Beginning with the F-22A Raptor on the cover, the December issue of AFM includes fascinating exclusive coverage of warplanes in conflict: from the sophisticated French Air Force Rafales taking the fight to so-called Islamic State in Opération Chammal to the rugged L-159 ALCA that recently marked its second anniversary in Iraq.
As well as catching up with the 1st Fighter Wing Raptors from Joint Base Langley-Eustis at RAF Lakenheath, other reports from the UK include a look at the implications for the country’s air arms in the run-up to the latest defence review.
A modern air arm is only as good as its training, a fact reflected in the work of the bi-national Advanced Jet Training School that schools Belgian Air Component jet pilots at Cazaux in southwest France, and the Luftwaffe’s Fighter Weapons School, which provides demanding training for top Eurofighter pilots. Meanwhile, Air Power Association President Air Marshal (Ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE looks at the challenges of providing future frontline pilots with operational readiness training tomeet the demands of fifth-generation fighters.
Exercise Reports bring you the latest from Falcon Leap, an international paratrooper exercise organised by the Royal Netherlands Army’s 11 Air Mobile Brigade, and Grifone 2017 in Italy, which focused on mountain search and rescue.
AFM’s correspondents continue their round-up of European maritime patrol aircraft fleets, looking at Greece, Ireland and Italy, and analysis of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force concludes with an assessment of its latest structure and an up-to-date order of battle.
The Royal Thai Police Aviation Division is undergoing modernisation, with several helicopter types being replaced, as Dino van Doorn investigates, while Stephan de Bruijn reveals how time looks to be running out for the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s unique Gulfstream IV.