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Fairford Firepower

RAF Fairford is being used as the launch pad for much of the USAF’s heavy bomber commitment during Operation Allied Force. AFM visited the Gloucestershire airfield in May to take a look at modern strategic bombing.

The Cold War days of Strategic Air Command, it was the B-47 and B-52 bomber fleets that were to provide America and NATO with a global bombing and nuclear deterrent force. Today, precision strike and interdiction strike missions are the preferred options, but one of the weapons platforms available to planners is the final variant of a 50-year old Boeing design — the B-52H

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Perhaps the most marketable aircraft currently held by AMARC is the F-16. Various governments from around the world have opted to buy or lease F-16s previously stored at AMARC following retirement from the US Air Force under a Foreign Military Sale. A Foreign Military Sale starts with government to government agreements. The Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs will approve a sale and the specific hardware, software and weapons which can be released. In most instances, the customer will send out an advance party to AMARC to go through the records of individual aircraft available within AMARC to

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Exhibition Opens at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

News of the opening of a new exhibition in a military history museum is always of interest to enthusiasts and militaria collectors who are keen to see displays of items and learn more about the aspects of a campaign or battle. The new display which opened at the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton in Somerset on 11 July tells the history of the campaign known as the Battle of the Atlantic and when The Armourer was invited we eagerly accepted and went along to see for ourselves.

The Battle of the Atlantic can be said to have begun on

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Exercise Ample Train

Patrick Allen reports on a major biannual NATO training exercise held for the first time at RAF St Mawgan.

OPERATIONS DENY FLIGHT, the United Nations enforcement of an air-exclusion zone (AEZ) over Bosnia by NATO fighter aircraft, and Warden over Northern Iraq, are practical example of why NATO exercises such as Ample Train are important and necessary.

Operation Deny Flight has already involved up to six NATO air forces, deploying their fighter aircraft to other NATO nation’s airfields to undertake operational missions. These include the Dutch, French, United States and Royal Air Forces operating their fighter aircraft from Italian Air

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Over the next few months we will be bringing you up to date with the changes that have affected the European Air Forces over the past couple of years. It would not have been possible to do this accurately without the great support provided to us by our broad network of correspondents, to which we are indebted. Alan Warnes.

Part One covers Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Bulgaria. Croatia. Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia and Finland.


IT IS clear that severe rationalisation will have to take place, and the Albanian Air Force (Forcat Ushtarake Ajore Shqipetaire) plans to trim

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Eurofighter shapes up.

DURING A press briefing on March 3 Eurofighter GmbH confirmed that manufacture of the next batch of Eurofighter Typhoons was now underway. Sub assembly of the front-fuselage commenced at BAe during December 1998, as did the centre-fuselage at DASA, while CASA had commenced sub assembly on its first right wing in January.

Final assembly of the first of five instrumented production aircraft (IPA) is scheduled to occur during late 2000, first flight in 2001 and deliveries to commence in 2002. The first three aircraft will be two-seaters — IPA1 operated by BAe will be responsible for defensive aids sub-system integration;

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Eurofighter progress

FOLLOWING FIRST FLIGHTS of the first two Eurofighter 2000 prototypes, test flying has proceeded remarkably smoothly. Original plans to transfer DAI to Warton for the remainder of the test flying programme after its initial flight testing have been dropped. After around 10-12 flights each, both DA1 and DA2 will be temporarily grounded for flight control system and avionics upgrades which are not expected to be completed until autumn. At the BAe Warton families’ day on May 20 DA2 made its eighth flight and was expected to make only two more before being laid-up.

Seven prototypes and five instrumented pre-production aircraft

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Enemy Intercept

Aviation Video library, Freepost, Kelly House, Warwick Road, Tunbridge Wrells, Kent TNI I BR. Running Time 48 minutes, £12.99.

THIS PRODUCTION solely concerns the F-16 Falcon, F-15C Eagle, F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet, and appears to have been compiled almost entirely from USAF, USN, and news library footage (including the Gulf War). At the same time, the sound track comprises of interviews with various pilots over the telephone, which adds nothing to the poor sound reproduction. What scripted commentary there is, is more congratulatory than informative, and as air crew are not TV presenters, the language is rich in jargon

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End of an era

RELOCATION OF THE Defence Research Agency air fleet was completed on October 18, 1994, when the last research aircraft departed from Farnborough for Boscombe Down.

Tornado F.2A TIARA (Tornado Integrated Avionics Research Aircraft) ZD902, flown by Fit Lt Tim Price and Sqn Ldr Dave Southwood, look-off from Farnborough’s runway 07 at 13.10 hours, followed by a fast-and-low pass over the western dispersal area of this famous airfield.

The departure marks the end of research flying and the related aircraft engineering at Farnborough, roles it has fulfilled for 76 years, ever since the Royal Aircraft Establishment came into being. The hangars,

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ELITE 2004

Giovanni Taurino reports from Germany on Exercise elite, the annual German Air Force electronic warfare exercise.

THIS YEAR’S annual German Air Force electronic warfare training exercise, ELITE, was held at the Heuberg training area in southern Baden-Wurttemberg from May 3-14. Fifteen NATO nations, plus three other countries, developed and tested new tactical procedures in the most realistic scenarios possible, with Poland and Hungary acting as observers. For the aircrews, air defence forces and command-and-control personnel involved, ELITE is one of the highlights of the training programme. A total of 1,500 soldiers, some 110 ground vehicles and more than 90 aircraft

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