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6 août 2014 3 06 /08 /août /2014 19:50
Boeing Wins Upgrade Contract for NATO AWACS


Aug. 6, 2014 – Defense News
 

WASHINGTON — Boeing has been awarded a $250 million contract to upgrade NATO’s fleet of E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft, the company announced Wednesday.

The avionics upgrades, designed to meet compliance with future aircraft regulations, will go on 13 of the 17 AWACS operated by the alliance. Those modifications will begin in 2016 with a 2018 completion date.

Perhaps most notably, the upgrades will also reduce the number of crew used on each plane from four to three, which will help reduce operating costs.

“Increasing airspace access means greater mission efficiency by saving time and fuel during operations,” Jon Hunsberger, Boeing AWACS program manager, said in a press release announcing the news. “The improvements also provide the pilot and co-pilot user-friendly and customizable engine, navigation and radar data.”

This is the second major upgrade for the NATO AWACS fleet announced in the last month.

At July’s Farnborough International Airshow, simulation company CAE announced it had been awarded a contract to upgrade NATO’s simulators. That deal is worth around $20 million, according to a source familiar with the agreement.

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16 juillet 2014 3 16 /07 /juillet /2014 07:45
Boeing and Paramount sign defence and security agreement

 

15 July 2014 by defenceWeb

 

Boeing and Paramount Group today at the Farnborough International Airshow signed a memorandum of collaboration to jointly develop defence and security opportunities in key international markets.

 

The agreement will allow Boeing and Paramount to apply their complementary strengths in providing aircraft and land systems solutions for customers in Africa and other major markets that face a range of security challenges, Boeing said in a statement. Those include border security; heavy airlift of products and personnel across vast distances; coastal piracy and anti-poaching; and disaster and humanitarian relief as part of future coalition efforts.

 

Platforms being explored under the collaboration include various Boeing rotorcraft, unmanned aerial systems and related support services, as well as Paramount’s portfolio of land vehicles and aerospace systems capabilities.

 

“Boeing and Paramount will be able to provide new or existing customers with a unique partnering of defence solutions and capabilities, including the retrofitting or refurbishment of existing platforms, systems integration, as well as training and maintenance support for any new acquisitions,” said Chris Chadwick, president and CEO of Boeing Defence, Space and Security. “Together we will be able to offer African customers the full scope of defence and security needs from two global leaders in their respective fields.”

 

"Africa is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for aerospace and defence equipment, and we are very pleased to be partnering with Boeing to combine our various capabilities to better serve our customers in Africa and elsewhere,” said Ivor Ichikowitz, Paramount Group chairman. “Paramount has extensive world-class design, development and manufacturing capability in Africa, which we consider to be an asset of the continent. It has for many years been our policy to identify best-of-breed partners to collaborate with in growing our African capability.”

 

Boeing’s defence portfolio includes the KC-46 tanker, 737 Airborne Early Warning platform, ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle, P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter and AH-64 Apache and AH-6i combat helicopters while Paramount offers armoured vehicles, UAVs, patrol vessels and aircraft upgrades, amongst others.

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15 juillet 2014 2 15 /07 /juillet /2014 16:20
Avion ravitailleur : le KC-46 de Boeing devrait coûter plus cher

 

15 juillet 2014 Usinenouvelle.com

 

Boeing pourrait devoir assumer des coûts de développement nettement supérieurs à ses prévisions pour le KC-46, le futur avion ravitailleur de l'armée de l'air américaine, même si le contrat prévoit que le constructeur assume seul ces dépassements, a déclaré le responsables des achats du Pentagone.

 

Frank Kendall, secrétaire adjoint à la Défense des Etats-Unis, a déclaré à des journalistes dimanche soir que le programme évoluait convenablement mais que plusieurs événements imprévus se traduisaient par une augmentation de son coût.

 

Boeing et le Pentagone sont en désaccord sur le montant du dépassement potentiel, notamment parce que le constructeur estime que les coûts des essais en vol seront inférieurs aux prévisions de l'administration.

 

"Nous nous attendons bien à un dépassement que Boeing devra assumer", a dit Frank Kendall. "C'est simplement une question d'amplitude du dépassement. Nous considérons que le chiffre sera nettement plus élevé qu'ils ne l'ont admis jusqu'à présent."

 

Boeing n'a pas fait de commentaire dans l'immédiat sur le montant du dépassement.

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11 juillet 2014 5 11 /07 /juillet /2014 16:20
NGB - photo Northrop Grumman

NGB - photo Northrop Grumman

 

Jul. 11, 2014 By Stephen Trimble - FG

 

Washington DC - The US Air Force has launched the competitive phase of the classified long range strike bomber by issuing a request for proposals, with Northrop Grumman and a Boeing/Lockheed Martin team poised to compete for a contract to develop and build 80-100 aircraft over the next two decades.

Details of the air force’s requirements for the new bomber are classified, and service officials are unlikely to provide more updates until a scheduled contract award in the second quarter of 2015.

“It will be an adaptable and highly capable system based upon mature technology,” says secretary of the air force Deborah Lee James.

Air force officials also have said the new bomber, also called the LRS-B, will enter service as a manned aircraft with a target unit price of $550 million. As the first new US bomber launched since the Northrop Grumman B-2A, the LRS-B is expected to replace a fleet of 76 Boeing B-52H and possibly a portion of the supersonic Rockwell B-1B fleets. A fleet of 20 B-2As will remain in service and complement the LRS-B.

 

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NGB photo Boeing

NGB photo Boeing

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7 juillet 2014 1 07 /07 /juillet /2014 16:20
Un chasseur Boeing discret...(en Belgique)

 

05 juillet 2014 lavenir.net

 

L’avionneur américain Boeing a présenté cette semaine en toute discrétion son chasseur-bombardier F/A-18F Super Hornet à l’armée belge, alors que la succession des F-16 vieillissants, un gros dossier pour le prochain gouvernement, commence à se profiler, Deux de ces appareils en version biplace séjournent depuis lundi sur la base aérienne de Florennes dans le cadre d’une tournée européenne qui les a déjà menés au Danemark, avant la Grande-Bretagne, avec une participation au salon aéronautique de Farnborough, près de Londres du 13 au 20 juillet.

 

L’un d’entre eux a effectué, vendredi après-midi, un vol de démonstration avec un pilote belge en place arrière, alors que Boeing organisait une réception sur invitation – sur la base de Florennes pour quelques invités en ce 4 juillet, jour de la Fête nationale américaine. Selon la Défense, cette visite de deux Super Hornet ne constitue en rien une «évaluation» de l’un des candidats à la succession des F-16. Mais quelques pilotes belges ont eu la possibilité de voler à bord des appareils de Boeing. Il s’agissait de «faire connaissance» avec ce type d’avion peu répandu en Europe.

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4 juillet 2014 5 04 /07 /juillet /2014 07:20
Boeing receives contract for more Super Hornets and Growlers

 

July 1, 2014 by David Pugliese

 

The F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265) announced today a contract award to Boeing for 44 F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft over the next two years, according to U.S. Naval Air Systems Command.

 

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4 juillet 2014 5 04 /07 /juillet /2014 07:20
CH-147F Chinook (Photo: Combat Camera/Forces canadiennes)

CH-147F Chinook (Photo: Combat Camera/Forces canadiennes)

 

3 juillet 2014 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca

 

Le ministre de la Défense nationale Rob Nicholson a accueilli ce jeudi 3 juillet à 13h30 la livraison du 15e et dernier hélicoptère CH147F Chinook de Boeing au Hangar d’installations de soutien des HELTML (hélicoptères de transport moyen à lourd) à la Garnison de Petawawa où a eu lieu une cérémonie marquant un jalon important en matière d’approvisionnement.

 

Les Forces armées canadiennes avaient reçu leur premier hélicoptère CH-147F Chinook il y a à peine un peu plus d’un an, le 27 juin 2013.

«La livraison du 15e et dernier hélicoptère Chinook démontre le solide engagement de notre gouvernement à fournir aux hommes et femmes en uniforme le matériel dont ils ont besoin pour réaliser leur travail, a déclaré à cette occasion le ministre de la Défense nationale. Le modèle F canadien du Chinook, conçu spécialement pour répondre aux exigences opérationnelles et environnementales uniques du Canada, offrira une mobilité et une souplesse plus grandes à l’Aviation royale canadienne, tandis qu’elle protège les Canadiens et les intérêts canadiens, au pays et à l’étranger.»

 

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2 juillet 2014 3 02 /07 /juillet /2014 17:35
Boeing offers KC-46 for South Korea tanker requirement

 

30 Jun 2014 By: Craig Hoyle - FG

 

Boeing has submitted its response to a request for proposals to supply South Korea’s first in-flight refuelling capability, pitching the 767-based KC-46 for the four-aircraft deal.

In development for the US Air Force, which plans to acquire 179 examples via its KC-X tanker programme, the KC-46 could support Seoul’s Boeing F-15K strike aircraft and Lockheed Martin F-16C fighters if selected, along with its Korea Aerospace Industries TA-50s and future 60 Lockheed Martin F-35s. It also would provide “the ability to operate seamlessly with the US Air Force during combat and humanitarian relief operations”, the company adds.

 

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28 juin 2014 6 28 /06 /juin /2014 11:20
Remplacement des UH-60 Blackhawk de l'US Army : premières décisions en août

Le Defiant reprend la formule de l’hélicoptère hybride, testé sur le démonstrateur technologique X-2 - photo Boeing Sikorsky

 

26/06/2014 à 21h31, par François Julian, à Mesa (Arizona) – Air & Cosmos

 

C'est en août prochain, que le Pentagone et l'US Army devraient choisir deux industriels pour poursuivre le programme JMR-TD (Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator), pour le remplacement des hélicoptères UH-60 Blackhawk de l'US Army.

 

A ce jour, quatre industriels, ou équipes d'industriels, prétendent à ce remplacement : Bell Helicopter associé à Lockheed Martin, Boeing associé à Sikorsky, AVX Aircraft et  Karem Aircraft.

 

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26 juin 2014 4 26 /06 /juin /2014 07:20
Boeing Phantom Swift Joins VTOL X-Plane Competition

 

25/06/2014 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

Boeing's Phantom Works division believes its entry into DARPA's VTOL X-Plane competition could shape the next generation of vertical takeoff and landing-capable aircraft designs.

 

In February 2013, DARPA (the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) reached out to industry for future VTOL aircraft concepts. Its VTOL X-Plane search involves types with a high payload capacity that can reach and maintain high flight speeds but also hover very efficiently. "We are looking for true cross-pollinations of designs and technologies from the fixed-wing and rotary-wing worlds", DARPA's Ashish Bagai commented at the time.

 

Boeing's Phantom Swift concept is essentially an aircraft-helicopter hybrid of the type required. So far, Phantom Works has developed, built and test-flown a scaled-down technology testbed and, in March this year, the Phantom Swift officially joined the VTOL X-Plane programme as a competing design.

 

Boeing Phantom Swift

 

Boeing's Phantom Swift is equipped with a pair of large fans, fitted internally, which supply vertical lift. When the aircraft moves between vertical and forward flight, these fans stop supplying power and wingtip-placed fans take over. The same fans on the wingtips are used to enhance stability when the Phantom Swift is in hover mode.

 

Boeing says that, with this fan arrangement, the Phantom Swift is at least 50 per cent more efficient in the hover than a typical helicopter. It's expected to have a top speed of 740 kilometres per hour and, according to the US defence/aerospace firm, the Phantom Swift's configuration template could be replicated in other designs, ultimately creating a whole developmental series.

 

Phantom Swift: VTOL X-Plane

 

The full-sized Phantom Swift will have a wing span of 50 feet (15.2 metres) and a fuselage length of 44 feet (13.4 metres), weighing in at 12,000 lb (5,450 kilograms).

 

"The combination of body-fans and tilt-wing fans for improved controllability is the unique feature of the Phantom Swift", Boeing's Brian Ritter told media representatives today. "In the challenge of efficient hover and high-speed flight the answer is in ducted-fan technology, and this is something that Boeing is now investing heavily in."

 

Four competing designs are involved in the DARPA VTOL X-Plane competition, which is currently in its Phase 1 stage. Phase 3, the final stage, will see the winning design selected.

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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 11:50
Une capacité antinavire pour l'Eurofighter ?

Une capacité antinavire pour l'Eurofighter ? L’intégration d'un missile antinavire est envisagée par Airbus Defence & space mais les travaux d'intégration ne seront pas lancés sans la demande ferme d'un client

 

11/06/2014 par Huberdeau Emmanuel – Air & Cosmos

 

Airbus Defence & Space envisage la possibilité d'intégrer un missile antinavire sur l'Eurofighter pour séduire de nouveaux clients à l'export

 

Peter Maute, directeur du Marketing d'Airbus Defence & Space, a annoncé avant-hier à Séville que l'intégration d'un missile antinavire est envisagée sur l'Eurofighter. Airbus DS étudie la possibilité de mettre en oeuvre depuis le chasseur européen, le missile Harpoon de Boeing ou les missiles plus légers Marte et Sea Brimstone de MBDA.

Cette initiative vise à mettre l'Eurofighter au même niveau que ses principaux concurrents en terme de lutte antinavire. En effet le F/A-18 de Boeing peut mettre déjà mettre en oeuvre le missile Harpoon, tandis que le Rafale de Dassault est équipé de l'AM-39 Exocet et que le Gripen de Saab peut embarquer le missile RBS-15.

 

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5 mai 2014 1 05 /05 /mai /2014 07:20
Maiden Flight for Boeing AH-6i Light Helicopter

 

 

May 5th, 2014 By Boeing - defencetalk.com

 

Boeing’s AH-6i light attack/reconnaissance helicopter has flown for the first time in its production configuration, moving the program another step closer to full-scale production while continuing to prove the helicopter’s close air support and attack capabilities.

 

Boeing pilots flew the aircraft for less than 20-minutes at low speeds in forward, rearward and sideward flight at low elevations during a recent test. Future tests will expand the flight envelope over the next several months.

 

“This first AH-6 flight in the production configuration takes us closer to delivering an advanced light attack and reconnaissance helicopter that meets the needs of defense forces around the world,” said Boeing AH-6 Program Director Scott Rudy.

 

The AH-6i is a single-turbine helicopter that is based on the combat-proven OH-6A Cayuse. It is an advanced variant of the AH-6M helicopter operated by the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. It incorporates advanced technologies from the Boeing AH-64E Apache multirole attack helicopter that give it superior performance over other aircraft in its class.

 

The helicopter is intended to provide close-air support for land-based forces and serve as an attack platform for destroying tanks, armored vehicles and fortifications.

 

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 57,000 employees worldwide.

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5 mai 2014 1 05 /05 /mai /2014 05:55
Un Rafale porte assistance à un avion de ligne en panne de radio

Rafale F3 aux couleurs de l'escadron de chasse EC 2/30 «Normandie-Niemen» - photo Alexandre Paringaux

 

4 mai 2014 45e Nord.ca (AFP)

 

Un Rafale a porté assistance dimanche après-midi à un avion de ligne en panne de radio, le passage en mode supersonique de l’avion de chasse déclenchant une forte détonation entendue de la région bordelaise jusqu’à La Rochelle, a-t-on appris de sources concordantes.

 

Le Rafale a décollé de la base aérienne BA-118 de Mont-de-Marsan (Landes), car le contact radio était perdu avec un Boeing qui s’écartait légèrement de sa trajectoire, selon la BA-118 et le Service d’information de l’armée de l’Air (Sirpa-Air).

 

Il s’agirait d’un avion de la compagnie américaine United Airlines. Selon le Sirpa-Air, l’appareil effectuait un vol entre Rome et Washington.

 

Afin de rejoindre le plus vite possible l’avion de ligne, le Rafale est passé en mode supersonique, précise-t-on à la BA-118. Selon le Sirpa-Air, l’avion de chasse se trouvait à une altitude de 35.000 pieds (environ 10.000 mètres) et à une centaine de km au sud de Bordeaux lorsque le mur du son a été franchi.

 

Selon les pompiers de Gironde et de Charente-Maritime, la forte détonation a suscité de multiples appels de particuliers inquiets.

 

Le Rafale a rejoint l’avion de ligne entre La Roche-sur-Yon (Vendée) et Nantes (Loire-Atlantique) où le contact radio a été rétabli. L’appareil a alors repris sa trajectoire.

 

Lors de ce type de procédure, le chasseur se positionne au plus près de l’avion de ligne, à sa gauche car c’est là que se situe le commandant de bord. Un dialogue s’engage alors avec un système international de signes pour identifier le problème, selon une source militaire.

 

C’est une intervention normale qui a été menée dimanche, comme nous en faisons plusieurs dizaines par an, a précisé le Sirpa-Air. L’armée de l’air en a effectué environ 70 en 2013.

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2 mai 2014 5 02 /05 /mai /2014 12:20
Aérospatiale: pas de moteurs russes aux États-Unis

 

01-05-2014 canoe.ca/techno (AFP)

 

WASHINGTON - Un tribunal américain a interdit à une société conjointe formée par Lockheed Martin et Boeing d'acheter des moteurs russes utilisés sur un de leurs lanceurs car cela violerait les sanctions américaines contre des responsables russes.

 

Cette décision a été rendue tard mercredi à la suite d'une action entreprise lundi par la société SpaceX contre l'armée de l'Air américaine, pour avoir attribué en bloc des contrats de lancements de satellites de plusieurs milliards de dollars exclusivement à United Launch Alliance (ULA), sans aucune concurrence.

 

Ce processus «revient à empêcher des sociétés comme SpaceX d'être en lice pour l'octroi de lancements de satellites destinés à la sécurité nationale», avait fait valoir Elon Musk, le PDG de SpaceX.

 

SpaceX critiquait aussi ULA qui utilise un moteur russe dans l'un de ses deux lanceurs, Atlas 5, ce qui pourrait constituer une violation des sanctions de Washington contre Moscou pour son rôle dans la crise en Ukraine. Elon Musk estimait en effet que le contrat attribué à ULA pourrait bénéficier à Dmitri Rogozine, le premier ministre russe adjoint, qui est à la tête de l'industrie militaire du pays et figure sur la liste des personnalités visées par les sanctions américaines.

 

La décision de la juge Susan Braden interdit à ULA d'effectuer des paiements au motoriste russe à qui elle achète les moteurs de fusée, à moins que les départements d'État, du Trésor et du Commerce spécifient que ces paiements ne sont pas une violation directe ou indirecte des sanctions.

 

Le montant des achats potentiellement affectés reste incertain. Un responsable du Pentagone avait indiqué en mars que ULA avait suffisamment de moteurs pour deux ans. En outre, les commandes passées avant la date de cette décision ne sont pas touchées.

 

La juge ne dit mot sur l'essentiel de la plainte de SpaceX qui porte sur l'attribution de ce contrat sans processus concurrentiel.

 

Ce contrat, qui prévoit 36 lancements de satellites de défense nationale d'ici 2030, avait été octroyé à ULA en décembre 2013. Il est estimé au total à 70 milliards de dollars.

 

Elon Musk avait affirmé que SpaceX pourrait effectuer ces lancements à un coût nettement moindre qui ferait économiser des milliards de dollars aux contribuables américains.

 

«Nous avons certaines inquiétudes quant à la stratégie d'octroi de ces contrats, leurs coûts et l'avenir de ce programme», avait déclaré en mars le sénateur démocrate Dick Durbin, président de la sous-commission des attributions budgétaires du Sénat, précisant que le coût de six lancements de satellites par an en moyenne pour l'U.S. Air Force avait augmenté de 60% de 2011 à 2014.

 

D'autres membres du Congrès ont dernièrement apporté leur soutien à SpaceX dont l'influent sénateur républicain John McCain.

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28 avril 2014 1 28 /04 /avril /2014 16:20
Satellites: SpaceX poursuit l'US Air Force

 

25/04/2014 Par Le Figaro.fr (AFP)

 

SpaceX a engagé une action judiciaire contre l'US Air Force après l'octroi de multiples contrats de lancement de satellites militaires à une seule société concurrente, a annoncé vendredi Elon Musk, le PDG de la société. Ces contrats, d'une valeur de plusieurs milliards de dollars, sont revenus à United Launch Alliance (ULA), une société conjointe formée par les groupes Lockheed Martin et Boeing.

 

Les attributions en bloc de ces contrats dans le cadre du programme EELV (Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle) de l'US Air Force reviennent à "empêcher des sociétés comme SpaceX d'être en lice pour l'octroi de lancements de satellites destinés à la sécurité nationale", a déclaré M. Musk lors d'une conférence de presse à Washington. "Ce n'est pas normal".

 

ULA coûte quatre fois plus cher que SpaceX

 

"Cette action n'est pas une contestation de SpaceX disant que ces lancements devraient lui revenir, mais seulement une demande pour qu'ils soient soumis à la concurrence", a ajouté Elon Musk. "Si nos fusées sont assez bonnes pour la Nasa qui ravitaille la Station spatiale internationale, pourquoi ne seraient-elles pas acceptables pour l'US Air Force ?", s'est-il encore interrogé, estimant que les contrats n'avaient pas été octroyés selon un processus concurrentiel.

 

M. Musk affirme également qu'un lancement avec ULA coûte quatre fois plus cher qu'avec SpaceX: "Les contribuables américains payent inutilement des centaines de millions de dollars en plus pour ces lancements", a-t-il déploré. De plus, un des deux lanceurs utilisés par ULA (Atlas 5) est équipé de moteurs de fabrication Russe, ce qui créé une dépendance dangereuse, a-t-il souligné.

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15 avril 2014 2 15 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
KC-135 Versus Planned KC-46 Performance Capabilities - source GAO photo Boeing

KC-135 Versus Planned KC-46 Performance Capabilities - source GAO photo Boeing

 

April 14th, 2014 By USGovernment - defencetalk.com

 

The KC-46 program has made good progress over the past year—acquisition costs have remained relatively stable, the critical design review was successfully completed, the program is on track to meet performance parameters, and the contractor started building development aircraft. As shown, total program acquisition costs—which include development, production, and military construction costs—and unit costs have changed less than 1 percent since February 2011.

 

As of December 2013, Boeing had about $75 million of its management reserves remaining to address identified, but unresolved development risks. There are indications that the start of initial operational test and evaluation, which is scheduled for May 2016, may slip 6 to 12 months. According to the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, more time may be needed to train aircrew and maintenance personnel and verify maintenance procedures.

 

The program released over 90 percent of the KC-46 design drawings at the critical design review, indicating that the design is stable. Overall, development of about 15.8 million lines of software code is progressing mostly according to plan. The next 12 months will be challenging as the program must complete software development, verify that the software works as intended, finalize developmental flight test planning, and begin developmental flight tests.

 

Software problem reports are increasing and Boeing could have difficulty completing all testing if more retests are needed than expected. Developmental flight testing activities are also a concern due to the need for extensive coordination among government agencies, the need for timely access to receiver aircraft (aircraft the KC-46 will refuel while in flight), and the aggressive test pace. The program office is conducting test exercises to mitigate risks and working with Navy and United Kingdom officials to finalize agreements to have access to necessary receiver aircraft.

 

The program has also made progress in ensuring that the KC-46 is ready for low rate initial production in 2015. Boeing has started manufacturing all four development aircraft on schedule. The program office has identified its critical manufacturing processes and verified that the processes are capable of producing key military subsystems in a production representative environment.

 

In addition, the program has established a reliability growth curve and will begin tracking its progress towards reaching reliability goals once testing begins. Boeing is experiencing some manufacturing delays due to late supplier deliveries on the first aircraft and parts delays for a test article of a critical aerial refueling subsystem, but the program has not missed any major milestones.

 

View Report (PDF, 38 pages)

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10 avril 2014 4 10 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Boeing Phantom Badger Certified for V-22 Transport

 

Apr 8, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

    Versatility offers more deployment options to warfighters

 

After a series of successful tests, the U.S. Navy last month certified that the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Phantom Badger combat support vehicle can be transported inside a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. That is another step toward providing warfighters with more options to deploy the versatile vehicle.

 

The tests included form-fit checks, pressure tests and structural evaluations exceeding four G-forces.

 

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
photo US Navy

photo US Navy

 

Apr.8, 2014 by Jon Hemmerdinger - FG

 

Washington DC - The US Navy insists that its decision to exclude eight Boeing P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine warfare aircraft from its fiscal year 2015 budget request will not affect its plan to transition to a fleet of the type.

 

However, Boeing says a reduction of eight aircraft orders would likely cause P-8 unit prices to climb."There is no impact on the transition plan," says Martin Ahmad, the USN's P-8 deputy programme manager. "The transition has not changed as a result of those aircraft at all."

 

Ahmad made his comments at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington, DC, on 8 April.

 

The USN's budget proposal, which still requires Congressional approval, calls for the service to buy eight Poseidons in FY2015: down from an original plan to order 16. The service now plans acquire 109 P-8s through FY2019.

 

While the USN has removed the eight aircraft from its budget request, the service indicates it still wants to buy them by including eight P-8s in a list of unfunded priorities it sent to Congress in recent weeks.

 

The eight aircraft have "essentially been rephrased", Ahmad says, noting that the USN's requirement for P-8s remains unchanged at 117 aircraft.

 

But if Congress doesn't add those aircraft back into the budget, the cost of P-8s will likely increase, says Rick Heerdt, Boeing's P-8 vice-president and programme manager.

 

"Will there be a cost impact [with] the lower numbers? That's probably likely. We don't really know much right now," says Heerdt.

 

He adds, however, that the cost impact will likely be less substantial than if Boeing's production line was solely dedicated to P-8s, which are partly made on the commercial 737 production line. "The commercial production line mitigates [the impact] somewhat," he says.

 

The USN's budget request estimates P-8s will have unit flyway costs of nearly $271 million, including weapons systems, in FY2015.

 

Meanwhile, Ahmad and Heerdt describe the P-8 programme as having made great strides since the beginning of 2013, with Boeing delivering eight aircraft to the USN and the first international P-8 to India. The US service now has 13 of the type.Boeing reached initial operational capability with the P-8 in 2013, and also last year won a contract to produce 13 aircraft as part of a fourth lot of low-rate initial production.

 

In February 2014, the company also announced it had won its first full-rate initial production contract for the type, with an order for 16 P-8s from the USN. It also secured an order from Australia for eight aircraft, plus four options.

 

The USN says the new aircraft brings much more capability to its fleet of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft, which has for decades been composed primarily of Lockheed P-3 Orions.

 

Ahmad says the service and Boeing are working on "increment two" improvements that will give P-8s the ability to conduct wide-area ASW acoustic search; a capability currently available on upgraded P-3Cs.

 

Increment two upgrades, which are scheduled to be introduced on aircraft in FY2016, will also allow P-8s to deploy weapons from higher altitudes and give the aircraft an automatic identification system that will identify other ships, including commercial vessels, says the USN.

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Boeing to target current P-3 operators for MSA sales

 

 

Apr.8, 2014 by Jon Hemmerdinger - FG

 

Washington DC - Boeing’s maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA), which is based on a Bombardier Challenger 605 platform, will be an ideal aircraft for countries that already operate Lockheed P-3 Orions, the company says.

 

Speaking at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington DC, company officials add that potential customers will also be countries in the Asia-Pacific and Persian Gulf.

 

“Likely customers are going to be [countries] with a challenging maritime environment,” says Jeff Brown, Boeing’s director of business development for electronic and information solutions. He adds that the MSA will be an ideal platform for performing surveillance of economic maritime zones within roughly 170nm (320km) of coasts.

 

“A plane like the Challenger can get to station quickly and spend a longer amount of time there” than turboprop-driven alternatives like the P-3, says Brown.

 

He declines to name potential customers, but Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database shows that Persian Gulf and Asia-Pacific operators of the P-3 include Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. P-3 operators in other regions include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal and Spain.

 

A prototype MSA achieved first flight on 28 February, following modifications to a Challenger 604 test asset performed by Toronto-based Field Aviation. The test aircraft was subsequently flown to a Boeing facility in Yuma, Arizona, where flight testing will continue, Field says.

 

Flight testing is scheduled to conclude by the end of 2014, with production to start in 2015, Field says.

 

Boeing says it has targeted 20 to 30 potential customers, and estimates the market value to be $10 billion over 10 years. The aircraft will be marketed to coast guards, militaries and other government operators, according to Field.

 

The base version of the MSA will be manned by two pilots and three system operators. It will be offered with a Selex ES Seaspray 7300 maritime surveillance radar and a FLIR Systems Star Safire 380 electro-optical/infrared sensor. Options will include two additional crew stations and equipment such as satellite communications and a side-looking airborne radar, says Field. Future aircraft could also be outfitted with weapons mounted on wing hardpoints, it adds.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Boeing Updates Timing of C-17 Production Line Closure

 

 

Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

Boeing [NYSE: BA] today adjusted slightly the timing for ending C-17 Globemaster III production and closing its Long Beach, Calif., C-17 final assembly facility after a successful two-decade production run of the world’s premier airlifter.

 

Based on current market trends and the timing of expected orders, Boeing anticipates completing C-17 production in mid-2015, an adjustment of approximately three months from an initial estimate of late 2015. The company announced plans to end C-17 production in September 2013.

 

Boeing expects inventory–related charges of approximately $50 million, which will be recorded in the first quarter, as a result of this announcement.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:20
Boeing to Provide Maintenance Training Devices for US Navy P-8A Poseidon

 

 

Apr 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : The Boeing Company

 

    Contract includes replica components and high-fidelity simulators

 

Boeing [NYSE: BA] will broaden its support for the U.S. Navy's fleet of Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft through a recent order for maintenance simulators.

 

The Navy plans to begin using six virtual trainers, one ordnance load trainer and 14 hardware-based devices to train P-8A maintenance personnel at Naval Air Station Jacksonville starting in 2016.

 

Read more

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
photo USMC

photo USMC

 

7 April 2014 by Jon Hemmerdinger – FG

 

Washington DC - The US military continues talks with potential foreign buyers of Bell Boeing's V-22 Osprey as the service works to decrease the tiltrotor's costs.

 

US Marine Corps Col Daniel Robinson, manager of the V-22 joint programme office, tells reporters that the service is getting closer to securing a contract to sell V-22s to Israel, and says the military has a team of negotiators in that country working on a deal.

 

He adds that up to one dozen other countries have shown significant interest in the aircraft, but declines to specify those nations or say how close the military and Bell Boeing are to securing an order.

 

"Its definitely growing in demand," he says.

 

Robinson's comments, made during a press briefing at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington, DC, on 7 April, follow an announcement in January that Israel requested permission from the US Defense Department to buy six V-22s.

 

Then, in February, at the Heli-Expo, Bell Helicopter chief executive John Garrison said Israel is now interested in acquiring a total of 12 aircraft, six of which would come from existing orders that are assigned to the Marine Corps.

 

Any order from Israel or another country would help Bell Boeing preserve V-22 sales beyond 2015 and could help keep production alive past 2019.

 

Robinson notes, however, that the production line has enough capacity in the next few years to handle some new aircraft orders.

 

Meanwhile, Robinson says the US military continues a rigorous effort to bring down the expense of V-22s, which currently have a flyaway cost of about $72.1 million, according the US Navy's recently-released fiscal year 2015 budget proposal.

 

Robinson notes that the V-22's cost per flight hour has dropped 25% since 2009 while its readiness has increased 20%.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet with upper conformal fuel tank.

Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet with upper conformal fuel tank.

 

Apr.7, 2014– FG

 

The US Navy says it is pleased with results of recent flight tests of a Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet that had been upgraded with conformal fuel tanks and an external weapons pod -- a configuration Boeing calls the "Advanced Super Hornet."

 

Captain Frank Morley, F/A-18 programme manager for the USN, says on 7 April that the tests give lawmakers additional options as they consider whether to add orders for Super Hornets or A/E-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to the US military's fiscal year 2015 budget.

 

"The measures we were able to get on signature reduction and flying quality were spot on predications," Morley tells reporters during a press briefing at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Exposition near Washington, DC. "It helps better inform decisions made through the budget bills and provides options as needed."

 

Conformal fuel tanks added to the upper fuselage of Super Hornets and belly-mounted external weapons pods are two primary upgrades that Boeing is pitching as its Advanced Super Hornet.

 

The Advanced model can also be improved with better engines, avionics and weapons systems, including an upgraded radar and improved infrared search-and-track abilities, Boeing has said.

 

The Advanced Super Hornet designation will be applied to new aircraft and existing aircraft that have been upgraded, Boeing has said.

 

The US government's fiscal year 2015 budget, which is currently working through Congress, does not include money for more Growlers or Super Hornets, but the USN expressed interest in additional aircraft by adding 22 Growlers to an unfunded list of priorities sent to lawmakers in recent weeks.

 

Morley says Growler's electronic jamming and other capabilities are critical to the "blue kill chain", the process by which friendly military forces identify, track, target and fire upon enemy forces. They are equally effective in disrupting the enemys ability to do the same against US forces, he adds.

 

"Given the environment we are [moving] into, that type of airplane plays a major role," Morley says. "You could use a lot of them. You could continue to [identify] places where they could [be of] benefit."

 

The USN intends to operate Super Hornets through the 2030s, Morley says.

 

Boeing has been seeking additional orders for Growlers or Super Hornets so as to keep its production line in St. Louis running.

 

Unless it receives more orders, the line will run out of aircraft to build by the end of 2016, Boeing has said.

 

If Congress adds 22 Growlers into next fiscal years spending bill, the line would continue running until the end of 2017, Mike Gibbons, Boeing's vice president of the F/A-18 programme, says during the press conference.

 

Gibbons adds that Growlers are the only aircraft that provide a broad spectrum of electronic protection, allowing fighters and other aircraft to penetrate enemy airspace that is guarded by multiple layers of electronic defence.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
A-50EI Mainstay 2009 photo Michael Sender

A-50EI Mainstay 2009 photo Michael Sender

 

April 6, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

In a bid to boost its aerial surveillance, India will buy six aircraft that can be used for supporting its indigenous Airborne Warning and Control System, according to Aviation Week.

 

More from Aviation Week:

 

“A tender has been floated to global vendors for the supply of suitable aircraft with necessary structural modifications, power and endurance adaptations and equipment installation or installation provisions for the Awacs,” says an official at the defense ministry.

 

Though the type of aircraft hasn’t been specified, India is looking at acquiring a platform that can support an Awacs antenna dome, which is about 10 meters in diameter. The aircraft also should have provisions for the installation of all external and internal elements of the mission systems, the official adds.

 

Only original aircraft manufacturers are qualified to submit the bids. Also, “the vendors should be willing to support the product for a period not less than 30 years from the date of acceptance of the aircraft,” he says.

 

According to the defense ministry official, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which is developing the radars and sensors, is looking at either the Boeing-767 or Airbus A330 as the new platform. However, vendors such as Ilyushin, Antonov, Sukhoi, Bombardier and Saab could also be in the running.

 

Full story here:

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
A330 MRTT

A330 MRTT

 

2 April 2014 airforce-technology.com

 

South Korea has started a process to acquire its long-desired four in-flight refuelling tanker aircraft in an effort to enhance the national air defence.

 

The estimated KRW1.4tn ($1.31bn) deal forms part of the country's attempts to augment its air defence in wake of escalating tension in morth-east Asia over the maritime interests of Japan, China and North Korea, Reuters reports.

 

The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement that the purchase will be made through a competitive bid process and bids will be accepted by the end of June 2014.

 

Two unnamed industry sources were quoted by the news agency as saying that Boeing is expected to bid with a model that is based on a Boeing 767-level aircraft, such as the KC-46 Pegasus, while Airbus Group is likely to offer its A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT).

 

 

Boeing KC-46 tanker

Boeing KC-46 tanker

Other companies are also anticipated to enter the competition with commercial aircraft overhauled as tankers, the sources added.

 

A closed briefing is scheduled to be held by DAPA on 08 April to brief the bidders regarding the contract requirements.

 

Another source with direct knowledge of its requirements said the country aims to close a deal by the end of 2014.

 

The in-flight refuelling tankers are anticipated to enhance the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) fighter aircraft airborne operation time by more than one hour, the source added.

 

Scheduled to be acquired between 2017 and 2019, the new tankers will help extend the operational range of ROKAF's F-15K and KF-16 fighter aircraft fleet, as reported earlier by Yonhap News Agency.

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