Marshalls Worldwide

Once regarded as a small UK aerospace company, Marshall Aerospace now looks increasingly towards international markets. AFM paid it a visit during May.

CAMBRIDGE-BASED Marshall Aerospace, situated at its company-owned airport, specialises in maintenance and upgrade work on large military aircraft. From humble beginnings as a motor company in 1909, the present-day Marshall Group embraces a wide range of engineering disciplines, from vehicle design and manufacture to advanced aerospace projects. Now, with funding for entirely new projects severely restricted, the importance of aircraft service life extensions through systems modernisation has assumed a greater than normal significance in recent years, for

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Jon Lake reviews the career of the RAF’s Tornado GR.4 and look at its future evolution.

RAF STRIKE Command’s No.1 Group Tornado GR.4 force was the backbone of the UK’s contribution to Operation Telic, with 31 aircraft deploying to the Middle East, forming two Wings. These played a major role in the air war, providing capabilities the US Air Force lacked, and the aircraft won many new admirers. After years during which press coverage of the GR.4 upgrade had concentrated on the very high cost, delays and slippages, the GR.4 story was suddenly all about impressive capability and operational effectiveness,

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Marine Harriers Over Afghanistan

Warren E Thompson profiles US Marine Corp AV-8B Harrier operations in Afghanistan undertaken by VMA-513, the ‘Flying Nightmares’.

THE SOVIET Union sent its military forces into Afghanistan in 1979 with the aim of extending its influence in that area of the world. Ten years later, it pulled out after losing 15,000 men. Soviet aircraft losses were also extremely high — unable to cope with the unconventional type of warfare that the Mujahideen used, the Russians paid heavily for the lesson. Moving forward 13 years, the rugged and desolate terrain of Afghanistan again became a battleground, though this time not for

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Maple Flag

Mark Ayton, assisted by Paul Ridgway, visited CFB Cold Lake in Alberta for the annual Maple Flag exercise, which continues to attract nations from around the world.

IN 1977, at Nellis AFB, Nevada, Canada took part in Exercise Red Flag for the first time, gaining valuable air combat training. The following year, the Commander of the Canadian Air Command staged a similar four-week exercise — Maple Flag — at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, 170 miles (270km) northeast of Edmonton. This continued for nine years, with the exercise being held twice annually — until 1987 when it was re-scheduled as a

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Maltas Auxiliaries

Normed originally from personnel drawn from the banks, the Stock Exchange and similar institutions in the ‘square mile’ of the City of London, 600 Squadron has a permanent place of honour in the wartime history of Malta. During its brief time on the island, the Auxiliary Air Force unit became a seasoned, and very successful, night predator.

When war broke out, 600 was operating Bristol Blenheim Ifs in the night defence role moving, in turn, to Northolt, Manston, Hornchurch, Catterick and Colerne, and ending up at Predannack in October 1941. While at the Cornish airfield, it converted to the Beaufighter

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Malaysian Su-30MKM Prototypes

SUKHOI IS continuing to test two Su-30MKM prototypes which, earlier this year, were derived from two Su-30MKI pre-production aircraft bearing side numbers 05 and 04. These were built at the Irkustk plant in 2000 and 2001 respectively. Under the S0.9 billion contract, signed in August 2003, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will receive a total of 18 Su-30MKM twin-seat super-manoeuvrable multi-role fighters in 2007-08.

The airframe, powerplant and major aircraft systems of the Su-30MKM will be the same as those for the Su-30MKIs in service with the Indian Air Force. However, avionics will feature a number of significant modifications,

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Lt Col Donald S. Bryan

In early July 1943, I, along with 20,000 other young men, set sail aboard the Queen Elizabeth bound for war-torn England. After five quick days of zigzagging across the Atlantic avoiding stealthy German U-boats, we arrived at our new home. The 352nd Fighter Group was assigned to Bodney, a huge grass field with no runways. Cross-wind landings were a thing of the past, as we could now take off and land into the wind every time.

Our P-47s began to trickle in and arrive at Bodney, and soon all aircraft were present and accounted for. It felt good to get

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Low-cost Long-haul Can it work?

To operate profitably within Europe seems a distant hope for traditional network carriers. Lufthansa is currently rolling out a desperate attempt to lower its gigantic losses. That’s why it relaunched Germanwings as a low-cost carrier (LCC) on short-haul routes not operated from its Frankfurt or Munich hubs. Other network carriers like ,British Airways, Air France and Iberia have long withdrawn their core brands from most domestic and short-haul routes within Europe and instead focused on more lucrative long-haul flights from their big hub fortresses.

“It should be called ‘Heathrow Airways’ rather than British Airways,» said Lufthansa Chief Executive Officer Christoph

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Looking for the enemy.

Co-ordinating close air support (CAS) operations or operations against small targets from medium altitudes are key roles for Airborne Forward Air Controllers. The A FAC specialises in finding small targets and guiding other jets to them — and the air war in Kosovo has shown, once again, how effective this role can be within the US armed forces.

From the cockpit of the fighter-bomber flying above the battlefield it is difficult for the crew to identify the warring factions and their intended targets. Scoring a direct hit is obviously the objective, but even with precision guided weapons this can be

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Light strike

Harrier IIs, Hornets and Corsair lls

Joe Cupido & Tony Holmes, Osprey Military Aircraft, 128pp, colour, softback, £10.99.

EVEN THOUGH THE technique is semi-automated, I’ve always felt that landing a fighter safely onto an aircraft carrier demands the concentration and skill of a surgeon, together with the bravery of a bullfighter. Every time you see it performed you can’t help holding your breath. And take-off is just as awesome, as a stream of compact jets are catapulted off into instant airborne action.

The book Light Strike deals with those aircraft that have conducted these procedures for the US Navy and

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