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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Saab receives German, Swedish contracts


LINKOPING, Sweden, Nov. 20 (UPI)


Sweden's Defense Materiel Administration has contracted Saab for upgrades and maintenance of its mobile airbase communications systems for remote deployments.


The contract is for three years with options for an additional four years. It carries an expected value of more than $22.6 million. The first task order under the award will be issued next year.


Saab said under the contract it will provide maintenance, change management and upgrades of communications platforms.


"By this order, [the] Swedish Defense Materiel Administration re-affirms their faith in our relationship and it is a testimony to our capability and performance in providing communication solutions in a competitive market," said Richard Price, head of Saab Security and Defense Solution's Critical System and Communication Solution business unit.


Additional details were not disclosed.


In other company news, Saab said it has received orders from Germany to supply defensive systems for the German Air Force's Tornado aircraft.


The equipment to be supplied, worth about $15 million, includes the BOZ-101 EC podded self-protection system, with the MAW-300 missile approach warning system.


Saab will also develop a new cockpit control unit for the defensive system's pod.


"These orders mark the first contract with Germany for Saab's MAW-300 missile approach warning system," said Micael Johansson, head of Saab's Electronic Defense System unit. "It is a breakthrough and a strong vote of confidence in Saab as an electronic warfare supplier.


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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:40
An-140-100 military transport plane

An-140-100 military transport plane


MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti)


A new military transport plane will be put in service with Russia’s Baltic Fleet by the end of this year, a spokesman for the Western Military District said Wednesday.


The An-140-100 plane is a lightweight turboprop cargo aircraft designed by Ukraine’s Antonov bureau and manufactured under license in Russia by the Aviacor aviation plant in the Volga region.


“A group of naval aviation officers from the Baltic Fleet has departed to the Aviacor plant in Samara to inspect and accept the new An-140 military transport plane,” Capt. 2nd Rank Vladimir Matveyev said.


The Russian Defense Ministry has said a total of eight An-140 planes will be put in service with all four Russian fleets. The navy received the first An-140 plane in April.


The plane, developed as a replacement for the outdated An-24 and An-26 cargo aircraft, can carry up to 6 metric tons of cargo for a range of over 2,000 kilometers, and can be used for patrol, military transport and spec-ops missions.


The Russian military has outlined plans to continue buying the An-140s to meet the pressing need for lightweight tactical cargo planes.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Jf-17's CM-400AKG Hypersonic Aircraft Carrier Killer Missile

Jf-17's CM-400AKG Hypersonic Aircraft Carrier Killer Missile


19 Nov 2013 by Stephen Trimble – FG


Dubai - Chinese aerospace giant AVIC has quietly advertised critical details about the accuracy and performance of a secretive project to develop a supersonic cruise missile reportedly dubbed an “aircraft carrier killer” by the launch customer.


A full list of specifications for the CM-400AKG missile was played on a loop inside the AVIC exhibit stand at the Dubai air show; a marketing venue for the JF-17 fighter jointly developed between China and Pakistan - the latter of which operates the type as the "Thunder".


News reports have indicated the CM-400 has entered service with the Pakistan air force. The AVIC video notes vaguely that the 910kg (2,000lb) weapon “can be carried by JF-17, etc”. It is usually compared with the Indian/Russian Brahmos high-speed cruise missile.


For the first time, the AVIC video details claims for the accuracy of each of the CM-400’s three major guidance systems, starting with a 50m (164ft) circular error probable (CEP) for an inertial navigation system coupled with satellite positioning. A weapon's CEP is defined as the 50% probability that it will hit within a given radius of the target’s position.


The accuracy of the CM-400 improves by an order of magnitude - to a CEP of 5m - when an onboard infrared (IR)/TV seeker activates to provide terminal guidance. The list also claims that the CEP of the weapon actually worsens to 5-10m when an IR/TV seeker is supplemented by a passive radar during the terminal phase. It is not clear why the passive radar – identified as occupying the L, S and X bands of the electromagnetic spectrum – would not improve the CM-400’s accuracy.


AVIC lists the 0.4m-diameter missile as having a range of between 54-130nm (100-240km), while carrying either a 150kg blast warhead or 200kg penetration warhead.


A list of system features appears to confirm an unusual characteristic associated with the CM-400. Unlike most high-speed cruise missiles, which fly at low altitude to avoid detection, the CM-400 uses “high [altitude] launching” to achieve “higher aircraft survivability”, according to the video.



JF-17 Thunder in Zhuhai Airshow 2012-

JF-17 Thunder in Zhuhai Airshow 2012-

A fighter such as the Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 would launch the missile at speeds between Mach 0.7 and M0.9 at an elevation between 26,200ft and 39,400ft, according to the AVIC specifications.


News reports indicate the weapon was publicly unveiled by China at the Zhuhai air show in 2012.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:25
Brazilian Air Force Receives More Than Just Flight Controls for KC-390


November 19, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: BAE Systems; issued November 19, 2013)


BAE Systems, as part of an agreement to provide the flight control system and active side sticks for Embraer’s KC-390 military transport aircraft, has finalized an industrial cooperation contract with the Brazilian Air Force. This is the first agreement of its type completed as part of the KC-390 program.


"This agreement is designed to create new opportunities for Brazil’s domestic aerospace industry," said Dr. Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Commercial Aircraft Solutions at BAE Systems. "It will entail software development training and maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for the KC-390 flight control system that will be performed in Brazil. BAE Systems has also proposed performing some final assembly work for its KC-390 products in the country."


"The KC-390 Program is a great opportunity for the evolution of the Brazilian Aerospace Industry. We are happy to see that BAE Systems has made the strategic commitment to our efforts. It will be an important partner in providing technological solutions in Brazil to support the development and future operation of the KC-390 fleet," said Brigadier-General Crepaldi, president of COPAC, the Brazilian Air Force Commission in charge of the KC-390 program.


The KC-390 is a twin-turbofan powered, medium-weight transport jet that can be refuelled in flight and used for in-flight or on-ground refuelling of other aircraft. BAE Systems will provide the flight control electronics that provides full fly-by-wire control for the aircraft. In addition, the company will provide active side sticks for the KC-390, which represents the latest evolution in inceptor technology, enabling pilots to control aircraft by improving performance through tactile cues used to direct and manoeuvre the plane.


"We are committed to working closely with both the Brazilian customer and local industry," says Jim Reid, general manager of BAE Systems in Brazil. "This agreement is further evidence of this intent and comes on the back of our final OPV delivery to the Brazilian Navy and ongoing partnership with the Brazilian Army upgrading its M113 fleet."


BAE Systems has provided support to the Brazilian Armed Forces for naval guns, radars, and armored vehicles since 1998 from its office in Brasilia.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:20
U-2 Modifications Reduce Decompression Sickness

November 19, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

 (Source: US Air Force; issued Nov. 18, 2013)


ROBINS AFB, Ga. --- Air Force pilots flying the "Dragon Lady" no longer experience decompression sickness during their high-altitude flights, according to officials with the U-2 Program Office here.


Commonly referred to as DCS, decompression sickness is caused by the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood and tissue following a sudden drop of air pressure.


For U-2 pilots, who routinely fly missions above 70,000 feet, this has been a major concern.


"Our pilots were seeing an increased number of DCS incidents due to long missions," said Col. Fred Kennedy, the Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division chief. "Air Force senior leaders became aware of the problem, and made fixing it their No. 1 priority for our program."


The fix -- dubbed the Cabin Altitude Reduction Effort, or CARE, program -- beefs up the U-2's structure, replaces the legacy cockpit pressure regulator and safety valve, and includes modifications to the engine bleed schedule. That permits engineers to nearly double the cockpit pressure experienced by a U-2 pilot, from 4.4 pounds per square inch to more than 8 psi.


"What our folks have done is to drop the apparent altitude in the cockpit from 29,500 feet to 15,000 feet - roughly the difference between Mount Everest and Pikes Peak (Colo.)," Kennedy said. "CARE basically eliminates the risk of DCS and allows our U-2 pilots -- who might otherwise have been removed from flying status -- to keep flying."


A total of 27 U-2 airframes have been outfitted with CARE, ahead of schedule and under cost. The total outlay for the program was $8.7 million, officials said.


To date, there have been no reported DCS incidents since the modifications.


"This is a big deal for the U-2 community," Kennedy said. "Healthy pilots mean more missions and more extraordinary ISR capability for our warfighters."

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 20:39
EADS pourrait supprimer 8.000 emplois


20/11/2013 lexpansion.lexpress.fr (AFP)


Le groupe d'aéronautique EADS pourrait se séparer de 20% de ses effectifs dans la division Défense et Espace.


L'inquiétude monte au sein du groupe d'aéronautique et de défense EADS, qui pourrait se séparer de 20% de ses effectifs.


Le groupe de défense et d'aéronautique EADS pourrait supprimer 20% des effectifs de sa division Défense et Espace, soit 8000 emplois, indique mercredi l'agence allemande DPA, citant une "source informée".


Ce projet entrerait dans le cadre du regroupement par EADS du groupe de défense Cassidian, le groupe spatial Astrium et Airbus Military au sein d'une division Airbus Défense et Espace, dont les modalités doivent être annoncées prochainement. Un porte-parole d'EADS à Paris a cependant assuré à l'AFP qu'"aucun chiffre n'a été décidé, aucun chiffre n'existe".


Un porte-parole d'EADS à Paris a cependant assuré à l'AFP qu'"aucun chiffre n'a été décidé. Aucun chiffre n'existe. Nous ne voyons pas de raison de commenter".


"Nous présenterons d'abord nos projet aux comités d'entreprise avant de communiquer", a-t-il ajouté.


Le syndicat allemand IG Metall de Cassidian n'était pas joignable pour commenter cette information.


Mardi, le comité européen EADS - qui réunit les organisations syndicales européennes et la direction du groupe - avait tenu une réunion extraordinaire à Toulouse (sud-ouest de la France) sous la présidence du président exécutif, Tom Enders. Aucun chiffre n'avait filtré de cette réunion.


Le patron du groupe y avait réaffirmé les grandes lignes de la réorganisation qui accompagnera le changement de nom d'EADS en groupe Airbus, à l'été 2014.


Tom Enders a vivement inquiété les syndicats à la fin octobre en déclarant dans une interview au quotidien allemand Süddeutsche Zeitung: "sans des mesures draconiennes, ça ne marchera pas (...) Nous ne pourrons pas éviter de nouvelles réductions des coûts et des effectifs".


Cette restructuration était rendue nécessaire par la fusion avortée avec le britannique BAE Systems, préparée en secret à l'été 2012 avant d'échouer en octobre, devant les réticences gouvernementales, allemandes surtout.

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 19:55
photo Stephane Fort

photo Stephane Fort


19/11/2013 Vincent Lamigeon, grand reporter à Challenges Supersonique

Bien sûr, il y a eu le duel à haute altitude entre Airbus et Boeing avec les 150 milliards de dollars de commandes signées le premier jour du salon de Dubaï. Bien sûr, les deux géants de l’aéronautique ont trusté les annonces du salon et sa couverture médiatique, les compagnies du Golfe ayant décidé d’investir une fois et demie le PIB de la Nouvelle-Zélande dans les 777X, 787, A350 et autres A380. Mais la guerre la plus âpre s’est probablement jouée en coulisses, entre les deux frères ennemis de l’aviation militaire, Dassault et Eurofighter, dont les restrictions budgétaires sur leur marché domestique ont redoublé l’agressivité à l’export.

Eurofighter, dont le britannique BAE pilote les campagnes commerciales au Moyen-Orient, avait mis toutes les chances de son côté, en communiquant sur l’intégration des missiles de croisière air-sol Storm Shadow de MBDA sur son chasseur Typhoon, une capacité que le Rafale a validé depuis fin 2004. Pour convaincre ses prospects de la région (Emirats arabes unis, Qatar, Bahrein), l’avionneur européen a aussi présenté une maquette de son avion avec des réservoirs de carburants supplémentaires sur le dessus du fuselage, dits « réservoirs conformes de fuselage » (CFT), qui permettent de compenser l’utilisation de deux points d’emport sous l’avion par les fameux missiles. « Pipeau total, assure-t-on côté français. Intégrer des CFT remet en question toute l’aérodynamique de l’avion. C’est juste pour cacher grossièrement le fait qu’avec des Storm Shadow, le Typhoon a un rayon d’action ultra-limité. »

Mais la machine britannique semblait bien lancée, le premier ministre britannique David Cameron se livrant même à une étonnante danse du ventre dès la veille du salon pour pousser le Typhoon. Le teasing avait été admirablement organisé dans la presse anglo-saxonne, certains évoquant même un accord d’Etat à Etat imminent entre le Royaume-Uni et les Emirats. « Ca sent bon pour nous, assurait même un membre du parti conservateur au Financial Times. La question est si cela va pouvoir être signé à Dubaï, ou s’il va y avoir besoin d’un dernier effort pour nous faire franchir la ligne. » Le téléphone sonnait même chez Dassault, des journalistes voulant recueillir à l’avance les regrets du vaincu.

Et là, patatras. Ou plutôt, plouf. Pas d’accord gouvernemental, encore moins de contrat Typhoon. Juste une mise au point d’une source du Golfe à Reuters : le choix n’est pas encore fait, tout est ouvert. « Si Dassault avait agi comme ça, je ne vous raconte pas la raclée dans la presse », assure un proche du camp français. De fait, Abu Dhabi a tout son temps : il dispose de Mirage 2000-9 et de F-16 récents et performants. Surtout, les émiriens détestent qu’on parle à leur place, et qu’on annonce des contrats avant terme. Les maîtres du calendrier, c’est eux.

Et quand ils ne sont pas contents, ils n'hésitent pas à dégainer, comme avait pu le voir Dassault il y a deux ans. "Malheureusement, il semble que Dassault ne réalise pas que la volonté politique et tous les efforts diplomatiques ne peuvent pas faire passer des conditions commerciales non compétitives et irréalisables", avait ainsi asséné au salon de Dubaï 2011 le prince héritier d'Abu Dhabi, cheikh Mohamed ben Zayed.

Le ministre français de la défense Jean-Yves Le Drian l’a bien compris : sa méthode « soft », fondée sur la discrétion, des relations de confiance, et des visites très régulières, a déjà fait ses preuves, avec le contrat de satellites Falcon Eye obtenu par Astrium et Thales Alenia Space au nez et à la barbe de l’américain Lockheed Martin en juillet dernier. Même réussite en Arabie Saoudite, où DCNS, Thales et MBDA ont gagné le contrat de rénovation de frégates LEX, et où Thales est idéalement placé pour boucler le contrat de missiles de défense aérienne Crotale NG (2,5 milliards).

Pourquoi BAE et Cameron ont-il donc fait tant d’esbroufe ? Les analyses divergent. « BAE n’a rien vendu récemment aux Emirats, ils font du bruit pour rappeler qu’ils sont là », assure un excellent connaisseur du groupe. « Pour soutenir leur cours de bourse », avance un autre. Tout le monde se rejoint sur l’impérieuse nécessité de contrats pour le Typhoon, qui doit faire vivre –pour combien de temps ? – quatre lignes d’assemblage.

Eric Trappier, rencontré par Challenges sur le stand Dassault, refuse de commenter la pression du concurrent. « Nous, on ne fait pas de bruit, on travaille. Nous travaillons avec les Emiriens pour continuer d’améliorer les Mirage 2000-9 avec des bombes guidées laser. Pour le Rafale… » Il s’interrompt, s’excuse : le chef de l’armée de l’air qatarie demande à le voir. Le genre de rendez-vous qu’on ne fait pas attendre.

Le Qatar, c’est de fait le prospect le plus chaud au Moyen-Orient. Et un autre point de friction entre Rafale et Typhoon, qui y voient un marché susceptible de se décanter rapidement, où les Américains n’ont pas –encore- fait d’offre, ce qui ne lasse pas d’étonner le microcosme militaire. Sur les 72 appareils envisagés par l’émirat, une première tranche de 36 appareils semble accessible rapidement aux deux frères ennemis. C’est probablement à Doha, plus qu’aux Emirats, que se joue la prochaine étape de la guerre fratricide intra-européenne.

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 18:25
TenCate selected by Embraer for supplying ballistic protection for A-29 Super Tucano


Nov 20, 2013 ASDNews Source : TenCate


TenCate Advanced Armour has been selected by aerospace manufacturer Embraer as the supplier of aerospace armour for the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano military aircraft. The aircraft will be supplied in partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) as the prime contractor for the aircraft. No financial details will be published.


The Embraer EMB 314 – also named A-29 Super Tucano – is a turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter-insurgency, close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training. It is currently in service with the air forces of Angola, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Mauritania. The A-29 has been ordered by Senegal and the United States. February 27, 2013, the U.S. Air Force announced that it has selected the Embraer Defense and Security´s A-29 Super Tucano for its Light Air Support program.


Tier 1 aerospace armour company


Steen Tanderup, managing director of TenCate Advanced Armour EMEA states: “Embraer’s decision for supplier selection in this major high-end aerospace aircraft confirms that TenCate Advanced Armour has developed into a fully accepted tier 1 aerospace armour company. The EN9100 certified facility of TenCate in France is providing the design, development and production of dedicated high quality aerospace ballistic protection for a number of high-profile helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft projects. This production plant is at the required level and will further evolve in the near future. In this way TenCate will contribute to increase the protection of aircrews and aircraft platforms in hostile environments”.


Read more

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 18:20
F-15 For F-16 Swap


11/19/2013 Strategy Page


Col. John York pilots an F-15 Eagle ahead of Lt. Col. Sean Navin, who flies an F-16 Falcon on its final mission for the 144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard. The F-16s have been transferred to the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, Ariz., as a result of the 144th Fighter Wing receiving the F-15 Eagle as their new airframe. York is the 144th Operations Group commander. Navin is the commander of the 194th Fighter Squadron

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 17:50
photo Saab

photo Saab


Nov 19, 2013 ASDNews Source : Saab AB


Defence and security company Saab has received three orders for self-protection equipment for the German Air Force’s Tornado fleet. In total, the orders amount to approximately 100 MSEK.


The contracts entail certification and limited production of the BOZ-101 EC podded self-protection system, including the MAW-300 missile approach warning system, as well as development and qualification of a new cockpit control unit for the pod.


Read more

photo Saab

photo Saab

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 17:20
Photo Lockheed Martin

Photo Lockheed Martin


November 20, 2013 By Zachary Keck - thediplomat.com


Plus, the Navy’s top officer is only slightly worried about sequester’s impact on the pivot. Wednesday defense links.


Some Wednesday defense links:

Myriad sources in recent weeks are reporting that South Korea’s military has decided that its country needs the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. According to one report from Reuters, in a meeting on Friday South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff will endorse an “all F-35 buy” of 40 of the aircraft for its FX-III fighter jet competition. The same report said that they will also include an option to purchase 20 additional F-35s in the future. Some notable figures are recommending that Seoul should purchase a combination of F-35s and F-15s.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is looking at purchasing more F/A-18 fighter jets even as it reiterates its commitment to the F-35.

Real Clear Defense’s Dustin Walker has an excellent (and Asia-centric) interview with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert. In the interview Greenert admits to worrying about being “out-sticked” in the Asia-Pacific due to China’s growing anti-ship capabilities. Nonetheless, Greenert contends that despite sequestration “we are continuing our focus, our priority in that budgetary environment to the Asia-Pacific. And there will be growth in that arena as opposed tojust less reduction.”

Per usual, War on the Rocks has featured some excellent analyses in recent days. One such piece by Matthew Hipple considers how a war between the U.S. and China would start. Frank Hoffman also asks some hard questions about Air-Sea Battle in the context of the new QDR.

As part of its “Asia-Pacific Oversight Series,” the House Armed Services Committee held what Breaking Defense is calling an unprecedented gathering of Asia-Pacific ambassadors last week.

Feng at Information Dissemination runs through some of the new projects the Chinese military is working on.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel are meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister David Johnston in Washington, DC today for the annual Australia-U.S. Ministerial (AUSMIN).

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 12:35
Séoul et Lima s'associent pour construire des avions d’entraînement KT-1

Le ministre de la Défense péruvien Pedro Cateriano (2e à partir de la droite) lors de la cérémonie à Lima mardi qui a marqué l`achèvement de la construction d`une usine de fabrication d`avions d`entraînement sud-coréens.


2013/11/20 claire (Yonhap)


LIMA, 19 nov. -- Selon des responsables de Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), le Pérou a terminé la construction d’une usine d’assemblage d’avions d’entraînement coréens KT-1, qui pourrait permettre à la Corée d’étendre ses exportations d’avions turbopropulseurs vers d’autres pays d’Amérique latine.


L’usine, située sur la base aérienne de Las Palmas à Lima, capitale du Pérou, pourra produire 16 aéronefs monomoteurs à partir de mars prochain dans le cadre d’un contrat de 200 millions de dollars conclu avec le gouvernement sud-coréen.


KAI, seul constructeur aéronautique du pays, prévoit également de produire quatre KT-1 en Corée et de les livrer au Pérou l’année prochaine. Le ministre de la Défense péruvien Pedro Cateriano a fait part lors de la cérémonie d’ouverture de l’usine de son appui quand aux efforts conjoints du Pérou et de la Corée pour pénétrer les marchés aéronautiques de nouveaux pays.


Le président de KAI, Ha Sung-yong, a annoncé son intention d’inviter des ingénieurs péruviens afin de leur communiquer des technologies et des connaissances nécessaires pour assurer la maintenance des appareils de manière indépendante.


Le KT-1, développé conjointement par KAI et l’Agence pour le développement de la défense (ADD), a effectué son premier vol au début des années 1990. Aujourd’hui, l’armée de l’air sud-coréenne en compte une centaine et soixante autres ont été vendus à l’Indonésie et à la Turquie.

L`avion d`entraînement KT-1

L`avion d`entraînement KT-1

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20 novembre 2013 3 20 /11 /novembre /2013 08:20
Northrop Grumman gets task orders for A-10 modernization support


HERNDON, Va., Nov. 19 (UPI)


Task orders worth nearly $24 million have been given to Northrop Grumman by the U.S. Air Force to help keep A-10 Thunderbolts flying until 2028 and beyond.


The two task orders to Northrop were issued under the A-10 Thunderbolt life cycle program support contract, which is an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity vehicle.


Under the four-year aircraft structural integrity program Modernization V deal, Northrop Grumman will perform tasks such as damage tolerance analysis, materials testing, probabilistic and risk analysis, and stress and thermal analysis.


"Northrop Grumman is proud to continue to supporting the Air Force's premier ground-attack aircraft," said John Parker, director of Northrop Grumman's global logistics and modernization business unit. "Our focus is to always provide our customer with the highest level of engineering services possible to ensure superior program performance. We look forward to continuing our work with the Air Force and the A-10 Thunderbolt."


Northrop said its team for the task orders includes the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, the University of Dayton Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio, Borsight Inc. of Ogden, Utah, and Prime Machine Inc. of Salt Lake City.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 19:35
Why Would Russia Sell China Su-35 Fighter Jets?


November 19, 2013 By Harry Kazianis - thediplomat.com


Given China’s history of stealing Russian defense technology, Moscow’s thinking is hard to understand.


Truthfully, the state of Russia-China ties gives me a headache.

First, I understand the rationale for both sides to develop large agreements for natural resource sales—it’s clearly in both of their national interests. China needs them (having a majority of the imported resource that powers your economy, namely oil, go through narrow straits that could be blockaded is probably not a good plan), Russia wants to sell them (what else does Russia have to sell these days). However, military sales of Moscow’s best equipment, even as a report from the Want China Times suggests is still being negotiated makes little sense, well…at least for Russia that is.

As I have stated on several occasions, Russia has a number of reasons to hold off selling even one of its most capable jets to China. Readers of Flashpoints are familiar with the tale of Russia’s last large jet sale to China, the SU-27. When Russia’s defense industry was on its back in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, China purchased US$1 billion worth of the then-advanced fighter. Plans were laid for an expansion of the agreement for up to 200 jets to be sold, with large quantities to be assembled in China.  The deal then fell apart after the first 100 or so jets were delivered when Moscow accused Beijing of essentially replicating the jet and prepping it for resale under the renamed J-11 and J-11B. China has allegedly copied at least one other fighter jet of Russian origin, the SU-33, renamed the J-15.

For their part, Chinese officials denied such allegations. According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal back in 2010, Zhang Xinguo, deputy president of AVIC, tried to claim the jets were not a copy.

“You cannot say it’s just a copy,” Zhang declared. “Mobile phones all look similar. But technology is developing very quickly. Even if it looks the same, everything inside cannot be the same.”

In a piece for the People’s Daily, Chinese officials would also defend the J-15, the alleged copy of the SU-33.

Geng Yansheng, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, explained, “The world military affairs have an objective law of development. Many weapons have the same design principle and some command and protection methods are also similar. Therefore, it at least is non-professional to conclude that China copied the aircraft carrier technology of other countries only by simply comparison.”

The deal that is being considered now, at least according to the report mentioned above, sounds similar to the SU-27 sale.  According to WCT, “Beijing sought a promise from Moscow to set up a maintenance center in China as part of the contract” and that “Chinese experts must be able to maintain and repair Su-35 fighters with training provided by Russian advisers.”

Effectively, Russia would be giving up a tremendous amount of technical knowledge and knowhow to China with very little safeguards to stop a repeat of the SU-27 incident. While Russia would gain a large sale for its arms industry, thinking long-term – and recalling the fact that Russia-China relations historically have not exactly been a model of peace and prosperity – Moscow might want to think twice about such an agreement.

For China, there are a number of reasons such a deal would be attractive. China has documented issues producing fighter jet engines, and even the ability to take apart and dissect Russia’s latest military wares would be of use. And for all the talk of 5th generation fighters, America is the only nation so far to deploy such a craft, with various well-documented glitches along the way. A more traditional craft could be of great value to Beijing while it perfects a stealthier fighter for the future. Also, considering the long range of the SU-35, such a plane would be of great value to loiter over disputed territories in the East and South China Sea for extended periods of time. Indeed, if Beijing buys into all the talk about Air-Sea Battle (ASB) being all about deep strikes on the Chinese mainland, an advanced fighter jet to defend the homeland does not seem like a bad investment in the long term.

For Russia, the risks seem obvious. Competing against your own technology in the lucrative arms trade is never a good thing. While a deal today might be profitable, the loss of multiple future deals to cheaper Chinese copies could be a disaster tomorrow.  Also, today’s friendships could give way to tomorrow’s geostrategic challenges. Russia and China’s interests might not always align so closely. It would be a pity if Russia someday were forced to consider squaring off against military technology it sold to Beijing, either directly or against Chinese sales to some future adversary.

There is however one possibility that Russia could be banking on for China to behave this go around: it has the option of cutting off oil supplies if Beijing does not play nice. The question is, considering the fact that a large amount of Russia’s overall budget is backed by oil revenue, even if China decided to make the same choice and again play copycat, would Russia be in a position to make such a move?

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 18:40
Biélorussie: Loukachenko appelle l'armée à ne pas renoncer aux Su-27


MINSK, 19 novembre - RIA Novosti


Le président biélorusse Alexandre Loukachenko a appelé lundi l'armée de son pays à ne pas renoncer à l'exploitation des chasseurs Sukhoi Su-27, dont elle est pourvue d'une vingtaine d'unités.


"Nous ne devons pas nous presser de renoncer à des matériels de guerre compte tenu de l'expérience des guerres dans le monde arabe (…). Nous devons réfléchir sur les moyens de garder les avions Su-27 à tout prix pour une certaine période", a déclaré M.Loukachenko lors d'une visite à la 61e base aérienne biélorusse à Baranovitchi.


Le commandant de l'Armée de l'air et des Troupes de défense antiaérienne de Biélorussie Oleg Dvigalev a annoncé le 14 novembre dernier que les Forces armées biélorusses avaient renoncé aux chasseurs Sukhoi Su-27 dont l'exploitation est jugée trop onéreuse et peu pratique pour la Biélorusse avec son petit territoire.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 17:50
Sweden hopes to avoid Swiss referendum on Gripen E


Nov. 18, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG


London - Sweden expects to know by no later than the fourth quarter of 2014 whether the Swiss government will be able to move ahead with its planned acquisition of 22 Saab Gripen E fighters, with its timetable to be driven by a potential public referendum.


Opponents to the proposed deal have until January to secure the 50,000 signatures needed to call a referendum that would question the need to replace the Swiss air force’s Northrop F-5 interceptors. “We would expect a referendum in either May or September 2014” should they succeed, says Lt Col Klas Petersson, head of international relations for the Swedish air force’s Air Component Command.


“We are planning for a positive outcome, but fully respect their decision process,” Petersson told IQPC’s International Fighter conference in London on 14 November. “At the moment there is no ‘Plan B’,” he adds, noting: “we are inter-dependent on each other.”


Sweden’s parliament has approved its own national purchase of 60 new-generation Gripen Es, on the condition that the development is advanced in cooperation with an export customer.


Switzerland selected the developmental Gripen E to replace its aged F-5s following a competition with the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon, with Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet also having previously been on offer. If approved, the purchase will lead to the introduction of a new fleet of the Swedish-built type from 2018, following the interim use of surplus Gripen C/Ds starting in 2016.


Saab is on schedule to fly its first of three Gripen E test aircraft during 2015, with current development activities being supported using an adapted B-model demonstrator (above). To enter use in 2018 in the MS21 operating standard, the new version boasts increased range and supercruise performance, plus the ability to carry a wider range and volume of air-launched weapons

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 13:20
Lockheed lays down the law on F-16 upgrades



Nov. 19, 2013 by Greg Waldron – FG


Dubai - Lockheed Martin believes that its status as the original manufacturer of the world’s F-16 fleet gives it an edge in the competitive market to upgrade the venerable type.


In an interview with Flight Daily News in the Lockheed chalet, F-16 business development executive William McHenry said that his company has a unique insight into the design of the aircraft, which allows it to better assess the possible ramifcations of decisions involved in major upgrading.


“Lockheed has delivered over 1,000 F-16 upgrade kits,” he says. “F-16s are our heritage.”


McHenry says that the typical upgrade candidate has 3,000 hours on its airframe. All customer requirements are different, with some air forces wishing merely to keep their aircraft serviceable, while others wish to conduct a major upgrade to the F-16V configuration Lockheed unveiled at the Singapore air show in 2012.


The F-16V upgrade adds an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, new mission computer, a new electronic warfare suite, and other improvements to the venerable type.


One trend McHenry has observed is that many countries wish to add the Link-16 datalink to the aircraft. Link-16 allows for better sharing of information among a nation’s military assets, and also improves interoperability with US forces.


As for USAF F-16s, of which about 300 are likely to be upgraded, McHenry said there is no word when the programme will move forward owing to the prevailing tight budget environment. Other major F-16 avionics upgrades in the world include South Korea, where BAE Systems beat Lockheed in competition to upgrade 134 examples, and Taiwan, where Lockheed will upgrade 144 examples.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 12:35
1st Indian Pilot To Land On Vikramaditya

November 19, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist

In these pictures seen here on Livefist for the first time, is Commodore Surendra Ahuja, who on September 3 became the first Indian pilot to be 'trapped' on the Vikramaditya in a MiG-29KUB. This wasn't a solo flight, however: Cmde. Ahuja was flying with MiG Test Pilot Sergei Rubnikov, who was captain of the aircraft during this flight. The first solo landing by an Indian pilot on the Vikramaditya is likely to take place in Feb/March next year by a pilot from the INAS 303 squadron.


Cmde. Ahuja, currently posted to Naval HQ, was in Russia for 80 days (from early Aug to mid Oct 2013) for Aviation Facilities Complex Delivery Acceptance Trials - most of the flying happened north of Murmansk (north of the Arctic Circle) -- which is why pilots flying at the time had to use immersion suits. Cmde. Ahuja was also, incidentally, the first "new mould" Indian pilot certified in tailhook landings.

1st Indian Pilot To Land On Vikramaditya
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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 12:30
photo EADS

photo EADS


Nov. 19, 2013 FG


Dubai - Airbus Military’s Dubai debutant A400M might have reached the international market too late to vie for the Middle East region’s recent investment in large transport aircraft, but the company hopes to “reverse this situation very soon”.


Revealing a new long-term sales forecast at the show, head of market development Gustavo Garcia Miranda says around 330 military transports – including 130 in the A400M’s size class – are likely to be sold in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by 2042. “We would like to take maybe half of it,” he says of the expected business.


The European company isn’t saying which nations are considered the most likely prospects to buy the A400M, but Miranda says it has discussed the type with “many operators” of Lockheed Martin’s legacy C-130 Hercules. The company has previously sold a combined 66 medium transports and tankers in the MENA region, he adds.


Head of defence capability marketing Ian Elliott points to the A400M’s in-built potential to also be used as an air-to-air refueller as a possible attraction to new customers. “The days of buying one aeroplane to do one job are gone,” he claims.


Qatar and the UAE have already acquired Boeing’s C-17 strategic transport, which will end production in 2015, while Lockheed has sold new-generation C-130Js to Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.


Meanwhile, Miranda says new sales of the A330-200-based multirole tanker/transport are expected “within a few weeks or months”. The company is close to finalising contract discussions with India for six examples, while he says it is also “very confident” of landing an order in Asia soon. Singapore has been considering the type for a six-unit requirement.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 12:30
photo EADS

photo EADS


18/11/2013 Par Caroline Bruneau - Air & Cosmos


Airbus Military espère vendre 130 A400M dans la région.


Revue de marché pour Airbus Military. Quelques mois avant de changer de structure et de nom pour devenir Airbus Defense & Space (ADS), le fabricant de l’A400M a tenu une conférence de presse impromptue sur le salon. Le futur ADS a détaillé ses perspectives mondiales, et plus spécifiquement pour le marché moyen-oriental.


Rien qu’au Moyen-Orient/Afrique du Nord, le constructeur voit des perspectives importantes pour les 30 prochaines années: il compte sur un marché de 145 appareils légers/moyens (type CN235, C295), 30 avions de surveillance (ISR), 25 ravitailleurs MRTT et 130 A400M. Il y a actuellement, selon les chiffres d’Airbus, 420 appareils de ces catégories en service au Moyen-Orient, dont la moyenne d’âge est de 27 ans.


A l’horizon 2042, le constructeur voit ainsi un marché mondial de 915 appareils légers et moyens, 325 ISR, 125 MRTT et surtout, un marché potentiel de 760 A400M.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Alenia Aermacchi making gunship variant of C-27J for Italy


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 18 (UPI)


The Italian Air Force has contracted Alenia Aermacchi for development and production of a gunship version of the C-27J airlifter for use by special forces.


The project, announced at an international airshow in the United Arab Emirates, has two phases. During Phase One, Alenia Aermacchi will develop and deliver a MC-7J Praetorian prototype to the Italian Air Force next spring for testing in operational scenarios. Phase Two will involve industrialization of the Praetorian configuration and related logistic support.


The C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop transport with a cruise speed of 362 miles per hour, a ceiling of 30,000 feet and a range of more than 1,000 miles with a payload of 22,000 pounds.


Alenia Aermacchi said its partners on the project are ATK of the United States and Selex ES.


The Italian Air Force plans to transform three C-27J's currently in service into the Praetorian configuration in 2016. Three others will follow. All six will feature command-and-control equipment, palletized cargo systems and fire support systems.


Details of weaponry to be carried by the aircraft were not disclosed.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Boeing delivers maritime patrol aircraft to India


SEATTLE, Nov. 18 (UPI)


Boeing reports it has delivered the second of eight P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft ordered by India.


The aircraft, the Indian Navy variant of the P-8A Poseidon being developed for the U.S. Navy, will now undergo flight trials in India, the company said.


"With two aircraft at Naval Station Rajali now, the Indian Navy will get a good feel for the P-8I's interoperability with other aircraft," said Leland Wight, Boeing P-8I program manager. "Acceptance trials on the first aircraft are progressing well and its availability for testing has been excellent, in large part due to Boeing's worldwide 737 support capabilities."


The P-8 platform is based on Boeing's 737 commercial aircraft and is assembled using the 737 in-line production process. It features open system architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies. Boeing partners in its production include CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.


Boeing said the first P-8I, delivered to the Indian Navy in May, recently completed testing of its weapons capabilities.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 08:30
Défense : l'Iran dévoile un drone d'attaque pouvant atteindre israël



18/11 par Claude FOUQUET - lesechos.fr


VIDEO - L'Iran a dévoilé ce lundi officiellement un drone pouvant être équipé de missiles, annonçant que son rayon d'action atteint 2.000 kilomètres. Ce qui lui permet d'atteindre Israël.


Présenté comme le drone disposant du plus grand rayon d'action construit jusqu'ici par l'Iran, Fotros a été officiellement présenté ce lundi en Iran. "Le drone Fotros a un rayon d'action de 2.000 kilomètres et peut voler à une altitude de 25.000 pieds (soit un peu plus de 7600 mètres) avec une durée de vol de 16 à 30 heures", a en effet affirmé lors d'une cérémonie le ministre de la Défense, Mohammad Dehgan.


"Il peut mener des opérations de reconnaissance ou emporter des missiles air-sol pour des opérations militaires", a-t-il ajouté, dans les locaux d'Iran Aircraft, société qui dépend de l'Organisation de l’industrie de l'aviation du ministère de la Défense. Avec une telle portée, Fotros peut donc théoriquement atteindre Israël.


L'appareil a été testé "avec succès" et "montre que les sanctions imposées par les ennemis ne sont pas un obstacle au progrès dans l'industrie de défense", a assuré le ministre.


Iran s'est lancé ces dernières années dans un important programme de production de drones, provoquant l'inquiétude des Etats-Unis et des pays occidentaux. Mais Fotros serait le plus grand drone jamais fabriqué par l'Iran. Il s'agirait en fait d'une réplique quasi-conforme du drone "Eitan" mis au point en 2010 par Israël.et qui était justement capable de voler jusqu'en Iran.


Plusieurs modèles en développement


Fin septembre, les Gardiens de la révolution, l'armée d'élite du régime, avaient annoncé la production en masse du drone baptisé "Shahed 123" (témoin, ndlr), avec un rayon d'action de 1.700 km, capable de transporter huit missiles et de voler pendant 24 heures sans interruption. Shahed 123 avait été dévoilé en septembre 2012.


A la même époque, l'Iran avait également dévoilé le drone de reconnaissance nommé "Yassir" (facilitateur) avec un rayon d'action de 200 km capable de voler à une altitude de 4.500 mètres, selon les médias iraniens. Il est calqué sur le ScanEagle américain, dont l'Iran avait affirmé avoir capturé un exemplaire en décembre 2012 et commencé à le reproduire.


L'armée iranienne avait également annoncé la production en série du drone d'attaque Rad-85 (foudre).

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18 novembre 2013 1 18 /11 /novembre /2013 13:50
Cassidian starts work on unmanned Sagitta

Sagitta – photo Cassidian


Nov. 18, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG$


Dubai - Cassidian used the opening day of the Dubai air show to detail its plans to in 2015 fly a sub-scale demonstrator intended to prove future unmanned air system technologies.


A collaborative effort being performed with universities and research institutes, the Sagitta project is now advancing to include the assembly of a one quarter-scale demonstrator of the 12m (39ft) wingspan design, following windtunnel testing.


“The first parts of the extremely light-weight carbon fibre structure are now in production,” says the EADS company, which is performing the work at its Manching site near Munich, Germany. The aircraft will be complete in late 2014. Flight testing to be performed from the following year will prove “the validity and feasibility of the theoretical research results”, it adds.


“Sagitta is a perfect example of a successful cooperation between industry, research institutes and universities,” says Aimo Bülte, Cassidian’s head of research and technology. Study activities performed during the already two-year initiative have included aerodynamics, control systems, autonomous flight and air-to-air refuelling, the company says.

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18 novembre 2013 1 18 /11 /novembre /2013 13:30
Dubai Airshow : Bombardier se tourne vers la surveillance maritime


18.11.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com


Boeing a annoncé lors du salon aéronautique de Dubai avoir sélectionné le jet d’affaires Challenger 605 de Bombardier comme plateforme pour effectuer des missions de surveillance maritime, dans le cadre de son programme MSA (Maritime Surveillance Aircraft).


La plateforme est basée sur les systèmes de mission et les technologies utilisés à bord du P-8A Poseidon (737 modifié). La structure et les systèmes seront modifiés par Field Aviation, qui travaille actuellement sur un Challenger 604 qui devrait servir de démonstrateur dès 2014.


Le programme MSA de Boeing devrait permettre aux avions d’effectuer des missions de lutte anti-piraterie, de surveillance côtière et frontalière ainsi que des missions de recherche et de sauvetage.

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