Photo: Winner of the 2019 Category A – Current Equipment was SAC Chris Thompson-Watts, who shot this split break by a pair of Hawk T2s from RAF Valley in Wales.
With over 1,000 images and 30 hours of video to choose from, judges for the 2019 Royal Air Force Photographic Competition were spoilt for choice.
The results are now in, and AFM is happy to present some of the entrants in the Current Equipment category, highlighting the variety of types in service with the air arm. Judging took place at the Royal Air Force Museum London and a panel of three industry professional judges decided which ones make the cut.
Judging this year’s competition were: Jim Hedge, picture editor at the Guardian; freelance photographer Edmond Terakopian; and the Press Association’s Martin Keene.
The best nine images are chosen by the three judges before they are opened up to the public online, who decide which of the images will win the ‘Peoples’ Choice’ category.
1st – SAC Chris Thompson-Watts, Photo ACSSU Split break – Two Hawk T2s take flight over North Wales. The flight involved Hawks from both No IV (Army Co-operation) Squadron and 25 (Fighter) Squadron, following the split to form two squadrons, to meet demands in the UK Military Flying Training System (UK MFTS) and the increase in demand for fast jet pilots.
2nd – Cpl Matty Matthews, ACSSU, RAF Halton So Many Snacks, So Little Time – This image was captured while sat on the back of the ramp of a C-130J Hercules. The aircraft was taking part in a airborne delivery training sortie that dropped loads ranging from 100kg to a tonne, over Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Upon completion, the aircraft then linked up with a Voyager to complete some low-light air-to-air refuelling over the West Coast of England. AFM readers may recognise it from our recent feature on the special forces support work of No 47 Squadron.
3rd – Senior Aircraftman Edward Wright, ACSSU, RAF Halton Back in the Saddle – This photo shows a Royal Air Force No 27 Squadron Chinook helicopter from RAF Odiham flying in formation with two US Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallions in Arizona. Two Chinooks from No 27 Squadron, RAF Odiham, Hampshire, deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, to take part in a twice-a-year training a development programme known as WTI (Weapons and Tactics Instructor). The course aims to develop aircrew – both pilots and NCOs – to an instructional level. It is conducted in the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) building. Read more about the deployment here.
Highly Commended – Mr Steve Lympany –RAF Brize Norton New Kid On The Block – The image shows the first RAF F-35B air-to-air refuelling sortie from a Voyager tanker in the UK. The F-35 took fuel from an RAF Voyager from No 10 Squadron, based at RAF Brize Norton on October 16 last year.
November 2019This summer, four Italian Air Force F-2000A Typhoons deployed to Mihail Kogălniceanu air base in Romania. Here they formed the Task Force Air 4° Stormo, working alongside the Romanian Air Force for surveillance and defence of local airspace. Two of those jets appear on the cover of this issue of AFM and there’s more from the Italian Air Force inside with an exclusive visit to its only frontline unit flying the C-27J Spartan multi-mission airlifter.
An official ceremony on September 24 marked the end of the TB30 Epsilon’s tenure with the flying school of the Armée de l’Air. Another European trainer is also bowing out soon and Jamie Hunter met the last students learning their trade as fighter pilots on the RAF’s Tucano T1. Our correspondent Joe Campion was also on hand as the RAF’s Tucano Display Team completed its final public performance at Southport Air Show.
Attack helicopters feature too, with reports on the Cypriot National Guard’s Mi-35 Hind and SA342 Gazelle and from Pathankot Air Force Station in Punjab, as the AH-64E(I) Apache formally enters service with the Indian Air Force.
From the US, we bring coverage of the 115th Fighter Wing – the ‘Badger Air Militia’ in Madison, Wisconsin – and of the 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron ‘Black Widows’, whose F-35As settled in Europe this summer as part of a Theater Security Package.
On the industry side, the focus is on South Africa’s air-launched weapons, where new companies are entering the market alongside established giants, such as state-owned aerospace enterprise Denel Dynamics.
Intel Report looks back on a busy few months for the latest fighter rotations on the Baltic Air Policing mission. There’s an Exercise Report on the biennial Northern Edge exercise in the wilds of Alaska, while Air Power Association President, Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE, looks at the problems of confronting a near-peer adversary.