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10 juin 2013 1 10 /06 /juin /2013 11:35

25 nov. 2012 RT.com

 

China has successfully landed a jet on its first aircraft carrier. The new J-15 fighter touched down on the Liaoning, refurbished Soviet-made ship which was delivered to the People's Liberation Army Navy in September - READ MORE http://on.rt.com/bo91fa

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10 juin 2013 1 10 /06 /juin /2013 10:37
MSN8 First Flight 10.06.2013 photo Airbus Military

MSN8 First Flight 10.06.2013 photo Airbus Military

Second production Airbus Military A400M makes maiden flight - photo Airbus Military

 

Madrid,  10 June 2013 Airbus Military

 

The second production Airbus Military A400M new generation airlifter has made its maiden flight.

 

Known as MSN8, the aircraft made its first flight from Seville, Spain, the location of the A400M final assembly line on 7 June.

 

It is scheduled for delivery to the French Air Force in the third quarter of the year. MSN7, which flew for the first time at the beginning of March this year, will be delivered to the French Air Force in the coming weeks.

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9 juin 2013 7 09 /06 /juin /2013 12:35
An Indian Air Force Hawk AJT - Photo BAE Systems

An Indian Air Force Hawk AJT - Photo BAE Systems

07 June 2013 by Saurabh Joshi - stratpost.com

 

These aircraft are part of a batch of 57 Hawks ordered jointly by the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF) for around 700 million pounds, the first 17 of which will go to the navy.

 

The Indian Navy is set to receive the first four of its order of 17 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft next month.

 

The aircraft, manufactured under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be delivered to INS Dega at Visakhapatnam and will eventually take over the role of the eight Kiran Mk II training aircraft operated by the Indian Navy at INS Hansa at Goa.

 

These aircraft are part of a batch of 57 Hawks ordered jointly by the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF) for around 700 million pounds, the first 17 of which will go to the navy.

 

The second of eight Boeing P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft will also be delivered to the Indian Navy’s base INS Rajali next month. The first aircraft was delivered last month.

 

The IAF also plans to acquire an additional 20 aircraft for their Surya Kiran aerobatic team.

 

The delivery of a 2004 IAF order of 66 Hawk aircraft to the IAF was completed last year, with 42 being license-produced by HAL.

 

A Kiran Mk II of the Indian Navy’s Sagar Pawan aerobatic team crashed at Hyderabad during the Indian Aviation 2010 air show on in March, 2010, killing both crew members.

 

The first ten of the IAF order for 75 Pilatus PC-7 Mk II aircraft in an order worth around USD 600 million, were delivered last month, which will replace the indigenous HAL HPT-32 basic trainer aircraft, grounded last year following a number of crashes.

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9 juin 2013 7 09 /06 /juin /2013 12:20
Sikorsky Receives U.S. Navy Award to Build Four CH-53K Operational Test Helicopters

June 06, 2013 sikorsky.com

 

  STRATFORD, Connecticut - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has received a $435 million U.S. Navy contract to build four production-representative CH-53K heavy lift helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps. Designated as System Demonstration Test Articles (SDTA), the four aircraft will enable the Marines to conduct operational evaluation of the new helicopter system in support of Initial Operational Capability in 2019.

 

 

“The four SDTA aircraft are based on the configuration of the fourth and final flight test aircraft currently being assembled on the prototype production line,” said Dr. Michael Torok, Sikorsky’s CH-53K Program Vice President. “We truly appreciate the high level of confidence the Navy and Marine Corps have shown to the CH-53K team as we move forward with this important next phase of the program.”

 

The Navy has included the SDTA helicopters as an additional line item under the existing $3.5 billion System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract initially awarded to Sikorsky in April 2006. The contract schedule requires that Sikorsky deliver the first SDTA aircraft in 39 months, and the fourth by the end of March 2017, when the Marines will begin operational evaluation. The contract’s cost-plus-incentive fee arrangement incentivizes Sikorsky to deliver early. Sikorsky will perform final assembly of the SDTA aircraft at the company’s Florida Assembly and Flight Operations facility in West Palm Beach.

 

To date, Sikorsky has delivered two of the seven SDD CH-53K aircraft – the Ground Test Vehicle and the Static Test Article – into the test program, and is finalizing assembly of the four flight test aircraft and the Fatigue Test Article. First flight of a CH-53K prototype aircraft is expected in late 2014.

 

Once the SDTA aircraft enter operational evaluation in 2017, the Marine Corps will verify the CH-53K helicopter’s capability to carry 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under “high hot” ambient conditions, nearly tripling the external load carrying capacity of the current CH-53E Super Stallion™ helicopter.

 

Technology enablers for increased lift include three 7,500-shaft-horsepower GE38-1B engines; a split torque transmission design that more efficiently distributes engine power to the main rotors; fourth-generation composite rotor blades for enhanced lift; and a composite airframe structure for reduced weight.

 

"The SDTA contract represents an exciting and significant milestone in our program," said Col. Robert Pridgen, the Heavy Lift Helicopters program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command. "We are well on our way to making the CH-53K a reality for our Marines and our Naval fleet. The capability this aircraft brings, in every clime and place, is critical to sustaining the future missions of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force. The future of heavy lift is bright."

 

Per the current program of record, the Navy intends to order an additional 196 CH-53K aircraft as part of a separate production contract to stand up eight operational squadrons and one training squadron to support the Marine Corps’ operational requirements. Eventual production quantities would be determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition priorities.

 

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

 

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning opportunities for development, production and sale of helicopters. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans, availability of funding and in the type and number of aircraft required; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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8 juin 2013 6 08 /06 /juin /2013 11:50
Le Hammerhead (vue d'artiste) pourrait voler dès la fin de cette année. Crédit Piaggio

Le Hammerhead (vue d'artiste) pourrait voler dès la fin de cette année. Crédit Piaggio

07/06/2013 Par Guillaume Steuer - air-cosmos.com

 

Voici venu le nouveau Male italien. "A vrai dire, le Hammerhead se situe plutôt dans une catégorie intermédiaire, entre drones Male (moyenne altitude longue endurance) et Hale (haute altitude)", s'empresse de préciser Fabrizio Giulianini, pdg de Selex ES. L'électronicien italio-britannique est en effet partenaire de l'avionneur Piaggio sur ce nouveau projet d'avion sans pilote, le P.1HH Hammerhead. Un appareil dérivé du célèbre turboprop Piaggio Avanti et dont une maquette à l'échelle 1 sera présentée pour la première fois à l'occasion du salon du Bourget.

 

"Notre avantage principal par rapport à la concurrence est la rapidité à laquelle nous pouvons répondre à la demande du marché", explique le patron de Selex ES. Etant donné que la plateforme de base est déjà largement éprouvée, il est prévu un calendrier d'essais assez agressif. Un premier vol assez court doit être effectué en fin d'année 2013, et de premières livraisons pourraient avoir lieu dès 2015 si des clients se montrent séduits par la formule.

 

De son côté, Piaggio expliquait récemment que le Hammerhead devrait afficher une endurance d'environ 16h avec un plafond pratique de 45.000 pieds, en emmenant un total de 900 kg de charge utile. Selex ES pourrait notamment intégrer un radar issu de la gamme Seaspray, ainsi qu'un capteur optronique. En revanche, selon Selex ES, il n'est pas prévu d'en dériver une version "optionnellement piloté", l'espace gagné par le retrait du cockpit étant occupé par de l'équipement.

 

Dans le domaine des drones tactiques, Selex ES continue par ailleurs de commercialiser son Falco, qui a déjà été vendu à quatre clients différents. L'électronicien est également le seul à avoir déjà intégré et testé en vol un radar non américain (le Seaspray 7500E) sur un drone MQ-9 Reaper, ce qui le place naturellement en tête des candidats à une future "européanisation" de cet engin, en cas d'achat groupé par plusieurs pays occidentaux.

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8 juin 2013 6 08 /06 /juin /2013 11:40
Su-35’s Cobra – source combatace.com

Su-35’s Cobra – source combatace.com

MOSCOU, 7 juin - RIA Novosti

 

Le chasseur russe dernier cri Soukhoï Su-35, dont la présentation en Europe se tiendra dans le cadre du salon du Bourget-2013, décollera pour la France la semaine prochaine, rapporte vendredi le service de presse du groupe Soukhoï.

 

Selon le groupe, le programme de présentation du chasseur inclut plusieurs figures de voltige aérienne telles que des tonneaux, des renversements, des vrilles, ainsi que le célèbre Cobra de Pougatchev.

 

Le Soukhoï Su-35 est un chasseur polyvalent hautement manœuvrable de génération 4++. Sa vitesse maximale atteint 1.400 km/h près du sol et 2.400 km/h en altitude. Son plafond opérationnel est de 18.000 mètres. L'appareil est capable de détecter des cibles volantes à plus de 400 km. Ces caractéristiques permettent au Su-35 de résister efficacement aux chasseurs de génération 5 F-35 et F-22A.

 

Le Cobra de Pougatchev est considéré comme l'une des manœuvres les plus exigeantes et difficiles à effectuer durant les spectacles aériens.

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7 juin 2013 5 07 /06 /juin /2013 16:30
JAS Gripen photo Ernst Vikne

JAS Gripen photo Ernst Vikne

Jun. 6, 2013 – By BURAK EGE BEKDIL -  Defense News

 

ANKARA — Turkey has selected Saab to help shape its plans to design, develop and manufacture its first national fighter jet.

 

Ankara has already drafted three models, one of which likely will become its first indigenous fighter, although some analysts said Turkey should have opted for an unmanned model.

 

“After lengthy negotiations with Saab, we have come to the conclusion to go ahead with this company to finalize our feasibility studies,” a senior procurement official familiar with the national fighter program said.

 

He said that the Swedish aerospace and defense group already has assisted with the three models Turkish engineers have drafted, and these would be presented to top management at the country’s arms procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), as well as to the Air Force.

 

“We are working to make that presentation in September or October,” the official said.

 

The Saab group’s office here did not respond to questions by press time.

 

An official from Tusas Aerospace Industries (TAI), the local prime contractor for the program, said that one of the three drafts is a twin-engine stealth aircraft and the other two are single-engine models, also stealthy.

 

The procurement official said the program has two problems to overcome.

 

“We need to pick up the right engine manufacturer with which we should be able to work out a long-term relationship. That will be essential. Also, we need to know that a meticulously devised cost-benefit analysis should prove this is a feasible program,” he said.

 

A government official said the final decision on whether to launch the manufacturing phase would be made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 

“A lot will depend on the findings of the cost-benefit analysis in progress now,” the official said. “We would accept a certain margin that will make the Turkish fighter reasonably more expensive than available options. But if we find out that we could only manufacture a fighter, say, [at a cost] 40 to 50 percent more expensive than a proven, off-the-shelf buy option, then the prime minister would probably drop the idea.”

 

According to a draft plan, the country is aiming for a maiden flight for its national fighter jet in 2023, the Turkish Republic’s centennial. Production would commence in 2021, and deliveries to the Air Force are planned between 2025 and 2035. The aircraft would remain in service until 2060.

 

“This is a long-term plan, and given technological developments in the global aerospace scene, the Turks should perhaps have gone for an unmanned fighter,” a London-based Turkey specialist said.

 

Earlier, TAI signed a technical assistance deal with Saab to carry out conceptual design work. This followed an August 2011 deal signed with SSM to begin the conceptual design work for the fighter and trainer jets that Turkey hopes to build.

 

Designing the first Turkish fighter, according to defense analysts, is a necessary but not critical step.

 

“What is crucial here is whether this project would enable Turkey to earn capabilities to successfully integrate avionics, electronics and weapon systems into the chosen platform,” the London-based analyst said.

 

Saab produces the JAS 39 Gripen, a lightweight, single-engine multirole fighter. Saab has cooperated with other aerospace companies in marketing the aircraft and has achieved moderate success in Central Europe, South Africa and Southeast Asia. More than 240 Gripens have been delivered or ordered.

 

In 2010, Sweden awarded Saab a four-year contract to improve the Gripen’s equipment, integrate new weapons and lower operating costs. Last August, Sweden announced it planned to buy 40 to 60 Gripen NGs. The Swedish order followed Switzerland’s decision to buy 22 E/F variants of the jet.

 

For its fighter program, dubbed TF-X, Turkey hopes to copy the method devised to co-produce T-129 attack helicopters with Italian-British AgustaWestland.

 

“We think this model has worked successfully and could be a template for our fighter program,” the TAI official said.

 

Turkey also plans to buy the F-35. But Turkish officials said they wanted to develop a fighter jet with another country to reduce Turkey’s dependence on Washington.

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7 juin 2013 5 07 /06 /juin /2013 11:55
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

06.06.2013 Boursier.com

 

AFI KLM E&M (Groupe Air France KLM) a signé un contrat avec Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group pour l'assister dans son étude de modernisation de 14 Hercules C-130 appartenant à l'Armée de l'Air Française.

 

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group fait équipe avec AFI KLM E&M pour bénéficier de son expérience de la collaboration avec le Ministère français de la Défense, ainsi que de sa capacité en développement engineering. Le MRO assurera un rôle de conseiller auprès de Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group dans ses relations avec les autorités françaises, ainsi que d'assistant dans la constitution du dossier de certification technique. "Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group est un opérateur de premier plan et cette collaboration peut être le début de relations plus étroites avec AFI KLM E&M. Ensemble, nous souhaitons concevoir la meilleure offre possible afin de mériter une fois encore la confiance de l'Armée de l'Air française", commente Jean-Marc Salomon, Responsable des Ventes Grands Comptes,

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7 juin 2013 5 07 /06 /juin /2013 10:55
MQ-9 Reaper flies above Creech AFB - photo USAF

MQ-9 Reaper flies above Creech AFB - photo USAF

05/06 Alain Ruello, Chef adjoint du service Industrie, en charge de la Défense – LesEchos.fr

 

L'achat programmé de deux drones de renseignement américains condamne très probablement l'émergence d'une filière européenne autonome en ce domaine.

 

Le très médiatique feuilleton des drones de renseignement devrait connaître dans quelques mois son épilogue : la France va acheter deux Reaper, fabriqués par l'américain General Atomics, dans le cadre de la procédure Foreign Military Sales, qui régit les ventes d'armements américains de gouvernement à gouvernement. Si tout se déroule comme prévu, les militaires disposeront d'ici à la fin de l'année de deux aéronefs sans pilote modernes pour aller traquer les djihadistes dans le Sahara. La relève des obsolètes Harfang d'EADS sera assurée.

 

Dans une récente tribune, Jean-Yves Le Drian, le ministre de la Défense, a pu avec raison se féliciter d'une décision qui va permettre à l'armée française de combler un manque patent (« Les Echos » du 31 mai). « Les drones défraient la chronique depuis plusieurs années. Malgré des préconisations répétées depuis 1999, leur poids dans les investissements […] est resté limité. » Avant d'ajouter, toujours à juste titre, que « l'ensemble de la communauté de défense, le ministère autant que l'industrie, a manqué le virage de ce type d'équipement. Et ce qui est vrai en France l'est aussi en Europe ». « Nous ne pouvons plus attendre », résume-t-il.

 

Pour dire les choses autrement : l'industrie européenne n'ayant rien à proposer et les drones - « pièces maîtresses du renseignement » - étant désormais incontournables en opération, la seule solution est de se fournir à l'étranger. Et ce qui se fait de mieux à l'étranger, c'est aux Etats-Unis qu'on le trouve, même si la France poursuit des négociations parallèles avec Israël, l'autre pays en pointe sur le sujet, pour un éventuel plan B.

 

Naturellement, la première question qui vient à l'esprit de ceux qui ne sont pas familiers avec le dossier est de savoir comment on a pu en arriver à un tel désastre au pays du Rafale. Plusieurs explications peuvent être avancées : des pays - France et Allemagne - incapables d'accorder leurs violons ; des industriels - EADS et Dassault - qui se détestent même pas cordialement ; des politiques qui ont laissé pourrir le dossier depuis dix ans. Vient la deuxième interrogation, la plus importante car regarder dans le rétroviseur ne sert pas à grand-chose : acheter américain condamne-t-il l'émergence d'une filière de drone de renseignement européenne autonome ? Et là, n'en déplaise à tous ceux qui veulent encore y croire, la réponse est très probablement oui.

 

Le Livre blanc de la défense a fixé à 12 le nombre de drones de renseignement de l'armée à terme. Urgence oblige, les deux premiers seront donc des Reaper identiques à ceux produits pour le Pentagone. Pour les dix suivants, la piste engagée - la plus logique parce qu'il n'y a rien de plus coûteux que de multiplier les fournisseurs - c'est de continuer à se fournir chez General Atomics. Mais en intégrant des équipements français, pour faire en sorte, notamment, que les drones puissent voler en Europe.

 

La Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) doit vérifier avec les Etats-Unis la faisabilité technique et commerciale de tout cela. Ce qui va demander du temps. L'armée passera alors commande et les livraisons des Reaper « francisés » s'étaleront jusqu'en 2018 au moins. Comme ils resteront en service dix voire quinze ans, la conclusion est évidente : General Atomics a un très bel avenir en France.

 

Dans sa tribune, Jean-Yves Le Drian n'entre pas dans ces détails, de peur sans doute de jeter de l'huile sur le feu dans le camp des opposants au « buy american ». Officiellement, l'achat de drones américains fait figure de solution « provisoire ». On connaît la chanson : étant donné l'échelle de temps des programmes d'armement, provisoire veut souvent dire définitif. Impossible pour le ministre de la Défense de le reconnaître, car ce n'est pas politiquement correct. Au contraire, l'intéressé ressasse la piste d'une coopération européenne pour, dit-il, « ne pas faire obstacle à l'avenir ». L'Europe peut rattraper son retard si elle s'unit pour concevoir le drone de la génération d'après. Qui peut y croire ?

 

Pour cela, il faut que les armées de deux pays européens majeurs au moins définissent un besoin commun. Ca n'a pas marché jusque-là. Que s'opère ensuite un partage industriel intelligent pour éviter une catastrophe industrielle du type A400M. Pas gagné non plus vu les relations entre les impétrants. Petit détail qui compte : il n'y a absolument pas d'argent ni en France, ni en Allemagne, ni au Royaume-Uni, et encore moins en Italie, pour lancer un tel programme, forcément coûteux. Et puis, qui peut penser que General Atomics va rester les bras croisés ? Pendant que les Européens en sont encore à se demander comment ils pourraient éventuellement se mettre d'accord, les ingénieurs américains imaginent déjà la suite…

 

Mais surtout, à quoi bon ? Quand bien même un programme serait lancé, on ne dépassera pas les 30 exemplaires produits. Tout le monde le sait, mais personne ne le dit : il n'y a pas de modèle économique valable pour un drone européen de renseignement concurrentiel à l'export. Contrairement aux missiles ou aux avions de combat, ce n'est pas structurant pour l'industrie européenne d'armement. Trop tard. Trop cher. Trop peu de débouchés.

 

Dans cette affaire, Jean-Yves Le Drian agit de manière responsable, le besoin des militaires primant tout. Mais il agit aussi en politique. En agitant la piste d'une coopération, il montre qu'il se soucie du long terme. Tout en sachant très bien que ce futur drone européen n'est pas près de décoller…

Les points à retenir

Le Livre blanc de la défense a fixé à 12 le nombre de drones de renseignement de l'armée, à terme.

Faute de solution européenne, les deux premiers seront des Reaper identiques à ceux produits pour le Pentagone.

Pour les dix suivants, la piste engagée - la plus logique car il n'y a rien de plus coûteux que de multiplier les fournisseurs - est de continuer à se fournir chez l'américain General Atomics.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 16:55
L’armée de Terre est maintenant équipée d’un hélicoptère Tigre version appui-destruction - Crédits EFA

L’armée de Terre est maintenant équipée d’un hélicoptère Tigre version appui-destruction - Crédits EFA

06.06.2013 TF1

C'est une arme redoutable, fruit du savoir faire français et allemand. L'armée de terre française vient de recevoir le premier exemplaire de cet appareil dont la version antérieure a fait ses preuves en Afghanistan, en Libye et plus récemment au Mali. Une équipe de TF1 a pu exceptionnellement y prendre place. Des images impressionnantes.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
Puma MK2 helicopter of the Royal Air Force. (Photo Eurocopter)

Puma MK2 helicopter of the Royal Air Force. (Photo Eurocopter)

June 6, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Eurocopter UK; issued June 06, 2013)

 

Eurocopter UK Receives Contract to Support the 24 Royal Air Force Puma Mk2 Helicopters It Is Upgrading for the UK Ministry of Defence

 

OXFORD, England --- Eurocopter UK’s role in maintaining the United Kingdom’s military helicopter capabilities has been further expanded with the award of a three-year support contract for the fleet of 24 Royal Air Force Puma Mk2 helicopters being upgraded by the company to extend their life, enhance performance, mission capability and operational safety.

 

The contract – valued at approximately 60 million euros – further reinforces Eurocopter UK’s footprint as on-shore service provider to the UK armed forces. Eurocopter UK’s support activity for the Puma Mk2 will be coordinated through its headquarters at Oxford, England, which is close to the RAF’s Puma main operating base.

 

"As a major onshore supplier to the UK government and its agencies, we are proud to further expand our services in the military environment with this latest contract,” explained Markus Steinke, the Managing Director of Eurocopter UK. “We intend to leverage our significant support expertise from Britain’s civil helicopter hub at Oxford, which is proven to be highly reactive and cost effective, and introduce this into the Puma fleet – setting new standards in military helicopter support.”

 

Group Captain Malcolm French, the Puma Project Team Leader said “We are looking forward to working closely with Eurocopter UK during this new era in the operational life of the RAF’s Puma Force. In particular, we have high expectations for the support capabilities delivered by and through Eurocopter UK’s team at Kidlington, as we move to field this significant component of the UK’s battlefield support helicopter capability during 2013.”

 

The 24 Puma Mk2 rotorcraft covered by this support contract are being upgraded under the Puma Life Extension Programme contract awarded to Eurocopter UK in 2009 by the UK Ministry of Defence. All 24 helicopters have been inducted into the programme, with the first aircraft deliveries from Eurocopter UK made in 2012. To date, eight have completed the process. The upgrades will significantly enhance the Puma’s operational capabilities for the Royal Air Force in combat, troop transport, load movement and humanitarian operations, and extend these helicopters’ operational lifetime to at least 2025.

 

Improvements for the Puma Mk2 include the use of new Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines that considerably increase performance; the integration of a full glass cockpit incorporating modern avionics and a flight management system; the implementation of a digital automatic flight control system; as well as the incorporation of a secure communications suite, defensive aids and ballistic protection for crew and passengers.

 

Additionally, greater onboard fuel capacity and lower fuel consumption improve the Puma Mk2’s operating range. These upgraded aircraft are able to carry twice the payload over three times the range compared to its predecessor in the most demanding operational and environmental conditions.

 

Eurocopter UK Ltd, Britain’s civil helicopter hub, and its predecessors have been present and highly active in the United Kingdom for over 30 years, dominating the civil rotary wing(rw) sector. Its contribution to the aerospace sector of the national economy includes the development of police aviation leading to a 75% market share, air ambulances (70% share), and well over 50% of the offshore oil and gas market.

 

Eurocopter UK Ltd is headquartered in Oxford, with additional bases in Dublin (Ireland), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Hawarden (Wales) and Aberdeen (Scotland) and provides the full range of products and services for the rw sector, including prime contractor of the RAF Puma Mk2 programme. Some 450 Eurocopter helicopters form the biggest part of the UK's helicopter fleet and the backbone of vital national infrastructure such as 100 helicopters serving the UK Ministry of Defence for transport, training and high end operational missions. Eurocopter enjoys a reputation for innovation, high quality and a strong customer service ethos. To date, Eurocopter UK Ltd has exported helicopter High-Tech solutions to 23 nations on all continents. The Eurocopter group employs more than 1600 people across the British Isles.http://June 6, 2013 defense-aerospace.com (Source: Eurocopter UK; issued June 06, 2013) Eurocopter UK Receives Contract to Support the 24 Royal Air Force Puma Mk2 Helicopters It Is Upgrading for the UK Ministry of Defence OXFORD, England --- Eurocopter UK’s role in maintaining the United Kingdom’s military helicopter capabilities has been further expanded with the award of a three-year support contract for the fleet of 24 Royal Air Force Puma Mk2 helicopters being upgraded by the company to extend their life, enhance performance, mission capability and operational safety. The contract – valued at approximately 60 million euros – further reinforces Eurocopter UK’s footprint as on-shore service provider to the UK armed forces. Eurocopter UK’s support activity for the Puma Mk2 will be coordinated through its headquarters at Oxford, England, which is close to the RAF’s Puma main operating base. "As a major onshore supplier to the UK government and its agencies, we are proud to further expand our services in the military environment with this latest contract,” explained Markus Steinke, the Managing Director of Eurocopter UK. “We intend to leverage our significant support expertise from Britain’s civil helicopter hub at Oxford, which is proven to be highly reactive and cost effective, and introduce this into the Puma fleet – setting new standards in military helicopter support.” Group Captain Malcolm French, the Puma Project Team Leader said “We are looking forward to working closely with Eurocopter UK during this new era in the operational life of the RAF’s Puma Force. In particular, we have high expectations for the support capabilities delivered by and through Eurocopter UK’s team at Kidlington, as we move to field this significant component of the UK’s battlefield support helicopter capability during 2013.” The 24 Puma Mk2 rotorcraft covered by this support contract are being upgraded under the Puma Life Extension Programme contract awarded to Eurocopter UK in 2009 by the UK Ministry of Defence. All 24 helicopters have been inducted into the programme, with the first aircraft deliveries from Eurocopter UK made in 2012. To date, eight have completed the process. The upgrades will significantly enhance the Puma’s operational capabilities for the Royal Air Force in combat, troop transport, load movement and humanitarian operations, and extend these helicopters’ operational lifetime to at least 2025. Improvements for the Puma Mk2 include the use of new Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines that considerably increase performance; the integration of a full glass cockpit incorporating modern avionics and a flight management system; the implementation of a digital automatic flight control system; as well as the incorporation of a secure communications suite, defensive aids and ballistic protection for crew and passengers. Additionally, greater onboard fuel capacity and lower fuel consumption improve the Puma Mk2’s operating range. These upgraded aircraft are able to carry twice the payload over three times the range compared to its predecessor in the most demanding operational and environmental conditions. Eurocopter UK Ltd, Britain’s civil helicopter hub, and its predecessors have been present and highly active in the United Kingdom for over 30 years, dominating the civil rotary wing(rw) sector. Its contribution to the aerospace sector of the national economy includes the development of police aviation leading to a 75% market share, air ambulances (70% share), and well over 50% of the offshore oil and gas market. Eurocopter UK Ltd is headquartered in Oxford, with additional bases in Dublin (Ireland), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Hawarden (Wales) and Aberdeen (Scotland) and provides the full range of products and services for the rw sector, including prime contractor of the RAF Puma Mk2 programme. Some 450 Eurocopter helicopters form the biggest part of the UK's helicopter fleet and the backbone of vital national infrastructure such as 100 helicopters serving the UK Ministry of Defence for transport, training and high end operational missions. Eurocopter enjoys a reputation for innovation, high quality and a strong customer service ethos. To date, Eurocopter UK Ltd has exported helicopter High-Tech solutions to 23 nations on all continents. The Eurocopter group employs more than 1600 people across the British Isles.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
Embattled German Minister Defends EuroHawk Decision

June 6, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: German Ministry of Defence; issued June 5, 2013)

(Issued in German only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

 

Ministerial Statement on Euro Hawk Development Project to the Defence Committee

 


BERLIN --- This is the statement issued today by Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière regarding the Euro Hawk Armor project following the Defence Committee on 5 June 2013:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today I have submitted to the Defence Committee the report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Euro Hawk process. I have also presented my personal evaluation, and announced the consequences.

My evaluation of this process is as follows: The decision to continue to use this aircraft for training purposes until the end of September 2013, and at the same time not to procure production aircraft, as originally intended, is correct.

Also, this decision is not too late. Its timing is appropriate as it has prevented greater damage, and not increased it. Had the decision has been made earlier, it would not have been possible to benefit from the investment for training purposes. Therefore, the timing of the decision was also correct.

Nonetheless, the method had significant shortcomings. From the beginning, there was a design flaw at birth because of the different expectations on the American and the German sides. It began in 2002, 2004 to 2007, and in the following years.

Project management, that is the control process over the course of this project, was flawed and did not function, and my involvement was inadequate. The decision had been finally made at ministerial level. I then subsequently approved it.

This is not acceptable. Such a decision should have been made by myself.

For the future, among other consequences, we will change project management and we will organize the approval processes differently, while the participation of the Minister looks quite different.

Namely, I will regularly receive status reports on all major defense projects, not with “good weather” returns, but with detailed reporting of any problems and of proposed solutions.

We will then submit a report to the Defense and Budget Committees, so we can inform you of any problems at a time when corrective action is still possible.

I am reserving judgment on personnel consequences at the present time. These will depend on what results will be reported by the detailed review, namely in regarding management errors and such. I will then decide on appropriate actions, and they will be announced during a press conference.


Click here for the Ad Hoc Working Group report (85 PDF pages, German only).


Click here for the Minister’s report to the Defence Committee (13 PDF pages, in German only).

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
De Maiziere Fails to Clarify Drone Debate, Expert Says

June 6, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Deutsche Welle German radio; published June 5, 2013)

 

German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere claimed he was informed too late about the failed Euro Hawk drone project. Political scientist Christian Hacke tells DW why the minister's resignation may be appropriate.

 

 

DW: There has been considerable pressure on the defense minister in recent weeks for not having stopped the drone program sooner. He's testified before a parliamentary committee that he had hardly been involved in the project and was only later informed about the cancellation. Do you find this statement surprising?

 

Christian Hacke: Yes, I find the statement tremendously surprising. Since this debacle has gone public, de Maiziere has indicated that such glitches could occur. But he didn't say that this should be considered standard. What he said was that with such large projects over such long time periods, one could pretty much count on problems. I already found that to be playing down reality.

 

But now he's made a 180-degree turn in saying that he had no idea, implying that he considers the whole process to have been problematic. That's a skewed argument. Whether or not this is actually the case, both situations would be equally bad. At this point the question has to be asked if he's got a handle on his ministry at all. The situation for him has by no means improved.

 

DW: How can a minister involved in projects of such magnitude not be better informed, and how can deputy ministers be in a position to cancel the Euro Hawk project practically on their own?

 

Christian Hacke: This project has been running for some time now, de Maiziere's predecessors had already dealt with it. But with regard to projects of this magnitude, I cannot see how deputies could make such decisions by themselves, without involving the head of the ministry. If that was really the case, with deputy ministers allowed to do whatever they pleased, then de Maiziere didn't have the department under his control.

 

DW: Do you believe this is a failure on the part of de Maiziere's? Should he have actively sought out more information?

 

Christian Hacke: I've had a certain understanding for his position, in the sense that he does not find out about everything, or does not find out in a timely manner. But now that he's made a point of describing how the ministerial deputies went around him to cancel the project without his approval - I find that very vexing. He should really take responsibility. That's the case if he did know beforehand, which he now denies, as well as if while he is running a ministry and decisions get made without him.

 

DW: De Maiziere has ruled out resigning, but is reserving the option of personnel consequences in the ministry. Do you think it would be fair if he lets go his deputies?

 

Christian Hacke: Indeed, the question is whether the opposition and his own party would be satisfied with this. They may say that people are just being sacrificed here. I cannot judge the competency of the ministerial deputies. I also don't know if maybe they are in some kind of bureaucratic fight with the minister. But to be honest, one can't rule out the consequence that demands for de Maiziere's resignation will become louder.

 

DW: Are the explanations that de Maiziere provided adequate? What still remains to be clarified, in your opinion?

 

Christian Hacke: Until now, merely the technical, bureaucratic and financial aspects of this affair have been discussed. Which is important, and correct. But beyond that, there are so many other important questions that have not been addressed at all. What are the effects of the Euro Hawk on Germany's national security? Do drones fit into our defense strategy? And the ethical questions, summarized by the idea of death by joystick: Who is allowed to kill, and who will be killed? Not to mention the global dimension: How do these drones contribute to an arms race? At this point the West has a monopoly on drones, but that doesn't mean that authoritarian states won't someday also have drones.

 

All of these topics have been completely left out, and also received short shrift in de Maiziere's appearance before the parliamentary committee. That's why I say that the debate taking place for years in Berlin has been provincial, and the minister has in no way brought clarity to these issues.

 

 

Christian Hacke is professor emeritus at the Institute for Political Science and Sociology at the University of Bonn.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 12:50
Pilot Completes First F-35 Vertical Landing for Royal Air Force

Jun 06, 2013 (SPX)

 

Patuxent River, MD - Squadron Leader Jim Schofield became the first Royal Air Force pilot to complete a vertical landing of a Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) Lightning II on May 28. Following the flight, Schofield commented on the F-35B's handling capabilities.

 

"The F-35 has truly revolutionised STOVL flying," said Schofield.

 

"With legacy types, such as Harrier, the pilot was always working hard to land the aircraft onto a hover pad or ship. Now with F-35B, at the press of a button the aircraft transforms into 'short take-off or vertical landing' mode whereupon the aircraft can take off or hover hands-off.

 

"This means pilots will require less training and operating the aircraft will be much safer than legacy types. It's a fantastic aircraft to fly."

 

The U.S. Marine Corps plans to declare Initial Operational Capability with the STOVL in 2015.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:55
Flirter avec les nuages et un Rafale

05.06.2013 by Steven__Strong

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
A400M-C295 photo Airbus Military

A400M-C295 photo Airbus Military

4 Jun 2013 By Craig Hoyle - FG

 

With his company within weeks of delivering its first A400M under a European project for 170 of the type, Airbus Military chief executive Domingo Ureña-Raso has for the first time hinted openly at a potential future development programme for a smaller transport aircraft.

 

To provide the air forces of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK - plus first export customer Malaysia - with a tactical airlifter capable of carrying a maximum payload of 37t, the A400M has been designed to occupy a niche between the USA's smaller Lockheed Martin C-130J and larger Boeing C-17.

 

Significant product development work is still being conducted on Airbus Military's C295 medium transport, which can carry a cargo of up to 9t. This includes a winglet-equipped production standard to be delivered to customers from 2014, plus a version on offer to several potential buyers with an airborne early warning and control system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta Systems subsidiary.

 

Speaking in Seville on 29 May, Ureña-Raso said the company's next development task could be to create an offering to fit below the size of the C-130 Hercules. Possible payload capacities for such a product could be in the 9t area already occupied by the current C295, or in the "16-18t" sector, he said. The latter would pit any such transport in the same broad category as Embraer's turbofan-powered KC-390 transport and tanker, which the Brazilian company says will be able to lift between 16 and 23t, depending on mission type. Embraer's developmental product should be ready for service introduction with the Brazilian air force during 2016.

 

Despite his hints at Airbus Military's possible future development strategy, Ureña-Raso notes that no such activity will be launched in the short-term, while final assembly of the A400M continues to ramp up and the company also pursues a "second wave" of orders for its Airbus A330-based multi-role tanker transport, and further orders for its C295 product line.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

4 Jun 2013 By Craig Hoyle - FG

 

London - France will receive its first A400M tactical transport in late June or early July, after the nation's air force has displayed the type at the Paris air show, says Airbus Military programme head Cedric Gautier.

 

The company completed production acceptance tests with lead aircraft MSN7 at its San Pablo site in Seville, Spain in May, Gautier says, adding: "We as industry consider the aircraft as ready for delivery. Customer acceptance is ongoing, and is going well."

 

Meanwhile, the same production acceptance process has also been launched for the French air force's second A400M, which is expected to be transferred "in the summertime". Sources had suggested that aircraft MSN8 was due to make its flight debut late last month, but Gautier on 30 May said a decision was taken to delay this by around one week, due to "some very little short-term conflict with MSN7's delivery process".

 

Airbus Military also expects to conduct the first flight of an A400M for the Turkish air force before the end of June, with MSN9 scheduled to be delivered in late September. This will be followed by a third example for France, in December, with MSN10 the first aircraft to be completed in the SOC1 software standard - which will introduce tactical capabilities including initial aerial delivery and self-protection equipment. First flight is planned for late September.

 

Targeted for completion ahead of Bastille Day events to be staged in France on 14 July, the delivery of MSN7 is a key milestone as the European manufacturer looks to attract more export orders for the Atlas, beyond the four units to be delivered to Malaysia.

 

"Entry into service is the real starting point for us for a marketing campaign," Gautier says. "Our potential customers want to have a clear view of the aircraft being used by launch operators." Airbus Military officials say it is already negotiating possible deals with several undisclosed nations, with the company having previously described opportunities as existing in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

 

Gautier believes a new export order could potentially be agreed within the next 18- to 24-months, although one production slot is available for delivery during 2016, should a buyer emerge in time.

 

With Germany having previously expressed a desire to operate just 40 of its originally planned 60 and already revised 53 A400Ms, France's publication of a new defence White Paper in April also hinted at a need for a potentially reduced fleet than the 50 it is under contract to receive.

 

"There is a risk regarding the capability of the [French] customer to take on time all the aircraft," Gautier says. "Perhaps they will take some measures later on, but for now they have an urgent need."

 

Gautier notes that Airbus Military has had no discussions so far with Europe's OCCAR defence procurement agency about reducing its production total below the 170 A400Ms on order for Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK. "The short term and the medium term is protected," he adds. The company will look to offer any surplus slots to the export market from late this decade if any of the core nations opt to reduce the size of their planned fleets.

 

Meanwhile, flight testing with the new type has recently advanced to include initial air-to-air refuelling proximity flights, ahead of a Eurocopter demonstrator for the EC725 utility helicopter, says Eric Isorce, head of A400M flight tests. Conducted in late May, the process involved aircraft Grizzly 2 deploying a refuelling hose for the rotorcraft to approach at flight speeds of 130kt (240km/h) down to 105kt.

 

Further work with the A400M acting as a receiver aircraft during refuelling should be conducted in September 2013, behind a C160 Transall airlifter. More than 30 dry contacts already performed between the types by multiple pilots have shown the new aircraft's ability to maintain contact, even during turns of up to 20˚ angle of bank, Isorce says.

 

With the company's five-strong fleet of Grizzly development aircraft having accumulated more than 5,000 flight hours through 1,700-plus flights since December 2009, Gautier says: "We are now devoted to the SOC1 and 1.5 standards development." To be fielded by late 2014, the latter will add air-to-air refuelling functionality and expanded self-protection systems: "the vast majority of the tactical capabilities to operate in a hostile environment," he notes.

 

Beyond the four aircraft to be delivered this year, structures for two more A400Ms are already on the final assembly line, with 15 others currently in the production or subassembly stages at supplier sites, and long-lead items already ordered out to aircraft MSN32. "The A400M is now part of the production landscape in Europe," Gautier says

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Euro Hawk décollage de la BA De de Manching 11.01.2013 photo EADS - Cassidian

Euro Hawk décollage de la BA De de Manching 11.01.2013 photo EADS - Cassidian

June 5, 2013 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: Deutsche Welle German radio; issued June 4, 2013)

 

The Euro Hawk Scandal: A Chronicle

 

Development of the Euro Hawk drone cost hundreds of millions of euros. Despite early indications of problems, Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière held on to the project. DW chronicles the Euro Hawk's short life.

 

 

The government coalition of Social Democrats and Greens laid the foundation for the development of a surveillance drone as early as 2001. Five defense ministers came and went during the planning and trial process of the Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft. Warnings of flight permit problems came early. Here's what happened between the project's start in 2001 and its sudden end in 2013.

 

2001

As a member of the SPD/Greens coalition government, Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping (SPD) planned the commission of a surveillance drone that would fly at a height of 20 kilometers (12 miles) and registers radio and radar signals with the help of modern technology. US defense technology company Northrop Grumman was to be tasked with production, while European aviation firm EADS was to develop the surveillance technology. That was as far as plans went.

 

2003

During Peter Struck's (SPD) term as defense minister, America's Global Hawk performed its first test flights in German air space. That drone served as the prototype for the "Euro Hawk." The six successful flights laid the foundation for cooperation between the companies involved and the German defense ministry that followed.

 

2004

The Bundeswehr asked EADS and Northrop Grumman to present an offer for the development, production and delivery of a Euro Hawk.

 

Then came the first words of caution. An EADS employee warned that an anti-collision system was necessary, particularly during departure and landing. On other occasions, similar warnings came from air traffic controllers, the private sector and the German military itself.

 

2005

In November, EADS and Northrop Grumman founded the 'Euro Hawk GmbH' corporation. In December, they presented their bid. Public announcements about the project appear not to have been made.

 

Looking back, Franz Josef Jung (CDU), the defense minister at that time, recently told the German weekly "Bild am Sonntag" that the contract included an automatic anti-collision system and a "recourse clause."

 

2007

The budget committee in Germany's lower house of parliament approved the program in late January 2007. The defense ministry signed a 430-million-euro ($560-million) contract with the Euro Hawk GmbH corporation for the drone project.

 

2009

According to current reports in "Spiegel" magazine, German military inspectors pointed out potential flight permit issues in summer 2009. They criticized the manufacturer for not providing any approved construction documents that would have facilitated the obtaining of those permits. It also remains unclear whether members of the German army were even authorized to issue flight permits for the drone.

 

But under pressure from the defense ministry, with Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (CSU) as minister, a military inspector eventually carried out the necessary tests allowing for a temporary permission of flight.

 

2010

In June, the Euro Hawk took off for the first time. It flew from the Northrop Grumman plant in Palmdale, California to the Edwards Air Force Base in the same state. The flight lasted two hours.

 

2011

On July 20, the aircraft embarked on its way to Germany and landed on Manching air field near Ingolstadt after 22 hours in the air.

 

Officially, this was seen as a success and hailed as the beginning of a new era of surveillance. At the time, the drone had a temporary traffic permit and could only take off and land in restricted air space.

 

There were reports that contact was temporarily lost with the drone during the flight and that it had deviated from its programmed route. US security authorities had denied overflight permission for the Euro Hawk within the United States.

 

Toward the end of 2011, the German defense ministry under current minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU) discovered that flight permits would cost an additional 500 to 600 million euros.

 

2012

In early 2013, the drone flew for six hours over Germany, marking another test flight that was viewed as a success.

 

But Defense Minister de Maizière stopped the drone project in May because of massive problems in obtaining flight permits for European airspace. Construction documents were missing for some 120 Euro Hawk components. Amid growing criticism, de Maizière also announced his ministry's decision to deliver sensitive Euro Hawk documents uncensored to Germany's Federal Court of Auditors.

 

A short while later, Northrop Grumman and EADS issued a joint statement contradicting the defense ministry. "Media reports that indicate there are challenges with the aircraft's flight control system, as well as excessive costs associated with completing airworthiness certification, are inaccurate," they said.

 

The full Euro Hawk system, the companies added, performed flawlessly and safely throughout the entire flight test program.

 

The defense ministry grounded its decision to suddenly the Euro Hawk program on the expected additional costs of up to 600 million euros.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Raytheon explores further developments after MALD-J completes operational tests

4 Jun 2013 Dave Majumdar - FG

 

Washington DC - Raytheon's Miniature Air Launched Decoy-Jammer (MALD-J) completed operational testing in late May, a senior company official says. The results of the testing should be available "this fall", but the US Air Force is already buying the MALD-J in quantity.

 

"We just negotiated lot six with the US Air Force, and they bought lot six and they are all jammers," says Jeff White, Raytheon's MALD business development manager. The sixth production lot of the air-launched decoys consists of 202 MALD-J vehicles, for a total price of $81 million.

 

White points out that this is the third lot of the MALD-J decoys that the USAF has purchased since the service started procuring the jammer variant of the MALD in the fourth production lot. So far the USAF has ordered about 650 MALD-J decoys, he says, with more to come.

 

"We're negotiating lot seven now," White says. "That'll come out next year."

 

Even though the MALD-J has completed its developmental activities, Raytheon is moving forward on potential naval applications for the jet-powered decoy. The company is working on risk reduction activities for the US Navy's Airborne Electronic Attack Expendable air-launched decoy programme, with White saying its proposal would use the MALD-J as a baseline.

 

White also says that Raytheon is working with the Office of Naval Research on a programme called Cerberus, which would fit the MALD with multiple payloads for the service's offensive anti-surface warfare mission. White says that if the navy can secure funding in the 2015 budget, the service could receive its first MALDs in 2017 or 2018.

 

A third development is being funded internally by Raytheon to effectively turn the decoy into a cruise missile of sorts by adding a thermobaric warhead to the decoy, White says. The company is also looking at adding a data-link to the device.

 

Another Raytheon-funded development is the MALD cargo aircraft launch system, which would enable a transport, such as the Lockheed Martin C-130J, to launch as many as 24 of the decoys. The company released inert MALDs from a Hercules in March 2011, but hopes to carry out a full live demonstration of the capability this year or during 2014, White says.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Bell Helicopter V-280 Valor tiltrotor design

Bell Helicopter V-280 Valor tiltrotor design

Jun. 6, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG

 

Washington DC - Bell Helicopter says that its V-280 Valor third-generation tiltrotor design has been selected by the US Army for its Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme.

 

"The V-280 Valor will provide the army's most sought-after capability, with a cruise speed of 280kt [519km/h]," says Keith Flail, director of Bell's future vertical lift effort. The service hopes to develop an aircraft that can achieve a cruise speed of at least 230kt for the JMR-TD effort and its follow-on Future Vertical Lift programme.

 

Flail says the V-280 improves on the technology found in the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey and is being designed to provide "outstanding" low-speed agility, multiple-g high-speed manoeuverability, superior fuel efficiency and improved range capabilities. Much of the aircraft's handling characteristics will be due to a new triple redundant fly-by-wire system that Bell hopes to incorporate into the machine.

 

The aircraft is also being designed to hover out of ground effect at a pressure altitude of 1,830m (6,000ft) at an ambient temperature of 35˚C (95˚F). Bell claims the V-280 will cruise at speeds of 280kt true airspeed and have a combat range of between 500nm (926km) and 800nm. It should also be able to self-deploy over a distance of 2,100nm.

 

Flail also claims the aircraft will have improved reliability and reduced costs, because the new clean sheet design reduces complexity compared to previous generation tiltrotors.

 

Bell's main competitor during the JMR-TD programme is expected to be a team consisting of Sikorsky and Boeing, which was its partner on the V-22. The two companies are pitching a high-speed compound helicopter design based on Sikorsky's self-funded X2 prototype for the army technolody demonstrator effort.

US Army selects Bell, Sikorsky/Boeing team for JMR demonstration

“The Sikorsky Boeing team is extremely pleased to have been invited by the US Army to negotiate a technology investment agreement for the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator Phase I programme,” the two companies say. “Our team brings a shared commitment to invest in next-generation rotorcraft technology based on Sikorsky’s X2 rigid rotor coaxial design.” Meanwhile, EADS North America recently told the army that it will drop out of the programme.

 

The army is expected to award JMR-TD contracts by September 2013, with first flights scheduled for 2017. The programme is expected to inform the Future Vertical Lift programme, which aspires to field a new medium-lift high-speed rotorcraft design to replace the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk series in the 2030s. It could also spawn an effort to replace the Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopter. That market could be worth as much as $100 billion, according to Bell.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
Commercial sector shines for A&D industry

NEW YORK, June 5 (UPI)

 

A surging commercial aviation market last year offset a soft defense sector, giving the aerospace and defense industry a bumper year, a U.S. report says.

 

PriceWaterhouseCoopers reported the top 100 A&D companies reported a record-setting $695 billion in revenue in 2012 and $59.8 billion in operating profit.

 

Revenue rose 4 percent compared with the previous year. Operating profit was up 2 percent from 2011 while the operating margin decreased 17 basis points to 8.60 percent.

 

The data does not take into account the acquisitions of Goodrich last year by United Technologies Corp. and GE Aviation's acquisition of Avio so the statistics "slightly understate the strength of commercial aviation earnings," it said.

 

The report says commercial aerospace companies continue to be optimistic about the future -- air traffic is robust and steady, driving the aftermarket business, while the industry increased large commercial aircraft output by 18 percent and captured more than 2,000 large aircraft orders for the second consecutive year and the third time in history.

 

"As a result, there's a record backlog -- more than seven years at current production rates," PriceWaterhouseCoopers said. "And the industry is anticipating another record output in 2013."

 

Defense companies, however, face an uncertain 2013 with U.S. defense spending curtailed by sequestration.

 

"Companies now are bracing for the consequences and waiting for details regarding the impact on specific programs," the report said. "Defense companies face more pressure than ever to improve productivity, increase transparency, and respond to increasingly complex government regulations and oversight."

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 06:25
photo Jean Ponsignon AerobuzzFr

photo Jean Ponsignon AerobuzzFr

05/06/2013 L'Expansion.com

 

La présidente du Brésil, Dilma Roussef, pencherait en faveur du F 18 de Boeing pour équiper son armée de l'air à l'issue d'une recontre avec le vice-président américain Joe Biden. Ce qui signerait le glas des espoirs de Dassault et de son Rafale.

 

Coup dur pour le Rafale. Encore favori au Brésil il y a un an, l'avion de combat de Dassault verrait ses espoirs de contrat s'éloigner au profit du F-18 de Boeing. La rencontre mardi du vice-président américain Joe Biden et de la présidente brésilienne Dilma Roussef aurait été déterminante, croit savoir l'agence de presse Reuters, qui cite des responsables brésiliens anaonymes.

 

Le Brésil craignait que le Congrès américain ne s'oppose au contrat afin d'éviter tout transfert de technologie militaire en direction du pays le plus peuplé d'Amérique Latine dont les positions sur l'Iran ou le Venezuela ont parfois énervé certains parlementaires US. Mais Joe Biden aurait donné des assurances qu'il n'en serait rien. Résultat, un contrat portant sur 36 avions de chasse pour un montant de quatre milliards de dollars semble bien parti pour tomber dans l'escarcelle de Boeing. Des commandes supplémentaires pourraient même s'y s'ajouter.

 

Les sources de Reuters ont toutefois précisé que la présidente brésilienne n'avait pas encore pris de décision définitive. Le calendrier exact de l'annonce n'est pas non plus connu. Dassault et le suédois Saab, également sur les rangs, ne sont donc pas officiellement hors course. Mais l'Inde apparaît plus que jamais comme le plus sûr espoir du Rafale pour décrocher enfin son premier contrat à l'étranger.

 

Problème, la négociation était au point mort en mai. La vente de quelque126 appareils achoppait sur le refus du français d'assumer la responsabilité des appareils assemblés sur place dans le cadre d'un transfert de technologie. Le contrat, évalué entre 12 et 20 milliards de dollars, stipule que les 18 premiers exemplaires doivent être construits en France et les 108 restants assemblés sous licence en Inde.

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5 juin 2013 3 05 /06 /juin /2013 20:20
Phantom Badger photo Air et Cosmos

Phantom Badger photo Air et Cosmos

22/05/2013 Par François Julian- air-cosmos.com

 

Après l'avion fonctionnant à l'hydrogène ou l'aile volante du futur, la prochaine création des Phantom Works, le laboratoire de recherche de Boeing, n'est autre qu'un... véhicule tout-terrain militaire. Bien sur il ne s'agit pas de n'importe quel tout-terrain, puisque ce 4x4 a été spécialement conçu pour être utilisé depuis la soute d'un V-22 Osprey, par les forces spéciales américaines.

 

Baptisé Phantom Badger (blaireau fantôme), il n'existe pour le moment qu'à l'état d'un prototype qu'Air&Cosmos a pu voir en avant-première, lors d'une visite dans les installations de Boeing à Saint Louis dans le Missouri. Le constructeur américain affirme avoir répondu à un appel d'offres (RFP) du Pentagone, baptisé ITV pour Internally Transportable Vehicle  et dont la principal exigence est de concevoir un véhicule suffisamment compact pour pouvoir loger dans les entrailles de l'hélicoptère convertible, ce qu'aucun véhicule militaire américain actuellement en service ne peut faire.

 

Pour mémoire, la soute du V-22 mesure 7,4 m de long, pour une largeur et une hauteur de 1,8 m. Boeing s'est donc associé à une société baptisée MotoSports Innovation (MSI) dont la spécialité est la préparation de véhicules pour les célèbres courses de Nascar. Sur le plan technique le Phantom Badger se présente comme tout-terrain compact, de conception simple et robuste, faiblement blindé et dont la plage arrière peut être aménagée de diverse manière grâce à une structure tubulaire démontable où peut notamment être fixé une mitrailleuse de 12,7 mm.

 

L'engin est essentiellement fabriqué avec des matériaux légers, à savoir de l'aluminium pour le châssis et de la fibre de verre pour la carrosserie. Il est propulsé par un moteur diesel pouvant également être alimenté au kérosène JP-8. Pour l'heure, le Phantom Badger a déjà fait l'objet de d'essais à Fort Bragg et dans le désert de l'Arizona. Si Boeing n'a pas d'ambition particulière dans le domaine des véhicules terrestres, le constructeur s'estime néanmoins être le mieux placé pour concevoir un véhiculé taillé sur-mesure pour le V-22. Cela serait également un bon moyen de dynamiser les chances de l’hélicoptère sur les marchés exports...

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5 juin 2013 3 05 /06 /juin /2013 19:50
photo Armée de l’Air

photo Armée de l’Air

05/06/2013 Par Léo Barnier - air-cosmos.com

 

Le Salon international de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (SIAE), alias le salon du Bourget, est un rendez-vous incontournable pour Airbus. De fait, l'avionneur européen va une fois encore déployer les grands moyens pour y assurer sa visibilité, notamment avec l'A400M et l'A380 qui seront de la partie du 17 au 23 juin.

 

Comme Air & Cosmos le révélait le 30 mai, deux A400M prendront part au salon. L'avion d'essais MSN 006 réalisera les démonstrations en vol, tandis que le MSN 8 – destiné à l'armée de l'Air – sera présent sur l'exposition statique. Cet appareil doit d'ailleurs faire son premier vol dans les tout prochains jours.

 

Du côté de l'A380, c'est le premier exemplaire destiné à la compagnie britannique British Airways qui assurera le "show" pour les premiers jours du salon. Il sera ensuite relayé par l'appareil d'essais d'Airbus. Des vols de démonstration sont ici encore prévus afin d'impressionner les foules.

A400M C295 photo Airbus Military

A400M C295 photo Airbus Military

En plus de son célèbre "Atlas", Airbus Military profitera du salon pour présenter le 100e bimoteur de transport C295 produit. L'appareil en question sera livré à un client pendant le salon, tout comme un appareil long-courrier A330 et un moyen-courrier A320 Sharklet, doté d'ailettes marginales. Un Airbus Corporate Jet ACJ318 complètera l'exposition statique de l'avionneur européen.

 

Enfin une maquette à l'échelle 1:1 du cockpit et d'une section de cabine du tout nouvel A350 sera présentée sur le chalet EADS (rangée A).

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5 juin 2013 3 05 /06 /juin /2013 19:20
King Air Emarss Crédit Boeing

King Air Emarss Crédit Boeing

05/06/2013 Par François Julian- air-cosmos.com

 

 annonce que le premier vol de l'avion de surveillance et de reconnaissance Emarss (Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System) a eu lieu le 22 mai dernier.

 

Ce premier vol, réalisé à partir du site de Beechcraft à Wichita, a duré 4 heures.

 

Cet avion fait partie d'un premier lot de quatre avions destiné à l'US Army dans le cadre de la phase EMD (Engineering, Manufacturing and Development, ou ingénierie, fabrication et développement) du programme. En octobre dernier Boeing avait déjà fait voler un appareil prototype destiné à la phase de réduction de risque.

 

Le programme Emarss prend pour base un biturbopropulseur Beechcraft King Air 350, auquel ont été ajoutés des capteurs optroniques vidéo, des capteurs Comint, une liaison de données tactique et une capacité « de guidage de précision aéroporté ».

 

Le King Air est l'une des plateformes favorites des forces américaines pour la conception d'avions multimissions, comme le MC-12W Liberty en service au sein de l’US Air Force depuis 2009.

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