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5 août 2014 2 05 /08 /août /2014 11:35
K-Max returns from Afghan deployment

 

25 Jul 2014 By: Beth Stevenson - FG

 

The US Marine Corps’ Lockheed Martin/Kaman K-Max unmanned helicopter has returned from its Afghan deployment, following almost three years in theatre.

The cargo-carrying unmanned air vehicle returned in May, and is now undergoing technical assessment at Lockheed’s Owego facility in New York.

A USMC assessment of assets in theatre concluded that the UAV was no longer required in Afghanistan to support the mission, so the unmanned rotorcraft was subsequently returned, Capt Patrick Smith, programme executive officer for multi-mission UAS, says.

 

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5 août 2014 2 05 /08 /août /2014 11:20
Le constructeur du F-35 Lockheed Martin reste année après année le meilleur vendeur d'armes de la planète

Le constructeur du F-35 Lockheed Martin reste année après année le meilleur vendeur d'armes de la planète

 

05/08/2014 Michel Cabirol- LaTribune.fr

 

Année après année, l'américain reste toujours au sommet des groupes de défense. Thales entre dans le top dix, en se plaçant au 9e rang mondial, selon le classement annuel dévoilé lundi par le magazine américain "Defence News".

 

Indéracinable Lockheed Martin... Depuis l'an 2000, le groupe américain a toujours gardé la première place du classement annuel des groupes de défense dévoilé lundi par le magazine américain "Defence News". En 2014, le constructeur de l'avion de combat F-35 a encore très facilement repoussé ses poursuivants, notamment Boeing (32 milliards de dollars de ventes dans la défense en 2013) et le britannique BAE Systems (28 milliards de dollars), qui complètent le podium, en affichant un chiffre d'affaires 2013 dans la défense de 40,49 milliards de dollars. Une activité pourtant en baisse de près de 10 % par rapport à 2012.

Pour compenser la baisse de ses activités de défense, Lockheed Martin est entré sur le marché civil dans des domaines comme la gestion de trafic aérien, la formation et la simulation dans l'aéronautique, l'énergie... Basé au Maryland, le groupe a ainsi pu compenser la chute de son chiffre d'affaires dans la défense entre 2012 et 2013 (plus de 4,3 milliards de dollars). Au total, les ventes globales de Lockheed Martin ont seulement baissé de 1,8 milliard de dollars. Aujourd'hui le groupe américain ne réalise plus que 89 % de son chiffre d'affaires dans la défense, contre plus de 95 % en 2013 et 2012. En 2000, la défense ne représentait que 63 % de son chiffre d'affaires global.

 

Thales dans le "Top Ten"

Curieux paradoxe. Alors que le PDG Jean-Bernard Lévy veut orienter son groupe vers les activités civiles en raison de la baisse des budgets de défense des pays matures, Thales est revenu en 2014 dans le "Top Ten" des groupes de défense. Un classement inédit depuis 2007, année où Denis Ranque était encore à la tête du groupe d'électronique. Avec près de 11 milliards de dollars de chiffre d'affaires dans la défense (soit 56,30 % de ses ventes globales), le groupe français se classe à la neuvième place du classement des 100 premiers groupes de défense.

Il est bien sûr devancé par Airbus Group (7e rang), qui lui aussi se réoriente vers le civil. Le groupe européen, basé aux Pays-Bas, a réalisé 16,5 milliards de dollars de chiffre d'affaires dans la défense sur un total de 81,1 milliards. Deux fois moins que son rival américain Boeing, qui a enregistré 32 milliards de ventes dans le militaire. A noter la bonne performance du groupe naval DCNS qui entre dans le "Top 20" de ce classement avec un chiffre d'affaires de 4,6 milliards de dollars (16e rang). Ce qui n'est pas son meilleur classement (14e en 2003). Safran (23e), qui gagne deux places par rapport à 2013 (25e), Dassault Aviation (50e, contre 55e en 2013) et Nexter (63e, contre 70e en 2013) complètent les groupes français dans le Top 100 de ce classement de "Defence News".

 

Six américains dans les dix premiers

Ce n'est pas une surprise. Mais pour ceux qui ont envie de baisser la garde en Europe, cela rappelle un peu plus l'hégémonie des Etats-Unis sur le marché mondial des ventes d'armes, une activité de souveraineté nationale par excellence. Six groupes américains - Lockheed Martin (1er), Boeing (2e), Raytheon (4e), Northrop Grumman (5e), General Dynamics (6e) et United Technologies (8e) - sont parmi les dix plus grands groupes mondiaux de défense. Et parmi les 20 premiers, ils sont treize : outre les six premiers, L-3 Communications, Huntigton Ingalls Industries (construction navale), Honeywell, Textron, Booz Allen Hamilton (SSII), General Electric et Exelis (conglomérat).

Seuls quatre groupes européens parviennent à concurrencer les Américains dans les dix premiers groupes mondiaux de défense : BAE Systems (3e), Airbus Group (7e), Thales (9e) et enfin l'italien Finmeccanica (10e), qui a régressé de deux places entre 2014 et 2013. En outre, le Russe Almaz-Antey (systèmes de défense aériens, électronique) se glisse à la 12e place, le motoriste britannique Rolls-Royce à la 14e et DCNS à la 16e.

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17 juillet 2014 4 17 /07 /juillet /2014 12:20
The F-35 Will Not Appear at Farnborough


17 juil. 2014 British Forces news

 

A new fighter aircraft to which the Ministry of Defence is committed has been ruled out of appearing at the Farnborough air show. A grounding of the F-35 by the Americans following an engine fire in Florida last month meant the combat aircraft was unable to arrive for the start of the seven-day Farnborough show yesterday.

Although the grounding has now been lifted, restrictions placed on flights means that the F-35 will not be able to fly over from the USA for any part of the show in Hampshire which ends on Sunday. The grounding meant that the F-35 was unable to appear when the Queen officially named the Royal Navy's newest, and biggest, aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth earlier this month.

An appearance by the F-35 at last weekend's military tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire was also ruled out, although hopes remained that the aircraft could still arrive for some part of the Farnborough show. The US Pentagon's press secretary, Navy Rear Admiral. John Kirby, said it was a "difficult decision" to cancel the hoped-for participation at Farnborough, but the Pentagon remained confident that any of the plane's technical issues can be fixed.

"While we're disappointed that we're not going to be able to participate in the air show, we remain fully committed to the programme itself and look forward to future opportunities to showcase its capabilities to allies and to partners," he said.

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16 juillet 2014 3 16 /07 /juillet /2014 16:20
Test Pilots Provide Inside Look at F-35

 

16.07.2014 by Lockheed Martin

 

F-35 Test Pilots provide an inside look at the F-35's unprecedented capabilities using the F-35 full scale model at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow.

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16 juillet 2014 3 16 /07 /juillet /2014 16:20
Farnborough : F-35's UK air show appearance ruled out

 

15.07.2014 By: Craig Hoyle - FG

 

The dramatic lifting yesterday of a grounding order on the Lockheed ¬Martin F-35 briefly raised hopes that the stealthy type could make a transatlantic dash to the show, but was followed by late news from Washington that the Joint Strike Fighter will not be able to visit the UK.

An airworthiness board convened by the US Air Force and US Navy on Monday had approved a return to flight order for the F-35 fleet, but under certain limitations. These included a new inspection interval for the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, and a restricted flight envelope. To remain in place until the root cause of a late June fire has been identified, the measures effectively made the trip to the UK impossible.

 

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16 juillet 2014 3 16 /07 /juillet /2014 07:20
F-35: The Complete Guide to the Joint Strike Fighter

 

source DefenceIQ

 

The F-35 Lightning II is Lockheed Martin’s 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

 

Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least ten other countries.

 

This guide is designed to give you an overview of the F-35 variants, some of the new technologies the JSF is adopting and which countries and companies are participating in the programme.

 

Lt Gen Christopher C. Bogdan, the Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, has been confirmed as a speaker at the International Fighter conference, taking place in London in November.

 


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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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11 juillet 2014 5 11 /07 /juillet /2014 07:20
An F-35B Lightning II on the tarmac at Eglin Air Force Base - photo LM

An F-35B Lightning II on the tarmac at Eglin Air Force Base - photo LM

 

10 juillet 2014 Info-Aviation

 

Le Joint Program Office du Pentagone (JPO), qui supervise l’acquisition du F-35 de Lockheed Martin a « suspendu temporairement » les négociations pour le prochain lot d’avions et de moteurs, a déclaré un porte-parole du JPO le 8 juillet suite à l’incendie d’un moteur survenu le 23 juin.

 

« Le JPO ne conclura pas d’acquisition supplémenatire tant que la question du moteur sera en suspens et que les correctifs ultérieurs ne seront pas résolus », a déclaré Kyra Hawn du JPO.

 

Lockheed Martin a présenté son taux de production initial n°8 (LRIP 8) en décembre 2013. En avril 2014, le général de la Force aérienne Christopher Bogdan, chef d’acquisition du F-35 au Pentagone, a déclaré qu’il espérait signer le contrat d’ici la fin du mois de mai 2014.

 

Le porte-paroles de Pratt et Whitney, Matthew Bates, a déclaré que le motoriste « allait conclure les négociations sous peu », et le porte-parole de Lockheed Martin, Laura Siebert, a ajouté que sa société était « déterminée à conclure le LIRP 8 d’ici la fin de l’été 2014″.

 

Selon Kyra Hawn, « tous les moteurs de F-35 disponibles ont été inspectés depuis le 8 juillet. Certains logés dans le dépôt d’entretien seront inspectés lors des permis d’accès, » a t-elle ajouté.

 

Le Pentagone a cloué au sol l’ensemble des F-35 depuis le 3 juillet, quelques jours avant que le F-35 à décollage court et atterrissage vertical (STOVL) ne soit livré au corps des US Marines. Cette variante du F-35 devait faire ses débuts au Royaume-Uni le 4 juillet sur le nouveau porte-avions britannique.

 

Le Pentagone « a émis une directive maintenant au sol la flotte de F-35 sur la base des premières conclusions » de l’enquête sur un incendie survenu le 23 juin à bord d’un F-35A à la base Eglin de l’Air Force en Floride, a rappelé le contre-amiral John Kirby. L’incendie semble avoir été provoqué par le moteur F135 de Pratt & Whitney qui équipe le F-35.

 

Le Pentagone envisagea d’autoriser le F-35 de voler au show aérien de Farnborough auRoyaume-Uni ce mois-ci.

 

« Nous serions déçus si nous ne participions pas à Farnborough, » a t-il décalaré. Toutefois, « personne ne veut se précipiter pour remettre ces avions en vol », a t-il ajouté.

 

Selon le JPO, l’US Navy va déterminer si oui ou non sa flotte de F-35B sera autorisée à voler à temps pour le spectacle aérien du Royaume-Uni. «Si le US Naval Air Systems Command n’autorise pas le vol, les Marines ne seront pas autorisés à y participer, » affirme t-elle.

 

En attendant, le secrétaire de la Défense Chuck Hagel envisage de se rendre à la base d’Eglin le 10 juillet pour « envoyer un message fort aux partenaires internationaux des États-Unis afin qu’ils restent pleinement engagés dans le programme F-35″. Mr Hagel se réunira avec les enquêteurs qui cherchent à déterminer la cause de l’incendie du 23 juin, selon le contre-amiral Kirby.

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10 juillet 2014 4 10 /07 /juillet /2014 19:50
Javelin Missile Successfully Launched from Turreted Vehicle

 

10.07.2014 Lockheed Martin

 

On March 31, the Lockheed Martin UK Ampthill team successfully fired a Javelin missile from a turret at Cranfield Ordnance Test & Evaluation Center (COTEC) firing range on Salisbury Plain near Wiltshire, England. The missile hit the target successfully.

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10 juillet 2014 4 10 /07 /juillet /2014 16:20
Le F-35 pourrait manquer le salon de Farnborough

 

09 juillet 2014 Par Julien Bonnet – Usine Nouvelle

 

L'armée américaine a émis des doutes quant à la présence de son chasseur F-35 au salon aérien de Farnorough, qui se tient la semaine prochaine en Grande-Bretagne. Un contretemps qui vient compléter la longue liste des déboires rencontrés par ce programme déjà très coûteux.

 

Le F-35 trop juste pour briller dans le ciel de Farnborough ? L'armée américaine n'est pas certaine de pouvoir présenter son chasseur lors du salon aérien qui se tiendra la semaine prochaine en Grande-Bretagne. Un contremps fâcheux, les responsables américains avaient en effet vu ce grand rendez-vous de Farnborough comme une occasion en or pour dévoiler leur avion de combat multirôle.

 

Le programme le plus coûteux de l'histoire

 

Salué comme une merveille technologique, le programme "Joint Strike Fighter" s'impose comme le plus coûteux de l'histoire. Son budget a en effet explosé pour atteindre près de 400 milliards de dollars (290 milliards d'euros environ), pour 2 443 avions, et quelque sept ans de retard.

La totalité de la flotte des F-35 américains reste pourtant toujours clouée au sol, a annoncé ce mardi 8 juillet le Pentagone, afin qu'une enquête se poursuive sur les raisons d'un incendie survenu à bord d'un appareil fin juin, le dernier incident d'une longue série de problèmes techniques et de retards.

 

Priorité à la sécurité

 

"La décision n'a pas encore été prise", a déclaré le porte-parole du Pentagone, le contre-amiral John Kirby. "Nous serions déçus si (le F-35) ne pouvait pas participer à Farnborough mais la sécurité est notre priorité. (...) Personne ne veut précipiter cet engin dans les airs avant de savoir exactement ce qu'il s'est passé".

Quatre F-35B, une version à décollage court et à atterrissage vertical, devaient notamment se produire depuis un navire britannique, pays qui a beaucoup investi dans ce programme.  Des responsables militaires ont confié à l'AFP que trois avions sur quatre pourraient bien se produire vers la fin du salon (qui se tient jusqu'au 20 juillet) si les autorités aériennes concluaient à une absence de risque.

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7 juillet 2014 1 07 /07 /juillet /2014 18:30
Lockheed remporte un contrat de soutien à la défense aérienne irakienne

 

4 juillet 2014 par Jacques N. Godbout - 45eNord.ca

 

L’Irak ne pourra pas se plaindre du manque de soutien «technologique» de la part des Américains.Lockheed Martin Corp, Mission Systems & Training (MST) basé à Manassas, en Virginie, a obtenu un contrat à prix fixe de 11,645,964 $ pour le soutien logistique du système de défense aérienne intégrée irakien (IADS).

 

Il est fait mention de ce contrat dans le communiqué du Département de la Défense américain sur les contrats accordés le 3 juillet 2014 .

 

Le contrat inclut des services de soutien technique, d’assistance sur site, de gestion logistique, de support technique,de maintenance préventive et de maintenance correctrice, des études techniques et des recommandations pour le soutien logistique et le cycle de vie pour les IADS et de l’équipement.

 

Les travaux seront effectués à différents endroits à travers l’Irak, et devraient être achevé le 30 Juin 2015.

 

Lockheed Martin (MST) fournit l’ingénierie de systèmes, le développement de logiciels, la gestion de programmes complexes, des solutions de chaîne d’approvisionnement et la logistique, de formation et de simulation des technologies pour la sécurité mondiale, les marchés civils et commerciaux.

 

MST emploie environ 17.000 personnes aux États-Unis, au Canada, au Mexique, à Taïwan, au Japon, au Royaume-Uni, en Allemagne, ai Pays-Bas, en Nouvelle-Zélande et en Australie. La division MST de Lockheed à Manassas en Virginie emploie quant à elle 1.400 personnes.

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7 juillet 2014 1 07 /07 /juillet /2014 11:20
Global Competition Opens For F-35 Sustainment Deals

The F-35 Joint Program Office has a new way to sustain the global fleet, such as this F-35B model. (Lockheed Martin)

 

Jul. 6, 2014 - by AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

WASHINGTON — The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) has begun carrying out a game-changing plan for sustainment on a global scale, one that relies heavily on competition to help drive down costs.

 

The plan divides the F-35 user base into three regions of North America, Europe and the Pacific, with the JPO assessing what sustainment work is needed for each region and what can be done with a more centralized system, US Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the head of the JPO, told Defense News in a June 30 interview.

 

This marks the first details of how the fighter jets will be maintained on a global scale. Until now, it had been unclear whether original equipment manufacturers would form the core of sustainment, or whether it would be opened to competition.

 

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4 juillet 2014 5 04 /07 /juillet /2014 12:20
Les Etats-Unis suspendent les vols des F-35

 

MOSCOU, 4 juillet - RIA Novosti

 

L'armée américaine a cloué au sol ses chasseurs F-35 suite à un incendie survenu le 23 juin à bord d'un F-35A sur une base de Floride, rapportent vendredi les médias occidentaux.

 

Dans un communiqué, le département de la Défense indique qu'aucune cause précise n'a été décelée pour expliquer cet incendie qui s'est produit lorsque le pilote se préparait au décollage.

 

Construit par Lockheed Martin, le chasseur F-35, quasi indétectable par les radars, est l'un des projets les plus onéreux du Pentagone (392 milliards de dollars pour 2.433 appareils).

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4 juillet 2014 5 04 /07 /juillet /2014 07:20
F-35 Weekly Update: 3rd July 2014


03.07.2014 by DefenceIQ
 

U.S. and British military officials are working on a joint directive to require mandatory inspections of engines on all Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, after an Air Force F-35A caught fire at a Florida air base last week, said sources familiar with the situation.

 

That incident was the latest to hit the Pentagon's costliest weapons program, the $398.6 billion (£232.2 billion) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and came as the plane was preparing for its international debut at two air shows in Britain.

The incident involved the third stage of the F135 engine built by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, for all three models of the new warplane, the sources said. "The engine ripped through the top of the plane," one said.

Details are still being finalised, but the inspections could take about 90 minutes, according to one of the sources, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The incident will prevent a planned F-35 "fly by" at the July 4 naming ceremony of Britain's new aircraft carrier.

It has stalled the departure of the planes that were to participate in the UK shows, but the U.S. Marine Corps said it was still planning to send four jets across the Atlantic.

"We are on track to participate in the air shows," said Marine Corps Captain Richard Ulsh.

The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) kicks off on July 11 followed by the Farnborough International Air Show starting on July 14.

Four Marine Corps F-35 B-model jets remain in southern Maryland waiting to leave for Britain. A fifth jet, owned by Britain, is still in Florida.

Strict UK liability laws mean British authorities need additional information before granting flight clearances. If something went wrong, the individual officer who approved the flight could be sued personally, the sources said.

Pratt & Whitney declined comment on any finding of the ongoing investigation into the fire at the Florida air base. Company spokesman Matthew Bates said the company was participating in the investigation.

One of the sources said the engine involved - and about six feet of debris found on the runway around the jet - were shipped to Pratt's West Palm Beach facility on Tuesday for a more detailed inspection.

Early indications pointed to a possible quality problem with one part of the engine, but that finding must still be further corroborated, said one of the sources. [Bloomberg]

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4 juillet 2014 5 04 /07 /juillet /2014 06:35
Australians to study effects of electromagnetic compatibility and interference on F-35

 

July 3, 2014 by David Pugliese

 

A full-scale model of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter will be used by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) to study the effects of electromagnetic compatibility and interference on the aircraft, the Australian Ministry of Defence said in a news release.

 

More from the release:

 

Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston said the Australian-built model, known as Iron Bird, would be tested under simulated electromagnetic conditions during the acquisition and through-life sustainment of the JSF.

 

“The United States Joint Strike Fighter Program Office asked the DSTO to undertake this research, based on its world class expertise in investigating electromagnetic environmental effects,” Senator Johnston said.

 

During a visit to the DSTO laboratory in Adelaide, Senator Johnston said the testing by the DSTO will ensure the JSF is protected against electromagnetic environmental effects such as those caused by lightning and broadcast transmissions which can impair the performance and safety of aircraft.

 

The JSF is a fifth-generation aircraft with highly complex electronics, sophisticated software and a structural airframe made of composite materials to ensure stealth. These features expose the aircraft to electromagnetic interference from both naturally occurring phenomena and man-made sources, including telecommunication transmissions, radar and lightning strikes.

 

“The impact of these interferences needs to be well understood and appropriately managed,” Senator Johnston said.

 

“The data captured during DSTO testing will help in providing potential reductions in the cost of owning the JSF fleet and enhancing the aircraft’s capability.”

 

The DSTO test methods provide a rapid, cost-effective means of assessing and monitoring the JSF’s ability to withstand electromagnetic exposure and minimise any impact on its systems and performance.

 

Senator Johnston said DSTO’s research would support the verification for compliance and airworthiness certification for the JSF aircraft.

 

The Australian Government recently committed to buying an additional 58 JSF aircraft, bringing the fleet total to 72. Australia’s first two F-35As are due to be delivered to a United States-based training facility during 2014aEUR’15 when Royal Australian Air Force pilot and maintainer training will begin on the aircraft.

 

Senator Johnston said because Australia had entered the program at the development phase, Australian companies have gained $357.6 million in production orders with only about 2-3 per cent of the production F-35A aircraft manufactured.

 

About 30 Australian companies are directly involved in doing business with JSF primes, with many more Australian companies as sub-contractors.

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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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20 juin 2014 5 20 /06 /juin /2014 12:20
Un F-35 et un F-16 volent côte à côte. Photo Lockheed Martin

Un F-35 et un F-16 volent côte à côte. Photo Lockheed Martin

 

19/06/2014 Par Julien Bergounhoux

 

Pierre Sprey, l'un des pères du F-16, considère le F-35, le fameux "Joint Strike Fighter" pour la clientèle internationale, comme un désastre irrécupérable. Ce projet faramineux dont le coût s'est multiplié au fil des ans n'en finit pas de subir des déconvenues, mais pour cet ingénieur, c'est le concept même de l'avion qui est en cause.

 

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18 juin 2014 3 18 /06 /juin /2014 11:20
Suite à un problème majeur, tous les F-35 sont cloués au sol

 

15 juin 2014 portail-aviation.com

 

Le NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command), organisme dépendant de la Marine américaine et qui gère le programme F-35C de l’US Navy et F-35B de l’US Marine corps a décidé de suspendre les vols de tous ces appareils suite à un problème majeur. Le 10 juin, un F-35B volant à proximité de la base de Yuma a déclaré une urgence suite à une fuite d’huile sur son moteur. Peu de temps après, l’US Air Force a décidé de faire de même, et l’a confirmé auprès du très sérieux média Jane’s.

 

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18 juin 2014 3 18 /06 /juin /2014 07:20
LRSAV Ground Vehicle System Ensures Mission Success

 

ORLANDO, Fla., June 17, 2014 – Lockheed Martin

 

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] successfully fired HELLFIRE and DAGR missiles from its Long Range Surveillance and Attack Vehicle (LRSAV) turreted weapon system during recent ground-to-ground tests at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

The LRSAV is a fully integrated, turreted, ground-vehicle weapon system. It uses advanced missile and weapon control-system technologies and a newly developed 15-inch, spherical, mast-mounted electro-optical/infrared sensor to enable targeting and employment of missiles from a wide range of surface platforms.

During the tests, the vehicle-mounted LRSAV system launched a HELLFIRE II missile from 6.4 km and a DAGR missile from 3.5 km. Both missiles successfully impacted their targets. In both tests, missile lock-on-before-launch and lock-on-after-launch capabilities were used to demonstrate LRSAV’s flexibility for various engagement scenarios. Additionally, an AH-64D Apache helicopter equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) was used to remotely designate the short-range target, validating LRSAV’s cooperative battlefield-engagement capability.  

The tests confirm that the LRSAV weapon system is a low risk solution that can support multiple missions. Lockheed Martin’s LRSAV weapon system delivers a superior capability that will engage targets from safe standoff distances, and enhanced performance for increased mission success, survivability and low collateral damage.

Building on Lockheed Martin’s expertise in designing Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) turrets and its experience in missile systems, this development work supports potential business opportunities worldwide. The LRSAV system was designed and built at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control facilities in Dallas, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and Ampthill, England. In a recent test conducted in the United Kingdom, Lockheed Martin successfully fired a MK44 30mm cannon and the Javelin™ missile from a turret as part of the IFV effort.

 

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

 

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17 juin 2014 2 17 /06 /juin /2014 07:20
Precision Air Drop Contract For Lockheed Martin

 

16/06/2014 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter

 

United States defence officials have contracted US aerospace/defence firm Lockheed Martin to develop technology able to improve the accuracy of air drops.

 

With countless applications, air drops are a hugely important part of modern military operations. So often, the presence of transport aircraft such as USAF C-130 Hercules variants or C-17 Globemaster IIIs dropping supplies has been a godsend for victims of natural disasters or soldiers in distress.

 

However, wind drift and other factors can send the supplies off target: a scenario Lockheed Martin's modified WindTracer system aims to correct.

 

Precision Air Drops

 

The US AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory) has ordered the firm to produce a PAD (Precision Air Drop) system that gets supplies to the ground more quickly and more accurately than can be achieved at present.

 

WindTracer has now been in operation for some ten years. It works by hitting atmospheric dust particles with infrared light beams - the returning beams indicating both wind speed and wind direction. Especially at airports, WindTracer thus acts as an early warning system, giving pilots crucial information on the potential for wind shears, gust fronts, microbursts and other weather phenomenon.

 

Air Drop Contract

 

The Lockheed Martin air drop contract should involve a version of WindTracer that's dropped from altitude, measuring wind speed and wind direction during its descent and transmitting real-time data back to those in the overhead.

 

"Currently air drop missions require several flyovers to accurately determine wind readings, but our WindTracer technology would eliminate the need for so many passes" explains Lockheed Martin division STAR Labs' vice president, Doctor Kenneth Washington. "WindTracer is an adaptable commercial system. By developing this prototype, we're putting this technology on a path for fielding."

 

"Applying proven technology to the air drop mission is the most effective way to deliver fast, affordable innovation", adds Lockheed Martin Commercial Ventures president Mike Hamel. "WindTracer has been helping commercial airliners take off and land safely for years, and it is an ideal technology to support military air drops."

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14 juin 2014 6 14 /06 /juin /2014 11:20
F-35 Weekly Update: 13th June 2014


13th June 2014 DefenceIQ
 

For the first time in two years, the path is clear for the Conservative government to select Canada’s next fighter jet, a choice that could very well mean buying the controversial F-35 Lightning without a competition.

A panel of independent monitors on Thursday gave its blessing to a still-confidential Royal Canadian Air Force report that evaluated the risks and benefits of purchasing four different warplanes and has been forwarded to the federal cabinet.

Sources say cabinet is expected to make a decision on fighters within the next couple of weeks.

Thursday’s seal of approval fulfilled the Harper government’s final obligation before making a pivotal decision to either buy the F-35 without competition or open the field to bidding from all jet makers.

The Tories froze this procurement in 2012 after blowback over an earlier decision to buy the F-35 that critics said was made with a lack of due diligence. After a damning Auditor-General’s report, the Harper government vowed to hold off until it had fulfilled a “seven-point plan” to restart the process of replacing Canada’s aging CF-18s.

But as of Thursday, the seven-point plan has been fulfilled. Government sources say the federal cabinet is “more than likely” to take up the report in the next few weeks.

A four-member independent review panel gave the government the affirmation it was seeking, saying it had no hesitation in pronouncing the RCAF’s assessment of Lockheed Martin’s F-35, the Dassault Rafales, the Boeing Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon “rigorous and impartial.”

Former federal comptroller-general Rod Monette, one of the panelists, compared the group’s independent seal of approval to the Auditor-General signing off on the government’s books.

Still, the panel acknowledged the measurements used to analyze the fighters were based on the same Conservative defence policy used to justify the now-aborted decision in 2010 to buy 65 F-35s without a competitive bidding process.

“The policy is used to guide acquisitions,” said Philippe Lagassé, a military expert at the University of Ottawa who was a member of the independent panel.

The federal government opted to analyze the technical data from four fighter jets through the lens of its 2008 Canada First Defence Strategy. [Globe and Mail]

 

Air Canada Flight 001 took off from Toronto on May 28, 2012, with 325 passengers on-board. Just 500 metres into the air, an engine failed and the Boeing 777 returned to Pearson airport. The Transportation Safety Board later determined the failure was the result of a manufacturing fault, which had caused damage that mechanics failed to detect during a regular inspection.

The engine failure on Air Canada Flight 001 is relevant to a decision faced by the Harper government. Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets are set to retire in 2020. As the first step in the replacement process, the government must decide whether to proceed with its previously planned non-competitive purchase of F-35s.

The passengers and crew of Air Canada Flight 001 were never in danger because the Boeing 777 has two engines. Pilots of the F-35 would not be so fortunate; the aircraft has only one engine, any failure of which would lead to a crash.

Since the Harper government announced its intent to purchase the F-35 in 2010, it has claimed there is no statistical evidence showing that single-engine fighters are any less safe than twin-engine fighters. In reality, such evidence is readily available from the website of the U.S. Air Force Safety Center.

The evidence shows that while engine reliability has improved over time, twin-engines are still safer than single-engines. Consequently, Canadians should be asking, if twin-engine fighters are safer, why would we buy single-engine jets?

The F-35 was developed to satisfy the U.S. government’s desire for a “strike fighter” that could — in three different versions built around a common airframe — serve the U.S. marines, U.S. air force and U.S. navy. As the marines required a single-engine design for short takeoff and vertical landing, the U.S. navy and U.S. air force were forced to accept the same single-engine design for their versions of the F-35.

The U.S. air force only accepted the single-engine design for the F-35 alongside a more advanced twin-engine fighter. Indeed, the U.S. air force plans to use its larger, faster, more manoeuvrable and safer F-22 to protect the F-35 from enemy fighters. As U.S. General Michael Hostage, the head of Air Combat Command, told the Air Force Times: “The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22.”

In contrast, Canada has no interest in short takeoff and vertical landing capability, no need to accommodate the U.S. marines by accepting a single-engine design, and no plans for a parallel purchase of twin-engine fighters to protect the F-35.

Nor is the F-35 more manoeuvrable, more powerful, faster or longer-ranged than the twin-engine fighters available to Canada. On the contrary, as the RAND Corporation explained in 2008: “It can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run.”

One final, crucially important factor is Canada’s unique geography, which exacerbates the safety risks associated with a single-engine design.

Canada has the second largest land mass in the world as well as the longest coastline of any country.

With their small wings, there is no real prospect of gliding a fighter jet to safety if power is lost — unless it is already on a final approach or very near an airport.

This leaves pilots of single-engine jets with little choice but to eject, which in the Arctic or a cold northern ocean leaves them with just hours to live. The United States and some other countries have excellent search-and-rescue systems; Canada, sadly, does not.

When former defence minister Peter MacKay was asked whether he was concerned about procuring a fighter jet with only a single engine, which could fail and force pilots to eject in the Arctic, he replied in just two words: “It won’t.”

This is an unrealistic and reckless attitude. Engine failures will still occur, and when they do so away from an airport, a second engine is the only thing that can prevent a crash.

As one former CF-18 pilot told FrontLine Defence magazine in May 2011: “A single engine is stupid. There’s no backup. If it fails, you’re dead.” [The Star]

 

The Pentagon said it is pushing builders of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to invest their own funds to reduce the cost of the $399 billion weapons program, and that it is eyeing financial incentives and penalties to get overseas buyers to stick to their order commitments for the jet.

The twin moves announced Thursday by senior Pentagon officials mark a major upgrade of its effort to shift more of the burden of the delayed and over-budget F-35 program to other stakeholders at a time when the department's own procurement funds are shrinking.

Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., BAE Systems PLC and the Pratt & Whitney unit of United Technologies Corp. are the largest contractors for the F-35, which Pentagon officials said is on track to be declared combat ready by the U.S. Marine Corps in July 2015. The program also involves hundreds of other companies, and around 30% of the jet by value is built outside the U.S.

Pentagon officials in the past have expressed frustration that the Defense Department has been left to pay for upgrades and modifications to the F-35. On Thursday, Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's acquisition chief, told reporters he was looking to contractors to invest "tens of millions" of dollars of their own funds to help lower the jet's cost. While its purchase prices have fallen with successive batches acquired by the U.S., defense officials said in April the overall cost of the program had climbed for the first time in two years because of rising overhead expenses and exchange-rate effects.

Some 80% of targeted cost improvements have been tied to boosting F-35 annual production rates from 40 to more than 100, but the latest push includes possible changes to manufacturing facilities and processes or even part of the jet's design to improve affordability, said Sean Stackley, the Navy's acquisition chief, following a two-day meeting with contractors at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Such changes would be paid for by contractors, though Mr. Kendall said incentives for contractors to invest in lowering the F-35's cost would aim to ensure a "win-win" for both sides. These could include accelerating or withholding progress payments, depending on performance and meeting cost goals.

"We continue to work in collaboration with the [Pentagon] and industry team to study and discuss affordability measures in an on-going effort to further reduce costs," Lockheed said. Pratt & Whitney didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. [NASDAQ]

 

Australia has committed its biggest defence outlay ever on an unfinished combat jet critics insist can’t fight, can’t run and can’t hide. Is the F-35 a flop?

Angst has been boiling about the F-35 Lightning II (otherwise known as the Joint Strike Fighter) since its inception. Now, five years overdue and six years away from its revised delivery date, that angst has exploded into furore.

The United States, and by virtual default all its key allies, have pinned their hopes on this single project.

In the US it’s been priced at over $1 trillion. Australia is spending around $15 billion.

Advocates insist its is the most advanced killing machine in history — a flying supercomputer pumping an unprecedented level of information into a $500,000 helmet that allows pilots to “see” through the floor of their own aircraft.

Whatever the case, the F-35 was supposed to be an affordable alternative to the far more capable F22 Raptor interceptor fighter.

Now, it’s so expensive — in fact it’s the most costly defence project in history at $1 trillion — it is being seen as “far too big to fail”.

While builder Lockheed Martin may yet succeed in rolling the aircraft off the production line, there are grave doubts in the aircraft’s ability to do the jobs demanded of it.

Critics point to what they call a fundamental flaw in its design: As a cost-savings exercise, it’s supposed to be all things to all people.

For the US Navy, it’s supposed to be an F14 Tomcat interceptor and F/A18 Hornet strike fighter combined.

For the US air force, it’s supposed to do the jobs of the F-16 strike fighter and A10 ground-attack aircraft.

For the US Marines, it’s supposed to be a replacement for their iconic “Jump Jet” Harriers.

The result, critics say, is a cascading series of compromises that has produced an aircraft inadequate to meet any of its functions. [News.com]

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13 juin 2014 5 13 /06 /juin /2014 12:20
Canada : Une procédure d'évaluation du contrat de défense du F-35 validée

 

 

12/06/14 LesEchos.fr (Reuters)

 

OTTAWA, 12 juin - Quatre experts indépendants ont validé jeudi la procédure employée par l'armée pour déterminer si le Canada devait remplacer sa flotte d'avions de combat CF-18 par des F-35, permettant ainsi au gouvernement de prendre une décision définitive sur ce marché de plusieurs milliards de dollars.

 

Selon ces experts, la procédure d'évaluation a été exhaustive, professionnelle et parfaitement objective.

 

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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 16:30
Iraq Accepts 1st Lockheed Martin F-16 Aircraft

 

 

Jun 5, 2014 ASDNews Source : Lockheed Martin

 

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) delivered the first of 36 F-16 Block 52 aircraft to the Iraqi Air Force during a ceremony today at its Fort Worth facility.

 

Lockheed Martin is producing the F-16s under a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. The F-16s are being built in a configuration tailored to meet the specific requirements of the Iraqi Air Force, and the contract includes mission equipment and a support package provided by Lockheed Martin and other U.S. and international contractors.

 

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12 juin 2014 4 12 /06 /juin /2014 16:20
F-35 : le gouvernement doit éviter de sauver la face à tout prix, dit un expert


12.06.2014 radio-canada.ca

 

Un comité indépendant qui a examiné les solutions de rechange aux chasseurs furtifs F-35 devrait présenter jeudi un aperçu de son évaluation menée sur 18 mois, mais la décision du gouvernement sur le maintien de ce programme controversé est toujours en attente.

Avant que la décision soit prise, des experts militaires espèrent que le gouvernement Harper prendra en considération les implications plus larges de ce programme sur le budget général de la Défense et évitera d'avoir recours à des manœuvres politiques pour sauver la face.

Le rapport du comité, une analyse des principales réponses aux critiques du programme émises par le vérificateur général en 2012, ne devrait pas faire de recommandations au cabinet. Il comparera plutôt les coûts et les capacités de chacun des quatre avions concurrents en fonction de ce que le Canada attend de ses avions de guerre.

Il reviendra aux hauts responsables et aux ministres de recommander la voie à suivre au cabinet, une chose qui n'a pas encore été faite, ont indiqué plusieurs sources mercredi.

 

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11 juin 2014 3 11 /06 /juin /2014 07:20
Ultra-Secure AEHF Satellites Connect United Kingdom Users for First Time

U.S., Canada, The Netherlands, U.K. Begin Coalition Testing

 

SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 10, 2014 – Lockheed Martin

 

All partner nations are now using the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) protected communications satellite system after the United Kingdom connected earlier this year. Four nations will use the Lockheed Martin-produced [NYSE: LMT] satellites for their most important transmissions, from commanders-in-chief to troops in the field.

 

The U.K. connection follows Canada’s first successful call in May, 2013, and The Netherlands’ initial connection came two months later. Over the past year AEHF facilitated many connections between international users, and U.S.-led tests in April included all four partners.

 

“AEHF is a keystone in global security. It is the only system that can provide highly-protected communications, circumventing our adversaries’ jammers in most wartime operations,” said Mark Calassa, vice president of Protected Communication Systems at Lockheed Martin. “We are committed to driving this capability forward. All four partners are connected, and we are marching steadily toward Multi-Service Operational Test and Evaluation.”

 

U.K. armed forces started to connect over the course of several weeks beginning Feb. 25. They used two terminal variants to communicate with AEHF-2: One made for connections on land and another designed for users at sea. Service members contacted the satellite at Colerne Airfield, Wiltshire, with the shore variant of the Navy Multiband Terminal (NMT). In separate tests, U.K. users connected via the NMT ship variant from Telemetry & Command Station Oakhanger, Hampshire.

 

“AEHF not only delivers higher-bandwidth communications for the U.K., it makes communications with allies faster and easier,” Calassa said. “AEHF is showing it can handle the demands of protected coalition communications at high speeds, connecting nations with their own users and allied users across the globe.”

 

The four-nation AEHF program is led by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin is under contract to deliver the Mission Control Segment and six AEHF satellites, which are assembled at the company’s Sunnyvale, California, facility.

 

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

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