June 2018As the Royal Air Force prepares to retire the Tornado next year, AFM presents a special collector’s issue looking back on the jet’s service milestones and catches up with the Tornado GR Force, which remains as busy as ever, including recent trilateral strikes against Syria.<br><br>Our correspondents around the world bring coverage of the French Army’s 3rd Combat Helicopter Regiment operating Pumas and Gazelles in the far northeast of France, MiG-29s based at Ivano-Frankivs’k International Airport tasked with defending the skies over western Ukraine, and from Palanquero in Colombia, the last bastion of the classic T-37 Tweet in the Americas.<br><br>The cycle of exercises puts the spotlight on the Tactical Leadership Programme, Europe’s answer to TOPGUN, which celebrated its 40th anniversary at Albacete, Spain. Spangdahlem Air Base hosted a Combat Readiness Exercise in March, when ‘Vipers’ from the Ohio Air National Guard’s 112th Fighter Squadron touched down in Germany. Cutting edge training is profiled with exclusive oversight of Exercise Cobra Warrior, which reveals how contractor Inzpire works within No 92 Squadron in a prime expression of the RAF’s ‘Whole Force’ approach.<br><br>Douglas Barrie and Piotr Butowski assess the current short-range air-to-air missile offerings from China, Israel, Japan, Russia and South Africa, while Alan Warnes visits Martin-Baker, to see how the company has maintained its position as a world-leader in escape systems for more than 70 years. <br><br>Regular features include a Force Report on the Croatian Air Force, the conclusion of our Survey rounding up the maritime patrol aircraft fleets of Europe’s NATO and Partnership for Peace members, and Air Power Association President, Air Marshal (Ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB, CBE weighs up the pros and cons of light attack aircraft. Alongside book reviews and readers’ correspondence, you’ll find all the latest military aviation news and attrition updates from across the globe.
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