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ALTHOUGH THE Air Tanker consortium’s A330-based submission was judged most likely to offer a value-for-money solution to meet the RAF’s future air refuelling requirement in January 2004, this marked only the start of negotiations. Selection of the aircraft was far from being an order for the type. It was clear that the A330 represented far and away the best available tanker platform, a fact underlined by Australia’s decision in April 2004 to also procure the type (see Now Australia selects Airbus for Tanker Role, June, p4). However, the MoD’s long and exhaustive evaluation was aimed at selection of a refuelling
Continue reading Air Tanker A330-200 MRTT bid in doubt
DURING A TWO-week period four months ago, units from across the UK and selected NATO assets deployed to RAF Leuchars to participate in Combined Qualified Weapons Instructor (CQWI) Operational Phase 2 of 1998. The course is designed to take the most promising pilots and navigators from the front line and turn them into weapons, systems and tactical experts. Upon completion, the QWIs return to the squadrons and instruct junior and senior aircrews alike in all aspects of weaponry and tactical employment of air power.
The QWI courses from the Tornado GR.l, F.3, Jaguar and Harrier were linked together in June
Continue reading Air power experts.
— The Quiet Professionals Air Force Special Operations Command
Randy Jolly, Midland Counties, 208pp, colour, £19.95, hardback.
THE ADVENT OF satellite news has brought the harsh realities of combat directly to the home of anyone who can afford the subscription. We’ve been able to view glimpses of US activities in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait and most recently, UN movements in Somalia, but still have only a vague idea of the scale of operations. This extraordinary book paints a much more detailed picture of one of the key elements at the centre of the action — the AFSOC.
This elite organisation flies
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AUSTRALIA’S MINISTER for Defence, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP, announced details on February 18 of the new government’s intention to review the adequacy of current planning for Australia’s air combat capability through to 2045. The first stage will assess air combat capability requirements from 2010 to 2015. It will also examine the feasibility of retaining the F-lll in service beyond its scheduled retirement date of 2010. A comparative analysis will be undertaken of aircraft available to fill the gap that may be left by the withdrawal of the F-lll, and the status of plans to acquire the F/A-18F Super Hornet
Continue reading Air Combat Capability Review
HALFWAY THROUGH Fiscal Year (FY) 2004, the Israel Defence Force/Air Force (IDF/AF) is still adjusting to the budget cut that has been imposed upon it. The Israeli Ministry of Defence (MoD) budget has been cut over the past two years: by some 39.5 billion New Israeli Shekels (NIS) (£4.77 billion) in FY2002 to 36.5 billion NIS (£4.41 billion) in FY2003, and then to 32.4 billion NIS (£3.92 billion) in FY2004, though in April the government gave back 1.6 billion NIS (£193 million).
Defining the impact of the cut, the IDF/AF (see Israel Air Force, August p54-64) decided to preserve —
Continue reading AGEING AIRCRAFT
ON AUGUST 2, as AFM was closing for press, the US Army awarded an industry team led by Lockheed Martin, a cost-plus-award fee contract, valued at $879 million, to complete development of the Aerial Common Sensor (ACS) programme. Lockheed Martin’s successful bid for the airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) system will be integrated on Embraer ERJ-145 type aircraft. Embraer will assemble the aircraft and fit the mission systems in Florida at a new facility at the former Naval Air Station at Cecil Field, outside Jacksonville.
The IxKkheed Martin proposal was selected over a Northrop Grumman-led team offering a version
Continue reading Aerial Common Sensor Contract Award
GRAL JUAN N ALVAREZ Airport, some 9 miles (15km) from the centre of Acapulco, Mexico, played host to its second international airshow on February 9. The ‘Dia de la Aviacion’ was held in conjunction with the three-day Aeroexpo ’99 trade show taking place nearby, which had to occupy a mid-week slot to avoid clashing with local elections at the weekend.
The two-hour airshow was a tremendous improvement over the previous one in 1997 — even the speeches were cut down to a more bearable 10 minutes, after nearly an hour last time. Once again, there was no formal static display,
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In the immediate post-war years, the Royal Air Force was content that the English Electric Canberra would suffice as a method of delivering weapons on almost any target in Western Europe.
However, by the early 1950s, the prospects of the Canberra being able to survive an encounter with the large numbers of MiG-15s that were equipping Warsaw Pact air forces looked ever more dismal.
It was on this basis that the Ministry of Supply issued a specification for design studies for a new bomber in 1952. For the time, the specification was very demanding, calling for a bomber capable of
Continue reading AC TSR-2 vc AVRO CANADA CF-105 ARROW
NO 44 Squadron of the South African Air Force (SAAF) came into being on February 8, 1944, having been originally formed as 43 Sqn. On April 27 of that year the unit took delivery of its first C-47 Dakotas — a type still operated today — 52 years later! The variant currently operated, the C-47TP (Turbo Prop) is, however, a far cry from the original Dakota. Due to South Africa’s apartheid policy, the United Nations placed an embargo on the supply of military equipment to the country, therefore South Africa’s armed forces and defence industry had to look at other
Continue reading 44 AND THE TP