Canberra, Australia, Dec. 9, 2015 – Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin, Pilatus Aircraft and Hawker Pacific Contracted to Deliver AIR 5428 Pilot Training System
The Australian Department of Defence has awarded the AIR 5428 Pilot Training System contract to Lockheed Martin-led Team 21 to train the next generation of Australian Defence Force pilots.
The initial seven year program is valued at AU$1.2 billion. Performance-based options for up to 25 years will provide the opportunity to extend the length and increase the value of the total contract. Lockheed Martin will lead the delivery of an integrated solution tailored for all future pilots for the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army.
“We are honoured to partner with Australia to deliver a comprehensive training solution that is customised for their needs and focused on fifth-generation mission readiness,” said Jon Rambeau, vice president and general manager for Lockheed Martin Training and Logistics Solutions. “Our proven, innovative training system will help the Australian Defence Force meet the challenge of preparing pilots to perform in today’s complex global environment.”
As prime contractor, Lockheed Martin will provide overall project management for the pilot training system and deliver a family of integrated ground-based training technologies.
“Our approach will be tailored to the particular needs of Australia’s future defence requirements and will leverage proven turn-key training capabilities from Lockheed Martin, as well as those of our partners – Pilatus Aircraft and Hawker Pacific,“ said Raydon Gates, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand.
Pilatus Aircraft will provide PC-21 turboprop training aircraft and through-life engineering and airworthiness support. Hawker Pacific will provide maintenance services and fleet support and leverage its established supply chain in Australia.
With this selection, Australia joins Singapore in employing Lockheed Martin-led integrated turn-key training solutions. As a performance-based system, turn-key training provides increased pilot competency, shorter training times and lower training cost. Team 21 is in the ninth year of a 20-year performance-based flight training contract to provide the Basic Wings Course to the Republic of Singapore Air Force, at Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce in Western Australia.
For additional information, visit our website: www.lockheedmartin.com.au/readiness
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that - with the addition of Sikorsky - employs approximately 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
December 7, 2015: Strategy Page
In late November Chinese media made much of a training exercise over the South China Sea featuring their H-6K bomber. This is the latest version of China’s largest and most capable long range bomber. In the November exercise eight H-6Ks were seen more than a thousand kilometers out to sea and accompanied by electronic warfare aircraft. Four of the H-6Ks flew close to Okinawa and were photographed by Japanese aircraft. This was apparently an effort to demonstrate the Chinese capability to hit targets far from the Chinese mainland, especially American bases in Okinawa and Guam. This was but the latest effort to publicize the H-6K. In March China media heavily covered senior officials visiting airbases where the H-6K was shown off with media allowed to take close up photos of the aircraft, including the cockpit. Apparently that publicity did not do the trick so the November flights were used for emphasis.
The H-6K is the latest version of the H-6 and while much is known about it, there had been no pictures of the cockpit, at least none that the public could see, before the March media event. Apparently Western intel agencies had not had a look inside either as there was some buzz in the intel community when the propaganda pictures of the visit showed the inside of the cockpit and the modern (“glass”) cockpit that consisted largely of five flat screen touch displays rather than the older array of many switches and small indicators. These pictures also showed that the H-6K had a new side entry door that could use a stair or a ladder.
Since 2011 China has received over twenty of the H-6K. This model only entered service in 2011, after several years of development. The H-6K uses more efficient Russian engines (D30KP2) that give it a range of about 3,500 kilometers. Electronics are state-of-the-art and include a more powerful radar. The fuselage of the bomber has been reinforced with lighter, stronger, composite materials giving it longer range and greater carrying capacity. The rear facing 23mm autocannon has been replaced with electronic warfare equipment. The H-6K can carry six of the two-ton CJ-10A land-attack cruise missiles under its wings and one more in the bomb bay. These appear to have a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, as they are similar to the older Russian Kh-55 (which could be armed with a nuclear warhead). The CJ-10A is sometimes described as a high-speed (2,500 kilometers an hour), solid fuel missile. But that type of missile is a short range (about 300 kilometers) anti-ship system. The CJ-10A appears to be more of a copy of the American Tomahawk (using a much slower jet engine). The CJ-10A can carry a nuclear warhead but usually does not. Armed with these missiles the H6K can attack American bases on Okinawa and Guam with these cruise missiles. The H-6K can also carry up to eight anti-ship missiles, making it a threat to American carriers.
There are about a hundred H-6s in service (out of about 200 built). These are Chinese copies of the Russian Tu-16s (about 1,500 built). Although the Tu-16 design is over fifty years old, China has continued to rely on their H-6s as one of their principal bombers. The H-6 is a 78 ton aircraft with a crew of four and two engines. Most models can carry nine tons of bombs and missiles, with the new H-6K able to haul about 12 tons. Most H-6s carry the CJ-10A and C201 missiles, as well as bombs. It does not appear that China is building a lot of H-6Ks, perhaps no more than thirty. The Russians kept their Tu-16s in service until the early 1990s, but China kept improving their H-6 copy. Thus the H-6K is a capable heavy bomber that will apparently be around for another decade or two
Les nouveaux diplômés ajusteur monteur de structures aéronef de MBDA à Bourges, en présence d’Antoine Bouvier, CEO de MBDA. Photo D. Lutanie - MBDA
04.12.2015 par Bruno Rivière – Aerobuzz.fr
MBDA prévoit 550 recrutements en France d’ici fin 2016, toutes catégories professionnelles confondues, politique qui pourrait se poursuivre en 2017. Pour faire face à ses besoins, le missilier développe ses capacités de formation.
« Nos récents succès à l’exportation replacent désormais MBDA sur une trajectoire de croissance à court et moyen terme », affirme Antoine Bouvier, CEO de MBDA. Cette nouvelle dynamique se traduit par un plan ambitieux de recrutement de 550 personnes d’ici fin 2016 pour ses sites français. MBDA a besoin d’ingénieurs mais aussi de techniciens et d’ouvriers qualifiés. Le missilier n’échappant pas à la pénurie de main d’œuvre qualifiée, il a mis en place, en 2012, une formation qualifiante d’ajusteur monteur de structures aéronef sur son site de Bourges. A ce jour, 28 ajusteurs monteurs aéronautiques ont été diplômés à Bourges. Les derniers en date ont reçu leur diplôme, le 30 novembre dernier. Il s’agit de personnes sans emploi ou en reconversion et ne disposant pas de qualification dans les métiers aéronautiques ou industriels.
Suite de l’article
December 3, 2015: Strategy Page
Airbus DS is adding new optional features to its popular C295 transport. One is a kit that enables the aircraft to refuel in the air. The other kit enables the aircraft to land and take off on smaller airfields. These two features are provided largely at the request of customers that use the C295 for special operations missions.
The C295s entered service in 2001 and are manufactured in Spain. C295 is a 23 ton twin engine turboprop aircraft that can carry six tons for up to 2,200 kilometers. Top speed is 570 kilometers an hour and max payload is nine tons or 71 troops. Users note that the C295 is easy to maintain, stands up well to daily operation over long periods and copes with hot and dusty conditions. So far over 220 C295s have been ordered by 20 countries.
One of the latest sales (early 2015) was India which is paying $33.4 million each for 56 C295 transports. These will replace the elderly (some 50 years old) HAL-748 transports. The HAL-768 is a license built version of the British Avro 748. India bought 89 HAL-748s in the 1960s but only about fifty are still flyable. India began looking for someone to replace the HAL-768s in 2012 and asked for proposals from all major aircraft manufacturers. Only AirBus responded because India insisted that the manufacturer build most of the aircraft in India with an existing Indian company. AirBus partnered with Tata Motors to build 40 C295s in India while the first 16 wound come from the Spanish manufacturer. The Avros were built in India by state owned and run HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) as were most aircraft built in India since the 1940s. But HAL has a terrible reputation for quality and reliability so the choice of Tata (a younger and more innovative and successful firm) is appealing because it would give HAL some effective competition.
December 2, 2015: Strategy Page
India’s locally designed and built LCA (Light Combat Aircraft or "Tejas") jet fighter has still not received its FOC (Final Operational Clearance), nearly two years after receiving its IOC (Initial Operational Certificate). That is one of many reasons the Indian Air Force is openly pleading with the government not to force them to accept and operate the LCA. The air force has already agreed to accept (and pay for out of their budget) twenty LCAs but is defiantly resisting government suggestions that another hundred LCAs be purchased. Air force commanders point out that the LCA development has been a long list of failures. Moreover the current LCA design is very expensive to maintain and performs poorly in the air.
The air force has ample reasons to fear the LCA. In late 2013 the LCA finally, after many delays, was issued an IOC. This allowed LCA to be flown by military pilots, not just certified test pilots. The next goal was to upgrade LCA a bit so that it could earn an FOC. That would confirm that the aircraft was combat ready and that all its systems (electronics, fire control, weapons handling and so on) were operating to the satisfaction of the air force or foreign customers. In late 2013 it was announced that the LCA should earn an FOC by the end of 2014. But to move things along in the meantime the first LCA squadron (20 aircraft) was be built to IOC standards with plans to upgrade to FOC standards later. This first LCA squadron was to be based in the southern tip of India (near Sri Lanka) and far from any likelihood of combat. It will be years, if ever, before India is confident enough in LCA to station any of them on the Pakistani or Chinese border.
In 2012 the government admitted an inability to get the LCA into mass production and quietly delayed that goal for at least two more years. Production was originally to begin at the end of 2012 but the number of technical problems with the LCA was too great to clear up in time for production to start on schedule. Many essential electronic items were not functioning properly or reliably. The prototypes were maintenance nightmares and after each test flight it took several days to get the aircraft in shape to fly again. The managers of this government financed project tried to keep the problems quiet while problems were quickly and quietly fixed. The bureaucrats failed at both these tasks. The failures continue because the plan to earn the FOC in 2015 was missed for the usual reasons (equipment failures and poor performance). The current date for getting the FOC is early 2016 but no one is certain about that, or anything else having to do the LCA.
This IOC/FOC mess was not the first major failure for the LCA. In early 2013 India admitted defeat and dropped plans to use the locally developed Kaveri engine in the LCA. After 24 years and over $600 million the Kaveri was unable to achieve the necessary performance or reliability goals. The government plans to try and adapt the Kaveri for use in a combat UAV that is being developed locally but that aircraft is not expected to fly until the end of the decade.
The LCA developers saw this Kaveri disaster coming in 2012 and several years earlier ordered 99 American F414 jet engines for $8.1 million each. These were to be used for the first LCAs being mass produced. At that point it was still believed that eventually most of the LCAs were to be powered by the Kaveri engine. The F414s were to substitute only until the Kaveri was ready but now are a long-term solution.
The failure of the Kaveri project is just one of many examples of how the Indian defense procurement bureaucracy misfires. Efforts to fix the mess even led to calling in foreign experts (from the U.S., Israel, and other Western nations). For example, in 2010 India made arrangements with French engine manufacturer Snecma to provide technical assistance for the Kaveri design and manufacturing problems. Critics in the Indian air force asserted that help from Snecma would not save the ill-fated Kaveri program. But the government apparently believed that it was necessary for India to acquire the ability to design and build world class jet engines, whatever the cost. Only a few nations can do this and India wants to be one of them, soon, no matter what obstacles are encountered. Despite decades of effort, the Kaveri never quite made it to mass production. Now the government will continue funding development of jet engine design and manufacturing capability, but with some unspecified changes.
There is much to be learned from all these development disasters. When work began on the Kaveri, in the mid-1980s, it was believed that the LCA would be ready for flight testing by 1990. A long list of technical delays put off that first flight until 2001. Corners had to be cut to make this happen, for the LCA was originally designed to use the Indian built Kaveri engine and the engine was never ready.
For all this, by 2012 India only planned to buy 200-300 LCAs, mainly to replace its aging MiG-21s, plus more if the navy finds the LCA works on carriers. Now those plans have been cut to 120 for the air force as the navy has made it clear it wants nothing to do with LCA. Export prospects are dim, given all the competition out there (especially for cheap, second-hand F-16s). The delays have led the air force to look around for a hundred or so new aircraft (or even used F-16s) to fill the gap between elderly MiG-21s falling apart and the arrival of the new LCAs. There is no end in sight for this tragicomic farce.
Like China, South Korea and Turkey, Japan is looking at stealth fighters, and should fly the Mitsubishi-built ATD-X demonstrator during the first quarter of 2016. (Japan MoD photo)
Dec 3, 2015 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: The Japan Times; published Dec 3, 2015)
Japan is closing in on becoming the fourth nation to test fly its own stealth jet, a move that could further antagonize neighboring Asian countries that oppose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to strengthen the role of the Self-Defense Forces.
The aircraft is scheduled to make its maiden flight within the first three months of next year, Hirofumi Doi, a program manager at the Defense Ministry, said in an interview in Tokyo. The plane, called Advanced Technology Demonstrator X, will then be handed over to the SDF, which will start conducting its own tests, he said.
The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.-made plane builds on Abe’s military ambitions after he succeeded in pushing through U.S.-endorsed legislation to allow Japanese forces to fight in overseas conflicts, despite concerns voiced abroad and at home. Japanese militarism is a particularly sensitive topic for China and South Korea because of the aggression they endured before and during World War II.
“The security environment around Japan is becoming increasingly complex and Japan needs to maintain air capabilities commensurate to those of other air forces in the region,” said Rukmani Gupta, an analyst in New Delhi at IHS Jane’s. “Should the ATD-X test be deemed successful, it is very likely that Japan will pursue production of a next-generation fighter.”
The 14-meter-long jet, equipped with engines from IHI Corp., will cost ¥40 billion ($325 million) to develop, Doi said. The ATD-X could become the basis for a new fighter jet to replace the nation’s F-2, said Takahiro Yoshida, a director in the ministry.
Should Japan decide to make a fighter jet version, its engines would be about three times the strength of the stealth jet’s, and the plane would have enough internal space for missiles, Doi said.
It’s not certain that Japan will go ahead with the project.
“These experimental fighters are an exercise in the realm of the possible,” said Lance Gatling, head of aerospace consultancy Nexial Research. “In terms of international relations, it’s a bargaining chip. They can say: ‘We did a credible job on this, we may just build our own if you don’t give us a better deal or you don’t give us a portion of the production in Japan.'”
IHI is fully supporting flight tests of the latest jet, said Yuki Takahashi, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman. Hideo Ikuno, a spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy in Tokyo, declined comment on the jet’s development.
The U.S., Russia and China have all built and flown stealth planes, known as fifth-generation jets, which are harder to detect by radar. Other countries such as India and Turkey are also developing stealth jets, according to Gupta at IHS Jane’s. South Korea and Indonesia are also investing in the joint development of a next-generation fighter aircraft, he said.
Back in Japan, the government will make a decision on a replacement for its F-2 fighter jets by the end of March 2019, Doi said.
“We’re building this in preparation for the development of a new fighter jet,” Doi said. “Neighboring countries are developing stealth jets and so this research is to allow us to understand what technology is needed for such a project.”
Dec 2, 2015 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Reuters; published Dec 2, 2015)
BERLIN --- The German Armed Forces took delivery of a second A400M military transport plane from Airbus in Seville on Wednesday, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
Another A400M plane is due to be delivered by the end of the year, a military source said, taking the total Germany will have received to three.
Germany has ordered 53 of the planes from Airbus but deliveries have been delayed as the world's second-biggest aerospace group grapples with production delays.
Five of the planes were due to be delivered to Germany this year, but it will now only receive two.
November 15, 2015: Strategy Page
Deliveries of Typhoon jet fighters has been delayed for the second time in a year because of manufacturing quality problems. The current delay has to do with assembly of the fuselage and does not cause a short term safety problem but rather a long-term one. If not corrected the aircraft would face a shorter service life (number of flight hours) that could only be corrected with expensive rebuilding.
Developed and built by a consortium of the largest European defense firms Typhoon was a replacement for the Cold War era Tornado fighter (a contemporary of the Su-27, F-15 and F-16). Development began in the 1980s and first flight was in 1994, after the Cold War unexpectedly ended. This reduced the urgency to get Typhoon into service, which didn’t happen until 2003. At that point many of the main customers (European NATO members) began to have second thoughts. The huge Russian (Soviet Union) air force faded away in the 1990s and there was no new air threat to replace it. By 2007 most customers for Typhoon were cutting their orders in a major way. For example Britain initially planned to buy 232 (Germany was to get 180, Italy 121, and Spain 87.) Britain already had 144 Eurofighters from the first two batches by 2009 and bought few additional aircraft after that.
The Typhoon turned out to be a pretty good warplane. This was discovered early on. By 2008 there were 135 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters in service, and they aircraft have been in the air for a combined 35,000 hours (as of the end of 2007.) Half those hours were flown in 2007, as the Eurofighter entered regular service in several nations. About 20 percent of those flight hours were for flight testing, but the rest were for day-to-day operations. The future looked bright. But since then, competition from American and Russian fighters, for export sales, and lack of European enthusiasm for more purchases, has dimmed sales prospects. Typhoon got into combat in 2011 over Libya and performed well, but the demand from export customers (and local ones) was just not there.
Each aircraft costs over $120 million, including development costs. Current estimates indicate that about 600 will eventually be built. The Typhoon is a somewhat stealthy multi-role fighter. It is fast, maneuverable, and carries a lot of weapons. It also can be used for attack missions. This 23 ton aircraft will be the principal fighter in the air forces of Britain, Spain, Germany, and Italy. The Typhoon is closer in capability to the F-15, than the F-22, and is competing with the F-35 for many export sales. The Typhoon was purchased by Saudi Arabia, mainly to provide protection from Iran and some other Persian Gulf states did the same. But this was not enough to make up for the lost sales in Europe.
Typhoon has since been modified to operate as a fighter-bomber and can carry up to seven tons of weapons. Normally it carries a combination of smart bombs, missiles and additional fuel tanks and can stay in the air for two to four hours per sorties depending on the mission.
12/11/2015 LTN C. Hingant - Armée de l'air
Le 10 novembre 2015, le brevet d’initiation aéronautique (BIA) était à l’honneur à la direction générale de l’aviation civile (DGAC). Les instigateurs de ce diplôme au succès grandissant, dédié aux collégiens et lycéens, sont revenus sur ses dernières évolutions lors d’une rencontre nationale. L’occasion pour l’armée de l’air, étroitement associée à l’enseignement du BIA, de présenter son action.
Une action emblématique vers la jeunesse
Depuis plus de 40 ans, les jeunes passionnés d’aéronautique peuvent décrocher leur BIA. Fruit d’une coopération entre le ministère de l’Éducation nationale, la direction générale de l’aviation civile (DGAC) et les fédérations aéronautiques, cet enseignement a pour objectif de faire découvrir les métiers du monde de l’aviation. De plus en plus convoité, le BIA a attiré cette année plus de 10 000 élèves. Ils étaient 265 en 1990 et 4 300 en 2005. Engagée dans des actions au profit de la jeunesse, l’armée de l’air s’associe à cette formation. Des aviateurs enseignent, en effet, des cours inscrits au programme du brevet dans des établissements partenaires. Un engagement renforcé par la signature d’une convention entre l’armée de l’air et le ministère de l’Éducation nationale, en juillet 2015. « Jusqu’à septembre, neuf bases aériennes prenaient part à cette aventure, précise le lieutenant-colonel Hervé de Saint-Exupéry, chargé de mission « Jeunesse-égalité des chances ». Six autres bases ont récemment rejoint le dispositif. Notre finalité est d’étendre cet engagement à toutes nos emprises, en métropole comme en outre-mer. »
Étendre son engagement
Quels que soient leurs spécialités ou leurs grades, tous les aviateurs peuvent intervenir pour partager leurs connaissances en météorologie, navigation, sécurité des vols ou histoire de l’aéronautique et de l’espace. « Nous avons également mis en place un processus de “formation par l’engagement“ pour les élèves de nos écoles militaires, confie l’officier. Ce sont eux qui vont transmettre leurs savoirs aux jeunes, ce qui nous permet de les former au leadership. » En 2015, 400 jeunes ont été concernés par l’action de l’armée de l’air. « Nous devons aller encore plus loin dans notre démarche, insiste le lieutenant-colonel de Saint-Exupéry. En 2018, nous souhaitons atteindre 1 600 jeunes. À termes, nous participerons à la création de nouveaux BIA dans les établissements scolaires. »
Des partenaires de choix
Pour optimiser ce développement sur l’ensemble du territoire, l’armée de l’air s’appuie sur des partenaires de choix : l’association nationale des officiers de réserve de l’armée de l’air (ANORAA) et l’association nationale des sous-officiers de réserve de l’armée de l’air (ANSORAA). Grâce à leurs actions et leurs implantations, ces associations bénéficient d’un maillage optimal du territoire, et permettent ainsi de redynamiser les déserts militaires. Preuve en est à Toulouse, des réservistes locaux interviennent dans des établissements de la région. « De véritables alliances sont en train de naître, conclut le chargé de mission. C’est ensemble que nous réussirons. »
Le BIA, kezaco ?
Diplôme établi par le ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, le BIA sanctionne un niveau de culture générale dans le domaine aéronautique (connaissance des aéronefs, aérodynamique, mécanique du vol, météorologie, navigation, sécurité des vols, réglementation, histoire de l’aéronautique et de l’espace...). Gratuit et ouvert à tous, il fait l’objet d’une convention tripartite signée par le ministère de l’Éducation nationale, le ministère de l’Écologie, du développement durable et de l’énergie, auquel est rattaché la DGAC, et le conseil national des fédérations aéronautiques et sportives. Quarante heures de cours sont dispensées par des professeurs certifiés tout au long de l’année, soit dans un établissement scolaire, soit au sein d’un aéro-club. Les élèves apprennent les règles fondamentales de l’aviation puis, en fin de parcours, reçoivent une initiation au vol. La transmission des valeurs et des savoirs aéronautiques remonte à 1937. Depuis trois ans, un nouvel élan est toutefois donné au BIA. De nouveaux décrets, un programme rénové, une organisation modernisée, des examens réadaptés… Le BIA a de belles heures devant lui. Plus d’informations sur www.monbia.fr.
12 November 2015 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb
The Ghana Air Force has acquired a third C295 transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space, confirming plans announced last year. The company is finalising three new C295 contracts in East and West Africa, with two already having been signed.
Ghana’s third C295 was seen at Airbus’s final assembly plant in Seville, Spain, in late October.
Ghana received its first C295 in November 2011 and the second in April 2012 as part of the Air Force’s modernisation drive. One of the C295s was used to support the United Nations-led MINUSMA mission in Mali. In November 2014 Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama announced that Ghana would acquire an additional C295, in addition to other aircraft, including five Super Tucanos, Mi-17s and four Z-9s.
Antonio Rodriguez Barberan, Head Of Sales, Military Aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, said that two African C295 contracts have been signed while the third depends on certain financial obligations being met. He told defenceWeb that he sees sales of 50 aircraft in the next decade to the continent.
At the moment Algeria has six C295s in service, Ghana three and Egypt has ordered 24. Airbus is currently still manufacturing C295s for Egypt.
Barberan said he sees Egypt as having a need for additional C295s and said that the North African country is an important customer for Airbus. The Egyptian Air Force is an enthusiastic operator of the type, having accumulated 10 000 flight hours in its first four years of operation, with several pilots reaching 1 000 flight hours.
In total, the 139 C295s flying in the world have accumulated more than 230 000 flight hours while the CN235 fleet of 236 aircraft has accumulated more than 1.35 million flight hours.
Elsewhere, Airbus is hoping to sell its C295 to Canada to meet its requirement for a Buffalo and C-130 replacement. The aircraft would be configured for search and rescue and maritime surveillance. The C295 is the only finalist in India’s competition for an Avro replacement and may be produced locally in India, and Barberan said that he expects to see more C295 orders from Latin America in 2016.
Airbus is offering the C295 in a multitude of guises, including waterbomber, gunship, VIP transport, ground surveillance, signals intelligence, air-to-air refuelling, maritime patrol, search and rescue, oil spill dispersant and airborne early warning and control platform.
November 8, 2015 David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen
Defence Watch has been running a back and forth debate on the F-35 between defence analyst Richard Shimooka and Alan Williams, the former ADM Materiel at DND, who signed the original MOU committing Canada to the research and development aspect of the F-35. On Sept. 24 Richard Shimooka had an opinion piece in the National Post arguing that the F-35 is still the best bet for Canada.
Nov 11, 2015 ASDNews Source : Pilatus Aircraft Ltd
The successful handover of the 75th Pilatus PC-7 MkII Training Aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal marks the final aircraft delivery milestone under the contract between Pilatus and the Government of India’s Ministry of Defence which was signed on the 24th of May 2012. The introduction of the PC-7 MkII Training System has enabled the IAF to revolutionise their basic pilot training capability.
The arrival of the first of 75 Pilatus PC-7 MkII trainer aircraft in February 2013 signified the beginning of a new era for pilot training in the IAF.
Commenting on the delivery of the 75th aircraft with its “commemorative livery”, Jim Roche VP Government Aviation & Deputy CEO of Pilatus says:
“We are extremely pleased to have completed delivery of all PC-7 MkII trainer aircraft well ahead of the original IAF schedule requirement. Delivering and supporting the IAF’s Basic Flight Training requirements has been a remarkable experience and we remain fully committed to supporting the fleet’s in-service operations with equal efficiency and competence.”
The PC-7 MkII trainer aircraft has achieved some outstanding performance benchmarks at Dundigal. Since the first delivery in February 2013, the PC-7 MkII fleet has flown more than 40,000 hours and accumulated well over 80,000 landings.
The PC-7 MkII has enabled the IAF to increase the basic training syllabus in terms of flight hours by 220 percent compared to previous operations and also increase the solo content from 1 to 14 sorties. The PC-7 MkII Training System has successfully proven its effectiveness and validates the decision by the IAF to operate the most advanced Basic Flight Training aircraft in the world – the PC-7 MkII.
Nov 11, 2015 ASDNews Source : AgustaWestland
AW609 TiltRotor to be operated by the UAEaEUR(tm)s Joint Aviation Command
Joint Aviation Command to be the launch customer for the SAR variant of the AW609 TiltRotor
The extraordinary speed and range of the AW609 bring new capabilities to the market
The Joint Aviation Command (JAC) of the United Arab Emirates announced today it has selected the AW609 TiltRotor for search and rescue (SAR) missions. Delivery of the first three AW609 TiltRotors to the JAC, with three additional options,is expected to start in the 2019 timeframe. The Joint Aviation Command will be the launch customer for the search and rescue variant of the AW609TiltRotor, which will include a tailored equipment configuration to meet its specific operational requirements.
Nov 11, 2015 ASDNews Source : Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins has been selected by Embraer to provide the Cargo Handling and Aerial Delivery Control System (CHADCS) for the Brazilian Air Force’s KC-390 program. “The CHADCS selection is a significant increase to our KC-390 content and is an example of both continuing to leverage our advanced Pro Line Fusion capabilities in expanded ways and also of innovating to address new opportunities,” said Alan Prowse, vice president and managing director, Americas, for Rockwell Collins. “The win exemplifies the continued trust that Embraer has in Rockwell Collins based on our performance on the KC-390 to date.”
Nov 12, 2015 ASDNews Source : Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defence and Space and The Coulson Group of Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering the industrialization, supply and support of the new water bomber version of the Airbus C295W transport aircraft. Under the terms of the agreement The Coulson Group of Alberni BC, Canada through its operating company Coulson Aircrane Ltd, will develop and manufacture a version of its Retardant Dropping System (RDS) which is already in operation with the world’s most demanding firefighting agencies.
The Republic of Lebanon today confirmed the acquisition of six A-29 Super Tucano turboprop aircraft from Embraer Defense & Security and Sierra Nevada Corporation. The contract includes logistics support for aircraft operation as well as a complete training system for Lebanese Air Force pilots and mechanics. The sale was approved in June by the U.S. State Department. The aircraft sale is part of a larger, more comprehensive package, including infrastructure improvements, that will be fulfilled by other parties not involved in the Embraer/SNC partnership. The planes, which are currently in operation with 10 Air Forces around the world, will be built in the Jacksonville, Florida.
MC-130J Commando II aircraft assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command - photo Lockheed Martin
November 10, 2015: Strategy Page
In late 2015 U.S. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) two more MC-130J all-weather transports. SOCOM has already received most of the 37 on order and deliveries are supposed to be complete by 2017. This is part of a major program to upgrade and expand the SOCOM fleet of specialized aircraft. Despite cuts in the American defense budget since 2010 SOCOM gets money for its aircraft program because SOCOM personnel are still in big demand worldwide.
Since 2009 SOCOM has been devoting the largest chunk of its procurement budget to aircraft and most of that is going for one type of aircraft; the C-130J. SOCOM wants to buy about a hundred C-130Js and use them as commando transports (MC-130J) or gunships (AC-130J). In addition several hundred million dollars is being spent on sensors and weapons that can be quickly installed in MC-130Js to turn them into temporary gunships.
All this spending on aircraft is because the SOCOM air force has been worked hard since September 11, 2001 and has been constantly short of aircraft and qualified pilots. Back in 2009 SOCOM looked at their air force (some 300 MC-130s MH-53s AC-130s MH-6s MH-60s CV-22s and a few other types) and drew up a plan to shrink and update this overworked and aging collection of transports and helicopters. Having fewer, but more capable aircraft was seen as the only way out of the chronic shortages of aircraft and pilots. There was also the problem of aircraft worn out from heavy use and combat damage. So in addition to replacing the elderly C-130s SOCOM also sought to take the 31 MH-47Ds and E helicopters (which have additional navigation gear) and upgraded them to MH-47F standards while the fleet was expanded to 61 helicopters. Most other SOCOM aircraft were also to be upgraded or refurbished.
Meanwhile the expansion and refurbishment program could not keep up with the demand in Afghanistan. Worse, there was never been enough logistics support to service all the jobs SOCOM is called on to do. In response, SOCOM improvised as much as they could. They borrowed aircraft and logistics support from other units. SOCOM is a high priority outfit, and can often get some of what they need. When SOCOM is providing specialized support for the combat units they borrow resources from they don't have a problem.
However when it's a pure SOCOM mission the army and air force are not as eager to part with scarce resources. What it means is that troops are operating at less than peak efficiency because they don't have all the tools they need to get the job done. Missions get cancelled, and opportunities are lost. SOCOM is a flexible outfit, and adaptations are often made. More commando operations were carried out using ground transportation. More troops, and equipment, were parachuted in. SOCOM is even obtained UAVs that can carry supplies. SOCOM is all about innovation, and a helicopter shortage is just seen as another opportunity to be creative. But there was always an ultimate solution for a lot of the air transportation and it was the new C-130J.
Back in 2011 SOCOM received its first MC-130J. This was part of a larger U.S. Air Force effort to replace 200 worn out C-130Es. The C-130J transport proved to be more than just another model in the fifty year old C-130 design. This is mainly because it's cheaper and easier to use. Like most new commercial transports, the C-130J emphasizes saving money. The new engines generate 29 percent more thrust while using 15 percent less fuel. Increased automation reduced crew size from four to three. The rear ramp door can now be opened in flight when the aircraft is going as fast as 450 kilometers an hour, versus the current 270 kilometers an hour.
The SOCOM MC-130s are all-weather aircraft used for everything from moving SOCOM personnel and equipment around the combat zone, to parachuting supplies, refueling helicopters in the air, dropping bombs and propaganda leaflets, or loading a pallet or two of electronic gear for special reconnaissance or psychological warfare missions. MC-130s are particularly useful because they have terrain following radar that enables them to fly at low altitude, especially at night or during bad weather. MC-130s have several additional navigation and communication systems, which allow them to fly in all weather, especially low enough to avoid radar detection.
C-130Js have cost nearly twenty percent less per hour than previous models. The most common version of the C-130 still in service is the C-130H. It has a range of 8,368 kilometers, a top speed of 601 kilometers per hour, and can carry up to 18 tons of cargo, 92 troops, or 64 paratroopers. The latest version, the C-130J, has a top speed of 644 kilometers, 40 percent more range than the C-130H, and can carry 20 tons of cargo. The stretched C-130J-30 can carry more bulky cargo, and goes for about $100 million each. The C-130J has a top speed of 644 kilometers, 40 percent more range than the C130H. The C-130 has been in service for over half a century, and has been flying for over 50 countries.
11/11 Les Echos (Reuters)
Selon des sources du secteur de la défense, les Emirats souhaitent acquérir 60 avions de chasse.
Les négociations au sujet de l'achat d'avions Rafale par les Emirats arabes unis sont entrées dans leur phase finale, a déclaré mercredi à Reuters le chef de l'armée de l'air de ce pays du Golfe. Selon des sources du secteur de la défense, les Emirats souhaitent acquérir 60 avions de chasse et ils examinent avec attention la possibilité d'acheter ces appareils à Dassault Aviation, après s'être intéressés dans un premier temps à l'Eurofighter.
"Je pense que nous sommes dans la dernière phase des négociations", a dit le général Ibrahim Nasser al Alaoui, commandant des forces aériennes des Emirats, interrogé sur la perspective d'un accord pour acheter des Rafale à Dassault.
Il a néanmoins souligné qu'aucune décision définitive n'avait été prise. Il n'a pas été possible dans l'immédiat de joindre Dassault Aviation. Le ministère français de la Défense a refusé de s'exprimer sur le sujet.
10 November 2015 by Saab
Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to expand and enhance the Emirates’ airborne surveillance capabilities. Saab will deliver a new airborne Swing Role Surveillance System (SRSS) incorporating a new version of the Saab Erieye radar system. The order value amounts to approximately USD1.27 billion.
The new SRSS for the UAE uses the Global 6000 aircraft from Bombardier as a platform. The Swing Role Surveillance System is capable of simultaneous detection and tracking of multiple targets in the air, on land and at sea. It is the latest evolution of the Erieye system that incorporates Saab’s many decades of radar capabilities across all domains.
“The new version of Erieye is without a doubt the most capable airborne early warning and control system on the market. Saab’s capability to develop high technology solutions for customers shows that our focus on research and development is the right way to ensure continued competitiveness on the defence market,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.
"Saab understands the vital importance of advanced airborne surveillance and we have a family of products that play a key role in defence and civil security. The UAE’s selection of Saab’s solution confirms our strong position regarding airborne surveillance and systems integration,” says Micael Johansson, head of Saab Business Area Electronic Defence Systems.
The work will be carried out at Saab's facilities in Gothenburg, Linköping, Järfälla, Arboga, Luleå and Centurion (South Africa).
10/11/2015 Par Michel Cabirol - LaTribune.fr
La Tribune vous propose une série hebdomadaire de cinq success-stories dans le monde de l'aéronautique civile et militaire. Deuxième volet de cette série, Rafaut. A la tête depuis plus de 50 ans de petite PME francilienne, Jacques Rafaut, est en train d'organiser avec réussite sa succession. Ce qui permettra de pérenniser l'entreprise sur le long terme.
Chez Rafaut, il y aura bien un après Jacques Rafaut, l'emblématique mais discret PDG de la PME éponyme qu'il dirige depuis plus de 50 ans. Après avoir repris à 20 ans au pied levé en 1960 la PME de petite mécanique francilienne créée en 1940 par son père décédé brutalement, Jacques Rafaut a entrepris depuis quatre ans déjà et de façon progressive de pérenniser l'avenir de sa société. Ce qui n'est jamais naturel et facile en France pour ce type de chef d'entreprise autodidacte de passer la main au bon moment et dans de bonnes conditions. Jacques Rafaut est quant à lui en train de réussir ce passage de témoin en douceur pour le bien de sa société.
Il a d'abord recruté en 2011 un directeur général en attirant Bruno Berthet, alors directeur adjoint du développement international à la DGA (direction générale de l'armement). Puis, Jacques Rafaut a ouvert en juin dernier le capital de son entreprise à ACE Management. Cette société de gestions de portefeuille spécialisée dans l'aéronautique et la défense va prendre une participation de 30 % dans la PME, basée à Villeneuve-la-Garenne. "Il a considéré qu'il n'y avait pas de solution de transmission familiale, explique Bruno Berthet. L'arrivée d'ACE Management "va faciliter la transmission et pérenniser la société". "Il vont mettre des moyens pour développer l'entreprise, en faisant de la croissance externe", précise-t-il.
"Je suis heureux d'accueillir au capital de Rafaut l'investisseur ACE Management, spécialiste de l'aéronautique civile et militaire. Je sais qu'il sera capable d'accompagner notre stratégie dans la durée. Nous avons trouvé un véritable partenaire, en mesure d'apporter un soutien de poids à Bruno Berthet dans ses fonctions de président, alors même que le Rafale trouve de premiers débouchés significatifs à l'export", avait expliqué Jacques Rafaut en juin dernier.
Rafaut a réalisé en 2015 un chiffre d'affaires proche de 30 millions (exercice du 1er septembre au 31 août), dont 40% dans le militaire, (contre 28 millions d'euros en 2014). Elle compte 115 salariés sur ses deux sites de Villeneuve-la-Garenne et Salbris (Loir-et-Cher), où la société s'est installé en 2003 quand Matra Défense (devenu MBDA) a quitté le site. La société dispose également de son propre bureau d'études orienté plutôt vers le militaire, qui essaime ensuite vers le civil. Enfin, Rafaut a une capacité de production intégrée.
Rafaut de plus en plus à l'international
Depuis son arrivée à la direction générale de Rafaut, Bruno Berthet prospecte de façon très régulière à l'international pour trouver de nouveaux marchés. Il était tout récemment au salon de défense de Séoul (ADEX), où Rafaut est intéressé de participer au programme d'hélicoptère civil (LCH) et militaire (LAH) codéveloppé et coproduit par Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) et Airbus Helicopters. Bruno Berthet propose des pylônes pour accrocher les missiles de la version militaire du LAH (Light Armed Helicopter).
En début d'année, il était au salon Aero India (18-22 février) à Bangalore pour proposer le pylône universel (lance-missiles et emport de carburant sous voilure) et un adaptateur tri-bombes) développés par Rafaut aux Indiens dans le cadre du marché Rafale en Inde. Au salon du Bourget en juin, la PME francilienne a d'ailleurs signé un accord en vue de créer une société commune avec le groupe indien OIS Aerospace dans le cadre de la politique indienne "Make in India" préconisée par le Premier ministre indien, Narendra Modi.
Une PME devenue incontournable pour Dassault
En plus de 50 ans, Rafaut est devenu, notamment au moment des "30 glorieuses", un acteur incontournable en matière de conception et de fabrication de systèmes d'emport et de largage d'armements, essentiellement dédiés à la famille d'avions de combat Dassault. Car très vite, Jacques Rafaut a lancé en 1961 son entreprise dans la sous-traitance de pièces pour l'aéronautique civile. D'abord en tant que sous-traitant puis il décide de réaliser ses propres produits. Rafaut réalise aujourd'hui entre autre des commandes de vol, dont notamment pour les A320, et des équipements mécaniques spéciaux pour avions civils et hélicoptères (dont des kits de bombardier d'eau).
Puis à partir de 1970, il réussit à entrer dans le cercle de l'aéronautique militaire en se faisant par le ministère de la Défense. Rafaut réalise d'abord pour le compte du ministère un système de sécurité pour bombes (SL F2), qui a progressivement équipé toutes les bombes produites en France, notamment les SAMP de 250 kg et de 400 kg. La PME se frotte alors sur ce marché à Alkan avec qui la compétition est rude. "Puis Rafaut est monté dans la chaine de valeur dans le domaine de l'armement", explique Bruno Berthet.
Rafaut et Alkan ont notamment inventé des systèmes de pompage de crochets des déclencheurs et des éjecteurs. Ce qui permet un calage aussi précis et répétitif des charges qu'auparavant mais beaucoup plus rapide. Rafaut développe des éjecteurs télescopiques pour les avions d'entrainement Alpha Jet et un système de hissage des bombes entièrement nouveau. En 2003, Rafaut met au point pour le Rafale, un pylône universel (lance-missiles et emport de carburant sous voilure) et un adaptateur tri-bombes (AT-730). Il est capable d'éjecter 3 munitions de 250 kg, ou 2 munitions de 500 kg.
10/11/2015 Par Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr
Le groupe d'électronique a signé un contrat de 185 millions d'euros avec la Bolivie. Thales va fournir un système intégré de défense aérienne et de gestion du trafic aérien civil.
Thales a gagné un joli contrat en Bolivie. Lors d'une cérémonie organisée lundi au palais de l'Elysée en présence du président bolivien Evo Morales et de François Hollande, Thales a signé avec le ministère bolivien de la Défense un contrat estimé à 185 millions d'euros, qui doit beaucoup à la ténacité de l'ancienne directrice des réseaux de vente et partenariats commerciaux chez Thales, Jane Mila, trop tôt disparue. Le contrat porte sur la fourniture à la Bolivie d'un système intégré de défense aérienne et de gestion du trafic aérien civil accompagné d'un "transfert de compétences significatif", a expliqué Thales dans son communiqué.
Thales déploiera en Bolivie des radars civils et de défense aérienne ainsi que des systèmes d'automatisation afin de moderniser et de coordonner les opérations de défense aérienne et de gestion du trafic aérien (ATM) civile. Le groupe d'électronique fournira au total 13 radars sur 12 sites : quatre radars de défense aérienne, un radar primaire Star2000, deux radars d'approche TRAC et six radars secondaires RSM970. Ces radars, qui formeront la base de l'infrastructure de surveillance, seront associés à un tout nouveau centre de contrôle du trafic aérien. Mis en service en 2017, ce centre abritera le système TopSky-ATC et le système SkyView Air C4I qui fournira une image complète de l'espace aérien et permettra une évaluation commune de la situation pour les opérations de défense aérienne.
Thales, un acteur majeur des systèmes ATM
Thales coordonnera et gérera également tous les systèmes de communication de 12 sites équipés de radars et répartis sur l'ensemble du territoire bolivien. Spécialisé dans les systèmes ATM civils et militaires à grande échelle, Thales en est le premier fournisseur au monde. Le contrat avec la Bolivie est le troisième de cette ampleur depuis 2014. Le groupe a signé un contrat de 1,5 milliard de livres sterling dans le cadre du programme Marshall au Royaume-Uni, qui vise à moderniser la gestion des espaces aériens militaires. Dans le cadre du programme australien OneSKY Thales a également été sélectionné comme maître-d'oeuvre pour assurer la coordination des opérations civiles et militaires.
Soesterberg - 03 November, 2015 European Defence Agency
The 12th October 2015 saw the Military Airworthiness Authorities (MAWA) Forum meet a major milestone with the approval for publication of EMAR M on Continuing Airworthiness Management. This document was the final EMAR to be drafted, and its approval means that the full suite of European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) are now available on the EDA website.
The approval of EMAR M marks a significant achievement for the MAWA Forum following the Defence Ministers’ Political Declaration in November 2009 “...for the timely development and early implementation of the harmonised European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs) into national regulations.”
With the full suite of EMARs approved (EMAR 21, EMAR 145, EMAR 66, EMAR 147 and now EMAR M), pMS are able to implement these harmonised requirements into their national airworthiness regulations.
The harmonised EMARs are the key to unlocking the potential benefits available to pMS in a wide range of aviation related initiatives in pooling and sharing activities including collaboration on multi-national projects, the use of common spares pools, rationalised base maintenance and common type training.
Nov 6, 2015 ASDNews Source : Saab AB
Defence and security company Saab has received an order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) to provide support and maintenance for Gripen during 2016 on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces. The contract value is SEK154 million.In 2012 Saab signed a contract with FMV for performance-based support and maintenance of the Gripen fighter.
This latest order for services in 2016 is confirmation of an option held under that 2012 contract. The order includes support and maintenance operations with a focus on technical support, publications and component maintenance to support the continued operation of Gripen.