Combat Aircraft - February 2019

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IN THE NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
First operational F-35As arrive in Australia, RAF Typhoon in service with Meteor, plus Airbus joins forces with Lockheed Martin on tankers

US NEWS
USAF plans F-35 for Tyndall, RC-135s to move to RAF Fairford, plus F-15Es in California for testing

WORLD NEWS
News from Europe and around the globe, including Japan’s special F-4EJ Phantom IIs and all the latest military losses

FEATURES

OPS DESK: LOYAL WINGMAN – THE FUTURE OF AIR COMBAT?
Scott Wolff’s regular column looks at how the US is evolving certain mission sets

T-X - HOW BOEING WON
Boeing and its partner Saab won the USAF’s advanced jet trainer competition with a brand new aircraft. It’s a program that has set a new benchmark in military procurement. Jamie Hunter evaluates how this was achieved

KISH DELIGHTS
The ninth Iranian airshow at Kish was one for the history books. Stephan de Bruijn visited the Persian Gulf island and reveals how the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) attended this year en masse

EXERCISE REPORT: ‘POINT BLANK’
US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath trained with British F-35B and Typhoon fighters as well as French Rafales during Exercise ‘Point Blank’ in November and Thomas Newdick was there to witness the action

ATAC EXPANDS
Michael Keaveney talks to the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) about how it is upgrading its fleet and facilities as it positions itself for an unprecedented US Air Force aggressor requirement

STAYING ALIVE
While Argentina’s A-4AR Fightinghawks are amongst the last examples of the Skyhawk in active military service, they continue to support front-line roles as Santiago Rivas discovers

BALTIC GUARDIANS
Jamie Hunter explains how the Baltic Air Policing mission is a major focus for many European air forces, not least the Luftwaffe, whose Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 74 is currently manning the detachment at Ämari in Estonia

THAILAND’S LEAN, MEAN, FIGHTING MACHINE
Jamie Hunter visits the Royal Thai Air Force as it marks 10 years since ordering the Saab Gripen and 10,000 flying hours. These are milestones that reflect an innovative approach to fighter operations in a region that is rapidly evolving to meet future needs

DUTCH BEASTS
Frank Crébas joins a Royal Netherlands Air Force on the verge of bringing its first F-35s into service

THE CHINESE ‘FLANKER’ STORY - PART 1
The ‘Flanker’ family is arguably the most important warplane type in People’s Liberation Army Air Force service. Andreas Rupprecht begins a two-part study of its complex evolutions

LEADERS OF THE PACK
Stephan de Bruijn heads to ‘TLP 2018-3’, which ran from September 10 to October 5, 2018, and attracted some 40 aircraft from six NATO nations

AWACS-LITE
The Boeing 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control represents an evolution over the E-3 Sentry, one of the most recognized symbols of this mission. Since 2014 it has been successfully employed by Australia on combat operations and it also equips South Korea and Turkey, as Sérgio Santana details

EXERCISE REPORT: ‘CRUZEX’
Santiago Rivas reports from the eighth edition of ‘Cruzex’, which brought together a typically special line-up of participants

THE BIG TEST
The US Navy and Marine Corps are now engaged in full operational testing of the F-35. James DeBoer discovers that complex missions and the high-end fight are what are now being signed off

CUTTING EDGE
David Axe’s monthly column reporting from the front line of aerospace technology

FLASHBACK
Combat Aircraft’s regular feature looking at highlights of the recent past - this month it’s the F-100 Super Sabre