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18 novembre 2013 1 18 /11 /novembre /2013 13:25
Kfir fighters-photo-colombia-air-force

Kfir fighters-photo-colombia-air-force

 

 

Nov. 18, 2013 by Craig Hoyle – FG

 

London - As its government and FARC rebel movement make progress towards ending more than 40 years of conflict, Colombia’s air force is planning to bolster its combat capabilities, with the purchase of an additional squadron of fighter aircraft.

 

Air force officials are now completing a study into potential candidates for the requirement, which air operations commander Brig Gen Eduardo Bueno Vargas says is likely to total 18 aircraft. To potentially include a mix of used and new-build airframes, these would be operated in concert with the service’s current Israel Aerospace Industries Kfir C10 strike platforms, he says.

 

Multiple types have been included in a potential candidate list, with Vargas identifying the Boeing F/A-18, Dassault Mirage 2000, Lockheed Martin F-16 and Sukhoi Su-30 as among a range of possible competitors at IQPC’s International Fighter conference in London on 14 November.

 

“We are performing an evaluation for the next Colombian fighter,” he says. “The study is almost ready – then we must wait for a political decision.”

 

The need to acquire a dedicated air superiority fighter was highlighted through Colombia’s deployment of eight Kfirs to the USA in 2012 to participate in a Red Flag-series air combat exercise flown from Nellis AFB in Nevada, Vargas says. “For us, it was something completely new and challenging,” he adds.

 

Colombia’s remaining Rockwell OV-10 Broncos are likely to remain operational for around another five years, Vargas says, before a multi-role replacement could be sought to work with its Embraer EMB-314/A-29 Super Tucanos. Operations with its Cessna A-37B Dragonfly counter-insurgency aircraft are expected to continue for some more years though, with the air force having recently acquired a low flight-hour example from Chile and to receive two more via the Dominican Republic.

 

Meanwhile, Vargas says the Colombian air force also has an interest in fielding an armed unmanned air system capability as part of its future force mix. This could initially involve adding air-to-surface weapons with its existing Elbit Systems Hermes 450 and Hermes 900 air vehicles, he says. The service also wants to field a new-generation airborne early warning and control system type, due to the age of its current one Boeing 707-based example.

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18 novembre 2013 1 18 /11 /novembre /2013 13:20
Boeing P-8A makes its international show debut

 

 

Nov. 18, 2013 FG

 

One of the most sophisticated derivatives of the Boeing 737 ever flown is making its international show debut this week, with the US Navy’s new P-8A being put through its paces during the daily flying display.

 

Derived from the commercial 737-800 and equipped for maritime patrol, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles, the P-8A is in production for the US service under a 117-aircraft programme. Twelve have been handed over so far, with initial operating capability scheduled for late this year.

 

Boeing has so far secured one international buyer for the development, with the Indian navy having just received its second of eight P-8Is on order. Australia has also shown strong interest in the type as a Lockheed Martin P-3 replacement.

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17 novembre 2013 7 17 /11 /novembre /2013 12:55
Michel Lombard, directeur de l'usine d'assemblage MBDA et président du Groupement des entreprises de l'arrondissement de Romorantin.

Michel Lombard, directeur de l'usine d'assemblage MBDA et président du Groupement des entreprises de l'arrondissement de Romorantin.

 

16/11/2013 Julien Coquet - lanouvellerepublique.fr

 

Le pôle aéro-défense du Sud-Sologne devrait voir le jour début 2014. D’ici là, il reste des détails à régler pour les entreprises engagées dans le projet.

 

Capter les 40 % d'augmentation de l'activité aéronautique prévus dans les 18 mois à venir, « c'est tout à fait envisageable. »

A écouter Michel Lombard, directeur de l'usine de missiles MBDA de Selles-Saint-Denis et président du Groupement des entreprises de l'arrondissement de Romorantin (GEAR), le calendrier du projet aéro-défense du Sud-Sologne va devoir s'accélérer.

 

L'enjeu pour ces entreprises pour la plupart déjà en contrat avec la Défense ? « Profiter du boom de l'aéronautique civile » pour répondre aux besoins de sous-traitance d'Airbus notamment. L'avionneur affiche l'équivalent de huit années de commandes ferme. Et, comme « la fenêtre de tir sera très étroite », il y a urgence à s'organiser. Lancement programmé pour janvier.

Les diagnostics de besoins en formation et de certification de la vingtaine d'entreprises adhérentes au projet (lire ci-dessous) doivent être effectués d'ici à la fin de l'année. Compter sur du personnel formé, « c'est ce qui nous permettra de répondre aux appels d'offres », précise Michel Lombard. L'une des clés de la réussite pour la Sologne, si elle ne veut pas laisser passer sa chance. Les premiers contacts doivent être pris mardi.

 

Un planning serré

 

Un planning serré dont dépend un pan de l'économie solognote. « Le sud du département a besoin d'une véritable vague de réindustrialisation pour panser le départ de l'automobile il y a dix ans », rappelle Michel Lombard.

Bonne nouvelle : l'industrie aéronautique utilise « les mêmes connaissances techniques nécessaires à la Défense. » Un savoir-faire présent en partie sur le territoire du GEAR, au sein de fleurons comme MBDA.

Un constat à relativiser toutefois. « Les compétences attendues pour l'aéronautique sont déjà en tension sur le territoire national. D'où notre volonté d'identifier précisément les métiers en besoin de formation pour être les plus performants possibles », explique Gaëlle Corfec, animatrice du GEAR. La preuve que la bataille s'annonce disputée.

 

Priorité à la formation des techniciens

 

> Pour être compétitif, le pôle aéro-défense du Sud-Sologne a esquissé, jeudi, quatre axes sur lesquels travailler d'ici à son lancement, prévu en janvier.

> C'est l'une des actions qui va être lancée dès mardi : l'étude des besoins en formation pour l'ensemble des entreprises qui adhèrent au projet. Un élément clé pour pouvoir mettre en avant un savoir-faire et remporter des appels d'offres.

> La formation va de paire avec la certification. « Si nous voulons pouvoir aborder ce marché, il faut valoriser nos compétences techniques à travers des certifications », insiste Michel Lombard.

> Faire de la création du pôle un événement : des contacts ont été pris auprès du ministère de la Défense et d'EADS pour s'assurer de la présence de ces partenaires lors du lancement officiel.

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15 novembre 2013 5 15 /11 /novembre /2013 12:40
Su-27 photo RIA Novosti. Pavel Lisicin

Su-27 photo RIA Novosti. Pavel Lisicin

 

MINSK, 14 novembre - RIA Novosti

 

Les Forces armées biélorusses ont renoncé à l'exploitation des chasseurs Sukhoi Su-27, a annoncé jeudi à Minsk le commandant de l'Armée de l'air et des Troupes de défense antiaérienne de Biélorussie Oleg Dvigalev.

 

"L'exploitation de l'avion Su-27 est trop onéreuse, il consomme beaucoup de combustible. Son utilisation est peu pratique pour la Biélorusse dont le territoire n'est pas trop grand. Quand nos chasseurs Su-27 déployés à base de Baranovitchi réalisaient une mission d'entraînement, ils étaient obligés de rester en l'air pendant 90 minutes après la fin de leur mission pour brûler le combustible. Cela signifiait brûler de 2 à 3 tonnes de kérosène d'avion en vain. C'est du gaspillage. Nous avons renoncé à l'exploitation de cet avion", a indiqué le général Dvigalev lors d'une conférence de presse.

 

Pour l'armée russe, le Su-27 est son chasseur principal, parce que le territoire de la Russie est beaucoup plus vaste, selon lui. "Ils parcourent des milliers de kilomètres pendant leurs vols", a expliqué le général.

 

La Biélorussie compte équiper son aviation de combat en chasseurs MiG-35 ou Su-30. En 2015, l'armée biélorusse achètera en outre des avions-écoles Iak-130 pour former le personnel volant et terrestre.

La Biélorussie renonce aux chasseurs Su-27
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15 novembre 2013 5 15 /11 /novembre /2013 08:20
second F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force  photo Lockheed Martin

second F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force photo Lockheed Martin

 

14/11/2013 Par Duncan Macrae – Air & Cosmos

 

Les restrictions budgétaires américaines obligent les industriels dans le secteur de la défense — même les plus grands — à réagir. Nouvel exemple ce jeudi 14 novembre avec l’annonce par Lockheed Martin de 4000 suppressions de postes et des fermetures d’usines.

 

Le géant américain, chef de file industriel sur le programme F-35, avait déjà fait savoir qu’il s’attendait à une baisse du chiffre d’affaires en 2013 à la suite du plafonnement des budgets de défense dans le monde occidental et de la fameuse « séquestration » des dépenses fédérales aux Etats-Unis. Il prévoit dorénavant une nouvelle baisse en 2014.

 

D’où l’annonce d’aujourd’hui. Celle-ce comprend la fermeture, d’ici mi-2015, des sites de Newtown (Pennsylvanie), Akron (Ohio), Goodyear (Arizona) et Horizon City (Texas). Un total de 2000 postes seront ainsi supprimés. Les 2000 suppressions restantes seront la conséquence de mesures « d’efficacité opérationnelle » qui seront mises en œuvre d’ici la fin de 2014 dans les branches Systèmes d’information, Systèmes de missions et Systèmes spatiaux.

 

Selon Lockheed Martin, ses effectifs ont déjà été réduits de 146 000 en 2008 à 116 000 actuellement. Il y a un mois, le groupe a annoncé un bond de 15 % du bénéfice net pour les trois premiers trimestres de 2013 alors que le chiffre d’affaires était en recul de 4 %.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 12:45
Il-76s for the SAAF?

 

13 November 2013 defenceWeb

 

A SA National Defence Force (SANDF) project team is burning the midnight oil on an urgent study to ensure extra airlift capacity for the SA Air Force (SAAF) becomes a reality.

 

Afrikaans daily Beeld reports Ilyushin 76s (Il-76s) are top of the list to supplement the ageing C-130BZs operated by 28 Squadron.

 

The acquisition of at least three of the massive Russian transport aircraft, probably second hand, is seen as essential to providing support for South African peacekeeping and peace support deployments on the continent.

 

The acquisition will be paid for out of the Strategic Capital Acquisition Master Plan (SCAMP), the paper reported.

 

Defence analyst Helmoed Heitman told the paper the establishment of the airlift project team could be traced back to the Central African Republic (CAR) deployment and the Battle for Bangui earlier this year. This because no suitable aircraft were available at short notice to fly much-needed Mamba vehicles to South African troops.

 

Lockheed Martin, manufacturers of the C-130, has made presentations to the SAAF as regards replacing the BZ, which has been in service for 50 years, with the new C-130J. The gap in airlift capacity became more pronounced when government bailed out of the Airbus Military A400M programme in 2009 citing cost escalations and production delays as the reasons for South Africa no longer wanting to be a risk sharing partner in the new generation airlifter. A deposit of R3.5 billion was refunded but indications earlier this year were at least part of that money was allocated to the controversial Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP).

 

Heitman told Beeld’s specialist defence writer Erika Gibson the SAAF has never before operated Russian aircraft and, if Il-76s were acquired, it would mean an overhaul of the logistic system to keep them operational. There are also currently no SAAF pilots rated on the Il-76.

 

The SANDF has used chartered Il-76s to transport equipment to places like the Democratic Republic of Congo for peacekeeping missions, as it is difficult to fit aircraft like Oryx helicopters into the SAAF’s C-130s without major dismantling. Chartering aircraft is an expensive undertaking – for example the SANDF spent R108 million chartering aircraft for operations in the Central African Republic between January and April this year.

 

The Il-76 is a four-engined strategic airlifter that first flew in March 1971. Nearly a thousand of these robust aircraft have been built for military and commercial operators around the world, with hundred still in service. The aircraft can carry between 42 and 52 tonnes of payload, depending on the model.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 12:30
photo Airbus Military

photo Airbus Military

 

Le 13/11/2013 Par François Julian – Air & Cosmos

 

Le salon de Dubaï qui ouvrira ses portes la semaine prochaine aux Emirats Arabes Unis, sera l'occasion pour Airbus Military d'exposer pour la première fois l'A400M Atlas dans le Golfe. En 2011, le quadrimoteur n'avait pas pu répondre présent à cet incontournable salon aéronautique, du fait d'un calendrier d'essais en vol très chargé

 

Ce sera donc une première présentation officielle. Ce qui ne veut pas dire que l'A400M n'est jamais venu dans cette région du monde. Bien au contraire. Si Airbus Military n'en fait pas vraiment la publicité, l'Atlas est déjà venu plusieurs fois dans le Golfe, pour y subir de très sérieuses évaluations opérationnelles. Le Moyen-Orient est en effet l'un des marchés prioritaires d'Airbus Military pour la vente de cet avion à l'export.

 

Ainsi, MSN 6, le premier exemplaire de présérie, a fait l'objet en juillet dernier d'une évaluation aux Emirats Arabes Unis et en Arabie Saoudite, où des pilotes de C-295 et de C-130 ont pu prendre les commandes de l'avion, en place de droite. Ces évaluations, qui ont duré une poignée de jours, ont également permis de faire de nouveaux essais de chargement, comme celui d'un camion Oshkosh de 32 tonnes.

 

Pour Airbus Military, l'objectif est de conclure une première vente à l'export de l'A400M d'ici la fin 2014. Une première vente qui pourrait donc être destinée à un pays du Golfe. Le Ministre de la Défense Jean-Yves le Drian devrait se la semaine prochaine à Dubaï, notamment pour discuter de la vente de cet avion avec des clients de la région.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 12:20
Pour L’US Air Force, il s’agit de remplacer les B-1B, B-2, B-52

Pour L’US Air Force, il s’agit de remplacer les B-1B, B-2, B-52

 

13 novembre 2013 Aerobuzz.fr

 

Boeing et Lockheed Martin ont décidé de s’associer pour réaliser le futur bombardier stratégique américain à long rayon d’action (LRS-B). Les deux constructeurs grillent la priorité à Northrop Grumman, le spécialiste de la question. Les racines de cette décision remontent aux années 80...

 

A défaut de savoir exactement ce que sera le futur bombardier stratégique américain, on sait déjà quelles seront les équipes alignées pour le réaliser. Boeing et Lockheed Martin ont annoncé fin octobre leur volonté de s’associer pour le concourir. Tandis que Northrop Grumman, grand spécialiste de la question depuis le très secret programme B2 « Spirit », l’avion le plus cher de tous les temps, réserve sa réponse.

 

Avec cette décision, Lockheed Martin et son département « Skunk Works » tiennent leur revanche. En effet, l’avionneur américain, auquel on doit le F/A 22 Raptor ou encore le F35 Lightning II est un pionnier des avions furtifs. Ses premières recherches, remontent aux années 60. L’avionneur avait d’abord tenté de diminuer la signature radar des avions espions U2, sans succès notable, car cet avion n’a jamais été conçu au départ pour avoir une faible signature radar.

 

Une leçon parfaitement intégrée dès les premières épures de son successeur, le fantastique SR-71 Blackbird. Ainsi, outre la silhouette générale de l’avant de l’appareil, aux formes douces, et l’inclinaison des dérives, un traitement spécifique des bords d’attaque de la voilure a été appliqué sur l’appareil. Le tout, complété par un ensemble de brouillage actif dernier cri pour l’époque. A défaut d’être furtif, cet avion était discret.

 

Mais le vrai saut technologique a été accompli dans les années 70, grâce aux équations du savant russe Ufimtsev, qui ont rendu possible la mise au point de l’avion d’attaque F-117 Nighthawk, parfaitement invisible et terriblement efficace lors de la première guerre d’Irak. Par la suite Lockheed Martin a travaillé pour le Pentagone sur quantité de programmes aussi furtifs que secrets. Pendant ce temps Northrop Grumman, grand spécialiste des avions embarqués, sentait le vent tourner et décidait de s’engager sur la voie des avions furtifs. C’est donc tout naturellement qu’il a tenté de débaucher le « père » du F117, feu Ben Rich. Peine perdue, car le chef d’alors et fondateur des « Skunk Works » veillait au grain. Aussi l’attribution du contrat de bombardier furtif B2 à Northrop Grumman dans les années 80 fut une vraie déception pour Lockheed Martin.

 

Aujourd’hui, les B52 en service ont aux alentours de cinquante ans, les B1B Lancer de Rockwell remontent aux années 80 tandis que les 19 B2 Spirit, récents et polyvalents coutent une vraie fortune à l’entretien. Pendant ce temps, les systèmes de détection et de défense anti aérienne réalisés en Russie, en Chine et en Europe sont de plus en plus performants. Pire, la Russie affirme vouloir se doter de bombardiers stratégiques furtifs réalisés dans le cadre du programme PAK-DA. Ces avions remplaceront les TU-95 et autres TU-160. Et la Chine ne cache plus ses ambitions en matière d’aéronefs avancés. Du coup le Pentagone réfléchit à un engin furtif, raisonnablement moderne et surtout abordable ; on parle de 100 à 200 M$ l’unité.

 

Le futur bombardier stratégique américain devrait être capable de mettre en œuvre des armes nucléaires et conventionnelles à plusieurs milliers de kilomètres de sa base de départ. Idéalement il devra être capable de pénétrer les défenses anti aériennes les plus modernes pour les détruire ou collecter des données tactiques. Certains spécialistes américains estiment qu’il pourrait même être doté d’armes à impulsions électro magnétiques ou laser. De son côté Lockheed Martin affine sa réponse et laisse filtrer dans la presse des vues d’artiste d’un engin de reconnaissance hypersonique, on parle de Mach 6, furtif baptisé SR-72…

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
photo EDA

photo EDA

November 13, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Wall Street Journal; published Nov. 12, 2013)

 

EADS: CEO Says Restructuring Plans Will Involve Job Cuts (excerpt)



PARIS -- Job cuts stemming from the planned restructuring of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. will mainly affect the group's defense, security and space businesses that are being molded together, the company's chief executive told employee representatives Tuesday.

Faced with shrinking government spending on defense and space, the company said this year that it would have to reshape its profile in these areas to eliminate overlaps, create synergies and prevent an erosion of its competitiveness.

But Chief Executive Tom Enders stopped short of providing any details during a special meeting of the company's European works committee, according to labor representatives who took part in the meeting at the headquarters of Airbus, EADS's commercial aircraft unit, in Toulouse, France. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the 4-Yraders website.

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14 novembre 2013 4 14 /11 /novembre /2013 08:35
Two J-10 fighters at the Zhuhai Airshow on Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo Xinhua)

Two J-10 fighters at the Zhuhai Airshow on Nov. 5, 2008. (Photo Xinhua)

November 13, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

 

New J-10 Shows Comprehensive Rather Than Partial Improvements

(Source: People's Daily Online; published Nov. 12, 2013)

 

On November 6th Zhang Jigao, deputy chief designer of the J-10 fighter, spoke about the improved model J-10 publicly for the first time in the AVIC flight test center. Zhang Jigao told People's Daily Online reporters that the overall performance of the J-10 will be comprehensively improved in areas such as aerodynamic layout, mission system, and the approach to maintenance.

 

In March 2009, pictures of our improved model J-10 fighters appeared for the first time on the Internet, and netizens quickly began to call it the "J-10B".

 

Over the last five 5 years, several images of the test J-10B have appeared online, attracting widespread attention from netizens, military enthusiasts, and even foreign media.

 

U.S. military expert Richard Fisher recently pointed out that the J-10B is a so-called "fourth and a half" generation fighter equipped with modern airborne technology and an advanced radar system, which is about to be delivered to the PLA Air Force.

 

Zhang Jigao disputed the term "fourth and a half" generation. In contrast, he suggested that the current international criteria to classify generations are more applicable.

 

He pointed out that single combat is rare in modern warfare, and that the majority of cases now involve system combat and network operations, so that the combat capabilities of a fighter depend on many factors. "This does not mean that the optimization of an aircraft's radar, avionics, and missile detection ranges are bound to improvements in operational performance."

 

Zhang Jigao added that further improvements to the performance of the J10 would focus on the aircraft's aerodynamic layout and mission systems, and the approach to maintenance. "Aircraft development requires constant optimization and improvement," he said, "and our modifications will be comprehensive rather than being confined to a specific area." (ends)

 

 

China Talks Up J-15, J-10B Fighters

Chief Designer Discusses J-15 Shipborne Aircraft's Performance Modifications

 

(Source: People's Daily Online; published Nov. 12, 2013)

 

On November 6th, the 5th media day of AVIC, Wang Yongqing, chief designer of J-15 revealed that special design features have been applied to the J-15 in accordance with its deployment on aircraft carriers, in order to achieve the special requirements of shipborne aircraft.

 

Wang Yongqing, chief designer of the J-15 shipborne aircraft, explained to the media that the J-15 shipborne aircraft series no. 555 was a very important machine, although it had attracted limited media attention.

 

The J-15 is China's first generation shipborne fighter, developed on the basis of the J-11. Particular attention has been given to the special requirements of shipborne aircraft, in addition to the guarantee of its combat capabilities.

 

"This means addressing issues of how to take off, land, maneuver and conduct maintenance on board the aircraft carrier." Wang Yongqing pointed out that there are tremendous differences in the way that shipborne aircraft take off and land on an aircraft carrier and on the ground. Correspondingly, there are considerable differences in the overall design of the J-15 compared to the J-11 series.

 

As China's first shipborne fighter, the J-15 has excellent sea-air combat capability, and is equipped with a variety of air-to-air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea attack weapons. Its comprehensive combat capability has reached an internationally advanced level which reflects the extraordinary technical achievements of China's aviation industry.

 

We can conclude from the appearance of J-15 that special features have been added to its front wings, aerodynamics, and wing area, and to its airframe equipment used in takeoff and landing.

 

The takeoff and landing equipment of the J-15 are more robust than that of the J-11 series. According to Wang Yongqing, this is because the forces experienced by a shipborne aircraft while landing on an aircraft carrier are 4 times those experienced during a ground landing. In addition, the J-15 shipborne aircraft is also equipped with hook arrestment gear for the purpose of landing on aircraft carriers.

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13 novembre 2013 3 13 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
First Rivet Joint aircraft delivered to the UK

Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft arrives at RAF Waddington [Picture: Senior Aircraftman Blake Carruthers, Crown copyright]

 

12 November 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support

 

The first of 3 Rivet Joint signals intelligence aircraft has been delivered to MOD ahead of its entry into service with the RAF in 2014.


 

The aircraft will form part of project Airseeker, which will provide the UK with a world class capability able to provide real-time on-scene intelligence, surveillance and analysis for forces in the air and on the ground.

The Boeing RC-135V/W Rivet Joint system has a proven track record, having been used by the United States Air Force (USAF) for many years. Since 2011, the RAF’s 51 Squadron have been training and operating alongside their USAF colleagues in preparation for the UK aircraft entering service in late 2014.

UK crews have already achieved in excess of 32,000 flying hours and 1,800 sorties as part of the US 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.

MOD has purchased 3 aircraft from the US which will each be configured to support UK operations. The first aircraft has successfully completed its flight trials in Greenville, Texas, ahead of schedule, allowing it to be delivered to the UK early.

Air Vice-Marshal Peter Ewen, Director Air Support at Defence Equipment and Support, who are responsible for the procurement of Rivet Joint, said:

I am delighted that the first Rivet Joint aircraft has been delivered to the UK, an important milestone in the procurement pathway for the future Airseeker signals intelligence capability for UK Defence.

A testament to the ongoing and highly effective UK/US co-operation in the procurement programme, support and RAF aircrew training, this first of 3 aircraft will form a vital component of the nation’s future ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) capabilities.

Air Vice-Marshal Phil Osborn, Director of Capability at Joint Forces Command, said:

I know that the RAF and Defence are looking forward to operating this key capability and building on the unique history of 51 Squadron.

We plan to have our Airseeker programme – comprising all 3 Rivet Joint aircraft with their highly skilled aircrew, ground crew and analysts – fully operational by mid-2017.

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13 novembre 2013 3 13 /11 /novembre /2013 08:20
F-35 Weekly Update: 11th November 2013

 

11/11/2013 Defence IQ Press

 

South Korea's air force has asked for enhanced stealth capability for fighter jets set to be purchased, a government source briefed on the matter said on Monday, further bolstering the chances of Lockheed Martin winning the tender with its F-35s.

In September, South Korea's government bowed to public pressure and voted down a bid by Boeing to supply 60 warplanes, saying it would restart the multi-billion tender process to get a more advanced, radar-evading fighter.

At the time, only Boeing's bid had come within budget.

The source said the air force's request will need to be approved at a meeting of the country's Joint Chiefs of Staff expected near the end of November before being finalized at a committee chaired by the defense minister.

The Eurofighter consortium is also bidding in the 8.3 trillion won ($7.8 billion) tender. [Reuters]

 

Outgoing Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has been using some of his remaining days as the Pentagon's No. 2 to tout the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as a job-saving hedge against budget cuts.

In visits to Western air bases this week, Carter, who stunned the Pentagon last month with the announcement of his retirement, said that DoD's commitment to the F-35 would protect civilian and contactor jobs.

He said it would also protect bases flying the F-35 from another round of base closings that Congress has been pressed to consider.

At Hill Air Force Base in Utah, Carter told airmen and civilians that "Hill has a very bright future" because of its selection as one of the first bases to receive the F-35.

"You will host the F-35, which is the linchpin of our tactical future for all three services that will fly them, and Hill is going to have a big part in that future," said Carter, who will leave the Pentagon in December.

In tough times for military spending, Hill has been "a leader in simply getting better buying power for the warfighter and the taxpayer," Carter said.

Carter's remarks were aimed at relieving concerns at Hill about the long-term viability of the base that serves as one of Utah's top employers.  Nearly 3,000 civilian employes at Hill were furloughed during the 16-day government shutdown last month.

Carter's remarks at Hill on the F-35 followed on a major policy address by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in Washington on Tuesday. Hagel said that coming budget cuts would likely result in tradeoffs that would favor advances in technological capability, symbolized by the F-35, over maintaining current force levels. [Military.com]

 

The F-35 fighter jet continues to be the U.S. Defense Department’s highest acquisition priority despite looming budget cuts, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer said.

The stealthy, fifth-generation fighter, known as Lightning II and made by Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corp., is the military’s most expensive weapons program, estimated to cost almost $400 billion to develop and build 2,457 aircraft.

The Joint Strike Fighter program began in the 1990s and has been plagued by cost overruns and delays. The price tag alone makes it a big target for budget cutters on Capitol Hill and in the Defense Department. Yet Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the Pentagon is still committed to the aircraft.

“The F-35 remains our highest priority,” he said during a briefing Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

There are still a number of developmental issues yet to complete, Kendall said, such as upgrading the plane’s software, improving the reliability of the aircraft and its components and enhancing the jet’s logistics support system.

“We’re at a point now where we need to get the job done,” he said. “I’m feeling much more positive about the program than I was a couple of years ago.”

Kendall’s comments echoed those made by Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the program manager, in September at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “I’m encouraged by where we are today,” he said. “I’d like to be a little further along.” [DoDBuzz]

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 18:50
NHI Delivers First NH90 Step B to Italian Navy

The Italian navy has taken delivery of its first NH90 Step B naval helicopter, which is the fully operational version of which it has ordered 46. Five earlier aircraft delivered in the interim Step A configuration will now be upgraded. (NHI photo)

 

Nov. 12, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: NH Industries; issued Nov. 8, 2013)

 

Delivery of the First NH90 Step B to Italian Navy

 

NHI is proud to announce that the first NH90 NFH Step B has been delivered today to the Italian Navy. This fully operational naval helicopter will be assigned to the 5th Helicopter Squadron of the Italian Navy at the Sarzana-Luni base. The Italian Navy has ordered 56 NH90s, 46 of which in the NFH variant.

 

“This NH90 Step B will allow its crews to fully take advantage of its tremendous mission system” explains Xavier Poupardin, Delegated Managing Director of NHIndustries. The Step B configuration features a range of significant advancements in mission capability including mission systems integration for both air-to-surface missiles such as the Marte MK/2S and torpedoes, advanced satellite and encrypted communications, radar and avionics capability enhancements. Next year the five previously delivered Italian Navy NH90NFH in Step A (MOC, Meaningful Operation Capability) standard, will begin to be retrofitted to bring them to the final configuration.

 

"The NH90 NFH is the most recent and versatile helicopter for naval warfare" it is designed according to precise NATO Staff Requirements. It is equipped with a state of the art weapon system combining on a modern platform several types of sensors with a complete weapon suite. The NH90 NFH is able to perform a wide range of missions such as Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, SAR, Transport, Special Ops support, Boarding, Medical Evacuation, Maritime reconnaissance and Anti-Piracy In any type of environment. It can safely operate from a ship even in rough weather.

 

The NH90 is the optimal choice for tactical transport, naval operations thanks to its large full composite airframe, its excellent power to weight ratio; and its wide range of rôle equipment. It features a redundant Fly-by-Wire flight control system for reduced Pilot’s workload and enhanced flight characteristics.

 

As of today, more than 164 helicopters have been delivered and are in service in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Oman, Australia and New Zealand.

 

The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries, the Company owned by AgustaWestland SpA (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%), and Fokker Aerostructures (5.5%).

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 18:50
Typhoon Flight Simulators Improve Weapon System Training

 

 

November 10, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

News release from BAE:

 

Up to the minute weapon system simulation software is being loaded onto the Typhoon flight simulators at RAF Leuchars, allowing pilots to experience ‘flight missions’ even before the aircraft arrive at the base.

 

At the heart of this improved training environment is an accurate, fully qualified simulation of the Typhoon weapon system, developed by a team of our engineers based our facility in Warton, Lancashire.

 

Thanks to its flexible and scalable design, the simulation can be plugged into a wide range of training systems from desktop devices to full dome cockpits.

 

Two simulators are in use at RAF Leuchars and each is loaded with the latest standard of software to provide concurrent training for the RAF’s Typhoon pilots.

 

With the upgrades formally accepted by the RAF, Air Commodore Keith Bethell, Head of the DE&S Fast Air Support Team said: “I am very encouraged by the capability being developed by BAE Systems which has now been delivered into service at RAF Leuchars. I am hopeful that this capability will be a significant contributor to the development and sustainment of our military capability in the coming years.”

 

Alan Murdoch, who led our efforts to deliver this enhanced training capability said: “Typhoon continues to evolve over time and with that comes a constant flow of new capability. The development work we are doing in simulation is key to unlocking these enhancements by getting new capability into the hands of the customer when it is needed. Our innovative approach to simulation offers real benefits to current and future customers.”

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 18:20
Three More Global Hawks To Be Built For USAF

 

November 8, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

News release from Northrop Grumman:

 

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a $114 million advance procurement contract in preparation to build three more high-flying RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and associated sensors. The combat-proven intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft allows military commanders to receive high-resolution imagery, survey vast geographic regions and pinpoint targets on the ground.

 

This contract provides for advance procurement of long lead items associated with three Block 30 aircraft, including three enhanced integrated sensor suites, three airborne signals intelligence payload (ASIP) and two ASIP retrofit kits to be installed on previously purchased aircraft. Work under this contract is expected to be completed in 2015.

 

“Global Hawk’s ability to fly more than 30 hours at high altitudes while gathering multiple types of intelligence data makes it extremely valuable to field commanders who need near real-time information,” said George Guerra, Northrop Grumman’s vice president for Global Hawk UAS. “This award is especially important because it reaffirms the Air Force’s commitment to this safe and cost-effective system, which has been supporting our warfighters for more than 15 years in the U.S. and abroad.”

 

Combined with Global Hawk’s ability to fly for long periods at altitudes up to 60,000 feet, the aircraft’s 12,300 nautical mile range makes the system ideally suited to take on many different ISR missions.

 

Global Hawk can carry a variety of ISR sensor payloads that allow military commanders to gather imagery, use radar to detect moving or stationary targets on the ground, and provide airborne communications and information sharing capabilities to military units in harsh environments.

 

The UAS has logged more than 100,000 flight hours and has been used over battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The system has also supported ISR efforts following the devastating earthquakes that struck Haiti and Japan.

 

In addition, NASA has been using Global Hawks for scientific and environmental research, recently flying over two hurricanes in September 2013 as part of a broader project studying how tropical storms develop over the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 18:20
Boeing Partners with USAF to Reduce Supply Chain Costs

 

 

Nov 8, 2013 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

Boeing and the U.S. Air Force Sustainment Center (AFSC) have entered into an overarching public-private partnership that will streamline supply chain contracting, saving money and speeding up execution by as much as 10 months.

 

The partnership – the first of its kind – allows the three Air Force logistics complexes that are under the AFSC to immediately execute implementation agreements with Boeing, reducing administrative costs and increasing efficiency.

 

Read more

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 18:20
U.S. Special Forces To Get C-27Js

 

November 10, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

My Defense News/Navy Times colleague Aaron Mehta has details on the Pentagon’s decision to assign seven C-27J Spartans to U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The decision was made a couple of weeks ago. Three of the aircraft will be transferred to SOCOM by the end of November. Four more are in production and are scheduled for delivery directly to SOCOM between December and April 2014, Aaron writes.

 

The fate of the remaining C-27J aircraft has not been decided.

 

His article notes:

“The Air Force is maintaining those C-27s under “Type 1000” storage, which requires the planes be kept in near-active condition. The goal is that when a decision on their destination is made, they can be quickly spun up and delivered.

Altogether, the Air Force has paid for 21 C-27s. With the seven SOCOM planes assigned, 13 aircraft in inventory are destined for the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), known as the “Boneyard,” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. One more aircraft will end up there after undergoing work at an L-3 facility in Waco, Texas.”

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 17:55
Livraison du deuxième A400M français à la DGA


12/11/2013 Armée de l'air

 

La direction générale de l’armement (DGA) a réceptionné le deuxième exemplaire de série de l’avion de transport militaire A400M Atlas, le mercredi 6 novembre 2013.

 

L’appareil, qui porte le numéro de série MSN8, rejoindra la semaine suivante la base aérienne 123 d’Orléans-Bricy, sa base de mise en œuvre au sein de l’armée de l’air.

 

Pour en savoir plus sur l'A400M Atlas, consultez notre webdocumentaire ainsi qu'un dossier web complet dédié au nouvel avion de transport de l'armée de l'air.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 17:50
NGC Delivers LITENING G4 Targeting System to Royal Danish AF

 

Nov 12, 2013 ASDNews Source : Northrop Grumman Corporation

 

    Denmark is the 1st International Partner to Receive the G4 System

 

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has delivered LITENING G4 advanced targeting systems to the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) for its F-16 aircraft following a rigorous flight test and evaluation program. The LITENING G4 pods give pilots powerful capabilities for detecting, identifying and tracking targets at long ranges for precision weapon delivery or nontraditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

 

With this delivery, Denmark becomes the first international partner to receive LITENING G4, the latest configuration of the LITENING advanced targeting system.

 

Read more

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 17:30
This is how the M346I could look like when it is delivered in 2014

This is how the M346I could look like when it is delivered in 2014

 

November 8, 2013 defense-update.com

 

Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono has begun assembling Israel’s first M-346 advanced jet trainer. The three major components of the first aircraft are currently being joined to form the aircraft’s structure. Israel’s first M-346 – to be called Lavi – in IAF designation – will make its way down the assembly line and roll out of the factory for final checks and delivery to the IAF in the mid of 2014. Israel ordered a total of 30 M-346 as advanced trainers to replace the TA-4 Skyhawk and F-16A/B s Falcons currently in service.

 

Israel is expecting to receive the first two aircraft in 2014 with remaining 28 to be delivered through 2016.

 

Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono has begun assembling Israel’s first M-346 advanced jet trainer. Photo: Alenia

Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono has begun assembling Israel’s first M-346 advanced jet trainer. Photo: Alenia

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 17:20
photo US Navy

photo US Navy

 

Nov 11, 2013 ASDNews Source : US Navy

 

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) conducted flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Nov. 10.

 

The event, the most-recent in a series of carrier-based tests, demonstrated the integration of the latest in naval aviation technology with the most advanced and capable carrier.

 

Read more

 

More PICS

photo US Navy

photo US Navy

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
Taranis First Flight

 

November 10, 2013 by martin – Think Defence

 

It seems that the long awaited first flight of Taranis in Australia has already taken place but been kept a under wraps. I would love to know  more about this aircraft and many of the outlandish claims in the media including that it is super sonic with a 2,000 – 4,000 mile range and one of the lowest Radar Cross Sections ever recorded. But the men at the ministry are giving nothing away for once.

 

Taranis makes maiden flight

 

Parliamentary Documents Reveal Beginning Of Taranis Test Flights

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 12:45
Antonov An-26

Antonov An-26

 

07 November 2013 by Guy Martin – defenceWeb

 

The Mozambique Air Force will soon receive two second hand Antonov An-26B transport aircraft, which are currently being refurbished in the Ukraine.

 

The An-26B-100s have been worked on for the last few months at Kiev-Zhuliany in the Ukraine, according to Air Forces Daily. One was seen in July painted in Force Aerea de Mocambique colours while a second was seen test flying in late July. It is not clear exactly how many An-26s are destined for the Mozambique Air Force or when exactly they will be delivered.

 

It is not clear from where the aircraft originated, but it is certain that they are not ex-Mozambican examples, as these are unserviceable. Six derelict An-26s are in open storage at Maputo, two are at Beira and one at Cuamba, reports Air Forces Daily. Mozambique’s Air Force received around ten An-26s from 1978. One crashed on March 30, 1986, whilst trying to land at Pemba Airport, killing 3 crew and 41 of 46 passengers on board.

 

Reports of the An-26 acquisition are the latest to emerge regarding the modernisation of the Mozambique Air Force, which until recently almost ceased to exist. Earlier this month it was reported that the country will soon receive eight MiG-21s (six Mig-21Bis and two MiG-21UM trainers) from Romanian company Aerostar once their overhaul is complete, together with an L-39 jet trainer and two Festival light aircraft.

 

The arrival of the MiG-21s will give the Air Force a jet capability not had in years, as its MiG-21s have fallen into disrepair and are grounded.

 

Another recent acquisition occurred in September when the Air Force took delivery of a second hand Hawker 850XP business jet, built in 2005.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 12:30
EADS Underscores Commitment to Middle East at Dubai Air Show 2013

Dubai,  11 November 2013 eads.com

 

From commercial and military aircraft to satellites and secure communications systems, EADS and its Divisions – Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – will present a broad selection of cutting-edge products, technologies and services at Dubai Airshow from 17 to 21 November 2013 at Dubai World Central (DWC) located in Jebel Ali, Dubai.

Dubai Airshow is a unique opportunity to meet the whole aerospace and defence community. For the first time in the Middle East and under the strapline ‘’EADS, delivering innovation’’, the EADS Group will have an integrated presence (Pavilion P10) in a central position at the show alongside the Airbus, Eurocopter and Cassidian products static display. The A380 and the A400M will be part of the daily flying display.

EADS has representative offices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Egypt. The Middle East is playing an ever more important role in international business and is a key strategic partner of EADS; the founding companies of EADS having had a presence in the Gulf region since the 70’s.

The EADS Group will feature a number of products and exhibits including:

  • Airbus/Airbus Military: an A380 (from 17th to 19th) and an A400M military airlifter will be part of the daily air display, an Egyptair A330-300 will be part of the static display; while the latest generation A350 XWB cockpit mock-up will be on stand display;
  • Astrium: a scale model of the Yahsat 1B telecoms satellite and some of its latest satellite equipment. For ASTRIUM Services, the AirPATROL Airborne satcom system and 3 Geo-information applications: WorldDEM global homogeneous Digital Elevation Model, GEOINT 2D and 3D Foundation layer and SPOT Maps;
  • Cassidian: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, sensors, defence electronics, border surveillance and avionics systems. Furthermore, the Division will demonstrate its ‘Touch Lab’ multi-media scenario laboratory;
  • Eurocopter: the new EC175 advanced medium lift multi-purpose helicopter will be in the static display, alongside an evolved EC145 T2 and a latest generation AS350 B3.

Tom Enders, CEO of EADS, said: “The Dubai Air Show is one of the world’s premier gatherings for the aerospace and defence community. EADS is a leader in this market and a trusted partner for governments and commercial customers in a range of activities.”

He added: “Gulf leaders have shown strong leadership and vision in recognising that the aerospace and defence sector is a key driver for technology and economic growth. EADS is proud to partner many of the region’s most prestigious companies and be trusted as the provider of technology for many of the region’s most important programmes”

This will be the final major aerospace trade show prior to EADS being re-branded as the Airbus Group from 1 January 2014.

Notes to Editors

EADS has media hosting facilities inside its Pavilion at the Airshow (located at Pavilion P10) and would be pleased to welcome accredited media to discover more about the Group.

About EADS

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2012, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 56.5 billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.

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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
EADS finalise sa transformation en Airbus Group

 

12/11/2013 Mathieu Sevin - bfmtv.com

 

Le groupe européen d'aéronautique et de défense tient, de mardi 12 à jeudi 14 novembre, un comité européen extraordinaire. Au menu: son changement de nom et sa réorganisation. Le but est de gagner en visibilité et d'améliorer sa marge.

 

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