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Author Topic: Air Forces Monthly - July 2005  (Read 5656 times)

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Air Forces Monthly - July 2005
« on: July 27, 2005, 01:57:33 PM »
Well, I am not too sure if it is worth the effort to keep posting reviews. But well, here is July, bit late. Current issue is the August edition, which will be reviewed soon.

Somewhat more interesting than last month, although not many great stories. I thing that caught my attention was the 1000th flight mark of the Korean T-50. They have for 90% completed the program and the first will be delivered in October. While flight testing commenced just 3 years ago.Then when you turn to the next page, there is the LCA Tejas completed only 400 flights, in four years. This is perhaps a clear indication of the importance of having backup from a experienced foreign aircraft company. The news concludes with some news and photos from African countries, which is always interesting.

Belarus Air Parade
This article is composed of photos of the air parade and text describing the parade and air force. I used this to compose the Belarus air force pictorial for which I used photos of the same aircraft earlier that day at their staging base. The info has also been corrected by a Belarusian military aviation enthusiast living nearby, so if you are looking for Belarusian AF info and photos, check out If you want the aircraft in formation photos of 4 then buy the AFM.

Royal Thai Air Force
Interesting air force report, going into the structure and types. Great info on the F-16 deliveries and current status of the F-5 fleet. And the part about the AlphaJets is also quite good. Great photos as well. The remainder of the article is kind of standard stuff, training, heli-ops and transports. AFM produced some inaccuracies though. In one place the AlphaJet acquisition contract is stated as one million Baht, which is the same according to one place as 25.000 GBP, next 250.000 USD, and then 25.000 USD. This kind of mistakes should be noted by the editor IMHO!

Quantity or Quality
Article by Jon Lake, a premier aviation expert in the UK. However I feel, although I like his books, that his articles are not too well written. The article describes how the UK scaled down their air force. And the concerns of further reductions in numbers. Typhoon being more capable aircraft, but you still need four to create a fourship and in low density conflict with deployments all over the world you still need deployments. I think his view is very much taken from the air power effectiveness viewpoint. But if you take it from a maintenance viewpoint, you needed four Tornados to ensure you have two on QRA stand-by. With the improved maintenance access and reduced need for repairs/checks you may need only 3 to ensure 2 on stand-by. The questions raised in the articles gives some things to think about and the author is asking for feedback, which will be posted in next issues. However the most interesting part for me, are the couple of pictures from the early days of jet power.

The USAF is currently restructuring the air force and tries to close bases, consolidate units in order to gain economies of scale. This article gives an overview of the changes that may or may not be made. Shortly after I received this AFM, changes to these plans were all over the media already. I don't think it is particilarly useful, and think there must be an official document on the I-net somewhere that can provide you with the same info.

NATO Response Force goes live
Report on exercise Noble Javelin 2005 held on Gran Canaria. The first NRF operation. The articles outlines the NRF concept, the exercise and the aircraft involved. If you read the NRF commander's remarks, it all seems quite nice. But if you consider the aircraft involved, it was a poor effort. It might have been a Spanish-Dutch exercise. I can see why though, the focus was on the command structure, so the deployable command and control center was actually the most important part of the exercise. It feels kinda strange to go into detail with the few aircraft types involved then. Was it worth covering this exercise in a 4 pages report?

F/A-22 Raptor the first battle
Interesting article describing how the F/A-22 is battling for its life already. Yup budget and procurement cuts are the major item in this article. But it also describes the current status of the program and the  first squadron. Then it discusses the export potential merit or nightmare, just like we did. Here the prominent argument for countries to buy the Raptor is the need for smaller numbers, because it is a force multiplier that can replace two for one. Funny, just after Jon Lake's views on quantities. In all, it is a very interesting article with some detailed information.

Brazilian Bandits: The Embraer Bandeirante
If you are intro small transport aircraft or the Brazilian aviation, this is certainly something you could buy the magazine for. However, the article is not that great. It first hastly described the origins and all the production variants with their differences. The monotone summing up makes it quite boring to read. The foreign operator part is quite interesting. The air force service parts is another list-up, but this time of deliveries and units followed by some MPA intercepts and SAR mission records. For some versions the articles gives the exact numbers (produced/delivered/in service) but for others that info lacks. I can't help to feel that the author should maybe have done some more research for these. Although for the article it doesn't really matter. The most interesting part is the last few paragraphs in which a retired Col. expresses his views on several types. But as they say, you won't find any pilot which doesn't respect his aircraft.

Iraq Road Warriors
This fine piece describes the current threats convoys in Iraq are facing and how aviation is used to protect the trucks against them. Firstly it describes the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) then it starts with electronic warfare. EC-130H/EA-6B  do their part in jamming to knock out the detonation systems often relying on remote control. Then the road reconnaissance is discussed, the used pods on the jets and use of U-2s. Then the UAV role is addressed, with some nice details on capabilities (range, altitude, flying hours) and the associated de-centralised processing of the images by laptops. I found this article quite interesting. It is well written. I knew about UAV/jamming and recce and I knew about the convoy attacks, but I never made the connection. This is a real war, and a vital one as well, although many supplies are taken through the air, it eventually comes down to the truckers for the country to rebuild and become independence. Their safety is more important, than the average person would think.

This is the end of another review. If you have any feedback please post a reply. I am putting some time into these and would like to know if they are helpful or good to read.
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
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