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28 décembre 2015 1 28 /12 /décembre /2015 12:55
Coalition Trifecta


An F-22 Raptor, Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4 and French air force Rafale fly in formation as part of a trilateral exercise held at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Dec. 7, 2015. The exercise simulates a highly contested, degraded and operationally limited environment where U.S. and partner pilots and ground crews can test their readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kayla Newman)

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7 décembre 2015 1 07 /12 /décembre /2015 20:20
Rafale en vol

Rafale en vol

 

07/12/2015 Adj Jean-Laurent Nijean - Armée de l'air

 

Vendredi 4 décembre 2015, 6h15, base aérienne de Langley (Virginie, États-Unis). Malgré l’heure matinale, des pilotes américains, britanniques et français sont réunis pour un briefing avant les premiers vols de l’exercice TEI (Trilateral Exercise Initiative).

 

Après avoir rejoint leurs appareils respectifs, les pilotes entament tour à tour un ballet de décollage sans précédent, sous les yeux impressionnés de l’ensemble des mécaniciens et des participants à l’exercice, fiers d’assister à un tel rassemblement d’aéronefs de dernière génération.

 

Cet entraînement de très haut niveau mobilise les États-Unis, la France et le Royaume-Uni, qui y engagent certains de leurs appareils les plus performants. Pour l’occasion, près de 500 aviateurs des trois nations sont déployés.

 

La première journée était consacrée aux vols de familiarisation, permettant aux pilotes de reconnaître les procédures et les spécificités du terrain. Jusqu’au mardi 8 décembre, des missions simples, dites de type BFM (Basic Fighter Maneuver), sont au programme. Lors de celles-ci, les pilotes s’affrontent en duel, ou par patrouilles (deux contre deux), dans des combats rapprochés surnommés « Dogfights ». « Pour ce premier vol, mon équipier et moi, nous nous sommes entraînés contre deux Typhoon britanniques, explique le capitaine C. Notre playtime (autonomie d’action) nous a permis d’effectuer deux joutes. »

 

Patrouille F22 précédée d'un Rafale

Patrouille F22 précédée d'un Rafale

Cinq Rafale ont décollé en trois vagues successives pour rallier des F22 Raptor ou des Eurofighter Typhoon. Après la mission, les pilotes français étaient pleinement satisfaits de leur première expérience dans l’espace aérien américain. « C’est un bonheur de s’entraîner avec des pilotes d’un tel niveau et équipés, de surcroît, d’avions de chasse de dernière génération, ajoute le pilote de Rafale. Nous avons hâte que le niveau de difficulté monte d’un cran pour travailler à l’amélioration de l’interopérabilité entre nos trois nations et apprendre les uns des autres. »

 

L’objectif de TEI est, en effet, de maintenir et d’améliorer l’interopérabilité et la connaissance mutuelle entre trois armées de l’air qui partagent une longue histoire commune. Les États-Unis, le Royaume-Uni et la France ont également en commun un haut niveau de préparation opérationnelle sur un spectre très large de missions aériennes.

Départ pour un Rafale

Départ pour un Rafale

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19 novembre 2015 4 19 /11 /novembre /2015 08:50
Warplanes: Typhoon Was Too Late And Too Much

 

November 15, 2015: Strategy Page

 

Deliveries of Typhoon jet fighters has been delayed for the second time in a year because of manufacturing quality problems. The current delay has to do with assembly of the fuselage and does not cause a short term safety problem but rather a long-term one. If not corrected the aircraft would face a shorter service life (number of flight hours) that could only be corrected with expensive rebuilding.

 

Developed and built by a consortium of the largest European defense firms Typhoon was a replacement for the Cold War era Tornado fighter (a contemporary of the Su-27, F-15 and F-16). Development began in the 1980s and first flight was in 1994, after the Cold War unexpectedly ended. This reduced the urgency to get Typhoon into service, which didn’t happen until 2003. At that point many of the main customers (European NATO members) began to have second thoughts. The huge Russian (Soviet Union) air force faded away in the 1990s and there was no new air threat to replace it. By 2007 most customers for Typhoon were cutting their orders in a major way. For example Britain initially planned to buy 232 (Germany was to get 180, Italy 121, and Spain 87.) Britain already had 144 Eurofighters from the first two batches by 2009 and bought few additional aircraft after that.

 

The Typhoon turned out to be a pretty good warplane. This was discovered early on. By 2008 there were 135 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters in service, and they aircraft have been in the air for a combined 35,000 hours (as of the end of 2007.) Half those hours were flown in 2007, as the Eurofighter entered regular service in several nations. About 20 percent of those flight hours were for flight testing, but the rest were for day-to-day operations. The future looked bright. But since then, competition from American and Russian fighters, for export sales, and lack of European enthusiasm for more purchases, has dimmed sales prospects. Typhoon got into combat in 2011 over Libya and performed well, but the demand from export customers (and local ones) was just not there.

 

Each aircraft costs over $120 million, including development costs. Current estimates indicate that about 600 will eventually be built. The Typhoon is a somewhat stealthy multi-role fighter. It is fast, maneuverable, and carries a lot of weapons. It also can be used for attack missions. This 23 ton aircraft will be the principal fighter in the air forces of Britain, Spain, Germany, and Italy. The Typhoon is closer in capability to the F-15, than the F-22, and is competing with the F-35 for many export sales. The Typhoon was purchased by Saudi Arabia, mainly to provide protection from Iran and some other Persian Gulf states did the same. But this was not enough to make up for the lost sales in Europe.

 

Typhoon has since been modified to operate as a fighter-bomber and can carry up to seven tons of weapons. Normally it carries a combination of smart bombs, missiles and additional fuel tanks and can stay in the air for two to four hours per sorties depending on the mission.

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5 novembre 2015 4 05 /11 /novembre /2015 08:50
Specialist Engine Facilities for Typhoon Jets at RAF Lossiemouth

 

Nov 2, 2015 ASDNews Source : Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)

 

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation has awarded contracts worth a combined GBP15 million for 2 new projects at RAF Lossiemouth to support the station's Typhoon aircraft.

 

RAF Lossiemouth is an RAF fast jet main operating base and is home to squadrons operating both the Typhoon and Tornado jets. The station is also the Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North base, meaning that it provides crews and jets to intercept unidentified aircraft in UK airspace.

The contract for an Installed Engine Test Facility, at a value of just over £9 milion, has been awarded to Henry Brothers. This building will house aircraft undergoing testing following the repair or replacement of an engine. The enclosed facility will be very specialised, featuring technology to keep the aircraft in place while the engine is running and an instant fire suppression system. It will also include soundproofing technology to reduce engine noise to a safe level and deaden sound waves which could otherwise damage the aircraft.

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16 septembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septembre /2015 11:50
MOD to upgrade air-to-air missile

 

16 September 2015 Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

The Ministry of Defence has awarded a £300m contract to sustain a key air-to-air missile used by RAF Typhoon jets, supporting over 400 jobs across the UK.

 

MBDA (UK) Ltd will design and build the new variant of their Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) missile, incorporating updated sub-systems into the current ASRAAM design. This will make it possible to upgrade the weapon system as necessary.

The eight-year contract will directly sustain around 200 highly skilled technology jobs across MBDA sites in Bristol, Stevenage, Hertfordshire and Lostock, Lancashire and the UK-based supply chain, with around another 200 supported in wider industry.

Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, said:

ASRAAM missiles provide our Typhoon jets with battle-winning technology on combat missions, and these upgrades will help to make it a missile for the future, ready for use on our new Lightning II aircraft.

This contract is part of our £160 billion equipment plan, supported by a rising Defence budget. It will sustain hundreds of skilled British jobs and ensure that the RAF continues to perform at its very best.

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Chief of Materiel (Air) at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Air Marshal Simon Bollom, said:

Sustainment of the UK’s short range air-to-air capability is essential as it supports standing operational commitments such as the protection of UK airspace and any other air defence roles.

The contract provides the most cost-effective way of maintaining this capability and allows what is a very effective missile to be retained whilst ensuring continued compatibility with the aircraft we launch it from.

 

MOD to upgrade air-to-air missile

ASRAAM is currently in-service on Typhoon and Tornado GR4 aircraft, and will be integrated onto the Lightning II platform in time for first aircraft delivery.

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15 septembre 2015 2 15 /09 /septembre /2015 07:50
Captor-E radar for Eurofighter credits Selex ES

Captor-E radar for Eurofighter credits Selex ES

 

14 September, 2015 BY: Dominic Perry – FG

 

London  - The Euroradar consortium is closing in on the flight-test phase for its Captor E-Scan active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, for the Eurofighter Typhoon.

 

A pair of instrumented production aircraft (IPA) will be used for the test effort – IPA5 from the UK and IPA8 from Germany – and are nearly ready for radar installation, says consortium chairman Andrew Cowdery. “Both aircraft are nearing completion in terms of accepting the radar,” he says. The €1 billion ($1.1 billion) programme – which is part of a broader capability enhancement for the Typhoon – is "on track" to launch the next phase, which will require a "significant amount" of flight testing to complete the calibration and integration of the new radar.

 

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14 septembre 2015 1 14 /09 /septembre /2015 12:30
photo Eurofighter

photo Eurofighter

 

September 14, 2015 By Eurofighter GmgH

 

Germany: The Eurofighter Consortium today welcomes the State of Kuwait as a new member of the Eurofighter community.

 

This new international success follows an order from the Sultanate of Oman for 12 aircraft in December 2012 and it is a further evidence of growing interest in the Eurofighter Typhoon across the globe and in the Gulf Region in particular with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman who have already ordered this combat aircraft.

 

On behalf of the consortium and its Eurofighter Partner Companies (EPC) the CEO of Eurofighter, Alberto Gutierrez, said: “This new agreement is the confirmation of the superiority of the Eurofighter over its competitors and will provide a great opportunity for further Eurofighter orders. We are delighted to welcome Kuwait as the newest member of our Eurofighter Typhoon family. The Eurofighter is already proven and trusted by six nations to perform in all operational environments.”

 

With Kuwait, the Eurofighter Typhoon confirms its role as Europe’s largest military collaborative programme with a total of 599 aircraft committed. It provides leading-edge technologies and strengthens Europe’s defence industry in international competition. More than 100,000 jobs in 400 supplier companies are involved in this four-nation programme and deliver significant contributions.

 

Since entry into service of the first Eurofighter Typhoon at the end of 2003, 444 aircraft have been delivered to six nations: Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia. In December 2012, Oman became the seventh customer and ordered a total of twelve aircraft.

 

Eurofighter Typhoon is currently in service at 22 operational units and up to now, the whole fleet has completed more than 300,000 flying hours worldwide.

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9 juin 2015 2 09 /06 /juin /2015 12:50
photo BAE Systems

photo BAE Systems

 

9 juin 2015 by BAE Systems

 

Take a unique 360 degree look at the flight of one of the world's most advanced fighter aircraft, the Eurofighter Typhoon.

This footage is shot during a recent test flight by the team from our Military Air and Information (MAI) business over the Lake District in Cumbria, United Kingdom.

You can see the navigator in the back seat of a twin-seat aircraft as it roars over stunning countryside.

Test pilot Peter Kosogorin, who was flying the sortie when this footage was shot, explains: "The benefit of having such a wide field of vision is that we can look at what the pilot is doing, you can look at the ergonomics, the head motion.

"We can see the human-machine interface as the pilot moves and the aeroplane's response to what he is doing.

"We get a unique image of the entire aircraft and it gives us a new perspective."

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4 juin 2015 4 04 /06 /juin /2015 12:50
Typhoon in mutil-role fit with Brimstone missile and Paveway IV

Typhoon in mutil-role fit with Brimstone missile and Paveway IV

 

May 29, 2015 by Think Defence

 

Getting ready for Tornado out of service and continued evolution of the aircraft with Brimstone, Storm Shadow, Paveway IV, Meteor and E-Scan radar, the Typhoon continues to grow, at a glacial pace perhaps but slow and steady is not always a bad thing.

 

The MoD has let a £1.7m contract to BAE to research a common weapon launcher for Typhoon that can be used to carry multiple weapons on a single hardpoint, much like the existing Brimstone launcher but also to include other weapons, principally, Meteor Paveway IV and a future SPEAR Cap 3.

 

In the delicate balancing act between Typhoon and F35B (and beyond) I have started to think for a while we need to get behind Typhoon and reconsider our Tranche 3 commitment.

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20 mai 2015 3 20 /05 /mai /2015 16:50
Commemorative “Battle of Britain” Painted RAF Typhoon Jet


20 mai 2015 by Royal Air Force

 

2015 is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. To commemorate this and acknowledge the immense sacrifice and bravery of all who fought in the battle the RAF has painted a Typhoon fast jet in a Battle of Britain colour scheme. The aircraft is also painted with the 249 Squadron identification number of the only Fighter Command pilot to be awarded a Victoria Cross medal during the battle: Flight Lieutenant James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC. http://www.RAF.mod.uk

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5 mars 2015 4 05 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
Paveway IV Now On Arab Typhoons In Syria

 

February 27, 2015: Strategy Page

 

In late 2014 Britain certified (configured and tested) their Paveway IV smart bomb to operate from their new Typhoon fighter bombers. The Paveway IV was developed in Britain and is not used by the U.S. Air Force or Navy. Introduced in 2008, over a thousand 500 pound (228 kg) Paveway IVs have been dropped in combat so far. These were dropped by the older Tornado fighter-bomber. Saudi Arabia, the one export customer for Paveway IV has used them on their Typhoons recently against targets in Syria.

 

In the U.S. JDAM and other GPS-only weapons are much more popular, although some Paveway I, II, III type bombs are still used. The original Paveway laser guided smart bombs were developed in the United States but a British manufacturer obtained a license to develop a variant (Paveway IV) that met standards the Royal Air Force wanted (like GPS and inertial guidance in addition to the original laser guidance). The JDAM is a later and cheaper guided bomb design that uses GPS rather than laser. Paveway was developed in the 1960s, when there were no GPS satellites but lasers were new and it was now possible to use laser guidance in a bomb. GPS did not become available until two decades after the first Paveway entered service.

 

The U.S. and Britain jointly develop more upgrades for the Paveway IV. These include a low explosive model (to limit collateral damage), another model has a penetrator cap (to hit underground bunkers) which is a novel feature for a 228 kg bomb. There are also improvements in the American anti-jamming technology as well as the laser seeker technology.

 

The Paveway system is actually a kit that is attached to an unguided bomb. The 50.5 kg (111 pound) Paveway kit contains guidance electronics, computers, and battery powered winglets. But to work the carrying aircraft must have a fire control system that enables the pilot to get the GPS data (received from troops on the ground) into the Paveway IV equipped bomb.

 

Once attached to a one ton, half ton, or quarter ton bomb, the Paveway IV can achieve precise (within a meter or less) accuracy using a laser designator. Now there is also GPS guidance to land within ten meters (31 feet) of the aiming point. The U.S. firm that manufactures the Paveway bombs, Raytheon, has produced over 250,000 kits so far, of which about twenty percent have been used in combat with great success.

 

Earlier versions of Paveway did not have GPS. Most just only had laser guidance. Britain has since added GPS to Paveway IV. While more accurate, laser guidance requires that someone on the ground or in the air be shining a laser on the target. The Paveway then homes in on the reflected laser light (of a particular frequency). GPS guided bombs can hit the target under bad weather conditions and only have to worry about jamming of the GPS satellite signal.

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25 février 2015 3 25 /02 /février /2015 17:50
Typhoon - Phase 3 Enhancements


25 févr. 2015 BAE Systems

 

Andy Eddleston, Typhoon Product Development and Capability Director, discusses what the latest P3E enhancements means for Typhoon's capabilities.

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20 janvier 2015 2 20 /01 /janvier /2015 17:50
£112M Typhoon support contract extension sustains 650 jobs

 

20 January 2015 BAE Systems

 

BAE Systems have been awarded a £112M contract by the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) to extend the Typhoon Availability Service (TAS) for the in-service support of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Typhoon fleet by 15 months.

 

The contract extension means the Company will continue to work alongside the RAF in meeting Typhoon’s operational requirements until early 2016. The extension will help to sustain around 650 jobs for BAE Systems’ personnel based at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth supporting the Typhoon fleet.  Under the contract, BAE Systems is responsible for delivering Typhoon aircrew and ground crew training, maintenance of the aircraft, along with providing technical support and managing spares, repairs and logistics.

 

Nigel Davey, BAE Systems Director for Military Air Support said: “This agreement is a continuation of a strong partnership with the MOD and RAF to support its Typhoon fleet.

 

“Over the past six years we have worked hard to develop a service which ensures the RAF is able to meet its operational requirements while providing the best value for the UK’s taxpayers.

 

“BAE Systems is proud to support the fleet at RAF Coningsby, RAF Lossiemouth and in the Falkland Islands as it continues to perform its vital role in safeguarding our nation both at home and overseas.”

 

Defence Minister Philip Dunne added: “This contract will deliver vital aircraft maintenance to the RAF Typhoon Force, ensuring the availability of the Typhoon fleet to meet its operational commitments. The new contract incorporates best practice and lessons learnt during the first six years of service, improving the way the RAF is supported and making sure we can continue to keep the UK secure, both at home and abroad.

 

“Alongside recent announcements for weapon capability upgrades, this contract demonstrates our continuing commitment to maintain the aircraft’s status as a world class multi role combat aircraft of choice now and in the future.”

 

BAE Systems’ work on the TAS contract has delivered tangible savings for the MOD. For example, from 2013, through increased efficiencies and continued improvement in aircraft performance, the Company has been able to increase the amount of time between Typhoon’s maintenance intervals from 400 to 500 hours. This initiative followed a detailed analysis to ensure the changes could be implemented without compromising safety. The result of this change generated a saving to the MOD of more than £100M and has increased availability of the jets to the RAF.

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18 janvier 2015 7 18 /01 /janvier /2015 12:50
Typhoon - F-35 - Tornado photo UK MoD

Typhoon - F-35 - Tornado photo UK MoD

 

January 14, 2015 A guest post from AndyC - Think Defence

 

January 9th 2015 is an historic day for the Royal Air Force as it marks the first increase in the number of frontline combat squadrons since the mid-1980’s.

 

In a dangerous world where putting ‘boots on the ground’ is increasingly politically difficult the RAF is inevitably thrust to the front row of the UK’s force projection.

The increased assertiveness of Russia has led to the return of their aircraft to probing our air space as well as the need for a higher presence in Eastern Europe, especially in the Baltic States.

The success of IS in Iraq and Syria has led to the deployment of Tornados to Cyprus while the Afghanistan mission has finally drawn to a close.

All of these commitments have put strain on the RAF when it has fewer fast jet squadrons than at any time in its history. No amount of training or having the latest equipment can always make up for the stretch caused by multiple commitments occurring at the same time.

The question we face is: does the RAF have enough aircraft to do all the things the government and the international situation require of it?

 

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17 décembre 2014 3 17 /12 /décembre /2014 08:50
Experimental Typhoon Fitted With RAF's Latest Weapons


16 déc. 2014 Forces TV

 

Forces TV has been given exclusive access to an experimental Typhoon fighter jet fitted with the RAF’s latest weapons.

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12 décembre 2014 5 12 /12 /décembre /2014 17:50
Brimstone on Typhoon - photo BAE Systems

Brimstone on Typhoon - photo BAE Systems

 

12 December 2014 BAE Systems

 

We have completed the first full trial installation of MBDA’s Brimstone missile onto a Typhoon aircraft.

 

The trial fit is an important milestone in demonstrating the integration of the missile with the aircraft and follows the successful completion of an initial £5M study contract awarded to us by the UK’s Ministry of Defence earlier this year.  The trials are helping to pave the way for Brimstone 2 integration for the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) by 2018. 

 

Six Brimstone missiles were fitted to the aircraft, each wing carrying a launcher with three missiles. Training missiles were used for the purposes of the trial and demonstrated that the weapon can be fitted to the aircraft.  The aircraft was also fitted with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs, showing the baseline Phase 3 Enhancements Air-to-Surface configuration which will provide RAF Typhoon operators with a multi-role platform capable of addressing a wide range of target sets and delivering a variety of proportional precision weapon effects.

 

Andy Blythe, Test Pilot said “Brimstone is an extremely flexible combat low collateral damage missile which was proven on the Tornado GR4.  Brimstone 2 is the next iteration of the weapon and building on its previous successes, will undoubtedly provide the RAF with a potent capability. When the system is paired with Typhoon and Paveway IV, the aircraft will be able to engage a huge cross section of potential targets.”

 

The current Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone which Brimstone 2 replaces is effective against the most challenging, high speed and manoeuvring targets over land and sea. As a low collateral, close air support weapon it is already combat proven by the RAF in Afghanistan, Libya and most recently in Iraq on the Tornado GR4.

 

Fitting of the Brimstone missile comes in a year that has seen progress across a range of programmes for Typhoon.  The UK RAF are now operating the most advanced Typhoon to date with the latest Phase 1 Enhancement package now in operation.  This upgrade delivers true simultaneous swing-role capability to Typhoon.

 

Progress is also being made across a number of weapons programmes including the award of a full integration contract for the Storm Shadow weapon and further trials to fully integrate the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-To-Air missile.  In addition an EUR1bn contract to develop and fit the Captor E-Scan radar was signed on 19 November which will give Typhoon one of the most advanced radar systems in the world, providing a wider field of regard than any other combat aircraft.  

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10 décembre 2014 3 10 /12 /décembre /2014 17:50
Further Meteor firing trials begin for Typhoon

 

04 December 2014 BAE Systems
 

A Typhoon aircraft has successfully completed the first in a series of live firings of the MBDA Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile. This continues the series of trials we lead to demonstrate integration of the Meteor missile with Typhoon's weapon system.

 

Following contract signature in 2013 for the full integration of Meteor onto Typhoon, the trials continue to demonstrate that the weapon operates effectively with the aircraft.

Led by ourselves with support from MBDA, Selex, Qinetiq and MOD, the trials were conducted  in November 2014  at the MOD’s Hebrides firing range in the UK and further developed and tested the integration of the missile with the weapon system as well as expanding the jettison envelope by conducting firings at different altitudes and speeds. The trials also tested the interface of the missile with the weapon system for both pre-launch priming and post launch datalink functions between the missile and radar.

Test pilot Nat Makepeace flew the sortie and  said: “The aircraft and the weapon performed exactly as expected.  It’s very easy and intuitive to operate, and the trials demonstrated that we can operate in an expanded envelope safely and accurately.  This is a significant step forward for the full integration of the Meteor missile onto the Typhoon aircraft.”

Produced by MBDA, Meteor is an active radar guided missile designed to provide a multi-shot capability against long-range manoeuvring targets, such as fast jets, small unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles in a heavy electronic countermeasures environment.

Capable of engaging air targets during day and night, and in all-weather conditions, the Meteor will complement Typhoon’s existing missile systems, providing pilots with a greater choice of weapons during combat.

Further firing trials are scheduled to be carried out as part of the Meteor Integration contract to fully expand the launch envelope and weapon system integration which will culminate in the integration being complete in 2017.

These trials take place in a year that has seen progress across a range of programmes for Typhoon. The UK RAF are now operating the most advanced Typhoon to date with the latest Phase 1 Enhancement package now in operation. This upgrade delivers true simultaneous swing-role capability to Typhoon. Progress is also being made across a number of weapons programmes including the award of a full integration contract for the Storm Shadow weapon and the first multiple release of a Paveway IV bomb.

A £800m contract to develop and fit the Captor E-Scan radar was signed in November which will give Typhoon one of the most advanced radar systems in the world, providing a wider field of regard than any other combat aircraft. Typhoon is already regarded as one of the world’s leading swing-role combat aircraft and continues to be upgraded to provide decades of effective, relevant effect. 

 
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30 novembre 2014 7 30 /11 /novembre /2014 07:50
Paveway 4 Drop Lossiemouth


28 nov. 2014 Royal Air Force

 

Earlier this week the oldest frontline Royal Air Force squadron in the world became the first frontline Typhoon squadron to release the munition on a weapons range in Scotland.

No 1(Fighter) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, successfully released 2 live Paveway IV weapons at Cape Wrath Training Area as part of the Squadron’s task to deliver the latest Typhoon capability upgrade, known as P1Eb.

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8 septembre 2014 1 08 /09 /septembre /2014 16:50
Typhoon aircraft relocate to RAF Lossiemouth

Two 6 Squadron Typhoon jets at RAF Leuchars [Picture: Senior Aircraftman Matt Baker, UK MoD]

 

8 September 2014 Ministry of Defence

 

Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron marks relocation with a special 8-ship formation in the shape of a number 1.

 

Relocating from RAF Leuchars in Fife, Scotland, to RAF Lossiemouth, Typhoon aircraft of 1 (Fighter) Squadron will now provide quick reaction alert (QRA) cover alongside the Typhoons of 6 Squadron for the north of the UK. Quick reaction alert for the south will be based at RAF Coningsby.

Air Officer Scotland and station commander at RAF Leuchars, Air Commodore Gerry Mayhew, said:

As the Typhoon aircraft and personnel of 1 (Fighter) Squadron begin their timely relocation to RAF Lossiemouth, it is fitting for us to pause and celebrate over 100 years of outstanding military aviation history at RAF Leuchars.

From its humble beginnings as a balloon station, Leuchars grew throughout the Second World War and beyond to become one of the United Kingdom’s foremost air defence stations. It’s exemplary record as the home of northern QRA stands as a testament to the professionalism and dedication of our people.

Speaking about the future of his squadron, officer commanding 1 (Fighter) Squadron, Wing Commander Mark Flewin, said:

The relocation of an entire fast-jet squadron is a phenomenal achievement and it is testament to the commitment, flexibility and capability of all personnel involved that it was carried out so successfully.

1 (Fighter) Squadron is delighted to have arrived at RAF Lossiemouth and now looks forward to continuing its quick reaction alert duties alongside 6 Squadron.

As for the future of RAF Leuchars, it will now focus on becoming home to army units the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, 2 Close Support Battalion of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and 110 Provost Company of the Royal Military Police in 2015.

Brigadier Paul Harkness, Commander 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland, said of the army’s move to Leuchars:

We are delighted to have such a good location for 3 of our units relocating from Germany. We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to be part of the local community and look forward to maintaining the good relationship which the RAF has enjoyed.

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18 juillet 2014 5 18 /07 /juillet /2014 12:50
Storm Shadow on Italian Eurofighter Typhoon photo  L. Caliaro MBDA

Storm Shadow on Italian Eurofighter Typhoon photo L. Caliaro MBDA

 

17 July 2014 Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support and Philip Dunne MP

 

Storm Shadow missiles are to be fitted to RAF Typhoon fast jets following a £120 million agreement signed today.

 

Storm Shadow, which provides long-range air-to-surface capabilities, is one of the most advanced missiles of its kind. It is capable of defeating various targets, including bridges, airfields, harbours and parked aircraft.

The missiles, produced by MBDA, have previously been deployed on Tornado GR4 aircraft during operations over Iraq and Libya. These will now be fitted onto Typhoon tranche 2 and 3 aircraft ready to enter service with the RAF in 2018.

Welcoming today’s announcement, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:

Storm Shadow has a deserved reputation for accuracy and reliability. The integration of Storm Shadow onto RAF Typhoons is another powerful sign of our commitment to the continued capability development of this world-class aircraft.

The ability to prosecute stand-off targeting while maintaining control of the airspace will provide Typhoon with unique battle-winning capability.

The agreement, made at the Farnborough International Air Show today, 17 July, was signed between the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, on behalf of the partner nations, and Eurofighter GmbH.

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18 juillet 2014 5 18 /07 /juillet /2014 12:50
Eurofighter pilot highlights the brand new radar system

 

18.07.2014 by Airbus DS

 

Eurofighter Typhoon Capability Manager and pilot Paul Smith highlights the advantages of the new radar system.

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24 juin 2014 2 24 /06 /juin /2014 10:50
Typhoon Intercept

 

June 24, 2014 by Think Defence

 

Another day, another intercept

 

    RAF Typhoons were yesterday (Tuesday 17 June) scrambled to intercept multiple Russian aircraft as part of NATO’s ongoing mission to police Baltic airspace.

 

    The Typhoon aircraft, from 3 (Fighter) Squadron, were launched after four separate groups of aircraft were detected by NATO air defences in international airspace near to the Baltic States.

 

    Once airborne, the British jets identified the aircraft as a Russian Tupolev Tu22 ‘Backfire’ bomber, four Sukhoi Su27 ‘Flanker’ fighters, one Beriev A50 ‘Mainstay’ early warning aircraft and an Antonov An26 ‘Curl’ transport aircraft who appeared to be carrying out a variety of routine training. The Russian aircraft were monitored by the RAF Typhoons and escorted on their way.

 

    The Typhoon pilots involved in the operation were Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Mark Long of 29 (Reserve) Squadron (the Typhoon operational training unit) and a French Air Force exchange pilot Commandant Marc-antoine Gerrard who is currently attached to 1(Fighter) Squadron.

 

Pictures : here

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30 avril 2014 3 30 /04 /avril /2014 20:50
Cher, très cher Eurofighter Typhoon pour les contribuables allemands - photo Bundeswehr Bicker

Cher, très cher Eurofighter Typhoon pour les contribuables allemands - photo Bundeswehr Bicker

 

30/04/2014 Michel Cabirol – LaTribune.fr (Agences)

 

Selon la Cour fédérale des comptes, le programme d'avions de combat coûtera environ 60 milliards d'euros à l'Allemagne. Soit le double de ce qui avait été prévu.

 

Le programme d'avions de combat Eurofighter coûtera environ 60 milliards d'euros au gouvernement allemand, soit le double de ce qui avait été prévu, estime la Cour fédérale des comptes dans un rapport publié mercredi. Accusé par la Cour des comptes allemande d'avoir sous-évalué le coût total du programme, Berlin a pourtant réduit le nombre d'appareils commandés au consortium piloté par Airbus Group qui produit l'Eurofighter, annulant en février dernier une commande de 37 avions sur un total de 180 unités.

 

Le gonflement du coût total du programme s'explique notamment par la hausse des coûts de maintenance des appareils, écrit la Cour des comptes allemande. Le budget de 11,8 milliards d'euros calculé en 1997 par le ministère allemand de la Défense pour l'achat de 180 appareils, suffirait à en acquérir seulement 140, lit-on dans le rapport.

 

Un coût unitaire à 57 millions d'euros ?

 

En 2011, le coût unitaire d'un Eurofighter avait été évalué à 57 millions d'euros lors de la livraison des premiers appareils. Pourtant le NAO (National Audit Office), la Cour des comptes britannique, avait estimé le coût unitaire à 111 millions de livres (134,8 millions d'euros au cours du 30 avril), dont 72 millions de livres (87,4 millions d'euros) pour le seul coût de production  pour une cible de 160 Typhoon pour la Royal Air Force.

 

L'Eurofighter est régulièrement en concurrence avec deux autres avions de combat européens, le Rafale de Dassault Aviation, dont Airbus Group détient 46 %, et le Gripen du suédois Saab dans des appels d'offres internationaux. Et si jusqu'ici il a toujours été moins bien classé face au Rafale quand ils étaient confrontés dans des appels d'offre, l'Eurofighter, contrairement à l'avion français, a été exporté à plusieurs reprises (Arabie Saoudite, Autriche, Oman).

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29 avril 2014 2 29 /04 /avril /2014 10:50
photo EMA

photo EMA

 

28 avril 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Paris - Quatre avions de combat français sont arrivés lundi en Pologne tandis que quatre britanniques ont rejoint la Lituanie dans le cadre d'une mission de l'Otan de surveillance de l'espace aérien des pays baltes, selon des sources officielles à Paris et Londres.

 

Les quatre Rafale français ont rejoint lundi matin la base de Malbrok, dans le nord de la Pologne, a-t-on appris à Paris auprès de la Défense.

 

Ce renfort fait partie des mesures de réassurance de l'Alliance atlantique en faveur des pays de l'Est de l'Europe, inquiets de l'attitude de Moscou dans la crise ukrainienne, a précisé cette source.

 

Environ 70 militaires français ont été déployés à Malbrok, selon le porte-parole de l'état-major de l'armée française, le colonel Gilles Jaron. Ce détachement participera à des entraînements à la police du ciel au profit de l'armée polonaise, et à des missions de surveillance aérienne.

 

Du côté de Londres, le ministère de la Défense a indiqué que quatre jet Typhoon britanniques étaient arrivés en Lituanie et allaient survoler les espaces aériens estonien, lettonien et lituanien dans le cadre de mesures prises par l'Otan pour soutenir et rassurer les Etats membres de l'Est.

 

La France avait proposé mi-mars aux Etats baltes et à la Pologne de mettre quatre Rafale à leur disposition pour renforcer cette mission de surveillance aérienne que l'Otan assure depuis 2004. Jusqu'en mai, ce sont les Etats-Unis qui conduisent cette mission. La Pologne, membre de l'Otan, prendra ensuite la relève.

 

Depuis le 1er avril, un avion radar Awacs français assure par ailleurs plusieurs fois par semaine des missions de surveillance au-dessus de la Pologne et de la Roumanie. Un autre avion radar Awacs, britannique celui-là, a également été déployé en mars pour les mêmes missions.

 

L'Otan a annoncé mi-avril le renforcement de la défense des pays d'Europe orientale et multiplie les sorties de ses avions au-dessus des pays baltes. Des navires doivent être déployés dans la mer Baltique et en Méditerranée orientale.

 

Washington a également annoncé la semaine dernière le déploiement de quatre compagnies de parachutistes, soit 600 soldats, pour des exercices en Pologne et dans les pays Baltes.

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6 avril 2014 7 06 /04 /avril /2014 21:20
Canadian air force CF-18 Hornet  Exercise Vigilant Eagle 13

Canadian air force CF-18 Hornet Exercise Vigilant Eagle 13

 

6 avril 2014 par Richard Rutily – 45eNord.ca

 

L’idée de ce billet a pris corps lorsque j’ai pris conscience que le processus d’acquisition d’un remplaçant aux CF-18 Canadiens avait des chances d’être assez long. La question que l’on peut se poser est: Pour qui joue le temps?

 

Comme SAAB n’a pas répondu au RFI du Canada, on examinera le cas du Super Hornet, puis du F35, du Typhoon et du Rafale

 

Super Hornet

 

photo US Navy

photo US Navy

En 2012, il restait 257 avions à livrer et les commandes pour 2013 pouvaient se monter à 66 E/F et 58 Growlers, ce qui permettait de tenir jusqu’en 2015.

Depuis la date limite a été repoussée à 2016, mais l’horizon se rapproche!

Il faut dire que la stratégie de Lockheed Martin consiste à s’appuyer sur l’USAF pour détruire toute possibilité de solution alternative à l’achat du F35. L’arrêt des lignes de production du F 15 et du F18 lui permettrait d’avoir un monopole dans la production des avions de chasse.

La Navy, elle, voudrait maintenir ouverte la ligne de production du F 18. Elle a  d’abord essayé des commandes E/F, mais des indiscrétions ont fait échouer la manœuvre, alors elle essaye avec le Growler, mais là encore elle a été contrainte d’annuler une notice de pré-sollicitation.

Il ne reste donc plus que l’export. La stratégie de Boeing consistait à gagner le Brésil puis le Canada, les EAU et le Qatar. Las, l’affaire Snowden aidant, le Brésil est allé au Gripen! Boeing essaye donc d’accélérer la décision du Canada, mais les hommes politiques du Canada ne sont pas pressés et préféreraient que la décision soit prise après les prochaines élections.

Le problème pour Boeing c’est qu’il faut acheter dès maintenant les items dont les délais de livraison sont longs.

Boeing told me they’ll have to make key decisions on long-lead items in early 2014. “When you lose a line,” said Aboulafia, “you almost never get it back.”http://breakingdefense.com/2013/12/forbes-champions-buying-super-hornets-f-18-vs-f-35-round-two/

On voit donc que la décision d’arrêter la ligne de production du F18 doit être prise maintenant.

 

JSF F-35

 

Autant en emporte le temps

Le cas du F-35 est très différent de celui du F-18, le carnet de commande est théoriquement pléthorique et l’avion n’est pas encore au point.

Le problème du F-35 c’est la spirale de la mort. On appelle ainsi un cercle vicieux dont on ne sait pas sortir une fois qu’il s’est déclenché: à un prix objectif correspond un certain nombre d’avion que l’on peut vendre, si le prix augmente certain pays ne sont plus intéressés et le nombre d’avion à produire baisse. Cette baisse fait augmenter le prix et le cycle recommence. Or le prix du F 35 a augmenté de 70%.

On est à la limite du cercle vicieux que l’on a décrit, et pour éviter qu’il ne s’enclenche Lockheed Martin fait preuve d’un optimisme ahurissant dans ses annonces sur le devenir du programme.

Mais si l’on s’en tient au passé pour juger de l’évolution du programme, on peut dire qu’elle est catastrophique:

Le programme F-35 a commencé en 2001 quand le programme X-35 a été choisi. A cette époque la livraison était prévue en 2011 et il s’agissait de la livraison d’un avion complètement opérationnel. Aujourd’hui un événement équivalent serait la livraison et l’IOC du Block 3F qui est prévue en 2021.

Après 13 ans de développement, l’horizon de la livraison qui, au départ, était à 10 ans, est maintenant à 7 ans. Il a fallu 13 ans pour réduire la distance de l’horizon de 3 ans! Lockheed Martin jure qu’à partir de maintenant les délais seront tenus et les coûts vont baisser, mais la version Block 2B dont l’IOC est nécessaire pour livrer en 2015 (dans un an) le F-35 aux Marines vient de voir son planning glisser de 13 mois. Si le taux de dérive se maintient, on ne devrait pas voir cette livraison avant 2019.

Vous l’avez compris, pour le F-35 le temps est un ennemi redoutable car il démontre la fausseté de la narrative en montrant la réalité.

Par exemple il démontre que la spirale de la mort est déjà enclenchée:

Royaume-Uni: commandes prévues 150; commandes prévisibles 48
Italie: commandes prévues 130; commandes prévisibles 90 (l’annulation complète de la commande est en discussion)
Pays bas: commandes prévues 85; commandes prévisibles 37
Canada: commandes prévues 65; commandes prévisibles?
Norvège: commandes prévues 85; commandes prévisibles 52
Cela fait en tout 228 commandes en moins de la part des partenaires internationaux.

 

Typhoon

 

1er Typhoon Tranche 3 en vol photo BAE Systems

1er Typhoon Tranche 3 en vol photo BAE Systems

Le problème du Typhoon c’est que les 4 pays à l’origine du programme ne croient plus en son avenir.

Le Royaume-Uni a misé sur le F-35 et ne peut pas s’en libérer complètement car seul le F-35B peut être embarqué sur les deux portes avions en cours de construction. C’est quand même le pays qui serait le plus volontariste pour développer le programme mais il se heurte à la mauvaise santé financière de l’Italie et de l’Espagne et à la volonté d’économie de l’Allemagne qui a annulé la commande de 37 avions tranche 3B. Il y a eu une commande de la tranche 3A dernièrement, mais on peut se demander si la tranche 3B sera commandée.

De plus il faut nourrir quatre chaînes de production, si bien qu’il reste assez peu d’avion à produire, au rythme où on est obligé de les produire. Cela explique la déclaration de Tom Enders: «Je ne suis pas terriblement optimiste», a-t-il dit au sujet de l’avenir de l’Eurofighter.«Nous espérons remporter encore un ou deux succès à l’exportation mais nous devons aussi nous préparer à un scénario où, en raison d’absence de commandes à l’exportation, nous devrons bientôt réduire la production», a-t-il expliqué. Faute de quoi, les lignes d’assemblage (au nombre de 4), verront leur plan de charge réduit à zéro à partir des années 2017-2018.

Bien que de façon moins critique, le temps joue aussi contre le Typhoon.

 

Rafale

 

Rafale photo S. Fort - Dassault Aviation

Rafale photo S. Fort - Dassault Aviation

Le Rafale est un cas particulier car il a une assurance vie. L’état Français s’est engagé à alimenter une cadence de production de 11 avions par an, qui est la cadence minimum qui permet de maintenir la chaîne ouverte.

Au 1er Janvier 2014 Dassault avait livré 126 Rafale et il en restait à peu près 100 à livrer ce qui fait 9 ans. Cela nous mène donc en 2023. Bien sur l’état Français souhaiterait étaler ses commandes en donnant la priorité à l’export, c’est pourquoi la LPM (qui n’est qu’une prévision d’allocation de ressource mais qui n’est pas contraignante) fait l’hypothèse qu’il ne sera produit que 26 Rafale pour la France, entre 2014 et 2019. Si cela se vérifiait cela voudrait dire que l’on a produit 29 Rafale pour l’export ce qui repousserait la fin de la production du Rafale en 2026.

Le temps semble être critique pour la France mais pas pour Dassault.

 

Conclusion

Aussi surprenant que cela paraisse, on risque de voir Boeing être forfait sur cet appel d’offre après avoir essayé d’en accélérer la sortie, et Eurofighter pourrait les suivre 3 ans après! Il ne resterait que le JSF F-35 et le Rafale, et dans ce cas plus l’appel d’offre sera tardif, plus le Rafale sera favorisé.

Cette conclusion va à l’encontre de l’intuition, mais elle est assez robuste. Prenons pour exemple le seul cas où il y a eu une confrontation entre le Rafale et le F-35, c’est-à-dire l’évaluation qui a été faite en 2002 par les Pays Bas: l’écart était insignifiant, la note du Rafale était de 6.95 et celle du F35 de 6.97, mais la comparaison se faisait entre un avion réel que l’on pouvait essayer et un avion sur spécifications. Or les spécifications du F-35 n’ont pas été tenues et ont du être dégradées tandis que le Rafale est devenu mature et a démontré des progrès continus pendant 12 ans. Il semble donc évident que si une évaluation devait se faire aujourd’hui, la position du Rafale serait plus favorable qu’elle n’a été à l’époque.

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