Combat Aircraft - April 2019

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STRIKE EAGLE SQUADRON
Jamie Hunter paid an exclusive visit to a leading US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle unit — meet the ‘Bolars’ of the 492nd Fighter Squadron

IN THE NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
New Eagles for USAF, Light Attack on hold and Australian Hornets arrive in Canada

US NEWS
KC-46 Pegasus moves ahead, VFA-34 Hornets end ops and US Army selects GE engine

WORLD NEWS
News from Europe and around the globe, including Germany’s decision not to procure F-35, plus all the latest military losses

FEATURES

THE OPS DESK
Scott Wolff's regular column looks at the USAF’s ability to be mobile, agile, and unpredictable

EYE ON THE EAST: PLA ARMY AVIATION
Andreas Rupprecht details what many consider to be a forgotten force

TORNADO: A ROYAL AIR FORCE LEGEND BOWS OUT
In March, the Royal Air Force retires its last Panavia Tornado GR4s after an incredible career. Jamie Hunter looks back over a remarkable service record

THE FLYING SKULLS
Ashley Wallace meets the rotary-wing trainers that forge a new generation of special mission crews in the skies above New Mexico

ROCKING RHINOS
As the Japan Air Self-Defense Force prepares to retire the Phantom II, aviation photographic legend Katsuhiko Tokunaga showcases 302 Hikotai’s stunning special schemes

KING LEAR
In April 2019, the 375th Air Mobility Wing marks the 35th anniversary of the Learjet Model 35’s entry into USAF service as the C-21A. Tom Kaminski looks at the career of this unsung hero

THE FORGOTTEN TRAINER
Northrop Grumman sensationally pulled out of the race to build a new training aircraft for the US Air Force, but what happened to its contender? Jon Lake investigates

‘RED FLAG’
The first ‘Red Flag’ exercise of 2019 brought together high-end platforms from the US and its close allies — taking the gloves off for some serious cutting edge, near peer threat, training

DESERT DRAMA
Amid growing tensions in the region, Yissachar Ruas looks at a new round of strikes from Israel as retaliation against forces inside Syria

DUTCH ‘HERKS’ DOWN LOW
MCAS Yuma, deep in the Arizona desert, was the scene for a three-week deployment training exercise for a pair of Royal Netherlands Air Force C-130Hs at the end of last year. Joe Campion reports from Exercise ‘Desert Bull’

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

FLYING WITH THE ‘BOMBCAT’
Ted Carlson takes a trip down memory lane to join F-14B Tomcats conducting operational evaluation of the Joint Direct Attack Munition. Strap in, it’s time to fly with the ‘Bombcats’

DANISH ROMEOS
The Royal Danish Air Force has received all of its new MH-60R Seahawks, which have brought about something of a revolution in multi-mission operations, as Søren Nielsen reveals

PEGASUS ARRIVES
The US Air Force’s new tanker aircraft, the KC-46A, has finally commenced deliveries. It’s a project that has been plagued by controversy and problems. Robert S. Hopkins III analyses what lies ahead for USAF tanker procurement

FLASHBACK
Combat Aircraft’s regular feature looking at highlights of the recent past. This month it’s Michigan ANG F-4Cs at Exercise ‘William Tell’