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Author Topic: Air Forces Monthly - May 2005  (Read 6400 times)

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Air Forces Monthly - May 2005
« on: May 14, 2005, 01:32:43 AM »
Okay, let's review another issue of AirForces Monthly ;-) I think it's better to devote one topic for each issue.

In the news a lot of firsts (F.2, F/A-22, IDF/AF AH-64D, PoAF EH101, Wedgetail, F-15K, HAL-built Su-30MKI) but also lots of sad news (MC-130H crash, Singapore A-4 withdraw, 206sqn disband, 899 disband, 16 and 54 Jaguar sqn disband, RN Gazelle retires). Anyway I was happy to see that Leandro Maldonado and Ivan Pena Nesbit (both great contributors to this website) got their pieces posted in the Latin America news.Good job!

American Air Dominance - Secured or Suandered
Very interesting and well written argument why the US should keep investing in air superiority. It explains the current threats and systems in both BVR and WVR air-to-air combat in a nut shell and the importance of Situational Awareness. Although at first I was asking myself what is this doing in the AFM, we already know about active radar missiles, Russian top fighters and HMS, I enjoyed reading it very much. But as the author (a former F/A-18 Hornet pilot) admits himself it sounds like it comes from a marketing brochure by Lockheed Martin as it explains why the JSF and F/A-22 are so important and shouldn't be cancelled, downgraded or cut on numbers. But IMHO the author is supplying the right arguments, and I wish politicians would read this. It says nothing really new, but it's well put together and good to read. I do have another problem with it, it is written from an all-american perspective and I am asking myself what it is doing in the World's AFM. It looks at non-US countries as supplier of arms to the enemy (but so is the US itself) and not as research/technology source, even though as the article admits the US was behind in the field of IR off-boresight missiles for decades.
note: mistake in the photo caption on page 30, it says the USAF flew against the Su-30MKI, photo shows clearly the canardless Su-30K, editorial error I suppose.

Belgian Military Aviation
A good report on the current structure and aircraft of the Belgium Air Component. It briefly discusses the various upgrades and recent deployments and cooperation with the French. It doesn't discuss possible replacement unfortunately and I am still not sure where the future lies for the Belgium military aviation. The issue's cover says as "Belgian Military Aviation The Decline of An Air Force, but the article, it doesn't critize this, in the intro it says why the politicians cuts the armed forces, but that's all. Informative article, but nothing really new compared to previous reports.

Eurofighters Are Go
This article gives you a full update on the current status of the programme and deliveries to its members, with detailed information regarding Tranche 1 and 2 and the prototypes. The added value of this article, compared to news reports, is that it discusses each partners current deliveries and service entry progress. But it sounds as written by EADS...

Bahrain Tankers
RAF VC10 supporting operations over the Gulf. AFM joined a flight and reports what happens. Mainly consists of interviews with the crew members, discusses procedures and differences with operating in the UK. Pretty much like any refuelling report.

Fight Like a Tiger
Report on Cope Tiger, an international exercise held in Thailand joined by air forces from Thailand, Singapore, USA, Indonesia, Malaysia. The latter two didn't attend this edition. The article explains the management part and the various kinds of missions, before going into the squadrons and aircraft that attended the exercise. Which means you get a good view on the current status of the Thai F-16, F-5, L-39 and Alpha Jet fleets and to some extend RSAF assets. Then the article tells you in which order the jets took off, who refuelled who, and the role of the aircraft in the exercise...which all sounded like every other exercise in my view only with different aircraft. The article of course concludes that it is good experience for everyone, that RTAF learns to be more professional, with any other exercise report. But the author also calls into question the lack of commitment of US Pacific Command...

The Digital Revolution Part 2
Part 1 discussed analogue vs digital and the digital camera revolution. This part discusses storage devices, file formats, compression, storing and backups, photo software (very limited!), colours management, output and conclusions. Maybe interesting, when you know nothing about computers, nothing about digital photos but don't want to learn too much from it. In my opinion, a total waste of 3 pages of this month's AFM.

AFM Feedback
Some interesting feedback this month. UAEAF AB 412s, French Air Base Designations, Venezuela Super Tucano, Algerian EC225 serial. If you are into one of these subjects, check it out.

Phantom Targets
Article on the use of full-scale aerial target drones (FSAT). It explains why the retired aircraft are used as drones, and why full-size drones are better. It tells the history of the use of drones and how they are controlled quickly, and then gets to the Phantoms giving details such as conversion process and costs, flight hours, and numbers. Then it tells about the 82nd ATRS, the unit operating the drones,  its history and current staff. It also gives a table of 82nd's QF-4 drones currently assigned. But what I liked most about this article was the table giving all the drones since 1950, the number of aircraft used and the number of missions. Unfortunately, from 1981 onwards it isn't complete.


Pilots of the Caribbean
Royal Army Air Corps 25 flight is based in Belize to support army exercise (jungle training). It first explains in short the history of Belize and the British military presence. Then the history of 25 flight and its roles, but details on the Bell 212 and reasons why come later in the article. The article explains the difficulties of operating in the jungle and remote landing sites and the effect it has on emergency procedures. Also explain the effect of the humid conditions on the aircraft performance. Then of course the article ends with how the flight support the locals and how important the flight is if the army wants to remain training in the jungle. Although a fairly predictable article about a not-so-interesting subject, I enjoyed reading it, and it gives you some thought on the operation of other South American countries operating over the dense jungle.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2005, 02:09:16 AM by Webmaster »
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Niels Hillebrand
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Offline Iván Peña Nesbit

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Re: Air Forces Monthly - May 2005
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2005, 09:40:41 PM »
Dude, txs a lot for the compliments about it, I couldn't make it without your kind help.....and is more to come....for both...AFM and Milavia ;) ;D


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