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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 11:20
U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II

U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II

Sep 4, 2013 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

    Will keep aircraft operating through 2035

 

Boeing [NYSE: BA] will continue improving U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II mission readiness, and decreasing maintenance costs, through a follow-on order for 56 replacement wings for that aircraft. 

 

Boeing is on contract to build up to 242 wings, including these, at its plant in Macon, Ga. Refitting the fleet with new wings will improve the mission availability of A-10s by an estimated 4 percent and will help save the Air Force an estimated $1.3 billion in maintenance costs during the next 30 years.  

 

This latest order is valued at $212 million. Including this agreement, the Air Force has ordered 173 wings. The efforts of Boeing, its suppliers, and the Air Force will allow the A-10 fleet to operate into 2035.

 

The A-10 is a twin-engine jet designed for close air support of ground forces. It can be used against all ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 07:25
L’armée de l’air brésilienne reçoit son premier A-1 modernisé

04.09.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

La Força Aérea Brasileira a réceptionné son premier chasseur A-1M modernisé hier, lors d’une cérémonie qui s’est tenue sur le site industriel d’Embraer à Gavião Peixoto, près de São Paulo. C’est le premier exemplaire du programme qui prévoit la rénovation et la modernisation des 43 chasseurs subsoniques AMX. Seize avions se trouvent actuellement à l’usine d’Embraer pour être modernisés.

 

Plusieurs nouveaux équipements sont intégrés aux A-1M : systèmes de navigation, armement, génération d’oxygène, radar multimodes, contremesures électroniques, similaires à ceux présents sur les F-5M et les A-29 Super Tucano. Le programme de modernisation devrait permettre aux avions d’être opérationnels jusqu’en 2025.

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5 septembre 2013 4 05 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
Boeing KC-46 source Boeing

Boeing KC-46 source Boeing

September 4, 2013 defense-aerospace.com    

(Source: Boeing Co.; issued September 3, 2013)

 

Boeing Tanker Remains On Schedule with Start of 2nd Refueling Boom Assembly

 

SEATTLE --– Boeing workers in Seattle took another step toward delivering next-generation aerial refueling capability to the U.S. Air Force today when they began assembling the second refueling boom for the KC-46A Tanker program.

 

Based on the Boeing 767 commercial airplane, the KC-46A will feature a modernized fly-by-wire boom and hose and drogue systems, making it capable of refueling any U.S. or allied fixed wing aircraft any time on any mission. What’s more, the KC-46 itself can be refueled in flight, adding to its substantially greater capability and mission flexibility.

 

"Our team is achieving significant milestones as we prepare for flight tests to begin, and we remain focused on delivering this capability on schedule,” said Maureen Dougherty, KC-46 vice president and program manager. “The KC-46 boom is modeled after the proven KC-10 boom, which has performed extremely well in its 30 years of operation. We’re enhancing its reliability, making it even better.”

 

Five test booms are being built. The first will be used for risk-reducing laboratory tests that are scheduled to begin early next year. The second will be installed on a test aircraft to further evaluate the design.

 

Boeing invented the air refueling boom and has been building, upgrading and modifying them for more than 60 years. The company remains on plan to deliver the initial 18 combat-ready KC-46As by 2017. It will deliver 179 to the Air Force by 2027.

 

 

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 18:50
AgustaWestland touts AW609 enhancements

ROME, Sept. 4 (UPI)

 

Aerodynamic improvements to AgustaWestland's prototype AW609 tilt-rotor VTOL aircraft are underway in Italy and the United States.

 

Among improvements to the vertical takeoff and landing fixed-wing plane – the company's answer to Bell Boeings V-22 Osprey – are a modified vertical fin, better designed engine exhaust nozzles and changes to the prop-rotor spinner cones, the Italian-British company said.

 

The improvements are designed to help reduce drag by about 10 percent, cut aircraft weight and improve efficiency.

 

"These aerodynamic improvements, new avionics, new cockpit display system and a large number of other improvements will together give the aircraft greater performance and mission capabilities, making it even more attractive for carrying out a wide range of missions which can benefit from its much higher cruise speed, high altitude cruise capability and longer range, when compared to existing helicopters or other proposed high-speed rotorcraft," said Clive Scott, AW609 Program manager.

 

Flight testing of the aircraft's modified vertical tail fin is being conducted on prototype 2 at the company's facility at Cascina Costa, Italy. Other enhancements are being tested in Texas on prototype 1 by AgustaWestland's U.S. subsidiary, AgustaWestland Tilt-Rotor Company.

 

AgusaWestland said an upgraded version of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engine is being used on the aircraft. Its integrated cockpit is being supplied by Rockwell Collins, while BAE Systems is providing an upgraded flight control computer.

 

Two additional AW609 two prototypes are under final assembly in Italy.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 18:50
L’A400M valide ses essais sur pistes non préparées

04.09.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

L’A400M a effectué avec succès de nouveaux essais sur pistes non préparées, selon Airbus Military. La campagne s’est tenue pendant plus d’une semaine à Ablitas, au nord de l’Espagne et c’est MSN2 qui a été utilisé pour tester et valider les performances de l’avion sur des pistes gravillonnées.

 

Vingt-cinq atterrissages ont ainsi été effectué sur six vols.

 

Il s’agissait notamment de tester des manœuvres au sol, des décollages interrompus et l’inversion de la puissance des TP400-D6 jusqu'à une vitesse de 70 noeuds (130km/h), afin de vérifier les dommages causés sur les turbopropulseurs et sur la cellule.

 

D’après Airbus Military, les essais ont permis de valider la robustesse de l’avion, qui n’a subi que des dégâts minimaux et en cohérence avec les attentes du constructeur. L’ensemble des résultats obtenus va à présent être analysé par Airbus Military et l’OCCAR.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 06:20
Apex Industries Of Moncton To Get Work On F-35

September 3, 2013 By David Pugliese- Defence Watch

 

News release:

 

MONCTON, New Brunswick, Canada, Sept 3rd, 2013 – Apex Industries Inc., today, became the newest Canadian industrial partner with Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] on the F-35 Lightning II program. This agreement uses the machining expertise of Apex for aluminum metallic components, and they will produce structural parts that span the forward fuselage and wing. The agreement is a multi-year contract with all work being completed at Apex’s Moncton location in New Brunswick.

 

The award to Apex is a recent example of how Lockheed Martin is partnering with Canadian Industry for the F-35 program.  This opportunity is part of the more than $11 billion to be offered to Canadian Industry over 30 years and adds to the more than $500M in contracts to date.  While supporting the program, Apex can utilize and mature their capabilities to capture more opportunities in the future.  Currently, there are more than 34 Canadian suppliers on contract to the F-35 program.

 

“Lockheed Martin is honored Apex Industries is joining the F-35 Canadian Industrial team to bring value to the program as we increase our production rates and further reduce the cost of our aircraft,” said Keith Knotts,  Lockheed Martin’s director of F-35 Business Development in Canada. “Apex’s contribution will be substantial F-35 machining work which is extremely important as the program continues to grow.”

 

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced in service support (sustainment). Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries. The U.S. Air Force plans to declare Initial Operational Capability with the CTOL (Canada’s preferred variant) in 2016.

 

Apex Industries is a Canadian, privately held corporation with 225 employees.  They support various aerospace customers including Boeing Defense, Bell Helicopter, Bombardier and, now, Lockheed Martin.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 05:55
Présentation en vol du Rafale par le capitaine Planche

Présentation en vol du Rafale par le capitaine Planche

03/09/2013 Vincent Lamigeon, grand reporter à Challenges - Supersonique

 

Les chiffres ont de quoi impressionner.  Dans un rapport publié le 27 août, et relayé par le Journal de l’Aviation, le cabinet de conseil Forecast International s’est livré au jeu des prévisions sur la production d’aéronefs militaires sur les dix prochaines années. Le résultat est édifiant : le cabinet prévoit la livraison de 11.940 appareils d’ici à 2022, pour un montant estimé de 480 milliards de dollars. Le pic de production devrait être atteint dès l’année prochaine, avec 1.367 appareils assemblés en 2014, chiffre qui devrait franchir à la baisse la barre des 1.100 appareils par an à l’horizon 2020

 

Les chasseurs représentent 2.900 appareils sur les dix prochaines années, pour un montant estimé de 183 milliards de dollars. A priori, c’est une bonne nouvelle pour les Dassault, Boeing, Eurofighter et autre Chengdu. Sauf que c’est bien la montée de la cadence de production du F-35 de Lockheed Martin qui devrait pousser la production annuelle d’avions de chasses à 355 appareils par an en 2022, estime le cabinet.

 

La machine de guerre de Lockheed Martin, qui a siphonné les budgets militaires de nombreux alliés de Wahington dont quelques Européens (Royaume-Uni, Pays-Bas, Italie, Norvège) ne laissera donc, sinon des miettes, du moins que des demi-baguettes à la concurrence. « Le reste du marché devrait être réparti entre Boeing, le consortium Eurofighter, Dassault, Saab, Chengdu, et le Russe United Aircraft Corp, assure le rapport. L’indien HAL et le sud-coréen KAI ont introduisent des chasseurs légers low-cost, mais aucun ne devrait vraiment percer sur le marché export. »

 

Conclusion (qui ne figure pas dans le rapport) : le Rafale n’a donc pas le droit à l’erreur sur ses compétitions (Inde, Emirats, Qatar, voire Malaisie), mais c’est tout aussi vrai pour le Typhoon du consortium Eurofighter ou le Gripen de Saab. Boeing, lui, s’est donné de l’air avec la vente de F-15 en Arabie Saoudite, et peut-être bientôt en Corée du Sud. Les Russes et les Chinois peuvent compter sur leur énorme marché intérieur.

 

Sur le segment des appareils de transport militaire, c’est l’A400M qui va tirer les chiffres de production, assure Forecast International. Le pic de production de 108 appareils de transport par an devrait être atteint en 2018. L’A400M devrait représenter à lui seul « 25% de toute la production d’avions de transport sur la période 2013-2022 », indique le document. Forecast International prévoit également la fin de la production du C-17 de Boeing, et l’intensification de la concurrence face au C-130J de Lockheed Martin, concurrencé à la fois par l’A400M et par le KC-390 du brésilien Embraer.

 

Boeing devrait se rattraper sur ce que le document appelle les appareils à « usage spécial » : ravitailleurs, avions de patrouille maritime, appareils de guerre électronique. « Boeing devrait capter 50% de ce segment, grâce à la production du ravitailleur KC-46A pour l’US Air Force et de l’appareil de patrouille maritime P-8 Poseidon pour l’US Navy et d’autres clients », indique Forecast International.

 

Côté hélicoptères, ce n’est pas la grande joie. Le cabinet prévoit un ralentissement de la production d’hélicoptères militaires légers (1.425 appareils en dix ans, 23,3 milliards de dollars), faute de nouveaux programmes d’acquisitions. Idem pour les hélicoptères lourds, dont la croissance de production observée depuis 2005 devrait faire long feu. 4.728 machines sont tout de même prévues d’ici à 2022, soit 110 milliards de dollars de marché estimé.

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4 septembre 2013 3 04 /09 /septembre /2013 05:50
F-X III fighter contest F-35 Eurofighter F-15 SE photo FG

F-X III fighter contest F-35 Eurofighter F-15 SE photo FG

03.09.2013 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

L’institut d’analyse de marché et de prospective stratégique Forecast International a publié un rapport le 27 août dernier sur l’état de la production d’aéronefs militaires pour la période 2013-2022. Les conclusions de ce document révèlent une baisse globale sur les 10 prochaines années, comprenant toutefois des secteurs qui resteront au même niveau et d’autres qui augmenteront, tel que ce sera le cas pour le F-35 de Lockheed Martin et l’A400M d’Airbus Military.

 

Les données globales fournies par Forecast International sont les suivantes pour la période 2013-2022 : 11 940 aéronefs militaires effectueront leur roll-out pour un total de 480 milliards de dollars, dont 48% d’avions et 52% de voilures tournantes. La production devrait connaître un pic en 2014 avec 1 367 unités, une baisse significative en 2018 (1 095) et une légère remontée en 2020 (1 122).

 

Concernant les différents segments de l’aviation militaire, Forecast International les divise en cinq catégories : les chasseurs, les avions de transport, les avions spécifiques, les avions d’entraînement et les hélicoptères.

 

Les avions de chasse représentent le plus important segment dans le secteur de l’aviation militaire : 2 900 exemplaires devraient être fabriqués entre 2013 et 2022, pour un total de 183 milliards de dollars. Les budgets de Défense étant contraints pour la plupart des pays, Forecast International ne prévoit pas d’expansion importante de la demande dans les prochaines années. Les principaux avionneurs resteront Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Eurofighter, Dassault Aviation, Saab, Chengdu et UAC. Selon FI, KAI et HAL ne devraient pas s’imposer comme grosse concurrence dans ce marché.

 

Une baisse de la production d’aéronefs militaires attendue dans les années à venir

Concernant les avions de transport, l’A400M devrait focaliser 25% des 848 avions qui devraient sortir d’usine. Le pic est attendu en 2018, en partie grâce à la production de masse d’Airbus Military. Le C-130J de Lockheed Martin sera lui concurrencé par l’A400M et par le futur KC-390 d’Embraer.

 

Du côté des avions dits « spécifiques » (ravitailleurs, avions-radars, de reconnaissance maritime), le marché devrait être attribué à 50% à Boeing, une prévision basée sur la production du ravitailleur KC-46A et du P-8A Poseidon. Cinq cent trente-huit avions devraient être produits dans les dix prochaines années pour 78,1 milliards de dollars.

 

Enfin, dans la dernière catégorie des voilures fixes, les avions d’entraînement. Mille cinq cent appareils devraient effectuer leur roll-out entre 2013 et 2022, pour un total de 18,5 milliards de dollars. 2014 et 2015 semblent être des pics de production, avec 200 avions annuels, le double de ce qui est attendu pour 2022 (97 avions). Forecast International prédit tout de même une reprise, avec le programme T-X de l’US Air Force, qui prévoit de remplacer ses T-38 par au moins 350 machines.

 

Pour les voilures tournantes, la production d’appareils légers (en-dessous de six tonnes) ne devrait pas grimper, en raison des programmes d’acquisition qui sont en passe de se terminer. FI prévoit 1 425 appareils pour 23,3 milliards sur la période 2013-2022.

 

Il en va de même pour les hélicoptères moyens et lourds, Forecast International prévoit même une baisse plus marquée avec 4 728 appareils produits pour 110 milliards de dollars entre 2013 et 2022. Les perspectives des voilures tournantes à long terme se joueront autour du programme Future Vertical Lift du Pentagone, qui prévoit le développement et la production d’un nouveau type d’appareil pour les missions d’attaque, ainsi que des missions utilitaires.

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3 septembre 2013 2 03 /09 /septembre /2013 07:30
A KC-135R Stratotanker from the 434th Air Refueling Wing provides mid-air refueling to a F-22 fighter aircraft - photo USAF

A KC-135R Stratotanker from the 434th Air Refueling Wing provides mid-air refueling to a F-22 fighter aircraft - photo USAF

02 Sept. 2013 by Arie Egozi – FG

 

Tel Aviv - The Israeli air force says it will only evaluate a US offer to sell it surplus Boeing KC-135 tankers if the aircraft involved are R-model examples.

 

Washington has so far only proposed the sale of three KC-135Es, worth around $200 million.

 

Israeli sources say the air force has made it clear it prefers the CFM56-powered R-model aircraft. These are included in the USA's excess defense articles programme, which allows Washington to give its allies military hardware for free, or at a greatly reduced price.

 

The Israeli service is looking for new tankers, and surplus KC-135s were included in a US offer of equipment several months ago, which also featured the Bell-Boeing V-22 tiltrotor.

 

Israeli sources say that if the USA agrees to supply the longer-range KC-135R a deal could include 12 examples, to be transferred after undergoing depot maintenance in the USA.

 

The air force intends to use two of the aircraft for VIP transport applications, the sources add.

 

The Israeli government has for some years evaluated options for an "Air Force One"-type capability to conduct missions such as flying the nation's prime minister to foreign countries. An earlier programme was shelved following a request for information process, however, due to its price.

 

No official response has been given to the status of the negotiations.

 

The Israeli air force is currently using a fleet of upgraded Boeing 707 in-flight refuelling tankers, which were converted by Israel Aerospace Industries. These continue to be modified, with recent enhancements having introduced a new glass cockpit, modern communications equipment, a global air traffic management system and the same type of refuelling boom used by the US Air Force's KC-135s.

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 17:35
India's third C-17 Globemaster III aircraft departing Boeing's Long Beach facility in US. Photo Boeing.

India's third C-17 Globemaster III aircraft departing Boeing's Long Beach facility in US. Photo Boeing.

02/09/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft formally joins the Indian Air Force today. In the presence of A.K Antony - the Indian Defence Minister - the 70 tonne airlifter will be pressed into service at Hindon Air Force Station, Delhi.

 

Equipped with this brand new type, the Indian Air Force will be better-placed to airlift troops and support equipment into battle.

 

Able to accommodate up to 150 service personnel, the C-17 Globemaster III is the Indian Air Force's largest aircraft, taking over from the Russian-built Ilyushin Il-76 in this regard.

 

Ultimately, the air arm is getting a fleet of 10 Globemasters. In comparison, the Royal Air Force currently operates eight Globemasters and only the USAF, with 220 examples, has more in service. To date, three have been delivered to India, with the remaining seven to be supplied between now and the end of 2014. Still to be exercised is an option to acquire six more Globemasters, meaning India could one day have 16 such aircraft.

 

C-17 Globemaster III  Indian Air Force – photo Rishika Baruah source Livefist

C-17 Globemaster III Indian Air Force – photo Rishika Baruah source Livefist

Indian Air Force Globemasters

 

The Indian Air Force Globemaster fleet will operate from India's advanced landing sites (in the northeast) and its more mountainous regions (in the north). Recent years have seen India orientate its arms purchases away from Russia and towards the US and other Western nations. With many older Soviet-era technologies now reaching the end of their service lives, the Indian Air Force is rearming itself with a host of new military technologies. Besides the C-17s, it has also recently obtained six Lockheed C-130J Hercules military transport aircraft and has its sights on six more.

 

The Boeing C-17A Globemaster III first flew in 1991 and entered service two years later. Capable of carrying payloads up to 77,500 pounds in weight, it can use 3,500 foot-long runways. Four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofans - each generating 40,700 pounds of thrust - give it a maximum speed of 515 miles an hour, while it's also got a maximum operational ceiling of 45,000 feet and a 4,741 mile range.

 

Hindon Air Force Station is Asia's largest air base. Currently based there are Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters, MiG-29 air superiority fighters and a number of the Indian Air Force's C-130Js.

C-17 Globemaster III  Indian Air Force – photo Rishika Baruah source Livefist

C-17 Globemaster III Indian Air Force – photo Rishika Baruah source Livefist

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 16:50
système d’alerte MilOWS installé dans le cockpit du NH90  photo Cassidian

système d’alerte MilOWS installé dans le cockpit du NH90 photo Cassidian

02 septembre 2013 - trader-finance.fr/

 

Le système de détection d'obstacles "MilOWS", qui équipe certaines versions de l'hélicoptère militaire NH90, a reçu la certification nécessaire à son déploiement. Ce sésame pour le système développé par EADS Cassidian permet à Eurocopter de commencer la livraison de 150 systèmes aux armées allemande et finlandaise.

 

système d’alerte MilOWS installé dans le cockpit du NH90  photo Cassidian

système d’alerte MilOWS installé dans le cockpit du NH90 photo Cassidian

L'armée allemande sera la première à équiper ses hélicoptères d'un système de détection d'obstacles en temps réel à technologie laser, ce qui lui permettra d'effectuer en toute sécurité des missions difficiles dans des conditions de visibilité réduite, selon les promoteurs du MilOWS.

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 16:35
Boeing Close to Winning S. Korean Fighter Deal

Sep. 2, 2013 - By JUNG SUNG-KI  - Defense News

 

F-15SE Emerges From Long-Shot To Favorite

 

SEOUL — Boeing is set to inch closer to clinching a multibillion-dollar deal to sell 60 F-15 Silent Eagle jets to South Korea, as its competitors have effectively been priced out of the contest.

 

Lockheed Martin and Eurofighter, which vied for the US $7.4 billion fighter contract, failed to submit proposals below the budget.

 

“The bottom line is that we can’t sign a final contract with any bidder offering a proposal over the budget,” Oh Tae-shik, head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration’s (DAPA’s) program management bureau, said Aug. 28 in a meeting with local reporters.

 

“A bidder that offered a proposal under the budget is now only qualified for final evaluations,” Tae-shik said.

 

The DAPA will hold an executive committee presided over by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin in mid-September to pick a final bidder.

 

The US government failed to submit a proposal below the budget for the sale of 60 F-35 joint strike fighters built by Lockheed Martin.

 

The Eurofighter consortium’s Typhoon was once thought to be competitive in a contest with Boeing, but the DAPA announced later that the European company was also priced out. The consortium includes Alenia Aermacchi, BAE Systems and EADS.

 

“Reviewing EADS’ final proposal in a careful manner, we found that some terms and conditions agreed upon by both sides in previous negotiations were modified arbitrarily,” a DAPA spokesman said Aug. 18. “We can’t accept such a proposal breaching bilateral agreements.”

 

According to the spokesman, for example, Eurofighter promised that it would modify 15 of 60 Typhoon jets into twin-seat aircraft at the request of the DAPA. In the final proposal, however, the European firm changed the number of twin-seat modification work to only six, apparently in order to lower the total price under $7.4 billion.

 

EADS also changed conditions regarding the costs of weapons integration, the spokesman argued, without specifying what armament integration it was.

 

Eurofighter officials rebut DAPA claims.

 

“We have repeatedly explained to DAPA why there was no operational rationale to opt for the number of twin-seaters requested to Eurofighter,” said Christian Scherer, Eurofighter’s chief sales officer. “Thanks to the present state of the art of the Eurofighter simulators, the twin-seater need is minimal, if any, as already proven by the Eurofighter operating in air forces.”

 

“We do not see any promises made but only different scenarios with preferences, which have been discussed respectfully by the parties all along the negotiation process,” he added.

 

Despite Eurofighter’s appeal, DAPA has reconfirmed that the Typhoon is not qualified for final evaluations.

 

Meanwhile, Lockheed spokesman Eric Schnaible said “The situation is DAPA and DAPA Executive Committee’s concern and we’re not going to speculate or intervene in their sovereign decision-making process.”

 

If a final contract is signed with Boeing, this will be the aerospace giant’s third consecutive win for South Korea’s F-X fighter jet acquisition project. The F-X aims to acquire 120 new high-end warplanes to replace the older fleet of F-4s and F-5s flown by the Republic of Korea Air Force.

 

Boeing won the two previous F-X deals to supply the Air Force with 60 F-15Ks.

 

Howard Berry, Boeing’s campaign director for the Korea competition, remains confident that the Silent Eagle is the right choice for Korea in terms of performance and cost aspects.

 

“Silent Eagle builds on a continuous evolution of capability in the combat-proven F-15 family of aircraft and with a bundle of additional advancements that allows Boeing to offer a ‘2-aircraft-in-1-platform’s solution that brings an unprecedented balance of survivability and lethality,” he said.

 

But skepticism remains high here about the F-15SE’s performances since the aircraft is still in development.

 

“The F-15SE is not the best choice. There is not even a prototype of the aircraft,” Lee Hee-woo, head of a logistics support research institute at Chungnam National University. “Stealth functions are not featured only by painting the aircraft and fitting the jet with an internal weapons bay. It is much better to buy more F-15Ks, not the F-15SE, which critics call a paper aircraft.”

 

The DAPA has been criticized for its zigzag stance on the F-X requirements.

 

This third phase of F-X, in fact, was launched to procure the so-called fifth-generation stealth aircraft. To promote competition, however, DAPA eased the required operational capability, including the level of radar cross section. As a result, the Silent Eagle and the Typhoon were invited to the contest.

 

“The [competition] has lost its original purpose to buy stealth fighters,” said Shin In-kyun, head of the Korea Defense Network, a civic group for defense affairs. “It seems like a boxer in the ring was knocked out by his sparring partner.”

 

Han Sung-joo, a former commander of the Air Force Logistics Command, is worried F-15SEs would lose an air superiority battle against neighboring countries.

 

“Japan will introduce 42 F-35 stealth aircraft and is expected to get more up to 200 eventually. China’s J-20 stealth jet is likely to enter service by 2016,” the retired three-star general said. “Then why do we have to choose fighter aircraft falling behind those of the neighboring countries?”

 

DAPA’s stringent cost evaluation is also at the heart of debate here.

 

The aircraft acquisition cost only accounts for about 15 percent of the total evaluation. Mission capability takes up the largest portion with 35 percent, while compatibility accounts for nearly 18 percent, operational costs, 15 percent. The remainder is about technology transfer and offset programs.

 

DAPA had sought to increase the third F-X budget by 20 percent this year, but the budget authorities rejected the request, according to DAPA officials.

 

Critics say DAPA was easygoing about the budget issue. Rejected by the Finance Ministry, DAPA was upset and offered the 15-percent acquisition cost as an absolute condition to sway all other evaluation results.

 

“Certainly, it’s not reasonable that the whole evaluation is swayed by a 15-percent element,” said Kim Dae-young, a researcher at the Korea Defense & Security Forum, a Seoul-based private defense think tank. “In terms of regulations, there is no fault with the DAPA, but the acquisition process is too stringent to shop the best-performance product.”

 

Andrew Chuter in London and Aaron Mehta in Washington contributed to this report.

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 07:50
Danish F-16 in flight - photo Danish Ministry of Defense

Danish F-16 in flight - photo Danish Ministry of Defense

Sep. 1, 2013 - By GERARD O’DWYER – Defense News

 

HELSINKI — Job creation will stand as the chief factor when the Danish government convenes to select a replacement type for its aging F-16 fleet in mid-2015.

 

Denmark will look for substantial long-term industry value from bidders in the restarted Fighter Replacement Program (FRP), said newly appointed Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen, who replaced Nick Hækkerup following a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt’s coalition government on Aug. 9.

 

The government, which hopes to use the FRP as a mechanism to inject significant new investment into an economy weakened by the global financial crisis, has set job creation as the cornerstone of its revised fighter procurement policy, Wammen said.

 

Moreover, the FRP will be used to bolster sustainable export growth within the country’s tiny defense industry

 

“All four candidates will be informed of our thinking and requirements. It will be made crystal clear that if there are not jobs coming to Denmark, then we will not be buying planes from that quarter,” Wammen said in a statement.

 

The bidding line-up includes Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Saab’s Gripen-DK NG and Cassidian’s Eurofighter Typhoon. Denmark is looking to begin retiring the first of its F-16 fighters in 2020.

 

Denmark is expected to purchase 24 to 30 new fighters at an estimated cost of $3.8 billion to $5.5 billion. A final decision on the number of aircraft to be acquired is anticipated in the next six months.

 

All bidders will need to bring real jobs to the negotiating table for what will be a “huge” capital investment undertaking by the Danish state, Wammen said.

 

Denmark’s defense industry has welcomed the government’s clear message to potential bidders. However, industry chiefs want the government to ensure any future supplier agreements with 100 percent countertrade guarantees.

 

“This is about maximizing gains for Denmark, the national economy and for industry,” said Jan Falck-Schmidt, CEO of Falck-Schmidt Defence Systems, a domestic supplier of missile, force protection and life-cycle systems and services. “It is not enough to ask candidate manufacturers if jobs will emerge. What is needed is for the Danish government to demand 100 per cent countertrade. This will focus attention on value-added contracts and serious job creation initiatives.”

 

Only time will tell if the Danish government is serious about pushing job creation to the front when it comes to implementing the FRP, said defense analyst Jens Ringsmose. Other considerations, including a wish to retain a strong political alliance with the U.S, can also be expected to play a crucial role in the aircraft selection process, he added.

 

“The message is that jobs will be the most important parameter in this massive acquisition. In this way [Wammen] avoids having to explain the other major contributory reasons that are at least as important; not least the alliance with the United States,” Ringsmose said.

 

While the FRP competition needs to be industry and value centered, it must also be run in a fair and equitable manner, said Lene Espersen, the opposition Danish Conservative party’s defense spokeswoman.

 

“This is a very large item of expenditure for Denmark, and we must derive as much value in terms of jobs and long-term economic growth as possible. The project must be used not alone to expand the order books of our defense groups but help them grow into more export-driven niche suppliers of weapons and military systems in the future,” Espersen said. “Above all this competition must be about buying the best aircraft from European and the American bidders in an environment of trust where all are competing on a level playing field.”

 

The government’s final decision could favor the purchase of a reduced number of fighters as part of a broader strategy to purchase specialized unmanned aircraft, Espersen said.

 

“Drones will never replace conventional combat aircraft, but they will play an increased role in international operations. They will become increasingly used in Denmark’s Arctic territories. The drone dimension could add an interesting feature to the fighter replacement competition,” Espersen said.

 

The mistakes made in the original competition, which saw Eurofighter withdraw from the contest due to what it perceived as a contest weighted in favor of Lockheed’s F-35 JSF, cannot be repeated, said John Dyrby Paulsen, the Social Democrat’s spokesman on defense.

 

“There is already a perception that Lockheed Martin has an advantage in this competition because Denmark has invested in the JSF project. This must be a real competition. We must not be bound by some sense of loyalty to choose an American plane. The final decision must be based on the economic value to Denmark on the one hand and the need to buy the best aircraft for our needs on the other,” Paulsen said.

 

Denmark, which is a Tier-3 partner in the JSF project, restarted the FRP in March after suspending the competition in 2010 due to a need to divert funds in a battle to fight off recessionary fears and support the country’s then-ailing banking system. As a Tier-3 partner, Denmark has so far invested around $200 million in the JSF development program.

 

“Industry’s position has always been very clear: Military procurements must result in concrete contracts for the Danish defense equipment and aerospace industries,” said Frank Hall, general secretary of the Danish Defense & Security Industries Association (DDSIA).

 

The DDSIA plans to hold regular meetings with all bidders in the coming months. Talks will be routed through the organization’s dedicated FRP unit, the Danish Industry Fighter Aircraft Team, which was established in 2008 to explore the potential for partnerships and contract work with all candidates in the competition.

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2 septembre 2013 1 02 /09 /septembre /2013 07:25
Brazil, Pakistan Look To Expand Industrial Ties

Sep. 1, 2013 By USMAN ANSARI   – Defense News 

 

ISLAMABAD — Brazil and Pakistan have begun to explore ways to expand their defense industrial relations.

 

The move could broaden the market for Brazilian arms and help Pakistan widen the range of its defense suppliers, analysts said.

 

Brazil’s ambassador to Pakistan, Alfredo Leoni, and Pakistan’s federal minister for defense production, Tanveer Hussain, met here in early August to discuss the increased cooperation.

 

“The scope of relations between the two countries is quite vast. The need is to collaborate, extend support and establish relations in areas of defense production,” Leoni told the Associated Press of Pakistan.

 

Brazil has a generally more high-tech defense industry than Pakistan, but observers say greater industry cooperation could be mutually beneficial.

 

“Brazil-Pakistan defense ties seem to be driven by a commercial interest, but have a broader political-strategic side,” said Antônio Sampaio, a research analyst for Latin American issues at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

 

“Brazilian interest in the Pakistani defense market fits into Brasilia’s broad strategy of securing buyers for the country’s growing defense industry,” he said, which is “a strategic priority to stimulate a technologically advanced base for economic growth.”

 

New programs such as the Embraer-led KC-390 airlifter give Brazil a pressing reason to expand its markets, Sampaio said.

 

Pakistan is also “a key emerging country, acting in several international arenas that Brazil sees as strategically important for its foreign goals,” he said.

 

Improving commercial and political ties with such states “is a key objective as [Brazil] seeks a greater influence in world affairs,” he said. “In this front, the sheer volume of trade between Brazil and Pakistan is considered low (less than US $300 million in 2012), although it has grown rapidly in recent years.”

 

Trevor Taylor, a professorial fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and expert in defense industries, said it is natural for the two countries to to improve defense relations.

 

“Pakistan is not under any UN or EU conventional arms embargo and there is therefore no reason why Brazil, which is trying to build a significant range of defense industrial capabilities with only a limited national defense budget, should not seek to market in Pakistan,” he said. “Brazil will presumably be wary, however, of offering things that might put at risk its nuclear submarine cooperation with France and the success of its commercial aircraft business in Western markets.”

 

Taylor thinks Pakistan’s motives are more straightforward: “Pakistan for its part must be interested in widening its range of defense suppliers while not damaging its ties with China.”

 

Brazil, Pakistan Look To Expand Industrial Ties

Pakistan’s most high-profile purchase from Brazil thus far is a 2008 deal for 100 Mectron MAR-1 anti-radiation missiles to equip Pakistan’s Mirage and JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft. Deliveries are underway and the missile has already been integrated onto Mirage.

 

Usman Shabbir, an analyst with the Pakistan Military Consortium, said another missile may be in Pakistan’s sights already.

 

“I am sure we will see the A-Darter short-range missile in [Pakistan Air Force] service once production commences in 2014,” he said. The missile is being developed by Mectron in cooperation with South Africa’s Denel Dynamics.

 

Shabbir said it may be some time, however, before Brazil can offer a greater variety of defense products that would interest Pakistan.

 

“Pakistan, on the other hand, can supply anything from small arms and ammo to tactical and medium range UAVs,” he said.

 

Analyst and former Australian defense attaché to Islamabad Brian Cloughley said that although the recent meeting was likely more of a “courtesy call,” the two countries’ defense industrial relationship will improve in time, and small arms may be a way to start for Pakistan.

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31 août 2013 6 31 /08 /août /2013 16:40
Russia’s New Bomber to Carry Hypersonic Weapons – Source

MOSCOW, August 30 (RIA Novosti)

 

Russia’s next generation long-range bomber PAK-DA will be armed with hypersonic weapons, a Defense Ministry source told RIA Novosti Friday.

 

“PAK-DA will be equipped with all advanced types of precision guided weapons, including hypersonic,” the source said, adding that the bomber itself will be subsonic.

 

Earlier this week, Boris Obnosov, general director of the Tactical Missile Systems Corporation, revealed that Russia has developed a hypersonic missile. However, he added that although it has been developed, it can only make seconds-long flights.

 

In September 2012, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, whose brief covers the defense industry, announced plans to merge the Tactical Missile Corporation and NPO Mashinostroyenie.

 

Lt. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, commander of the Russian Air Force Long-Range Aviation, previously said the first PAK-DA bombers will enter service by 2020.

 

In August 2012, Rogozin told the Rossiya 24 TV network “I think we need to go down the route of hypersonic technology and we are moving in that direction and not falling behind the Americans.”

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31 août 2013 6 31 /08 /août /2013 11:40
Russie: le bombardier de 5e génération remplacera trois types d'avions (Armée)

JOUKOVSKI (région de Moscou), 30 août - RIA Novosti

 

Le bombardier russe de 5e génération PAK DA, qui sera livré à l'armée à partir de 2020, pourrait remplacer trois types d'avions actuellement en service dans l'armée russe, a annoncé vendredi le général Victor Bondarev, commandant en chef de l'Armée de l'air russe.

 

"Il accomplira les missions qui sont actuellement assignées aux avions Tupolev Tu-160, Tu-95MS et Tu-22. Il sera équipé d'armes hypersoniques", a indiqué le général lors d'une conférence de presse au Salon aérospatial international MAKS-2013 à Joukovski, dans la région de Moscou.

 

Le commandant de l'Armée de l'air a ainsi confirmé les informations selon lesquelles le bombardier à long rayon d'action PAK DA, en cours de conception, serait doté d'armes hypersoniques.

 

L'avion PAK DA quant à lui sera subsonique, sur décision d'une commission spéciale du ministère de la Défense.

 

Le groupe russe "Missiles tactiques" a annoncé le 28 août dernier avoir créé un missile hypersonique, qui pour le moment n'arrive à voler à une vitesse hypersonique que pendant quelques secondes.

 

D'après le commandant de l'Aviation à long rayon d'action russe Anatoli Jikharev, les premiers bombardiers PAK DA seront livrés à l'armée d'ici 2020.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:50
photo Airbus Military

photo Airbus Military

Aug 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Airbus Military; issued August 29, 2013)

 

First A400M Wings for Royal Air Force Leave for Final Assembly Line

 

The wings for the first Airbus Military A400M Atlas new generation airlifter for the Royal Air Force have left the Airbus plant in Filton, UK where they are made, bound for the final assembly line at Seville, Spain.

 

The wings were loaded onto the Airbus roll-on-roll-off ferry at Royal Portbury Docks.

 

The aircraft, the first of 22 ordered by the United Kingdom, is due to be delivered in September 2014.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:40
Moscou dévoile le SU-30SM

29 août Aerobuzz.fr

 

A l’occasion du salon aéronautique MAKS de Moscou (27 août-1er septembre 2013 à Joukovski), la Russie met l’accent sur son nouveau biplace de combat SU-30 SM. Il s’agit d’un dérivé du biplace SU-30 MKI en service en Inde. Cet avion hyper manoeuvrant est doté de plans canard et de tuyères à poussée dirigée. Côté avionique, il s’agit d’un appareil 100% russe : il possède un radar à antenne active signé NIIP Tikhomirov, dérivé du « Bars » en service sur le MKI. Le SU-30 SM dispose d’un cockpit « tout écran » et d’un calculateur analogue à celui du SU-35. Ce calculateur gère le système d’arme et assure la sécurité du vecteur et de ses occupants. Il décide par exemple d’éjecter les pilotes en cas de danger. Il est piloté par Mr Averyanov, un pilote d’essais réputé qui est entré dans la légende lors de son éjection d’un SU-30 MKI pendant un salon du Bourget.

 

Moscou qui se dit très satisfait du SU-30 SM, aussi à l’aise en combat rapproché qu’en combat hors de portée visuelle, en a commandé 60 exemplaires. Ils serviront à former les pilotes de SU-35 et de T-50 qui constituent le renouveau des forces aériennes russes (VVS).

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:40
La Russie crée un drone de frappe sur la base du chasseur T-50 (OAK)

JOUKOVSKI (région de Moscou), 30 août - RIA Novosti

 

La Russie crée un drone de frappe sur la base du chasseur de 5e génération T-50 (PAK FA), a annoncé vendredi le président du Consortium aéronautique unifié (OAK) Mikhaïl Pogossian lors du Salon aérospatial international MAKS-2013 à Joukovski, dans la région de Moscou.

 

"Nous menons nos travaux conformément au programme du ministère russe de la Défense. Selon ce programme, nous devons d'abord mener des études préliminaires en utilisant le potentiel technique du projet de chasseur de 5e génération", a indiqué M.Pogossian.

 

L'avion de frappe sans pilote aura une masse de 20 tonnes, selon lui.

 

L'ex-commandant en chef de l'Armée de l'air russe, le général Piotr Deïnekine, a annoncé le 26 août dernier, que les constructeurs aériens russes avaient entamé la conception d'un chasseur de 6e génération, qui sera le plus probablement sans pilote.

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:35
China’s J-31 Stealth Fighter Begins Flight Tests

Chinese media report that the Shenyang J-31 “stealth” fighter, now dubbed “Falcon Hawk,” began intensive flight trials this month, and claim it will outperform and out-sell Lockheed’s F-35 on the world market. (file photo)

 

Aug 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: People's Daily Online; published Aug 29, 2013)

 

Intensive Flight-Tests for China's J-31 Fighter; May Challenge US for Market Share

 

Since August China's fourth-generation stealth fighter, the J-31 "Falcon Hawk", has carried out more than three sets of trial flights at a rapidly increasing frequency. America's fourth-generation equivalent has achieved huge market penetration, and analysts believe that the excellent performance of the J-31 will make it a strong competitor in this market.

 

J-31 performance compares favorably with F-35

 

Although similar to the fourth-generation stealth fighter, the J-31's overall aerodynamic design and stealth appearance is not so identical with J-20, which has a higher degree of exposure. Military enthusiasts prefer to compare the relation of J-31 and J-20 with that of the U.S. Air Force F-22 and F-35. J-31 and F-35 use the same DSI inlet (non-boundary layer separated lane supersonic inlet) design, the difference is, F-35 uses a single engine to provide power, but J-31 is designed with double engines. In addition, some models of F-35 support the short distance/vertical landing; J-31 cannot do this for the time being.

 

Earlier reports indicate that the J-31 is equipped with twin Russian RD-93 engines - news that has been confirmed by Russia's MiG Aircraft Corporation. The "Fierce Dragon" light fighter developed jointly by China and Pakistan is also equipped with this model of engine. Judged against the specifications of fourth-generation aircraft, the RD-93 engine seems somewhat old, but during prototype testing the use of a stable engine with mature technology is the safest approach. Sources point out that once in service, the J-31 will hopefully carry our self-developed WS-13 engine, which has significantly improved performance in comparison with the RD-93.

 

China's Air Force test pilot expert Xu Yongling points out that the J-31's stealth aerodynamic design, stealth engine design and stealth coating design have all reached internationally advanced standards in stealth technology. He also pointed out that the J-31 possesses both stealth capability and a considerable payload level. In addition, Xu Yongling says that China has its own considerations in the development of fourth-generation aircraft, taking account not only of the need for stealth, but also of its performance in air-to-ground and air-to-air combat, and the relevant weapons requirements. This means that in payload, the J-31 will prevail over the F-35.

 

Domestic fourth-generation aircraft target the export market

 

A landmark in international military aviation history, the fourth-generation stealth aircraft will not only have a great impact on combat strategy, but also exercise a tremendous influence on geopolitics, especially on international relations and the geo-strategic situation in the Asia-Pacific region. The stealth fighter has gone beyond a simple weapons platform; its presence is now an indication of the balances and the strategic considerations at play among different countries. It could be said that the high-tech weapon systems represented by stealth fighters are becoming a new variable in the Sino-US strategic game.

 

Experts predict that the J-31 will make rapid inroads in the international market in the future, and will undoubtedly steal the limelight from the F-35. China's fourth-generation aircraft will become a new option for those countries which have not yet made the decision to purchase the F-35. In particular for those countries which are excluded from access to U.S. arms exports, China's fourth generation aircraft will certainly be attractive. The J-31, with its main target as the export market, represents a serious threat to U.S. arms manufacturers.

 

J-31 can be part of an aircraft carrier's payload

 

Earlier this year, the chief architect of the J-31 fighter Sun Cong revealed that the improved version of the J-31 is expected to become China's next generation of carrier-based aircraft.

 

Analysts believe that the J-31 fighter can act as a carrier-borne aircraft. One of the important factors affecting this question is the configuration of the landing gear. The front landing gear of the J-31 is designed with double wheels (the J-20, which is twice the weight, only has single front wheel), while the back landing gear adopts a dogleg structure – both these features provide strong supporting capacity and excellent shock resistance. Considering that a carrier-borne aircraft requires the ability to withstand a greater impact when landing on an aircraft carrier than when landing on land, the J-31 seems designed to meet the requirements of a carrier-borne landing.

 

In addition, it has recently been reported that if the J-31 is deployed on the aircraft carrier, it may combine in light-weight battle formations with the early-service J-15.

 

 

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Although the above Chinese claims about the J-31’s performance have little credibility, at least at this early stage in its development, they are interesting for what they reveal about Chinese perceptions of the aircraft and its competition.

As for claims that the J-31 will “make rapid inroads in the international market,” and that it will “undoubtedly steal the limelight from the F-35,” they show that Chinese writers make up in creativity what they lack in realism.)

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 16:20
Worst Case: F-35 Could Cost Canada C$71Bn

Aug 30, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: The Hill; published Aug. 29, 2013)

 

F-35 Purchase Could Cost Canada $71-Billion Under Worst-Case Scenario: Report (excerpt)



PARLIAMENT HILL --- A worst-case scenario of cost risks in a Department of National Defence report on a possible acquisition of 65 Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jets estimates the airplanes could cost Canada up to $71 billion through acquisition, sustainment and operations over 36 years.

The costs, $25-billion more than the current National Defence estimate, are contained in a section of the department’s latest report to Parliament on the F-35 that outlines “cost risk and uncertainty” and is intended to provide a range of effects on the cost of buying and operating a fleet of stealth attack planes if factors such as inflation, the exchange rate between the Canadian and U.S. dollar, the cost of fuel and the rate of aircraft to be produced by Lockheed Martin fluctuates either higher or lower than the estimates that are behind the current National Defence figures.

If Lockheed Martin expectations of more efficiency through continued production and economies of scale as it makes and sells an expected 3,100 jets are even just three per cent less than expected, the extra cost to Canada would be $6.1-billion over a current acquisition calendar which has the 65 aircraft being delivered over a seven-year period beginning in 2017.

…/…

Other risks the National Defence report outlines include a likelihood that Lockheed Martin will sell 250 aircraft less than the number previously expected during the period Canada would potentially buy, leading to lower economies of scale in production and an extra cost to Canada of $500 million.

The risk analysis shows if the Canadian dollar were valued at 78 cents per U.S. dollar, instead of the current forecast of 92 cents, it would add $1.6-billion more to the acquisition cost. If the inflation rate were one per cent more over the lifetime of the fleet than the inflation rate on which the current National Defence forecast is based, the extra cost for sustaining Canada’s fleet would be $3.1-billion over the aircraft lifecycle. A change of one cent in the exchange rate could mean an extra $2.1-billion in lifetime sustainment cost. On the other side of the coin, a one-cent change in the exchange rate to the benefit of the Canadian dollar would lower the lifecycle sustainment cost by $2.1-billion.

The National Defence forecast of $19.8-billion in operating costs over the F-35 fleet’s lifecycle would increase by $5.4-billion with just a one per cent increase in the inflation rate from the rate the National Defence estimates are based on. It would correspondingly drop with a reduction of one per cent in the inflation rate from the current forecast rate.

The National Defence report forecast of fuel costs over the fleet’s lifetime is based on a price of 87.9 cents per litre, and a 10-per-cent increase in that cost could raise the forecast of life cycle fuel costs by $1.5-billion, with a reduction of the same amount in the unlikely event fuel costs would drop by 10 per cent. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full report, on The Hill website.


(EDITOR’S NOTE:
Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office have recently begun to claim they have significantly lowered F-35 costs when, in fact, they have simply lowered their estimates.
It is thus particularly appropriate to see how the picture can change when estimates are instead increased; in this instance, life-cycle costs jump from C$45 billion to C$71 billion if just a few assumptions change by a percentage point or two.
As the cost reductions claimed by Lockheed and the JPO are based on estimates of how various costs (labor rates, fuel, materials, exchange rates, inflation, etc. etc.) will evolve over the next 50 years, it is eye-opening to see how easily minor fluctuations can cause a totally unexpected cost blow-out.)

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30 août 2013 5 30 /08 /août /2013 07:45
Sudan operating Su-24s

Image credit: Akram Kharief

 

28 August 2013 by defenceWeb

 

Satellite imagery and photographic evidence has confirmed that Sudan has received at least three Sukhoi Su-24 strike aircraft over the last few months.

 

According to the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), DigitalGlobal satellite imagery has confirmed the presence of at least three Su-24s at the Sudanese Wadi Seidna airbase, which were acquired in recent months. The SSP says technical checks and pilot proficiency are probably underway at the air base.

 

“As early as March 2013, one Su-24 bomber was parked in the engine testing apron in the operational area of Wadi Seidna, located 25 km northwest of Khartoum,” the SSP said. “To date, three Su-24 aircraft have been observed at Wadi Seidna, most recently on August 24, 2013”.

 

Meanwhile, photos have emerged of Su-24s in Sudanese Air Force markings. They were provided by the Secret Difa 3 blog, which claims that Sudan has received 12 Su-24s from Belarus that were supposedly intended to go to Yemen.

 

In the past Sudan has used An-24/26 transport aircraft as crude, inaccurate bombers. The arrival of the Su-24s gives the Air Force the ability to conduct precision strikes over long ranges.

 

Satellite Sentinel Project and Enough Project Co-Founder John Prendergast stated that, “The capabilities of this particular type of bomber in the hands of the Sudanese government is troubling. Khartoum has an extensive track record of targeting civilian areas with aerial bombing, and these new planes will allow future damage to be even deadlier. The Sudan government has flouted past UN restrictions on offensive aerial operations in Darfur, and undertaken sustained bombing campaigns in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, where there are no UN restrictions. With the deployment of these attack planes, life just got much more dangerous for civilians living in Sudan’s war zones.”

 

“The Satellite Sentinel Project will keep tracking these aircraft to ensure that they are not used in Darfur, in contravention of the UN Security Council’s directive,” said Enough Project Sudan and South Sudan Policy Analyst Akshaya Kumar.

 

Sudan’s Air Force has of late received a number of new aircraft from Russia and Belarus. According to the United Nations it received 15 Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack jets from Belarus in 2008 and 2009. Together with Mi-24s, these have been used in operations against suspected rebel positions in South Kordofan and Darfour.

 

Sudan has taken delivery of a number of Mi-24s, with 36 delivered by Russia between 2007 and 2009, according to Amnesty International. In 2011 Rosoboronexport signed a contract for the supply of 12 former Russian Air Force Mi-24s and 6 Mi-8s to Sudan. This year Sudan apparently concluded a contract for the delivery of another 12 Mi-24s and 8 or 12 Mi-8s with an option to supply six more of each, according to Russian daily Vedomosti.

 

Russia told the UN Register of Conventional Arms that it transferred only four attack helicopters to Sudan in 2012.

 

Sudan is allegedly negotiating for the supply of 18 Sukhoi Su-30K fighters stored in Belarus.

Image credit: Akram Kharief

Image credit: Akram Kharief

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 16:20
Boeing looks abroad for CH-47 sales

29 August 2013 by Zach Rosenberg - FG

 

Washington DC - Boeing is looking to international customers to sell the CH-47F Chinook, including remanufacturing existing D models.

 

The company, speaking with reporters on 28 August, listed several nations as interested parties, mainly in the Middle East region. An important factor for many international customers is commonality with the US Army, which by far has the largest CH-47 fleet and is generally a major ally to existing customers. The USA currently operates more than 250 F-models and recently signed a contract for 155 more, in addition to options.

 

Boeing's Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based production line has production booked through 2019. The company also has enough sales campaigns that, if brought to fruition, would allow for production through 2023. As the USA is expected to operate the aircraft through 2050, it is likely that more work is pending for the future.

 

"My personal opinion is in 2060 we'll have a 100-year airplane. There will be an F-model out here today flying," says Mark Ballew, the programme's director of business development.

 

Nations listed as likely customers are Saudi Arabia - which Boeing is campaigning to buy 24 CH-47s - Morocco (3), Qatar (8) and Turkey (8). The company also hopes to sell remanufacturing services for older aircraft to the Netherlands (8), Singapore (10) and the US Special Operations Command (68). Although this has not been listed, interest has been received from Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Thailand, Egypt and Libya.

 

Deliveries for existing orders are ongoing in Canada and the UK. So far, three have been delivered to both customers out of their 15-strong orders. Deliveries to Turkey are scheduled to begin in 2015.

 

An additional seven MH-47Gs are on "handshake" contract with the US Special Operations, with a formal contract signing expected at the end of September.

 

The F-models being delivered to Canada are the first with a substantial upgrade of the electrical and avionics systems. The electrical system has been wholly revamped, to include two 60kV generators and an upgraded auxiliary power unit. An L-3/Wescam electro-optical/infrared ball turret has been added, as has the digital advanced flight control system to allow precision control. The revamped system also includes the common avionics architecture system.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:40
Le chasseur russe de 6e génération sera un drone

29 août 2013 par info-aviation

 

Les constructeurs aériens russes ont entamé la conception d’un avion de chasse de sixième génération, a déclaré l’ex-commandant en chef de l’Armée de l’air russe, le général Piotr Deïnekine.

 

« La conception de drones à long rayon d’action nécessite des études supplémentaires, d’autant que la sixième génération d’appareils de combat sera le plus probablement sans pilote. Nous travaillons activement sur ce sujet », a annoncé le général à la question de savoir pourquoi la Russie développait, avec un retard important sur les États-Unis, le chasseur de 5e génération T-50 et ne procédait pas à la conception de la sixième génération de chasseurs en omettant la cinquième.

 

Selon M.Deïnekine, il est incorrect de comparer la Russie aux pays de l’Otan capables d’acheter des appareils US de cinquième génération.

 

« Nous devons faire nous-mêmes ce travail important, et il est peu probable que nous soyons en mesure de sauter une génération », a indiqué le général.

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29 août 2013 4 29 /08 /août /2013 11:35
Russia to deliver six Mig-29K warplanes to India

28 August 2013 by nayeem sheikh - Indian Defence Goal

 

Russia is set to deliver six more jet fighters of 4++ generation this year to Indian Air Force as per a deal with New Delhi, the MIG aircraft corporation said Wednesday.

 

“India currently exploits 21 aircrafts. In line with a contract, we must deliver 29 planes by 2015. Last year, we’ve delivered four planes. This year, we’ve delivered one plane and six aircrafts remain to be delivered,” MIG’s director general Sergei Korotkov told reporters at the MAKS air show, Xinhua reported.

 

The six-day MAKS show kicked off in Zhukovsky city outside Moscow Tuesday. MIG signed a $1.5 billion deal with India in 2010 to deliver 29 MIG-29K-KUB warplanes.

 

This is the second such contract between the Russian aircraft construction corporation and New Delhi. The first deal to supply India with 16 MIGs-29 was signed in 2004 and completed in 2011.

 

During MAKS, the Russian corporation also signed two deals worth $55 million to build a centre in India to service MIG’s avionics and hardware, the corporation’s spokesperson Elena Fedorova said.

 

MIG’s partner in those deals is Basant Aerospace Private Ltd, she added.

 

MIG commenced production of new unified family of multi-role fighters of the 4++ generation in 2005.

 

The double-seat MIG-29K-KUB is a multi-role fighter intended for air-defence missions of naval forces, air superiority gaining, sea and ground target destruction with high precision guided weapons day and night and in any weather condition.

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