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14 octobre 2015 3 14 /10 /octobre /2015 11:50
P-72A maritime patrol aircraft - photo D. Perry Flight Global

P-72A maritime patrol aircraft - photo D. Perry Flight Global

 

13 October, 2015 by Dominic Perry - FG

 

Turin  - Alenia Aermacchi is nearing completion of a test and evaluation phase for the Italian air force’s new P-72A maritime patrol aircraft.

 

The first of an eventual four examples of the ATR 72-600-derived type is due to be handed over to the service in March 2016 as it replaces its remaining fleet of Dassault Breguet ATL-1 Atlantics. Two aircraft – the MSN940 and MSN1031, built in 2011 and 2012 respectively – are currently at the manufacturer’s Caselle facility near Turin for mission-system integration and testing, having received airframe modifications at its site in Naples.

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9 septembre 2015 3 09 /09 /septembre /2015 07:50
Le premier F-35 "Made in Italy" a réussi son premier vol

 

07/09/2015 par Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr

 

Le premier avion de combat F-35 assemblé par Finmeccanica en Italie a réussi son premier vol sur la base aérienne de Carmeri, près de Novare.

 

Le premier avion de combat F-35 assemblé en Italie par le groupe italien Finmeccanica, et plus précisément par sa filiale Alenia Aermacchi, a réussi son premier vol sur la base aérienne de Carmeri, près de Novare, a annoncé le groupe italien dans un communiqué publié ce lundi. Le F-35 est un avion de combat furtif multi-rôle de nouvelle génération développé et produit par l'avionneur Lockheed Martin dans le cadre du programme international Joint Strike Fighter. Le F-35 est aussi le programme d'armement le plus cher de l'histoire américaine, avec un coût explosant à 390 milliards de dollars, sans compter quelque sept ans de retard.

"Le succès du premier vol témoigne de la capacité de Finmeccanica à respecter ses engagements de production dans un programme très ambitieux dans le domaine industriel et technologique", a expliqué le groupe aérospatial italien dans son communiqué.

 

L'Italie à bord du F-35

Après sa participation dans la phase de conception avec des équipes intégrées au sein de  Lockheed Martin, Finmeccanica, à travers Alenia Aermacchi, est l'industriel italien leader parmi plus de 25 entreprises transalpines travaillant sur le F-35. Le groupe italien est notamment responsable de l'assemblage des avions de combat pour le compte de l'armée de l'air italienne et pour une partie des appareils destinés à l'armée de l'air néerlandaise.

En outre, le site Cameri fabrique également les composants des ailes du F-35 en plus de la ligne principale gérée directement par Lockheed Martin. Enfin, Cameri a été choisi comme le centre de soutien logistique de l'avion de combat en Europe. Par ailleurs, Finmeccanica est aussi impliqué dans la production de certains des composants électroniques de l'avion par Selex ES.

 

Le F-35 surclasse-t-il vraiment le F-16?

En juillet, l'armée de l'air américaine a souligné que le tout nouveau et très coûteux avion de combat F-35 surclassait bien au combat le robuste et éprouvé F-16, malgré un témoignage de pilote très critique sur les capacités comparées des deux avions. "Il y a eu de nombreuses occasions ou des groupes de F-35 ont engagé des groupes de F-16 en simulation de combat, et les F-35 ont gagné chacune de ces rencontres, grâce à leurs capteurs, leurs armements et leur technologie furtive", a précisé dans un communiqué l'armée de l'air (US Air Force).

Pourtant le site américain "War is Boring" a publié cette semaine le compte-rendu sévère d'un pilote de F-35 après un exercice de combat rapproché contre un F-16 en janvier en Californie. Les deux avions se sont livrés à une série de manœuvres brutales pour tenter d'abattre au canon leur adversaire, mais le F-35 a constamment manqué "d'énergie" pour réaliser ces manœuvres, perdant ainsi face au F-16, selon le compte-rendu. L'armée de l'air n'a pas démenti le compte-rendu du pilote, mais a souligné que le combat rapproché ne figurait pas au programme théorique de cet avion furtif multitâches.

 

Quelles missions pour le F-35?

La technologie du F-35 "est destinée à engager, viser et abattre l'ennemi depuis de longues distances, pas nécessairement en situation de combat visuel", a souligné l'US Air Force. "Les tests opérationnels et de développement continuent. Il est trop tôt pour tirer des conclusions finales sur la capacité à manœuvrer l'appareil", a également souligné le général Jeffrey Harrigian, chargé de l'intégration du F-35 au sein de l'US Air Force.

Le F-35 n'est pas encore en service dans les forces américaines. Les Marines devraient être la première force américaine à le déclarer opérationnel, peut-être dès cet été. Le F-16 avait été développé dans les années 70 par General Dynamics, racheté depuis par Lockheed Martin, qui a développé le F-35.

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1 septembre 2015 2 01 /09 /septembre /2015 16:50
nEuron - photo Alenia Aermacchi

nEuron - photo Alenia Aermacchi

 

25 August, 2015 by Beth Stevenson -FG

 

Italy has completed its share of testing of the pan-European Neuron unmanned combat air vehicle, which saw it carry out 12 sorties from Decimomannu air base in Sardinia.

 

Announced by Italian industry lead Alenia Aermacchi on 25 August, the time in Sardinia allowed for flight testing of the UCAV’s stealth characteristics at different altitudes and with different flight profiles, having met “all established goals”. “The 12 highly sensitive sorties have allowed [us] to verify the characteristics of Neuron’s combat capability, its low radar-cross section and low infrared signature, during missions flown at different altitudes and flight profiles and against both ground-based and air radar ‘threats’, using in this latter case, a Eurofighter Typhoon,” Alenia says. “During the deployment in Italy, the Neuron has confirmed its already ascertained excellent performance and high operational reliability.” The UCAV demonstrator will now move to Sweden, where Saab will be the industrial lead during the testing at Vidsel air base, where low observability trials will take place, as well as weapon delivery testing from the aircraft’s weapons bay.

 

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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 18:50
photo Lockheed Martin

photo Lockheed Martin

 

Mar 12, 2015 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation

 

History was achieved today when the first Italian F-35A Lightning II rolled out of the Cameri Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility, marking the first F-35A assembled internationally and the first of eight aircraft currently being assembled. The aircraft, designated as AL-1, will now proceed to additional check-out activities before its anticipated first flight later this year.

 

The rollout exhibits the ongoing strong partnership between the Italian Ministry of Defense, industry partner Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi, and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]. The Italian FACO is owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense and is operated by Alenia Aermacchi in conjunction with Lockheed Martin with a current workforce of more than 750 skilled personnel engaged in F-35 aircraft and wing production.

 

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 12:50
nEuron - photo Dassault Aviation - G. Gosset

nEuron - photo Dassault Aviation - G. Gosset

 

Mar 13, 2015 defense-unmanned.com

(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com; published Mar 12, 2015)



PARIS --- Three European nations will sign an agreement at the Paris air show in June to jointly fund initial studies for a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said here March 11.

France, Germany and Italy will follow up by awarding a study contract in December to an industry group formed by Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Alenia Aermacchi.

The initial contract is valued at a few dozen millions of euros. Ultimately, if the program progresses as planned, the nations plan to obtain an operational reconnaissance UAV by 2025.

“Our effort in the field of surveillance drones and ISR will increase with, already this year, the launch of studies of the future European drone, with Germany and Italy, that France envisions for about 2025, ,” Le Drian said here during a March 11 press conference.

An Italian defense official confirmed the agreement, which has not yet been made public in Italy, however adding “we will see whether it ultimately leads to a development program.”

The three companies have been calling for such a government initiative for over two years, and in May 2013 took the unusual step of issuing a joint statement calling on their governments to “launch a European MALE program.…to support the capability needs of European armed forces while optimizing the difficult budgetary situation through pooling of research and development funding.”

The companies have a double goal: to maintain the know-how and expertise of their military aircraft design offices, now that they have mostly completed work on current fighters, and to recover the UAV business that is now going to their US competitors – France and Italy operate General Atomics Predator or Reaper UAVs, like the UK, the Netherlands has just decided to buy some while Spain is also weighing buying some.

“Originally, [our] idea was to prevent the procurement of Reaper drones by European governments,” but this didn’t work, Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier said here during a separate March 11 press conference. “We’ve been working on this project for a long time, and we think we can develop a drone to replace the Reaper, which is an interim solution. We have asked our governments to state that an operational requirement exists, and we will be able to reply to that requirement.”

In parallel, France is however continuing to boost its Reaper force, which is seeing intensive use in Africa, where it is supporting French and allied troops operating in Mali. France is due to receive a third Reaper aircraft in April, and will order a follow-on batch of three additional aircraft in August, according to a planning document released by Le Drian.

“We are asking for a contract from the three governments covering initial studies,” Trappier said. “Initially, it’s a question of a few dozen million euros, although it will cost more once development is launched.”

The three companies set out the details of their proposal in a second joint statement issued in June 2014, in which they proposed “a Definition Phase which has been prepared by joint development teams of Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Alenia Aermacchi and which is backed by an industrial agreement on workshare and a cooperative agreement to start the MALE2020 program.”

The broad lines of the industry proposal have been retained, although the initial operational capability has slipped to 2025.

One of the trickier problems to be solved is the integration of the future MALE UAV into general air traffic, Trappier said. The inability to fly in unrestricted airspace is one of the reasons for which Germany canceled the EuroHawk program – a variant of Global Hawk fitted with a German sensor package – after spending several hundred million euros on its development.

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:50
Italy Produces First F-35 Outside US

The first F-35A aircraft built in Italy, AL-1, which will also be the first of the jets operated by the Italian Air Force, prepares for its roll out from the Cameri, Italy, final assembly and check out facility.(Photo: Larry Bramblett/Lockheed Martin)

 

March 12, 2015 By Tom Kington - Defense News

 

ROME — The first joint strike fighter assembled outside the US rolled off an assembly line in Italy on Thursday, Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

 

The aircraft, designated AL-1, was the first of eight aircraft being assembled at the final assembly and check out (FACO) facility at Cameri Air Base in northern Italy. AL-1 is due to fly for the first time later this year, Lockheed Martin said.

 

Italy is assembling its F-35s at Cameri, currently an order of 90 aircraft, and will assemble Dutch aircraft as well. The facility is also being used to build wing sets under contract to Lockheed Martin. The first wing section has been completed and is due to be shipped to Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 production line for final assembly.

 

Owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense, Cameri is operated by Italian firm Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed Martin, with 750 staff now based at the 101-acre facility, which includes 22 buildings and over a million square feet of covered workspace.

 

Last December, the site was chosen by the DoD as Europe's F-35 airframe maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade center, which should guarantee work for Cameri after Italy's jets have been assembled.

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18 janvier 2015 7 18 /01 /janvier /2015 08:25
photo Diario El Peruano

photo Diario El Peruano


18.01.2015 Defesa Global
 

The Peruvian Ministry of Defence has ordered additional two C-27J Spartan medium transport aircraft according a contract, valued at around EUR100 million signed on 31 December 2014 with Finmeccanica’s Alenia Aermacchi.

The contract, which brings the number of aircraft ordered by Peru to four, also includes integrated logistic support and technical assistance. The first two aircraft, ordered in December 2013, will be delivered to the Peruvian Air Force (FAP) in the first few months of 2015, while the second order will be delivered in 2016 and 2017. The aircraft will be operated by the service’s 8th Air Group based at Callao AFB.

Other than Peru, the aircraft has been earlier ordered by the air forces of Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Morocco, Slovakia and by United States, Mexico, Australia and Chad. 80 of the aircraft have been ordered so far.

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5 janvier 2015 1 05 /01 /janvier /2015 17:30
M-346 - photo Alenia Aermacchi

M-346 - photo Alenia Aermacchi

 

5 Jan 2015 By: Arie Egozi - FG

 

An Israeli air force squadron equipped with Alenia Aermacchi M-346 "Lavi" advanced jet trainers is close to being declared operational, having already received nine aircraft from an eventual 30-strong fleet.

Israel's first M-346 landed at Hazerim air base in the south of the country last July, and deliveries are continuing on schedule.

Being introduced as a replacement for the air force's aged Douglas A-4 Skyhawks, the Lavi represents a "big revolution" in training, saysan air force Lockheed Martin F-16I pilot – identified only as "Maj E" – who is part of the initial team of instructors.

 

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4 octobre 2014 6 04 /10 /octobre /2014 20:30
IAF Inaugurates Flight Training Center for the "Lavi" Trainer Aircraft

 

29/9/2014 IsraelDefense

 

The Center includes two Full Mission Simulators and two Operational Flight Simulators, offering the experience of real flight. The Center was developed by Elbit Systems together with Alenia Aermacchi, CAE and Selex ES

 

The Israel Air Force (IAF) inaugurated the new Flight Training Center for the "Lavi" – M346 Trainer at Hatzerim Air Force Base.

 

Elbit Systems, the prime contractor, developed and delivered the new "Lavi" Ground Based Training System (GBTS) center together with Alenia Aermacchi (Finmeccanica Group), CAE and Sellex ES (Finmeccanica Group), following a selection by "TOR - Advanced Flight Training", which is responsible to the IAF for the operation of the trainer aircraft. Elbit Systems will provide the GBTS center with logistics services for twenty years.

 

With the introduction of the M346 trainer, more emphasis is being given to ground-based training in the IAF flight school's advanced training phases, for both fighter pilots and Weapon Systems Operators (WSO's). The GBTS consists of two Full Mission Simulators (FMS) and two Operational Flight Simulators (OFS), all linked together, offering an experience which is almost identical to real flight. Both pilots and WSOs will undergo training ranging from basic familiarity with the aircraft to the highest level of combat flight competence. This training will be performed based upon a new innovative concept where a high percentage of the syllabus is being practiced at the GBTS, with the trainees visiting the GTBS on a daily basis. The GBTS, which serves as the training “Center of Excellence”, is based on Elbit’s SkyBreaker concept and technology, previously known as the Mission Training Center (MTC), and will enable flight school cadets, as well as graduate pilots and WSOs, to practice unusual and in-flight emergency procedures, and at a more advanced level, to simulate complex combat scenarios in single aircraft or as part of a formation.

 

This comprehensive training solution was selected by the IAF, so the pilots and WSOs will be ready and qualified to progress directly to 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft (F-16, F-15, F-35).

 

Parallel to training in the Flight Training Center, the cadets, young pilots and WSOs will proceed to airborne training, using Elbit’s Embedded Virtual Avionics (EVA) onboard training system, integrated by Alenia Aeromacchi into M-346 trainer, which transforms the aircraft into a virtual advanced fighter and allows the trainees to achieve an essential experience in operating advanced systems, such as virtual Radar, Optical sensors and Electronic Warfare systems, as well as virtual Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground weapons.

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12 septembre 2014 5 12 /09 /septembre /2014 11:50
M-345 photo Alenia Aermacchi

M-345 photo Alenia Aermacchi

 

 

11 Sep 2014 By: Dominic Perry - -FG

 

France appears to have begun the process of seeking a replacement for its air force’s fleet of aged Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet trainers – and Alenia Aermacchi's M-345 is in the frame. Officials from nation’s DGA defence procurement agency and the air force will later this month travel to Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono, Italy, to evaluate the M-345 high-efficiency trainer.

 

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11 septembre 2014 4 11 /09 /septembre /2014 12:35
Le général Mercier, CEMAA, accueille les autorités singapouriennes

Le général Mercier, CEMAA, accueille les autorités singapouriennes

 

11/09/2014 Armée de l'air

 

Le 3 septembre 2014, le voyage officiel en France du Dr NG Eng Hen, ministre de la Défense singapourien, s'est achevé au sein du détachement permanent de la force aérienne de la République de Singapour (RSAF) de la base aérienne 120 de Cazaux. À l’occasion notamment de l'inauguration du programme de formation avancée chasse sur Alenia-Aermacchi M-346.

 

En présence de Monsieur TAN York Chor, ambassadeur de Singapour en France, du général Denier Mercier, chef d'état-major de l'armée de l'air (CEMAA) et du Major General HOO Cher Mou, chef de la force aérienne de la République de Singapour, le ministre a remercié chaleureusement la France qui accueille le 150 Squadron RSAF et la dernière phase de formation des pilotes de chasse de la cité-état depuis 1998. Il s'est d’ailleurs félicité de l'excellence des relations de défense entre les deux pays.

 

Cette coopération bilatérale s'est sensiblement renforcée en mars dernier avec l'arrivée d'un instructeur-pilote français au sein du détachement singapourien cazalin. Il termine actuellement sa transformation sur M-346.

 

En 2010, afin de remplacer sa flotte de A4 Super Skyhawk, Singapour fut le premier acquéreur de M-346, un avion d'entraînement ultrasophistiqué capable de reproduire de façon réaliste l'environnement des chasseurs de dernière génération. Les douze appareils commandés ont désormais tous été livrés.

 

Renforcement de la coopération franco-singapourienne
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18 juillet 2014 5 18 /07 /juillet /2014 07:50
ATK and Alenia Aermacchi Successfully Complete Testing on Italian AF C-27J with Roll-On/Roll-Off Palletized Gun Systems

 

Jul 16, 2014 ASDNews Source : Alliant Tech Systems, Inc (ATK)

 

ATK (NYSE: ATK), announced that the ATK and Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi have successfully completed the first phase of ground and flight testing of the fully configured multi-mission MC-27J tactical transport aircraft with the support of the Italian Air Force (ITAF). The series of tests exceeded all test objectives and demonstrated the accuracy of ATK's side-mounted GAU-23 30mm cannon.

ATK and Alenia have completed phase one of ground and flight testing for the MC-27J.

 

The ITAF MC-27J aircraft was modified with an L-3 Wescam MX-15Di Electro-Optical and Infrared Turret mounted under the nose of the aircraft to support multi-mission applications such as a Gunship, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance(ISR) and Search and Rescue (SAR) missions; various radio and data links and ATK's Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) palletized gun and mission control systems.

 

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10 juillet 2014 4 10 /07 /juillet /2014 16:30
Israel receives first two Lavi trainers

 

Jul. 9, 2014 by Stephen Trimble - FG

 

Alenia Aermacchi on 9 July delivered the first two of 30 M-346 training jets to the Israeli Air Force.

 

The M-346 – renamed the “Lavi” by Israel – will replace Douglas TA-4s and eliminate the need to bridge with the Lockheed Martin F-16A/B for Israeli fighter pilots. Israel selected the M-346 in 2012 as part of a government-to-government agreement with Italy, which included the sale of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)/Gulfstream G550 conformal airborne early warning and control aircraft to the Italian air force.

 

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10 juillet 2014 4 10 /07 /juillet /2014 07:30
Israël réceptionne son premier M-346

 

08/07/2014 avia news

 

L’avion école Alenia Aermacchi M-346 «Advanced Jet» d'entraînement de l’armée de l'air israélienne (Heyl Ha'Avi) a atterrit sur la base aérienne d’Hatzerim. Les 29 autres appareils suivront avant la fin de l’année 2016.

 

L’arrivée du M-346 au sein de la Heyl Ha'Avi en lieu et place des vénérables TA-4 «Skyhawk», permettra changement profond dans les méthodes de formation de la force aérienne. Actuellement, les nouveaux pilotes de chasse reçoivent un enseignement à un stade avancé de leur vol en utilisant le Lockheed-Martin F-16A /B. Dorénavant, il sera possible de pratiquer ces entrainements sur les systèmes radar et les armes avancées dès la transition sur le M-346. Le contrat pour israël comprend également un simulateur de pointe.

 

Suite de l’article

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27 mai 2014 2 27 /05 /mai /2014 16:50
photo Dassault

photo Dassault

 

 

May. 26, 2014 - By ZACHARY FRYER-BIGGS and TOM KINGTON – Defense News

 

BERLIN AND ROME — European countries are in the grip of the ever-expanding thirst for drones, which give them the ability to add reconnaissance and strike capability at lesser cost and risk to service members.

 

But while last week’s ILA Berlin Air Show was filled with a wide range of smaller unmanned machines, European companies have yet to create a workhorse drone that can fit the medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) need, filled now by the American-made MQ-9 Predator or Reaper.

 

Three European firms did, however, announce a workshare agreement on the MALE 2020 program.

 

The UK, Italy and France all fly the Predator, Germany’s Air Force is considering buying the Predator when its service contract for Israeli systems expires, and the Dutch have already signed up to purchase a couple of aircraft.

 

With the growing wave of countries working with the Predator have come concerns over the reliance on an American supplier given the export restrictions that can complicate buys and limit access to the technology behind some of the systems. Italy and France continue to sort through the process of arming their Predators, something which US law makes complicated partially because arming UAVs means that the aircraft are categorized as cruise missiles.

 

“The issues at stake include European operational sovereignty and independence in the management of information and intelligence as well as European industrial independence in sustaining key competencies and jobs within Europe,” said a source from the Italian company Alenia Aermacchi. “This is not possible with a non-European made UAV.”

 

Alenia is one of several companies pushing their governments for the development of a new MALE UAV program, including Airbus and Dassault.

 

The three firms are hoping to get commitments from capitals by the end of 2014, the Alenia source said.

 

“The definition phase could lead to a development phase starting in January 2017, provided the early agreement is signed this year in 2014,” he said. That would ready the new UAV by 2020.

 

The three firms envision the definition phase to last about two years, 2015 through 2016, during which governments would set their requirements. One industrial source said the phase would cost about €50 million (US $68 million), with the cost shared by Germany, France and Italy. The three companies also have set up a work share agreement on what is being called the MALE 2020 program.

 

The plan was announced by the companies on May 19, just ahead of the ILA Berlin Air Show, where it was a hot topic. Also that day, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the press, “At the moment there is no pressure to make a decision.” Parliamentary and public debates are supposed to take place this summer, which could be a drawn-out process because of public distaste for unmanned systems due to America’s heavy reliance on drones.

 

Europe has thrashed around for several years trying to come up with a viable plan to enter a MALE market already cornered by US and Israeli producers.

 

Anglo-French interest in a collaborative development waned after initial optimism that a program could emerge in the sidelines of the 2010 defense treaty signed by London and Paris.

 

A project study led by BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation was delivered to the two governments in 2012. Since then the plan has been pretty much put into abeyance as the two sides work to pull together a joint unmanned combat aircraft project.

 

A spokeswoman for the British Defence Ministry said options for a MALE UAV as part of its Scavenger project were ongoing.

 

Airbus, Dassault and Finmeccancia all put their names to an open letter published just ahead of the 2013 Paris Air Show urging their respective governments to collaborate in developing Europe's own technology in the sector.

 

Almost 12 months later, industry has refined its offering but governments still appear reluctant to sign up for a program on which to spend their dwindling defense budget resources.

 

“There is plenty of project push from industry and seemingly little requirement pull from the governments,” one British executive said.

 

While public perceptions of unmanned vehicles are likely part of the problem, the large cost of a major development program also plays a role.

 

An Italian defense source said the government is discussing the proposal with Alenia Aermacchi. “Discussions are underway and continuing,” he said.

 

Airbus, Alenia and Dassault would split the work share evenly, although Airbus Defence and Space will lead the definition phase, the Alenia source said.

 

The firms are already focusing on giving the UAV intelligence-gathering capabilities, long range and the ability to maneuver quickly, including fast changes of altitude, which will be key to operating in mixed air space. Propulsion will also be designed to boost safety as the UAV flies over populated areas in Europe.

 

The system would be offered with all possible variants pre-integrated in the basic design, with weaponization among the possibilities, the Alenia source said.

 

“Furthermore, flight into non-segregated airspace over European nations requires a specific definition from the start, leading to a specific type qualification and certification, which a non-European UAV cannot achieve,” he said.

 

That certification issue became a problem with the now-defunct Eurohawk program, with the German government citing concerns over being able to fly the UAV when it canceled the program. Other European UAV programs have flopped, but the basic interest in finding a non-American solution remains.

 

“European sovereignty and independence in the management of information and intelligence through systems being resilient against cyber attacks would be guaranteed,” the Alenia source said. “The program would furthermore be orientated to foster the development of ITAR [International Traffic in Arms Regulations]-free high technologies and contribute to sustaining key competencies and jobs within Europe.”

 

The concerns about ITAR and exportability have affected the sales of the current European go-to, the Predator, said Frank Pace, president of the Aircraft Systems Group at Predator-maker General Atomics. But there is some hope on the horizon, in the form of a more clearly defined UAV export policy that Pace expects will be signed by President Barack Obama in the coming weeks.

 

“One of the things that has been holding things up is there’s this policy going through, and it’s an overarching UAV export policy,” he said. “It would set up boundaries as to what class of airplanes we can export where. Before this nobody knew what they could buy. I think that’s hurting us right now in Europe.”

 

The biggest issue has been which nations can arm their UAVs and which can’t. While the Predator B has become the primary workhorse for Europe, only the UK has permission to arm the drone, with France and Italy engaging in drawn-out negotiations about arming theirs. Pace said once the export rules are clarified, he thinks Denmark, Norway, Spain and Turkey are potential customers and the French and Italians would likely increase their inventory.

 

“Germany, even with public concerns and everything, right now isn’t talking about putting weapons on the airplane, but one day they might,” Pace said. “I think that’s affecting France. It’s definitely affecting Italy.”

 

Pace said he believes it does not make sense for European countries to spend money on a MALE system that would replicate most of what they already have from the Predator.

 

“They already have the Predator, their pilots are already trained on them, they have spare parts already,” he said, estimating that a new program would likely cost more than $1 billion. “These countries shouldn’t build a ‘me too’ Predator B. They should go build a stealth airplane, which they’re not going to be able to import from the US. I think that’s going to be badly needed maybe 10 years from now. That type of program will take maybe 10 years to develop. It’s a logical thing for them to do, to take the next jump and go develop a high-speed low-radar cross-section type of airplane.”

 

Meanwhile, Germany has to figure out what it is going to do when its contract with the Bundeswehr and Airbus to lease three Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Heron 1 type MALE UAVs that are being used for reconnaissance missions in Afghanistan expires in 2015.

 

On May 21, Airbus Defence and Space and IAI announced a teaming agreement to continue providing unmanned aerial systems to the German military. The two are proposing a solution to bridge the gap until the arrival of a European-developed drone in 2020. Their offer is based on the Heron TP type MALE UAV and there would be a purchase option as well as continuation of the leasing concept.

 

The Heron is the major competitor to the Predator at the moment, but besides the Europeans, others are also trying to market that space. At the Berlin show, Turkish Aerospace Industries displayed its Anka UAV. So far there hasn’t been much of an international market. The company began the process of selling the aircraft to Egypt, only to have to back out of the deal after last year’s change in government.

 

The next year will show whether any other Europeans can become Predator competitors. ■

 

Andrew Chuter in London and Albrecht Müller in Berlin contributed to this report.

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23 mai 2014 5 23 /05 /mai /2014 12:50
photo Dassault Aviation

photo Dassault Aviation

 

19.05.2014 Airbus DS

 

Leading European companies deliver plan to France, Germany and Italy

 

Berlin/Paris/Rome. Europe’s Industry is ready to develop a next generation advanced European Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). After their call for the development of a European drone at last year’s Paris Airshow, the three most relevant European aeronautical companies have now agreed on further details for a joint approach.

 

Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, delivered a proposal for further defining a European UAS to the Ministry of Defence of France, Germany and Italy. The offer proposes a Definition Phase which has been prepared by joint development teams of Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Alenia Aermacchi and which is backed by an industrial agreement on workshare and a cooperative agreement to start the MALE2020 program.

 

The definition phase foresees that the three nations define and adjust their requirements for a European UAS development together with their armed forces and the European industry. The definition phase also serves to avoid costly additional developments during production and to reduce financial and development risks to a minimum. A commitment by the nations on the further development of the European UAS has then to be made after finalizing this definition phase: the plan of the Industries leads to an affordable and certifiable solution ready by 2020.

 

Bernhard Gerwert, CEO Airbus Defence and Space said: “We have reached an important milestone for the development of a European MALE Drone. The need for our armed forces is indisputable. We are highly motivated to continue our discussions with the Ministries of Defence and are looking forward to launch this first step soon.”

 

Eric Trappier, CEO Dassault Aviation said: “It is a unique opportunity to develop in Europe this strategic capacity. For the first time industry starts a project by having a full agreement on the general workshare of the MALE2020 programme. The proposal for the definition phase has been commonly elaborated with joint design teams and therefore demonstrates our industry’s strong commitment to this program.”

 

Giuseppe Giordo, Alenia Aermacchi’s CEO, said: “We identify a clear opportunity for the armed forces to take advantage of an advanced sovereign ISTAR capability to cope with the future high level requirements. Now is the time to drive technology forward and secure Europe’s capability in building the next generation of military air system as well as maintain talent and expertise in our industry. ”

 

Several European nations announced their requirement for unmanned aerial systems. Also the results of the EU Defence Summit in december 2013 allude to an urgent need. The Conclusions of the European Council recognize the development of a MALE UAS as a key capability for European defence.

 

In light of an increasing dependency of European states on non-european defence equipment, Europe’s largest military aviation companies started in June 2013 a joint call for sustaining key capabilities and therefore the continent’s sovereignty in constructing the future of military aircraft.

 

The timeframe of the decision to launch the European UAS is now critical in order to meet this goal.

 

Europe’s largest manufacturers for military aircraft thereby continue the common path for a UAS MALE (Medium altitude – long endurance) program as proposed during Paris Airshow 2013. The three partners are confident in the value of their proposal and are ready to move forward.

 

About MALE 2020

The MALE 2020 Project foresees the development of an European Unmanned Aerial System for long-range missions at medium flight altitudes (MALE). Besides being an answer to the European armed forces’ requirements, it will take into account the need to optimize the difficult budgetary situation through pooling of research and development funding. With a souvereign European development, critical requirements around the certification of drones are inherently built into the programme from the onset. MALE 2020 is orientated to foster the development of high technologies and contribute to sustaining key competencies and jobs within Europe.

 

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space is a division of Airbus Group formed by combining the business activities of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military. The new division is Europe’s number one defence and space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide and among the top ten global defence enterprises. It employs some 40,000 employees generating revenues of approximately €14 billion per year.

 

About Dassault Aviation

With over 8,000 military and civil aircraft delivered to 83 countries over the last 60 years, logging some 28 million hours in flight, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognized worldwide in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale fighter to the high-end Falcon family of business jets and military drones. Dassault Aviation posted sales of 4.59 billion euros in 2013, and has nearly 11,600 employees.

 

About Alenia Aermacchi

Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, has a role of primary importance in the world’s civil and defence aeronautical industry, counts a total workforce of ca. 11,000 people and operates in the design, development, production and integrated support of commercial and military aircraft, trainers, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures. In 2013 it reported revenues of € 3.34 billion, orders of € 3.98 billion and a backlog of € 9.0 billion

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Australia waits on C-27J transfer approval

 

 

8 April 2014 by Andrew McLaughlin – FG

 

Sydney - Australia's programme to introduce the Alenia Aermacchi C-27J medium transport remains on track, despite a two month delay in its lead aircraft leaving Italy to undergo modifications in the USA.

 

First flown in December 2013, "green" aircraft A34-001 had been scheduled to arrive at L-3 Communications' Waco, Texas facility on 11 February, ahead of work to bring it to the Joint Cargo Aircraft configuration. Scheduled to take three months to complete, the work involves the fitting of an electronic warfare and infrared countermeasures suite, US-standard communications equipment and ballistic matting around the cockpit and loadmaster’s station.

 

The Australian Department of Defence says delays in obtaining flight clearances from EASA and the US Federal Aviation Administration have delayed the event, citing “a change in process associated with delivery of the first Foreign Military Sales customer aircraft”. However, Australian officials say they are confident the programme “remains comfortably within the scheduled need dates”.

 

Ten C-27Js will be operated by the Royal Australian Air Force’s 35 Sqn from Richmond air base near Sydney, New South Wales. Its second example is now being flight-tested from Turin, with another six aircraft in various stages of production and to be completed at roughly three-month intervals.

 

Selected in 2011, Australia's C-27Js will replace its retired de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribous. The first four aircraft are due to be flown to Richmond in early 2015, with initial operating capability scheduled for mid- to late-2016. Full operating capability should be declared by the end of 2017, following the delivery of all aircraft, a full flight simulator and a fuselage trainer.

 

Ahead of the type's introduction, the Australian DoD says it has signed an agreement with the Pentagon “to establish a training delivery contract with L-3 to enable commencement of training in the fourth quarter of 2014”.

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21 mars 2014 5 21 /03 /mars /2014 17:30
M-346 israélien photo Alenia Aermacchi

M-346 israélien photo Alenia Aermacchi

 

 

20.03.2014 Helen Chachaty - journal-aviation.com

 

 

Alenia Aermacchi a organisé une cérémonie officielle de roll-out ce 20 mars afin de dévoiler le premier M-346 « Lavi », destiné à l’armée de l’air israélienne.

 

Ce premier exemplaire devrait être livré à l’été 2014 selon l’industriel italien. L’assemblage final avait débuté le 7 novembre 2013 en Italie.

 

Israël a commandé 30 exemplaires de cet avion d’entraînement en 2012 pour remplacer ses TA-4 Skyhawk.

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4 mars 2014 2 04 /03 /mars /2014 19:50
First Tranche 3 Eurofighter for Italy emerges

 

Mar. 4, 2014 by Craig Hoyle - FG

 

London - Italy’s first Tranche 3 production example of the Eurofighter Typhoon has been rolled out from Alenia Aermacchi’s Turin-Caselle final assembly line, ahead of being handed over within the next few months.

 

“The Italian single-seat aircraft number 64 is now ready for engine tests, and will be delivered within the first half of this year,” the Eurofighter consortium says.

 

Italy’s air force is to receive 21 aircraft under the four-nation programme’s Tranche 3A production phase, with a further combined 91 to be accepted by Germany, Spain and the UK.

 

The Italian air force has a current active fleet of 71 Eurofighters, and is also yet to receive its last three examples in the Tranche 2 configuration, according to Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database.

 

The emergence of the second aircraft in the new standard – which follows a lead Royal Air Force example flown for the first time by a BAE Systems test pilot last December – comes days after Germany’s defence ministry confirmed it will not proceed with the Eurofighter programme’s previously expected Tranche 3B activity. This was to have delivered the last 124 aircraft from an originally-planned umbrella contract for 620 of the type signed by the partner nations. Italy, Spain and the UK also plan to halt their acquisition of the Typhoon on the completion of their 3A order.

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2 décembre 2013 1 02 /12 /décembre /2013 08:50
foto-L.-Caliaro

foto-L.-Caliaro

 

Nov 29, 2013 eurofighter.com

 

Eurofighter Partner Company Alenia Aermacchi has confirmed that the first in a major series of flight tests to integrate the MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto Eurofighter Typhoon has now taken place.

 

Initial flight trials to demonstrate that the missile can be safely carried have been successfully started.  The trials began on 27th November, by the Alenia Aermacchi Flight Test Centre at Decimomannu Air Base, in Sardinia, Italy, with the support of the Eurofighter Partner Companies, BAE Systems and Cassidian.

 

The intensive flight test programme  began with flutter tests and an air data system large store interference assessment, using Instrumented Production Aircraft 2 (IPA2) updated to the Phase 1 Enhancement standard.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter GmbH, Alberto Gutierrez, said: “The successful start of the flight tests is good news for our programme. This is one of a number of enhancements that are coming on stream and there are many more to come. Storm Shadow is a major step forward significantly increasing the air-to-ground capabilities of the Eurofighter Typhoon.”

 

The Storm Shadow, already in service with the Italian Air Force and Royal Air Force Tornados, is a conventionally armed, stealthy, long-range stand-off precision weapon designed to neutralise high value targets. The new weapons systems will add the capability to strike in day or night in all-weather conditions, well-defended infrastructure targets such as port facilities, control centres, bunkers, missile sites, airfields and bridges that would otherwise require several aircraft and missions. This is a new addition to the Eurofighter Typhoon’s potent simultaneous multi-/swing-role capabilities.

 

Powered by a turbo-jet engine, with a range in excess of 250 km, the Storm Shadow missile weighs approximately 1.300kg and is just over 5 metres long. It will be available to operators from 2015 when the Eurofighter Typhoon Phase 2 Enhancements become operational.

 

Storm Shadow will provide a significant leap in the Eurofighter Typhoon’s operational capabilities, enabling the platform to deploy multiple weapons at a very long range well clear of danger from air defences.

 

Background information:

 

Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced new generation multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft currently available on the world market. Seven customers (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman) have already ordered the Eurofighter Typhoon. With 719 aircraft under contract and 571 on order, Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the largest military procurement programme in Europe. Its high technology strengthens the position of European aerospace industry in the international market. The programme secures more than 100,000 jobs in 400 companies. Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH manages the programme on behalf of the Eurofighter Partner Companies Alenia Aermacchi/Finmeccanica, BAE Systems and Cassidian in Germany and Spain, which are the most important aviation and aerospace companies in Europe with a turnover of about 126 billion euro (2012).

 

Since the first Typhoon entered service in 2003 , more than 390 Eurofighter have been delivered to six countries: Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia. The seventh customer, Oman ordered a total of 12 aircraft in December 2012. Until now, the combined Eurofighter fleet has completed more than 210,000 flying hours.

foto-L.-Caliaro

foto-L.-Caliaro

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27 novembre 2013 3 27 /11 /novembre /2013 17:20
Roll-on/roll-off weapons system for MC-27J

 

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 26 (UPI)

 

Alenia Aermacchi's U.S. partner for weaponizing the C-27J airlifter has given details of the armaments the aircraft will carry and how it will carry them.

 

ATK said the MC-27J variant will be equipped with its GAU-23 Bushmaster 30mm cannon configured for firing from the side of the plane. The gun uses a simple, automatic feed system and fires a variety of NATO 30mm rounds.

 

The weapon system will be mounted on a roll-on/roll-off pallet for quick mounting and removal from MC-27J via the plane's rear ramp, allowing for quick reconfiguration of the aircraft for other missions, including command and control through pallet-mounted sensors and communications equipment.

 

The aircraft can also be used for transporting troops and cargo.

 

The first customer for the MC-27J is the Italian Air Force, which will use the aircraft for its special forces, which will deploy the plane in an operational theater next spring.

 

"The selection of the MC-27J by the Italian Air Force and the fielding of this aircraft recognize the significant capability we have teamed to provide," said Mike Kahn, president of the ATK Defense Group. "Our partnership with Alenia Aermacchi on the MC-27J will give the Italian Air Force an adaptable, agile and affordable multi-mission solution."

 

The base C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop transport with a cruise speed of 362 mph, a ceiling of 30,000 feet and a range of more than 1,000 miles with a payload of 22,000 pounds.

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25 novembre 2013 1 25 /11 /novembre /2013 18:25
Le Pérou commande deux C-27J

 

25.11.2013 Helen Chachaty journal-aviation.com

 

C-27J, Spartan ,Alenia Aermacchi, Pérou,

 

Le ministère péruvien de la Défense a commandé deux avions de transport tactique C-27J Spartan à Alenia Aermacchi.

 

Le contrat d’une valeur d’environ 100 millions d’euros devrait être signé prochainement, selon l’industriel italien.

 

La filiale de Finmeccanica indique que le processus de sélection a duré quasiment trois ans.

 

Les exigences demandées faisaient état de capacités de transport de troupes, de personnels civils, de matériel, de MEDEVAC, d’opérations de largage, de missions de SAR ou encore d’assistance humanitaire, le tout dans des conditions de climat et de terrain comparables à celles de la Cordillère des Andes.

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22 novembre 2013 5 22 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Italian Air Force, Alenia to develop MC-27J Praetorian

The Praetorian is expected to provide 360° coverage for the Italian Forces against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats in the battlefield. Photo Alenia Aermacchi

 

21 November 2013 airforce-technology.com

 

Alenia Aermacchi will provide development, testing, certification, industrialisation and logistic support for the Italian Air Force's Praetorian fleet.

 

The Finmeccanica Company and the Italian Air Force signed the agreement at the ongoing Dubai Airshow 2013.

 

The Praetorian, which is a specialised version of the MC-27J, is expected to support the Italian Special Forces and Comando Operativo Forze Speciali (COFS) in their missions.

 

Designed to provide 360° coverage against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats in the battlefield, the Praetorian is an advanced electronic warfare (EW) suite, including computers, cameras and unspecified fire-support systems.

 

As part of the two-phased Praetorian project, Alenia Aermacchi will first develop and deliver the Praetorian prototype to the Italian Air Force in spring 2014, for immediate testing in the threatre.

 

The industrialisation of the Praetorian configuration and related logistic support will form part of the phase two.

 

The Italian Air Force plans to convert its current three C-27Js into the Praetorian configuration throughout 2016 and will include mission systems, C3ISR equipment and palletised support / fire systems.

 

An additional three aircraft will also have the same mission package capabilities, according to the company.

 

Alenia Aermacchi will partner with US-based ATK to develop the Praetorian mission and air-to-ground support systems while Selex, a Finmeccanica Company, will coordinate with Alenia Aermacchi for communication and data link solutions.

 

Jointly developed by Alenia Aermacchi and ATK, the MC-27J is an advanced defence system, which is based on the C-27J, a twin-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft.

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21 novembre 2013 4 21 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
ATK, Alenia to Integrate C-27J Palletized Gun

November 19, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: ATK; issued November 19, 2013)

 

ATK and Alenia Aermacchi Earn Contract from the Italian Air Force for Roll-On/Roll-Off Palletized Gun and Command and Control Systems

 

ARLINGTON, Va. --- ATK announced that the Alenia/ATK team has been notified by the Italian Air Force they have been selected for the integration of the Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO), palletized Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C2-ISR) and gun systems onto the Italian Air Force (ITAF) MC-27J multi-mission aircraft. The award represents an important contract for the partnership between ATK and Alenia Aermacchi.

 

The MC-27J is a modified C-27J Spartan Airlifter that allows customers to execute a wide range of missions including armed gunship, airborne C2-ISR, border surveillance, troop and vehicle transport, personnel evacuation and paratrooper deployment. The MC-27J provides quick transfer speed, long operational range and ample cargo capacity. It is also capable of taking off from and landing on short and/or unprepared strips while acting as an autonomous command and control center integrated with a ground command network.

 

"The selection of the MC-27J by the Italian Air Force and the fielding of this aircraft recognize the significant capability we have teamed to provide," said Mike Kahn, president of the ATK Defense Group. "Our partnership with Alenia Aermacchi on the MC-27J will give the Italian Air Force an adaptable, agile and affordable multi-mission solution."

 

"The MC-27J is a strategic development program for Alenia Aermacchi and our partner ATK that we believe is well matched to the current and future asymmetric warfare Air Forces' requirements," said Giuseppe Giordo, Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Aermacchi. "To have been selected by the Italian Air Force and committed to deploying the first aircraft in the operational theatre next spring is a clear confirmation of the MC-27J's capabilities and the industrial development completed to date."

 

Use of ATK's self-contained RORO mission and weapons systems allow rapid configuration change depending on mission requirements. They are designed for easy embarkation and disembarkation via the aircraft's rear ramp, permitting flexibility in the use of the unaltered aircraft. The suite of sensors and communication system coupled with multiple data links allows the Command and Control pallet to provide improved mission oversight and coordination.

 

The gun system incorporates ATK's GAU-23 30mm cannon in a side-firing configuration, and is designed to fire numerous types of NATO 30MM X 173 rounds, including the 30MM PGU-46/B munitions. The gun suite will use a simple, automatic feed system in order to minimize crew size and reduce overall operating costs.

 

ATK and Alenia Aermacchi announced their intent to jointly develop and market the MC-27J multi-mission aircraft at the 2012 Farnborough Air Show. The internally funded test and development program successfully completed its first phase in the spring of 2013. The Italian Air Force is the launch customer for the program.

 

 

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally.

 

Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, is global leader in the design, development, production and integrated support of commercial and military aircraft, trainers, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures.

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19 novembre 2013 2 19 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Alenia Aermacchi making gunship variant of C-27J for Italy

 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 18 (UPI)

 

The Italian Air Force has contracted Alenia Aermacchi for development and production of a gunship version of the C-27J airlifter for use by special forces.

 

The project, announced at an international airshow in the United Arab Emirates, has two phases. During Phase One, Alenia Aermacchi will develop and deliver a MC-7J Praetorian prototype to the Italian Air Force next spring for testing in operational scenarios. Phase Two will involve industrialization of the Praetorian configuration and related logistic support.

 

The C-27J is a twin-engine turboprop transport with a cruise speed of 362 miles per hour, a ceiling of 30,000 feet and a range of more than 1,000 miles with a payload of 22,000 pounds.

 

Alenia Aermacchi said its partners on the project are ATK of the United States and Selex ES.

 

The Italian Air Force plans to transform three C-27J's currently in service into the Praetorian configuration in 2016. Three others will follow. All six will feature command-and-control equipment, palletized cargo systems and fire support systems.

 

Details of weaponry to be carried by the aircraft were not disclosed.

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