AirForces Monthly UK - Issue 382 - 2020 January

AirForces Monthly UK - Issue 382 - 2020 January
Issue 382
AirForces Monthly Magazine - The World’s number one military aviation magazine 

AirForces Monthly is the world’s leading modern military aviation magazine featuring the world’s air forces, their conflicts, weaponry and exercises. Published monthly, it provides the best military aviation news coverage from around the globe and is essential reading for anyone seeking a well-informed view. AirForces Monthly is entirely devoted to modern military aircraft and their air arms and, since 1988, has built up a formidable reputation worldwide by reporting from places not generally covered by other military magazines. Its world news is the best around, covering all aspects of military aviation, region by region. 

AirForces Monthly represents an unrivalled combination of news, reporting and in-depth features aided by the best network of freelance reporters anywhere in the world. It is the finest dedicated military aviation magazine available.
New threats for the 2020s
  The cover story for the first issue of AFM of the new decade brings into focus the growing strategic importance of the Arctic – and how military expansion ‘on the top of the world’ means it’s rapidly becoming a key region in the current ‘New Cold War’ between Russia and the West. Ten years ago, with many NATO Western air arms mired in insurgencystyle conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the idea of the Arctic as a future battlefield may have seemed somewhat remote. Now, the retreating polar ice cap is an example of how quickly a  military’s list of priorities can be changed, with a resultant requirement to prepare for new kinds of warfare in unexpected parts of the world.
  And, as Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE points out in his column this month, alongside the ‘High North’, space is becoming an increasingly critical domain for militaries. The RAF has already made efforts to start addressing development of its space-based capabilities. As AFM’s columnist observes, in the UK at least, “military ownership of space is most definitely under the leadership and guidance of the air force”.
  As this magazine was going to press, Russia’s TASS news agency provided an example of another emerging threat – that posed by hypersonic weapons, defeat of which may well be reliant on space-based surveillance assets. It was revealed that, in mid-November, a pair of Russian MiG-31Ks took off from Olenya air base north of the Arctic Circle. One of the jets launched a Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile against a ground target 800 miles (1,300km) away at the Pemboy training range.
  The nuclear-capable Kinzhal strike system was revealed by President Vladimir Putin in his annual state-of-the nation speech on March 1, 2018. It was one of several previously unannounced and innovative strategic weapons systems that were identified. Others included a nuclearpowered cruise missile and a nuclear-capable underwater drone. Significantly, this latest test brought together a hypersonic strategic
weapon deployed in the Arctic theatre.
  In a report last May, the Royal United Services Institute noted how, as well as missilearmed manned bombers, Russia can now call upon sea-launched Kalibr and groundlaunched SSC-8 cruise missiles plus ballistic threats such as the Kinzhal and the RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile to deliver precision strikes against the UK and other Western European targets from intermediate ranges. The ‘New Cold War’ looks like it will provide no shortage of challenges.

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