AIRCRAFT FROM FOUR nations began arriving at RAF St Mawgan for Exercise Resolute Response on April 27. The maritime exercise involved aircraft from Germany (Tornados from MFG.2), Norway (P-3N and P-3Cs from 333 Skv), USA (an EC-24A from FEWSG, plus P-3Bs from VP-64 and VP-66) and the UK The exercise finished on May 15.
Other aircraft taking part in Britain included eight F-16As from the 169th FS/Illinois ANG, which arrived at RAF Fairford on April 30 accompanied by four KC-135Es from 108th AREFS/Illinois ANG. For many, this was the last chance to see the unit operating its F-16s, as it
Continue reading UK visitors
THE UK is looking to equip its Eurofighter Typhoon with the Rafael Litening III target designation pod, according to RAF sources. Moves to buy the Israeli-made pod are the result of the RAF’s emerging requirement to field multi-role capabilities on Typhoon as soon as possible.
«It’s not a done deal yet,» commented a senior RAF officer involved in the Typhoon project. «We want them to equip the final aircraft of our Tranche 1 Typhoon buy in the 2007 time scale. Then we will retro-fit the earlier aircraft so we don’t have a fleet within a fleet.”
The final decision on
Continue reading UK Wants Litening Pod for typhoons
ROYAL NAVY Sea King HC4 support helicopters are flying in Afghanistan with modified composite rotor blades.
Carson composite blades and a new five-bladed tail rotor allow the helicopter to operate with increased carrying capacity and speed in the demanding conditions of Afghanistan.
US-designed Carson blades were selected following an extensive test and evaluation programme conducted by ATEC (Aircraft Test and Evaluation Centre), part of the UK Joint Test and Evaluation Group
AS THE RAF Typhoon Force, based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, continues its efforts to expand the type’s capabilities and prepare for its future operational debut, AFM has received details
Continue reading Typhoon Teething Problems
IN FEBRUARY 1994 161 Filo of the Turkish Air Force at Bandirma received its first LANTIRN-equipped Block 40 F-16C, making the unit the first outside the USAF to gain the LANTIRN night-attack capability. Block 40 F-16s have longer undercarriage legs to accommodate the two underfuselage LANTIRN pods — targeting on the right and navigation on the left — bulged undercarriage doors and relocated landing lights on the nosegear doors.
The squadron had seven LANTIRN F-16s in service by May 1994 and the whole unit is expected to have converted within two years following which 162 Filo, also at Bandirma, will
Continue reading Turkish News
DESPITE SUPPOSED retirement of the type by the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), a few Tupolev Tu-154Ms still seem to be in PLAAF service. One that has been confirmed as still active is B-4028 (c/n 93A967), which was repainted at least a couple of years ago in a scheme with CAAC titles and the national flag on the fin. As with the remainder of the 16 PIAAF Tu-154Ms, it was previously operated by PLAAF-owned China United Airlines (CUA) on both commercial and government VIP flights. Although all Tu-154s operating with commercial airlines in China were grounded in 1999
Continue reading Tu-154M Still in PLAAF Service
AN OFFICIAL REPORT by the Joint Airmiss Working Group (JAWG) into a near-miss involving on RAF Tornado F.3 and a civilian Piper PA-34 Seneca strongly criticises the air traffic controllers. The report added that the controllers involved were not to undertake screening duties until their competence had been checked — all have now been returned to duty. The incident occurred on August 19, 1992 at 4,500ft (1,350m) over RAF Waddington when four jockeys, including Lester Piggott, were flying in the Seneca from Newmarket to York. The Coningsbybased 56R Sqn Tornado F.3 was one of four temporarily resident at Waddington for
Continue reading Tornado air miss report
THE FIRST OF three development Tornado GR.4s, converted from development GR.1 XZ631/P15, made its first flight from British Aerospace’s Warton plant on May 29. GEC-Marconi equipment in the aircraft includes the HUD, cockpit symbol generator, SPARTAN passive terrain referenced navigation and terrain following system, digital map database and display, terrain following display, computer loading system, video recorder and enhanced stores management system. The company’s NVG and FUR equipment will also be integrated into the MLU aircraft.
Following its success in the Gulf War, the GEC-Marconi Avionics thermal-imaging airborne loser-designator (TIALD) pod is also to be included as part of the
Continue reading Tornado GR.4 first flight
EIGHTEEN RAF TORNADO F.3s have been effectively grounded following the discovery of serious airframe damage after servicing by a private contractor. The MoD contracted out airframe modification work to increase the fatigue index of the RAF’s 97 Tornado F.3s and the first contract for 15 aircraft with BAe has already been satisfactorily completed.
The second contract for 18 aircraft was won by Airwork Services which undercut BAe’s bid of £11 million by £4 million.
The Mod has now cancelled the contract but it may cost up to £6 million per aircraft to rectify the damage.
Work on the aircraft was
Continue reading Tornado F.3s damaged by contractors
A review of the RAF in its 75th anniversary year, by Paul Jackson.
OVERSHADOWED by the RAF’s 75th anniversary celebrations on April 1, is the 25th birthday of Strike Command on April 30 and the 50th anniversary of the Ruhr dams raid on May 16-17. For the RAF, it seems that great events proceed in 25-year cycles — and that is most certainly true today, as the service comes to grips with a further series of structural changes. Sadly for the aviation enthusiast, these are associated with cuts in the strength of the RAF on par with the years following
Continue reading The Royal Air Force – 1993