International Aerospace Discussion

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Vick
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Vick » 18 Feb 2009 06:50

Japan Unveils New Rocket
The H-2B is expected to be able to release an HTV weighing up to 16.5 tonnes into orbit as well as satellites with a combined weight of eight tonnes.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Vipul » 18 Feb 2009 22:01

South Korea opts for Israeli Green Pine radar system.

Seoul: The South Korean military has decided to buy the Israeli Oren Yarok (Green Pine) radar warning system. The deal is potentially worth $215 million and will be one of the largest weapons sales ever between Israel and South Korea, a report in the Korea Times said.The system will be ready for operational use by 2012.

According to the report, the United States and France also submitted bids. The US, however, was only willing to offer a less advanced radar system.

Israel Aerospace Industries had previously lost out on a tender to sell the Phalcon radar warning system, after South Korea came under US pressure to favour American companies.

The Green Pine, developed by Elta, serves as Israel's main radar warning system.An early version of the system has also been sold to India, which has now evolved a more advanced version, called the Swordfish.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Sontu » 19 Feb 2009 01:29

US refusing to let Israeli systems into F-35

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite? ... 2FShowFull

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 19 Feb 2009 18:38

More on Google Earth's expose of the secret US UCAV base in Pak.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 762371.ece


Google Earth reveals secret history of US base in Pakistan
The Shamsi airbase in 2006 with three drones apparently visible
Image :1 of 2

Jeremy Page
Exclusive: secret CIA drone base | Graphic: 2006 image | Graphic: recent image

The US was secretly flying unmanned drones from the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan as early as 2006, according to an image of the base from Google Earth.

The image — that is no longer on the site but which was obtained by The News, Pakistan's English language daily newspaper — shows what appear to be three Predator drones outside a hangar at the end of the runway. The Times also obtained a copy of the image, whose co-ordinates confirm that it is the Shamsi airfield, also known as Bandari, about 200 miles southwest of the Pakistani city of Quetta.

An investigation by The Times yesterday revealed that the CIA was secretly using Shamsi to launch the Predator drones that observe and attack al-Qaeda and Taleban militants around Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

Revealed: secret CIA base for drone raids

US special forces used the airbase during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, but the Pakistani Government said in 2006 that the Americans had left. Both sides have since denied repeatedly that Washington has used, or is using, Pakistani bases to launch drones. Pakistan has also demanded that the US cease drone attacks on its tribal area, which have increased over the last year, allegedly killing several “high-value” targets as well as many civilians.

The Google Earth image now suggests that the US began launching Predators from Shamsi — built by Arab sheiks for falconry trips — at least three years ago.

The advantage of Shamsi is that it provides a discreet launchpad within minutes of Quetta — a known Taleban staging post — as well as Taleban infiltration routes into Afghanistan and potential militant targets farther afield.

Google Earth's current image of Shamsi — about 100 miles south of the Afghan border and 100 miles east of the Iranian one — undoubtedly shows the same airstrip as the image from 2006.

There are no visible drones, but it does show that several new buildings and other structures have been erected since 2006, including what appears to be a hangar large enough to fit three drones. Perimeter defences — apparently made from the same blast-proof barriers used at US and Nato bases in Afghanistan — have also been set up around the hangar.

A compound on the other side of the runway appears to have sufficient housing for several dozen people, as well as neatly tended lawns. Three military aviation experts shown the image said that the aircraft appeared to be MQ1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles — the model used by the CIA to observe and strike militants on the Afghan border.

The MQ1 Predator carries two laser-guided Hellfire missiles, and can fly for up to 454 miles, at speed of up to 135mph, and at altitudes of up to 25,000ft, according to the US Air Force website www.af.mil

The News reported that the drones were Global Hawks — which are generally used only for reconnaissance, flying for up to 36 hours, at more than 400mph and an altitude of up to 60,000ft. Damian Kemp, an aviation editor with Jane's Defence Weekly, said that the three drones in the image appeared to have wingspans of 48-50ft.

“The wingspan of an MQ1 Predator A model is 55ft. On this basis it is possible that these are Predator-As,” he said. “They are certainly not RQ-4A Global Hawks (which have a wingspan of 116ft 2in).”

Pakistan's only drones are Italian Galileo Falcos, which were delivered in 2007, according to a report in last month's Jane's World Air Forces.

A military spokesman at the US Embassy in Islamabad declined to comment on the images — or the revelations in The Times yesterday.

Major-General Athar Abbas, Pakistan's chief military spokesman, was not immediately available for comment. He admitted on Tuesday that US forces were using Shamsi, but only for logistics.

He also said that the Americans were using another air base in the city of Jacobabad for logistics and military operations. Pakistan gave the US permission to use Shamsi, Jacobabad and two other bases — Pasni and Dalbadin — for the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001.

The image of the US drones at Shamsi highlights the extraordinary power — and potential security risks — of Google Earth.

Several governments have asked it to remove or blur images of sensitive locations such as military bases, nuclear reactors and government buildings. Some have also accused the company of helping terrorists, as in 2007, when its images of British military bases were found in the homes of Iraqi insurgents.

Last year India said that the militants who attacked Mumbai in November had used Google Earth to familiarise themselves with their targets. Google Street View, which offers ground-level, 360-degree views, also ran into controversy last year when the Pentagon asked it to remove some online images of military bases in America.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 20 Feb 2009 13:56

World's fourth-largest plane maker cuts 20% jobs
AP/ PTI / Sao Paulo February 20, 2009, 10:22 IST


Brazil's Embraer plane maker will cut its work force by about 20 per cent because the global financial crisis has sharply reduced demand for its mid-sized passenger jets and executive jets, the company has said.

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA did not specify the precise number of posts that will be eliminated, but said yesterday the amount represents about 20 per cent of its global work force of 21,362 people.

The company said its decision to cut costs and jobs was forced by a "the new reality of demand for commercial and executive aircraft," according to a statement.

Most of the job losses will hit Embraer's production and administrative units, including a layer of management that the company did not describe in detail. But most engineering posts will be maintained to develop new products and technology, Embraer said.

The company is the world's fourth-largest plane maker after US-based Boeing Co, Europe's Airbus and Canada's Bombardier Inc. Most of its workers are employed in Brazil.

Embraer also said it was revising downward its revenue guidance for 2009 to $5.5 billion, corresponding to 242 deliveries of commercial and executive jets.

The Agencia Estado news service said Embraer's previous 2009 delivery prediction was for 270 jets.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby soutikghosh » 23 Feb 2009 22:39

[bNAVALISED F-22

][/b]Source: http://www.defpro.com/daily/details/251/




Restoring America's Maritime Air Dominance

07:36 GMT, February 23, 2009 defpro.com | May 7th, 1942, during the Battle of the Coral Sea, was the day when naval warfare changed forever. This was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other. It was also history’s first naval battle in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon each other. Although technically a win for the Japanese Navy, its forces were sufficiently weakened that in the subsequent Battle of Midway, the United States Navy convincingly defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy. Since then, the USN has never been defeated at sea.

However, the halcyon days of the USN projecting immense power wherever and whenever they choose may be at an end. The airborne torpedoes and kamikazes of this long-gone era have been replaced by supersonic sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles, all developed in Russia, but now proliferating across the Asia-Pacific Region and being manufactured under licence by other countries, such as India. India has bold plans to export over 500 of the Kh-61/SS-N-26 Yakhont derived BrahMos.

The tridents that might pierce the hulls of the US Navy warships include: the ’Carrier Buster’ Kh-41 or SS-N-22 ‘Sunburn’, which can have conventional, thermobaric or nuclear warheads; the Kh-61 Yakhont / BrahMos or SS-N-26 ‘Stallion’; and the devilishly clever 3M54 series or SS-N-27 ‘Sizzler’, which cruises at subsonic speed to the vicinity of the fleet, pops up at about 40 nautical miles for a radar fix, then launches a Mach 2.7 supersonic manoeuvring ‘dart’ at the victim warship.

How will these attacks be delivered? The way to penetrate a Carrier Strike Group’s (CSG’s) defences is to deliver unmanageable swarms of missiles – technically termed a ‘saturation attack’ to overwhelm the Anti-Ship Missile Defence Systems. The Soviets invested enormous effort into the Operations Research underpinning this tactic. To carry out such an attack, Flanker fighters can carry a single Sunburn round, or three Sizzler rounds, or four Stallion / BrahMos rounds. Venerable aircraft like the Tu-95M/Tu-142 Bear, the Tu-22M3 Backfire, and the new Chinese H-6K turbofan Badger are all options for antiship strikes, and all can strike from long-ranges, carrying six or more such missiles per aircraft.

In an operational scenario, the US Navy’s E-2C/D Hawkeye fleet would be able to detect the incoming Bears, Backfires or Badgers to scramble the F/A-18E/F and F-35B/C aircraft for an effective intercept, even if the strike aircraft arrive in a small fleet to deliver their swarm of missiles.

So, if Bear, Backfire or Badger striker aircraft carry the anti-ship missiles, they will need to be escorted by ‘offensive counter-air’ (OCA) Flankers. For these fighter escorts, this is a ‘high-high-high’ altitude profile mission, so with an effective OCA weapons load, the un-refuelled combat radius will be about 1,000 nautical miles with internal fuel and external tanks. All late model Flankers have air-to-air refuelling capabilities, so this OCA range could extend to 1,500 nm and well beyond with enough tanker support. That’s a lot of blue water from which to exclude the US Navy. These ranges are also significant, as the F/A-18E/F and the F-35B/C struggle to exceed un-refuelled combat radii much beyond 600 nm with any useful weapons load.

So, if countries operating late model Flankers choose, they can effectively neuter the USN by denying it access to targets within range of carrier based shipboard attack aircraft.

Ehrhard and Work (footnote 1) have cleverly proposed, in a recent study, that the US Navy deploy stealth 1,500+ nautical mile combat radius UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles) from carrier decks to permit attacks from outside the reach of land based bombers and fighters. This is a sound and well thought out strategy, which forces land based bombers, and especially their tanker refuelled fighter escorts, to operate at very long-ranges, which seriously reduces sustained sortie rates and restricts deployable numbers. The ‘Ehrhard strategy’ solves part of the puzzle, but not the entire puzzle. Subsonic UCAVs suffer the same sortie rate limitations as subsonic cruising land based aircraft attacking the fleet. They cannot eliminate the problem of long-range air attack on the fleet, but only reduce its intensity (footnote 2).

An attacker can play a more aggressive game than simply launching swarms of supersonic sea skimmers. Suppose the enemy’s intent is to inflict so much attrition upon the US Navy that it is rendered combat ineffective?

The first target is the E-2C/D Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning (AEW&C) aircraft. Some Flankers will be armed with OCA weaponry, others with the long-range R-172 or R-37 ‘AWACS-killer’ missiles – specifically designed to kill AEW&C aircraft at ranges of up to 200 nautical miles. The OCA Flankers protect those Flankers tasked with killing the AEW&C aircraft. The ensuing air battle is likely to down a number of E-2C/D Hawkeyes, F/A-18E/F and F-35B/C aircraft, bleeding the CSG’s air defences. Finally, the full-strength anti-ship strike will be scheduled with large numbers of OCA Flankers escorting Striker Flankers and/or Bears, and/or Backfires, and/or Badgers. If the surviving missile swarm exceeds the defensive capability of the DDG escorts, then a lot of hulls will ‘turn turtle’, thus becoming a ‘Reversed Mariana’s Turkey Shoot’ and ‘Reversed Battle of Midway’, all in one.

That is, current US Navy air power and operations planning will not be able to protect its Carrier Strike Groups against existing and developing global threats. A much more effective naval air combat capability will be needed for the CSGs to survive.

The answer to the naval air defence problem lies in the late Cold War US Navy maritime strategy model of ‘killing the archer, rather than the arrow’ – which means engaging and destroying the attacking aircraft before they can launch their lethal sea skimming supersonic payloads.

Late model Flankers such as the Su-35BM have a clear advantage over the F/A-18E/F. Even with reduced radar signatures, the F/A-18E/F has a residual signature that allows the Su-35BM to launch a PL-12, or R-77M, or ramjet RVV-AE-PD at the kinematic limits of these missiles’ engagement envelopes – and with the Flanker higher and faster than the Super Hornet, well outside its AIM-120C/D range envelope. So the Flanker gets ‘free shots’ – and can carry lots of them. The F/A-18E/F has some fine defensive electronic countermeasures and the ALE-55 will seduce many of the incoming missiles – but not all. The R-77M ‘Adder’ will have alternate active radar, heat-seeking and passive anti-radar homing seeker heads, so any competent OCA force would deliver a mix of these missiles in a mass firing. This is a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation for the Navy Hornets – the radar and electronic counter measures are required to prosecute attack on the Flankers, but will attract passive anti-radar homing missiles. The missiles with heat-seeking guidance also present a serious threat as their homing is not affected by the towed decoy. Expect the exchange ratio to be about 4:1 in favour of the Flanker E+.

The F-35 B/Cs might fare a bit better, but their Achilles’ heel is a shortage of missile shots. A Flanker E+ can carry up to 10 long-range missiles and 2 short-range missiles, but not to a distance of 1,000 nm. At 500 nm or so, they can carry 8 long-range missiles, and can fire them all in a track-while-scan’ mode. The JSF’s reduced signature forces engagements where both aircraft are within range of the other’s missiles. However, the Flanker E+ has more missile shots than the JSF; has modern DRFM Electronic Counter Measures; and, possibly, a towed decoy where the F-35 has none. Long-range heat-seeking missiles pose the same danger to the JSF as to the Hornet. Expect an exchange rate of at best about 1:1 between the Flanker E+ and the JSF.

Both the Hornet and JSF lack the aerodynamic agility to out-turn missiles. They also lack the speed essential to a safe disengagement from a fight. Here is another thorny dilemma in modern naval air warfare. If the US Navy defensive fighters stay close enough to the fleet to be covered by the CG/DDGs’ Surface to Air Missiles on egress, they have allowed the enemy to get within launch range of their anti-shipping missiles; if they don’t, they will be cut down during the egress to the carrier.

The argument that comes next is predictable – deploy an air combat aircraft that can effectively ‘kill the archer’ and survive. This aircraft is a ‘navalized’ F-22A – let us call it the ‘F/A-22N Sea Raptor’. This is not the same as the cancelled Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter (NATF). The US Navy wanted an advanced fighter, but the NATF failed because the Navy wanted a de-facto new-technology F-14 engineered from F-22 components. This suggestion is the converse; convert the F-22A into an F-14 replacement – a much lower risk and less costly approach. The fiscal and timeline costs of restarting the early 1990s F-22 derived ‘swing wing’ NATF are simply out of feasible bounds.

Is that the choir that can be heard singing a chorus of ‘you cannot do that!’? Well, suspend disbelief and inter-service politics for a few minutes, and see what might be done with a little imagination and old-fashioned pragmatic American
engineering ‘know-how’.

Look at the remarkable overlay of a scaled image of the F/A-22N on a line drawing of the F-14D (http://www.ausairpower.net/F-22A-vs-F-14D-1S.png). Note the similarity of the size and weight of the aircraft, although the F/A-22N has substantially more thrust. To reduce the F/A-22N’s deck footprint – or spotting factor in naval language - its wings could be folded between the flaps and aileron.

How about the approach and trap speeds critical for carrier operations? About 125 KIAS at 50,000 lbs gross weight would be useful - the F-35C approach speed is ~145 KIAS. There are several ways of reducing the F/A-22N’s approach and landing speed (Refer Annex), including using the Raptor’s thrust vectoring capability (TVC) though this will require a means of providing a balancing pitching moment in the Powered Approach (PA) configuration. One way this can be achieved is by replacing the existing hinged nose-wheel doors with scissoring lifting canards. Drop the gear and the lifting canards deploy with a fixed positive angle of attack, providing lift and moving the centre-of-pressure forward. The elevators, in turn, respond with less ‘download’. This configuration has been modelled and flown using a basic simulator as a comparator, with an F-22A configured with such lifting canards allowing nicely controlled approaches at 135 KIAS and traps at 125 KIAS. These speeds are similar to the F-14, which having a comparable gross weight on recovery, results in similar momentum to be absorbed by the arrestor cable motors.

The canards would also assist in catapult launches, so with the F/A-22N at its maximum takeoff weight of about 80,000 lbs, it should be within the capacity of installed catapults. For comparison, the F-14 MTOW is around 75,000 lbs, but it has much less engine thrust available compared to the F/A-22N.

It may be necessary to ‘beef-up’ the airframe in some places, but the basic supersonic 9G-rated structure is already there. Specific design changes might include a carrier qualified 24 ft/sec sink rate undercarriage, ‘beefing up’ the support and load transfer structure for the stronger undercarriage, a navalized nose gear with catapult launch bar, and a carrier-rated arrestor hook for recoveries.

The USAF boom refuelling could be retained, and the F-35B/C aerial refuelling probe added to the forward fuselage. So configured, the F/A-22N would be able to take on fuel wherever it finds a friendly tanker.

The avionic and systems build would be based on the Air Force Block 40 plus configuration, so an F/A-22N Sea Raptor would have the Block 40’s full range of networking, air-to-air and air-to-ground strike capabilities. Additional Navy datalinks and ACLS would be required.

Has this been done before? Well, yes. The Russians were able take the impressive Su-27S Flanker B and re-engineer it into the world's best shipboard fighter, the Su-33 Flanker D. The French successfully converted the land based Rafale into the Rafale M Navale. The idea that the experienced engineering cadres of Northrop-Grumman or Boeing might lack the engineering skills to do the same for the F/A-22N Sea Raptor, and do so efficiently, is difficult to accept.

And the cost?

Pricing the Research and Development & Test and Evaluation, Production Engineering & Tooling (the NRE Costs) for the lifting canard, folding wings, undercarriage redesign, airframe strengthening and marinising comes in at a rough-order-of-magnitude (ROM) cost of around $230M (-10%/+30% variance). This figure includes an appropriate margin for risk.

Over a production run of some 500 aircraft, the overall program cost, as distinct from price charged, including amortisation of the NRE, would add somewhat less than $10 million to the current F-22A production cost of $142 million . . .and that is assuming “all new” for any affected existing parts. However, the bulk of any affected parts will likely be able to be modified/upgraded, thus becoming cost effective ‘cousin parts’ like those extolled in the JSF Program for the savings they will generate.

This is what one would call a classic capability bargain with superior cost benefit for all (…except any opposing threats, of course). You take an already outstanding aircraft and make it even more effective with an investment that is a tiny fraction of the cost of developing a whole new aircraft type or, for that matter, the money that still needs to be spent on trying to get the F-35B/C to meet its already surpassed specification.

More savings come from the volume production. Current cost estimate across the planned 91 x F-35B aircraft is ~ $158M a copy. For the current production F-22A, this figure is $142M per copy. A production run of over 700 Raptors will reduce this latter unit price substantially, so the USAF, USN and the USMC are all winners if the Sea Raptor numbers increase.

The ugly reality is that the US Navy is staring down the barrel of a global environment where its underperforming Hornets and Super Hornets, and planned to underperform F-35B/C Joint Strike Fighters are neither viable as penetrating strike assets or actually capable of keeping the fleet alive in the face of modern Russian designed supersonic sea skimming weapons, which have proliferated on a global scale.

The F/A-22N Sea Raptor renders the F-35C CV completely redundant, as it will provide around three times the capability of the F-35C at similar unit procurement costs, with a twin engine airframe better suited to naval operations. This would permit cancellation of the F-35C, never a favourite with professional naval aviators. The funding reserved for around 400 F-35Cs would buy a similar number of F/A-22Ns, producing the same commonality and economy of scale effects seen when the Air Force adopted the F-4C/D, while the Navy and Marines flew the F-4B. Should the Marines be equipped with the F/A-22N rather than the planned F-35B STOVL JSF, the total build numbers for both services could be as high as 680 aircraft. The F/A-22N provides, inherently, if not subjected to client or contractor induced cost and capability creep, much higher cross-variant commonality than the F-35 JSF does, driving down production costs with increasing build numbers much more effectively.

Purchasing an aircraft with the ability to engage and defeat aircraft possessing the air combat capabilities of the Su-35BM Flanker E+ is a critical strategic decision for the United States. If it chooses aircraft inferior to those of potential adversaries, then not only will its Air Force risk annihilation in battle, but also the mighty power of its Naval Carrier Strike Groups is likely to be terminated in the second decade of this century. Without the navalized F/A-22N Sea Raptor, the US Navy will find itself out of the business of blue and brown water sea control, relegated to Third World counter-insurgency support roles.

The F/A-22N ‘Sea Raptor’ is the only remaining choice.

Source & more infos at http://www.defpro.com/daily/details/251/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby soutikghosh » 23 Feb 2009 22:40

Israel Unveils Loitering Anti-Missile Drone

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is developing a loitering killer drone that has the capability to hunt illusive ground targets, such as anti-aircraft systems and mobile or concealed ballistic missile launchers. This expendable unmanned aerial vehicles, known as Harop, can be launched over a suspected area without specifically acquiring a specific target. Designed to reach targets at distances over 1,000km away, the UAV loiter over a suspected area for hours, spot target as they are exposed before activation and attack them immediately.


IAI is already negotiating potential export sales of the weapon with India and Turkey. The company exposed the system for the first time in India, before the Aero-India 2009 airshow.
Harop resembles an earlier IAI's 'suicide drone' known as Harpy. The main differences are the outer wing extensions, the longer nose and canard foreplane. Like Harpy, Harrop is launched from a vehicle-mounted container. Harop augments the Harpy's RF seeker with an electro-optical sensor, allowing it to acquire and pursue non emitting targets and moving targets, as well as 'quit' targets such as shut-down radars. As a loitering weapon, Harop can also be used against suspected ballistic missile sites, where target missile silos and shelters as they are opened before firing


India is considering acquiring Harpy 2 (also known as 'Harop') killer drones developed by Israel Aerospace Industries, as part of a procurement program valued over $US1 billion. Harop is an evolution of the Harpy killer drone, optimized to operate against enemy radars and surface/air missiles. Harpy was developed in the 1990s and has been successfully exported to countries around the world.


Turkey is also interested in this Lethal Unmanned Aerial System capability and by the end of 2008 the Ministry of Defense was considering enhancing the Harpy radar killer drone capability with the loitering killer drone version of the system.


The Harop has evolved at IAI through a series of international cooperations that have never fully matured. In 1999 IAI discussed a joint prograp Raytheon known as the "Cutlass", pursuing a 'Combat Uninhabited Target Locate and Strike System'. Initially displayed in the Paris Air Show in 1999, the system combined the airframe of the Harpy UAV, made by Israel Aircraft Industries, with advanced sensors made by Raytheon Systems, which also manufactures the HARM (High Speed Anti-Radiation) missile. Cutlass was adapted for ship-based operations to support US Navy operations over land.



It is designed for six hours missions, flying at speed of 100 knots and maximum range of 1,000 km. Unlike the autonomous Harpy, Cutlass also has a direct line-of-sight datalink capability at range up to 150 km. This range can be extended via relays built into each weapon.


In October 2005 Harop dubbed 'White Hawk', was presented to the UK Ministry of Defense, by a team lead by MBDA that also included IAI/MBT Division. Although MBDA was eventually selected as one of the finalists for the UK Loitering Munition Capability Demonstration (LMCD)Fire Shadow), White Hawk was not selected for the program, as the MOD insisted on an 'all British' team. program (which later evolved into the


http://www.defense-update.com/products/h/harop.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Gerard » 24 Feb 2009 06:20

Nuclear U.S. and Soviet/Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles, 1959-2008
http://thebulletin.metapress.com/conten ... lltext.pdf

recent research exposes the fallacies that helped to drive missile stockpiles to astronomical levels, making russia’s persistently slow reduction of deployed missiles all the more inexcusable.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby JaiS » 24 Feb 2009 09:17

Video: Making an Airbus A340 in 346 seconds


High-Maintenance F-22 Stealth Features Keeping It in the Shop


(Source: The Project On Government Oversight (POGO); issued Feb. 20, 2009)

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has learned from internal Pentagon sources that stealth maintenance on the F-22 fighter aircraft is the primary cause of its maintenance headaches, which are in turn undermining its mission capability. POGO believes that this may be the primary reason for Defense Department Acquisition Chief John Young’s findings that the F-22’s mission capable rate was too low to waste additional taxpayer dollars on further procurement.

However, sources tell POGO that LO maintenance hours accounts for over half of all maintenance time, not only significantly reducing the mission capability of the plane, but also undermining the [US Air Force’s] claim that the F-22 will “have better reliability and maintainability than any fighter aircraft in history

Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz has stated publicly that given these stealth issues, the F-22’s mission capable rate is only 60 percent.

“At a total of $354 million per plane this new information shows the F-22 is not only the most expensive but also the most difficult fighter aircraft to maintain—and it isn’t even experiencing combat stress,” said Danielle Brian, Executive Director of the Project On Government Oversight.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby KiranM » 24 Feb 2009 10:42

^^^ Gurus, what exactly is the heavy maintenance required for LO features? The RAM paint peels off after every flight? Any ideas?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 24 Feb 2009 10:47

Gerard wrote:Nuclear U.S. and Soviet/Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles, 1959-2008
http://thebulletin.metapress.com/conten ... lltext.pdf

recent research exposes the fallacies that helped to drive missile stockpiles to astronomical levels, making russia’s persistently slow reduction of deployed missiles all the more inexcusable.


Nice find Gerard , the news of 800Kt warhead yeald for SS-25 and Topol-M is very interesting , since there is a generational difference between SS-25 and SS-27 , they would have achieved some weight reduction in the warhead yeald to weight ratio , would be interesting if Russia publishes those data.

The 20 MT single warhead for SS-18M5 is quite interesting , seems designed to burn NORAD to hell :twisted:

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby JaiS » 24 Feb 2009 11:47

KiranM wrote:^^^ Gurus, what exactly is the heavy maintenance required for LO features? The RAM paint peels off after every flight? Any ideas?


Here is a snippet from GAO about issues with the B-2


The operational test report for the interim aircraft stated the aircraft need
frequent and lengthy maintenance and are sensitive to extreme climates
and moisture. Tests showed that some low-observable materials on the
aircraft were damaged each time the aircraft flew and that repair of those
materials accounted for 39 percent of the 80 maintenance man-hours per
flight hour experienced by the B-2 during flight testing. This is about three
times greater than the next largest contributor to maintenance man-hours,
which was aircraft structures. The current goal for total maintenance
man-hours per flying hour is 60 hours, and the ultimate goal is 50 hours.
The actual B-2 maintenance man-hours per flying hour at Whiteman Air
Force Base averaged 124 hours over 12 months ending in March 1997. A
major factor in maintenance of low-observable materials is the long time
required to repair the damaged materials and aircraft surfaces.

During operational testing of the interim configuration, low-observable materials
took from 30 to 80 hours to repair and cure, and the processes require a
shelter with a temperature and humidity controlled environment for
proper curing.
Problems with low-observable materials have also affected the percentage
of time the B-2 was partially or fully capable of completing a mission,
which was significantly less when low observability was considered. When
low observability was not considered, the mission-capable rate was
66 percent for a 12-month period ending March 1997. However, when
low-observability problems were considered for the same period of time,
the rate dropped significantly to 26 percent.

Testing indicated that B-2s are also sensitive to extreme climates, water,
and humidity—exposure to water or moisture can damage some of the
low-observable enhancing surfaces on the aircraft. Further, exposure to
water or moisture that causes water to accumulate in aircraft
compartments, ducts, and valves can cause systems to malfunction. If
accumulated water freezes, it can take up to 24 hours to thaw and drain.
Air Force officials said it is unlikely that the aircraft’s sensitivity to
moisture and climates or the need for controlled environments to fix
low-observability problems will ever be fully resolved, even with improved
materials and repair processes. Therefore, if B-2s are to be deployed, some
form of aircraft sheltering at a forward operating location will likely
become a requirement in the future.


GAO has more reports about the same.

Best,
Jai.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby KiranM » 24 Feb 2009 13:50

^^^ Phooey!! Folks, anyone knows if Desi efforts into LO and stealth is taking such 'experiences' into account? We shouldnt end up re-inventing the wheel. This is where I feel the headstart Massa has will help Russians/ Chinese/ Desis to avoid the mistakes Amrikhans make.

Hope we are not having such problems with the RAM paint IAF uses on its aircraft.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby k prasad » 24 Feb 2009 17:24

B2s are real peacetime white elephants (for maintenance only, not the combat usefullness) - anyone seeing Diego Garcia on Google Earth will see 2 or 3 large white hangers- these are air conditioned, moisture controlled hangers for the B-2s, and follow them wherever they go!!

Luckily, modern LO aircraft are not as bad, but certainly, RAMs and RAPs need a bit more maintenance than the normal airframes.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Gerard » 24 Feb 2009 18:37

Failure hits Nasa's 'CO2 hunter'
Nasa's first mission to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) from space appears to have failed after a rocket malfunction. Officials said the fairing - the part of the rocket which covers the satellite on top of the launcher - had failed to separate properly.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby KiranM » 24 Feb 2009 18:46

k prasad wrote:B2s are real peacetime white elephants (for maintenance only, not the combat usefullness) - anyone seeing Diego Garcia on Google Earth will see 2 or 3 large white hangers- these are air conditioned, moisture controlled hangers for the B-2s, and follow them wherever they go!!

Luckily, modern LO aircraft are not as bad, but certainly, RAMs and RAPs need a bit more maintenance than the normal airframes.


Something tells me the initial requirement to bomb the cold and frigid locations in former USSR made Amrikhans overlook this issue. Guess to counter B-2 all that Russia needs to do is increase global warming. :D


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby p_saggu » 24 Feb 2009 23:59

ImageImage
From Janes's
Adcom military industries will unveil a new long-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the forthcoming International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi, according to company spokesperson Ausama Hadi Albu Hadla.


The UAV, with a wingspan of 21 m, was developed indigenously by the United Arab Emirates company. It has an embarked weight of 1.2 tonnes and an endurance of 120 hours. It is capable of carrying 850 litres of fuel and features a propeller engine assisted by jet-thrust for added reliability in case of engine failure.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 26 Feb 2009 00:21

This is surprise , I didnt knew Russia had operational AESA Radar , Can we confirm these are indeed AESA ?

GAMMA-DE Mobile 3-Dimensional Solid-State AESA Surveillance Radar

NNIIRT 1L119 Nebo SVU Mobile VHF AESA

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Vick » 26 Feb 2009 05:51

Aside from being a great pic of a F-15C in aggressor colors, notice the pic also shows how the engine intakes can swivel in the vertical plane. I believe this feature is in addition to it being able to vary the intake throat geometry. Also, notice that the aggressor is carrying an EL/M-8222 SPJ pod.

(found pic in AFM)

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 27 Feb 2009 03:18

Japanese lunar probe Kaguya takes first footage of Earth eclipsing the Sun:

http://space.jaxa.jp/movie/20090218_kag ... e01_e.html

http://www.jaxa.jp/press/2009/02/20090218_kaguya_e.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 28 Feb 2009 07:44



Austin
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 28 Feb 2009 12:52

Russia slams as farce Canada's statement on Tu-160 flight

"The Canadian defense minister's statements concerning the flights of our long-haul aircraft are totally unclear... This was a routine flight. The countries adjacent to the flight path had been notified and the planes did not violate the airspace of other countries. In this light the statements by the Canadian Defense Ministry provoke astonishment and can only be called a farce," the source said.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Gerard » 02 Mar 2009 02:34


Kailash
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kailash » 02 Mar 2009 04:52

Gerard wrote:Chinese probe crashes into moon


Is this a planned crashing or in some way linked to the success/failure of the mission?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby SaiK » 02 Mar 2009 06:52

A Chinese lunar probe has crashed into the moon in what Beijing has called a controlled collision.


there is your answer


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Liu » 03 Mar 2009 19:30

SaiK wrote:
A Chinese lunar probe has crashed into the moon in what Beijing has called a controlled collision.


there is your answer

it is a controlled conllision.

the probe still had lots of fuels when it finished all tasks. So China let the probe do something else.

controlled collision is just one of them.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kailash » 03 Mar 2009 20:25

So I believe that the results of Change' 1 are classified. Generally the Chinese achievements are followed by a lot or pride and chest thumping.

Since there is no major media buzz behind this mission, only two things are possible:
- Mission is an incredible success where they mapped huge deposits of minerals and He3. Not wanting to advertise/share it
- Mission is a failure at some level

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Liu » 03 Mar 2009 21:54

Kailash wrote:So I believe that the results of Change' 1 are classified. Generally the Chinese achievements are followed by a lot or pride and chest thumping.

Since there is no major media buzz behind this mission, only two things are possible:
- Mission is an incredible success where they mapped huge deposits of minerals and He3. Not wanting to advertise/share it
- Mission is a failure at some level


no major media buzz behind this mission just because the mission was reported enough in CHinese media long ago .

you didn't know it until now ,just because you can not read chinese medias.





In fact, on Octo, 2008, Chang'e had finished all planed duties but still had lots of fuel,so Chinese engineers dicided to give some addtional duties to Chang'e.

"controlled collsion" was just the last one of those addiontal duties.

Besides "controlled collision", Chang'e has finished anotheraddiontal mission ,which is much more useful to the probe-landing mission on the moon in the future,




http://bbs.cjdby.net/viewthread.php?tid ... a=page%3D1
嫦娥一号卫星成功落月 圆满实现工程目标和科学目标
2009年03月01日 16:38人民网-科技频道
人民网科技北京3月1日电(记者廖文根)3月1日16时13分,嫦娥一号卫星在北京航天飞行控制中心科技人员的精确控制下,准确落于预定轨道,为我国探月一期工程画上圆满的句号。

嫦娥一号卫星于2007年10月24日在西昌卫星发射中心发射升空,11月7日进入200公里环月工作轨道,至2008年10月已经成功在轨运行一年,完成预定探测任务后状态良好。为了充分利用嫦娥一号卫星在轨的宝贵资源,为后续任务开展有关验证实验积累数据和经验,探月工程领导小组决定按照“轨道从高到低,风险从小到大”的原则,应用嫦娥一号卫星开展卫星平台有关实验和卫星变轨能力、轨道测定能力等10余项验证实验。验证试验从2008年11月8日开始按预定计划顺利实施,卫星轨道由200公里圆轨道降到100公里圆轨道,继而降到远月点100公里、近月点15公里的椭圆轨道,再升回到100公里圆轨道,同时,开展卫星部分系统的技术实验和可靠性试验,取得了一批有价值的技术试验数据,为探月工程二期积累了技术和宝贵的工程经验。

探月工程二期将实现软着陆,技术跨越大,为在落月过程控制和轨道测定方面积累经验,减少后续工程风险,探月工程领导小组决定在嫦娥一号卫星寿命末期,控制卫星落月。

据了解,嫦娥一号卫星在轨运行期间,共传回1.37TB的有效科学探测数据,获取了全月球影像图,月表部分化学元素分布等一批科学成果,圆满实现工程目标和科学目标,为我国月球探测后续工程和深空探测奠定了坚实的基础。

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kailash » 04 Mar 2009 23:47

Any data that was made public from that 1.37 TBs collected by Chang'e?
would like to about any mineralogical finds etc..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 12 Mar 2009 14:07

Piezoelectric Helicopter Blade Actuators:

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22278/?a=f

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 13 Mar 2009 22:51

Russia shows concern over Chinese weapons piracy

China has already copied the hard-hitting Su-27 Flanker fighter and its engine parts, re-designating the plane as the Shenyang J-11 (JianJi-11), an advanced fourth-generation fighter now serving with the Chinese Air Force.


After it had been receiving stockpiles of Soviet weapons and production equipment from the 1940s and until the 1960s, Beijing continued to manufacture their own technologically Soviet weaponry and equipment even after its relations with Moscow had gone sour in the 1960s.


China produced and upgraded all types of weapons, namely, firearms, mortars, artillery systems, armored fighting vehicles (including tanks), air defense systems and aircraft (including the famous Tupolev Tu-16 Badger intermediate-range bombers, which were re-designated as the Xian H-6s).


Beijing actively exported copies of Soviet weapons to the Third World, Albania, the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and to other countries that were unable to buy Soviet or Western weaponry for political reasons. These types of weapons are still in use today.


From 1979 to 1989, China supplied 90% of mortars to Mujahedin insurgents battling Soviet forces in Afghanistan.


The signing of contracts for the delivery of large weapon batches that would meet Chinese demand in specific areas could serve as a guarantee against unauthorized copying. However, Beijing is no longer interested in such purchases. What's more, this option does not rule out the copying of previously supplied weapon systems and their subsequent exports to third countries.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby ajay_ijn » 13 Mar 2009 23:35

Russian air force withdraws 90 faulty MiGs: Report
MOSCOW: Ninety of Russia's MiG-29 fighter jets have been rejected by military inspectors during checks after a crash last December, an air force spokesman said on Friday, quoted by Interfax.

"So far from the overall fleet of MiG-29s, about 200 planes have been examined, of which 100 have been permitted to fly. About 90 MiG-29s have been withdrawn from flying," said Colonel Vladimir Drik.

He added that checks were continuing on the rest of the MiG-29 fleet and that faulty planes would be repaired and put back in service as funds became available. Interfax estimated Russia's total number of MiG-29s at 300.

Russia suspended MiG-29 flights in December when one of the jets crashed in Siberia, killing its pilot. The crash was attributed to a technical fault and followed another MiG-29 crash in October in the Chita area. First produced in the 1980s, MiG-29s have been exported through much of the world, notably being used by India's air force and by Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War.

Despite a revival in Russia's financial position in recent years, the country's military has continued to suffer embarrassing technical failures, most notably with its accident-prone submarines.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Austin » 14 Mar 2009 18:27

Russian strategic bombers could use Cuba airfields

"There are four or five airfields in Cuba with 4,000-meter-long runways, which absolutely suit us," Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev told Interfax.


Zhikharev, who is the chief of staff of the Russian Air Force's long-range aviation, said, "If the two chiefs of state display such a political will, we are ready to fly there."


Zhikharev also told Interfax that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered a military airfield on La Orchila island as a temporary
{ Chavez will be more than happy to do that }

"If a relevant political decision is made, this is possible," he said, according to Interfax. Zhikharev said he visited La Orchila in 2008 and can confirm that with minor reconstruction, the airfield owned by a local naval base can accept fully-loaded Russian strategic bombers

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Gerard » 15 Mar 2009 18:09


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby JaiS » 16 Mar 2009 05:51

Safety board makes "urgent" call for redesign of critical Boeing 777-200 component


Now, NTSB is urgently recommending that the FOHEs on Boeing 777-200s powered by Rolls-Royce www.rolls-royce.com RB211 Trent 800 Series engines be redesigned to eliminate the problem. In a prepared statement, the NTSB recommends that after the redesign is finished, “the new system be installed on all affected B-777 airplanes at the next maintenance check or within six months.”

NTSB says Rolls-Royce indicates the redesign work is underway, and that the company anticipates the reworked part will “be tested, certified and ready for installation within 12 months.”


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Gerard » 17 Mar 2009 05:39


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vishal » 17 Mar 2009 10:10

Extraordinary flexibility and options in warfighting

Extract: Considered a novelty a few years ago, the Air Force’s fleet has grown to 195 Predators and 28 Reapers, a new and more heavily armed cousin of the Predator. Both models are made by General Atomics, a contractor based in San Diego. Including drones that the Army has used to counter roadside bombs and tiny hand-launched models that can help soldiers to peer past the next hill or building, the total number of military drones has soared to 5,500, from 167 in 2001.
::
::
The Predators and Reapers are now flying 34 surveillance patrols each day in Iraq and Afghanistan, up from 12 in 2006. They are also transmitting 16,000 hours of video each month, some of it directly to troops on the ground.
::
::
In all, the Air Force says, Predators and Reapers shot missiles on 244 of the 10,949 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008.
::
::
And even though 13 of the 70 Predator crashes have occurred over the last 18 months, officials said the accident rate has fallen as flying hours have shot up.

All told, 55 have been lost because of equipment failure, operator errors or weather. Four were shot down in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq; 11 were lost in combat situations, like running out of fuel while protecting troops under fire.


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