Combat Aircraft - July 2019

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IN THE NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
USAF F-35As attack for the first time, UK F-35B maiden deployment, plus USAF moves on light attack

US NEWS
Eglin gears up for expanded F-35 training role, plus all the latest unit and deployment news

WORLD NEWS
News from Europe and around the globe, including RAAF EA-18G Growler IOC, plus all the latest military losses

FEATURES

THE OPS DESK
Scott Wolff’s regular column looks at F-22 Raptor upgrades

LIGHTNINGS OVER IRAQ
The US Air Force has started its first combat deployment with the F-35A Lightning II amid calls for the new fighter to become more affordable, as Jamie Hunter reports

SWIFTER AND KEENER THAN EAGLES
Royal Air Force fighter squadrons are among the most famous of all. Life on the RAF’s front line is conducted at a rapid pace, with an accompanying evolution in technological capability. Jamie Hunter meets No XI (Fighter) Squadron

HELP FROM ABOVE
As an emergency response force, the US Marine Corps actively trains in how to react to events such as a humanitarian crisis. Joe Copalman joins a major exercise that helps marines prepare for such events

‘BOLD TIGERS’ NOSE ART
The 391st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron ‘Bold Tigers’ returned from a six-month deployment under Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ sporting some fantastic nose art, as Ryan Dorling details

RIDING WITH THE ‘JERSEY DEVILS’
The ‘Century Series’ jets flew during a golden era of US fighter aviation. It was a time of huge variety and plentiful airframes amid the Cold War stand-off. Lindsay Peacock looks back at the Convair F-106 Delta Dart and a very special encounter with this magnificent thoroughbred

RED STAR RENEGADES
The 64th Aggressor Squadron is one of just two dedicated ‘red air’ units in the US Air Force that specialize in replicating adversary aircraft types such as the MiG-29. Jamie Hunter discovers how this community of ‘bad guys’ is growing, with big changes on the radar scope

WOLVERINE ON THE LIGHT ATTACK TRAIL …
Jamie Hunter details the AT-6 Wolverine and its further progression towards a long-held ambition of success with the USAF as a new, low-cost, light attack platform to help ease the burden on high-end fighter assets

A-10 ON THE FRONT LINE: OPERATION ‘ANACONDA’ - PART TWO
The A-10 has been engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan since 2002. Gary Wetzel concludes his assessment of the first Operation ‘Anaconda’ missions, which proved to be a baptism of fire

THE ALL-SEEING GULFSTREAM
Sérgio Santana details how the Gulfstream 550-based Conformal Airborne Early Warning aircraft has earned a reputation as a potent yet affordable performer

‘ELECTRIC INTRUDER’ AT WAR
Following the US Marine Corps’ farewell to the EA-6B Prowler, Joe Copalman looks at the origins of this electronic attack aircraft in the EA-6A, which proved valuable during the war in Vietnam

‘DARK KNIGHTS’
The recent spate of sightings of F-117A Nighthawks, 11 years after the type’s formal retirement, has led to a great deal of speculation as to why the aircraft might still be flying. Jon Lake evaluates some of the possible reasons

CUTTING EDGE
David Axe’s review of the latest technological advances in military aviation

FLASHBACK
Combat Aircraft’s trip down memory lane. This month it’s a VF-111 F-4N Phantom II