel 12 for ground-to-air target practice. Patrick Dirksen and Frank Mink were invited behind the scenes to learn more about the daily operations of this unique Swiss Air Force squadron.

Typhoon over Oman
In an AFM exclusive, Derek Bower travelled to the Gulf to witness the introduction of the Eurofighter Typhoon with the Royal Air Force of Oman.

Operation Allied Force: 20 years on
In March 1999 NATO launched Operation Allied Force to drive Serbian forces from the contested Yugoslav province of Kosovo. Tim Ripley looks back at the lessons from the 78-day air campaign.


EXERCISE REPORT: Dutch helos back in the UK
The Royal Netherlands Air Force and various components of Defence Helicopter Command deployed to Cumbria in late February for Exercise Tac Blaze UK.

INTEL REPORT: Saudi International Airshow
Saudi Arabia’s first attempt at an aerospace show was an undoubted success. It attracted approximately 100 aircraft, around 20 of them military.

EXERCISE REPORT: IAF lights up the desert
Nearly 140 aircraft, half a dozen air bases and units from every corner of India – the Indian Air Force pounded the country’s western desert for a fortnight in February.

Air Power Association President, Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE, examines how changing fortunes have affected the size of the service’s combat air element.

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

FORCE REPORT: Brazilian Army Aviation
Thirty-three years since its re-establishment, Brazilian Army Aviation is modernising and taking on a wider spectrum of missions, including counter-terrorism.

SURVEY: Su-25 operators – Africa
In the latest of our series, Alexander Mladenov turns his attention to Africa’s Frogfoot operators.

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

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