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AirForces Monthly-April 2016.pdf

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  THE GREAT PRETENDERS -  AFM   FLIES WITH THE RAF's 100 SQN Officially the World's NUMBER ONE Authority on Military Aviation | www.airforcesmonthly.com   FORCEREPOR T    A   P   R   I   L   2   0   1   6   I   S   S   U   E   #   3   3   7 Fresno's new Eagle Unit EXCLUSIVE  Bleak StreetPlaneSailingThunder in QatarCameroonAir Force UK's Military AerospaceIndustryBoeing's P-8A Poseidon An African Force Fighting Terrorists848 NAS Stands DownPakistan's JF-17 on Display Red 'Roos at Red Flag RAAF Hornets in the US   Home to  Roost  Farewell to the King UK £4.80 www.airforcesmonthly.com  Free P&P *  when you order online at  www.keypublishing.com/shopCall UK: 01780 480404Overseas: +44 1780 480404 Monday to Friday 9am-5:30pm  JUST £5.99   FREE  P & P *   *Free 2nd class P&P on all UK & BFPO orders. Overseas charges apply.   OR 046/16 SUBSCRIBERS CALL FOR YOUR £1.00 DISCOUNT! A NEW  SPECIAL PUBLICATION FROM KEY PUBLISHING AVAILABLE NOW FROM AND ALL LEADING NEWSAGENTS Gulf War   looks back on the air war over the Gulf 25 years ago, as a US-led Coalition ousted Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Extensively illustrated with photographs from the conflict, including many from private collections, it tells the story of the air war in the Gulf from August 1990 to today.With a history of Operation Desert Storm, including pilot accounts, and details of the aircraft and air forces involved, this 100-page publication is a must-have for those seeking to understand the conflict that changed the shape of warfare.   FEATURING:   The Campaign Operation Desert Shield and the build up of Coalition forces, the air-to-air combats and daring attacks of the initial stages of Desert Storm, and the brief ground war are described, before the story of Coalition involvement in the country is brought up to date Air Power Examining the Coalition contributions of the UK, US, France and the Arab coalition, plus the Iraqi Air Force Aircraft Desert Storm provided the operational swansong for some types, including the A-6, A-7, F-4 and F-111, while enabling others, among them the A-10 and Tornado, to prove themselves in combat for the first time And much more! JUST £5.99! GULF WAR THE CONFLICT THAT CHANGED THE SHAPE OF WARFARE  3 #337 APRIL 2016www.airforcesdaily.com News All the world’s military aviation news, by region.4-5 Headlines6-7 United Kingdom8-11 Continental Europe12-18 North America F-35 News19 Latin America20 Africa21-24 Middle East25 Russia26-28 Asia Pacific29 Australasia/ Contracts 34 AIRCRAFT PROFILE - Boeing P-8A Poseidon 78 EXERCISE REPORTTLP 2015 - Review Salvador Mafé Huertas reports on the final two Tactical Leadership Programmes of 2015.  82 FORCE REPORTCameroon Air Force Cameroon’s air force has had to galvanise a diverse range of capabilities in the war against terrorism, as Erwan de Cherisey finds out. 90 Attrition  AFM’s  Dave Allport reports on the world’s latest military accidents. 94 Debrief Reviews of recently published books on military aviation. 96 Base Watch A snapshot of recent military visitors to air bases around the UK and abroad. 98 Comment  AFM’s  view on military aviation.Cover: An F-15C Eagle of the Fresno's Air National Guard’s 194th Fighter Squadron 'Griffins'.  John Dibbs/Plane Picture Co 30 The Jungle King  AFM’s  Glenn Sands visited RNAS Yeovilton as 848 NAS prepares to retire its war weary Sea King HC4s. 34  AIRCRAFT PROFILEBoeing P-8A Poseidon Rick Burgess charts the entry into US Navy service of the P-8A Poseidon MPA along with the planned upgrades. 42 RAF 100 Squadron Alan Warnes went behind the scenes with the RAF’s aggressor squadron in January and flew in a multi-mission sortie. 50 The Newest Eagle Unit Lt Col ‘Cricket’ Renner USAF (Ret’d) visits the Fresno ANG’s 194th Fighter Squadron ‘Griffins’, newly converted from the F-16 to the F-15C Eagle. 58 Bleak Street Tim Ripley examines the prospects for the UK’s military aerospace industry in the wake of the latest Strategic Defence and Security Review. 62 Thunder in Qatar Alan Warnes reports on another milestone of Pakistan’s indigenous JF-17 Thunder – as it makes a week-long visit to Qatar. 64 Red ’Roos at Red Flag For the RAAF, the first Red Flag exercise of 2016 was the debut of their F/A-18Fs but, the new jets flew alongside legacy F/A-18As as well. Dylan Eklund was there to witness this unique event. 70 EXERCISE REPORT Virgo Sam Pilcher reports from Salisbury Plain, where Cougars were on the prowl for Exercise Virgo 72 EXERCISE REPORT   Velayat-94 Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Aviation demonstrated its expanded capabilities dur-ing Exercise Velayat-94 late in January, as Babak Taghvaee reports. 76 Myanmar Magic During a visit to Yangon-Mingaladon Air Base in late  January,  AFM  correspondent Vincent Martens photographed some rarely seen aircraft of the Myanmar Air Force. 64 Red ’Roos at Red Flag FREE DVD Claim your FREE Airbus A400M First Years DVD when you take out a 2-year or Direct Debit sub-scription to AirForces Monthly. See pages 22 and 23 for details. CONTENTS April Issue 337  4 www.airforcesmonthly.comAPRIL 2016 #337 HEADLINES NEWS S ECRETARY OF the US Air Force Deborah Lee James has revealed that the new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) will be known as the B-21. The designation is intended to reflect the fact that this is the first new bomber of the 21st century. Announcing the designation during a speech at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida, on February 26, she also said that a name for the B-21 has yet to be decided and asked for airmen to make suitable suggestions. The airman who submits the selected name will then be invited to announce it at the Air Force Association conference in the autumn. James also revealed the first artist’s impression of the new bomber. The design, by winning contender Northrop Grumman, looks remarkably similar to the company’s earlier B-2A Spirit which is currently in USAF service. Earlier, on February 16, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced that it has denied a protest by Boeing against the award of the LRS-B contract to Northrop Grumman. Award of the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase contract, together with early production, for the LRS-B, had been made on October 27 last year – see Northrop Grumman to Build USAF’s New Bomber,  December, p4. A protest was lodged by Boeing and partner Lockheed Martin on November 6. Boeing argued that the USAF’s evaluation was fundamentally flawed with respect to the assessment of the offeror’s proposed costs and the technical evaluation of Northrop’s proposal.The contract for LRS-B comprises two parts – the EMD phase and options for the production of the first 21 aircraft. As initially announced by the USAF, the EMD phase has an estimated value of $21.4 billion in 2010 dollars. The USAF has not provided a public figure for the production cost of the first 21 aircraft and the total cost is classified. The USAF has explained that “the fixed price production award supports the average per unit cost of $511 million per aircraft (stated in 2010 dollars with a production purchase of 100 aircraft).”The GAO says it reviewed the challenges to the selection decision raised by Boeing and found no basis to sustain or uphold the protest. In denying Boeing’s protest, it concluded the technical evaluation, plus the evaluation of costs, was reasonable, consistent with the terms of the solicitation and in accordance with procurement laws and regulations.The details of Boeing’s challenges, and GAO’s decision resolving them, remain classified and are covered by the terms of a protective order issued for the protest. Accordingly, this decision must undergo a security classification review by the USAF and is not available for public release.Responding to the decision, the USAF said it was confident the source selection team followed a deliberate, disciplined and impartial process to determine the best value. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee  James said: “We look forward to proceeding with the development and fielding of this critical weapon system. It is important to ensure affordability in this programme and the ability to leverage existing technology as we proceed.”Northrop Grumman welcomed the decision, the company’s vice president of strategic communications, Randy Belote, saying: This confirms that the US Air Force conducted an extraordinarily thorough selection process and selected the most capable and affordable solution…we are delighted to be resuming work on the next-generation Long Range Strike Bomber.”Boeing said after the decision: “We continue to believe our offering represents the best solution for the Air Force and the nation, and the government’s selection process was fundamentally and irreparably flawed. We will carefully review the GAO’s decision and decide on our next steps with regard to the protest in the coming days.” Subsequently, on February 26, Boeing and partner Lockheed Martin announced that they will not make any further challenges to the award. In an announcement, Boeing said: “While we remain firmly convinced of the validity of the issues raised in our protest to the Government Accountability Office…the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team has decided not to pursue further challenges to that award, either through the GAO or in federal court. The decision was taken, as always, with the best interests of our customer and the warfighter in mind.”With no further obstacles in its way, Northrop Grumman will resume work on LRS-B. The USAF plans to procure 100 of the new bombers to replace its ageing fleet of B-1B Lancers and B-52H Stratofortresses. During a 'State of the Air Force' briefing at the Pentagon on March 7, AF Secretary James revealed the names of the seven top-tier suppliers for the B-21 programme. The engines will come from Pratt & Whitney, while BAE Systems, Spirit Aerosystems, Orbital ATK, GKN Aerospace and Janicki Industries will also be major sub-contractors.  LRS-B Becomes B-21 as Protest Denied   The first artist’s impression of the USAF’s new Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber, which was released on February 26. USAF  “the fixed price production award supports the average per unit cost of $511 million per aircraft” 
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