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An Island High n Dry

Yefim Gordon visits Russia’s Ostrov Naval Aviation Training Centre

THE DIVISION OF the Russian Air Force into branches — tactical aviation, long-range aviation (the strategic bomber force), army aviation, air defence (PVO) fighter units etc — calls for the establishment of a single tactical training centre for pilots and navigators within each branch. These training centres are responsible not only for mastering new types of hardware but for developing combat tactics against any potential adversary. (Like the USAF, the Soviet Air Force had its own ‘aggressor’ units.)

Such centres are staffed with the best military tacticians and flying instructors and

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AMARC

DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB on the outskirts of Tucson in Arizona, is a unique US Department of Defense location. Its uniqueness derives from a facility, occupying over 2,700 acres of land immediately east of the active Davis-Monthan airfield, that holds nearly 4,300 aircraft and helicopters in open storage — AMARC — the Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Center.

In November 1945, the US Army Air Forces’ Continental Air Command relinquished command of the then Davis-Monthan Field, to Air Technical Service Command. The base had been selected as the most appropriate location for storing surplus aircraft built and operated during the Second World War.

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All-Weather Warriors

The search for the Ultimate Fighter Aircraft by Mike Spick, Arms and Armour, 175pp, illustrated, £16.99

AS FIRST SIGHT it might well be considered that the story of the night fighter was a bit of a side-show in the development of air combat, but Mike Spick’s book puts it in rather a different context, that of it being the ideal fighter aircraft — the forerunner of the EF2000 or F-22 — but unable to compete on equal terms with the day fighters until the advent of the F-4 Phantom. This parity was achieved through the capabilities of high-power radar and

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Alenia to Refurbish Nigerian G222s

FINMECCANICA ANNOUNCED on July 15 that its Alenia Aeronautica subsidiary had signed a contract with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) for extensive refurbishment, assistance and logistical support for the force’s G222 transport fleet.

Six G222s had been supplied to the NAF in 1985 by Alenia’s predecessor, Aeritalia, but lack of funding for spares has meant that the aircraft have remained in storage since the early 1990s at Ilorin Air Base, some 186 miles (300km) from Lagos. Several attempts have previously been made to sell the aircraft, primarily in order to fund the refurbishment of other NAF aircraft, but no deals

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AIRPLANES

AIR TRANSPORT

FDR Found

Indonesian authorities have recovered the flight data recorder (FDR) of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jet that crashed there on May 9. The cockpit voice recorder has already been recovered and analyzed, with officials saying there are no indications of a technical fault. The FDR was recovered May 30 around 1 km (0.6 mi.) from the main crash zone in mountainous terrain. Sukhoi says the FDR, now with the Indonesian Investigation Commission of the National Committee for Transport Safety, appears undamaged.

AF447 Final Report

The French air accident investigation office, BEA, will issue its final report

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AirForces News 02 1991

A-12 Cancelled & B-2 Delayed

AFTER MONTHS OF uncertainty, the A-12A Avenger II development programme has been scrapped. The decision, announced by US Defence Secretary Dick Cheney after he had been briefed on the revised project programme on January 4, has stunned defence chiefs and comes as a bitter blow to General Dynamics and McDonnell Douglas which had jointly developed the aircraft as a next-generation carrier-borne replacement for the US Navy Grumman A-6E Intruder fleet. Original USN requirement for the type had been for 858 to be in service eventually but constant USN budget restrictions and cost overruns on the

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AirForces News 01 1993

US ASTOVL programme

A DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION of answers to a Reauest for Proposals (RFP) to demonstrate ana validate technologies for the US Defence Advanced Research Agency’s (DARPA) Thunder Cat advanced short take-off and vertical-landing (ASTOVL) aircraft programme was set for November 24. After examination of the RFP submissions for this joint DARPA/Navy/Marines/NASA project, DARPA was expected to select two contractors during January for Phase 2 of the programme, a three-year long investigation which will focus on detailed exploration of propulsion and other key technologies for the new aircraft. Contractors who have indicated their intention to bid on Phase 2

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Airbus Wins USAF KC-X Tanker Contract

US AIR Force officials announced on February 29 that the Airbus A330-200 has won its KC-X competition for a new air refuelling tanker. To be designated KC-45A in USAF service, the multi-role tanker-transport will be assembled at a new plant in Mobile, Alabama. Offered jointly by Northrop Grumman and Airbus’ parent company EADS, the aircraft was previously dubbed the KC-30 by the manufacturers.

$1.5 Billion SDD Phase

The initial $1.5 billion KC-X contract covers four flight test aircraft. It also includes five production options, targeted for a total of 64 aircraft, costing $10.6 billion. Ultimately, the programme will be worth

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Air Warfare in the middle East.

A AS ONE conflict ended, so another began. The 1967-70 War of Attrition saw sporadic but often intense air activity between the air arms of Israel, Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Again the Soviet Union rapidly made good the losses suffered by Egypt and Syria and thousands of Russian advisers came to rebuild the shattered armies and air forces. The Russians built hardened shelters to protect Egyptian and Syrian jets on the ground and established a massive air defence shield along the Suez and Golan Heights to counter Israeli air superiority. Air action began within a month of the end of

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Air War on the Edge

Author: Bill Norton

Details: Midland Countries, ISBN 1 85780 088 5, 432pp, illus, hbk, £50.00

WHEN I saw the by-line ‘A history of the Israel Air Force and its aircraft since 1947’ on the sleeve of the cover, I was intrigued to see just how comprehensive this account would be. I am pleased to report I was favourably impressed. I have no doubt that the censors in Israel would have stopped this book from being published if they could have their way because I have never seen such a detailed reference of this kind on the subject. Looking at the

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