Jim Haseltine’s stunning cover photo of an F-15C pumping out red-hot decoy flares presages an in-depth study of the sometimes-overlooked world of fighter self-defences. Despite the permissive airspace in which coalition warplanes often work, protecting aircrews in the battlespace remains a top priority. Indeed, aerial kills of manned fighters (as well as drones) are back in the news, and the US Navy’s recent shootdown of an Su-22M-4 over Syria is covered in detail in this issue.
On the industry side, Santiago Rivas reports on the sometimes painful progress made by Argentina’s indigenous jet trainer, the IA-63 Pampa. Remarkably, not only does this aircraft remain in production, but new developments are also under way, signalling a possible change in fortunes.
Exercise reports include the European Defence Agency’s Fire Blade helicopter exercise in Hungary, Northern Lightning at Volk Field Air National Guard Base in Wisconsin, and the Arctic Challenge Exercise, now one of the largest military manoeuvres of its kind in Europe. There’s also coverage of the popular NATO Tiger Meet, held this year at Landivisiau in France.
Two aerospace experts, Justin Bronk and Jon Lake, go head to head in our Debate feature, which tackles the question of whether the P-8 Poseidon was the right choice for the UK’s maritime patrol aircraft requirements.
The regular Intel Report and Force Report look at Pakistan Air Force’s highly effective anti-terrorist missions in the FATA region, and one of Europe’s youngest air arms: the Macedonian Air Force.
There are also articles on Italy’s military helicopter training unit, 72º Stormo, and extensive coverage of the historic deployment to Europe of all three of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s strategic bombers.
You will also find all your usual military aviation news from around the world, and Attrition, bringing you up to date with the most recent military accidents.