Airforces Monthly Magazine Issue 384 March 2020 Latest Issue

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Airforces Monthly Magazine Issue 384 March 2020

Please note this title will be removed from sale on 19 March 2020 and replaced with the latest issue



AFM’s opinion on the hot topics in military aviation.

Threat analysis: Iranian air defence systems
Tensions in the Middle East have mounted in the wake of the US drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, on January 3, followed by Tehran’s missile raid against Iraqi air bases five days later. Tom Cooper provides a timely guide to Iran’s air defence capabilities.

France’s ‘big stick’
As the Forces Aériennes Stratégiques begins its 56th year of continuous operations, Sébastien Buyck examines the capabilities of the air force’s arm of the French nuclear triad.

400,000 hours for Hohn’s Transalls
The C-160D Transall transports of Lufttransportgeschwader 63 have been stationed at Hohn air base, north of Hamburg, for more than 51 years. Alexander Golz visited them in their penultimate year of operations.

East Sale’s trainer transition
Patrick Dirksen and Frank Mink were invited to Royal Australian Air Force Base East Sale, Victoria, to witness operations by the PC-21 and learn more about the benefits of the new training system that comes with it.

‘Red Devils’ at Ghedi
An all-weather-capable fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, the two-seat Tornado was introduced by the Italian Air Force in the early 1980s. Today, the survivors have been upgraded and fly with a single wing – the 6° Stormo at Ghedi – as Mauro Zanotti explains.

Postcard from Dhaka
AFM contributors Hans van der Wilt and Bas Stubert report from Dhaka, where Bangladesh celebrated its annual Victory Day last December 16. Bangladesh – formerly East Pakistan – became an independent nation on that date in 1971 and the anniversary celebrations include a mass flypast over the capital city.

Africa’s forgotten war: Part two
Acclaimed war journalist Al J Venter concludes his two-part feature from Bangui in the Central African Republic where, as insurgency in the area increases, so does the deployment of air assets.

Japanese sub-hunter
Designed from the start as a dedicated maritime patrol aircraft, Kawasaki’s P-1 boasts a longer range than the Boeing P-8, has more weapons hardpoints, more sensor operators and features a tail-mounted magnetic anomaly detector. Marcin Przeworski investigates.

Spreading the knowledge
From Leeuwarden Air Base in the Netherlands, Kees van der Mark reports on the latest edition of the multinational F-16 Fighter Weapons Instructor Training course.


International F-35 sales update
Fifth-generation fighters are a priority requirement for many of the world’s leading air forces. As Alan Warnes explains, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the weapon of choice for the US and many of its allies.

COMMANDER’S UPDATE BRIEFING: Does going private pay?
The size, shape and make-up of Western Regular Features militaries have changed significantly since the end of the Cold War. As Air Power Association President Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE explains, public-private partnerships have emerged as an attractive way of balancing the requirement to maintain scale and capability while meeting budgetary constraints.

Book reviews
AFM evaluates some of the latest offerings in aviation literature.

Salvador Mafé Huertas was embedded with a Spanish Army tactical air assault group during Toro (‘Bull’), the force’s main annual field exercise.

Dave Allport details the world’s most recent military accidents.

Coming up
See what’s featuring in your AFM next month.


No 1 (Fighter) Squadron
The world’s oldest flying squadron in active service, No 1 (Fighter) Squadron provides part of the Northern Quick Reaction Alert, securing the skies in the RAF’s mission to defend UK airspace.

No II (Army Co-operation) Squadron
Based at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland, the Typhoon FGR4 is the 23rd aircraft type to have been flown by No II (Army Co-operation) Squadron since it was first established in 1912.

No 3 (Fighter) Squadron
The first frontline RAF unit to operate the Typhoon, No 3 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, is a key part of the RAF’s mission to respond to threats to UK airspace.

No 6 Squadron
Lossiemouth-based No 6 Squadron provides part of the Northern Quick Reaction Alert and has conducted NATO air policing in the Baltic, combat missions in Libya and has contributed to Operation Shader in the Middle East.

No IX (Bomber) Squadron
The latest addition to the Typhoon Force, No IX (Bomber) Squadron was re-established at RAF Lossiemouth last year as the Scottish base’s fourth quick reaction alert unit.

Commanding the force
Jamie Hunter meets Air Cdre Mark Chappell, the Royal Air Force’s Typhoon Force Commander, who oversees all elements of the current operation.

No XI (Fighter) Squadron
The fourth RAF Typhoon unit, No XI (Fighter) Squadron, at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, was the second of the frontline formations. Last year, the squadron had a busy posting to Estonia under Operation Azotize, part of the 50th rotation for NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission.

No 12 Squadron
A unique formation in the Typhoon Force, RAF Coningsby-based No 12 Squadron is a joint RAF and Qatar Emiri Air Force unit charged with training Qatari pilots. It will head to the Middle East to continue this mission before ultimately returning to the UK and re-equipping with Tranche 1 jets.

Order of battle

No 29 Squadron
Stationed at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, No 29 Squadron is the RAF’s Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) and its biggest fast jet operator.

No 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron
An arm of the Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, the Coningsby-based No 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron runs trials and assesses Typhoon systems and upgrades that are bound for the operational units.

No 1435 Flight
Now flying the Typhoon FGR4, No 1435 Flight’s history dates to the Battle of Malta in 1942. The unit has been posted continuously to the Falklands since 1988.

Images Copyright © Key Publishing

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