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12 juin 2013 3 12 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
An artist's rendering of Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout UAV, which is based on the Bell 407 Jet Ranger airframe. The C version is larger than the MQ-8B Fire Scout already in the fleet. (Northrop Grumman)

An artist's rendering of Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout UAV, which is based on the Bell 407 Jet Ranger airframe. The C version is larger than the MQ-8B Fire Scout already in the fleet. (Northrop Grumman)

Jun. 11, 2013 - By CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS  - Defense news

 

Airframe Based on Bell Jet Ranger

 

WASHINGTON — There’s a new Fire Scout in the pipeline — bigger, faster, longer legs, more muscle. It’s still being assembled and won’t fly until later this year, but it’s headed for the fleet as soon as late 2014. And it could fundamentally change some of the parameters expected of the US Navy’s seagoing unmanned helicopter program.

 

The MQ-8 Fire Scout program has been under development for about a decade. A key factor for the aircraft was its small size, making it exceptionally handy to store and operate aboard ship.

 

The Navy often presents the diminutive Northrop Grumman aircraft as taking up about half the space of the H-60 Seahawk helos routinely deployed on surface combatants. And frigates are deploying with four MQ-8B Fire Scouts. Littoral combat ships are intended to routinely deploy with one or two Fire Scouts in addition to an H-60.

 

But something more was needed, and in 2011, US Africa Command and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) submitted an urgent needs request for an aircraft with more range and payload for their maritime-based ISR.

 

Northrop Grumman, before selecting the Schweizer 333 helicopter as the basis for its original Fire Scout bid, had evaluated the larger Bell 407 Jet Ranger, an aircraft familiar to Navy rotary flight school trainees as the TH-57 Sea Ranger.

 

To meet the new need for the larger UAV, the company proposed switching to the larger bird, but keeping the systems, electronics and ground control stations developed for the smaller helo. A demonstrator, dubbed Fire-X, was developed at company expense to show off the concept.

 

The Pentagon was impressed, and in the spring of 2012, Northrop received a contract for the first batch of up to 30 MQ-8C Fire Scouts using the basic Jet Ranger air frame.

 

“The new system kept the sensors, communications and software of the smaller Fire Scout, with about 80 to 90 percent commonality with the B,” said Capt. Chris Corgnati, head of unmanned aircraft systems under the deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance (N2/N6). “But there was a different air frame, engine and rotor head.”

 

The new Fire Scout C is bigger — 10 feet longer than the B’s 31.7 feet, a foot higher, and with an operational ceiling 3,000 feet lower than the smaller helo’s 20,000 feet. But the C can fly at 140 knots over the B’s 110; has an internal payload of 1,000 pounds over the B’s 600 pounds; has a gross takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds compared with the B’s 3,150 pounds; and can stay aloft 11 to 14 hours versus the smaller vehicle’s endurance of four to five hours.

 

“The C will have approximately twice the capability of the B — time on station, payloads — and provides for additional growth, including radar,” said Capt. Patrick Smith, Fire Scout program manager at the Naval Air Systems Command. “And because of more endurance, it should have less impact on the crew, who can launch, then recover, the aircraft eight hours later.”

 

With the change, the Navy has ended procurement of the B model at 30 aircraft, with the last two to be delivered this year. While the Bs will continue to operate, Smith said, there are no further plans to buy the smaller aircraft.

 

Instead, the Navy intends to order a total of 30 Cs — two test aircraft plus 28 operational aircraft — under an “endurance upgrade.” The first test helicopter is still at Bell’s facility in Ozark, Ala., Smith said, and is expected to be shipped in mid-June to begin tests at the naval air warfare center at Point Mugu, Calif. The first flight of the type is planned for September, with the program aiming to reach initial operating capability in late 2014.

 

The first at-sea deployment of the C is planned for a destroyer in support of SOCOM, Smith and Corgnati said, and operations from frigates and “all air-capable ships,” including joint high speed vessels, will be studied. But the overall focus continues to be on the LCS.

 

“The future and main driver for the entire Fire Scout program is LCS,” Corgnati said. “That we can support special operations forces in the interim is [a] bonus.”

 

But will the larger helo fit on the Navy’s other surface combatants?

 

“We can store two aircraft on a frigate, a destroyer or an LCS, on one side of the hangar,” said George Vardoulakis, Northrop’s vice president for tactical unmanned systems. “That’s essentially what we’re doing with the Bs as well.

 

“We’ve modeled it, we’re very confident that we will be hangaring two 8Cs in the space of a 60,” he said. “Operational, not broken down. Absolutely.”

 

Corgnati admitted there are space challenges, but he also noted that the increased capabilities of the C could mean fewer aircraft would need to be carried.

 

“Nominally [with the B] you have four-hour aircraft doing 24/7 operations, and you’re launching and recovering every three hours,” he said. “You back that off with an eight-hour platform doing similar coverage.”

 

He already envisions frigate deployments with three Cs rather than the now-standard 4 Bs.

 

Neither the Navy nor Northrop Grumman would comment on a revised cost-per-aircraft for the C, since the price depends on how many are bought. The airframe represents about 15 percent of each aircraft’s cost, Vardoulakis said, and he expects the unit price to rise roughly by about $1 million for the larger C. The more aircraft that are bought, the lesser the cost, particularly in later years, he said.

 

Earlier cost figures had been based on the Navy requirement for 168 Bs.

 

“We’re certainly worried those lower quantities will impact our costs significantly,” he said.

 

Northrop is excited, however, about the possibilities with the larger aircraft.

 

“We’re marketing this aircraft for Marine Corps and Army missions,” Vardoulakis said. “Those offerings have a significantly smaller fuel tank in the center of the aircraft and volume available for storage or medevac.

 

“There are no active proposals for the Marines and Army,” he said. “We just see a great opportunity for synergy within [the Defense Department] for an aircraft in this class.”

 

For the Navy, a decision point is coming on whether to continue buying Cs or begin a competition for another aircraft.

 

“We have a desire to move to a single model,” Corgnati said. “We fully intend to use the Bs for their full service life. The initial LCS deployments will be with the B, then you’re going to see a mix over the next number of years of Bs and Cs deployed on platforms. As you go through natural attrition, the Bs will atrophy to the C or another follow-on.”

 

A decision on the way ahead is at least “several months” off, Corgnati said.

 

“Could be we go back out and do a new-start competition?” he said. Pending evaluation of the new aircraft, “everything’s on the table; there’s nothing decided at this point.”

MQ-8B Fire Scout aboard USS Simpson (FFG 56)

MQ-8B Fire Scout aboard USS Simpson (FFG 56)

Smaller Fire Scout Getting Bigger Punch

 

Improvements continue to be made to the smaller MQ-8B version of the Navy’s Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle, including a new effort to arm the diminutive helicopter.

 

“We’re doing another rapid deployment capability in response to an urgent-needs request from 5th Fleet [in the Middle East],” said Capt. Patrick Smith, Fire Scout program manager with Naval Air Systems Command. “We’re integrating the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System on to the B.”

 

The weapon system uses precision guidance to shoot 2.75-inch folding-fin Hydra-70 rockets with laser-guided pinpoint accuracy. It would give the Fire Scout — hitherto used largely for intelligence, surveillance and reconaissance missions — an impressive, if limited, attack capability.

 

The $40 million rapid-response program, begun in late 2011, includes development and testing along with six aircraft modification kits, Smith said. Each kit includes pylon arms and launchers to be fitted externally, and an internal wiring kit.

 

Aircraft are not intended to be permanently modified, but the system would be installed in theater or prior to deployment, he said.

 

The Navy tested similarly-sized rockets on an early RQ-8A Fire Scout in 2005, but those tests were with unguided weapons. The APKWS uses a newer laser-guided 70mm rocket that’s been in production since 2010.

 

“There was only one launch pylon” on the earlier tests, Smith said. The APKWS uses two three-tube launchers, he said.

 

Current plans are to install the system on only the B model of the UAV and not the larger MQ-8C version.

 

“We’ve done initial analysis with the C to transfer that capability from the B,” Smith said. “But that’s not now a capability that’s going to be delivered on the C.”

NAVAIR-personnel-w APKWS MQ-8 Photo Kelly Schindler

NAVAIR-personnel-w APKWS MQ-8 Photo Kelly Schindler

Live-fire tests with the APKWS and the MQ-8B began in May in California, Smith said, and the service intends to complete the testing in June and then determine “deployment windows,” he said.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 18:55
Serval : 100e vol opérationnel du drone Harfang

11/06/2013 Sources : EMA

 

Dans la nuit du 5 au 6 juin 2013,  le drone Harfang a effectué sa centième sortie en soutien de l’opération Serval.

 

Engagé depuis le 17 janvier en soutien des opérations françaises au Mali, le détachement Harfang de l’escadron de drones 1/33 « Belfort » a effectué un peu plus de 1600 heures de vol, de jour comme de nuit.

Serval : 100e vol opérationnel du drone Harfang

Depuis le début des opérations au Mali, le drone Harfang est régulièrement engagé en soutien des opérations de forces françaises au sol . Apportant une contribution conséquente au recueil de renseignement sur le théâtre grâce à ses capteurs et à sa persistance sur zone, le Harfang contribue également à l’acquisition de cibles au profit des aéronefs de l’armée de l’Air et de la Marine nationale. Grâce à l’illuminateur laser embarqué sur le drone, les équipages ont ainsi guidé sur leur objectif des bombes de précision tirées par d’autres vecteurs.

Serval : 100e vol opérationnel du drone Harfang

Le détachement Harfang a été engagé dans toutes les phases de l’opération et sur tout le théâtre. Il a couvert en une centaine de vols opérationnels un large spectre de missions et a ainsi nettement contribué aux succès tactiques de l’opération Serval.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 17:50
EADS: 'massivement' présent au salon du Bourget.

10/06/2013 (CercleFinance.com)

 

EADS annonce qu'il sera 'massivement présent' au 50ème salon aéronautique du Bourget, qui débutera la semaine prochaine.

 

EADS et ses filiales Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian et Eurocopter comptent présenter leurs produits vedettes et leurs dernières innovations à l'occasion de l'événement.

photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

Au programme des démonstrations en vol, l'avion de transport militaire A400M et le premier A380 en passe d'être livré à British Airways seront dévoilés dès les premiers jours du salon.

 

EADS présentera également une section complète grandeur nature de la cabine et du poste de pilotage de l'Airbus A350 XWB, ainsi qu'une maquette de l'avion de transport et de ravitaillement A330 MRTT d'Airbus Military.

Ravitaillement d’un A400M par un A330MRTT photo Airbus Military

Ravitaillement d’un A400M par un A330MRTT photo Airbus Military

Le géant européen de l'aéronautique - qui compte recruter 5000 personnes cette année - animera une vingtaine d'ateliers à cet effet.

 

EADS Innovation Works, la division de recherche et technologie du groupe, présentera de son côté l'avion-école tout-électrique E-Fan dédié à l'aviation générale.

 

Le groupe tiendra plusieurs conférences pendant la semaine.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 17:45
Sentinel-LE system

Sentinel-LE system

June 10, 2013 Paramount Group

 

African aerospace and defense company Paramount Group has acquired Advanced Technology and Engineering Co. (ATE), one of the longest running aerospace engineering firms in Africa.

 

ATE, which specializes in the production of avionics, sensor systems and unmanned aircraft systems technology, was acquired by Paramount in a "business rescue," saving the company from liquidation, Paramount said.

 

"With South Africa becoming a fully-fledged member of BRICS it's imperative that we enter a new phase of industrialization. The development of home-grown technology, skills and manufacturing capabilities are crucial if we are to capitalize on the world's appetite to do business in our region," said Ivor Ichikowiz, executive chairman of the Paramount Group.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 17:30
Elisra to unveil UAS self-protection suite

Jun. 11, 2013 by Arie Egozi – FG

 

Tel Aviv - Elisra is to unveil a new self-protection suite for unmanned air systems during the 17-23 June Paris air show.

 

The Elbit Systems company says it has developed the SPS-65V5 system using experience gained by producing a wide range of electronic warfare and signals intelligence equipment for manned fighters, utility aircraft and helicopters operated by numerous nations.

 

Elisra general manager Edgar Maimon says the increased global use of UAS is accompanied by a growing demand to provide such assets with survivability capabilities to protect their mission, the platform and its valuable sensors.

Elbit Hermes 900 UAV – photo Elbit Systems

Elbit Hermes 900 UAV – photo Elbit Systems

The self-protection equipment could be used with types including the Hermes 900 tactical UAS

 

Described as being capable of protecting unmanned aircraft against "a great variety of threats" in a hostile area, the new self-protection system is suitable for integration with a variety of types, ranging in size from tactical to high-altitude, long-endurance UAS, the company says.

 

The specific capabilities of the SPS-65V5 are classified, it adds.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 16:55
Turbomeca et HeliDax célèbrent les 50 000 heures de vol de l’Arrius 2F

Dax, 22 mai 2013 turbomeca.com

 

A l’occasion d’une cérémonie organisée par HeliDax, Turbomeca (Safran) annonce que ses moteurs Arrius 2F ont atteint 50 000 heures de vol sur les 36 hélicoptères monomoteurs EC120 exploités par HeliDax. Mis à disposition de l’EALAT (Ecole d’Application de l’Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre), ces appareils sont destinés à la formation initiale des futurs pilotes des hélicoptères (Tigre, Caracal, NH90 et Cougar rénovés) des trois armées (Terre, Marine, Air) et de la Gendarmerie.

 

« HeliDax a atteint un nouvel objectif en réalisant 50 000 heures de vol en moins de trois ans d’exploitation, » déclare Jean-Louis Rotrubin, Président d’HeliDax. « Ce résultat a été possible grâce à une très grande disponibilité de nos appareils et a une relation étroite avec Turbomeca pour la fourniture des moteurs. »

 

Les moteurs Arrius 2F, sont sous contrat à l’heure vol SBH® (Support by the Hour), contribuant à la disponibilité de la flotte EC120 et assurant la performance de la prestation de Turbomeca dans le support de ses moteurs.

 

L’Arrius 2F est silencieux et de conception opérationnelle. Moteur à consommation réduite et donc moins polluant, l’Arrius 2F possède un potentiel entre deux révisions (Time Between Overhaul, TBO) de 3 000 heures. Depuis 1981, plus de 2 700 moteurs Arrius ont été fabriqués par Turbomeca, totalisant plus de six millions d’heures de vol chez 430 clients dans 60 pays.

 

. * * * * *

 

HeliDax est, depuis janvier 2008, le premier contrat de partenariat lancé par le ministère français de la Défense (PPP : Partenariat Public-Privé). La société est basée au sein de l’Ecole de l’Aviation Légère de l’Armée de terre (EALAT) à Dax, au sud-ouest de la France. HeliDax est né de l’association d’INAER Helicopter France et de DCI, toutes les deux actionnaires d’HeliDax à 50 %.Le but de cette externalisation est la fourniture à l’EALAT (école de formation de pilotes d’hélicoptères à vocation interarmées et internationale) des heures de vol requises pour la formation de base des pilotes des Armées (terre, mer, air), de la Gendarmerie Nationale, entre autres bénéficiaires. Le contrat prévoit la mise à disposition d’appareils modernes et les services de maintenance qui y sont associés. Signé pour une durée de 22 ans, ce PPP permet l’exploitation de 36 hélicoptères EC120B modifiés en configuration NHE (Nouvel Hélicoptère Ecole) baptisé CALLIOPE. Chaque année, une moyenne de 20 000 heures de vol est réalisée à bord de la flotte des NHE.

 

Turbomeca (Safran) est le motoriste leader pour hélicoptères, avec la plus large gamme de moteurs au monde et 70 000 turbines de sa conception produites depuis l’origine de la société. Pour 2 500 clients répartis dans 155 pays, Turbomeca assure un service de proximité grâce à 17 établissements, 28 centres de maintenance certifiés et 18 centres de réparation & révision, et 90 représentants commerciaux et techniques. Le siège social est basé à Bordes (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). Microturbo, la filiale de Turbomeca, est leader européen des turboréacteurs pour missiles, engins-cibles et groupes auxiliaires de puissance. Plus d’informations sur www.turbomeca.fr et www.safran-group.com Contacts Presse :

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
MiG-21bis_Croatia

MiG-21bis_Croatia

Jun. 11, 2013 by Igor Salinger – FG

 

Belgrade - The Croatian government has formally decided to refurbish part of its current Mikoyan MiG-21-based fleet, and to add more examples of the type to have one operational squadron, as a shortage of funds continues to thwart plans to acquire a new type.

 

The nation's defence ministry has shortlisted Romania's Aerostar and Ukraine's SE Odessa Aircraft Plant as potential contractors for the overhaul of seven air force MiG-21s, and the provision of five additional aircraft.

 

A decision is expected soon, with Croatian media reporting bids from the companies valued at a respective €18.6 million ($24.7 million) and €13.9 million. The latter offer includes the proposed delivery of aircraft left from a partially cancelled deal with Yemen, which took delivery of only 20 MiG-21s from a 28-unit order, says Ukrainian ambassador to Croatia Alexander Lavachenko.

 

Aerostar has previously conducted an overhaul and limited upgrade to eight MiG-21bis fighters for Croatia, and added four enhanced UMD-model two-seat trainers in 2003.

 

Possible replacements for the MiG-21s had included used Lockheed Martin F-16s or Saab Gripens, with Sweden's FXM organisation having tabled an offer for eight of the latter in October 2012. Other potential solutions could have included acquiring secondhand MiG-29s from RAC MiG, retired McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantoms from the German air force or surplus Dassault Mirage F1s or Israel Aircraft Industries-built Kfirs.

 

Separately, Croatia has selected Ukrainian overhaul facilities in Sevastopol and at Motor Sich in Zaporozhye to support the overhaul of six Mil Mi-8/17 utility helicopters, with work on the first aircraft expected to be complete in October 2013.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 16:45
Le drone Algérien Amel fin prêt pour le vol inaugural en Juillet prochain

25 Mai 2013 Aeronautiquedz.com

 

C'est l’aérodrome de l’ex-Alat à l'est de Sidi Bel-Abbès qu'aura lieu, au mois de juillet prochain, le vol inaugural du premier drone algérien, baptisé Amel. Le drone est réalisé par une jeune équipe de scientifiques et techniciens nationaux relevant de la plate-forme technologique de Bou-Ismaïl rapporte le journal La voix de l'oranie.

 

La conception et la construction du drone ont été lancées en 2010. 36 mois ont été nécessaires pour la réalisation des composantes embarquées, électronique et informatique. La conception est entièrement algérienne selon la même source. Les concepteurs indiquent qu’une fois opérationnel, il aura une autonomie de vol de 6 heures sur une distance de 200km et une altitude de 3.500 mètres, et ce, à partir de son point de guidage et de contrôle terrestre.

 

Toujours dans le domaine de construction aéronautique, l’Algérie aurait conclu un contrat d’achat de brevets canadiens en vue de la réalisation de deux types d’avions civils, l’un pour les travaux agricoles aériens et la surveillance des départs d’incendie, l’autre pour le transport des voyageurs avec une capacité d’accueil à son bord de plus de 100 passagers.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 16:40
Le SU-35 est l’ultime évolution du SU-27, il atteint la perfection en matière de polyvalence air-air et air-sol. Il vise la relève des SU-27 et MIG-29 exportés dans les années 90. Il représente aussi le renouveau des forces aériennes russes – photo JSC

Le SU-35 est l’ultime évolution du SU-27, il atteint la perfection en matière de polyvalence air-air et air-sol. Il vise la relève des SU-27 et MIG-29 exportés dans les années 90. Il représente aussi le renouveau des forces aériennes russes – photo JSC

10 juin 2013 Aerobuzz.fr

 

Sukhoi signe un retour remarqué au Salon du Bourget 2013 avec la présentation de l’ultime évolution du célèbre « Flanker ». Face au SU-35, les avions de quatrième génération, Rafale, F-15, F/A 18 Super Hornet et autres Eurofighter Typhoon sont prévenus : il y a un nouveau rival dans la place et il a les dents longues !

 

La nouvelle en réjouira plus d’un. Sukhoi est de retour avec un avion de combat.

 

Il faut dire que les démonstrations aériennes des pilotes russes réalisées par des virtuoses du pilotage sont époustouflantes.

 

Qui se souvient du Cobra de Pougatchev effectué par un SU-27 ? Et je passe sur la « cloche » réalisée par le MIG-35…

 

Cette année Sukhoi présente officiellement à Paris l’ultime évolution de la lignée du SU-27, le SU-35. Les études de cet appareil qui sera probablement piloté par Serguei Bogdan ont commencé dès les années 90 mais elles furent ralenties par des divergences de vues techniques et des problèmes de financement.

 

Selon Mikhail Pogosyan, le PDG de Sukhoi, le SU-35 est un avion de combat de la classe des 30 Tonnes de génération 4++.

 

Pour faire simple, il s’agit d’un SU-27 dans lequel les ingénieurs russes ont incorporé des technologies de cinquième génération. Les principales évolutions portent sur le système d’arme, les moteurs et la cellule. Bref seule la formule aérodynamique de base du célèbre chasseur russe a été conservée.

 

Au niveau du système d’arme, l’avion est une révolution. Ses principaux systèmes, capteurs et armements compris, sont gérés en permanence par un super calculateur, véritable cerveau électronique qui assure en plus l’interface avec le pilote.

Le SU-35 : Il se distingue par une cellule repensée, des matériaux antiradar, des tuyères à poussée vectorielle. Notez l’absence de canards et d’aérofrein dorsal - – photo JSC

Le SU-35 : Il se distingue par une cellule repensée, des matériaux antiradar, des tuyères à poussée vectorielle. Notez l’absence de canards et d’aérofrein dorsal - – photo JSC

Son nez abrite un radar Irbis-E capable de détecter des bombardiers ou des appareils imposants jusqu’à 350-400 km et ce, dans un cône de 120 degrés de part et d’autre de l’avion. Ce radar signé NIIP Tikhomirov est un dérivé de celui qui équipe les SU-30 MKI indiens, il dispose de modes air-air et air-sol très pointus. Sa protection contre le brouillage a fait l’objet d’un soin particulier explique un spécialiste russe du NIIP Le dard situé entre les deux tuyères abriterait un petit radar pour assurer la couverture en secteur arrière. Un point que nous ne manquerons pas de vérifier pendant le salon. Le nez de l’avion reçoit un nouveau détecteur infrarouge OLS (système de localisation optronique) de 80 km de portée pour effectuer des interceptions sans être détecté. Les données liées à la mission et à l’état de l’avion s’affichent sur de larges écrans multifonctions, les commandes de vol électriques redondantes de nouvelle génération assurent une meilleure précision et une plus grande sécurité de vol. Selon Sukhoi, l’appareil peut empêcher le pilote d’effectuer une manœuvre si il estime qu’elle met en péril l’avion et l’équipage.

 

Le système d’arme est conçu pour mettre en œuvre pratiquement tous les armements air-air et air –sol et air-mer en service en Russie, ainsi que ceux en gestation dans les laboratoires russes. En tout, ce sont pas moins de 8T de charges externes qui peuvent prendre place sous les 12 points d’emport du SU-35.

 

Jamais auparavant un avion russe n’avait atteint un tel degré de polyvalence.

 

Le Su-35 dispose en outre d’un nouveau système d’autoprotection intégré qui assure la détection et le brouillage de toutes les menaces connues. Le brouillage électronique étant assuré au niveau des ballonnets en extrémité de voilure et par les traditionnels lance leurres radar et infrarouges sur la cellule. En cas de besoin un brouilleur de plus forte puissance peut prendre place sous le fuselage.

SU-35 : ses deux moteurs 117S de Saturn allient puissance et longévité – photo JSC

SU-35 : ses deux moteurs 117S de Saturn allient puissance et longévité – photo JSC

Les moteurs AL-31F du SU-27 cèdent la place à deux nouveaux 117S signés NPO Saturn de 14500 kg de poussée. Soit un gain de 16% par rapport à l’AL31F !

 

Ils peuvent suivant les besoins être complétés par des tuyères à poussée vectorielle. Mieux, la durée de vie de ces turboréacteurs, point faible des russes depuis toujours a été portée à 4000 heures….et l’intervalle entre deux révisions à 1500 heures.

 

La cellule du SU-35 a fait l’objet d’un soin tout particulier. Selon l’avionneur russe, elle est conçue pour une durée de 30 ans au minimum ou 6000 heures de vol. Désormais l’usage de matériaux composites et de Titane a été privilégié pour diminuer la masse et la signature radar de l’appareil, là encore un autre point faible des avions russes.

 

A défaut d’atteindre la qualité de fabrication des avions signés « Dassault » on note un très net progrès dans la réduction des interstices en secteur avant.

 

Selon Sukhoi les entrées d’air et certaines parties critiques de l’avion ont également été dotées de matériaux absorbant les ondes radar. On notera aussi l’absence d’aérofrein dorsal, et l’absence de plans canards. Autant de gain de masse et de place rendus possible par l’emploi de nouvelles lois de pilotage. Malgré cela les qualités de vol de ce super flanker sont largement supérieures à celles d’un SU-30 MKI assure Sukhoi. La place libérée permet de loger plus d’avionique et de carburant en interne.

photo JSC

photo JSC

Naturellement le SU-35 est ravitaillable en vol, il dispose pour cela d’une perche escamotable.

 

Côté performances, l’avion est au niveau des meilleures réalisations occidentales avec une vitesse maximale supérieure à Mach 2 en altitude et 1400 KM/H en mission de pénétration à basse altitude. Il affiche une endurance de 3500 km sans ravitaillement en vol.

 

Du point de vue technique et opérationnel Sukhoi estime que son dernier né peut dominer sans problème les meilleurs avions occidentaux F-16, JSF, F/A-18, Rafale, Typhoon, F15 et Gripen rien que ca !

 

Et dans certaines conditions le meilleur avion de combat du monde : le F-22 Raptor américain. L ‘appareil qui est en cours de production à l’usine KNAAPO de Komsomolsk sur Amour a été commandé par la Russie qui veut moderniser ses forces aériennes, mais aussi par un client export : la Chine.

 

Pékin qui souhaitait initialement commander un nombre réduit de SU-35 pour faire du « reverse engineering » pour ses besoins propres s’est vu opposé une fin de non recevoir. En effet, outré par les multiples copies de SU-27 et SU-33 « Made in China » le Kremlin a répliqué que ce temps là était révolu. Au final les réalités économiques des uns et des autres étant ce qu’elles sont, Pékin a été autorisé à commander 24 Su-35.

 

A suivre.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 16:25
SuperTucano photo Embraer

SuperTucano photo Embraer

Jun. 11 , 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG

 

Washington DC - Embraer will display its A-29 Super Tucano at the Paris air show for the first time, a top company official says. The aircraft will not fly, but will be on static display.

 

"We are going to bring our Super Tucano to Le Bourget," says Luiz Carlos Aguiar, chief executive of Embraer Defense and Security. "This is the first time in history the airplane will be there."

 

The A-29 that will be on display at Paris is an aircraft destined for Mauritania, Aguiar says. The nation has so far taken deliver of two light-attack aircraft from a three-unit order signed in March 2012.

 

Aguiar says it is important for Embraer to showcase the Super Tucano after the company's victory over Beechcraft's AT-6 during the US Air Force's Light Air Support (LAS) contest. While the 20 aircraft that are to be delivered for the LAS contract are for Afghanistan rather than for the USAF's own use, the service's selection is an important endorsement of the Super Tucano's capabilities.

 

"After our win in the US, it seems to me that the interest from other countries is increasing," Aguiar says. "We expect to have more sales of the A-29."

 

There have already been two new customers for the aircraft since the LAS selection: Guatemala and Senegal, he notes. Moreover, there is growing interest in the Super Tucano in Africa, Asia and Latin America. So far, Embraer has delivered 175 Super Tucanos out of a total order book for 216 aircraft, and the company hopes to add more sales.

 

Currently, Embraer builds 12 Super Tucanos per year, but Aguiar expects production to ramp up to 20 per annum in the future. The company will have the capacity to build 24 additional aircraft per year at its new US-based facility in Florida, Aguiar says. The first example to be built in the USA will start assembly towards the end of 2013 and will be delivered by June 2014, he adds.

 

Meanwhile, Embraer is making headway on its other flagship project, the KC-390 tanker/transport. Engineering drawings have been released to component suppliers and parts for the first two prototypes are under construction, says Aguiar, who adds that the company expects to make a big announcement about the programme during the Paris air show.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 16:20
Un avion de chasse CF-18 Hornet à Bagotville

Un avion de chasse CF-18 Hornet à Bagotville

GATINEAU, Quebec, June 10 (UPI)

 

The Canadian government has sent a third questionnaire to industry to gauge potential offset benefits to local businesses if it replaces its CF-18 fighter jet.

 

Public Works and Government Services Canada said the questionnaire from the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat supports a "rigorous examination" of available fighter aircraft options against the missions outlined in the Canada First Defense Strategy and will complement previous questionnaires on capability, production and supportability and price of new aircraft.

 

"Engaging with industry is consistent with the secretariat's commitment to transparency and openness, and integral to an evaluation of options process," it said.

 

"The evaluation of options to replace Canada's CF-18 fleet is part of the government's Seven Point Plan launched in response to Chapter 2, Replacing Canada's Fighter Jets, of the Auditor General of Canada's 2012 Spring Report. Until the Seven-Point Plan is complete, the government will not make a decision on the replacement for the CF-18 fighter jets and all options remain on the table. "

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 16:20
UH-72_Lakota2 photo US Army

UH-72_Lakota2 photo US Army

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, June 10 (UPI)

 

Companies involved in production of UH-72A Lakota helicopters for the U.S. Army are protesting a procurement cut back in the Defense Department's 2014 budget.

 

Officials and workers from American Eurocopter, EADS North America and Turbomeca rallied Friday to protest the cuts and to press for full restoration of funding. Joining them were two U.S. congressmen.

 

"The Lakota helicopter program is critically important to the country's national security and in this time of severe budget cuts, must be protected," said Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Texas. "These cuts are hurtful and damaging -- they hurt families who rely on these jobs and DFW [Dallas-Fort Worth] businesses that work with the program.

 

"As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am proud to show my support for this program and will keep pushing for its continued production. Proposed cuts to the Lakota program are a misguided attempt to find savings in a way that would cost the Metroplex severe job loss and economic revenue."

 

American Eurocopter performs all engineering changes for Lakota modifications and upgrades in Grand Prairie. It also trains Lakota pilots and maintenance personnel. American Eurocopter manufactures the aircraft at a facility in Mississippi.

 

So far, 267 Lakota helicopters have been delivered to the Army. In the proposed budget, 31 fewer helicopters will be produced than previously planned. Additional details, however, were not disclosed.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 15:55
Sud-Ouest :Commandes militaires à confirmer

11/06/2013 Jean-Bernard Gilles - sudouest.fr

 

Jean-Marie Pontois, patron de Dassault à Mérignac, est le président de Bordeaux Aquitaine aéronautique et espace (Baas), l’association qui réunit tous les industriels du secteur. Il témoignera ce matin, au petit-déjeuner « Sud Ouest » Eco, de la conjoncture aéronautique civile et militaire. Les carnets de commandes de l’aviation civile sont pleins pour des années mais cette embellie profite d’abord à Toulouse, puis aux Pyrénées-Atlantiques, enfin aux sous-traitants girondins. On note des frémissements sur l’aviation d’affaires mais le rythme annuel de production des jets privés de Dassault, produits à Mérignac, est de 70 par an, contre plus de 100 en 2008. L’industrie militaire (Astrium, Thales…) vit encore l’incertitude des arbitrages de la future loi de programmation militaire. Le danger serait que l’État anticipe un éventuel contrat à l’export avec l’Inde pour baisser ses commandes à Dassault, qui assemble un Rafale par mois. L’impact serait alors délicat pour Mérignac, qui ne baisse pas la garde.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 15:45
C-130J Super Hercules photo Lockheed Martin

C-130J Super Hercules photo Lockheed Martin

Jun. 11, 2013 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has notified Congress it wants to sell Libya two C-130J Super Hercules cargo planes, strengthening military ties between America and the burgeoning post-Gadhafi government.

 

The sale is worth an estimated $588 million and includes two of the Lockheed-produced aircraft, 10 Rolls Royce AE2100D3 engines, modifications for the planes, training and logistics support. The planes are of the C-130J-30 “stretch” variety, which adds 15 feet to the fuselage to create space for two extra pallets.

 

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of Libya,” according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notification posted on its website June 11. “The Government of Libya uses airlift to maintain the connection between the central government and the country’s outlying areas. The sale of these C-130Js to Libya will significantly increase its capability to provide in-country airlift support for its forces, thus strengthening its capacity in the security arena.

 

“Libya intends to use these aircraft primarily to move supplies and people within Libya. This medium-lift capability should assist with border security, the interdiction of known terrorist elements, and rapid reaction to internal security threats. In addition, Libya intends to utilize these aircraft in support of regional peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. Libya, which already operates a mix of legacy C-130s, will have little difficulty absorbing these aircraft, which include a three-year training and sustainment package.”

 

Initially entering American use in 1956, the C-130 has dominated the medium-lift market for almost 60 years. The C-130J, the most recent version, has been a hit for Lockheed, with 10 variants in various stages of production.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 13:55
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

11 juin 2013 Stanislas du Guerny Usinenouvelle.com

 

Dix entreprises seront sous la bannière du cluster IEF Aéro qui présente sur un même stand les compétences bretonnes dans l'aéronautique.

 

La Bretagne concentre sa présence au salon du Bourget sur un même site. Dix entreprises régionales parmi lesquelles Le Guellec, Stacem, Otima et Novatech Industrie vont être réunies sur le stand du cluster IEF Aéro. Créé en 2009 par l'association Investir en Finistère qui fédère les principaux chefs d'entreprises de ce département, IEF Aéro est chargé de booster la filière afin d'ouvrir de nouvelles perspectives aux industriels de la région. Installé à Brest, "ce cluster réunit, explique Eric Melguen, son directeur, un total de 25 entreprises et centres de recherche dont l'école Télécom Bretagne. L'ensemble représente 4 000 salariés". Si l'on y ajoute les sociétés qui n'adhèrent pas à IEF Aéro, la Bretagne compte une cinquantaine de sociétés spécialisées dans l'aéronautique pour un effectif global composé de 6 000 salariés.

 

20% du chiffre d'affaires de Novatech Industries dans l'aéronautique

 

Ce sous-traitant de l'électronique installé à Pont-de-Buis dans le département du Finistère ne cesse de renforcer ses positions commerciales dans l'aéronautique, secteur pour lequel il fabrique des cartes électroniques et plus globalement des sous-ensembles complets notamment pour l'avion Le Rafale. "Le business est complexe, mais les investissements que nous engageons dans l'aéronautique sont rentables", signale Jean-Yves Bonnet, le directeur général de Novatech qui emploie 550 personnes réparties sur trois sites industriels. Le groupe réalise désormais 20 % de ses 70 millions d'euros de chiffre d'affaires annuel dans l'aéronautique. Des commandes qui émanent de la plupart des équipementiers comme Thalès l'un de ses bons clients.

 

D'importantes ambitions pour Otima

 

La tôlerie fine Otima fait son entrée dans l'aéronautique où elle ambitionne d'y réaliser 10 % de ses activités "d'ici à 18 mois", confie son président Nicolas Pailloncy. Installée La Selle-en-Luitré, en Ille-et-Vilaine mais aussi à Casablanca au Maroc, cette entreprise (220 salariés, 30 millions d'euros de chiffre d'affaires) estime qu'elle dispose de l'expérience et des technologies suffisantes pour répondre aux attentes de l'aéronautique. Elle a décroché ses premiers contrats notamment pour Zodiac Aérospace. "Nous lui fabriquons, explique Nicolas Pailloncy, des sous-ensembles complets pour les systèmes électriques."

 

Les joints d'étanchéité de Stacem chez Airbus et Boeing

 

La Stacem (Société technique armoricaine de caoutchouc, élastomères manufacturés) a progressivement acquis une sérieuse réputation dans la conception et la fabrication sur plans de joints d'étanchéité pour les trains d'atterrissage et les moteurs d'avions. Airbus, Dassault, Safran mais aussi Boeing font désormais partie des principaux donneurs d'ordre de Stacem basée à Grand-Champ (Morbihan). Forte de ses quelque 150 salariés pour un chiffre d'affaires annuel de près de 13 millions d'euros, elle réalise plus de la moitié de ses activités dans l'aéronautique. Elle fabrique des petites séries mais peut aussi accepter des commandes pouvant aller jusqu'à un total de 10 000 pièces.

 

Les tubes métalliques de Le Guellec utilisés pour la climatisation des avions

 

Les échangeurs thermiques installés dans les appareils sont dotés de tubes métalliques de haute précision comme ceux fabriqués par l'entreprise Le Guellec. Basée à Grand-Champ dans le département du Morbihan, cette entreprise (8 millions d'euros de chiffre d'affaires, 70 salariés) réalise 45 % de ses activités dans l'aéronautique. Dassault, Airbus... utilisent les tubes métalliques de Le Guellec pour les échangeurs thermiques dédiés à la climatisation des cabines mais aussi aux appareils de contrôle.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 12:55
Manoir Aerospace investit 52 millions d’euros dans ses usines françaises

10 juin 2013 Par Philippe SCHILDE - Usinenouvelle.com

 

Depuis qu’il a pris il y a quatre mois son indépendance vis-à-vis de Manoir Industries, le groupe concentre l’essentiel de son activité sur les marchés porteurs de l’aéronautique. Il fournit directement en pièces métalliques de haute technologie les plus grands donneurs d’ordres et annonce des investissements lourds dans des outils de production en France, pour continuer son ascension.

 

"Pour poursuivre notre croissance, nous allons réaliser des investissements capacitaires importants dans nos différentes usines, sur la période 2013-2016", annonce Alain-Jory Barthe, président de Manoir Aerospace, propriété du fonds Sun Capital Partners. Il avance le chiffre de 52 millions d’euros qui devrait bénéficier aux trois sites français du groupe, principalement : Bologne, en Haute-Marne (750 salariés), Bar-sur-Aube, dans l’Aube (250 salariés), et Parthenay, dans les Deux-Sèvres (150 salariés). Il possède en outre une usine employant 150 personnes à Seneffe en Belgique et un atelier à Chihuahua (40 salariés), au Mexique, destiné à alimenter (après finitions d’usinage et de peinture sur place) le marché américain en pièces ayant été forgées en France.

 

Un "maillon solide" au sein de la filière aéronautique hexagonale

 

"Nous sommes sur un modèle de développement en France, en y maintenant le savoir-faire essentiel", insiste le président ne cachant pas les ambitions de son groupe pour l’avenir, sûr de constituer un "maillon solide" au sein de la filière aéronautique hexagonale. Manoir Aerospace a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires de 147 millions d’euros en 2012, en hausse de 20 % par rapport à 2011. "Nous devrions dépasser les 170 millions d’euros de ventes fin 2013 et nous prévoyons d’atteindre les 200 millions d’euros en 2020", révèle le dirigeant.

 

Pièces critiques, très sollicitées

 

photo Jean Ponsignon AerobuzzFr

photo Jean Ponsignon AerobuzzFr

Fournisseur de rang 1, Manoir Aerospace fond, forge et usine des pièces de métal pour les ensembles les plus sensibles et les plus sollicités d’appareils tels que l’A320, l’A380, le B757, le Rafale et la fusée Ariane. Ses clients s’appellent Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault, Eurocopter, Safran, pour ne citer qu’eux. "Nous produisons des pièces critiques tant pour les avionneurs que les motoristes et les équipementiers : on parle ici d’attaches des ailes ou de moteurs, de pièces de train d’atterrissage, de renforts de structures, de rotors d’hélicoptères… Nous réalisons ces différentes pièces sur mesure, de bout en bout, depuis les opérations de forge jusqu’au traitement de surface, en passant par l’usinage pour livrer des éléments entièrement terminés, livrés bord de chaîne d’assemblage chez nos clients", argumente Alain-Jory Barthe, en espérant d’ailleurs signer bientôt un marché qui permettrait le doublement de la ligne de production de Parthenay, laquelle réalise des usinages à géométrie particulièrement complexes (pièces moteurs).

 

"Sur nos autres sites, nous allons intégrer de nouveaux procédés, notamment en matière de traitements thermiques pour améliorer encore les caractéristiques mécaniques de nos matériaux. Par ailleurs, nous mettons en application les techniques du lean manufacturing pour une mise en ligne de nos différentes familles de produits", détaille le président de Manoir Aerospace soucieux d’optimiser la production, mais également bien décidé à créer de l’emploi en France. "Nous avons recruté entre décembre 2010 et juin 2013, 300 personnes sur des postes très qualifiés. Nous formons en interne les opérateurs, en particulier les forgerons, mais nous avons le projet de participer à la création d’un centre de formation sur le site de Parthenay pour pallier le déficit de jeunes formés aux métiers de la mécanique."

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 12:50
EDA at Paris Air Show
Paris | Jun 03, 2013 European Defence Agency
 
Several of the Agency’s flagship projects are in the air domain: air-to-air refuelling, air traffic insertion of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, military air transport activities, SESAR impact on the armed forces, as well as military airworthiness and governmental satellite communications. For the latter two the Agency organises high-level seminars during the Internal Paris Air Show “Le Bourget”.

 

Military Airworthiness

The high-level military airworthiness seminar will take place on 18 June and will feature speakers from the European Defence Agency, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the European aerospace industry as well as national Ministries of Defence. 
The seminar will address the political implications of the harmonisation of military airworthiness, areas for closer cooperation with EASA, as well as the impact of harmonisation on current and future military airworthiness activities. Representatives from governmental, industrial and national military airworthiness authorities’ are invited to participate in the seminar. 
The seminar will take place in the VIPARIS Conference Centre, Hall 2C, Salle 1, from 3 PM to 7 PM (including networking cocktail). For more information click here
 

Governmental Satellite Communication

The high-level seminar on governmental satellite communication will take place on 19 June 2013 and is split between a seminar in the morning with keynote speakers and a dedicated workshop in the afternoon for government representatives only. 
Military Satellite Communication (MILSATCOM) has been recognised as a very promising domain for Pooling & Sharing as synergies can mitigate the huge financial impact generated by the growing demand for resilient space-based communication in operations. The option to pool resources in the domain of MILSATCOM is particularly pertinent to the replacement of the current generation of space assets owned by France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, whose entire phase-out expected between 2018 and 2025 offers a unique opportunity to consider the establishment of a common initiative. In this perspective, the Agency has drafted a “Secure Telecom by Satellite” (SECTELSAT) concept presented to the Defence Ministers in April 2013. 
The seminar will take place in the Auditorium (VI Paris Conference Centre) from 9 AM to 5.30 PM. For more information regarding the draft programme and how to register, click here.  
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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 12:35
 photo Livefist

photo Livefist

07/06/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

The Indian Air Force's first 12 Pilatus PC-7 MkII basic trainers were formally accepted into service during a recent ceremony at Dundigal Air Force Base.

 

Present was Jitendra Singh - the Indian Minister of State for Defense - who described the turboprop training aircraft's arrival on the scene as "a very important landmark in our nation's quest for modernising its armed forces." He added: "The need to train pilots on modern trainers is crucial to prepare them for the requirements of combat flying."

 

Introduced in 1978, the Pilatus PC-7 is a major success story among ab initio training aircraft. Over 30 air arms have pressed the PC-7 into service and the Indian Air Force's selection of the upgraded Mk11 version followed a rigorous evaluation process.

 

Alongside the aircraft themselves, the Indian Air Force will also receive an associated ground-based training system and in-depth logistics support.

 

PC-7 MkII Trainer

 

The Pilatus PC-7 MkII trainer made its debut in 1994 and, according to its manufacturer, no other turboprop training aircraft can match its engine operating costs.

 

In company documentation, Pilatus writes that the PC-7 MkII has a maximum rate of climb of 2,910 feet a minute, a top speed of 556 kilometres per hour and a maximum range of 1,500 kilometres. A 700 shaft horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-25C engine drives a four-bladed Hartzell four-bladed propeller, while its cockpit features include ejection seats and anti-G systems.

 

Also included are six under-wing weapons hardpoints, giving the aircraft the ability to take on an armed role, if necessary.

 

Indian Air Force PC-7s

 

Ultimately, the Indian Air Force will get 75 Pilatus PC-7 MkII trainers. They'll be used not only to train future Indian Air Force fast jet pilots but also Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy trainees.

 

"Pilatus will prove to be the ideal platform that will train ab-initio trainees about nuances of basic flying and expose them to modern avionics and navigation aid", Air Chief Marshal N A K Brown stated at the PC-7 MkII's inauguration event. "It will provide a solid foundation and facilitate a seamless transition from ab-initio stage through intermediate and advanced stages into full-fledged operational flying for all streams.

 

He continued: "These aircraft will remain with us for the next 30 to 40 years. We signed a contract in May last year and we already have 12 aircraft. By the time we start the first course in July, we will have 14 aircraft. And by this year end, we will have 30 aircraft in the academy. All the 75 aircraft will be with us by the end of August, 2015."

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 12:20
Ospreys and Commandos Expand Special Ops Group

07/06/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

Ten Bell Boeing CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft will be permanently based in the UK from June 2013 onwards.

 

Stationed at RAF Mildenhall, they'll become part of the 352nd SOG (Special Operations Group) alongside 12 MC-130J Commando II aircraft, which are also new on the scene.

 

The first Mildenhall-based CV-22 Ospreys are due in coming days, with the remaining eight Ospreys scheduled to join them before December 2014. Meantime, the first MC-130J Commando II arrived today (7 June) but the other 11 aircraft will be delivered over the next five years, according to current scheduling.

 

352nd SOG Expansion

 

In line with the 352nd SOG's expansion, approximately 900 more service personnel and their relatives will relocate to the area. According to a 6 June press release issued by RAF Mildenhall, the 352nd SOG expansion decision arose from a closely-coordinated effort involving the US Department of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defence.

 

The CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor takes off and lands like a helicopter but, thanks to its rotating engine nacelles, takes on the qualities of a standard transport aircraft when in flight. Therefore, it can undertake missions usually restricted either to rotary-winged or fixed-winged aircraft.

 

The MC-130J Commando II carries out low-visibility air-to-air refuelling sorties at low altitudes. Additional roles include airdrops and infiltration/exfiltration. Both the Osprey and the Commando II tend to operate under the cover of darkness, thereby limiting their exposure to enemy forces.

 

Ospreys and Commandos

 

"We are welcoming back vertical airlift to SOF in Europe", the 352nd Special Operations Group's commander, Colonel Christopher Ireland, explained in a statement on the Ospreys and Commandos.

 

"It's been almost six years since we've had it here, and this modernization of the force improves our efficiency and effectiveness." He added: "We're increasing in aircraft, operators, maintainers and support personnel. With the growth, we'll be able to more-fully support operations requirements and partner nation training opportunities."

MC-130J Commando II

MC-130J Commando II

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 12:20
F-35A AIM-120 missile

F-35A AIM-120 missile

Jun 7, 2013 ASDNews Source : US Air Force

 

An F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft completed the first in-flight missile launch of an AIM-120 over the Point Mugu Sea Test Range, June 5.

 

It was the first launch where the F-35 and AIM-120 demonstrated a successful launch-to-eject communications sequence and fired the rocket motor after launch -- paving the way for targeted launches in support of the Block 2B fleet release capability later this year.

 

The Air Force F-35A variant has seen significant development in training and operations recently including the beginning of pilot training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., the delivery of the first operational test aircraft to Edwards and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., the first operational aerial refueling and the completion of high angle of attack testing.

 

"It's a testament to the entire military-industry test team," said Lt. Col. George "Boxer" Schwartz, F-35 Integrated Test Force director, who also piloted the flight. "They've worked thousands and thousands of hours to get to the point where we are today. It's fantastic to see that it's all paid off. We're rolling into a lot of additional weapons work in the coming months to put that expanded capability on the aircraft."

 

The F-35A 5th Generation fighter is designed to carry a payload of up to 18,000 pounds using 10 weapon stations. The F-35A features four internal weapon stations located in two weapon bays to maximize stealth capability. The CTOL aircraft can also utilize an additional three external weapon stations per wing if required.

 

The U.S. Air Force has established an F-35A initial operating capability target date of December 2016. By this date, the Air Force will have fielded an operational squadron with at least 12 aircraft along with Airmen trained and equipped to conduct basic close air support, interdiction and limited suppression, and destruction of enemy air defense operations in a contested environment.

 

Moving into the active phase of weapons test is another large step toward delivering Block 2B software capability that will enable initial combat deployment.

 

"We've spent years working on the design of the aircraft, and many months ensuring that weapons could be contained within the aircraft and dropped as designed," said Charlie Wagner, F-35 weapons director. "This event is the result of tremendous effort and collaboration in the F-35 Enterprise, and marks a turning point in F-35 capabilities; the AIM-120 launch is one small but critical increment toward proving combat capability,"

 

The 5th generation F-35 Lightning II combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced 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 other countries.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 11:55
Le Bourget 2013 : la Russie en embuscade

10 juin 2013 Par Elodie Vallerey - Usinenouvelle.com

 

A quelques jours de l'ouverture du salon international de l'aéronautique et de l'espace de Paris-Le Bourget (17-23 juin), la Russie ne compte pas laisser le duopole américano-européen Boeing-Airbus continuer de s'octroyer l'exclusivité su marché aéronautique mondial.

 

A une semaine de l'ouverture du Bourget 2013, Airbus et Boeing sont sur les starting-blocks. Le premier espère pouvoir créer l'événement en procédant au premier vol de son nouveau long-courrier, l'A350 XWB, avant le 17 juin, pour gratifier les visiteurs du salon d'un passage surprise aux alentours du 21. Le deuxième, lui, va tout faire pour redorer un blason terni par les déboires du 787 Dreamliner en début d'année en lançant une nouvelle version allongée de son gros porteur, le 787-10X.

 

Mais le duopole est suivi de près par un outsider, certes encore discret, mais qui pourrait leur faire de l'ombre dans les années à venir. Il s'agit d'OAK, le consortium aéronautique russe qui réunit d'illustres constructeurs tels que Sukhoï, MiG, Tupolev ou encore Irkout.

 

Dans une interview accordée au site internet de La Tribune, Mikhaïl Pogossian, le directeur général d'OAK, fait le point sur les programmes aéronautiques civils et militaires russes. Avec, en ligne de mire, la ferme intention d'imposer le MS-21, un futur concurrent du Boeing 737 et de l'Airbus A320.

 

Objectif : écouler un millier de ms-21

 

"Beaucoup de compagnies ont besoin de nouveaux appareils dans des délais plus courts. C'est pourquoi nous avons estimé que nous pouvons vendre autour de 1 000 MS-21 toutes versions confondues. Grâce à l'expérience acquise avec le Superjet (l'avion régional de Sukhoi, ndlr), nous tablons sur des premiers essais dès 2015 et des livraisons en 2017", assure l'industriel.

 

Pogossian revient sur la décision d'OAK de rapprocher les programmes Superjet 100 et MS-21. "Nous venons de doubler la surface de travail à l'usine de Komsomolsk et de presque doubler le personnel Cela va permettre d'augmenter la cadence de production, qui atteindra quatre appareils par mois à la fin de l'année. L'unification consiste à commercialiser non pas deux produits séparés mais une famille d'avions Superjet et MS-21", explique-t-il à La Tribune.

 

Au Bourget, la Russie entend bien marquer les esprits. Avec la première présentation à l'étranger de son avion de combat Su-35 de Sukhoi, le lancement du nouvel intérieur cabine du Superjet 100, et les démonstrations de l'avion d'entraînement Yak-130, l'aviation russe veut montrer qu'elle est, plus que jamais, de retour sur la scène aéronautique mondiale.

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10 juin 2013 1 10 /06 /juin /2013 16:20

 

7 June 2013 Liam Stoker - aerospace-technology.com

 

Developed as part of a collaborative effort involving Boeing Phantom Works and Nasa, the X-48C hopes to prove that blended wing body aircraft can deliver on fuel efficiency promises.

 

Having completed its flight testing campaign in late April, Boeing's X-48C experimental aircraft can only be considered a successful first foray into blended wing body (BWB) aircraft. Having been first conceptualised in the 1990s, the BWB finally looks like taking off.

 

Boeing acquired the concept as part of the company's merger with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, with the latter's Project Redwood certain of providing fuel efficiency advantages over traditionally designed aircraft. The concept relies on the aircraft designed as one entire part, combining the fuselage and wings into a more triangular design.

 

By reducing the number of parts that are pieced together and creating a design that is more streamlined, it is expected that the aircraft will provide greater fuel efficiency through being more aerodynamic.

 

In an age where airliners are increasingly at odds with spiralling fuel prices, any way in which fuel efficiency can be drastically boosted has to be considered worth persevering.

 

BWB goes into development

 

Having been developed through a collaboration involving Nasa's Langley Research Center and Boeing Phantom Works, the aircraft's initial entity - the X-48B - completed wind tunnel testing in May 2006, before progressing to taxi and ground testing.

 

Boeing X-48 chief engineer Norman Prince said: "Earlier wind-tunnel testing and the upcoming flight testing are focused on learning more about the BWB's low-speed flight-control characteristics, especially during takeoffs and landings. Knowing how accurately our models predict these characteristics is an important step in the further development of this concept."

 

The X-48B first flew in July 2007, reaching an altitude of 7,500ft during a 31 minute flight, before completing its initial flight testing phase in March 2010. Just over two years later the latest incarnation of the aircraft, the X-48C, commenced flight testing.

 

Featuring a new flight computer, new engines and a slight re-design, which saw the vertical stabilisers moved inboard, the aircraft completed 30 further test flights, finishing in April 2013.

 

The future for BWB aircraft

 

With two successful flight test regimes under its belt, the X-48 programme is edging ever closer towards proving the BWB concept as a manageable, fuel-efficient alternative to fuselage-and-wing aircraft.

 

Boeing and Nasa now intend to developer a larger BWB capable of transonic flight based upon the X-48C concept.

 

BWB aircraft are now also interesting the US Army and Air Force, with their improved fuel efficiency likely to be highly applicable for air-to-air refueling and cargo delivery missions.

 

Thought to be between 15 and 20 years away from development, blended wing body aircraft could become a cornerstone of not just civilian airliners, but non-combat military aircraft too.

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10 juin 2013 1 10 /06 /juin /2013 16:20
F-35 Composite Component by Elbit Systems-Cyclone

F-35 Composite Component by Elbit Systems-Cyclone

Jun 10, 2013 ASDNews Source : Northrop Grumman Corporation

 

Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) supplier in Israel – Elbit Systems-Cyclone – delivered its first advanced composite component for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter center fuselage produced by Northrop Grumman. This delivery is a significant milestone for the F-35 program, as it is the first composite part manufactured by a country committed to purchasing future F-35s under the U.S. foreign military sales agreement.

 

The composite component delivered is one of 16 unique parts to be manufactured by Elbit Systems-Cyclone under a seven-year F-35 agreement with Northrop Grumman, which was signed in December 2011.

 

"We're anticipating receiving more than 50 component deliveries from Cyclone this year, so this is a great start and shows Cyclone's commitment to the program," said Michelle Scarpella, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "With the first delivery under its belt, Cyclone has demonstrated that it is equipped and qualified to manufacture and deliver quality composite parts for the joint strike fighter aircraft, 19 of which Israel has committed to purchasing."

 

As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce the aircraft. In addition to manufacturing the F-35 center fuselage, Northrop Grumman designed and produces the aircraft's radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications, navigation and identification subsystems. Northrop Grumman also develops mission systems and mission-planning software, leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware, and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies. In 2012, the company delivered 32 center fuselages and is on track to exceed 2012 delivery quantities in 2013.

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10 juin 2013 1 10 /06 /juin /2013 12:20
JSM in internal carriage bay of the F-35 JSF

JSM in internal carriage bay of the F-35 JSF

Jun 10, 2013 ASDNews Source : Kongsberg Gruppen

 

KONGSBERG and Lockheed Martin have completed a fit check of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) in the internal carriage bay of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.

 

This test follows just four weeks after the JSM conducted a fit check on the external pylons.

 

As part of this second fit check, the JSM was loaded into the JSF's internal carriage bay and conducted a series of tests to prove the physical characteristic of the JSM complies with the requirements for internal carriage.

 

"JSM is a true fifth generation missile. The first long-range, stealthy and passive, sea- and land target precision strike missile developed for the JSF. The combined capability of the JSF and JSM provides JSF users with unique and innovative strike capabilities”, says Harald Ånnestad, President Kongsberg Defence Systems.

 

About the Joint Strike Missile

JSM is designed as a long-range, low-observable stand-off weapon able to engage both land and naval targets. It has been specifically engineered for internal carriage on the F-35A and F-35C variants of JSF to enable the aircraft to maintain its stealth characteristics.

 

    High probability of penetrating air defense systems through a combination of capabilities such as low radar signature, super sea-skim, variable speed, range and high-g maneuvers.

    Automated Target Recognition with Imaging target seeker for discrimination between red, white and blue ships.

    Advanced engagement planning system which exploits the geography in the area of operations.

    Target library including hit-point, fuze setting and optimal end-game.

    A two-way networking data link will provide Target Update, Re-Targeting, Mission abort and Bomb Hit Indication (BHI)

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10 juin 2013 1 10 /06 /juin /2013 11:55
MQ-9 Reaper flies above Creech AFB - photo USAF

MQ-9 Reaper flies above Creech AFB - photo USAF

June 10, 2013: Strategy Page

 

France is apparently not pleased with the performance of its locally developed Harfang UAV and is buying two American RQ-9 Reapers with the intention getting more and standardizing on this proven UAV design. Currently two Harfang UAVs are present in Mali (operating from neighboring Niger) and some American RQ-9s are helping out as well. France wants the RQ-9s as quickly as possible and apparently this sale is dependent on the U.S. being able to deliver the RQ-9s before the end of the year.

 

The MQ-9 Reaper is a 4.7 ton, 11.6 meters (36 foot) long aircraft with a 21.3 meters (66 foot) wingspan that looks like the MQ-1 Predator. It has six hard points and can carry 682 kg (1,500 pounds) of weapons. These include Hellfire missiles (up to eight), two Sidewinder or two AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, two Maverick missiles, or two 227 kg (500 pound) smart bombs (laser or GPS guided). Max speed is 400 kilometers an hour, and max endurance is 15 hours. The Reaper is considered a combat aircraft, to replace F-16s or A-10s in many situations.

Hargfang photo Armee de l Air

Hargfang photo Armee de l Air

The Harfang was based on the Israeli Heron Shoval UAV which in turn is very similar to the MQ-1 and is selling well to foreign customers who cannot obtain the MQ-1. In addition to being one of the primary UAVs for many armed forces (Israel, India, Turkey, Russia, France, Brazil, El Salvador) the United States, Canada, and Australia have either bought, leased, or licensed manufacture of the Heron. Meanwhile France has bought four Harfang ("Eagle") UAVs and used them in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali over the last four years.

The Shoval weighs about the same (1.2 tons) as the Predator and has similar endurance (40 hours). Shoval has a slightly higher ceiling (10 kilometers/30,000 feet, versus 8 kilometers) and software which allows it to automatically take off, carry out a mission, and land automatically. Not all American large UAVs can do this. Both Predator and Shoval cost about the same ($5 million), although the Israelis are willing to be more flexible on price. Shoval does have a larger wingspan (16.5 meters/51 feet) than the Predator (13.2 meters/41 feet) and a payload of about 137 kg (300 pounds). The French version costs about $25 million each (including sensors and development costs).

 

Israel also developed a larger version of the Heron, the 4.6 ton Heron TP. This is similar to the American RQ-9, but with a lot less combat experience, and more expensive. Some Heron TP tech was incorporated into Harfang and France was going to buy some Heron TPs, even though MQ-9s were offered for more than 20 percent less. Now France plans to switch to the RQ-9 because they are seen as more reliable and capable.

Eitan (Heron TP) drone source Defense Update

Eitan (Heron TP) drone source Defense Update

The Heron TP entered squadron service in the Israeli Air Force four years ago. The UAV's first combat service was three years ago, when it was used off the coast of Gaza, keeping an eye on ships seeking to run the blockade. For that kind of work the aircraft was well suited. But so are smaller and cheaper UAVs.

 

Development of the Heron TP was largely completed six years ago, mainly for the export market, and the Israeli military was in no rush to buy it. There have been some export sales and the Israeli air force eventually realized that this was an ideal UAV for long range operations or for maritime patrol. But it turned out there were few missions like that.

 

Equipped with a powerful (1,200 horsepower) turboprop engine, the Heron TP can operate at 14,500 meters (45,000 feet). That is above commercial air traffic and all the air-traffic-control regulations that discourage, and often forbid, UAVs fly at the same altitude as commercial aircraft. The Heron TP has a one ton payload, enabling it to carry sensors that can give a detailed view of what's on the ground, even from that high up. The endurance of 36 hours makes the Heron TP a competitor for the U.S. MQ-9. The big difference between the two is that Reaper is designed to be a combat aircraft, operating at a lower altitude, with less endurance, and able to carry a ton of smart bombs or missiles. Heron TP is meant mainly for reconnaissance and surveillance, and Israel wants to keep a closer, and more persistent, eye on Syria and southern Lebanon. But the Heron TP has since been rigged to carry a wide variety of missiles and smart bombs.

 

The U.S. will not provide Predators or Reapers weapons ready, forcing foreign users to develop their own equipment for arming the UAVs. France also, like other Predator and Reaper users, has to spend a lot of money to develop satellite link technology and set up a ground control facility (or pay to use the American one in the United States or, possibly, the new control center just opened in Britain)

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