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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
F-35B -  (photo Cpl. Ken Kalemkarian)

F-35B - (photo Cpl. Ken Kalemkarian)


March 18, 2015: Strategy Page


The U.S. Air Force recently revealed that a new (JMMBRU) bomb rack for the F-35 will not work in the bomb bay of the vertical takeoff version (F-35B) of the F-35 until the bomb bay is modified to move a hydraulic line and a bracket. These two items did not interfere with the original bomb racks that were to go into the bomb bay. The JMMBRU is a new development that was not really planned for when F-35 development began. Sort of an “unknown, unknown.” 


In late 2014 the air force had successfully tested the new JMMBRU bomb rack for the 225 kg SDB (Small Diameter Bomb) in an F-35A. JMMBRU allows the F-35 to carry eight SDBs internally (instead of four), plus (in a less stealthy configuration) another 16 externally. This makes the F-35 a much more effective bomber, especially since the SDB has been upgraded to glide farther and hit moving targets, as well as still penetrate the ground to destroy bunkers. The new SDB II has three different guidance systems: radar, heat seeker, and homing on laser light bounced off the target. That means no matter what the weather or time of day there is a guidance system that will find the target.


A frequent user of JMMBRU will be the vertical takeoff version, which the U.S. Marine Corps needs to provide ground support. The marines are buying 533 F-35Bs and the B version had to be heavily modified internally to handle the vertical takeoff capability. Changes to the bomb bay (including making it a bit smaller) were considered acceptable until the JMMBRU was designed and apparently did not take into account these differences in the F-35B


Meanwhile a lot of controversy surrounds the F-35. The U.S. Air Force still expects to get production models of its 31 ton F-35A in late 2016. This is the cheapest version, costing about $159 million each. The U.S. Navy version (the F-35C) will arrive in late 2019 and cost about $264 million each. This version has a stronger landing gear to handle carrier landings and components that are more resistant to corrosion from constant exposure to salt water. The vertical take-off version for the marines, the F-35B, will cost $214 million each. All of these prices are expected to be much higher (20 percent or more) in reality. This is happening despite more and more delays as well as questions about reliability and cost. At the moment the F-35 costs 60 percent more (than the F-16, per flight hour) to operate.


The F-35 is armed with an internal 25mm cannon and, before the SDB, four internal air-to-air missiles (or two missiles and two smart bombs) plus four external smart bombs and two missiles. All sensors are carried internally and max weapon load is 6.8 tons. The aircraft is very stealthy when just carrying internal weapons. The more compact (it looks like a missile) SDB was designed with the internal bomb bays of the F-22 and F-35 in mind.


Like the F-22 fighter, the F-35 is stealthy and stuffed with a lot of new technology. Most (about 60 percent) of the F-35s built will be used by foreign nations. The rising cost of the F-35 brings with it reluctance to buy as many aircraft as currently planned. The success of smart bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan has also made it clear that fewer aircraft will be needed in the future. In any event, it's likely that F-35s will end up costing close to $200 million each. But with SBDs F-35s become a very potent bomber that can get at well protected targets.

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 09:35
Solar Impulse décolle pour la Birmanie


19.03.2015 Romandie.com (ats)


Solar Impulse a pris jeudi la route de la Birmanie après une escale à Varanasi, en Inde, entamant la quatrième étape de son tour du monde sans carburant. Bertrand Piccard s'est assis dans le cockpit avant de décoller pour un vol de 1400 km et une vingtaine d'heures.


L'appareil a pris son envol à 05h22 locales (00h52 en Suisse), affrontant des températures matinales "plutôt froides", selon l'équipe de Solar Impulse. Après l'atterrissage à Mandalay, attendu à 14h00 suisses, et une escale d'au moins deux jours, l'avion poursuivra sa route vers la Chine.


Le SI2, parti d'Abou Dhabi le 9 mars, doit parcourir au total 35'000 km à la seule énergie solaire en survolant les océans Pacifique et Atlantique. Cette circonvolution prendra cinq mois, dont 25 jours de vol effectif, avant un retour à Abou Dhabi fin juillet/début août.


Prévu en 12 étapes, le tour du monde est l'aboutissement de douze années de recherches menées par les pilotes André Borschberg et Bertrand Piccard. Outre l'exploit scientifique, les deux Suisses cherchent à véhiculer un message politique.

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
photo Royal Air Force

photo Royal Air Force


March 19, 2015 By: Craig Hoyle - FG


London - Several of the Royal Air Force’s Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports have been upgraded for extended-range operations, the UK Ministry of Defence says.

Nine of the service’s Hercules have been equipped with external fuel tanks under a modification activity valued at around £7 million ($10.3 million), minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne said earlier this month, responding to a parliamentary question.


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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
Falcon 900 MPA - photo Dassault Aviation

Falcon 900 MPA - photo Dassault Aviation


March 18, 2015 By: Greg Waldron - FG


Langkawi - Maritime patrol and surveillance were the most prominent themes of this year's LIMA show, as big manufacturers jockeyed to promote their various solutions for the mission.

Industry sources say that Kuala Lumpur is in the process of crystallising a requirement for six to eight long-range maritime patrol aircraft (MPA).

The potential requirement attracted attention from a range of companies including Boeing, Saab, Dassault, and Indonesian Aerospace.

Boeing brought its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) technology demonstrator to the show. The type appeared on the static line, and the US airframer briefed media and officials on the MSA's capabilities. A modified Challenger 604 business jet, the unarmed MSA is optimised for high altitude, broad area surveillance.

Saab, Dassault, and Indonesian Aerospace also displayed models of MSA and MPA solutions on their stands.

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air


18/03/2015 Armée de l'air - Economie et technologie


Partie d’Abu Dhabi le 9 mars 2015 pour le premier tour du monde en avion solaire, l’équipe de Solar Impulse 2 a fait une escale à Ahmedabad en Inde. Les sous-lieutenants Charly et Axel, les deux élèves de l’École de l’air intégrés au projet, relatent cette étape.


Lors de l’escale à Ahmedabad, la population locale a pu découvrir l’avion HB-SiB de Solar Impulse 2 lors d’une porte ouverte. Ne devant initialement être ouverte au public que deux heures, la tente abritant l’avion est finalement restée ouverte toute l’après-midi, face à l’engouement de la population locale.


Au total, plus de 15 000 personnes ont fait le déplacement pour voir cet avion solaire, qui éveille la curiosité de tous, à commencer par les jeunes écoliers venus observer l'appareil. Cet intérêt est une motivation supplémentaire pour l’équipe : « tant de sourires et de remerciements nous font prendre pleine conscience de la portée exceptionnelle de ce projet » confie le sous-lieutenant Axel.


Toujours en Inde, les deux élèves ont rejoint Varanasi dans la nuit du 14 au 15 mars, avec l’Advance team. Composée de 10 personnes, l'équipe est envoyée sur le lieu de la prochaine escale quelques jours avant l'arrivée de l'avion, pour régler les préparatifs avec l'aéroport local.


Suite aux conditions météorologiques défavorables, l'arrivée du HB-SiB n'est prévue que le mercredi 18 mars. L'avion effectuera un arrêt mécanique puis redécollera pour Mandalay (Myanmar), jeudi 19 mars au petit matin.


Les deux élèves seront en piste pour l’atterrissage à Varanasi et le décollage jeudi pour Myanmar. « Nous accueillerons l'avion en début de soirée. Il faudra l’installer dans le hangar mobile, monté pour cette escale de trois jours.
 La période à venir s'annonce comme la plus dense de ce tour du monde ! »

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
photo Greg Waldron - FG

photo Greg Waldron - FG


Mar 2015 By: Greg Waldron - FG


Langkawi - A unit of Malaysian maintenance, repair and overhaul firm Airod has proposed an upgrade programme for Malaysia’s fleet of 10 RAC MiG-29 aircraft.

The upgrade, which an industry source says is being considered by the air force, would see the type upgraded to what it refers to as the “MiG-29NM” standard.

It is not clear how receptive Kuala Lumpur will be to the proposal. For several years major international fighter makers have vied for the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) requirement, which will lead to the MiG-29s being replaced with 18 newer types. Still, the government has yet to issue a request for proposals for MRCA, and funding remains a challenge.


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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Su-30MKI - photo UIMC Rostec

Su-30MKI - photo UIMC Rostec


Mar 18, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source New Delhi TV.com; published Mar 17, 2015)


Sukhoi-30 MKI, Air Force's Most Modern Fighter Jet, Plagued by Engine Trouble


NEW DELHI --- Sukhoi-30 MKI, the most powerful and modern fighter jets in Indian Air Force's stable, has been hit by mid-air engine failures. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in Parliament today that as many as 35 instances of engine failures were reported in 2013-14 - that's nearly three a month.


In all, there are 69 instances of engine failure in the last four years, the minister said. Inquiries by the Air Force have revealed that in as many as 33 instances, the engines failed because of impure fuel, in another 11 cases, the problem was caused by excessive vibration and in eight others, engine failures were reported because of low pressure in the lubricant tanks, the Defence Minister said. About five SU-30 MKI have crashed since 2009.


Like all twin-engine jets, the Russian made Su-30s are capable of landing on a single engine. But to reach its maximum potential of carrying a total eight tones of payload including bombs, missiles and spare fuel tanks, the jet needs both its AL-31FP engines to function.


Engine failures is fast becoming a major concern for Air Force and also puts a question mark on India's ability to defend its skies. Another problem area that senior Air Force officers point out is serviceability. "Serviceability of the aircraft is about 50 per cent only," an officer said. It means at any given time, roughly half out of a fleet of 200 jets are available for operational purposes. This becomes crucial in times of emergencies like war.


Mr Parrikar said that the engines were scheduled to be overhauled after every 1000 hours of flying, but the defects started showing-up after only 500 hours of flying. The minister said that Russia-based NPO Saturn, manufacturers of Su-30 Al-31FP engines, offered to make "nine technological improvements" during overhauls, and added that after the modifications the engines were flying for upto 900 hours.


To address the growing capability gap, especially that created by increasing obsolescence of MiG-21, India is talking to France to buy 126 medium multi-role Rafale fighter jets. But the negotiations have been dragging on for three years. Although the acquisition has got mired on per unit cost and number of man hours required to produce it in India, a resolution of these issues can be expected when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits France in April.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Philippines Air Force Takes Delivery of Its First C295


Mar 18, 2015 defense-aerospace.com


The Philippines Air Force has taken delivery of the first of three Airbus C295 medium transport aircraft ordered from Airbus Defence and Space.


The aircraft was formally handed over in Seville, Spain where the final assembly line is located and is now being ferried to the Philippines.


In Philippines Air Force service the C295 will play a key role in the modernization of the force´s transport fleet and will undertake a wide variety of military and humanitarian missions.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 17:25
Argentina Confirms JF-17 Talks with China

The Argentina air force has sent a technical team to China to discuss a possible buy of 12 to 24 Chengdu JF-17 Xiaolong (Thunder) combat aircraft, seen here armed with anti-ship missiles. (Chinese Internet photo)


Mar 18, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: La Gaceta; published Mar 17, 2015)

(Published in Spanish; unofficial translation by defense-Aerospace.com)


Argentina Evaluating Offers to Buy 24 Fighter Jets


BUENOS AIRES --- Argentina is talking with China about buying up to 24 FC-1 / JF-17 fighters capable of reaching the Falklands, as confirmed by the Minister of Defence, Agustín Rossi. He said that an official delegation will travel to China next week to begin the talks.


"The Chief of Staff of the Air Force (Mario Miguel Callejo) is going to China with a technical mission to explore the possibility of purchasing" the fighters, Rossi confirmed as he accompanied President Cristina Fernandez in announcing an investment of $930 million to equip the Army.


Argentina’s interest in the Chinese fighters was first reported by the London Sunday Express newspaper The possibility was first raised as part of the trade agreements signed by Fernandez during her recent trip to China.


“The aircraft is a single-seat, single-engine design capable of a top speed of Mach 1.8 at an altitude of 55,000 feet. It also has a combat range of 1,350 kilometers, which allows him to fly back and forth to Stanley from the base of Tierra del Fuego," Rossi explained during an interview with Radio America.


Rossi declined to give many details of the talks but confirmed that the intention is to buy "not less than 12 and not more than 24" aircraft. If the agreement did indeed materialize, he said it would be "something new for Argentina’s Air Force, which has always had Western equipment."


The defense minister said that China is not the only country with which negotiated for the purchase of fighter planes. For the moment, Argentina has "two formal offers" for Spanish Mirage F-1s and Israeli Kfir Block 60s. "We also have an informal French offer," he said, but avoided giving details.


Argentina will make its decision once all formal offers are on the table, but the intention is that it should happen before the end of the year. "Then, I'll take the options to the President to make the decision," Rossi confirmed.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 16:35
photo Dassault Aviation

photo Dassault Aviation


Mar 18, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Bernama news agency; published Mar 18, 2015)


LANGKAWI, Malaysia --- French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation says Malaysia is being offered a financial package similar to that given to Egypt for procurement of its Rafale jet fighter.


Dassault Chief Executive Officer Eric Trappier said the package entails a ten-year repayment loan from a French commercial bank and guaranteed by the government of France.


Cairo recently acquired 24 Rafale combat aircraft and a multi-mission frigate and associated equipment from Dassault Aviation worth 5.3 billion euros.


"We are committed and looking forward to having a long term business deal here in Malaysia as we have the best fighter aircraft which can cover multirole missions," he said during a breakfast session with the media here Wednesday.


He said Dassault had already tied-up with a few local companies, namely, Zetro Aerospace, CTRM and Airod as part of a long-term plan to expand its business in the aerospace industry in Malaysia.


He said the company is also eyeing other local companies that have potential for collaboration, with the transfer of know-how and technology to Malaysia, in some aspects of the process to build aircraft.


"We are also looking at different types of industrial packages to offer to Malaysia, like the final assembly line of aircraft, production of some parts, development, maintenance and support which we see local industries as having the capability, if they collaborate with us," he added.


On the Malaysian Aerospace Industry Blueprint 2015-2030 launched yesterday, he said it was apt for fuelling the industry's development.


The blueprint was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in conjunction with the ongoing Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima 2015).


Trappier said Dassault sees the present as a good opportunity to collaborate with more Malaysian companies as it is not merely focused on selling aircraft. The Rafale is making its third appearance at the LIMA since 2011 and is the only company participating in an aerial demonstration this time.


"We believe we can succeed in Malaysia. We have a good aircraft to offer. and as far as I am concerned, good government-to-government relations as well," he added.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 12:55
photo  musée de l’Air et de l’Espace

photo musée de l’Air et de l’Espace


source musée de l’Air et de l’Espace

Pour la cinquième année consécutive, le musée de l’Air et de l’Espace organise le Carrefour de l’Air, événement unique où des musées, associations et collectionneurs aéronautiques se rassemblent afin d’échanger, de partager leur passion et rencontrer le public.

Du vendredi 10 au dimanche 12 avril, le patrimoine aéronautique sera à l’honneur à travers cette manifestation qui se déroule en 3 temps : 1. les 5e Rencontres "Collecter, conserver et valoriser le patrimoine aéronautique", 2. un fly’in d’avions historiques et 3. une exposition des musées et associations spécialisées dans la préservation du patrimoine aéronautique (accès libre sur les trois jours).


✈ 1. Les 5e Rencontres "Collecter, conserver et valoriser le patrimoine aéronautique" - Vendredi 10 avril de 10 h à 18 h, auditorium Roland Garros

Cette journée d'études, parce qu'elle s'adresse aussi bien aux passionnés de culture aéronautique qu’aux animateurs et responsables de musées et d’association patrimoniales - qu’ils soient amateurs ou professionnels - et aux historiens du patrimoine technique, scientifique et industriel, a pour ambition de diffuser la connaissance liée à la collecte, la préservation et la valorisation des collections aéronautiques.

Afficher tout / Masquer tout

  • fold faq

    Programme provisoire de la journée d’études*


✈ 2. Le fly’in - Samedi 11 et dimanche 12 avril

Le samedi matin, une vingtaine d’avions historiques en provenance de diverses collections, rejoindront, si les conditions météorologiques le permettent, le mythique tarmac du Bourget. Il est prévu qu’ils repartent dimanche après-midi. Couvrant un champ très large, allant de l'entre-deux guerres aux années soixante, ce fly’in témoigne de l'évolution de l'aviation tant civile que militaire sur quatre décennies ; il remporte un vif succès auprès des visiteurs depuis 2011.

La présence de ces avions, se posant et redécollant du Bourget, est significative de l'importance historique de cette plate-forme dont l'activité n'a jamais été interrompue depuis sa fondation en 1914 (terrain du camp retranché de Paris).


✈ 3. L’exposition - Samedi 11 et dimanche 12 avril

Le musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, musée de site, accueille dans ce lieu significatif qu’est l’aéroport du Bourget l'ensemble de l'activité aéronautique patrimoniale telle qu'elle se déploie en France aujourd'hui. Une quarantaine d’exposants présenteront leurs démarche patrimoniale sous les ailes des deux Concorde de notre collection, le samedi 11 et le dimanche 12 avril. Chaque institution présentera ses activités, ses collections et ses trésors (objets, documents, archives, maquettes...)

L’occasion pour les visiteurs de découvrir les musées et associations qui préservent, restaurent et exposent le patrimoine aéronautique en France, et d’échanger avec de nombreux passionnés. Les professionnels auront eux aussi la possibilité de se rencontrer et de discuter autour de projets communs.

Retrouvez toutes les informations utiles dans notre lettre d'information mensuelle, sur le blog, ou les réseaux sociaux du musée.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
T-38 A and T-38 C - photo USAF

T-38 A and T-38 C - photo USAF


03/18/2015 by Defence IQ Press


Following months of speculation about future capabilities of the U.S. Air Force’s T-X trainer jet platform, the requirements for one of the Pentagon’s most important and valuable acquisition programmes have finally been released.


The Air Force Materiel Command, the procurement agency for the T-X, has not committed to a single or twin engine design but has specified a requirement that, “Takeoff and IFR [Instrument Flight Rules] climb out performance in the event of single engine failure for a two engine aircraft on a no wind day at a density altitude of 7400 ft.” The requirement is for a climb gradient of 200 feet per nautical mile. Defence IQ reported last June that Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Air Education and Training Command (AETC), confirmed the requirements proposal will “not express a preference for a single-engine aircraft versus a twin.”

The T-X, a long-term replacement for the ageing T-38 trainer, must have a minimum threshold requirement of 6.5 Gs for sustained G but the development objective is to get this to 7.5 Gs under standard configuration, 80% fuel weight, and 15,000 ft Pressure Altitude (PA), and no greater than 0.9Mach.

In terms of aircraft sustainment, operational availability is to be greater than or equal to 80% at 20,000 fleet hours and material availability at ≥ 76% at 20,000 fleet hours.

Questions about the T-X requirements have been circulating ever since it was included in the President’s FY16 budget, with analysts particularly looking at the possibility of using it as an aggressor training system as well as using it for its core purpose of advanced pilot training. Since it’s expected to be in service for decades, the platform needs to be flexible enough to allow for upgrades in the future, which may include the aggressor training element.

Lockheed Martin’s advanced development facility, known as Skunk Works, revealed earlier this month that it had been working on a brand new platform for the T-X programme, which may be fast-tracked depending on the final requirements. The company currently plans to offer a version of it T- 50 trainer.

Also in the running, Boeing and Saab AB joined forces last year to develop and build a “clean sheet” platform for the T-X Family of Systems training solution. Boeing are the prime contractor and Saab AB primary partner.

Textron Air Land is proposing its Scorpion light attack and ISR aircraft while the team of General Dynamics and Alenia Aermacchi have joined forces to offer an advanced trainer system, dubbed the T-100, based on Alenia's M346 platform. Northrop Grumman recently announced it was moving away from using the BAE Systems Hawk platform for its bid to replace the T-38 and will instead offer a new design.

In February, Defence IQ reported that the requirements would be released “within weeks,” according to Gen. Rand, speaking at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium.


Military Flight Training : View the conference agenda here.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 11:50
Solar Impulse 2 a amorcé son survol de l'Inde


18.03.2015 Romandie.com (ats)


L'avion solaire Solar Impulse 2 a décollé mercredi d'Ahmedabad pour la ville sainte Varanasi (Bénarès), poursuivant dans le ciel indien son tour du monde sans carburant. De petits problèmes d'ordre migratoire ont retardé le départ, au grand dam de Bertrand Piccard.

Une fois réglées ces formalités de dernière minute avec les autorités indiennes, l'avion a décollé à 07h18 locales (02h48 heure suisse), indique l'organisation de Solar Impulse dans un communiqué. Le pilote André Borschberg était aux commandes.

Bertrand Piccard s'est plaint mercredi des lenteurs de la bureaucratie indienne. Le pilote a expliqué à la presse que le décollage de l'appareil d'Ahmedabad, dans l'Etat occidental de Gujarat, avait été retardé à cause de formalités administratives.

"Le retard est dû à l'administration, aux papiers, aux tampons", a-t-il déclaré. "Je ne suis pas là pour accuser qui que ce soit. Je dit juste qu'au cours des cinq derniers jours, on a essayé de réunir les tampons nécessaires et que tous les jours, on nous disait 'demain'". "Cela fait cinq jours qu'on essaye d'avoir les tampons et il nous en manque encore", a encore ajouté Bertrand Piccard.


Quinze heures de vol

La troisième étape du voyage de l'avion solaire, un vol de plus de 1000 kilomètres au-dessus de l'Inde, devrait durer une quinzaine d'heures. Après un arrêt de neuf heures à Varanasi, où l'atterrissage de Bertrand Piccard est attendu pour 22h38 (18h08 heure suisse), l'appareil devrait repartir jeudi pour Mandalay, en Birmanie, avant de continuer sa course vers la Chine.

Le brouillard avait empêché Solar Impulse de décoller d'Ahmedabad mardi comme prévu. L'appareil révolutionnaire devait même initialement repartir dimanche, mais en avait déjà été empêché par le mauvais temps.

En réalisant un tour du monde en douze étapes, les deux Suisses Bertrand Piccard et André Borschberg veulent démontrer que les technologies propres et les énergies renouvelables permettent d'accomplir des exploits considérés jusqu'ici comme "impossibles".

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
Aerospace and defense outlook for 2015


March 17, 2015 source deloitte.com

Growth for commercial aerospace; defense decline continues

According to our 2015 Global aerospace and defense industry outlook, the industry is likely to grow around 3 percent. This increase is due to the continued strength of the commercial aerospace sector from rising passenger travel demand and production of next generation fuel-efficient aircraft.

Commercial aerospace
Based on information in the Outlook, the commercial aerospace sector is expected to set new records for aircraft production in 2015 with revenue growth close to 8 percent. The accelerated replacement cycle of obsolete aircraft with next generation fuel-efficient aircraft, and growing passenger travel demand, especially in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, are key drivers behind this trend.

Over the next few years, the defense sector will likely be challenged in two major ways: how to grow profitably in a declining market and what actions are necessary to cut costs in order to maintain acceptable financial performance. Many defense companies are addressing these challenges by branching out into adjacent markets, focusing on foreign military sales, and investing in next generation product development.

2015 Global Aerospace & Defense Outlook Download the report

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
A330 MRTT photo Airbus DS

A330 MRTT photo Airbus DS


Mar 14, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Korea Herald; published Mar 13, 2015)


South Korea has postponed the introduction of aerial refueling tankers by about a year until 2018 due to a delayed process of selecting a successful bidder, government officials and industry sources here said Friday.


The 1.4 trillion won ($1.26 billion) project to purchase four refueling tankers has drawn interest from three aerospace giants: Europe's Airbus Defense and Space, Boeing of the United States and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) of Israel.


The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), South Korea's state arms procurer, had planned to choose the winning bidder by the end of last year, but the process has been delayed due mainly to gaps in offsets of defense trade terms, according to industry sources.


Offsets in defense trade encompass a range of industrial compensation arrangements required by foreign governments as a condition of the purchase of defense articles and services from a non-domestic source.


"We will resume negotiations with the candidates next week," said a DAPA official, requesting anonymity. "After wrapping up the talks and bidding process by the end of next month, we will make a contractor selection in June."


The delay in the selection process has subsequently caused the military's schedule of putting the tankers into service to be postponed from 2017 to 2018, a defense ministry official said.


"But we are to deploy all four tankers by 2019 as planned -- two in 2018 and two in 2019," the official noted.


The use of tankers allows the fighter jets to stay airborne for an extra hour and carry more weapons. The greater payload is made possible because the jets can take off with less fuel, thereby lightening their weight. (Yonhap)

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
Turkey Releases RFI for Fighter Program


March 15, 2015 By Burak Ege Bekdil – Defense News


ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish government finally released a Request for Information (RFI) for its ambitious program for the design, development and production of an indigenous fighter jet.


The country's procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), defined in the RFI document the scope of the fighter program, dubbed TF-X, 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.


"This is a critical stage for the program," a senior SSM official familiar with the program said. "We wish to see which companies would be willing to take part and which capabilities will be offered.


Turkey's top procurement panel, the Defense Industry Executive Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, decided 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 that a twin-engine model would be pursued in the national fighter aircraft program.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
F-35 Lightning II Program Quality Assurance and Corrective Action Evaluation


Mar 14, 2015 defense-aerospace.com/

(Source: DoD Inspector General; issued Mar 13, 2015)

We inspected the F-35 Lightning II Program (F-35 Program) at Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth, Texas, for conformity to the contractually required Aerospace Standard (AS)9100, “Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Aviation, Space and Defense Organizations.”

We also evaluated corrective actions taken in response to nonconformities, findings, and recommendations identified in DoD Inspector General (IG) Report No. DODIG-2013-140, “Quality Assurance Assessment of the F-35 Lightning II Program,” September 30, 2013, to determine whether the actions taken were appropriate.

The F-35 Program generally conformed to requirements and showed improvement in quality management system performance since our previous evaluation; however, challenges still remain, as evidenced by 57 nonconformities to the AS9100 standard and 4 opportunities for improvement. The Joint Program Office (JPO) did not:

A. ensure the program made sufficient progress toward full compliance with Public Law 108-136, “National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2004,” Section 802, “Quality control in procurement of aviation Critical Safety Items (CSIs) and related services,” and the Joint Service CSI Instruction (SECNAVINST 4140.2), “Management of Aviation Critical Safety Items,”

B. ensure that all system level requirements and capabilities were realized and verified,

C. create an independent quality assurance organization, establish its roles and responsibilities, and ensure it was adequately staffed to perform effective oversight for the F-35 Program,

D. ensure that Lockheed Martin was taking necessary steps to reduce the assembly defect rate in order to meet the full rate production goals,

F. ensure that Lockheed Martin’s software quality management processes were performed sufficiently to prevent software defects, and G. ensure that Lockheed Martin flows down all contractual requirements to its subcontractors, evaluates deliverables for contract compliance, and allows minor non-conformances to be approved only by the proper authority.

In addition, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) did not:

E. escalate unresolved Corrective Action Requests (CARs) to the next higher level as appropriate and required by its policy, for effective resolution.


We recommend that the Joint Program Office:

A.1. ensure that the F-35 CSI Program is compliant with Public Law 108-136, Section 802, “Quality control in procurement of aviation CSIs and related services,” and the Joint Service CSI Instruction, “Management of Aviation Critical Safety Items”;

A.2. conduct periodic CSI Program evaluations of Lockheed Martin and its suppliers to ensure compliance with public law and the Joint Service CSI Instruction;

B.1. clearly define contractual criteria for the acceptance of all future and fielded aircraft to ensure that aircraft capabilities are verified;

B.2 ensure that all 21 system-level requirements that may not be met, in addition to the risks associated with the failure to meet these requirements, are documented, tracked, and mitigated using the established risk management process;

C. realign the quality assurance organization to report directly to the Program Executive Officer, define the organization’s roles and responsibilities, and staff the organization appropriately;

D.1. ensure that Lockheed Martin implements quality improvement initiatives to reduce the assembly defect rate to meet full rate production goals;

D.2. coordinate with DCMA to implement an effective root cause analysis and corrective action process in order to reduce assembly defect rate;

F. work with Lockheed Martin to ensure software quality management systems are improved; metrics should be reported on a periodic basis (for example, monthly) to evaluate process improvement; and

G.1. ensure that all minor non-conformances are evaluated and approved only by DCMA.


We recommend that the DCMA:

E.1. review all unresolved CARs and escalate those that meet the criteria established in DCMA policies and instructions,

E.2. assess all CARs that were not properly elevated and assess any impact on the product, and

G.2. ensure that Lockheed Martin flows down the appropriate technical requirements to its subcontractors and receives and evaluates contract deliverables within the required time frames.


Management Comments and Our Response

On January 20, 2015, JPO and DCMA provided comments on our findings and recommendations. The Joint Program Office agreed with six recommendations and partially agreed with three recommendations.

JPO partially agreed with the recommendation to track 21 system-level requirements, which it acknowledged will not be met. However, JPO does not consider the 21 system-level requirements as risks and did not agree to track them in its formal risk management process. We disagree with this approach because a final determination of performance has not been made and failure to track the risks in the formal risk management process prevents an identification of the plans necessary for closure.

JPO partially agreed with the recommendation to work with DCMA to implement an effective root cause analysis and corrective action process to reduce assembly defects to meet full-rate production goals. However, JPO stated that no additional changes to corrective action processes were necessary. We disagree with JPO’s response because additional quality initiatives are required to meet full?rate production goals and DCMA’s involvement is necessary to ensure objectives are met. Our recommendation was for JPO to take actions to identify and correct the cause of the program’s inability to reduce defect rates to support full-rate production.

JPO also partially agreed with our recommendation to ensure all minor non-conformances are evaluated and approved only by DCMA. The actions that JPO is planning to meet the intent of the recommendation.

DCMA agreed with all three of our recommendations. The actions that DCMA is planning to take meet the intent of the recommendations.

Click here for the full report (88 PDF pages), on the DoD IG website.

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17 mars 2015 2 17 /03 /mars /2015 17:20
Boeing’s first KC-46 tanker test aircraft takes off from Paine Field, Washington, on its inaugural flight in Dec. 28, 2014.(Photo Paul Gordon Boeing)

Boeing’s first KC-46 tanker test aircraft takes off from Paine Field, Washington, on its inaugural flight in Dec. 28, 2014.(Photo Paul Gordon Boeing)


March 17, 2015 By Aaron Mehta – Defense News


WASHINGTON — The KC-46A Pegasus tanker program director is "not comfortable" saying the tanker's first flight will happen as planned in April.


Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson, program executive officer for tankers, told an audience Tuesday that he is now targeting a more general date of second quarter of this calendar year, which extends to the end of June.


"What I'm trying not to do is get fixated on days," Richardson said at the CreditSuisse/McAleese conference, held annually in Washington. "I feel more comfortable saying second quarter calendar 15. I feel more comfortable with that."


The KC-46A will replace the majority of the service's current tanker fleet with 179 new planes, based on a Boeing commercial design. The contract protects the Air Force from major cost overruns on the way to having 18 planes ready to go in 2017.


The first engineering, manufacturing, development (EMD) configuration flew in late December, while first flight of a full-up KC-46A had been scheduled for April. That now appears to be slipping.


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17 mars 2015 2 17 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
EC175 Winter Campaign - photo Airbus HC

EC175 Winter Campaign - photo Airbus HC

17 mars 2015 Airbus Helicopters


40 degrees below zero

Last year, Airbus Helicopters performed cold tests to certify its aircraft for operation in freezing temperatures.

Relive the event and follow a team as they go as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius.

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17 mars 2015 2 17 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Boeing Updates NATO AWACS with 21st Century Flight Deck, Avionics


Mar 12, 2015 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company


    Improving capability, efficiency, situational awareness for operators


Boeing [NYSE: BA] recently completed the first flight of a NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft with modern flight deck and avionics systems that replace 1970s-era analog systems.

During the two-hour flight on Dec. 31 testers evaluated five full-color glass displays with customizable engine, navigation and radar data. The systems performed better than expected and the program will now enter an extensive flight test qualification phase. Fourteen NATO AWACS in total will receive the flight deck modernization, delivery of the first upgraded aircraft is scheduled for January 2016.


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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 18:50
photo Lockheed Martin

photo Lockheed Martin


Mar 12, 2015 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation


History was achieved today when the first Italian F-35A Lightning II rolled out of the Cameri Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility, marking the first F-35A assembled internationally and the first of eight aircraft currently being assembled. The aircraft, designated as AL-1, will now proceed to additional check-out activities before its anticipated first flight later this year.


The rollout exhibits the ongoing strong partnership between the Italian Ministry of Defense, industry partner Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]. The Italian FACO is owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense and is operated by Alenia Aermacchi in conjunction with Lockheed Martin with a current workforce of more than 750 skilled personnel engaged in F-35 aircraft and wing production.


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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
photo Airbus DS

photo Airbus DS


10/3/2015 Airbus DS


Aircraft is first to be delivered to export customer.


Airbus Defence and Space has formally delivered the first of four Airbus A400M military transport ordered by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The handover also marks the first delivery of an A400M to an export customer outside the original launch nations.


The aircraft was accepted at the A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain on 9 March by Chief of Malaysian Defence Force General Tan Sri Dr. Zulkifeli, witnessed by Datuk Nozirah, Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of Finance, and Dato Dr. Rothiah, Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of Defence, who signed the Transfer ot Title on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Chief of RMAF, General Dato' Sri Roslan Bin Saad, said: “The A400M will give the RMAF the most advanced heavy transport capability in the region and enable us to undertake an extraordinary range of military and humanitarian operations.”


Bernhard Gerwert, CEO Airbus Defence and Space, said: “We are extremely proud to deliver the first A400M to our first export customer - Malaysia. These aircraft will transform Malaysia’s air mobility force thanks to the A400M´s unique combination of strategic and tactical capabilities. Today sends a clear message that the A400M is not just a specialised aircraft designed and developed for Europe’s air forces, but is truly the new reference in tactical and strategic transport market globally – fulfilling both roles in a single machine.”


After arrival in Malaysia, the A400M will star in the LIMA airshow at Langkawi, 17-21 March.


Check out the First Engine run, First Taxi, Painting and First Flight of the aircraft for the Malaysian Air Force.

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 12:35
Airbus Hands Over Malaysia’s First A400M - photo Airbus DS

Airbus Hands Over Malaysia’s First A400M - photo Airbus DS


Mar 13, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Airbus Group; issued March 10, 2015)


A400M Centrepiece At LIMA 2015


The Airbus Group will have a major presence at the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) with its technologically-advanced airlifter, the A400M, making its debut at the Show which will be held from March 17-22, 2015.


On display will be the A400M, designated MSN22, the first of four A400M which was delivered to the Royal Malaysian Air Force on 9th of March. The A400M will be performing a special fly-past on the opening day and will, thereafter, be on static display.


“Malaysia is a key market and partner for the Airbus Group in Asia Pacific. In addition to being a long-standing customer base for our various businesses, we have also significantly increased our industrial presence in the country over the past 10 years with our smart partnerships. We have initiated cooperation programmes that are contributing to the advancement of the local aerospace industry while providing the best of our expertise, products and services,” said Pierre Jaffre, President, Asia Pacific, Airbus Group.


Airbus Group will present a wide range of cutting-edge products and technologies at LIMA 2015 from commercial and military aircraft to helicopters and radars. It will also highlight its strong and extensive industrial and services footprint in Malaysia and its support of the Malaysian Government’s Aerospace Industry Blueprint.


At the Group’s exhibition booth, Stand N° B620, Hall B, various scale models will be on display. Among them are the all-new widebody A350 XWB, the C295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, civil helicopter H175 and military helicopters H225M and Tiger. Also at the stand will be models of the TANAN unmanned aircraft system and the MEASAT-3b, the largest and most powerful telecommunications satellite ordered by MEASAT.


Information on the Group’s border security solutions, maritime satellite services and GEO Intelligence Imagery & Net management system will be available at the stand.


Airbus Group is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2014, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space and Airbus Helicopters –

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
Italy Produces First F-35 Outside US

The first F-35A aircraft built in Italy, AL-1, which will also be the first of the jets operated by the Italian Air Force, prepares for its roll out from the Cameri, Italy, final assembly and check out facility.(Photo: Larry Bramblett/Lockheed Martin)


March 12, 2015 By Tom Kington - Defense News


ROME — The first joint strike fighter assembled outside the US rolled off an assembly line in Italy on Thursday, Lockheed Martin said in a statement.


The aircraft, designated AL-1, was the first of eight aircraft being assembled at the final assembly and check out (FACO) facility at Cameri Air Base in northern Italy. AL-1 is due to fly for the first time later this year, Lockheed Martin said.


Italy is assembling its F-35s at Cameri, currently an order of 90 aircraft, and will assemble Dutch aircraft as well. The facility is also being used to build wing sets under contract to Lockheed Martin. The first wing section has been completed and is due to be shipped to Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 production line for final assembly.


Owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense, Cameri is operated by Italian firm Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed Martin, with 750 staff now based at the 101-acre facility, which includes 22 buildings and over a million square feet of covered workspace.


Last December, the site was chosen by the DoD as Europe's F-35 airframe maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade center, which should guarantee work for Cameri after Italy's jets have been assembled.

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
India Tejas Light Combat Aircraft PV-1 (KH2003) in flight.

India Tejas Light Combat Aircraft PV-1 (KH2003) in flight.


Mar 13, 2015 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued March 10, 2015)


Delay In Tejas LCA Project

The First Series Production Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas has been handed over to Chief of Air Staff by Raksha Mantri on 17th January 2015.

The following are some of the reasons for delay in completion of LCA project:
-- Ab-initio development of the state-of-the-art technologies.
-- Non-availability of trained / skilled manpower in the country.
-- Non-availability of infrastructure / test facilities in the country.
-- Unanticipated technical / technological complexities faced in structural design.
-- Non-availability of critical components / equipment / materials and denial of technologies by the technologically advanced countries.
-- Enhanced User’s requirements or change in specifications during development.
-- Increase in the scope of work.
-- Inadequate production facility at HAL

The initial cost of Full Scale Engineering Development (FSED) Programme Phase-II of LCA Tejas was Rs. 3301.78 crore. Based on modifications required in the aircraft, an additional sanction of Rs. 2475.78 crore was granted, which increased the total sanctioned cost of Phase-II Programme to Rs. 5777.56 crore.

From the open sources, it is seen that the contemporary aircraft of LCA developed in other countries are JAS-39 by Sweden, FA-50 by South Korea and JF-17 by Pakistan / China.

The engines installed in these aircraft (except that of JF-17) are GE-404 series engines. LCA parameters, such as empty weight, all-up weight (except that of JAS-39), thrust, speed (except that of JAS-39) are better than those of the other aircrafts.

Similarly, development / unit cost of LCA are less than those of JAS-39 and FA-50 but more than that of JF-17. However, LCA’s Ferry Range is less than those of other aircrafts.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Palvai Govardhan Reddy in Rajya Sabha today.

Under Water Vehicles Developed By DRDO
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) as technology demonstrator. A project has been taken up to demonstrate certain enhanced critical parameters of the AUV.

DRDO has undertaken a feasibility study for the development of different types of AUV platforms that could be used for a variety of roles, like surveillance and mine counter measures etc.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri Aayanur Manjunatha and Shri Mohd. Ali Khan in Rajya Sabha today.

100 Per Cent FDI In Defence Sector
The Government vide Press Note 7 of 2014 Series dated 26.8.2014 has notified revised FDI Policy in defence sector, according to which FDI upto 49% is allowed in the sector through FIPB route and above 49% through approval of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on case to case basis, wherever it is likely to result in access to modern and state-of-the-art technology in the country.

After opening up of the defence industry sector for FDI in 2001, 33 FDI proposals / Joint Ventures have been approved in defence sector for manufacture of various defence equipment to Indian companies.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Shri P Bhattacharya in Rajya Sabha today.

JV In Defence Sector
After launching of “Make in India” campaign, the ‘Acceptance of Necessity (AoN)’ have been accorded for 40 projects with Indian as well as Foreign manufacturers, with an amount of approximately Rs. 1,01,264 crore. Further, project-wise details cannot be divulged in the interest of National Security.

The Government vide Press Note 3 of 2015 Series dated 26.6.2014 has notified defence products list for the purpose of issuing Industrial License for manufacturing in the private sector which includes items like electronic warfare, radar etc. apart from other licensable items designed or modified for military purpose.

This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to Dr. T Subbarami Reddy in Rajya Sabha today.

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