Combat Aircraft - October 2019

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SPIRIT WORLD
Long-range, silent, and deadly accurate - the B-2 Spirit is unique, yet Chinese competition is waiting in the wings. As Combat Aircraft marks the 30th anniversary of the first flight of the B-2, we look back at the past and at what the future may hold for this incredible aircraft

LANCER AT A LOW EBB
The US Air Force’s B-1B Lancer fleet has seen many changes, notably its adaptation to the conventional role and its transfer to Air Force Global Strike Command. However, readiness is a constant concern in the current climate as Jamie Hunter and Ted Carlson reveal

‘BUFF’ LOW-DOWN OVER AFGHANISTAN
Designed for the nuclear role, Warren E. Thompson describes how the B-52H turned its hand to a new mission in the skies above Afghanistan in 2001, assisting troops on the ground through close air support

SPEED DEMON
Surely one of the most impressive aircraft ever designed and built, Lindsay Peacock explains how the Convair B-58 Hustler broke new ground when it came to performance, but it failed to live up to expectation with a short service career

IN THE NEWS

HEADLINE NEWS
USAF grounds C-130s, A-10 re-winging is complete plus new base in Niger

US NEWS
Tyndall to become F-35 base, first KC-46 for the Air National Guard, plus latest deployment news

WORLD NEWS
News from Europe and around the globe, including Taiwan’s F-16 deal plus all the latest military losses

FEATURES

THE OPS DESK
Scott Wolff’s monthly column looks at the state of the USAF B-1B force

READY ROOM
Combat Aircraft’s new regular column, looking at the stories behind the US Navy and Marine Corps headlines, by Rick Burgess

USAF SHIFTS EMPHASIS ON LIGHT ATTACK
Speaking to Combat Aircraft editor Jamie Hunter in July, US Air Force chief of staff Gen Dave Goldfein gave more details of the current status of the Light Attack Experiment

NEW EAGLES WILL NOT IMPACT F-35
Discussing the plan to buy new F-15EX Eagles from Boeing, US Air Force chief of staff Dave Goldfein made it clear when speaking to Combat Aircraft editor Jamie Hunter this summer that the F-35 remains untouchable

DYNAMIC BASING
The US Air Force has been testing a new approach to rapid basing and deployability under the Combat Support Wing concept. ‘Rapid Forge’ was a real-world test that drew various assets to Spangdahlem in Germany in July as Marco de Groot and Jamie Hunter report

‘BLACK SHIELD’
Giovanni Colla and Daniele Faccioli report from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base as Italian Eurofighters fly alongside Romanian Air Force MiG-21 LanceRs policing the skies adjacent to the Black Sea

RUSSIAN NAVAL PARADE
The culmination of Russia’s Day of the Navy this summer was a large-scale parade in St Petersburg. Dmitriy Pichugin was airborne in the flypast and sent this exclusive report

FINAL YEARS OF THE POLISH ‘FITTER’
Poland’s Su-22 ‘Fitters’ are a rare breed these days and now look set to be replaced by new F-35s. These charismatic heavyweights will continue in service for a few more years, yet they are looking decidedly obsolete in the modern battlespace as Niels Roman details, with additional reporting by Rich Cooper and exclusive photos by Katsuhiko Tokunaga

FANGS OUT FRONT
The AH-1F Cobra played an important role in the ground war against Iraq in Operation ‘Desert Storm’. Joe Copalman provides a fascinating insight into the aircrews who were plunged into a whole new operating environment and had to adapt to the challenges of the desert

BLACK SEA ‘WARHAWKS’
Since joining NATO in 2004, the Romanian military has faced significant modernization challenges. However, the service entry of second-hand F-16 Fighting Falcons has enabled its air force to become far more capable and ready to meet regional commitments as Daniele Faccioli and Giovanni Colla discover

SPANISH PREDATORS
The Spanish Army airmobile force known as FAMET (Fuerzas Aeromóviles del Ejército de Tierra) is completing a major upgrade that is introducing the latest European rotary platforms to provide an enviable capability for this impressive fighting force. Fréderic Lért reports with photos by Anthony Pecchi

GOING HIGH-END DOWN UNDER
The Australian Defence Force is aiming for high-end capabilities by engaging in an increasing range of demanding exercises, with the latest ‘Talisman Sabre’ underscoring this progress as Jaryd Stock details

CUTTING EDGE
David Axe’s column looking at the latest technological developments in military aerospace

FLASHBACK
Combat Aircraft’s trip down memory lane. This month it’s the CH-54 Tarhe