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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 12:25
Why Super Tucano Is Super

May 7, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Guatemala is buying six Brazilian A-29 Super Tucano aircraft for their air force. The Super Tucano is a single engine turbo-prop trainer/attack aircraft that is used by over a dozen nations. This aircraft carries two internal 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine-guns and can carry up to 1.5 tons of bombs and rockets. It can stay in the air for 6.5 hours at a time. It is rugged, easy to maintain, and cheap. You pay $15-20 million for each Super Tucano, depending on how much training, spare parts and support equipment you get with them.

 

This aircraft can be equipped to carry over a half dozen of the 250 pound GPS smart bombs (or half a dozen dumb 500 pound bombs), giving it considerable potential firepower if rigged to handle smart bombs. The Super Tucano comes equipped with a GPS guidance system. Max altitude is 11,300 meters (35,000 feet) and cruising speed is 400 kilometers an hour. Naturally, this aircraft can move in lower and slower than any jet can. The Super Tucano is also equipped with armor for the pilot, a pressurized cockpit, and an ejection seat. Not bad for an aircraft with a max takeoff weight of 5.4 tons.

 

The Super Tucano can double as trainers. It's easier to train pilots to use the Super Tucano, cheaper to buy them, and much cheaper to operate them. It costs less than a tenth as much per flying hour to operate a Super Tucano compared to a F-16.

 

Guatemala is the sixth South Latin American customer for the Super Tucano joining Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Twelve countries (including Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Fasso, Indonesia, Mauritius and Senegal) have bought Super Tucano, which has become the world’s leading counter-insurgency aircraft. Guatemala will use it to help control the growing problem with drug smugglers moving cocaine to North America.

 

These "trainer/light attack aircraft" can also operate from crude airports, or even a stretch of highway. Aircraft like this can carry systems to defeat portable surface to air missiles. They can carry smart bombs as well.

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 10:50
Démission surprise du directeur de l’aéronautique de Rolls-Royce

6 mai Aerobuzz.fr

 

Rolls-Royce a annoncé (2 mai 2013) le départ inattendu de Mark King, directeur de la branche aéronautique, quatre mois seulement après la fusion entre les activités civils et militaires de cette dernière. Mark King était directeur de l’unité aéronautique civile avant de prendre la tête de la nouvelle division regroupant les activités civiles et militaires en janvier 2013. Ce départ soudain serait la conséquence d’une décision personnelle. King a travaillé pendant 27 ans chez Rolls-Royce

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6 mai 2013 1 06 /05 /mai /2013 16:55
Tir de missile Mica EM depuis un Rafale Marine

Tir de missile Mica EM depuis un Rafale Marine

29/04/2013 Sources : Air et Cosmos

 

Tiré à 23 000 pieds d’altitude et à une vitesse Mach de 0.9, un missile MICA EM, accélérant à plus de Mach 3 au départ du Rafale, a atteint et détruit la cible « Mirach », manœuvrant quelques dizaines de nautiques au sud.

La photo a pu être réalisée grâce au photographe d’Air et Cosmos embarqué dans un Hunter de CATS Aviation.

La photo a pu être réalisée grâce au photographe d’Air et Cosmos embarqué dans un Hunter de CATS Aviation.

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6 mai 2013 1 06 /05 /mai /2013 16:50
Défense : la Norvège se rapproche d'une commande de F-35

26/04/2013 F.G. – LaTribune.fr

 

Le gouvernement norvégien a demandé vendredi l'accord du Parlement pour passer commande d'une première tranche de F-35, l'avion de combat du constructeur américain Lockheed Martin pourtant plombé par des surcoûts et des retards liés aux difficultés de son développement technique. Singapour étudie aussi une commande.

 

 C’est un pas supplémentaire vers la commande d’une première tranche de F-35 qu’a fait vendredi le gouvernement norvégien en demandant le feu vert du Parlement pour cette commande. Malgré les dérapages du programme et l’envolée de sa facture, le ministère de la Défense a sollicité les élus pour qu'ils lui accordent 12,9 milliards de couronnes (1,69 milliard d'euros) pour acheter non seulement l'achat des six premiers avions de combat du constructeur américain Lockheed Martin (4,5 milliards), mais aussi celui de simulateurs et des dépenses d'équipement, d'intégration d'un système d'armes et d'entraînement (8,4 milliards). La Norvège, qui fait partie des neuf pays partenaires impliqués dans le développement du F-35, veut pouvoir compter sur ces chasseurs en 2017 pour remplacer sa flotte vieillissante des F-16. En 2008, le pays scandinave avait annoncé son intention d'acheter jusqu'à 52 appareils de ce type pour une enveloppe totale tournant autour de 60 milliards de couronnes, son plus important achat hors industrie pétrolière. La Norvège, qui a étalé ses commandes dans le temps, entend prendre livraison de six appareils chaque année entre 2017 et 2024. Face au risque d’envolée de la facture, le gouvernement a prévu une enveloppe de 11 milliards de couronnes.

 

Singapour évalue le F-35

 

Alors qu’il est critiqué pour ses surcoûts et ses retards, le programme F-35 risque de faire les frais des réductions budgétaires dans plusieurs pays, voire aux Etats-Unis, son premier client qui envisage l'achat de plus de 2.400 exemplaires. Pour autant, malgré ses déboires Singapour avait indiqué, mi-mars, être en phase finale de l'évaluation du projet de remplacement de ses avions de combat F-15 et F-16 par des F-35, également appelé Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). « Bien que le F-35 soit toujours en développement, nous sommes intéressés par ce programme, au regard de nos besoins futurs », avait déclaré le ministre de la Défense Ng Eng Hen lors d'un débat sur le budget national. Il « devra être certain que cet avion de combat multi-rôles réponde à nos objectifs sur le long terme, soit sur la bonne voie pour être efficace opérationnellement et, le plus important, soit un programme efficace au niveau des coûts », a-til ajouté le ministre.

 

Vols d'essais suspendus en février

 

Le F35, dont les Etats-Unis sont le maître d'oeuvre, est conçu en coopération avec huit autres pays: le Royaume-Uni, les Pays-Bas, le Canada, le Danemark, la Norvège, l'Australie, la Turquie et l'Italie. Le programme est destiné à remplacer la flotte vieillissante de F-16 et de F-18 dans la deuxième moitié de la décennie.

 

En février, l'armée américaine avait dû suspendre les vols d'essai de ses nouveaux chasseurs en raison de potentiels problèmes de moteur.

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6 mai 2013 1 06 /05 /mai /2013 12:35
Les géants américains de la défense profitent des tensions en Corée

 

06/05 Yann Rousseau Correspondant à Tokyo - Les Echos

 

Raytheon, Boeing ou encore Northrop Grumman enchaînent les contrats avec Séoul. L'appel d'offres pour les prochains avions de combat se jouera entre Boeing et Lockheed Martin.

 

Fin avril, les troupes américaines et sud-coréennes ont mis fin aux gigantesques exercices militaires « Foal Eagle » qu'elles avaient lancé le 1 er mars au large de la péninsule. Organisées régulièrement, ces manoeuvres communes impliquant plus de 20.000 soldats ont été particulièrement suivies par les grandes capitales de la zone car leur ampleur a semblé contribuer à la spectaculaire montée des tensions dans la région. Accusant Washington et Séoul de préparer une attaque, les autorités nord-coréennes ont enchaîné les provocations depuis début mars, allant jusqu'à enclencher la fermeture du complexe industriel nord-coréen de Kaesong.

 

Si ce durcissement mobilise les diplomates, il est aussi mis à profit par les grands industriels américains de l'armement. Pour eux, l'agressivité de Pyongyang et le rapprochement entre les états-majors américain et sud-coréen constituent une occasion unique de pousser leurs produits auprès de leurs clients de la péninsule. En quelques semaines, ils ont d'ailleurs sécurisé plusieurs commandes importantes.

US Army combat helicopter – AH-64E.

US Army combat helicopter – AH-64E.

Négociations

 

Mi-avril, Séoul a ainsi annoncé l'achat de 36 hélicoptères de combat Apache construits par Boeing pour 1,6 milliard de dollars, afin d'améliorer ses capacités de réaction face à la menace nord-coréenne. Une semaine plus tôt, Raytheon a révélé que son radar à antenne active RACR a été sélectionné dans le cadre du programme de modernisation des avions de combat F-16 du pays. Le montant de la vente n'a pas été divulgué mais les experts l'estiment à plusieurs centaines de millions de dollars.

Les géants américains de la défense profitent des tensions en Corée

Même si aucun contrat n'est encore entériné, la presse sud-coréenne table sur l'acquisition prochaine d'au moins quatre exemplaires du plus imposant drone jamais conçu par les industriels américains. Presque aussi grand qu'un avion de ligne et facturé 215 millions de dollars pièce, le RQ-4 Global Hawk de Northrop Grumman pourrait compléter le réseau d'informations mis en place par les Américains et leurs alliés pour surveiller la Corée du Nord mais également la Chine. Début avril, Reuters assurait que les négociations avaient commencé avec Séoul mais aussi Tokyo.

Les géants américains de la défense profitent des tensions en Corée

Avant la fin de l'été, Séoul devrait aussi dévoiler le nom de la société qui lui fournira sa nouvelle génération d'avions de combat. Ce programme, estimé à près de 8 milliards de dollars, doit permettre le remplacement, à partir de 2017, des anciens F-4 « Phantom ». Officiellement trois appareils restent en lice, le F-35 de Lockheed Martin, le F-15 Silent Eagle de Boeing, et l'Eurofighter Typhoon porté, dans ces négociations, par Cassidian, la filiale défense d'EADS.

 

La semaine dernière, le consortium européen a annoncé qu'il était prêt à délocaliser en Corée du Sud chez Korea Aerospace Industries la production d'au moins 48 des 60 appareils qui seraient commandés. Il a aussi laissé entendre qu'il était prêt à de plus importants transferts de technologies que ses concurrents américains dont les exportations sont strictement encadrées par Washington.

 

Malgré tout, les chances de l'Eurofighter sont bien maigres dans un pays qui fait office de pré carré américain (Dassault en sait quelque chose). En pleine période d'exercice militaires communs, les lobbies pro-américains ont pu activer tous leurs réseaux sur place et le contrat ne devrait pas leur échapper.

 

Au début du mois, Dave Scott, le responsable des ventes du F-35 chez Lockheed Martin, est longuement venu expliquer à Séoul que son avion de combat était le plus efficace face à la menace nord-coréenne. A condition de s'armer de patience car le programme, plombé par des problèmes techniques, affiche des années de retard.

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6 mai 2013 1 06 /05 /mai /2013 11:30
Des soldats se préparent à lancer le Skylark.

Des soldats se préparent à lancer le Skylark.

 

février 4, 2013 tsahal.fr

 

Des yeux d’aigle, un maximum d’efficacité pour un minimum de risques : découvrez en images le drone Skylark de Tsahal.

 

Craignant de perdre des pilotes en territoire ennemi, les États-Unis et Israël sont à l’origine du développement des drones. Éléments essentiels qui accompagnent les pilotes d’avions de chasse et d’hélicoptères de l’Armée de l’Air Israélienne, les drones, avions sans pilote, jouent un rôle essentiel pour la sécurité du pays.

 

Le «Skylark I-LE» est petit et léger. Il peut être porté par une seule personne et être prêt à voler en moins de huit minutes, comme en témoignent ces images.

Le drone Skylark est conçu pour recueillir des renseignements.

Le drone Skylark est conçu pour recueillir des renseignements.

Un soldat se prépare à lancer un "Skylark".

Un soldat se prépare à lancer un "Skylark".

Le «Skylark I-LE», il peut être porté par une seule personne et être prêt à voler en moins de huit minutes.

Le «Skylark I-LE», il peut être porté par une seule personne et être prêt à voler en moins de huit minutes.

Il dispose de trois heures d’autonomie de vol et d’une caméra vidéo intégrée qui filme de jour comme de nuit, et ce quelles que soient les conditions météorologiques. Le «Skylark» semble calme, mais possède les yeux d’un aigle. Il est rapidement déployé et rapidement rapatrié à la base.

 

Les drones Skylark sont en service dans Tsahal et dans d’autres armées étrangères. Ils ont déjà été utilisés sur le champ de bataille dans de nombreuses zones de guerre, y compris en Irak et en Afghanistan.

 

Il est conçu pour recueillir des renseignements dans des missions “au-delà de la colline”, c’est-à-dire des missions pour lesquelles la cible est située à une courte distance. Le drone est exceptionnellement silencieux et possède d’excellentes capacités d’observation aussi bien de jour que de nuit.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 16:55
France Sells Off 2.1 Percent EADS Stake to Investors

 

Apr. 26, 2013 – Defense news (AFP)

 

PARIS — The French state raised another $921 million (€707 million) from the sale of a 2.1 percent stake in EADS to investors, the economy ministry said in a statement.

 

The sale of 17.6 million shares follows the sale by France earlier this month of about 13 million shares back to EADS itself for €483 million as part of EADS’ share buyback program. EADS, which owns passenger aircraft maker Airbus, announced a share buyback program as part of a wider restructuring that will reduce state ownership and interference in the company.

 

Germany and Spain also own stakes in the company.

 

The two operations, which brought the French state nearly €1.2 billion, should help preserve “the strategic interests of the state and free up capital resources for new economic growth sectors,” said the ministry.

 

France, which is struggling to meet its commitments to the EU to reduce its public deficit, last month took advantage of high prices for shares in the aircraft engine and equipment manufacturer Safran to sell a 3.12 percent stake and raise €448.5 million.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 16:35
RAF Waddington takes command of MQ-9 Reaper UAV operations in Afghanistan

 

26 April 2013 airforce-technology.com

 

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has started command and control operations of its MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in Afghanistan from a newly constructed facility at Royal Air Force (RAF) Waddington in Lincolnshire, UK.

 

Flown by the No. 13 Squadron personnel using ground control stations (GCS) earlier this week, the move marks the first time the UAVs have been operated from the UK, more than five years after their acquisition for conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in Afghanistan.

 

To date, the UK has been controlling the RAF's five Reaper drones from the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, US, following launch from an airfield within Afghanistan, as it did not have the capability to control them from home bases.

 

Undisclosed military officials were cited by Guardian as saying that the 13 Squadron pilots in collaboration with the personnel in the US will now take charge of Reapers from an advanced and sophisticated UAV centre at RAF Waddington.

 

The centre, with three operating terminals, was built in 2012 under the supervision of the UK MoD, as part of the 2010 strategic defence and security review.

 

The 39 Squadron will not be disbanded and will continue operations until the end of 2014, when all Nato-led coalition forces will pull out from Afghanistan, the officials added.

 

Initially deployed unarmed in Afghanistan, the RAF Reapers have since been equipped with 500lb laser-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles by the MoD, which also ordered additional five units to tackle Taliban insurgents in October 2012.

 

Manufactured by General Atomics, the MQ-9 Reaper is a medium-to-high altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAV designed to conduct close air support, air interdiction and intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

 

Announced two days before a protest organised by Drone Campaign Network outside RAF Waddington, the move has also attracted sharp criticism from the Stop the War Coalition, which says the switching of control to the UK represents "an unwelcome expansion in the country's UAV programme".

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 16:20
(Photo: Archives/Sgt Pete Nicholson, 14e Escadre Greenwood, © 2011 DND-MDN Canada)

(Photo: Archives/Sgt Pete Nicholson, 14e Escadre Greenwood, © 2011 DND-MDN Canada)

 

26/04/2013 par Nicolas Laffont – 45eNord

 

L-3 Electronic Systems Services (ESS), entrepreneur principal de l’effort de soutien de systèmes d’armes optimisée au CP-140 Aurora, a mis en œuvre avec succès le dispositif de communication Au-delà de la portée optique – communications vidéo, voix et données (BLOS-CVVD) sur un CP-140 Aurora de l’Aviation royale canadienne (ARC).

 

Contrairement aux transmissions à ligne de visée classiques, les transmissions au-delà de la portée optique peuvent fonctionner dans des conditions géographiques difficiles telles que l’on peut en trouver dans le Haut-Arctique canadien.

 

Ainsi, le 31 janvier 2013, un CP-140 embarquant le système BLOS-CVVD, a réalisé ce que d’autres avions de l’Aviation royale canadienne n’avaient pas été en mesure de réaliser jusqu’à ce jour.

 

La Défense et L-3 ESS souhaitaient mettre à l’essai l’envoi de photos, le recours à un logiciel de conversation en ligne, l’envoi de vidéos enregistrées, ainsi que la transmission de vidéos en direct à une station au sol, au moyen d’une tourelle électro-optique Wescam MX-20.

 

L’avion a transmis un flux vidéo en direct sur une distance de près de 4 000 km, juste en dessous de 80° N de latitude jusqu’à la 14e Escadre Greenwood, en Nouvelle-Écosse. BLOS-CVVD représenterait une amélioration significative pour  l’Aviation royale canadienne de ses capacités de renseignement/surveillance/reconnaissance (RSR) et de connaissance de la situation, ainsi que la capacité du Canada à mener des opérations dans l’Arctique.

 

Pour le major Kurt Lalonde, commandant de l’Unité maritime d’essais et d’évaluation (UMEE) de la 14e Escadre Greenwood, le prototype a «très bien réussi à montrer les capacités du système et a fait valoir le besoin qu’ont les Forces armées canadiennes de disposer d’informations RSR en temps utile». «La réussite de cet essai pourrait bien annoncer la poursuite de la mise en œuvre de ce système à l’échelle de la flotte.»

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:55
MSN08 sur le tarmac de Séville photo G. Belan (FOB)

MSN08 sur le tarmac de Séville photo G. Belan (FOB)

 

26.04.2013 Par Guillaume Belan (FOB)

 

Le sujet est sensible. Ce n’est pourtant plus qu’une question de semaines. Chez Airbus Military à Séville, aucun responsable ne s’ose à avancer une date de livraison précise du premier appareil A400M Atlas à l’armée française. « au deuxième semestre » se bornent à répéter les responsables. « Le sujet est sensible et fait l’objet de discussions et de procédures entre la DGA, le CEAM, l’OCCAr et la MEST » (Multinational Entry into Service Team) précise Damien Allard, Market Developement Manager chez Airbus Military à Madrid. Lors de la visite de FOB hier sur l’immense et flambante neuve usine d’Airbus à deux pas de Séville, le MSN007, soit le premier Atlas qui sera livré à la France était en vol. Pas visible donc, « actuellement aux mains du client » précise le constructeur européen, soit l’armée de l’air française. Dans les immenses hangars climatisés, les lignes de productions tournent à plein. Déjà le MSN009, soit le premier A400M qui doit être livré aux Turcs cette année, est en cours d’assemblage final. Un peu plus loin, d’autres parties d’Atlas continent de s’assembler : MSN12 destiné à la France, dont la construction a débuté en mars de cette année peut-on lire sur un panneau. Sur le Tarmac, des ouvriers s’affairent autour du MSN008, soit le deuxième des trois Atlas que recevra l’armée de l’air cette année. La cocarde française et la mention « armée de l’air » y figurent déjà. « Nous sommes dans les temps, il n’y a plus aucun problème » assure le responsable français.

 

Premier équipage certifié

 

En attendant, la première équipe française est opérationnelle depuis la semaine dernière. Arrivée en février au Training Center de Séville, elle vient de recevoir sa certification, « prête à voler ». Quatre pilotes français, cinq loadmasters (soutiers) et une douzaine de techniciens sont dorénavant aptes à mettre en œuvre le futur avion de transport européen. Depuis la semaine dernière, une nouvelle équipe a pris le relais à Séville pour recevoir leur formation sur le futur avion de transport. Au programme, des cours théoriques bien sûr, mais aussi des heures sur simulateurs. Sur le centre de formation d’Airbus Military, on parle espagnol, français mais aussi turc ou anglais.

MSN08 sur le tarmac de Séville photo G. Belan (FOB)

MSN08 sur le tarmac de Séville photo G. Belan (FOB)

Avion de tous les superlatifs, l’Atlas aurait apporté une véritable plus-value durant l’opération Serval commente Damien Allard. Remplissant à la fois des missions de transport stratégique (à l’instar du C-17) et tactique (Transall et C-130). Pour Serval, l’A400M aurait pu apporter des charges très lourdes (véhicules blindés, logistique…) aux endroits désirés, soit au nord du Mali, à Tessalit ou Kidal par exemple. 25 tonnes de charges utiles auraient pu être délivrés sur des pistes de 750 mètres non préparées. Des conditions impossibles pour un Antonov ou un C-17 et des charges bien trop lourdes pour un C-130J. Ce qui a abouti de longues heures de convois par voie terrestre, pas moins de cinq jours de Bamako à Tombouctou!

 

En mai donc.. ou juin, le MSN07 arrivera sur la base d’Orléans. Le second, le MSN08 est attendu cet été et le troisième devrait arriver en décembre. Le dernier Atlas français doit être livré en 2024. A cette date, la France disposera de 50 A400M dont 25 en version auto-protégés et 10 ravitailleurs.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:43
Successful ESA-EDA Flight Demonstration on RPAS Insertion into Civil Airspace

26.04.2013 European Defence Agency
 

San Javier Air Base (Murcia) was selected to conduct the trials and demonstrate that satellite communications are suitable to operate Remotely Piloted  Aircraft Systems (RPASs) and integrate them into civil airspace.

The DeSIRE project (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of RPAS in Europe) is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) within an initiative to support the utilisation of RPAS complemented by satellites for commercial and governmental applications.

To undertake this project the consultancy and technology multinational Indra (Spain) leads a European industrial consortium formed by AT-One (Germany and the Netherlands), SES ASTRA (Luxembourg), Thales Alenia Space (Italy and France) and CIRA (Italy).

Test Flights

DESIRE has undertaken a series of test flights to demonstrate the role of satellite communications for integrating in civil and military airspace RPAS flight Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS). The concepts and applicable procedures were defined in the precursor feasibility studies. In particular, the flight completed this Wednesday provided a generic terrestrial and maritime surveillance service, demonstrating the dual use of RPAS. 

In the presence of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Francisco Javier García-Arnaiz, an aircraft without a pilot on board took off from the San Javier runway at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday 24 April and completed a 6-hour flight in civil and military airspace. The operation was timed to coincide with civil and military flights operating from the base, which shares its facilities with Murcia Airport.

After take-off, the aircraft switched from its Line of Sight (LOS) data link, to its satellite data link, capable to operate Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS), and started its operational mission in segregated airspace, sending to the ground, by means of the satellite data link, the signals from its on-board sensors.

The RPA then climbed to 20,000 feet (6,096 m), entering airspace class C, managed by AENA, the Spanish Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), from Barcelona Control Centre. The pilot of the RPA, located at the Ground Control Station, followed all the indications issued by the AENA air traffic controllers, acting like any other civil or military aircraft. The difference is that the pilot was not on board and the radio communication with the control centre was transmitted from the aircraft to the operator via satellite.

During this phase of the flight, a manned aircraft from the Air Force Academy approached the RPA, simulating frontal and 90º collision trajectories. The pilots of the two aircraft followed the separation instructions issued by the air traffic controllers, demonstrating the safe operation of remotely piloted aircraft even in an emergency situation such as the separation of two aircraft on a collision course.

Situational Awareness

Throughout the exercise, the data of SACTA, AENA's air traffic control system based on secondary radars, was available to the pilot of the RPA in the Ground Control Station, enabling him to improve the situational awareness of nearby aircraft, with more details and precision than an on-board pilot would have. A radar located on board the RPA was also used to detect surrounding traffic and the data were transmitted to the pilot through the satellite link. The aim was to define and test the air traffic control and operation procedures applicable to a remotely piloted aircraft and to evaluate the safety of the satellite link and the reaction capacity of the aircraft's ground pilot, both in routine operation and in emergency situations.

All the information collected in these tests will be analysed and compared with the safety requirements being established by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the operational requirements being set by EUROCONTROL.

During the flight, the payload data collected from the sensors on-board the aircraft (AIS receiver, radar and video) were transmitted in real-time to the Ground Control Station and further processed to enable ships’ detection and identification.

The execution of the project was possible thanks to the collaboration of the Spanish Air Force, which allowed the use of San Javier Air Academy facilities for the demonstration. Staff from the Air Force UAS School, sited in Matacan (Salamanca), supervised the operation of the RPA and San Javier military air controllers managed its take-offs and landings and its operations in military airspace. The RPA was granted an Airworthiness Experimental Certificate (AEC) by INTA to guarantee the safety of the system, under the envisaged operational conditions. AENA and AESA collaborated for the part of the flight to take place in civil class C airspace and the definition of the tests and of the applicable air traffic control and safety procedures.

 

The civil future of RPAS

The development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems originated in a defence context. However, their utilisation for civil and security purposes has significant commercial potential.

Possible uses include fire fighting; highway control; electricity line, critical infrastructures and border surveillance; environmental protection surveillance; management of emergencies and even goods transport.

The take up of RPAS exploitation for civil and security use would also enable the dual use logic to take full advantage of RPAS cost reduction.

Current legislation does not provide a harmonised framework in Europe for enabling RPAS to fly in civil airspace, in particular Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS). This situation is curbing their use and application in the civil sphere thus making it difficult for the European industry to develop the technologies and equipment that will make their use possible in the future. The demonstration undertaken within the DeSIRE project aims at establishing an agreed set of requirements that could serve as a basis for the future definition of the regulatory framework for RPAS Air Traffic Integration in Europe.

The DeSIRE project is part of the joint initiative undertaken by EDA and ESA, which follows a number of activities and projects initiated by the two agencies in the RPAS domain. Among these, the Air4All Study and MIDCAS project managed by EDA and the SINUE and ESPRIT studies managed by ESA.

 

More information:
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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
photo Royal Australian Air Force

photo Royal Australian Air Force

 

25 April 2013 airforce-technology.com

 

The Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) A330 multirole tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft has successfully completed tanking trials with Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets at an undisclosed location.

 

Carried out by Canberra's Aircraft Research and Development Unit in February, the trials involved a total of 87 contacts and the transfer of approximately 76t of fuel through the hose and drogue method, with both aircraft flying within a limited envelope, Flightglobal reported.

 

Primarily conducted to assess the tanker's wake, drogue stability and the fighter's performance under an array of altitudes, conditions and aircraft configurations, the testing also sets the stage for additional trials that will certify the aircraft to support air-to-air refuelling of Super Hornets worldwide.

 

RAAF ordered five A330 MRTTs to replace its Boeing 707 tanker transporter fleet in 2005. The last was delivered to the RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland in early December 2012.

 

Designated KC-30A in the RAAF service, the aircraft is a derivative of Airbus A330 civilian airliner, and is scheduled to be operated by the No. 33 Squadron for cover hose-and-drogue refuelling and strategic passenger transport missions.

 

Equipped with two underwing refuelling pods, a fly-by-wire Airbus Military aerial refuelling boom system (ARBS) and a universal aerial refuelling receptacle slipway installation that enables refuelling from another tanker, the aircraft achieved initial operational capability in February.

 

Currently undergoing further modification on its refuelling boom and testing to enable refuelling of the E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft, C-17 Globemaster, and other MRTTs, the aircraft is expected to reach its final operating capability in 2014.

 

Capable of simultaneously performing aerial refuelling, passenger or freight transport, and medical evacuation missions, the A330 MRTTs have also been ordered by the air forces of Saudi Arabia, UAE and the UK.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
Australia unveils its F-35 JSF 'Iron Bird'

 

CANBERRA, Australia, April 26 (UPI)

 

Australia will use a full-scale F-35A Joint Strike Fighter model to study the effects of electromagnetic compatibility and interference on the aircraft.

 

Minister for Defense Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon unveiled the JSF model at the laboratories of the Defense Science and Technology Organization, which will conduct the studies, a statement from the Australian Ministry of Defense said.

 

The Australian-built model -- called Iron Bird -- will be tested under simulated electromagnetic conditions during the acquisition and through-life sustainment of Lockheed Martin's JSF.

 

"This study is a significant part of ensuring the protection of the JSF against electromagnetic environmental effects such as lightning and static discharge, which can impair the performance and safety of aircraft," Snowdon said during a visit to DSTO laboratories in Adelaide.

 

Australia's first two F-35As are to be delivered to a training facility in the United States during 2014-15 when Australia starts training JSF pilots and maintenance personnel.

 

The fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II will replace Australia's McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighters and its retired General Dynamics F-111 bombers.

 

Snowdon said the JSF has sophisticated software and a structural airframe made of composite materials, a combination that exposes the aircraft to electromagnetic interference from natural phenomena and man-made sources, including telecommunication transmissions and radar.

 

"The impact of these interferences needs to be well understood and appropriately managed," Snowdon said.

 

"DSTO has developed world-class expertise in the investigation of electromagnetic radiation impact on aircraft and is engaged directly with the United States JSF Joint Project Office to undertake this study using the Iron Bird model.

 

"The data captured will help in providing potential reductions in the cost of owning the JSF fleet and enhancing the aircraft's capability."

 

Snowdon said DSTO's research will support verification for compliance and airworthiness certification for the JSF, as well as keep maintenance costs down.

 

The latest estimate of around $90 million per plane has raised concerns among politicians in Canberra about whether Australia can afford to buy the intended 100 F-35 aircraft.

 

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, principal executive of the Pentagon's JSF Program Office, addressed the issue of F-35 cost overruns when he met with Australian defense officials at the Avalon air show in Melbourne in February.

 

Bogdan said his survey of the JSF program had uncovered "ugly" problems with the program but that his office had sought to have Lockheed Martin share the costs of fixing faults and covering delays, The Australian newspaper reported in February.

 

In the United States, there has been concern over estimates of the jet's weight amid continuing questions about delivery dates and final cost.

 

Outgoing Executive Vice President and JSF General Manager Tom Burbage was quoted in the U.S. news media as saying the manufacturer miscalculated on the aircraft's weight during its early development.

 

After spending 12 years fronting the Lockheed Martin F-35 program Burbage retired this month on an optimistic note but far from clear about the aircraft's ultimate cost and delivery schedule.

 

Burbage was named head of the F-35 program less than three weeks after the company beat Boeing to develop the aircraft. Then valued at $220 billion, the contract aims to build thousands of F-35 for the U.S. military and hundreds more for international partners, Flight International said on its website.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
Death Rattler

 

April 25, 2013: Strategy Page

 

PACIFIC OCEAN (April 23, 2013) An F/A-18C Hornet from the Death Rattlers of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 begins its ascent after being launched off the catapult of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 recently left San Diego for a deployment to the western Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Bartlett)

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
 photo Canadian Forces

photo Canadian Forces

 

April 25, 2013.  David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

News release from L-3:

 

TORONTO, Ontario, April 25, 2013 – L-3 Electronic System Services (ESS), avionics prime contractor for the CP-140 Optimized Weapon System Support effort, has successfully implemented Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS) data transmission capability on a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora aircraft. Unlike conventional line-of-sight transmissions, BLOS enables non-line-of-sight transmissions over challenging geographical terrain, such as that found in the Canadian High Arctic.


On January 31, 2013, the BLOS-capable CP-140 did what other RCAF aircraft have not been able to achieve to date. The aircraft streamed live video from just below 80°N latitude to 14 Wing Greenwood in Nova Scotia, covering a distance of nearly 4,000 kilometers. BLOS represents a significant enhancement to RCAF ISR capabilities and situational awareness, as well as Canada’s ability to conduct operations in its arctic region.


L-3 ESS is a supplier of integrated logistics and system support services, providing OEM and third-party MRO for a variety of avionics, inertial navigation systems, radars, cockpit displays and other systems. L-3 ESS aftermarket services include integrated and performance-based logistics support, logistics management, supply chain management and technical services for air, land and naval platforms.


L-3 ESS is a division of the L-3 Aviation Products (AP) sector. L-3 AP is a leading provider of commercial and military avionics with unsurpassed performance, quality and customer support. L-3 AP manufactures a diverse line of safety- and efficiency-enhancing products that sets the standard for next-generation requirements, including configurable voice and data recorders, collision avoidance systems, navigation products, display systems and processors. L-3 AP also offers aftermarket services, including MRO and integrated performance-based logistics for military and commercial systems.

 

To learn more about L-3 Aviation Products

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
EADS North America Delivers 250th On-Time, On-Budget UH-72A Lakota Helicopter to US Army

 

Apr 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company

 

    Combined Lakota Fleet Passes 150,000 Flight Hours, Maintains 90% Availability

 

The U.S. Army has fielded the 250th UH-72A Lakota helicopter delivered to Army and National Guard units by EADS North America since 2006. Every Lakota -- including an additional five produced for the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School -- has been delivered on time and on budget, by an American workforce that is more than 50 percent U.S. military veterans.

 

The combined Lakota fleet's operations have now exceeded 150,000 flight hours, while maintaining greater than 90 percent availability. The Lakota is the Army's newest helicopter, with the lowest cost to fly, own and operate of any U.S. military helicopter in production.

 

The Lakota is manufactured at EADS North America's American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss.

 

"In today's budget environment, the Pentagon needs programs that deliver what's been promised, and we're proud to have worked with the Army to field this capability unfailingly on schedule and on cost," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO.

 

Army Lt. Col. David Cheney, the UH-72A Product Manager, stated, "The UH-72A Lakota helicopter program continues on schedule, within budget and is serving the Soldier very well. The success of this aircraft and program is a testament to EADS North America's team's determination to provide the best support for the Army and homeland security missions."

 

The 250th Army Lakota will be operated out of Oklahoma City by the Oklahoma National Guard. It is the latest of 54 Lakotas delivered with the Security and Support (S&S) Battalion mission equipment package, which expands the Lakota's capabilities for missions ranging from disaster response to border security operations.

 

The S&S configuration includes a moving map, EO/IR sensor, digital video recording capability, digital and analog downlink, and a searchlight. Army National Guard units across the country currently operate Lakotas equipped with the S&S Battalion MEP, including extensive operations along the U.S. southwest border for border security and drug interdiction.

 

A combination of full contractor logistics support (CLS) for the active Army and hybrid CLS for the Army National Guard enables the units to operate the Lakota in accordance with their flying hour plan. The Army program office, military units, and the industry team of EADS North America, American Eurocopter and Helicopter Support International has provided tailored program logistics to the Army and Army National Guard since 2006.

 

The Lakota fleet has averaged an operational availability rate greater than 90 percent for locations with full contractor logistics support, encompassing 21 different military units. Spare parts fill rate under the hybrid CLS concept supporting 33 units has averaged 97 percent.

 

The UH-72A is a Defense Acquisition Category (ACAT) I major defense acquisition program, and was one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the U.S. Army's history. Deliveries of the aircraft to National Guard units allow aging OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired, while UH-72As assigned to the active component of the U.S. Army free up UH-60 Black Hawks for assignment to combat missions.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
F-35 Office Sees Improved Relations With Contractor

 

Apr. 25, 2013 - by AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — The head of the F-35 Joint Program Office told Congress that the program is continuing to improve, in part because of turnover at primary contractor Lockheed Martin.

 

Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan was testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee Airland subcommittee when he was asked by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to elaborate on previous statements the general had made about the relationship between his office and contractors Lockheed and Pratt & Whitney.

 

“My intention was to put [the contractors] on notice,” Bogdan told McCain. “I needed to make sure that they were committed in the long term to reducing costs in this program, and at the time when I made that comment I was not so sure. Doing business with both companies has been difficult and is getting better. I was seeing behaviors in which I thought over the next 30 or 40 years were not sustainable for us or either one of those industry partners.

 

Read more

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
A KC-135R refuels an F-15 Eagle photo USAF

A KC-135R refuels an F-15 Eagle photo USAF

April 25, 2013.  David Pugliese - Defence Watch
 

This is written by Jet Fabara (yes Jet) of 412th Test Wing Public Affairs:

 

Known as “The Mighty War Wagon” of the Air Force, the KC-135 Stratotanker has proven to be the core aerial refueling capability for the Air Force for more than 50 years.

With the help of the 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards, along with a multitude of testers, the KC-135 Block 45 test team recently completed a series of tests in April to help extend the aircraft’s service life for decades.

 

“There are currently 419 KC-135s and 59 KC-10s that enhance the Air Force’s capability to accomplish its primary mission of Global Reach while providing aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. These aircraft also provide mission support including cargo, aeromedical evacuation, personnel transport, and a variety of other specialized missions,” said Maj. John Mikal, 418th FLTS KC-135 Block 45 lead project test pilot. “Increasing the life expectancy of the current Air Force tanker fleet is critical. Ongoing upgrade programs help to ensure there is no gap in these mission capabilities, while the new KC-46 program starts replacing the aging KC-135 fleet.”

 

130305-F-ZZ999-038

 

As part of the KC-135 Block 45 upgrades, Mikal said they included a digital flight director, a radar altimeter, an electronic engine instrument display, and Automatic Flight Control System or Autopilot for Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) requirements in order to maintain global airspace access.

 

“Maintenance sustainability was another item that was looked at, which addresses the need to deal with parts that are obsolete, since no one makes the old parts anymore,” said Mikal.

 

“Commercial off-the-shelf equipment or systems will be used to replace the existing analog flight director, radio altimeter, autopilot, and 21 cockpit engine instruments with newer digital technology equipment that will be integrated into the existing avionics.”

 

According to Mikal, the new upgrades will ensure:

  • the extension and improvement of mission capability and sustainability of the KC-135 fleet
  • the new digital avionics technology integrated into the legacy system will increase safety, efficiency and reliability
  • effective replacement of obsolete components
  • the KC-135 meets current and future CNS/ATM requirements, allowing unrestricted operations in commercial and military airspace throughout the world.

 

“The Block 45 modification was needed to extend the KC-135 aircraft as a viable weapon system through fiscal year 2040,” added Mikal. “The Block 45 systems mitigate capability gaps and improve overall KC-135 shortcomings in reliability, maintainability and supportability.”

 

At the initial start of the KC-135 Block 45 program, it was originally estimated that testing would end in March 2011, but the technical challenge of integrating the new digital systems proved to be very challenging, according to the test team.

 

“It took an amazing amount of ingenuity and hard work by the collective KC-135 Block 45 upgrade team, due to the program experiencing a two-month stop in test in early 2012 to determine the cause of a structural coupling event which occurred during flight test,” Mikal said. “While clearing the aerial refueling envelope, the performance of the new autopilot altitude hold was so good, re-adjustment was required to improve stability during aerial refueling coupled flight.”

 

Along with the 418th, the massive, multi-year undertaking required support from more than 90 members to overcome technical hurdles and prevent the very real threat of program cancellation. Of those included, individuals were acquired from the 412th Test Wing, 412th Operations Group, 412th Test and Engineering Group, 773rd Test Squadron, 775th Test Squadron, 370th Flight Test Squadron, 445th Flight Test Squadron, the KC-135 Special Programs Office, Rockwell Collins, Air Mobility Command Test and Evaluation Squadron Detachment 3, AMC Air, Space and Information Operations (A3), and McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.

 

“There were only two KC-135 aircrew in the 418th FLTS when the program started. Eventually, the 418th FLTS KC-135 aircrew numbered four; even so, Test Operations was largely instrumental in supporting the program with their KC-135 aircrew,” said Mikal.

Most notably though was the Edwards team, which was able to complete the final testing $200,000 below cost and three weeks ahead of new schedule through extremely efficient testing and test execution flexibility despite regular scope changes, priority changes, funding rebaseline, weather cancellations, maintenance issues, resource rescheduling/constraints, and the ultimate challenge of addressing the AR oscillation issue with no additional schedule or funding impacts.

 

“In the end, the Global Reach Combined Test Force test team proved to be a pivotal contributor, bringing this challenged program to a successful completion,” added Mikal. “Successful completion of this program has secured the opportunity to field Block 45 to the KC-135 fleet, while preventing the otherwise inevitable reduction in overall mission effectiveness due to avionics obsolescence and CNS/ATM airspace access issues. Without the KC-135 Block 45, 88-percent of the USAF tanker assets would eventually be unable to complete their mission.”

 

It is currently estimated that the first 179 KC-46 aircraft will be delivered by 2028

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 10:55
La France vend 2,1% d'EADS pour 707 millions d'euros

 

26 avril 2013, Usinenouvelle.com (Reuters)

 

BOURSE  L'Etat français a annoncé, vendredi 26 avril, avoir cédé environ 17,6 millions d'actions, représentant près de 2,1% du capital du groupe d'aérospatiale et de défense, pour 707 millions d'euros, dans le cadre de la réorganisation du capital du groupe.

 

La France, qui a récolté 1,19 milliard d'euros à la suite de deux cessions de participations consécutives, a ramené ses droits de vote dans la maison-mère d'Airbus à 12%, conformément à l'accord passé le 5 décembre par les principaux actionnaires du groupe, précise le ministère de l'Economie et des Finances dans un communiqué.

 

Des traders ont indiqué à Reuters qu'UBS avait été chargé de vendre 2,1% du capital d'EADS pour un prix final de 40,10 euros par titre, contre 40,20 euros initialement évoqué.

 

EADS, qui opère sa transformation la plus spectaculaire depuis sa création en 2000, a abandonné l'imbroglio passé de son actionnariat, la France et l'Allemagne ne devant plus détenir chacun que 12% du capital, l'Espagne 4% et son flottant devant être porté d'environ 50% à 72% du capital.

 

"Faisant suite à la cession par Sogepa à EADS le 16 avril dernier d'environ 13 millions d'actions EADS pour un montant de 483 millions d'euros, dans le cadre du programme de rachat d'actions mis en oeuvre par la société, cette opération a ramené la participation de Sogepa à 12% des droits de vote", indique précise le ministère de l'Economie et des Finances.

 

EADS n'a souhaité faire aucun commentaire.

 

La transaction de ce jour a toutefois été réalisée à un prix supérieur de 7,4% par rapport à l'opération de mi-avril, qui portait sur 1,56% du capital et s'était déroulée à 37,35 euros par action.

 

Le mois d'avril a également été marqué par les sorties de Daimler et de Lagardère du capital d'EADS.

 

"La sortie des actionnaires historiques touche désormais à sa fin avec la cession par l'Etat français des derniers titres non pactés. A ce jour, seulement 1,2% du capital pouvant être cédé librement reste encore dans les mains des Etats français et espagnols", commente dans une note Oddo Securities.

 

"Toutefois, compte tenu des mouvements récents, nous pensons que ces cessions seront décalées dans le temps. De l'autre côté, EADS conserve encore la capacité de racheter environ 6,1% de son capital (l'équivalent de 22 jours de bourse) ce qui soutiendra le cours dans les prochaines semaines", ajoute le broker.

 

En Bourse, l'action EADS recule de 1,62% à 39,99 euros vers 10h00 dans des volumes représentant déjà 51% de ceux réalisés en moyenne sur une séance complète au cours des trois derniers mois. Au même moment, l'indice CAC 40 lâche 0,56%.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:55
EC145 in flight © Copyright Eurocopter, Charles Jérôme Deulin

EC145 in flight © Copyright Eurocopter, Charles Jérôme Deulin

Istres, France,  25 April 2013 EADS.com

 

Eurocopter’s ability to integrate unmanned flight capabilities into its helicopter family has been validated by an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) demonstration program, which used an EC145 to fly routes that included deployment of an external sling load and a representative observation mission.

 

Conducted at the French Air Force base in Istres, France, this program was revealed today with an unmanned demonstration, which followed similar flights performed earlier in April.

 

With this capability fully validated, Eurocopter is now positioned to pursue OPV flight capabilities for its product line of light, medium and heavy-lift helicopters – enabling these rotorcraft to be flown by pilots or in an unmanned mode.

 

“Eurocopter innovation is once again expanding the mission capabilities of helicopters, and we are ready to apply the proven optionally piloted vehicle competence in meeting customers’ needs,” explained Eurocopter Chief Technical Officer Jean-Brice Dumont. “This latest achievement results from our company’s expertise in flight control and autopilot systems, human-machine interface, system architecture and integration.”

 

Today’s unmanned demonstration – along with the previous flights– used a four-dimensional flight plan that was uploaded to the helicopter, with its starting and completion points situated on the Istres Air Force Base’s Runway 15/33. After an automatic takeoff, the EC145 flew the circuit via multiple pre-programmed waypoints, during which the helicopter performed a mid-route hover to deploy a load from the external sling. The EC145 continued on a return route segment representing a typical observation mission, followed by an automatic landing.

 

For delivery of the external load, the helicopter entered a planned hover – enabling the ground station controller to provide flight control inputs in orienting the EC145 over the drop point. The ground controller then transmitted a command to release load once the helicopter and load were correctly positioned.

 

The OPV flight capability was developed in an internally-funded Eurocopter program, and was coordinated by a team at the company’s Donauwörth, Germany facility. Initial tests with a monitoring pilot aboard the EC145 were flown from Donauwörth and then at Istres.

EC145 in flight © Copyright Eurocopter, Charles Jérôme Deulin

EC145 in flight © Copyright Eurocopter, Charles Jérôme Deulin

The EC145 demonstrator is a Eurocopter testbed helicopter with an enhanced dual-duplex four-axis automatic flight control system (AFCS) and the latest navigation systems. In addition, the helicopter is fitted with the “plug-in” OPV avionics rack in its cabin behind the pilot seats, which contains the data link subsystems.

 

Visibility during the EC145’s unmanned flights was provided to the ground station via onboard cameras. They were complemented by an external gimbaled camera on the helicopter for infrared and daylight mission imaging.

 

Eurocopter’s OPV system was configured to enable uploading of the four-dimensional flight plans to the helicopter via data link from the ground station. The system included an automatic hover-to-land capability in case of major system degradation.

 

Follow this event on http://press.eurocopter.com/en/gallery/aflight

 

About Eurocopter

 

Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 22,000 people. In 2012, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 6.3 billion Euros, orders for 469 new helicopters and a 38 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries. Eurocopter’s worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports more than 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,780 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 148 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:55

Footage: Jean-François BRAMARD (GoPro, ground camera) & Evert CLOETENS (Cineflex) Editing: Leslie SINOPOLI ©EUROCOPTER, April 2013

 

25/04/2013 Par lefigaro.fr (AFP)

 

Ce nouveau système sans pilote pourra être proposé en option pour n'importe quel appareil de série du fabricant.

 

C'est une première européenne. Eurocopter a fait voler en public aujourd'hui un de ses appareils, un EC145, sans aucun pilote à bord, une innovation technologique pour le constructeur d'hélicoptères.

 

L'appareil a décollé à 14H15 de la base militaire d'Istres (sud-est de la France). Il a atterri, sans encombres, près de 40 minutes plus tard. Au sol, une «station» guidait le déroulement du vol. D'environ quatre tonnes, ce biturbine est habituellement utilisé par la gendarmerie nationale et la sécurité civile.

 

Le programme, baptisé «AFlight», a été lancé secrètement en septembre 2011. Deux tout premiers vols d'essais loin des regards avaient eu lieu avant celui d'aujourd'hui, a révélé Roland Gassenmayer, directeur du projet.

 

«Nous avons ouvert une nouveau chapitre de notre histoire», a commenté Jean-Brice Dumont, directeur du programme Recherche et Développement, estimant que le système développé par Eurocopter était unique en son genre, l'appareil pouvant être utilisé soit en mode pilote, soit en mode sans pilote.

 

Utilisé sans pilote, il est capable de changer de route en cours de vol. Ce nouveau système de véhicules sans pilote pourra être proposé en option pour n'importe quel appareil de série du fabricant.

 

Le coût de développement d'AFlight, «purement confidentiel», n'a pas été dévoilé mais M. Dumont a souligné qu'il avait été entièrement autofinancé par Eurocopter, filiale du groupe européen de défense et d'aéronautique EADS.

 

25 avril 2013 Eurocopter


Eurocopter launched in early April a series of flights for a new rotary-wing solution that will expand the mission capabilities of Eurocopter helicopters. The optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) program, which was conducted at the French Air Force base in Istres, France, was revealed on April 25 during a demonstration flight.


This unmanned demonstration -- similar to the previous flights-- used a four-dimensional flight plan that was uploaded to the helicopter. After an automatic takeoff, the EC145 flew the circuit via multiple pre-programmed waypoints, during which the helicopter performed a mid-route hover to deploy a load from the external sling. The EC145 continued on a return route segment representing a typical observation mission, followed by an automatic landing. Visibility during the EC145's unmanned flights was provided to the ground station via onboard cameras.

With this capability fully validated, Eurocopter is now positioned to pursue OPV flight capabilities for its product line of light, medium and heavy-lift helicopters -- enabling these rotorcraft to be flown by pilots or in an unmanned mode.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Sevmash engineers will perform repairs and maintenance during the initial 12-month warranty period, and then provide their services for another 20 years once the warranty has expired. Source: Maxim Vorkunkov / JSCo «PO «Sevmash» Press Service

Sevmash engineers will perform repairs and maintenance during the initial 12-month warranty period, and then provide their services for another 20 years once the warranty has expired. Source: Maxim Vorkunkov / JSCo «PO «Sevmash» Press Service

 

April 25, 2013 Aleksandr Emelyanenkov, specially for RIR

 

The aircraft carrier will once again take to sea in July; flight tests are scheduled a month later.

 

The INS Vikramaditya has undergone a complex operation at Russia’s Sevmash shipyard ahead of the final stage of trials and delivery to the Indian Navy later this year. 

 

With 10 weeks still left until July 3, 2013, when the final sea trials are due to begin, tug boats carefully manoeuvred the giant ship to a drainable pool. There the Vikramaditya will once again be put on a frame. Once the water has been drained, engineers will inspect the hull of the ship and all its outboard parts and components.

 

This is what the ship looked like after refitting in the dock, ahead of taking to the sea. Source: Maxim Vorkunkov / JSCo «PO «Sevmash» Press Service

 

According to the head of the commissioning team, Igor Leonov, all the procedures in the dry dock - which are compulsory for a ship after repairs - will take two months. So far, the project remains strictly on the latest schedule.The April 25 deadline for putting the ship in the dock has been met, Leonov said.

 

Ekaterina Pilikina, spokeswoman for the Sevmash shipyard, gave the media details of the elaborate operation. The main complication was that there were only a few centimetres to spare between the hull of the enormous ship and the sluice gate. To make matters worse, the team worked in strong winds and had only an hour at the peak of the high tide to complete their task.

 

The operation was observed by senior Sevmash executives; the head of the White Sea naval base, Vladimir Vorobyev; the captain of the Indian crew of the Vikramaditya, Suraj Berry and the head of the Indian observation team, Kudaravalli Srinivas. Both Indian representatives were impressed with what they saw.

 

108 days at sea spent in 2012 by the Vikramaditya crew and commissioning team during trials in the White Sea and the Barents Sea. Source: Maxim Vorkunkov / JSCo «PO «Sevmash» Press Service

 

Srinivas said this was the second time he saw such an operation. The first was back in 2008, when the ship was being taken out of the drainable pool after repairs. “Now Sevmash specialists have once again demonstrated their professionalism,” the Indian representative said. “They have coped very well with their task.”

 

The chief executive of the shipyard, Mikhail Budnichenko, expressed confidence that all the remaining work in the dock “will be done well and on schedule.” Sergey Novoselov, head of defence export projects at Sevmash, explained the nature of that work: “In accordance with the contract, we must inspect the state of the hull, the propeller-rudder system, and the sea valves. We will also restore the paintwork below the waterline, if necessary.”

Novoselov added that most of the problems identified during the sea trials have already been fixed. The ongoing refurbishment of the main boilers involves specialists of the companies which designed and manufactured them. The refurbishment is scheduled for completion in May. All the interim results of the project are inspected by the Indian customer and by the Russian MoD.

 

Before the Vikramaditya can take to the sea once again, the Sevmash quality assurance specialists will be asked to present their findings on 435 separate items covering almost the entire ship, including tens of thousands of individual parts and components. In addition, much of the interior finish has yet to be completed.

 

 “There are more than 2,500 compartments in the ship,” Novoselov says. “That includes combat stations, bays, cabins, engine and boiler rooms, power plant compartments, and a 120 metre-long hangar, which is about the same length as a football pitch. We must paint all these compartments, install the hardware, properly insulate all the piping and frame elements, and present the whole thing for the customer's inspection. In addition to the engineers setting up the main equipment, we also have painters, joiners, fitters, insulation technicians and other specialists working on the Vikramaditya.”

 

On occasions there will be more than 3,000 people on board the Vikramaditya this year because the schedule of the sea trials is very tight. The maximum number recorded in 2012 was only about 2,000. The Indian crew will account for the bulk of that increase; 1,326 Indian officers and sailors will begin their practice on the carrier at sea. Sevmash is already making plans for quartering all the sailors, members of the commissioning teams, pilots, mechanics and other air support specialists on the ship. The Vikramaditya’s three galleys will be working flat out nearly round the clock to provide catering.

 

In the autumn of 2012, the Vikramaditya was forced to return to Sevmash, where it had previously been repaired and refitted, to replace the fire-resistant insulation of the boilers, which began to deteriorate during trials in the Barents Sea. This and several other problems with the hardware had forced Russia to postpone the delivery of the Vikramaditya to the Indian Navy, which was previously scheduled for 2012.

 

The new delivery deadline is November 2013. Eight boilers must be refurbished before the end of May if that deadline is to be met. The ship is scheduled to take to the sea once again on July 3, so there will be a month left to test all the boilers of the main power plant, including operation at the maximum load. The next stage of the trials, which involves the planes and helicopters based on the Vikramaditya, is scheduled for August 3.

 

In mid-October the ship will return to Sevmash, where specialists will spend another month preparing it for the voyage to India.

 

Trials schedule: Every day counts

 

Sergey Novoselov, Head of defence export projects at Sevmash

“On July 2013 the aircraft carrier will begin sea trials in the White Sea; we will spend a month testing all the boilers of the main power plant under various loads. The next stage of the trials will commence on August 3 in the Barents Sea, and end on September 30. It will involve the planes and helicopters based on the carrier; the aim is to test the operation of the entire carrier-aircraft complex. One of the critical parts of the trials is aircraft landings on the deck of the Vikramaditya during night-time. These flights will begin in late August or early September, once the midnight sun period north of the Polar Circle is over.

The huge size of the aircraft carrier requires meticulous care during movements around the shipyard. Source: Maxim Vorkunkov / JSCo «PO «Sevmash» Press Service

 

Then the ship is scheduled to return to Sevmash in early October to begin preparations for the voyage to India. November 15 is the deadline for the aircraft to be delivered to the customer and (for the ship to) set sail for its new home in India. Incidentally, we are planning a shorter route for that journey, via the Suez Canal rather than around Africa. In accordance with the terms of the contract, Sevmash engineers will perform repairs and maintenance during the initial 12-month warranty period, and then provide their services for another 20 years once the warranty has expired."

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:20
AMRDEC conceptual renderings of potential future JMR configurations

AMRDEC conceptual renderings of potential future JMR configurations

 

April 25th, 2013 by Kris Osborn - defensetech.org

 

U.S. Army officials plan to award up to four design contracts by the end of fiscal year 2013 for vendors to build the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) demonstrator aircraft, a next generation helicopter fleet, Army leaders said Thursday.

 

Current plans call for two JMR technology demonstrator aircraft to be designed and built for a first flight by sometime in 2017, said Todd Turner, director for the Army’s Research and Technology Air Portfolio.

 

“This is an S&T [Science and Technology] effort for the development of a new, medium-class platform. The goals are to design, fabricate and demonstrate an advanced vertical lift vehicle with a combat radius of 424 kilometers, that’s an 848 kilometer range, un-refueled, at speeds of up to 230 knots,” Turner said at the National Defense Industrial Association’s 14th Annual Science & Engineering Technology Conference/Defense Tech Exposition, National Harbor, Md.

 

A key goal for the program is to be affordable, and develop an aircraft that can reach much greater speeds and extend mission possibilities without compromising an ability to hover, Turner said.

 

Army officials said the S&T effort is designed to lower risk, reduce costs and inform requirements for what will be a Future Vertical Lift formal program of record designed to deliver new aircraft by 2030.

 

“We’re currently completing what we call configuration trades and analysis portions of this effort which will finish this year. The trades we considered were cost, weight and power requirements, mission equipment packages and life-cycle costs.  All configurations were considered,” Turner said.

 

The configurations currently being examined include a tilt-rotor possibility, like today’s Marine Corps and Air Force V-22 Osprey as well as various compound configurations such as air vehicles with a rear-thrusting mechanism and co-axial rotorblades, Army officials explained.

 

The service is evaluating responses to an Army solicitation to industry to build designs. Service officials plan to down select to two design teams by the fourth quarter of fiscal year ’14, Turner said.

 

The JMR effort also plans to include next-generation mission equipment and avionics along with integrated sensors and weapons systems.

 

Turner said Army S&T is working on advanced rotor designs, autonomy algorithms and concept analyses wherein they assess air-vehicle design methods.

 

“We currently have a good handle on how to build systems when we have a database. What we are trying to do is move towards where we can design new systems at a more rapid pace. Get that design closer to what the air vehicle will look like, he said.

 

The FVL aircraft is slated to be powered by an Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), a more powerful, 3,000-horsepower, more fuel-efficient engine also being informed by an ongoing S&T Program, Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine effort.

 

“It’s transitioning out of S&T this year to the ITEP program. It’s showing benefits of 25-percent reduced burn rate and a 35-percent reduction in production and maintenance costs,” Turner said.

 

Army S&T is also in the early phases of developing the Future Affordable Turbine Engine, a 7,000-horsepower heavy class engine for larger rotary platforms such as the CH-47 Chinook.

 

“We’re developing material and component technologies for the compressor and turbine sub-systems,” he added.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 16:40
Russie: le chasseur de 5e génération livré à l'armée en 2016 (Poutine)

 

MOSCOU, 25 avril - RIA Novosti

 

Le chasseur russe de cinquième génération T-50 (PAK FA) sera livré à l'armée en 2016 et non en 2015, a annoncé jeudi le président russe Vladimir Poutine lors de sa traditionnelle séance de questions-réponses en direct avec la population.

"L'avion de cinquième génération T-50 sera produit en série et livré à l'armée en 2016", a indiqué M.Poutine.

Cet appareil aura des meilleures performances que son concurrent principal, le chasseur américain F-35, selon le chef suprême des armées.
Des responsables du ministère de la Défense avaient antérieurement déclaré que les forces armées russes recevraient le nouveau chasseur en 2015.

Le T-50 est un chasseur de cinquième génération doté d'un radar unique à balayage électronique actif. L'appareil possède une faible signature radar et thermique, une vitesse de croisière supersonique et un niveau élevé d'intégration des systèmes de commande. Conçu pour remplacer les MIG-29 et les Su-27 en service dans l'armée russe, le T-50 conjugue les caractéristiques d'un avion de frappe et d'un chasseur classique. Il est développé en Russie depuis les années 1990.

Russie: le chasseur de 5e génération livré à l'armée en 2016 (Poutine)

Le premier décollage du chasseur T-50 remonte au 29 janvier 2010. L'avion a été présenté pour la première fois au public le 17 août 2011, lors du Salon aérospatial MAKS-2011 à Joukovski, dans la région de Moscou.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 08:42
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

 

25/04/2013 Par Lefigaro.fr (AFP)

 

Le chiffre d'affaires de Dassault Aviation a chuté de 30% au premier trimestre, en raison d'une moindre activité de sa principale branche, l'aviation d'affaires, mais le constructeur aéronautique maintient ses prévisions pour 2013.

 

De janvier à mars, le chiffre d'affaires s'est élevé à 662 millions d'euros contre 950 millions un an plus tôt. Pour autant, le groupe prévoit toujours de livrer cette année "environ" 70 Falcon et 11 avions de combat Rafale. Il estime également, comme précédemment, que le chiffre d'affaires 2013 "devrait être supérieur à celui de 2012", selon un communiqué.

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