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8 novembre 2015 7 08 /11 /novembre /2015 14:30
Shadow M2 - photo Textron Systems

Shadow M2 - photo Textron Systems

 

07 November, 2015 by James Drew - FG

 

Dubai - Textron is determined to arm its “Version 2” and next-generation “Mark 2” Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft with its lightweight Fury weapons even without serious interest from the US Army, which is more keen to diversify the weaponry available on its General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1C Gray Eagles.

 

The all-digital RQ-7B V2 Shadow entered service with the army in late 2014, and Textron expects to deliver 20-25 systems annually, each consisting of four aircraft and two ground stations, over the next five years as the service replaces legacy platforms. Meanwhile, Textron continues to market the new Shadow “M2” air vehicle domestically and abroad, touting its more powerful engine, payload capacity, endurance and potential satellite communications capability for beyond-line-of-sight reconnaissance missions. The M2 and Textron’s Aerosonde small UAV are both on display at this year’s Dubai air ahow, along with the Fury miniature munition that Textron hopes will arm modern RQ-7 variants as well as other manned and unmanned platforms.

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22 mars 2015 7 22 /03 /mars /2015 08:20
Model 527 radar signal simulator - photo Textron

Model 527 radar signal simulator - photo Textron

 

20 March 2015 airforce-technology.com

 

Textron Systems Electronic Systems has been awarded a contract to supply advanced, handheld radar simulators for electronic warfare (EW) preflight testing on all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

 

The contract was awarded by Lockheed Martin. It requires the company to supply its Model 527 radar signal simulator, which is designed for end-of-runway and walk-around pre-flight testing, to determine the status of installed electronic warfare (EW) radar warning receiver systems.

 

Specifically, the system verifies operational readiness and threat recognition across antennas, transmission lines, radomes, cockpit displays, and controls on operational aircraft through free-space radiation functional testing.

 

Textron Systems Electronic Systems senior vice-president and general manager Steve Mensh said: "The F-35 is one of the world's most advanced tactical aircraft, designed to deliver powerful new capabilities to the warfighter.

 

"Our Model 527 and larger family of pre-flight testers give aircrews the confidence they need in their mission-critical systems, before they even leave the ground."

 

The advanced threat modelling software enables a variety of threat simulations including simple, continuous-wave, pulsed single emitters, and multiplexed radio frequency emitters that can model several threats simultaneously.

 

After the simulations have been developed within the system, soldiers can easily progress through them on the flight line with a thumb switch to verify aircraft operation.

 

The battery-powered system is fully compatible with the company's family of pre-flight confidence testers, such as the joint service electronic combat systems tester and the advanced architecture phase, amplitude and time simulator laboratory electromagnetic environment simulator.

 

Deliveries under the indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract are scheduled take place over the next three years.

 

The F-35 is manufactured by Lockheed. It is a fifth-generation multi-role fighter, and is designed to conduct a wide range of ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defence missions with stealth capability.

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17 décembre 2014 3 17 /12 /décembre /2014 17:50
Small bombs, big effect: arming small UAVs with guided weapons

The Textron Fury is a modified Thales UK Lightweight Multirole Missile and features the same warhead and state-of-the-art Selex ES semi-active laser. Image Textron.

 

 

17 December 2014 airforce-technology.com

 

The use of small, lightweight unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) on the battlefield has surged over recent years. Fitted with advanced sensors and cameras, the UAVs have proved a cost-effective way of providing vital intelligence to troops on the ground. Revolutionary technology could also mean that, for the first time, these tactical UAVs pack a punch with mini precision-guided weapons.

 

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Government of Canada Confirms Sale of 8 Helicopters to Philippine

Canada’s aerospace sector workers to benefit from two-year contract to the Philippines (photo : Mark Kyst)

 

30.03.2014 Defense Studies

Export Win for Canadian Aerospace Company

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today announced that Canada has signed a US$105-million contract with the Philippines to supply eight specialized helicopters manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd.

The contract was negotiated under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Philippines’ Department of National Defense. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the MOU during his visit to the Philippines in November 2012.

Facilitated by the Canadian Commercial Corporation, the Government of Canada’s international government-to-government contracting organization, the eight helicopters will be manufactured at Bell Helicopter’s Mirabel, Quebec, plant over the next two years, solidifying Quebec’s reputation for excellence in aircraft manufacturing and services.

Aerospace is a priority sector under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.

Quick Facts

As one of Canada’s largest exporters, the Canadian aerospace industry exports nearly 80 percent of its products.

Canadian exports of aircraft, aircraft engines and aircraft parts reached a near-record high of $10.8 billion in 2013, a 5.4 percent increase from the year before.

Canada’s aerospace industry comprises more than 700 companies of all sizes from coast to coast and employs more than 170,000 Canadians.

In 2012-13, the Canadian Commercial Corporation was active in 72 countries with more than 210 Canadian companies, signing contracts worth approximately $1 billion.

Barry Kohler, President of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd :

“For 28 years, Bell Helicopter has been the only domestic helicopter original-equipment manufacturer in Canada. Our 2,000 employees have produced over 4,300 helicopters at our Mirabel facility and have been a crucial part of both Bell’s commercial manufacturing strategy and the Canadian aerospace industry. We appreciate the Government of Canada’s assistance in supporting our export opportunities and winning this contract.”
.
(Government of Canada)

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1 avril 2014 2 01 /04 /avril /2014 16:25
Armor: MRAP Lite For Colombia

 

March 24, 2014 Strategy Page
 

The Colombian Army recently began receiving the 28 Commando wheeled armored vehicles ordered from the United States (for $1.13 million each) in 2013. The Commando is a larger version of the older American M1117 ASVs (Armored Security Vehicles). All of the armored vehicles in the Colombian Army are on wheels, to better control the roads in areas where FARC or drug gangs are active. The army has about 300 armored vehicles, a growing number of them armored hummers. Colombian troops have found the Commando handles most of the bombs and weapons used by the local drug gangs and leftist rebels.

Back in 2009 Colombia bought its first 39 American Commando vehicles, which is officially known as the ICV (Infantry Carrier Variant) of the M1117. The ICV is 61 cm (24 inches) longer than the original ASV, weighs 18 tons, and carries a crew of 3 and 8 passengers. Instead of the turret it has a cupola mounting a 12.7mm machine-gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

The original ASV was, in effect, one of the first MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) to get to Iraq. Originally developed in the 1990s for use by MPs (Military Police) in combat zones, only a few were bought initially. It was found that for 1990s era Balkan peacekeeping, existing armored vehicles were adequate and that in the narrow streets of Balkan towns the ASV was too wide to be very maneuverable. Then came Iraq, and suddenly the ASV was very popular. The army got a lot more because military police like these vehicles a lot. The MPs originally wanted 2,000 ASVs but before Iraq were told they would be lucky to get a hundred. After 2003, the MPs got all they wanted. Colombia noted the ASV success in Iraq and got some of their own.

The basic ASV is a 15 ton 4x4 armored car that is built to handle the kind of combat damage encountered in Iraq. The ASVs are, unlike armored hummers, built from the ground up as armored trucks. Basic ASVs are 6.1 meters (20 feet) long and 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) wide, making them a bit larger than hummers. The ASV is heavy enough to survive most roadside bombs and keep going. The ASV is bullet and RPG proof. The turret is the same one used on the U.S. Marine Corps LAV. When the marines went shopping for armored trucks, however, they passed on the ASV. This is believed to be mainly because most armored trucks have more room inside. The ASV carries a crew of 3, with plenty of room for additional gear but not a lot of people. That's why the stretched ICV version was developed. Iraq has also bought the ICV version.

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17 mars 2014 1 17 /03 /mars /2014 13:20
T-6C Texan II. (Beechcraft)

T-6C Texan II. (Beechcraft)

 

Mar 14, 2014 ASDNews Source : Textron Inc

 

    Integrates Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker Aircraft Brands Into New ''Textron Aviation'' Business Segment

 

Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) today announced it has closed its acquisition of Beech Holdings, LLC, the parent of Beechcraft Corporation, and that it will bring together its Cessna business and Beechcraft to form a new segment called Textron Aviation. Cessna and Beechcraft together produced about $4.6 billion in revenues during 2013.

 

The acquisition brings together three iconic brands, each pioneering many of general aviation’s most notable advances in the past century. Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker bring 200-plus years of combined aviation experience to the market and an installed customer base of more than 250,000 airplanes worldwide. Going forward, Textron Aviation intends to share and leverage best practices across all operations to further its position as an aviation authority. Scott Ernest, who has served as Cessna’s President and CEO since 2011, will lead the Textron Aviation segment as CEO.

 

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30 octobre 2013 3 30 /10 /octobre /2013 08:20
Textron Marine & Land Systems Introduces COMMANDO Select 90mm Direct Fire Armored Vehicle at AUSA 2013

 

 

28/10/2013 Textron Marine & Land Systems – 45eNord.ca

 

Textron Marine & Land Systems (TM&LS), an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today introduced the latest vehicle in its COMMANDO(TM) four-wheeled armored vehicle line-up during the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition (AUSA 2013) in Washington.  The new COMMANDO Select 90mm Direct Fire vehicle is being shown at Booth 825 during AUSA 2013.

 

Like the COMMANDO Select Mortar Indirect Fire vehicle introduced earlier this year, the 90mm Direct Fire vehicle meets growing international demand for significantly greater under-armor firepower integrated on a highly-mobile armored vehicle.

 

The new 90mm Direct Fire vehicle is equipped with a CMI Defence Cockerill CSE 90LP weapon system, which offers day/night combat capability for tactical options ranging from counter-insurgency to conventional combat operations. The two-person, low-profile turret is lightweight and simple to operate and maintain, and is outfitted with a Cockerill Mk3 90mm low pressure gun. More than 2,300 guns in the Mk3 family are in service on vehicles across the globe and have proven themselves to be a reliable and accurate weapon.

 

“Our new vehicles are a direct response to multiple international customers seeking additional firepower in highly-protected, mobile and sustainable armored vehicles,” explained Tom Walmsley, TM&LS senior vice president and general manager. “The 90mm Direct Fire vehicle uses our combat-proven COMMANDO Select platform and adds a trusted CMI Defence turret to deliver an effective package for a wide range of military and security applications.”

 

During the past two years more than 550 COMMANDO Select vehicles, in three variants, have been delivered for use by the Afghan National Army’s Mobile Strike Force units.

 

Overall, more than 8,000 TM&LS COMMANDO armored vehicles are in the inventories of nations including Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. An additional 600 vehicles are in various phases of production and delivery to militaries in Canada, Colombia and Afghanistan.

 

Rigorously tested and proven in the toughest environments, TM&LS’ COMMANDO family of armored vehicles utilize a V-Hull with all systems protected under armor to deliver superior mine-blast protection while also providing unmatched on-road/off-road mobility.  These vehicles are easy to maintain and operate, with readily available parts, training and service support. TM&LS offers four lines of COMMANDO four-wheeled vehicles – COMMANDO Elite, COMMANDO Select, COMMANDO Advanced and COMMANDO Utility.

 

About Textron Marine & Land Systems

 

Textron Marine & Land Systems designs, produces and supports advanced wheeled combat vehicles and cutting-edge maritime craft used by U.S. and international armed forces, as well as civilian entities around the globe. Its COMMANDO family of armored vehicles offers a full range of vehicle options delivering enhanced survivability, mobility, lethality and sustainability. Textron Marine & Land Systems’ innovative turret technology and related subsystems also deliver outstanding performance and reliability. Its strategic business, MillenWorks, operates an Engineering Center of Excellence with a reputation as a highly sought-after solution center, which designs and develops advanced mobility solutions for demanding on- and off-road applications. Textron Marine & Land Systems is an operating unit of Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textronmarineandland.com .

 

About Textron Systems

 

Textron Systems has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Headquartered in Providence, R.I., the company is known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment and operational services. Textron Systems includes AAI Logistics & Technical Services, AAI Test & Training, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Aerosonde, ESL Defence, Lycoming Engines, Medical Numerics, MillenWorks, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. More information is available at www.textronsystems.com .

 

About Textron Inc.

 

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.

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15 octobre 2013 2 15 /10 /octobre /2013 11:20
L’avion de combat « low cost » : mythe ou réalité ?

 

14 octobre 2013 par Pierre Sparaco – Aerobuzz.fr

 

Ce n’est pas la première fois qu’un avionneur américain tente de forcer la main du Pentagone. Avant Textron et son Scorpion, il y a eu Northrop et son Tigershark, avec la même ambition de proposer aux militaires américains un avion à bas coûts.


 

Dans quelques semaines, le biplace Scorpio effectuera son premier vol, un biréacteur tactique et d’entraînement avancé né d’une initiative du groupe Textron, associé à la startup AirLand Enterprises. Malheureusement, les responsables du programme ne révèlent ni le montant de leur investissement, ni le prix « fly away » de l’appareil. Mais ils laissent entendre que le Scorpio sera à l’origine d’une petite révolution sur le marché des avions de combat, le prix de revient à l’heure de vol annoncé étant de 3 000 dollars seulement. Une affirmation qu’il est bien entendu impossible de vérifier.

 

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Textron et Airland sauront-ils convaincre le Pentagone de l’intérêt du Scorpion ? - Textron

Le Pentagone n’a pas été sollicité, le but de l’opération étant d’anticiper ses besoins à venir et de répondre en parallèle aux attentes du marché à l’exportation. On pense notamment à la succession du Northrop T-38 Talon qui devrait être retiré du service à partir de 2023, arrivé à bout de potentiel.

Contrairement à ce qu’affirment certains commentateurs américains, sur le plan des grands principes, le Scorpio compte un certain nombre de précédents lointains. Ainsi, Northrop a jadis proposé à l’USAF au tout début des années quatre-vingts un avion de combat léger, le Tigershark, audacieusement baptisé F-20, une vraie-fausse appellation militaire. Mais le Pentagone ne s’était pas laissé convaincre et les armées de l’air étrangères n’avaient pas été au-delà d’un intérêt poli. L’expérience prouvait, en effet, qu’un matériel militaire ne peut être exporté sans bénéficier au préalable de commandes nationales.

Aujourd’hui, en des temps de disette budgétaire, un avion low cost est évidemment susceptible de retenir davantage l’attention que dans le passé. D’autant plus que les militaires ont constamment cherché l’efficacité opérationnelle en incitant leurs fournisseurs à innover. Ainsi, en 1973, le Pentagone avait envisagé la formule dite du « hi-lo mix » (high-low mix) qui aurait conduit à aligner tout à la fois des avions de combat très performants, à l’image du F-15, en même temps que des appareils plus simples, plus légers et nettement moins coûteux, réservé aux missions les moins sophistiquées.

 

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Le Scorpion de Textron en cours d’assemblage final - Textron

 

C’est ce raisonnement qui avait conduit au Lightweight Fighter (« LWF »), programme dit de démonstration technologique conduit jusqu’au vol de prototypes. Il s’agissait de low cost, à une époque où l’expression n’était pas encore inventée. Un appel d’offres avait suscité un grand intérêt et deux propositions avaient été retenues, celles de General Dynamics et Northrop. Ainsi étaient nés les YF-16 et YF-17.

Très vite, General Dynamics avait imaginé d’aller bien au-delà des limites du contrat de développement qui lui avait été attribué et envisagé de produire son avion en série, pour des clients étrangers, l’USAF n’ayant pas exprimé d’intérêt opérationnel direct. A partir de ce moment, le dossier a évolué dans la précipitation, dans la mesure où quatre pays européens, Pays-Bas, Belgique, Danemark et Norvège, avaient décidé en 1974 de choisir un même type d’avion de combat et d’en commander conjointement non moins de 348 exemplaires. General Dynamics et Pratt & Whitney déployèrent alors des efforts considérables, soutenus par les autorités de Washington, leur objectif prioritaire étant de contrer Dassault, accessoirement Saab. Le premier proposait le Mirage F1E remotorisé avec un Snecma M53, le second le Viggen. Le F-16 l’emporta de haute lutte et, dans une certaine mesure, le hi-lo mix devint une réalité.

 

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Le Scorpion de Textron, un projet à suivre…  Textron

 

C’est cet exploit que Textron rêve de rééditer, avec son partenaire AirLand et le motoriste Honeywell. Un pari audacieux qui, de toute évidence, dérange la « fighter mafia  », expression quelque peu méprisante qu’utilise volontiers Scott Donnelly, directeur général de Textron, bien conscient de déranger l’ordre établi du complexe militaro-industriel américain. Il s’agit, en effet, de mettre sur le marché un avion au prix « accessible », une initiative en principe bienvenue au moment où les budgets militaires sont mis à mal. Reste à savoir si le Scorpio sera considéré comme une proposition crédible.

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17 septembre 2013 2 17 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Textron unveils light attack Scorpion

Company officials unveiled the design for the Scorpion, in works since January 2012, during the annual Air Force Association Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. (Textron AirLand)

 

Sep. 16, 2013 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News

 

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. — Textron and AirLand today unveiled the Scorpion, a clean-sheet light attack platform that the companies are confident can make inroads in both the international and domestic markets.

 

The plane is in the “final stages” of integration tests, with a flight expected before the end of the year, Scott Donnelly, chairman and CEO of Textron, told reporters today. He said the aircraft has already run successful tests of the ejector seat and engines.

 

Company officials unveiled the design, in works since January 2012 at a Wichita, Kan., facility, during the annual Air Force Association Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md.

 

The Scorpion comes with twin turbofan engines and a tandem cockpit, although the jet is designed to be flown by a single pilot. There are six hard points on the plane that could hold a variety of equipment, from extra fuel to Hellfire missiles.

 

Potential competitors to the Scorpion, such as the Embraer Super Tucano and Beechcraft AT-6, are turboprop designs notable for their low-cost design. Donnelly, however, expressed confidence that his design would be priced similarly to a turboprop, while providing greater capabilities.

 

Donnelly expects a per-hour operating cost of around $3,000, significantly less than highly capable aircraft such as the F-16 or F-35.

 

The backing officials see the ISR capabilities as what really sets the plane apart. The Scorpion can carry 3,000 pounds of ISR equipment, with a modular design to allow customers to select what equipment should be on the plane. It boasts five hours of long-loiter time as well.

 

While the company has had conversations with potential customers, it was not willing to identify any specific areas of growth. However, both the Middle East and the Pacific have proven fertile grounds for light attack craft in the past.

 

Given budget cuts around the world, it seems potentially dangerous for a company to create a new plane without a requirement. But Donnelly insists that gives his group an entrance into the worldwide market.

 

“Our view has always been that we know the US and partner nations are all going to have budgetary challenges, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a mission requirement,” he said. “We’re offering a solution to people who have budgetary challenge and still have mission requirements. This is not a competitor to an F-35. The vast majority of missions don’t need that.”

 

Domestically, the Scorpion team is also keeping an eye on the Air Force’s T-X trainer replacement program. Donnelly indicated that by swapping the two engines with a single engine and changing the wings on the plane, the fighter would match up ideally with the expected requirements for the T-X program, potentially worth billions of dollars.

 

That kind of design flexibility will be key for making market headway, said former Air Force Secretary Whit Peters, who consulted for AirLand on the design of the plane.

 

“For the international market, its’ critical,” Peters said of the flexibility of the plane. Because its can be hard to know what technologies will and will not be exportable, it is important to be able to make a baseline airplane that can be exportable and then modified for customers, Peters said.

 

He indicated that worldwide fleets of A-37s, as well as the US Air Force’s fleets of A-10s and F-15Cs, could be platforms replaced by the Scorpion. Both those Air Force platforms are potentially on the cutting block due to sequestration.

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