4 // APRIL 2018 #361 http://www.airforcesmonthly.com
Contents April 2018 #
AFM’s opinion on the hot topics in military aviation.
32 Operation Olive Branch
In January 2018, the Turkish armed forces
began a campaign in northern Syria, officially
targeting Kurdish and Islamist factions.
Onur Kurç and Tayfun Yaşar examine
Turkey’s latest major military operation.
42 Hitting the beach
Landing a big transport like a C-130 on a
rough, unprepared airfield requires a team
of experts on the ground and in the air.
Søren Augustesen discovers how the Royal
Danish Air Force trains for this mission at
Lakolk Beach, on the small island of Rømø.
44 Singapore’s Air Combat
Command – the first decade
Chen Chuanren assesses the Republic of
Singapore Air Force’s Air Combat Command
as it celebrates its tenth year of existence,
following a service-wide restructuring.
48 Gripen masterminds
Stefan Degraef and Edwin Borremans visit
the Swedish Air Force’s Gripen Operational
Test and Evaluation Unit, where a small
but important community is responsible
for trials of all Gripen-related hardware
and software destined for the front line.
54 Mexican spycraft
Mariano García and José Quevedo review
the status of Mexico’s intelligence-gathering
fleet, among the most complex in the
region, and one that operates manned and
unmanned platforms in a variety of roles.
68 Training a Typhoon pilot
In the first of a two-part feature, Jamie
Hunter visits No 29 Squadron at RAF
Coningsby to find out how the Royal Air
Force trains new Eurofighter Typhoon pilots.
80 Dutch training in Tucson
Kees van der Mark reports from Tucson
International Airport in Arizona, the home of
Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 pilot training.
94 Iberia’s big cats
Salvador Mafé Huertas reviews the
progress of the Tigre attack helicopter in
Spanish Army service and considers the
prospects for the advanced HAD variant.
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Cover: With 18 Typhoons, 25 Qualified Flying Instructors (QFIs) and three or four
pilot training courses running at any given time, No 29 Squadron is the RAF’s
biggest fast jet squadron. This month AFM begins a two-part study exploring
the work of the RAF’s Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit (OCU). Single-
seat Typhoon FGR4s like this one are now the favoured mount for the Typhoon
OCU. Jamie Hunter Main image: This year is shaping up to be a significant one
for Singapore’s air power as the country’s air arm celebrates a half-century
of operations. Singapore is a special focus of this issue, which includes an
Intel Report from the latest airshow at Changi, and coverage of the Republic
of Singapore Air Force’s Air Combat Command (ACC) as it marks its 10th
anniversary. This F-16C duo and single F-15SG represent the cutting edge of
the ACC, which may yet receive the F-35. Chen Chuanren