The mission of the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) is to increase the effectiveness of Allied air forces through the development of leadership, mission planning, tactical flying and debriefing skills of participating NATO aircrew.
It also develops doctrinal and conceptual initiatives for the NATO flying community. The TLP focus is on integrating emerging modern aircraft capabilities with existing Allied fleets.
“For almost 41 years the TLP has been at the forefront of training Allied aircrew in preparing, planning and executing Composite Air Operations,” said Spanish Air Force Colonel Andrés Maldonado, Commandant of the TLP since the summer of 2018.
“We implement the mission by running ten to eleven academic and at least four flying courses per year,” Colonel Maldonado added.
“All these courses are focused on TLP’s Composite Air Operation missions, where multinational aircrews and capabilities integrate to execute an assigned mission. In order to remain aligned in an ever-changing environment it is important we look at emerging capabilities such as modern fighter aircraft. After all, six of the ten TLP member nations have or will have a fifth generation fighter capability available.”
“We have identified a sound strategy towards this,” he continued saying.
“We are committed to leading the integration of fourth and fifth generation and to changing whatever is required to adapt our successful programme to the modern fighter aircraft training needs. This will enhance our warfighters’ readiness. That is why my vision for the TLP is to be the reference institution for modern aircraft integration into NATO air operations at the tactical level; offering the best fighting airspace including for contested degraded operations in Southern Europe.”
“On Modern Aircraft Integration we are working closely with Allied Air Command and we provide input on fifth generation operations for Allied Air Command policy documents,” said Colonel Maldonado.
“My greatest vision and challenge is to run a full F-35 course here in Albacete in 2020.  With my excellent team of experts and the active contribution by the nations I am very confident we will achieve our goals,” the colonel concluded.
Most recently Colonel Maldonado and his team have introduced the TLP Flying Course 2.0 concept which involves three instead of four course weeks plus a synthetic training, where pilots plan, brief and execute the mission in a controlled simulated environment.
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Have you all seen the F-35 problems listed on the defensenews site? They say F-35 B & C cannot fly beyond Mach 1.2 for more than about a minute, before the stealth coating starts to blister, then the unprotected tail could eventually fail. The problem is worst on pre lot 8 aircraft. Post lot 8 have a better coating, but still not entirely cured. Also issues with “greenglow” & sovereign data issues with ALIS.


After reading the series of DefenseNews articles, I am amazed all the F-35s don’t just start falling out of the sky … but there they are – still flying.

The Drive has a objective breakdown of the DefenseNews expose on the F-35, which in a single article takes out their sensationalism and reports the issues in a rational manner:

Chris H

@JohnHartley – well I think ‘DefenseNews’ has been shown to be rather out of touch with the current situation and has managed to assemble a lot of past issues and re-date them for today. I credit pkcasimir from a few days ago with this:

“Reality Check. Here is Lockheed Martin’s response to the Defense News June 12 article on the F-35.”

Nuff said.


It does seem that the F-35 is a work in progress. I think it will be epic in the mid 2020s with block 4 software & the engine upgrade 2.0.
I thought it was pre lot 3 that were the dogs & glad we had only 3, but now it seems pre lot 8 will probably have to be used in training & trials and kept out of combat.

John Hampson

I really can’t stop thinking that the biggest achievement of the F-35 will be in demonstrating what not to do for the 5+ and 6th gen fighters. The lessons learned may be the difference between the Tempest actually getting off the ground or staying as a fanasty.