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14 avril 2014 1 14 /04 /avril /2014 06:55
Dassault Aviation - K. Tokunaga

Dassault Aviation - K. Tokunaga


 

Saint-Cloud, le 12 avril 2014 - Dassault Aviation

 

Le 20 mars 2014, Dassault Aviation a organisé un vol en patrouille du nEUROn avec un Rafale et un Falcon 7X. C’est la première fois au monde qu’un drone de combat effectue un vol en formation avec d’autres appareils, en l’occurrence un avion d’affaires et un avion de combat. L’ensemble de l’opération a duré 1 h 50 mn et a emmené la patrouille au-dessus de la Méditerranée sur plusieurs centaines de kilomètres.

Pour Eric Trappier, Président-Directeur général de Dassault Aviation : « Cet événement illustre notre maîtrise des technologies les plus avancées. Nos compétences dans les domaines civils et militaires s’enrichissent mutuellement pour concevoir et produire des avions d’exception au service des armées et des utilisateurs de Falcon. »

Un tel vol est très complexe à organiser : pour chacune des figures à enchaîner, il faut que se retrouvent dans un même espace de travail, au même moment, des aéronefs venant de points d’attente distincts et affichant des performances de vol différentes.

Faire évoluer un avion sans pilote à bord avec quatre autres avions pilotés (Rafale, Falcon 7X et deux avions de prises de vues) constituait un défi supplémentaire. Il a fallu se prémunir des risques d’interférences, comme les turbulences aérodynamiques des appareils entre eux, et des risques de perturbation dans les communications entre le nEUROn et sa station de contrôle au sol.

 

A propos de nEUROn

Programme européen de démonstrateur technologique d’UCAV (système d’avion de combat non habité), dont Dassault Aviation s’est vu confier la maîtrise d’oeuvre sous l’autorité de la Direction générale de l’Armement, nEUROn prépare l’avenir en se fondant sur la fédération des savoir-faire en Europe (France, Italie, Suède, Espagne, Grèce et Suisse). Il a pour mission de valider l’acquisition de techniques complexes et représentatives de la totalité des systèmes de mission : fonction pilotage et furtivité de haut niveau, tir d’armements air-sol réels depuis une soute interne, insertion dans un environnement C4I, processus novateurs en matière de coopération industrielle, etc. Le premier vol du démonstrateur a eu lieu le 1er décembre 2012 et a ouvert la voie à une campagne d’essais de deux ans. Le nEUROn a, depuis, réalisé plusieurs dizaines de vols.

 

A propos de Dassault Aviation

Avec plus de 8 000 avions militaires et civils livrés dans 83 pays depuis 60 ans et représentant plus de 28 millions d’heures de vol, Dassault Aviation dispose d’un savoir-faire et d’une expérience reconnus dans la conception, le développement, la vente et le support de tous les types d’avion, depuis l’appareil de combat Rafale jusqu’à la famille de business jets haut de gamme Falcon en passant par les drones militaires. En 2013, le chiffre d’affaires de Dassault Aviation s’est élevé à 4,59 milliards d’euros. La société compte près de 11 600 collaborateurs.

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12 avril 2014 6 12 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
USAF to complete upgrading the F-22 oxygen system in 12 months

The current backup oxygen system requires manual activation. ABOS will enable automatic activation, ensuring additional oxygen flow to the pilot in case the main supply is insufficient. Photo: US Air Force

 

Apr 11, 2014 defense-update.com

 

Following a lengthy investigation into the cause of numerous incidents causing F-22 Raptor pilots to suffer from hypoxia-like symptoms, the U.S. Air Force is upgrading the Raptor’s life support system, installing an Automatic Back-up Oxygen System (ABOS). Existing back-up oxygen systems were manually activating. The upgrade will be completed within a year. Raptors in Alaska have already begun using the system. The Air Force denied that the cause of a fatal accident in November 2010, killing Alaskan-based F-22 pilot Captain Jeff Haney was caused by Hypoxia.

 

The upgrade followed the recommendation of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board to improve the Raptor’s aircrew life support system, including the installation of an automatically-activated backup oxygen system. The Air Force awarded more than $30 million in multiple contracts to Lockheed Martin to install the systems. According to Mike Connolly, ABOS Program Manager at the F-22 Life Cycle Management Center at Wright patterson, the ABOS is a simply designed system that is integrated into the breathing regulator. It has a control panel in the cockpit within the pilot’s reach so that he or she can manually turn it on if backup oxygen is needed. Unlike the current system that requires manual activation by the pilot, the ABOS is typically left in the auto position, which will automatically provide the pilot 100% oxygen in the event of a rapid decompression or low primary breathing air pressure. Automatic activation prevents the risk of oxygen cutoff when the pilot may be unconscious or blurred, as some of the pilots suffering from hypoxia reported.

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12 avril 2014 6 12 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Scorpion completes first 50 hours of flight testing

 

Apr 10, 2013 by Richard Tomkins (UPI)

 

Wichita, Kan - A new light attack and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft under development by Textron AirLand LLC has completed 50 hours of flight testing.

 

The jet-powered Scorpion is 43.6 feet long, has a maximum speed of 513 miles per hour and a service ceiling of 45,000 feet. It was first flown last December.

 

Flight testing so far has gathered data about Scorpion's performance at different speeds and altitudes and the responsiveness of its avionics, flight controls and landing system.

 

"The aircraft systems have performed well within the expected parameters, with very few issues," said Scorpion's chief engineer, Dale Tutt. "This is a significant benefit of using mature, non-developmental systems: In addition to reducing the overall development time of the prototype aircraft, the systems have proven to be very reliable."

 

Textron AirLand said Scorpion testing this year encompasses 300-400 test hours, which will require about 150 flights. Included will be international flights.

 

Textron AirLand is a joint venture between Textron Inc. and AirLand Enterprises LLC.

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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 16:30
photo Lockheed Martin

photo Lockheed Martin

 

2014-04-11 xinhua

 

Les industries aérospatiales israéliennes (IAI) ont annoncé jeudi avoir fait des progrès "impressionnants" dans leurs préparatifs de lancement de la production des ailes d'avions de chasse F-35 Lightning II.

 

La production de masse dans les installations de la division Lahav près de Tel Aviv devrait commencer en septembre et la livraison à la Lockheed Martin Corporation, fabriquant de l'avion, à la mi-2015. La durée du contrat est de dix à quinze ans, avec des ventes pouvant atteindre 2,5 milliards de dollars US, d'après les IAI.

 

La division Lahav produit des ailes pour les chasseurs F-16 de Lockheed Martin et des avions d'entraînement supersoniques T-38 de l'armée américaine depuis bien plus d'une décennie.

 

Les IAI ont indiqué que depuis la signature du contrat avec Lockheed Martin en avril 2013, elles avaient investi des ressources considérables dans la construction d'une ligne d'assemblage de pointe sur leur site principal afin de respecter les normes de conception en matière de camouflage du F-35 Lightning II. La ligne automatisée emploie des technologies de contrôle strict des conditions de températures et d'humidité, et garantit le respect de l'environnement. La couche supérieure des ailes est composée de matériaux composites développés spécialement pour cet avion.

 

L'armée de l'air israélienne prendra livraison de 20 avions F-35 dans les prochaines années.

 

Le F-35 Lightning II est la cinquième génération d'avions de chasse développés par Lockheed Martin et ses partenaires par le biais du programme d'avion d'attaque interarmées, un effort multinational afin de construire et d'entretenir un avion de chasse de camouflage de la nouvelle génération, polyvalent et abordable. Le Canada, les Etats-Unis, la Grande-Bretagne, les Pays-Bas, l'Italie, la Turquie, le Danemark, la Norvège et l'Australie sont tous des partenaires de ce programme.

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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 16:20
Rolls-Royce inspecting an Adour engine from a US Navy T-45 trainer aircraft.

Rolls-Royce inspecting an Adour engine from a US Navy T-45 trainer aircraft.

 

 

10 April 2014 naval-technology.com

 

Rolls-Royce has received a contractor logistics support (CLS) contract from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to provide continued support for the F405 (Adour) engines, which power the US Navy's T-45 training aircraft.

 

Under the $100m follow-on, one-year agreement, Rolls-Royce will provide depot-level maintenance and related logistics support for approximately 223 in-service T-45 F405-RR-401 Adour engines.

 

Scheduled to be completed in March 2015, work will be carried out at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Mississippi, NAS Kingsville, Texas, NAS Pensacola, Florida, and NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, US.

 

Rolls-Royce defence services president Paul Craig said: "The Adour is an industry leader in low-risk, affordable engine performance for military-trainer aircraft, and has amassed more than 8.6 million flight hours across multiple global fleets."

 

In addition to powering the T-45 Goshawk and other military aircraft, the engine will be used on the Hawk AJTS, which is a contender for the US Air Force T-X trainer programme.

 

The Boeing and BAE Systems-built T-45A/C Goshawk two-seat advanced jet trainer features a single pylon under each wing to carry bomb racks, rocket pods or auxiliary fuel tanks.

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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 07:55
Achats de matières et de services : Thales se dote de l’outil Ivalua Buyer

 

10 avril 2014 par  Didier Girault - electroniques.biz

 

Ivalua Buyer est un outil d’achats collaboratif. Son utilisation devrait permettre une meilleure coopération entre les 1350 acheteurs du groupe ainsi qu'une optimisation des achats de celui-ci.

 

Les achats de Thales représentent 5,7 milliards d’euros par an. Ils sont réalisés par quelque 1350 professionnels. Et, dans le cadre d'un plan d’optimisation des achats lancé en 2010, les responsables de cette activité chez Thales viennent de choisir la solution d’achats Ivalua Buyer.

 

Grâce à cet outil logiciel, Thales compte mieux faire coopérer ses différents acheteurs disséminés partout dans le monde. « Nous souhaitions un outil nous permettant de développer une approche collaborative à l’intérieur de la communauté achats afin d’apporter le meilleur niveau de services à nos clients » annonce ainsi Renaud Larramendy, directeur des outils, process et méthodes achats chez Thales.

 

Dans la pratique, Thales a retenu pour son Ivalua Buyer, les modules fonctionnels suivants : SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) ou Référentiel fournisseurs – avec la gestion des coordonnées, des informations concernant les fournisseurs et les activités avec ceux-ci, des documents légaux et des risques - ; Tableau de bord des achats ; Evaluation de la performance achats (incluant l’élaboration de plans de progrès en liaison avec les fournisseurs, ainsi que la gestion des litiges) ; et E-sourcing (pour l’aide à la constitution des dossiers achats ainsi qu'à la sélection des fournisseurs).

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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
The future of European AAR

 

Thursday 10 April EATC

 

At the 10th of April 2014 the European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training - the first of its kind - celebrated its Distinguished Visitors Day (DVD). VIPs out of whole Europe found its way to Eindhoven Air Base in order to find out more about this EDA initiative, orchestrated with EATC assets and planning, conducted by the Eindhoven Air Base.


It was first Base Commander and Colonel von Soest to welcome his guests and to “prepare the floor” for the following speakers by introducing the VIPs and further guests into the programme.


Dutch Air Commodore Luyt took over and welcomed the audience on behalf of the Dutch Air Chief. In his welcome words he congratulated Eindhoven Air Base for its success within EART 2014 and remarked that the Netherlands - as a small country - have a comparably wide experience in Air-to-Air Refuelling matters.

 

EDA takes the floor


The future belongs to multirole capable aircraft

 

Giampaolo Lillo, EDA Director of Cooperation, Planning and Support, took the words to emphasize the necessity to overcome the EU Tanker shortfall. While the US - as a comparison - operate with more than 500 tankers, the EU works with rather than 50. Therefore EDA recommended to the nations four initiatives under one EDA umbrella that aims to remain Europes capabilitiy to assist worldwide remote airborne operations and deployments: with MRTT AAR solutions.


Major General Valentin, Commander of the EATC, described the European Air Transport Command as the heart and engine of the military Air Transport as well as Air-to-Air Refuelling within Europe. Though EATC runs actually just a dozen of tankers, this number will rise definitely with Spains accession this year and the potential accession of Italy the years after. With regard to the number of new MRTT aircraft, that France plans to introduce as well as the 29 AAR-kits for the A400M - while this aircraft will anyway been driven by the EATC under operational command - the amount of available tankers/MRTT can rise to more than fifty aircraft by the end of the decade - solely within EATC Participating Nations.


Colonel Lokman, as chairman of one EDA initiated important pillar to overcome the EU tanker shortfall, took now the floor and explained several strategies to fulfill the “Optimisation of existing assets and organizations”, answered afterwards the journalists questions, why and how the EART training was created for. He emphasized the need of a concept of better use of current and future TT assets and focused also on the establishment of a European AAR planners course. As a direct result, representatives of the JAPCC within the delegation announced, that this course will take place in the near future.


The long term search for the ultimate future MRTT aircraft was again Colonel van Soests responsibility. “His” project - also an EDA pillar - combines the need of not less than ten European nations to enhance their AAR-capabilities. Nations signed in 2012 already a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire a new MRTT aircraft by end of this decade/ beginning next decade.

 

Two multirole capable aircraft


EART in theory and praxis


Finally it was Major Frölichs turn on the stage, Exercise Director of EART and surely also the focal person between EART and Frisian Flag. He introduced the audience into the training objectives and mentioned the advantages to merge both training and exercise. As both locations (Air Base Leeuwarden and Eindhoven Air Base) are not far away from each other, the tanker formations of the Dutch, German and Italian AAR-fleet were able to operate two missions a day within the exercise, making the whole sequence of AAR-actions very efficient. No wonder, that he recommends to repeat EART next year – again with connection to Frisian Flag.


After this marathon of speakers and speeches the event turned over to the practical part: Meanwhile all tankers were back from their first (morning) missions – and presented each a static display for the audience out on the tanker platform.
As final part of the DVD the guests took part in an AAR-mission within the Dutch KDC-10, where the astonished audience watched several F-16 aircraft approaching to be supplied. Moreover the German and Italian Tanker performed several formation maneuvers along the KDC-10, making the scenario the first of its kind within European skies.

 

FInd out more about EART here

 

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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
British defence minister in Saudi talks

 

April 08, 2014 Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Riyadh - British defence minister Philip Hammond held talks in Riyadh Tuesday, just weeks after BAE Systems announced an agreement with Saudi authorities on the spiralling costs of a multi-billion-dollar fighter deal.

 

Saudi state media gave very few details of what was discussed in Hammond's meetings with his counterpart Crown Prince Salman and National Guard Minister Prince Mitab bin Abdullah.

 

His talks with Salman focused on "cooperation between their friendly states and means of developing and strengthening it," the official SPA news agency said.

 

British contractor BAE Systems announced on February 20 that it had reached a new pricing agreement with Saudi Arabia for the deal it struck in 2007 to supply 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets.

 

BAE gave no figures for the new value of the deal, which was originally put at �4.5 billion. The costs had risen sharply with less than half of the planes delivered.

 

The February agreement was a boost for BAE after the United Arab Emirates pulled out of talks with the British government to purchase Typhoon Eurofighters last December.

 

BAE, hit by government cutbacks to military spending, is looking to push on after the collapse in late 2012 of a planned mega-merger with European aerospace giant EADS, now renamed Airbus Group.

 

BAE builds the Typhoon in cooperation with Airbus Group and Italian defence firm Finmeccanica.

 

A previous arms deal between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia was mired in allegations of corruption.

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10 avril 2014 4 10 /04 /avril /2014 11:30
1st C-130J Super Hercules 'Shimshon' Arrives In Israel

 

Apr 9, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

Israel’s first Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] C-130J Super Hercules airlifter arrived at Nevatim Air Base today.  Along with senior Israeli officials, Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson attended the ceremony and made remarks.

 

Israel ordered its C-130Js through a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) contract with the U.S. Government. This is the first ferry of the C-130Js currently on order for the IAF, which has operated legacy C-130s since 1971.

 

Read more

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10 avril 2014 4 10 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
L’US Air Force réceptionne ses premiers missiles JASSM nouvelle génération

 

09.04.2014 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

L’US Air Force a réceptionné le mois dernier un premier lot de missiles JASSM-ER (Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile - Extended Range) de série. Les missiles air-sol de longue portée ont été livrés sur la base aérienne de Dyess, au Texas.

 

Parmi les améliorations apportées par Lockheed Martin, une portée accrue, le missile pouvant aller « plus de 2,5 fois » plus loin que son prédécesseur.

 

Le JASSM-ER est pour l’instant uniquement prévu pour le bombardier B-1B, mais des études sont en cours pour pouvoir éventuellement l’intégrer aux F-15E, F-16 et B-52.

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:50
Gripen E photo Swiss MoD

Gripen E photo Swiss MoD


 

April 6, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Swiss Dept. of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport; issued)

(Issued in French; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

 

The DDPS Distances Itself from A "Plan B" for the Acquisition of Combat Aircraft

 

This weekend, various media have discussed a "Plan B" in case the acquisition of 22 Gripen aircraft was refused in the referendum that will be held on May 18, 2014.

 

The DDPS distances itself from these allegations and will in all cases respect the decisions taken democratically.

 

According to these media reports, Switzerland could acquire every 15 years a full squadron of 12 fighters that could be financed in the usual way, and which thus would not require approval by referendum. The current fleet of 86 combat aircraft (32 F/A-18s and 54 F-5 Tigers) could be replaced over the long term by 50 to 70 new aircraft, these reports claim.

 

The DDPS wishes to distance itself from these statements.

 

It would indeed not acceptable to acquire combat aircraft shortly after a negative decision of the people. The government’s message about the vote makes it clear that the aircraft will not be purchased if the law on the Gripen funds is not approved.

 

According to the people who made these allegations would lead to a fleet of 50 to 70 aircraft, but their reasoning is confused. Combat aircraft have a lifespan of about 30 years. If we bought 12 combat aircraft every 15 years, the fleet size would be 24 aircraft. This is far too little to ensure the security of Switzerland, and is even lower than the current F/A-18 fleet, without the Gripen.

 

Moreover, the acquisition of only 12 combat aircraft could, depending on the model, cost 2 to 3 billion francs. In addition, a reduction in the number of aircraft increase economic inconsistencies, as part of the infrastructure is almost independent of the number of units purchased.

 

Finally, it should be noted that an important reason for the choice of financing the acquisition of Gripen through a fund was to give the possibility of a referendum. From a purely financial point of view, the acquisition of this magnitude could also be done in the normal way, not through a special fund as is now the case.

 

The DDPS is satisfied that the acquisition of 22 Gripen is necessary for the security of Switzerland and its people. By itself, the fleet of 32 F/A-18 is not enough, and the proposed acquisition is a realistic solution.

 

DDPS will in all cases strictly conform to the democratic decision.

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
Iraq Buys 12 Mothballed L-159s from Czech AF


 

April 7, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Xinhua; published April 8, 2014)

 

Iraq to Buy 12 Mothballed L-159s from Czech Military

 

Representatives from Iraqi Defense Ministry have signed a purchase contract with Aero Vodochody on buying 12 mothballed L-159 combat planes from the Czech military on Sunday.

 

Penta Investments that owns Aero Vodochody confirmed the news on Monday.

 

The mothballed L-159s should be delivered to Iraq by September 2014 at a cost of 200 million U.S. dollars, said Martin Danko, spokesman for Penta Investments.

 

Former Czech chief-of-staff Jiri Sedivy said that Iraq needs combat aircraft for the training of pilots who would later fly U.S. F-16 fighter jets.

 

Iraq showed interest in the new Czech combat aircraft for the first time in 2012, when it signed a preliminary agreement with the then Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra on buying 28 L-159s.

 

The Czech Defense Ministry's spokesman Jan Pejsek said that the Ministry has not yet officially received information on the signing of the contract between Aero and Iraqi officials.

 

Czech military bought 72 L-159s with only one third of them in use. The military has been trying to sell the redundant L-159s for several years.

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Pratt, Pentagon Open F-35 Engine Price War

 

April 8, 2014 Source: Defense-Aerospace.com

 

PARIS --- Having canceled the GE/Rolls-Royce F136 alternate engine program for short-term savings, the Pentagon finds itself powerless to force Pratt & Whitney to reduce the cost of its own F135 engine, now the single-source powerplant for the entire F-35 program.

 

While many in Congress tried to block cancellation of the F136 program for several years, arguing that competition had very effectively reduced fighter engine acquisition costs in the past, the program was eventually killed in December 2011 when GE and Rolls-Royce finally decided to stop funding the project in the hope the Pentagon would restore funding. At the time, the Pentagon opted to cut F136 funding as part of a program-wide campaign to reduce the F-35’s ballooning costs.

 

Pratt & Whitney’s single-source, monopoly position is so strong that the F-35 Joint Program Office cannot even force the company to reveal the true cost of the engines, Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, deputy program manager of the F-35. “I can’t force somebody to go ahead and report something that by law they are not” required to report, he told Aviation Week at the Sea Air Space 2014 conference in Washington, DC on April 7 (see below).

 

The most recent F135 production contract, announced Oct. 23, 2013, covers 38 engines for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 7 and is worth $1.1 billion, or an average cost of $28.9 million per engine. More precise cost figures are not available.

 

At the time, Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer, said that "The engine price has been going down and that trend will continue." He added that "I've met with Pratt & Whitney's senior leaders and they are working closely with the supply chain to continue to bring down the cost to the government."

 

Six months later, Bogdan’s comments appear very optimistic. The following two stories show that Pratt & Whitney is dragging its heels in reducing engine costs, and that the company, which now holds an unassailable monopoly position on F-35 engine production, is virtually immune to Pentagon pressure.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 17:35
IAF, HAL to Work On Joint Plans

 

April 8, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited; issued April 7, 2014)

 

HAL Proposes Single Agency to Deal with Foreign OEMs

 

The Indian Air Force and HAL have decided to work on joint plans on various fronts for better understanding of issues so that both contribute effectively in India’s defence preparedness. The entire board of HAL and senior officials flew down from Bangalore to interact with the top commanders of IAF at the conference held at the Air Headquarters (Vayu Bhavan) in New Delhi yesterday.

 

“Hand-holding is important considering the challenges involved in manufacturing and operational fronts”, said the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal, Arup Raha . On his part, HAL Chairman, Dr. R.K. Tyagi, mooted the idea of putting up single group or team to deal with foreign OEMs on all matters as these OEMs work with Air Force, Army, Navy and other multiple Government agencies. "Normally these OEMs work with two or more agencies. There is greater cohesion, understanding and mutual benefits when these OEMs are dealt from one platform”, he said.

 

Senior IAF, MoD and HAL officials took part in the performance review with focus on challenges related to several fleets such as MiG (21, 27, 29), Su-30 MKI, Mirage, Jaguar, Hawk, Kiran, Pilatus, Avro, Dornier, Chetak/Cheetah and Cheetal, ALH, RPA, Lakshya, etc. HAL supports 80% of the IAF inventory.

 

The discussions also focused on indigenisation, quality and delivery timelines that are often demanding due to factors related to supply chain, transfer of technology and shortage of skilled manpower in the aviation/aerospace sector.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Australia waits on C-27J transfer approval

 

 

8 April 2014 by Andrew McLaughlin – FG

 

Sydney - Australia's programme to introduce the Alenia Aermacchi C-27J medium transport remains on track, despite a two month delay in its lead aircraft leaving Italy to undergo modifications in the USA.

 

First flown in December 2013, "green" aircraft A34-001 had been scheduled to arrive at L-3 Communications' Waco, Texas facility on 11 February, ahead of work to bring it to the Joint Cargo Aircraft configuration. Scheduled to take three months to complete, the work involves the fitting of an electronic warfare and infrared countermeasures suite, US-standard communications equipment and ballistic matting around the cockpit and loadmaster’s station.

 

The Australian Department of Defence says delays in obtaining flight clearances from EASA and the US Federal Aviation Administration have delayed the event, citing “a change in process associated with delivery of the first Foreign Military Sales customer aircraft”. However, Australian officials say they are confident the programme “remains comfortably within the scheduled need dates”.

 

Ten C-27Js will be operated by the Royal Australian Air Force’s 35 Sqn from Richmond air base near Sydney, New South Wales. Its second example is now being flight-tested from Turin, with another six aircraft in various stages of production and to be completed at roughly three-month intervals.

 

Selected in 2011, Australia's C-27Js will replace its retired de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribous. The first four aircraft are due to be flown to Richmond in early 2015, with initial operating capability scheduled for mid- to late-2016. Full operating capability should be declared by the end of 2017, following the delivery of all aircraft, a full flight simulator and a fuselage trainer.

 

Ahead of the type's introduction, the Australian DoD says it has signed an agreement with the Pentagon “to establish a training delivery contract with L-3 to enable commencement of training in the fourth quarter of 2014”.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Boeing Updates Timing of C-17 Production Line Closure

 

 

Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today adjusted slightly the timing for ending C-17 Globemaster III production and closing its Long Beach, Calif., C-17 final assembly facility after a successful two-decade production run of the world’s premier airlifter.

 

Based on current market trends and the timing of expected orders, Boeing anticipates completing C-17 production in mid-2015, an adjustment of approximately three months from an initial estimate of late 2015. The company announced plans to end C-17 production in September 2013.

 

Boeing expects inventory–related charges of approximately $50 million, which will be recorded in the first quarter, as a result of this announcement.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Airbus Defense and Space Delivers 17th HC-144A Aircraft to USCG

 

 

Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : Airbus Defense and Space

 

    HC-144A Ocean Sentry Continues as the Coast Guard's Primary Maritime Patrol Aircraft

 

Airbus Defense and Space, Inc. has delivered the 17th HC-144A Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Ocean Sentry is based on the Airbus CN235 tactical airlifter with more than 235 currently in operation by 29 countries. This is the second of three HC-144A's planned for delivery this year.

 

The latest aircraft will join a fleet of 16 Ocean Sentries operating from Coast Guard Air Stations in Cape Cod, Mass.; Mobile, Ala.; and Miami. The Coast Guard is planning to stand up the fourth HC-144A air station in Corpus Christi, Texas, later this year.

 

Read full article

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Boeing to Provide Maintenance Training Devices for US Navy P-8A Poseidon

 

 

Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

    Contract includes replica components and high-fidelity simulators

 

Boeing [NYSE: BA] will broaden its support for the U.S. Navy's fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft through a recent order for maintenance simulators.

 

The Navy plans to begin using six virtual trainers, one ordnance load trainer and 14 hardware-based devices to train P-8A maintenance personnel at Naval Air Station Jacksonville starting in 2016.

 

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:55
Sécurité et aéronautique, même combat ou presque pour Safran

 

07/04 Par Alain Ruello – LesEchos.fr

 

Un jour ou l’autre, l’équipementier aéronautique sera amené à donner plus d’indépendance à ses activités de sécurité.

 

Quoi de commun entre le CFM56, le moteur d’avion le plus vendu dans le monde, et un tomographe de ­Morpho, cette machine qui scanne une valise en tranches pour détecter toute trace ­suspecte ? Pas grand-chose, reconnaît Jean-Paul Herteman, exception faite que tous deux sont des concentrés d’innovation. Et qu’« une même passion » anime ceux qui les conçoivent.

Innovation et passion ? « L’ADN de Safran », rappelle son PDG justifiant ainsi sa décision d’investir dans la sécurité. Et pas qu’un peu : 1,5 milliard d’euros, avec trois grosses acquisitions à la clef, pour faire grossir cette activité issue de la fusion avec Sagem en 2005. A l’époque, il s’agissait de doter le groupe d’un relais de croissance et, le cas échéant, d’un amortisseur en cas de crise de l’aéronautique. Depuis, le trafic aérien a défié toutes les prévisions et affiche une santé insolente.

 

Morpho, une pépite qui ne demande qu’à grossir

Avec Morpho, Safran dispose donc d’une pépite qui ne demande qu’à grossir, en tirant profit de l’expansion exponentielle d’Internet dans les usages de la vie courante. Qui plus est, aéronautique et sécurité partagent une autre caractéristique : la forte proportion de revenus tirés des services. Alors mariées pour la vie ? Pas sûr. Car un point fondamental sépare les deux activités : les échelles de temps auxquelles elles obéissent.

Un nouveau moteur d’avion voit le jour tous les trente ans. A l’inverse, dans les technologies de l’information au sens large, tout va très vite. Malheur à celui qui loupe une marche, comme en témoigne le déclin de BlackBerry.

Si tout se passe comme prévu, Morpho va grossir et enrichira Safran encore longtemps. Mais un jour viendra où les forces centrifuges qui régissent l’écosystème Internet obligeront l’équipementier aéronautique à donner à sa filiale tous les attributs d’un « pure player » du numérique.

C’est la condition sine qua non pour qu’elle maintienne son avance technologique. Autrement dit, un jour ou l’autre, Jean-Paul Herteman, ou son successeur, devra probablement couper les amarres qui relient Morpho au groupe. Le partenariat en cours de négociation avec un grand du secteur va dans ce sens.

 

Safran cherche à s’allier avec un grand de l’Internet

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
Rafael targets Indian Rafale opportunity

 

Apr.7, 2014 By Arie Egozi – FG

 

Tel Aviv - Israeli guided weapons manufacturer Rafael is offering its Python 5 and Derby air-to-air missiles for integration with some of the Dassault Rafales expected to enter service with the Indian air force.

 

India in January 2012 selected the Rafale for its 126-unit medium multi-role combat aircraft deal, with the first 18 examples to be completed by Dassault with a full complement of integrated weapons. The type is flown by the French air force and navy with air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons produced by MBDA and Sagem.

 

An earlier request for proposals also required airframers to “integrate additional weapons of the Indian air force’s choice, as required”.

 

Joseph Horowitz, director of business development and marketing for Rafael's air superiority directorate, confirms that the Israeli company is in the competition to arm later Indian air force aircraft. Russian industry is also pursuing potential opportunities, with the air force still evaluating its options.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
Oman Air Force Continues F-16 Legacy

 

 

Apr 6, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

The Sultanate of Oman accepted the first of its second order of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-16 Fighting Falcons in a ceremony April 3 at Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth facility. The fighter aircraft will ferry to Oman later this year.

 

In 2002, the Sultanate of Oman became the 23rd member of the F-16 family and now joins the 15 other countries which have ordered additional F-16 jets for their air defense. The new F-16s will add to the Oman Air Force's existing fleet of F-16s used to defend Oman's borders.

 

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
photo USMC

photo USMC

 

7 April 2014 by Jon Hemmerdinger – FG

 

Washington DC - The US military continues talks with potential foreign buyers of Bell Boeing's V-22 Osprey as the service works to decrease the tiltrotor's costs.

 

US Marine Corps Col Daniel Robinson, manager of the V-22 joint programme office, tells reporters that the service is getting closer to securing a contract to sell V-22s to Israel, and says the military has a team of negotiators in that country working on a deal.

 

He adds that up to one dozen other countries have shown significant interest in the aircraft, but declines to specify those nations or say how close the military and Bell Boeing are to securing an order.

 

"Its definitely growing in demand," he says.

 

Robinson's comments, made during a press briefing at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington, DC, on 7 April, follow an announcement in January that Israel requested permission from the US Defense Department to buy six V-22s.

 

Then, in February, at the Heli-Expo, Bell Helicopter chief executive John Garrison said Israel is now interested in acquiring a total of 12 aircraft, six of which would come from existing orders that are assigned to the Marine Corps.

 

Any order from Israel or another country would help Bell Boeing preserve V-22 sales beyond 2015 and could help keep production alive past 2019.

 

Robinson notes, however, that the production line has enough capacity in the next few years to handle some new aircraft orders.

 

Meanwhile, Robinson says the US military continues a rigorous effort to bring down the expense of V-22s, which currently have a flyaway cost of about $72.1 million, according the US Navy's recently-released fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.

 

Robinson notes that the V-22's cost per flight hour has dropped 25% since 2009 while its readiness has increased 20%.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet with upper conformal fuel tank.

Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet with upper conformal fuel tank.

 

Apr.7, 2014– FG

 

The US Navy says it is pleased with results of recent flight tests of a Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet that had been upgraded with conformal fuel tanks and an external weapons pod -- a configuration Boeing calls the "Advanced Super Hornet."

 

Captain Frank Morley, F/A-18 programme manager for the USN, says on 7 April that the tests give lawmakers additional options as they consider whether to add orders for Super Hornets or A/E-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to the US military's fiscal year 2015 budget.

 

"The measures we were able to get on signature reduction and flying quality were spot on predications," Morley tells reporters during a press briefing at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington, DC. "It helps better inform decisions made through the budget bills and provides options as needed."

 

Conformal fuel tanks added to the upper fuselage of Super Hornets and belly-mounted external weapons pods are two primary upgrades that Boeing is pitching as its Advanced Super Hornet.

 

The Advanced model can also be improved with better engines, avionics and weapons systems, including an upgraded radar and improved infrared search-and-track abilities, Boeing has said.

 

The Advanced Super Hornet designation will be applied to new aircraft and existing aircraft that have been upgraded, Boeing has said.

 

The US government's fiscal year 2015 budget, which is currently working through Congress, does not include money for more Growlers or Super Hornets, but the USN expressed interest in additional aircraft by adding 22 Growlers to an unfunded list of priorities sent to lawmakers in recent weeks.

 

Morley says Growler's electronic jamming and other capabilities are critical to the "blue kill chain", the process by which friendly military forces identify, track, target and fire upon enemy forces. They are equally effective in disrupting the enemys ability to do the same against US forces, he adds.

 

"Given the environment we are [moving] into, that type of airplane plays a major role," Morley says. "You could use a lot of them. You could continue to [identify] places where they could [be of] benefit."

 

The USN intends to operate Super Hornets through the 2030s, Morley says.

 

Boeing has been seeking additional orders for Growlers or Super Hornets so as to keep its production line in St. Louis running.

 

Unless it receives more orders, the line will run out of aircraft to build by the end of 2016, Boeing has said.

 

If Congress adds 22 Growlers into next fiscal years spending bill, the line would continue running until the end of 2017, Mike Gibbons, Boeing's vice president of the F/A-18 programme, says during the press conference.

 

Gibbons adds that Growlers are the only aircraft that provide a broad spectrum of electronic protection, allowing fighters and other aircraft to penetrate enemy airspace that is guarded by multiple layers of electronic defence.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Navy to Test F-35C on Carrier This Fall

 

April 7, 2014 by Brendan McGarry defensetech.org
 

The U.S. Navy for the first time will begin testing its version of the F-35 fighter jet from an aircraft carrier this fall, according to the No. 2 official in charge of the program.

Rear Adm. Randy Mahr, deputy director of the Defense Department’s Joint Strike Fighter program, didn’t specify a date or ship for the upcoming evaluations. But he spoke confidently of the planned milestone for the F-35C, the Navy variant designed for taking off from and landing on carriers.

“It’s going to be the year of the F-35C,” he said during a briefing at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space conference on Monday in National Harbor, Md.

Mahr acknowledged hardware and software problems that have plagued the three versions of the aircraft being developed by Lockheed Martin Corp., from a tailhook that didn’t catch the arresting cable to a bulkhead that cracks to logistics software that improperly grounded jets. In February, the program office discovered that an engine fan blade “came apart” into pieces, he said.

But the issues have either been resolved or are in the process of being fixed and won’t threaten the Marine Corps’ plans to begin in July 2015 operational flights of the F-35B, Mahr said. That version is designed for short takeoffs and vertical landings, meaning it can fly like a plane and land like a helicopter.

Corps leaders last week hinted to lawmakers that the aircraft may not meet that date.

“We are tentatively behind schedule,” Gen. John Paxton, the assistant commandant, told lawmakers during an April 2 hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Seapower. “The IOC is forecasted for July 2015,” Paxton added, referring to the date for initial operational capability. “We have every expectation that could be delayed by several months. It will continue to be conditions based.”

Lt. Gen. Kenneth Glueck, who heads up the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, also said at the hearing that the Corps would not declare IOC until the software is developed to meet the requirements of the service.

The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, in a March 24 report cited an assessment made by the Pentagon’s own director of operational test and evaluation that software problems could delay delivery of the aircraft’s most advanced technology by 13 months.

When asked specifically about F-35B operational flights, Mahr said, “the Marines have not expressed any concerns at all about the IOC in 2015.”

The F-35B operational flights will rely on a less robust version of software, known as 2B, designed to provide basic close-air support and fire such weapons as the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile, or AMRAAM, and Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM. Both weapons have been successfully test-fired from the aircraft, Mahr said.

“We expect to be able to show that that software is ready to deploy,” he said, adding that two more software upgrades, or “drops,” are scheduled for the next two months.

Mahr acknowledged “some challenges” with the more robust version of software, known as 3F and designed to provide the full suite of war-fighting technology, which is scheduled for delivery in 2017.

“We think we have four to six months of risk on that end,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to meet that date.”

The program office has also made improvements to the Autonomic Logistics Information System, or ALIS (pronounced “Alice”), which determines whether the plane is safe to fly. A recent software upgrade to the system has drastically shortened the time it takes maintainers to load a webpage, to about 30 seconds from about five minutes, Mahr said.

 
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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 19:20
Magellan Aerospace Awarded Contract To Repair and Overhaul CF-18 Engines

 

April 7, 2014. David Pugliese Defence Watch

 

News release from Magellan:

 

TORONTO, April 7, 2014 /CNW/ – Magellan Aerospace Corporation (“Magellan” or the “Corporation”) announced today the award of a contract for engine repair and overhaul (“R&O”) for the F404 engine that powers Canada’s fleet of CF-188 Hornet aircraft. The one-year contract renewal for approximately CDN $55 million, which was competitively bid, commenced on 1 April 2014, and includes an option for an additional year. The work will be carried out at Magellan’s facility in Mississauga, Ontario.

 

Under the terms of the contract, the Corporation will provide maintenance, engineering, material management, provision of Field Service Representatives, and Publication support for the CF-188 F404 engine and ancillary components. Magellan has provided CF-188 F404 engine R&O services to the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 30 years.

 

“Magellan is pleased to have been selected to provide this service for the Canadian Department of National Defence. Magellan’s long-standing relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces is very much the product of providing excellent value in terms of competitive pricing and world class technical experience”, said Jim Butyniec, President and Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Aerospace.

 

In addition to supporting Canada’s CF-188 F404 fleet, Magellan is a proven supplier, as well as Centre of Excellence, in the worldwide F404 engine R&O support market. There are approximately 4,000 F404 engines currently in service in 15 countries around the world.

 

About Magellan Aerospace

 

Magellan Aerospace is a global, integrated aerospace company that provides complex assemblies and systems solutions to aircraft and engine manufacturers, and defence and space agencies worldwide. Magellan designs, engineers, and manufactures aeroengine and aerostructure assemblies and components for aerospace markets, advanced products for military and space markets, industrial power generation, and specialty products. Magellan is a public company whose shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: MAL), with operating units throughout Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and Poland.

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