Airforces - Typhoon school

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http://www.airforcesmonthly.com #361 APRIL 2018 // 15


Randolph


will be


fi rst base


for T-X
THE US Air Force
announced on February
21 that the forthcoming
Advanced Pilot Trainer
(T-X) will first replace
the T-38C Talon at Joint
Base San Antonio-
Randolph, Texas. The
airfield was selected as
the preferred location
for the first T-X aircraft,
which is scheduled to
arrive in 2022. The T-X
will replace the T-38 at
other undergraduate pilot
training bases, including
Columbus Air Force Base,
Mississippi; Laughlin
AFB, Texas; Sheppard
AFB, Texas; and Vance
AFB, Oklahoma. Final
decisions on locations
are dependent on
the outcome of
environmental analyses.
Stationing the T-X at JB
San Antonio-Randolph
first, the home of USAF
instructor pilot training,
ensures that a T-X
instructor pilot pipeline
will be established before
the transition to T-X
training at the other flying
training locations. The
USAF expects to award
a contract for the new
aircraft later this year.
“As we bring the T-X
into service, we’ll base
them at our current
undergraduate pilot
training bases which have
the airspace and runways
needed for the mission,”
said Secretary of the Air
Force Heather A Wilson.

F-15E gains JASSM-ER capability


THE US Air Force’s
operational F-15E fleet has
fielded the Joint Air-to-
Surface Standoff Missile
Extended Range (JASSM-
ER). The weapon achieved
full operational capability on

the Strike Eagle following
integration and fielding of
the Suite 8 Operational
Flight Program. The
F-15E is the first Universal
Armament Interface (UAI)-
compliant platform to field

the weapon. UAI-compliant
aircraft feature standardised
interfaces to support future
weapon integration. The
addition of the JASSM-ER
to the F-15E’s inventory
was led by the USAF

Seek Eagle Office.
JASSM-ER is also carried
by the B-1B and is in the
process of being integrated
on the F-16C/D and the
internal bay and underwing
hardpoints of the B-52H.

A USAF F-15E fl ies with a JASSM. With a standoff range of over 500nm, the JASSM-ER has more than two-and-a-half times
the reach of the baseline weapon. USAF

MQ-9s fl y into


Kandahar from Turkey
IN A first for US Air
Forces Central Command
(CENTCOM), MQ-
Reaper unmanned aerial
vehicles (UAVs) flew to
a new assignment in
Afghanistan rather than
being dismantled and
shipped in on board C-17A
transports. The drones
flew to Kandahar Airfield in
January direct from Incirlik
Air Base in Turkey where
they had been supporting
Operation Inherent Resolve.
This method of deployment
allowed the UAVs to begin
combat sorties within 24
hours of arrival. MQ-9s


have previously been
flown from one location to
another in various theatres,
but not in CENTCOM.
In related news, the US
Navy is in talks to acquire
former USAF MQ-
Predator UAVs, according
to USAF officials. The
air force plans to cease
MQ-1 flying operations on
March 9 as it transitions
to an all MQ-9 Reaper
force. Although the
USAF is retiring the
drone, other MQ-1s
will continue flying with
government contractors
until the end of the year.

A FORWARD detachment
from the US Navy’s
Helicopter Sea Combat
Squadron (HSC) 25 ‘Island

Knights’ recently completed
two weeks of tactics
exchanges and multi-
mission training flights

with the F-35Bs of Marine
Fighter Attack Squadron
(VMFA) 121 at Marine Corps
Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.

HCS-25’s Detachment 6,
based at Naval Air Facility
Atsugi, met with pilots and
aircrew of VMFA-121 to
share expertise on close
air support procedures and
interoperability to support the
Expeditionary Strike Group.
The ‘Island Knights’ and
VMFA-121 are slated to
embark together aboard
the USS Wasp (LHD 1)
for a scheduled patrol,
which will be the first time
F-35Bs deploy aboard a US
Navy ship in the Seventh
Fleet area of operations.
While in Iwakuni, the
detachment also conducted
flights to enhance surface
warfare proficiency with
the MH-60Rs of Helicopter
Maritime Strike Squadron
(HSM) 51 ‘Warlords’.

‘Island Knights’ train with F-35Bs


Above: MQ-9s on the fl ight line at Kandahar Airfi eld last November. Reapers have returned to
Afghanistan as the US seeks to bolster its air power in the country. USAF/Staff Sgt Divine Cox

MH-60R and MH-60S Seahawk
helicopters assigned to HSM-51 and
HSC-25 rendezvous off the coast
of Hiroshima following a strike co-
ordination and reconnaissance
training mission from Iwakuni.
US Navy/Lt Chris Kimbrough
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