410 Cougars

The Canadian Forces were, IIRC, the first foreign force to operate the F/A-18 Hornet (though they designate it the CF-18). They operate a fairly small, but highly respected force. Learning to fly takes time. Learning to fight a Hornet takes 9 months, and a lot of hard work, as well as some natural aptitude.

410 Squadron (Cougars) is the equivalent to what our Navy would call the Fleet Replacement Squadron. That is, it provides transition training into the Hornet, and refresher training for folks that have been away for a while.

A few years ago, an American network debuted a show called American Fighter Pilot, about students transitioning from the T-38 into the F-15C Eagle. It only aired one or two episodes before it was yanked for low ratings. But Canada, having subsidized television production, doesn’t really have to worry so much about ratings. So I came  across an 8 episode series called “Jetstream” that follows the fortunes of a class of students spending 9 months at the Fighter Pilot Training Course. Lot’s of good photography.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQyXQOe7nBA&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

There’s Episode 1. If you watch it at youtube, you should be able to easily follow up with the rest of the episodes.

Armed Drones at War

It’s not exactly a new idea. I found this video over at DefenseTech.  Not a lot of background on the program, but my guess is it was an attempt to improve Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses capabilities.  Why do I say that? Because most of the targets are mock-ups of fire control radars.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLv9fg93zn8&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

By the way, the article the BQM-34 is firing Mavericks and Shrikes. Do my eyes deceive me? I didn’t see a single Shrike (though, I watched this about 2am…). I saw several Mavericks, early Paveway Laser Guided Bombs, a rocket boosted LGB similar to an AGM-123 Skipper II, and what looked like a short fat version of a GBU-8 HOBOS.  What does my sharp eye observers corps see?