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KRISHNA JAGA "KRISHNA JAGA" (London,UK)

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Drones: An Illustrated Guide to the Unmanned Aircraft That Are Filling Our Skies
Drones: An Illustrated Guide to the Unmanned Aircraft That Are Filling Our Skies
by Martin J. Dougherty
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Another nicely illustrated title from Amber books - nicely timed and ..., 15 Nov. 2015
Another nicely illustrated title from Amber books - nicely timed and also a neat A5 size unlike the bulky earlier ones

Covers all the different types of drones with chapters on each type of non military type along with an initial potted history - development of military and combat drones was my interest and there are enough details on operations and challenges of operating the Predator /Reaper and other drones with nice diagrams - what is missing is a nice illustrated cut-away diagram of a drone but there is enough to interest the lay reader - military drones are covered adequately with details of weapons systems , avionics , engines , SAR radar etc and some nice tidbits on the challenges of operator hand-offs etc highly recommended


Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank: From 1983 to 2000 (Model Fv4030/4) (Owners Workshop Manual)
Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank: From 1983 to 2000 (Model Fv4030/4) (Owners Workshop Manual)
by Dick Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.62

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insights on the Challenger 1 - a must buy, 20 Oct. 2015
Bit Surprised that no one reviewed this yet - saw this at Foyle's in London and despite the sticker price had to pick it up. Its got everything we expect from a Haynes Manual and possibly the first time its covering a modern MBT. Written in close collaboration with the Bovington Tank Museum., the author Dick Taylor must be complimented for his superb research.Covers all the initial history including the SHIR project , variants , technical details , brief operational procedures , maintenance with many colour pics , technical drawings and a close examination of its performance in the First Gulf War - where despite some fears of its shortcomings in the desert - it did remarkably well . A great read and hopefully we get similar manuals on the Abrams , Leopard II and Challenger 2


Char Leclerc (Photosniper)
Char Leclerc (Photosniper)
by M.P. Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.88

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Enthusiast Guide on the Leclerc, 30 Aug. 2015
The Leclerc is touted as a third generation or latest generation MBT - in the same league as the formidable Leopard 2 series - however this enigmatic MBT's export sales have been a big disappointment unlike the Leopard's and its total production run in France curtailed from a planned 1000+ to just around 400+ and the Government manufacturer Giat is now privatized as Nexter - yet this is one of the most significant and innovative MTB's of our times.

Sadly , there is not a single exclusive english book on the Lelclerc since inception - Osprey's Vanguard series seemed the best bet - but most UK based publications ignore modern French subjects like the Lelcerc MBT , the Rafale/Mirage 2000/Charles de Gaulle - perhaps because there is no perceived market in the US .

Indeed most of the books published on the fascinating Lelcerc and in my collection are either French, Polish or the odd publication from the German Tankograd . Incidentally , the last major work was the excellent 2005 French ETAI published work by Marc Chasillan .Thus I have been quite excited with this new all english offering by the Polish publication Kagero on the Char LeClerc.

Kagero's latest in the Photosniper series covers the early design and development of the AMX -56 rechristened as the LeClerc ,along with the various upgrades,differences in batches , derived vehicles , conversions and deployment in France , UN in Kosovo , Lebanon and UAE.

It also reveals it as a possible Chieftain replacement in the early 90's and mentions trails at the famous Bovington range - this new MBT replacement sounded far fetched considering the presence of the behemoth Vickers in UK . Thus its no surprise that the Leclerc lost out as the new MBT for UK and one reason touted was the three man crew due to the auto-loader ,which dispensed with the fourth crew member - perhaps too radical for the UK ?

While this book is tailored towards modellers with superb colour photos , clear printing , semi-glossy pages , close up of equipment and at least 10 Pp of walk around pictures - there is enough technical information to keep the hard core armour enthusiast interested - there are chapters on the engine , armour , fire power etc with various parts removed for maintenance and plenty of text annotations with each photograph - however what is missing are some basic technical drawings and the mandatory cut-away cross section.

To compensate , there are new interesting pictures of the Leclerc on manoeuvres and also being transported on its trailer and on the latest upgrades planned . Also included are a few technical plans and 10 side profile artworks depicting the various camouflage patterns and markings used including the for UN and there is a modest bibliography at the end which reveals the paucity of literature available .

Look forward to a similar release by Kagero on the T-90 " Vladimir" and either Osprey or Haynes to release a workshop manual on the Lelclerc possibly in another 20 years.

While there is no mention of any model kits like the French Heller - its a fantastic addition and a must buy for any modern armour enthusiast or modeller .


Sukhoi Su-24: Famous Russian Aircraft
Sukhoi Su-24: Famous Russian Aircraft
by Yefim Gordon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This lavish book again scores with excellent technical details, 7 Aug. 2015
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My compliments to Crecy for continuing the Famous Russian Aircraft series from Ian Allan/Midland Counties

Finally got my copy - its been done in the usual lavish and glossy format of the Russian Aircraft series but considerably smaller in Size around 330 Pp than the others as the combat accounts except for the Chechen strikes are very few and sketchy.

The book again scores with excellent details on the design considerations , technical details , variant details on the SU -24 MR . MP ECM , unflown BM/BM2 etc and mid-life upgrades, weapons , peace time ops , superb colour profiles and details of all the overseas operators like Azerbaijan , Uzbekistan , Algeria , Syria etc and serves as an excellent collector's item on this enigmatic cold war warrior.

The bonus for me is the first photo on Sudan's Su-24 and superb artwork (recently AFM June 2015 published some in Saudi Arabia deployment) and an unheard snippet on India being a potential operator having placed orders in mid 80's for the SU 24 MK as a replacement for the Canberra and possible a nuclear strike role but cancelled the same in 1990 (?)

What the book lacks in comparison with other books in the series is a chapter on comparison with its contemporaries - The F-111 , Tornado etc which would have embellished the book - the earlier Aerofax series had a few Pp covering this.

Of interest are details of the Su -24 BM/BM2 (twin fins) - some pics and details had appeared in Gordon's Unflown Wings tome - there are a few additional details but no new pics.

Also the author states that all 24 nos of the Su-24 supplied to Iraq were ferried w/o any loss to Iran during the Gulf war and a surviving 25th example was captured by coalition troops and ferried back to US for inspection during the second war - i have not seen any photos or mention of this example so perhaps this is apocryphal. Otherwise a good add to the collection - waiting next for the Mig 23/27 tome .
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 16, 2015 12:35 AM BST


From Lysander to Lightning: Teddy Petter, Aircraft Designer
From Lysander to Lightning: Teddy Petter, Aircraft Designer
by Glyn Davies
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 17 Sept. 2014
slim 160 Pp book - has a lot of design insights on the Lysander , canberra ,Lightning and Gnat and the trials and tribulations of the maverick designer and his tragic last days in a commune - around 20 Pp on the Gnat and its rivals is a good read


RAF Tornado: 1974 onwards (All Marks and Models) (Owner's Workshop Manual) (Haynes Owners' Workshop Manuals)
RAF Tornado: 1974 onwards (All Marks and Models) (Owner's Workshop Manual) (Haynes Owners' Workshop Manuals)
by Ian Black
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.94

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Description of the Tornado, 15 Sept. 2014
Picked up one of the first copies to be released - Ian Black being a pilot who flew the Tornado in the Gulf war and an excellent aviation photographer is best qualified to write about the same.

The book follows the established layout of the Haynes series - A potted history of the MRCA & rationale , description of the Tornado ADV etc variants , Anatomy & technical descriptions , At war , the various weapon configurations ,RB 199 engine description , a brief chapter on flying the Tornado and an even briefer last chapter (could have been more detailed) on the maintenance - the Tornado was a formidable work horse and adapted new technology and this is a fine tribute to the same with excellent technical drawings , superb cut away section by Mike Badrocke and nice colour pictures.


Air to Air Missile Directory
Air to Air Missile Directory
by Hugh Harkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars .Falls short of a poor man's Jane's version, 6 July 2014
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I Expected a lot more from this book with detailed drawings and colour pictures/profiles on the latest in the air to air field- all of which disappoint . The book icomprises only black and white and sometimes grainy photos and a few diagrams .The author has divided this into sections on European/US/Russian/rest of world (China/israel/india/South Afrrica) - an attempt is made on potted history of the major AAM's with some specs but i really expected a lot more details esp with contacts from the manufacturers on future developments and possibly usage and tactics.

While the book compiles the info in one volume - i am left wondering that while most of the info is available on the net and on wikipedia and it defintely falls short of a poor man's Jane's version


Military Aircraft Insignia of the World
Military Aircraft Insignia of the World
by John Cochrane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long Awaited Update - Roundelogy, 24 May 2014
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Books on the history of aircraft roundels are very rare - almost none in the last dozen years .Hence this is a real labour of passion by John Cochrane and it has taken almost 15 years since the publication of the first edition with the same name and by the same authors by Airlife - for a publisher to finally release an update on this exotic subject.They also have a web site as a companion but it needs updation.

If ever you wondered on the historical roundels for a particular country and where could you look it up - this is the one book which has it all.The authors have their sources in the myraid enthusiasts around the world including me and have included some of the rare historical roundels for this updated edition.

Its published in glorious full colour - and comprises around 142 Pp (the authors originally planned a detailed 2 volume which Crecy compressed into a single volume so the above cover is incorrect as its no longer A-K )- it depicts all the latest roundels globally including all the notable historical roundels for countries which no longer exist like Katanga , Biafra South Vietnam etc approx 500 + in all . The opening description of Afghanistan with around 9 historical roundels and a 2 Page history set up a nice opening.

The new roundels include Abkhazia, Iraq Air Force ,Chad ,Afghanistan etc and some of the erroneous roundels from other works omitted.

Instead of diagrams and artwork profiles as in the earlier edition by Airlife - the updated edition features colour pictures (some are very tiny and unclear) - hence the book loses one star as the diagrams in the previous edition also depicted the fin flashes which are missing and a disappointment for me .

For some of the countries like South Sudan and Kurdistan , the authors state that the national flag is used - it would have been appropriate to display the flag instead of keeping it blank . Another comment is that for all the roundels currently in service , the entry date is omitted and should have been included .

Some countries like Afghanistan, italy and Turkey are covered more comprehensively than others like India.

The cons : book could have done with another 50 Pp if the publisher had been more generous and included more photographs or artwork profiles to show the fin flashes and it should have been published in a bigger size like the first edition done by Airlife

Nevertheless i am quite excited as its a long awaited update on this esoteric topic ,its got an exhaustive bibliography which is very welcome , its a must buy for all modellers aviation enthusiasts and historians.


Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Asia
Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in Asia
by Gordon Yefim
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £39.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic addition, 10 April 2014
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The publisher Crecy needs to be complimented for the quick and timely release of the third hard back book in the series covering yet another exotic geo - Asia

The cover was a surprise and has an Indian Navy IL-38 on the top half and not as shown.

This latest esoteric title covers all the Asian countries Afghanistan , Bangladesh, to Turkey and Vietnam incl Papua New Guinea and surprisingly Japan (during WW II) and South Korea - India and China have the biggest coverage and take up almost half the book. The Sri Lankan story is quite interesting including the introduction of the Mig 27 as is the Indonesian one esp the tales around the Tu-16 Badger.

Each country has a chapter with text and photos in a chronological order - with many period b/w and new colour photos - and around 150 + colour side profiles and some sqn badges - many of which will interest modellers.

The text deals with the historical and operational use of the Russian types(aircraft + Helicopters) in each country.At the end of each chapter , there is a listing of serial numbers of the ex-Russian aircraft and a status for each serial - some squadron numbers and location deployments are not listed.There are almost 40 pp of China Serial numbers and 30 Pp for India.

There is some new info on North Korea like the use of Tu-143 UAV - but the photo caption errors persist eg on pp 271 the famous F-6 defection to South Korea by Capt Lee is shown as 1966 , whereas it was in 1996.

The details of the many skirmishes and air wars the Russian aircraft have participated seems quite sketchy and could have had more details esp on Russian doctrine tactics adopted.

On the plus side , there are some interesting colour profiles and lavish b/w and colour pictures - although its strange that some of the Indian air force photos taken by Peter Steineman Pp 169 are used in complete ignorance but i found the aircraft type coverage of India and China to be comprehensive with no major omissions.

My big gripe is that again apart from web sites - no bibliography is provided for additional reading.

To summarise , this is a lavish and colourful compilation and introduction to Soviet/Russian a/c in Asia and serves well as a concise historical record of aircraft types and well worth buying.
The blurb on the back cover states that there will be a fourth volume on Latin and Central American countries which will complete a fascinating history and survey from Yefim Gordon's stable.


Dragon's Wings
Dragon's Wings
by Andreas Rupprecht
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £30.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A first book on Chinese Secret Projects, 13 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Dragon's Wings (Hardcover)
Midland Counties had been publishing books on Secret Russian , British and American military aircraft projects for the past decade with Tony Butler at the forefront - but one on the secretive Chinese industry would have been impossible five years back.

But given the proliferation of the internet and access to new Chinese sources , author ,without visiting China ever , with his excellent Chinese sources has managed to give us the definitive first work on this elusive subject to follow on from his earlier book on current Chinese Modern Chinese Warplanes and the excellent first 2 books by Yefim Gordon on Chinese Military Aviation.

In a well packaged book from Ian Allan (with Midland label now killed) - well researched text on the military fighter and bomber aircraft give a first look on the evolution of Chinese Fighter , ground attack and bomber aircraft from 1949 onwards . The reader is given a first glimpse of the conceptual designs like J-11 and J-13 and the H-7 bomber . The new types like the J-7 and J-8 are covered in detail with their variants. The origins of the J-10 could have done with more details on the suspected Israeli angle but the author has given us other interesting sidelights on engine development like the WS-9 and missiles like the YingJi-8 Anti ship missile - there is also a small reference to STOL projects .

There is an end chapter on new projects like the J-19 and the J-20 which was revealed publicly last year.

The Book also provides extensive references and bibliography which is a refreshing change from some of the Russian and UK authors who are secretive about their sources esp if its from other published sources.

There are also very good drawings though some of the line drawings are very faint and should have been in a black background to stand out , and i would have expected some more colour art work ,many more line drawings and profiles > I guess in time there will be a revised second edition as more information becomes available and an index as well , which is missing here.

my recommendation is this is a grab for anyone with an interest on China and the origins of their military aviation - as a bonus its in hardcover at an affordable price. This book could have been titled Chinese Secret Projects and the origins of the flying dragons:)


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