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24 mars 2015 2 24 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
photo USAF / Lockheed Martin

photo USAF / Lockheed Martin

 

Mar. 23, 2015 By: Dan Parsons - FG

 

Washington DC - The overall cost of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II programme will come in at about $7.5 billion less than previously expected, according to the 2015 selected acquisition report (SAR).

Released on 18 March, the report indicates that research, development, test and evaluation cost remains unchanged at $54.9 billion, but that procurement costs declined by $7.7 billion, to $331 billion. The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) says the reduction was primarily due to decreased labour costs.

While the SAR reports that the operating and support (O&S) costs of the F-35 over its service life remain nearly $1 trillion – the cost assessment programme evaluation that authors the SAR does not adjust O&S figures until a major milestone is reached – the JPO claims its revised cost estimate for this metric showed a $57.8 billion reduction from 2014, bringing the overall figure to $859 billion.

Lockheed's F-35 programme general manager, Lorraine Martin, says the company has reduced O&S costs for the F-35 by $60 billion in the past year alone.

 

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24 mars 2015 2 24 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
US Army AH-64D Apache helicopter - photo US Army

US Army AH-64D Apache helicopter - photo US Army

 

18 Mar 2015 By: Dan Parsons - FG

 

Washington DC - Competition for the US Army’s improved turbine engine programme (ITEP) is shaping up to be a head-to-head match-up between single-spool and double-spool turboshaft powerplant designs.

The army is set issue a request for proposals for preliminary design review in May. Both a Pratt & Whitney/Honeywell team General Electric Aviation are expected to compete, although other engine manufacturers also could bid for the work. General Electric builds the T700 engine that ITEP will replace in army helicopters, and ITEP should be a drop-in replacement for the T700 in the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and the Boeing AH-64 Apache.

The programme goal is to develop a 3,000shp engine that also achieves a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency over the T700.

Mike Sousa, advanced turboshaft programme manager at GE, says “the fundamental competitive difference is two-spool core versus one-spool”. A single-spool engine, which the T700 is, is simpler than a double spool and the technology is well understood and readily available, Sousa says.

 

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24 mars 2015 2 24 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
Two Turkish F-16s fly alongside a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker over the North Sea.(Photo US Air Force)

Two Turkish F-16s fly alongside a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker over the North Sea.(Photo US Air Force)

 

March 21, 2015 By Burak Ege Bekdil – Defense News

 

ANKARA — Turkey's government and military leaders have agreed to speed up the country's crawling program for the design, development and production of an indigenous fighter jet.

 

Officials here said there is a broad "administrative agreement" over a need to give the program a boost.

 

"The program will gain notable pace after the [parliamentary] elections [on June 7]," said one senior procurement official familiar with the program, dubbed TF-X. "There is consensus among the president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan], prime minister [Ahmet Davutoglu] and the Air Force that the program should go ahead with a 'priority tag.' "

 

An Air Force official assisting the program said the top brass in the service is "keen to go faster than before."

 

"Maximum [expert] input possible will be provided from our side," he said. "This is now an established policy."

 

Early in March, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) procurement agency released a request for information (RFI) for the ambitious TF-X.

 

In that document, SSM defined the scope of the fighter program as "indigenous design, development and production activities of the first Turkish fighter aircraft to meet Turkish Armed Forces' next generation fighter requirements and replace the existing F-16 fighter fleet starting from 2030s."

 

Companies or organizations capable of designing, developing and manufacturing the planned aircraft are invited to obtain an electronic copy of the RFI from SSM.

 

SSM officials say the release of the RFI marks a critical stage for the program, aiming "to see which companies would be willing to take part and which capabilities will be offered."

 

"We expect a satisfactory level of international interest," the procurement official said. "We already unofficially know that a number of foreign manufacturers hope to be part of this program."

 

He said a new roadmap also has been devised. The first thing Ankara will do, he said, is put together a team of SSM and Air Force officials that will be expected to run the program until the end.

 

"Soon there will formally be an enthusiastic team working on the ideal modality for the program," the official said. "That team is being structured at the moment."

 

Turkey's top procurement panel, the Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Davutoglu, officially decided on Jan. 7 to go ahead with the TF-X program after reviewing its feasibility.

 

At the meeting, the committee decided to move beyond the pre-concept design stage. It said a twin-engine model would be pursued in the national fighter aircraft program.

 

Other members of the committee are Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, Chief of Military General Staff Gen. Ncdet Ozel and chief procurement official, Ismail Demir, head of the SSM.

 

Davutoglu has said that a twin-engine model would be pursued in the national fighter aircraft program.

 

But the procurement official said this is not an irreversible decision. "We remain flexible on the choice of engine modality. Depending on our choice of a base model we may rethink that," he said.

 

He also said the "base model" could be both a NATO or a non-NATO product.

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23 mars 2015 1 23 /03 /mars /2015 18:30
The Turkish Air Force’s first A400M completed its initial flight in August 2013.(Photo Airbus DS)

The Turkish Air Force’s first A400M completed its initial flight in August 2013.(Photo Airbus DS)

 

March 23, 2015 By Burak Ege Bekdil – Defense News

 

ANKARA — The deliveries of two A400M military transport aircraft for Turkey, scheduled for this year, are facing delays, procurement officials here said.

 

The delay will result in penalties for the maker of the aircraft, Airbus Group, the officials said.

 

"The penalties specified in the contract can be cash payment or free equipment and services," one official said.

 

The official did not specify how long the delays are expected to be but said latest estimates show "they will probably be annoying enough but not as bad as the previous ones."

 

In 2003, Turkey signed a deal for a batch of 10 A400Ms, with final deliveries scheduled for 2018. Last year, two aircraft were delivered with two more to be received in 2015.

 

The delays in 2014 sparked a dispute between Airbus and the Turkish government. Turkey accused Airbus of failing in its delivery timetable, and Airbus accused Turkey for using delays for bargaining.

 

The latest A400M delivery to Turkey was formalized in December at Airbus consortium's final assembly line in Seville, Spain. The aircraft landed in the 12th Air Transportation Main Base Command in Erkilet in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri. Turkey's first A400M was delivered last April, following months-long controversy over whether the aircraft met technical specifications.

 

Other A400M client nations are Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Spain and Britain.

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23 mars 2015 1 23 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
Rafale Vs. Su-30MKI - The New Indian Dogfight


March 23, 2015 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist
 

Intensifying since the turn of the new year, you couldn't possibly have missed the roar of AL-31s in all talk of India's turbulent final dash for a Rafale jet deal. It's unmissable. The fact that the Su-30 MKI was pushed into the M-MRCA conversation by none other than India's defence minister ensured the notion strengthened quickly, unscathed by intrigue and rumours. And then, it exploded.
 

On the evening of December 30, when Manohar Parrikar suggested to reporters that 'additional Su-30s' could save the IAF in the event that 'complications'-ridden negotiations with Dassault Aviation for 126 Rafale fighters didn't end in a purchase contract. That the seed of the idea came from the proverbial horse's mouth, and not South Block hearsay, gave it furious immediacy.

 

The suggestion caught the Indian Air Force completely off guard, flying as it did in the face of an unusually defiant stance the IAF leadership had decided on in 2012 about there being 'no Plan-B' in the event that the Rafale failed. But this time, the IAF resisted an immediate rebuttal. This was, after all, the Defence Minister who had weighed in. But what truly unnerved the IAF -- and several planners within the MoD -- was that Parrikar had gone out on a limb less than two months after being handpicked as Defence Minister. His specific comments on the negotiations revealed three things: One, that he'd hit the ground running and was fully abreast of the negotiations and where they were stuck. Two, that he was fully willing to question for the first time the presupposition both within the MoD (and especially the IAF) that there would was likely to be extended turbulence, but a deal would finally be signed. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it showed that Parrikar has been empowered by the PM to lead decision-making on a deal that's so large that it has everything to do with the political leadership, and little to do with the act of hardware procurement.

 

But there was blood in the water that couldn't be ignored. If Parrikar's pre-New Year comment sparked a fire, he pretty much flung a barrel of gasoline at it two weeks later when in an interview to Karan Thapar on Headlines Today, he said in response to a question on the possibility of the Rafale deal not working out, "Sukhoi-30 choice is always there. What I mean to say is: upgrade the Sukhoi-30, make it more capable."

 

The latch-on was instantaneous. Hours after Parrikar's comments were broadcast, Russian think-tank the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade declared on Jan 13 that India's potential choice of more Russian Su-30 MKIs instead of Rafales would "advantageous to the country’s air force in terms of cost, tactical and technical characteristics of the plane and a series of other reasons". For good measure, the Russians stoked France's controversial hold-back of Mistral-class amphibious intended for Russia. The example had been broached before, but Moscow really ground it in this time.

 

A month later, Livefist learns, a concerted effort was made by Russia's mission & trade office in New Delhi to pull India's External Affairs Ministry into the conversation. The specifics of what was on the table isn't fully known. A curious Russian media report quotes junior minister in the MEA, former Army chief, Gen (Retd.) Vijay Kumar Singh as having said that the Su-30 was cheaper than the Rafale and more reliable.

 

In February, with the Su-30 vs. Rafale debate stewing for nearly two months to the consternation of Dassault, IAF chief Arup Raha was fairly buttonholed into saying, "There's M-MRCA and there's Sukhoi-30. The requirements are slightly different. And they have their own capabilities. They compliment each other but do not replace each other." A statement, it was immediately clear, that practically subverted what the Defence Minister had suggested.

 

At Aero India 2015, where the IAF chief made that comment, the spotlight also shined on friction between Sukhoi and the IAF over the unexplained seat ejection that caused the type's fifth accident last year. The Russians weren't happy. "When we are wrong, we will say so. When the Indian pilot is wrong, the IAF should not be shy to admit that," an irritated UAC officer told me at the time.

 

Dassault Aviation and the French government were always prepared for rumblings of power-play and suggestive pressure from the Indian MoD, but the speed at which the conversation heated up caught all involved by surprise. For Dassault, it would now be fighting on two fronts -- one with a confident new government that promised quick action either way. And two, with the Russians, India's largest supplier of military hardware, practically invited into the tense last lap of the M-MRCA fight by the Indian MoD. The French Defence Minister, who visited Delhi last month for the second time in less than two months, didn't bring up the Su-30 MKI. The French didn't have a direct play, political or otherwise. It was felt that things were too delicate at the negotiations table to poke at something that was, Paris understood, a direct message that India wasn't going to budge on final sticking points. Informed that it needed to work on a joint liability matrix with HAL for the license build programme, Dassault decided to bide its time.

 

Of course, by this time, plenty of journalism in India, Russia and France -- and the furious online military aviation subculture -- had gotten the Rafale and Su-30 to dogfight on paper. It wasn't until March that France's patience cashed out. It was a veritable neutron bomb on the Su-30's two month supercruise through arms & diplomatic circles, and even the French couldn't have expected such a break: a statement by Defence Minister Parrikar himself that the Su-30 fleet had serious problems.

 

For Dassault and the French government, the new conversation was 

 

Here's the latest state of play:

 
  1. Russia smells real blood. Through their Trade Office and the Embassy, an existing conversation about additional numbers of the Su-30 & upgrades of earlier units has been re-energised with the additional sweetener of a markedly higher degree of local content and sourcing on any additional Su-30s India may choose to license build in Nashik.
  2. Livefist can confirm that Russia has also offered India the Su-35 'Super Flanker', but kept the details open. The type is officially on the table now with Russia inviting India to help configure a Su-35 'MKI'.
  3. Russia is attempting to contain the twin damage of (a) information about engine trouble and fleet availability. Rosoboronexport has begun discussions with the IAF and HAL. And (b) the issue of the mysterious seat ejections. Both sides have decided to sort out the issue cordially and in private. It doesn't want to lose the momentum it received from the initial suggestion that more Su-30s could cushion the potential collapse of the M-MRCA.
  4. Dassault and HAL are currently working at a furious pace to have something to show to the MoD in the next one week, though it remains unlikely that there will be anything for Prime Minister Modi & President Hollande to announce next week in Paris.
  5. On March 18, Defence Minister Parrikar said, "They have to tell us whether they can do it or not. Can’t keep waiting."
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23 mars 2015 1 23 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 fighter (KAI photo)

Korea Aerospace Industries FA-50 fighter (KAI photo)

 

21 March 2015 By Jose Katigbak, STAR Washington bureau – Pacific Sentinel

 

WASHINGTON – The Philippines is planning to purchase 24 more combat aircraft, adding to the 12 FA-50 fighter jets it had ordered from South Korea in 2014, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.

 

It did not specify when or from whom the aircraft would be ordered.

 

The FA-50s were the first order by the Philippines for advanced combat aircraft in decades amid the increasing tensions with China over disputed territories in the South China Sea.

 

The SIPRI report from Stockholm on Monday said the five biggest weapons exporters in 2010-14 were the United States, Russia, China, Germany and France, and the five biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.

 

The top five exporters were responsible for almost 74 percent of all arms exports.

 

Read the full story at The Philippine Star

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
RTAF to deploy IFS applications for F-5E/F engines maintenance management

IFS Applications will be deployed to manage the maintenance of the Royal Thai Air Force's fleet of 25 F-5E/F fighter jet engines. Photo USAF

 

20 March 2015 airforce-technology.com

 

The Royal Thai Air Force's (RTAF) Directorate of Aeronautical Engineering (DAE) has selected IFS to manage the maintenance of jet engines of the service's fleet of 25 F-5E/F fighter aircraft.

 

The company will deploy its IFS Applications 8 suite to maintain RTAF's fleet of fighter planes that includes 47 J85-GE-21B/C jet engines.

 

This solution is scheduled to replace the existing manual and paper-based processes. It will improve the accuracy of maintenance information available to engineers on the ground, ensuring availability of the aircraft at all times.

 

Royal Thai Air Force Directorate of Aeronautical Engineering said: "We chose IFS Applications because it offered us a comprehensive and proven industry solution that could help standardise our maintenance processes across the entire fleet.

 

"We were particularly impressed with the user interface of IFS Applications, and the solution is also being delivered in local language, which is a huge bonus for us in ensuring ease-of-use within the air force."

 

IFS South-East Asia vice-president Sridharan Arumugam said: "IFS has seen positive double-digit growth across Thailand for the past five or six years, and this is a key region for future growth for the company.

 

"This is a key aerospace and defence organisation in this region and is a testament to the company's global expertise in this industry."

 

In addition, the comprehensive enterprise resource planning solution is expected to aid the air force in managing processes with third party suppliers, and improving collaboration to ensure availability of right part at the right time.

 

First phase of implementation at the Engine Maintenance Division, DAE at Don Muang Air Force Base, near Bangkok, is anticipated to go live in January 2016, and the solution will then be rolled out to the Wing 21 in Ubon Ratchathani Air Base, which is the home of F-5E/F aircraft.

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
Canadian AF Establishes Simulation Strategy

Royal Canadian Air Force pilots train on a flight simulator at the Southport Aerospace Centre in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.(Photo: Cpl Vicky Lefrancois/Royal Canadian Air Force)

 

March 21, 2015 By David Pugliese – Defense News

 

VICTORIA, British Columbia — The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has released its first long-term simulation strategy, paving the way for the spending of hundreds of millions of dollars on new training initiatives.

Among the systems identified for acquisition are a flight trainer for the RCAF's CH149 Cormorant helicopters, a variant of the AgustaWestland EH-101, as well as simulators for CC177 transport and the CC150 Polaris aircraft. The CC177 is Canadian terminology for Boeing's C-17 while the Polaris is a converted Airbus A310 used by the RCAF for transport and refueling.

The strategy would be put in place over the next 10 years and would employ see both virtual training and a networked common synthetic environment, according to RCAF Simulation Strategy 2025, released March 13.

 

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
SecAF: KC-46 First Flight 'Hopefully' Summer

 

March 19, 2015 By AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — The Air Force secretary expects the KC-46A tanker to have its first flight sometime over the summer, a "several month" delay for a milestone on the program.

 

The timeline laid out for Defense News by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James clarifies comments made Tuesday by Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson, program executive officer for tankers, that the tanker was going to miss the expected first flight date of mid-April.

 

"It is concerning me," James said in a Thursday interview. "My best belief, at this point, is it will be a several-month delay. So hopefully summertime is when it would occur."

 

This is not the first delay of a major test point on the tanker. The first test flight of a Boeing 767-2C, a test version of the KC-46A without the refueling boom and other tanker equipment, was scheduled for June 2014; it eventually occurred just before the New Year.

 

Executives for Boeing have emphasized that its focus is on a contractual obligation to provide 18 ready-to-go tankers on the ramp by 2017, and noted that first flight dates are targets, not obligations.

 

James did say that the KC-46 program has some good news, noting that the costs are capped and the company is largely on track for its major contractual requirements.

 

However, Richardson warned on Tuesday that the margin built into the schedule was essentially gone, and that any delay in getting that first flight up was a concern because of the need to get air worthiness certifications.

 

James echoed Richardson's concern about the lack of margin, and added that Boeing has submitted a new integrated master schedule, laying out its internal target dates, for review by the Air Force.

 

"The worrying news is that underneath those contractual and milestone requirements, there are a whole lot of other milestones," James said. "This is the internal plan for how do you get from here to there to meet the milestones. That's where there have been challenges and slippages and so forth, so that is the worrying part."

 

The KC-46A will replace the majority of the service's tanker fleet with 179 new planes, based on a Boeing commercial design.

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
JF-17 Block 2 makes first flight ahead of Block 3 improvements

 

March 19, 2015 by asian-defence.net

 

The first Block 2 JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft made its maiden flight from the Pakistan Aeronautical Company (PAC) facility at Kamra on 9 February.

 

The aircraft (serial number 2P01) made three more successful flights before being taken to the paint shop in mid-February. The test flights came as a boost as PAC continues to look for a first export customer for its platform.

 

Air Commodore Ahsan Rafiq, Deputy Chief Project Director (Operations) JF-17 and a former commanding officer of the JF-17 Test and Evaluation Unit, described the Block 2 version as "an upgraded Block 1 with an air-to-air refuelling (AAR) probe, enhanced oxygen system [to allow the pilot to stay in the air longer], and improved electronic countermeasures system (ECS)".

 

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has a contract for 50 Block 2 JF-17s but as Air Cdre Ahsan pointed out, "the full AAR system will not appear until the 29th jet, which should fly later this year [at Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) in China]."

 

In a further development that sends a clear signal that PAC and Chinese marketing partner CATIC intend business in the international arena, the Block 2 JF-17 will also have a two-seater version, which is now being developed at Chengdu according to the PAF's requirements.

 

"We know potential customers would like to see a two-seater, although it is not such a big deal for the PAF, which started flying several types, [A-5, F-6, F-7P and F-7PG] without a training version," Air Cdre Ahsan said. "This will give us the chance to show potential suitors how the jet can perform in the air."

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Images suggest upgrades to China's early series J-11s

 

March 19, 2015 by asian-defence.net

 

Images have emerged on Chinese military web forums suggesting sensor upgrades to Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-11A combat aircraft, with reports noting that two regiments have received these modifications so far.

 

Upgraded J-11As appear to have four new missile approach warning systems (MAWS), two just aft the cockpit facing forward and two pointing aft on the vertical stabilisers. Similar systems have previously been fitted to the H-6M and H-6K strategic bombers.

 

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Su-30MKI With BrahMos-A at AeroIndia 2015 photo Livefist

Su-30MKI With BrahMos-A at AeroIndia 2015 photo Livefist

 

March 19th, 2015 defencetalk.com

 

The Indian Air Force plans to start mounting BrahMos cruise missiles on its aircraft in 2016, BrahMos Aerospace CEO Sudhir Mishra told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

 

The short-range supersonic missile was jointly developed by Russia and India and has been in use by the Indian Navy since 2005.

 

“The missile is scheduled to be adopted in 2016, ten more tests will be carried out by the end of the year,” Mishra said.

 

He added that the next test flight is due in May with the aircraft carrying the missile launcher. This will be followed by flights with the equipped missiles and, eventually, test firing them.

 

India is Russia’s biggest arms trade partner, with more than 70 percent of India’s military equipment coming from Russia or the former Soviet Union, according to Russia’s state arms exporter.

 

The two countries are taking part in the major Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA’15), currently underway in Malaysia.

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 08:25
A Mexican Air Force C-130K Hercules aircraft in flight. Photo Zahpo75

A Mexican Air Force C-130K Hercules aircraft in flight. Photo Zahpo75

 

20 March 2015 airforce-technology.com

 

Cascade Aerospace has completed a first test flight of the Mexican Air Force's (FAM) upgraded C-130K Hercules aircraft from its base in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.

 

In November 2013, the company received a contract as part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Canadian and Mexican Governments, for maintenance and modernisation of FAM's two C-130K aircraft.

 

The C-130K maintenance and modernisation programme was initiated in 2014. It involved an upgrade of the avionics system. including the installation and integration of Rockwell Collins Flight 2 avionics suite, digital fuel quantity indication, and engine instrument display systems.

 

The aircraft, which is currently based at Cascade's hangar, has also been equipped with a new auxiliary power unit, as well from undergoing a wing availability and sustainment programme.

 

Cascade Aerospace executive vice-president and CEO Ben Boehm said: "This test flight represents the culmination of a year of detailed design effort followed by countless hours of skilled craftsmanship to present the Mexican Air Force pilots with an airworthy plane.

 

"This test flight will lead to the delivery of a modernised and updated aircraft to the Mexican Government at a fraction of the cost of a new aircraft."

 

The Flight 2 system is developed from Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics solution, the Flight 2 system improves aircraft's operational capabilities by offering an open systems architecture that combines flight operations with navigation and guidance functions, and supports future growth requirement.

 

The company also conducted operational and technical training for FAM personnel using the Rockwell Collins Flight 2 procedural training simulator at its Abbotsford facility.

 

Power for the C-130K Hercules is supplied by Allison T56A-15 engines turboprop engine.

 

The aircraft is a derivative of Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules, and is used to carry troops, passengers or freight.

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
US Air Force complete C-17 avionics, weather radar upgrades

 

March 19th, 2015 By Air Force News Agency - defencetalk.com

 

When one door closes at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex regarding aviation modernization, that same door swings open for another opportunity.

 

In the 562nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, maintainers have completed a complex avionics and weather radar modernization package, referred to as BLOCK 16, with the final C-17 Globemaster set to fly home this month.

 

This steady program at Robins speaks to the highly-skilled maintainers who have worked on this particular upgrade package since 2007.

 

When the aircraft is returned to its crew at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, they will basically be getting a brand new transport aircraft, complete with state-of-the-art communications capabilities, navigation upgrades, and weather radar with new color palettes and improved display.

 

During the last several months, more than 3,000 wires were removed during the upgrade, with more than 7,000 new wires installed — a complex undertaking involving scores of video cables, data transmission cables, power lines, and the like.

 

“It will be sad to see them go because we’ve gotten so good at working on them,” said Eric Bickett, 562nd AMXS first-line supervisor. “Our maintainers have proven themselves, taking an aircraft that Boeing and the Air Force have sent us, and completely changing what it’s capable of. It truly looks factory (made) when we’re done with it.”

 

Working on the communications portion was perhaps the most time consuming, according to maintainers, as this involved removing old analog wiring and installing new digital control boxes, headset receptacles, etc.

 

Satellite communications capabilities through the addition of ports will also allow any of the military services who board the aircraft to set up their own equipment.

 

“The overall goal is to get all these C-17s to be one specific aircraft so any aircrew can jump from one to the other and everything will be exactly the same,” said Frank Kipa, 562 AMXS aircraft electrician.

 

“While these particular upgrades are now completed, we still have much work to do with maintenance. With the quality of work we do here, we look forward to any future mods coming our way,” he said.

 

As this was the last completed BLOCK 16 modification for WR-ALC in a fleet of more than 220 aircraft (several aircraft will be modified at a later date by Boeing’s San Antonio facility), work is ongoing to hit another milestone on BLOCK 17 upgrades, which installs combat lighting inside and outside the aircraft.

 

“Combat lighting gives the aircrew flexibility in how they illuminate the aircraft whether it’s inside or outside,” said Bickett. “For example, when troops are being medically treated inside, we’re able to provide capabilities that can block light from escaping to the outside. We can also illuminate the exterior using different covert lighting.”

 

“You can illuminate the flight deck, the cargo bay and outside completely different after this combat lighting upgrade. There’s a lot of flexibility, giving an aircrew plenty of options,” he said.

 

The final aircraft to receive this upgrade is scheduled to arrive in December, and will return to its customer a year from now in 2016.

 

The C-17, despite its size, is able to take off and land on short runways, and is constantly carrying out missions all over the world.

 

The Air Force received its final C-17 from production at Boeing in the fall of 2013, a move that had been expected for some time.

 

Robins not only maintains the C-17, which first flew in 1991, but is also responsible for sustainment of the aircraft through the C-17 System Program Office, which also plays a crucial role in the modification, maintenance and overall service of the entire fleet.

 

Bickett said he likes to ask what happens to aircraft once they leave Robins. He recalled looking online last August and recognized a photo of a C-17 that had passed through the complex.

 

The aircraft had conducted a humanitarian assistance operation to aid Iraqi citizens. At that time, thousands of Yazidis were attempting to escape the advance of Islamic State fighters and had become trapped on Mount Sinjar. An Air Force C-17 had been tasked to provide food and supplies.

 

“That’s what we do,” he said. “As much as these aircraft are flown with the different missions they do, the wear and tear, the hard landings — they hit the ground like it’s moving. We help keep these flying and in their current state.”

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Model 527 radar signal simulator - photo Textron

Model 527 radar signal simulator - photo Textron

 

20 March 2015 airforce-technology.com

 

Textron Systems Electronic Systems has been awarded a contract to supply advanced, handheld radar simulators for electronic warfare (EW) preflight testing on all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

 

The contract was awarded by Lockheed Martin. It requires the company to supply its Model 527 radar signal simulator, which is designed for end-of-runway and walk-around pre-flight testing, to determine the status of installed electronic warfare (EW) radar warning receiver systems.

 

Specifically, the system verifies operational readiness and threat recognition across antennas, transmission lines, radomes, cockpit displays, and controls on operational aircraft through free-space radiation functional testing.

 

Textron Systems Electronic Systems senior vice-president and general manager Steve Mensh said: "The F-35 is one of the world's most advanced tactical aircraft, designed to deliver powerful new capabilities to the warfighter.

 

"Our Model 527 and larger family of pre-flight testers give aircrews the confidence they need in their mission-critical systems, before they even leave the ground."

 

The advanced threat modelling software enables a variety of threat simulations including simple, continuous-wave, pulsed single emitters, and multiplexed radio frequency emitters that can model several threats simultaneously.

 

After the simulations have been developed within the system, soldiers can easily progress through them on the flight line with a thumb switch to verify aircraft operation.

 

The battery-powered system is fully compatible with the company's family of pre-flight confidence testers, such as the joint service electronic combat systems tester and the advanced architecture phase, amplitude and time simulator laboratory electromagnetic environment simulator.

 

Deliveries under the indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract are scheduled take place over the next three years.

 

The F-35 is manufactured by Lockheed. It is a fifth-generation multi-role fighter, and is designed to conduct a wide range of ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defence missions with stealth capability.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 15:55
Création d'un incubateur de l'aéronautique à Paris avec 25 start-up

 

20 mars 2015 par  Jacques Marouani - electroniques.biz

 

Tous les domaines de pointe sont représentés parmi les grandes problématiques des secteurs de l’industrie aéronautique et du transport aérien : drones, nouveaux aéronefs, dirigeable, tourisme spatial, réalité augmentée, optoélectronique, divertissement à bord, logiciels, sécurité, interfaces homme-machine, mais aussi matériaux, procédés, etc...

 

L'incubateur dédié aux start-up de l'aéronautique, Starburst Accelerator, créé en 2014 par le cabinet Impulse Partners, et soutenu par Airbus Group, Thales, Hutchinson et Zodiac Aerospace, va inaugurer son site parisien dans le 15e arrondissement le 23 mars 2015. De prochaines ouvertures sont aussi prévues à Toulouse, Los Angeles et Montréal.

Starburst Accelerator fournit aux start-up un ensemble de services leur permettant d’atteindre au plus vite la phase de croissance : constitution du dossier de financement, interface avec les investisseurs et grands groupes industriels aérospatiaux, hébergement au cœur d’un quartier d’affaires parisien, organisation d’ateliers thématiques réguliers.

 « Les start-up sont essentielles à la chaîne de valeurs de l'innovation : elles offrent au marché de nouvelles idées nées en laboratoire. Dans le contexte concurrentiel et de défi permanent que constitue l’aéronautique, Starburst Accelerator leur apporte le meilleur soutien, augmentant considérablement leurs chances de succès », promet François Chopard, fondateur de Starburst.

 

25 start-up incubées

Tous les domaines de pointe sont représentés parmi les grandes problématiques des secteurs de l’industrie aéronautique et du transport aérien : drones, nouveaux aéronefs, dirigeable, tourisme spatial, réalité augmentée, optoélectronique, divertissement à bord, logiciels, sécurité, interfaces homme-machine, mais aussi matériaux, procédés, etc...

25 startups sont incubées chez Starburst Accelerator dont Akoustic Arts, Amplisens, AriadNext, Blue Industry & Science, Cosmica Spacelines, Defacto, Diota Soft, Display Interactive, Eazy Group, Elwing, Erneo, Luna Technology, Mach 7, Nethis, Redbird, RepairManager.Aero, Safety Line, Suricog, Trust In Soft, Vaylon, Voox, WiNMS, Workfly.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
Upgraded P-3 Orion Delivered Ahead Of Schedule

 

 

GREENVILLE, S.C., Mar. 18, 2015— Lockheed Martin

 

Lockheed Martin delivered [Mar. 18, 2015] a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) P-3 Orion aircraft 37 days ahead of schedule.

 

This is the 12th of 14 aircraft in the program to receive Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) modifications and phased depot maintenance. The MLU replaces the outer wings, center wing, horizontal stabilizer and horizontal stabilizer leading edges. All necessary fatigue life-limiting structures are replaced, leading to significantly reduced maintenance and sustainment costs. 

 

The completion of the aircraft significantly ahead of schedule allows for a quicker return of the aircraft to the CBP P-3 fleet supporting homeland security and drug interdiction missions. The MLU will enable the P-3 Orion to support operators for 20-25 more years.

 

About Lockheed Martin:

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2014 were $45.6 billion.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
Jeff Johnson to Lead Boeing Military Aircraft Business Development

 

Mar 19, 2015 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today named Jeffrey Johnson, vice president, Business Development, Boeing Military Aircraft (BMA). He succeeds Tim Norgart, who recently retired from Boeing. Johnson will be based in St. Louis, Missouri, and report to BMA President Shelley Lavender.  

Johnson has been president of Boeing Middle East since March 2011, based in the company’s Dubai office. Before that, he was senior director of Global Strike Business Development for Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) from November 2009. Over his Boeing career, Johnson has business development experience in more than 40 countries. 

 

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

 

March 19, 2015 By: Beth Stevenson – FG

 

London - An arms transfer study from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) claims that only the UK and Nigeria have been the recipients of armed unmanned air vehicles, despite “widespread interest” in their acquisition.

The numbers of importers and exporters of both armed and unarmed UAVs has “grown significantly” over the past 15 years, SIPRI says, and between the period of 2010 to 2014, 35 countries and the UN acquired 429 UAVs that weigh more than 25kg.

The USA and Israel are the main suppliers, although Austria, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Africa and Sweden all exported UAVS, says SIPRI in its “Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2014” paper, released on 16 March.

 

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
Malaysia A400M first flight 30 Jan 2015 - photo Airbus DS

Malaysia A400M first flight 30 Jan 2015 - photo Airbus DS

 

March 19, 2015 By: Greg Waldron - FG

 

Langkawi - Airbus Defence & Space has highlighted the suitability of the A400M tactical transport as a humanitarian relief aircraft.

In a presentation at the LIMA show, representatives from Airbus and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies discussed the nature of airborne disaster relief missions, and the role air-lifted relief plays in disaster response.

The IFRC says it operated 21 full-aircraft humanitarian charters in 2013. Types used included the Airbus A340-600 and three Boeing types: the 727, 747, and 777. During that year, 73% of humanitarian aid was sent by sea, 16% by air, and 11% by road.

The representatives also discussed their partnership with the Airbus Group Foundation, under which the airframer effectively donates free flights. These flights include providing capacity on the ferry flights of commercial and military aircraft from the company’s production locations in Europe. Such flights are frequently empty, and therefore provide an opportunity to move cargo of a humanitarian nature.

 

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
Hawk T1 jet trainer 208 Sqn - photo Royal Air Force

Hawk T1 jet trainer 208 Sqn - photo Royal Air Force

 

LONDON, March 19 By Richard Tomkins (UPI)

 

Additional pylons for BAE Systems' Hawk advanced jet aircraft trainer are to be manufactured in Malaysia by SME Aerospace.

BAE Systems, which did not disclose the value of the award, said the award is for 16 inboard and 16 outboard pylons for a key export customer.

"This is a further example of the excellent work being carried out in Malaysia's aerospace industry," said John Brosnan, managing director, South East Asia, BAE Systems. "SME Aerospace has an excellent track record in manufacturing pylons for Hawk aircraft and we are pleased with the continued manufacture and export of this key component by Malaysian industry.

 

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
An A-10 sits on the tarmac after a mission against Islamic State. photo US Air Force

An A-10 sits on the tarmac after a mission against Islamic State. photo US Air Force

 

March 19, 2015 by JOSEPH TREVITHICK – War is boring

 

Eventually, the U.S. Air Force wants to replace the low and slow-flying A-10 Warthog with the fast-moving F-35 stealth fighter. But it’ll take years before the troubled jet fighters are ready for duty. In the meantime, the Air Force still needs a plane for dedicated close air support missions — something the A-10 excels at. So what does the flying branch propose? Not keeping the Warthog. Instead, the Air Force wants to replace the Warthog with a modified F-16 fighter jet — an old concept that failed to live up to expectations decades ago. The F-16s would fill in temporarily until the F-35s can take over. We have a hard time believing it — but yes, this is a serious proposal.

 

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
Hélicoptère UH-60M photo Sikorsky

Hélicoptère UH-60M photo Sikorsky

 

19 mars 2015 par Thierry Dubois – Aerobuzz.fr

 

Le conglomérat United Technologies Corporation (UTC) envisage de se séparer du constructeur d’hélicoptères Sikorsky, tandis que ce dernier pourrait vendre sa gamme Schweizer. Même si sa marge de 10% n’est pas jugée satisfaisante par UTC, les résultats de Sikorsky sont bons. Du coup, il est trop cher pour trouver un acquéreur.

 

Le président d’UTC, Gregory Hayes, trouve que Sikorsky affiche une croissance et une marge trop faibles, si on le compare aux autres entreprises du groupe. « Ce n’est pas ce que nous souhaitons  », déclarait-il récemment. Et de pointer une marge légèrement supérieure à 10 % en 2014 et une croissance annuelle projetée de 3 % jusqu’en 2023. Avec un chiffre d’affaires de 7,5 Md$, Sikorsky est aussi la plus petite des cinq composantes d’UTC – les quatre autres sont Pratt & Whitney (moteurs aéronautiques), UTAS (systèmes aérospatiaux), Otis (ascenseurs) et Carrier (climatisation). La forte dépendance au secteur militaire est vue, en outre, comme un facteur d’incertitude. Le conseil d’administration d’UTC a autorisé ses dirigeants exécutifs à examiner « toutes les options stratégiques  ». Un travail qui devrait se terminer d’ici à la fin de l’année. Il s’agit, bien sûr, de créer de la valeur pour les clients et les actionnaires. Sikorsky emploie 15.200 personnes.

 

Suite de l’article

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
photo Airbus DS

photo Airbus DS

 

Mar 18, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Airbus Defence and Space; issued Mar 17, 2015)

 

Prime Minister of Malaysia Witnesses Official Handover of First Airbus A400M to Royal Malaysian Air Force

 

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) today officially received its first of four Airbus A400M military transport aircraft, ordered from Airbus Defense and Space.

 

Chief of RMAF, General Dato' Sri Roslan Saad officially took over the aircraft from Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. The ceremony took place at the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace (LIMA) 2015 in the presence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato' Seri Najib Razak and Minister of Defence Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

 

Malaysia is the first export customer of the A400M outside of the original launch nations.

 

The occasion also marked the debut of the A400M at LIMA 2015. The technologically-advanced airlifter had earlier performed a special fly-past at the Show's opening ceremony.

 

The RMAF A400M will be on static display throughout the LIMA 2015 from March 17-21, 2015 before returning to its new home base Subang in Kuala Lumpur.

 

"As a new generation multi-role transport aircraft, the A400M will strengthen RMAF's tactical and strategic capabilities. It will enable us to undertake an extraordinary range of military and humanitarian operations within the country and regionally," said Chief of RMAF, General Dato' Sri Roslan Saad.

 

Bernhard Gerwert, CEO Airbus Defence and Space, said: "We are extremely proud to deliver the first A400M to our first export customer and we want to congratulate Malaysia on its foresight and vision. The A400M is the ideal aircraft for a region like Asia-Pacific and we are sure that Malaysia will show the way here on how beneficial the A400M can be."

 

Following the official ceremony, the Prime Minister of Malaysia met with the RMAF crew who had flown the A400M all the way from Seville, Spain, to its new home at RMAF Subang, with an overnight stop at Abu Dhabi. The same crew also flew this morning's fly-past demonstration.

 

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense then visited the airlifter spending time at the cockpit with the crew.

photo Airbus DS
photo Airbus DS

photo Airbus DS

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 17:50
CAPTA E-Scan radar - photo BAE Systems

CAPTA E-Scan radar - photo BAE Systems



19 mars 2015 BAE Systems

 

The 4 Eurofighter partner nations have signed a contract signalling the full integration of the CAPTA E-Scan radar. Footage courtesy of forces news.

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