Combat Aircraft - November 2018

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IN THE NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
USAF unveils massive expansion plan and F-35B latest

US NEWS
F-35 operational test and evaluation delayed, Boeing wins MQ-25 Stingray deal, plus all the latest unit and deployment news

WORLD NEWS
News from Europe and around the globe, including NATO Air Policing changes, plus all the latest military losses

FEATURES

THE BRIEFING: RIGHT FIGHTER — WRONG MISSION
In his regular column, Robert Beckhusen details the current state of the F-22 Raptor community and talk of a hybrid version

THE OPS DESK: ‘BADGER AIR MILITIA’
Scott Wolff’s new column for Combat Aircraft looks at 70 years of the Wisconsin Air National Guard

BRONCO II — BUCKING THE TREND?
The Bronco II is an obscure entrant into the US military light attack conundrum, but one that offers diverse capabilities in a bespoke airframe at lower cost than most other offerings, as Jamie Hunter reveals

POWERING AHEAD
Tom Kaminski looks at the US Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program — a new powerplant to improve the operational flexibility of its Black Hawk and Apache helicopters

DRAKEN’S DEN
Frank Visser meets Draken International, one of the leading contractor air service providers in the US and recent winners of a competition to furnish ongoing support at Nellis AFB

BOMBING AT DECI
As the Tornado GR4 completes its final year of service with the Royal Air Force, which is set to become the first operator to retire the type, David Cenciotti looks at the wider Tornado community — starting with the Italian Air Force

F-15X — EAGLE VISION OR FAR-SIGHTED?
Jamie Hunter assesses the chances of the US Air Force buying a batch of advanced F-15s to plug its air defense gaps

GLORY DAYS: VERTICAL CHALLENGES
In the first of a two-part series, Joe Copalman looks back at the AV-8A Harrier, the US Marine Corps’ first step towards a V/STOL tactical air force

SUPER SQUADRON — ‘GREEN BATS’ AT 75
Nellis AFB, Nevada, is arguably one of the most important installations when it comes to the US Air Force fighter community. Jake Melampy flies with the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, which boasts a mightily impressive inventory that arguably eclipses many complete air forces

DAESH DESTROYERS
The Royal Air Force is four years into a campaign as part of the coalition to defeat the so-called Islamic State. Jamie Hunter discovers a mission that’s evolved considerably and that now sees the Typhoon gearing up to assume sole responsibility for the UK fast jet element as the Tornado bows out of service

EXERCISE REPORT: PEACE PARTNERS
Russia has hosted yet another live fire exercise, this time bringing together a variety of Chinese and domestic air assets for ‘Peace Mission 2018’. Dmitriy Pichugin reports

‘RIMPAC’ — LAST CALL FOR THE ‘BLUE BLASTERS’
Søren Nielsen joins the ‘Rim of the Pacific’ (RIMPAC) 2018 exercise, the world’s largest for maritime warfare, which was held over the summer

TALES OF THE TROUBLESOME TOMCAT — PART TWO
LT Neil ‘Waylon’ Jennings and Tony Holmes describe one of the more spectacular F-14 Tomcat accidents during the type’s long US Navy career, detailing the incident in the second part of this feature

CUTTING EDGE
Our monthly column reporting from the front line of aerospace technology, by David Axe

FLASHBACK
Combat Aircraft’s regular feature looking at highlights of the recent past — this month it’s a 119th FIS F-106A Delta Dart