October 2019Cover star of the October issue of AFM is the Su-24 – a type that was of significant operational value to the Soviet Union during the latter years of the Cold War, but which is still relevant today. The Fencer bomber/recce fleets still hold their place in Russian service and the ageing type has performed fairly well in the Syrian campaign, as Alexander Mladenov discovers. Echoes of the Cold War are apparent in Sweden too, where we profile the Swedish Air Force’s first expansion in almost two decades. Elsewhere in Europe, Swiss Air Force planners are busy thinking about a replacement for their trusted F/A-18C/D Hornets, as Peter M Gunti reports. Other fighter types this month include the Spanish Air Force Typhoon, as the air arm masters its swing-role capabilities, embarks on an ambitious upgrade programme and even eyes further orders. There’s also a report from Transylvania, where Câmpia Turzii air base hosted a Theater Security Package of US Air Force Reserve Command F-16s. On the industry side, Vladimir Trendafilovski reports from the shores of the Black Sea, where the state-owned Odessa Aircraft Plant continues a long tradition of aircraft and engine repair and overhaul. In Latin America, meanwhile, this year’s F-AIR Colombia show was dominated by celebrations for the centenary of the Colombian Air Force. Trainers new and old are featured in the form of the Polish Air Force’s M-346 advanced jet. We also begin a two-part review of the RAF Tucano’s retirement, as Derek Bower charts the history of the aircraft that helped to train most of today’s RAF frontline fast-jet pilots. Air Power Association President, Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE, continues the theme as he focuses on the aircrew element at the heart of every first-class air force’s training system.
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