International Aerospace Discussion

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Philip
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 13 Dec 2017 14:10

Canada snubs the US...buys 30 yr old Oz fighters instead! This is a signal lesson for all those over-zealous pro-US honchos who think that buying from Uncle Sam and kissing his spurs is the next best thing! If its closest land ally Canada ,one of the special "5-eyes" members of the Anglo-Saxon "confederation" can be so treated,imagine what idol-worshipper,human rights abusers India will get in time!

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-n ... snub-to-us
Canada to buy fleet of 30-year-old fighter jets from Australia in snub to US
Ottawa ditched plan to buy newer fleet of Boeing Super Hornets after US imposed 80% import tariff on Canadian Bombardier jets
Canada to buy fleet of Australian F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets, dubbed ‘fixer-uppers’ by Canadian opposition.

Wednesday 13 December 2017
Canada will purchase a fleet of 30-year-old F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets from Australia amid an escalating trade dispute with the US.


Plans to buy a newer fleet of 18 Boeing Super Hornets were ditched after the US imposed an 80% tariff on imports of Bombardier passenger aircraft and Canada will instead spend about $500m on the fleet of vintage RAAF planes.

Ottawa announced last year it wanted to buy the Super Hornets as a stopgap measure while it runs a competition for 88 jets to replace its ageing 77 CF-18s fighters, but it scrapped those plans and made clear the company had little chance of winning a much larger contract unless it dropped the trade challenge against the Canadian aircraft manufacturer.

US escalates trade dispute with UK and Canada over Bombardier
Read more
The announcement marks a new low in relations between Canada’s Liberal government and Boeing and casts into doubt the future of defence cooperation with the US aerospace company, which says it supports more than 17,500 jobs in Canada.

But Boeing has indicated it is unlikely to back down on the trade challenge and the issue has become a political problem for the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau. Andrew Scheer, leader of the official opposition Conservative party, on Tuesday mocked him for buying old jets.

“If the prime minister is so keen on buying fixer-uppers, will he come over, because I have an old minivan I would love to show him,” Scheer said to laughter in the House of Commons.

Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff of the Canadian Armed Forces, told ABC News the Australian jets would be an adequate stopgap measure until its next-generation fighter fleet was delivered in about 2025.

Airbus's ingenious Bombardier plan is comeuppance for Boeing

Nils Pratley
The used Australian jets will be flown to Canada in 2018.

The Canadian air force has long preferred a US jet, according to sources. Canada is part of the consortium that helped develop Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter and the previous Conservative government announced in 2010 it would buy 65 of the planes.

It later backtracked and during the 2015 election campaign Trudeau vowed not to buy the fighter on the grounds it was too expensive. After he took power, the government softened its tone.

But Trudeau is not a fan of the F-35 and the Boeing spat means officials are prepared to look at rivals such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale jet, say the sources, who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the situation.

If Canada went for the Typhoon or the Rafale, it would have to decide whether to use US weapons or buy European armaments systems and integrate them with those used by US forces.

One defence expert noted that Britain, Germany and Italy intend to operate both the F-35 and the Eurofighter, evidence that Canada could buy the European jet and still operate with US air force F-35s.

Although Canada will extend the lifespan of some CF-18s to 2025 to cover the introduction of the new fighters, Canadian Global Affairs Institute defence analyst David Perry on Wednesday predicted Ottawa would keep the old planes in service for longer than planned and drag out the competition.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 13 Dec 2017 15:47

It is a political decision taken by the government after abruptly deciding to do a sole source buy after promising a competitive acquisition since they were politically opposed to a sole source buy and made reversing it a political promise. Even the decision to buy an interim batch of Super Hornets was itself political since it originated from the current government. Their decision to walk out of a sole source Boeing deal, and buy used Boeing jets (to perhaps extend their fleet by 4-5 years ) was in large part due to the commercial dispute with Boeing.

Meanwhile this gives them a perfect opportunity to get back to what they really wanted - new aircraft where they will make a decision only in 2022 after floating out an RFP in 2019. First delivery of the new fighter is expected in 2025. The current government recently, quietly, extended its payment to the US Government for continued participation in the JSF program. A mid 2020s acquisition favors the F-35A considerably once you factor in that Canadian OEMs and suppliers have already produced parts for nearly 300 aircraft and will continue to deliver parts for a 100 or more aircraft a year as Canada floats the RFI and ultimately the RFP.

One can see the impact of high LRIP lot production rates (around 90 per annum) on the prices the USG is offering the F-35A at for potential customers. Denmark for example expects to pay $95 Million per jet and will buy pooled spares and services with other regional operators and likely use the Italian infrastructure for long term overhaul and sustainment needs. This for block-4 aircraft which will be more capable than the block 3F that will FOC for the USAF. Canada's plan seem to be even to the right of Denmark in terms of schedule, so they will benefit from peak production rates. With Canadian industry already absorbed and allowed to compete further for JSF orders, Canada a developmental partner, Canadian air-force preffrering the aircraft, and sustainment and support infrastructure being created in North America to sustain over 1500 F-35s there is very little the Eurocanards or the Super Hornet can offer for deliveries in the middle of the next decade to match that.

This "Boeing snub" has actually put Lockheed Martin in the drivers seat as adding 5 years to the decision basically provides the current political outfit breathing room to walk back on its stance that it would have taken 5-6 years earlier (provided they win another term in the federal elections that will happen prior to the decision). By the time Canada decides on its next fighter, 1000 or more F-35s would have been delivered to operators around the world, a large majority of them (if not all) with Canadian supplied components. This is totally opposite of the current Boeing - C-series rift where Boeing's decision to protest and seek intervention ran contrary to Canadian industry's interests forcing the government to back their industry and send a political message.


Some Industry observers have already noted this -


F-35: 1, Super Hornet: 0 In Boeing’s Rift With Canada[
Last edited by brar_w on 14 Dec 2017 01:40, edited 1 time in total.

chola
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby chola » 13 Dec 2017 16:47

Interesting how things work on the mega F-35 consortium. So even these F-35A are built in Japan for the Japanese self defense air force, they need to fly to the US for insoection and then flown back.

https://japan.stripes.com/base-info/first-japanese-built-f-35a-lands-misawa-ab-0

First Japanese-built F-35A lands at Misawa AB

...

Maj. Elijah Supper piloted the brand-new aircraft from the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Komaki South F-35 Final Assembly and Check Out facility, and was quickly joined by two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin National Guard, there to escort the new jet across the Pacific.

“This F-35 is one of the most clean and well-built aircraft I have ever seen,” Supper said. “The Japanese take great pride in this aircraft and have ensured it’s made to the highest standard."

Although the aircraft is a Japan Air Self-Dense Force-owned jet, it is required to go through final function tests in the United States to ensure all future F-35A's produced in Japan are up to standard.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 13 Dec 2017 17:00

This may just be for initial jets since at the end of the day it is the JPO and LMA that guarantee the quality of the aircraft produced by their partner members. This also involves some dynamic testing iirc where the capacity may not have yet been set up in Japan. The Italians to the best of my knowledge aren't sending their aircraft unless its for pilot training. Japan is also piggybacking on the USAF established global test infrastructure at Luke AFB so will be sending quite a few aircraft and pilots to Arizona for training for a number of years still.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 14 Dec 2017 03:29

Interesting article that gives some insight into what made those 28 Kuwaiti Typhoons so expensive.

link


Kuwait: Eurofighter Is Coming
(Source: Leonardo; issued Dec 11, 2017)

Kuwait’s 28 Eurofighter Typhoons will be the most advanced of the type produced so far. This multi-role fighter aircraft will have a package of capabilities on top of the previous Typhoon’s enhancement programmes, such as the Captor-E (E-scan) radar and several novelties in the weapon system that will bring the Kuwait Air Force to the front-line of fighter technology.
Delivery of the aircraft will start in 2020 and will be completed in 2023 making Kuwait the aircraft’s eighth customer.

On 5 April 2016, a contract between the Ministry of Defence of the State of Kuwait and Leonardo (acting as Prime Contractor Organisation) was signed. It was a true success of the Italian Country System, where politics, diplomacy, the Armed Forces and industry worked together, with considerable benefits in terms of know-how and qualified employment.

...

Leonardo’s Airborne & Space Systems Division, with the support of the various production sites in Italy and the UK, contribute significantly to the development and production of the aircraft’s avionics and main sensors.

In particular, the Captor-E radar (M-scan and E-scan version), produced by the Euroradar consortium, the passive infrared PIRATE system, produced by the EuroFirst consortium (both consortium led by Leonardo) and the DASS auto-protection system (Defensive Aids Sub-System), and communication and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems.

Finally, at the Venegono Superiore plant in the Varese province, Leonardo designs and produces Ground Support Equipment (or AGE), such as air start and auxiliary power units.

Production for Kuwait

Since the second half of 2016 the Kuwait’s production activities started with details manufacturing, in line with the baseline plan and in some cases even ahead of schedule.

“The capability packages granted to Kuwait” said Giancarlo Mezzanatto, Eurofighter Programme Unit Vice President of the Leonardo Aircraft Division “will include the integration of Storm Shadow and Brimstone and other air-to-surface weapons that enrich the multirole characteristics of the aircraft and enhance the weapon system. Moreover, this configuration foresees the integration of a new advanced laser designator pod, the introduction of a combat training pod, an enhanced navigation aid and the above mentioned new Captor-E radar with its advanced antenna repositioner”.

The Captor-E radar provides significantly more power than most competing systems. Combined with the fighter’s large nose aperture and the unique ability to move the radar antenna, the Typhoon has a field of view of 200 degrees and the flight tests are confirming the discriminating advantages this will bring. “This new radar underpins the Typhoon’s current and future capability evolution” Mezzanatto added.

The agreement with the Kuwait MoD includes also services to operate the Eurofighter fleet at its best such as the design and construction of the infrastructures at the Al-Salem Air Base in Kuwait and the initial support services for three years (with an option for a further five). This includes the supply of equipment and a suite of training devices to establish a pilot Operational Conversion Unit in Kuwait.


This success in Kuwait is a further confirmation of the growing role that the multi-role aircraft produced by the Eurofighter Consortium plays in the Gulf Region. The latest contract signed is that inked by Qatar for 24 Typhoons, that sees Eurofighter partner BAE Systems acting as Prime Contractor.

Furthermore, the deliveries of all 72 units ordered by Saudi Arabia have been completed this year, and Oman has already received half of the 12 planned aircraft.


so a contract for support services for 3 years with an option for a further 5 years, plus all the training devices required to establish an OCU. And services to design and construct the infrastructure at Al-Salem base in Kuwait.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 14 Dec 2017 04:51

Lockheed Martin now seen with edge in race to supply Canada jets


OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s decision to make it harder for Boeing Co to win a major jet order hands rival plane maker Lockheed Martin Corp an advantage in capturing the contract, defense experts said on Wednesday.That would mark a reversal in Lockheed’s fortunes after Liberal leader Justin Trudeau campaigned in 2015 on a promise not to buy the firm’s F-35 stealth fighter.

Trudeau’s government on Tuesday scrapped plans to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornets and made clear the company would not win a contract for 88 jets unless it dropped a trade challenge against Canadian planemaker Bombardier Inc.Government officials estimate the cost of the jets at between C$15 billion ($11.7 billion) and C$19 billion and say it is the biggest investment in the air force in 30 years.

Last week Boeing issued a statement making clear it would not back down in its fight against Bombardier, which it accuses of trying to dump airliners on the U.S. market.

The firm may not even launch a bid for the 88 jets, the first of which are due to be delivered in 2025.That leaves the F-35, a new aircraft, up against two European rivals which first flew in the 1990s: the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale.

“The longer this process plays out, the narrower the government’s options become, and the prospects for a European jet become even dimmer,” said one defense source, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the situation.

A second defense source said Boeing now had little chance of winning the 88-plane contract and noted the Canadian air force had long sought an American jet so it could operate easily with the U.S. military.

Neither source works for a company which might make a bid.

Boeing spokesman Scott Day described the Super Hornet as “the low-risk, low-cost approach” which could serve Canada’s needs well into the future. Lockheed was not immediately available for comment.

Trudeau initially opposed the F-35 on the grounds that it was too costly but the government has since softened its line. Officials insist the competition will be open and say no company will be excluded.

Yet in a clear swipe at Boeing, federal ministers on Tuesday spelled out that any bidder deemed to have harmed Canada’s economy would be at a distinct disadvantage.

“Can Canada get away with this? The answer is probably ... when procurement for the military is involved, governments have wide latitude,” U.S. trade expert Bill Perry said by email.

Boeing, which has extensive aerospace operations in Canada, accuses Bombardier of imitating Airbus by trying to muscle into the U.S. market. People familiar with Boeing say the strategic importance of defending its core passenger jet business outweighs the fighter dispute.

Jerry Dias, president of the Unifor union, said in a phone interview he did not think Boeing would react by cutting jobs. Unifor represents 1,300 workers at a Boeing plant in Winnipeg in central Canada.

“I‘m not expecting retaliation,” he said of Boeing, which he described as a good employer. Boeing says its operations support 17,500 Canadian jobs.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 15 Dec 2017 04:48

Boeing's teaser for a Dec. 19 unveil -

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby SiddharthS » 16 Dec 2017 00:14


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby nam » 16 Dec 2017 01:22

chola wrote:Interesting how things work on the mega F-35 consortium. So even these F-35A are built in Japan for the Japanese self defense air force, they need to fly to the US for insoection and then flown back.

https://japan.stripes.com/base-info/first-japanese-built-f-35a-lands-misawa-ab-0



This is something we should have done. Instead of dilly dallying with F-16s & F-18s, give a 200-300 F-35 order to LM and tell them to build it in India, like the Japanese are doing.

If required the Japanese can open shop and help us build it.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 16 Dec 2017 05:03

Red Flag 17-3 Flight Operations


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby chola » 16 Dec 2017 17:11

nam wrote:
chola wrote:Interesting how things work on the mega F-35 consortium. So even these F-35A are built in Japan for the Japanese self defense air force, they need to fly to the US for insoection and then flown back.

https://japan.stripes.com/base-info/first-japanese-built-f-35a-lands-misawa-ab-0



This is something we should have done. Instead of dilly dallying with F-16s & F-18s, give a 200-300 F-35 order to LM and tell them to build it in India, like the Japanese are doing.

If required the Japanese can open shop and help us build it.


I wish it were so but I don’t believe Unkil is willing to release the F-35 yet. Because there had been no Amreeki announcement even suggesting the idea unlike the F-16, F-18 or EMALS. I suspect the F-35 as a consortium involves many nations with the pie divvied up years ago in negotiations. Our relationship with Russia doesn’t help here either. Even if the USA is okay with it (they are willing to trust us with EMALS) the other nations in the consortium might not.

The F-16/18 would be a lead in, I imagine.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 16 Dec 2017 17:27

Who gets to buy the JSF is not a democratic decision taken by the consortium members. The JSF is a US product which other members decided to join in funding development of in return for work-share, access to a 5th generation fighter program etc. Who is offered the JSF is not decided by the program at all - it is decided by the US congress. Having said that, as a policy there has been no direct and serious offer of the JSF under MII from GOTUS and it is unlikely that one will occur under either the MII SEF, or the Naval fighter requirement floated by the MOD. This could be something they consider if India were to float a requirement for a competition for acquiring a 5th generation aircraft which seems redundant given involvement in the FGFA since the IAF/MOD seem very much interested in a heavy fighter that is a Flanker complement and eventual replacement and the JSF does not fit that bill.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 18 Dec 2017 03:11

New Stealth Drone Has No Moving Surfaces at All


Image

BAE Systems has unveiled a new aircraft design that could be a major advance in stealth technology. The new MAGMA drone does away with aircraft control surfaces, resulting in an aircraft whose shape remains constant throughout its entire flight. The small demonstration aircraft, which has completed a successful first flight, uses blown air to change direction instead of complex mechanical controls.

...............

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 18 Dec 2017 03:18

Military-Grade Killer Drones Are Starting to Hit the Market

The recent explosion of the consumer drone market has had far-reaching effects, the deadliest being their adaptation to weapons of war. Now, military-grade killer drones operable by a crew of one or two and capable of carrying precision-guided microbombs are starting to make their way into the global defense market. One of the first is Velvet Wasp, the drone that can carry anything from bombs to first aid supplies.

Image

Developed by UK defense contractor SR, Velvet Wasp is a 37 pound drone with a carbon fiber frame. The drone can be packable but ideally is carried around by a vehicle. Fury is ideally controlled by a two person crew, a pilot and a navigator, although it could be controlled by a single person in a pitch. According to an article by Aviation Week, the drone is silent at an altitude of 1,000 feet and is “hard to pick up on radar."

Pushed to speeds of up to 70 miles an hour by eight propellers, the killer drone has a single hard point—or a multi-carriage launcher—for launching lethal munitions at the enemy. It has a laser designator, for marking its own targets, and the control signals are encrypted to prevent someone else from hacking in and taking control of it.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) debuted at the 2017 Dubai Air Show, where it was displayed carrying the Textron Fury precision-guided munition. Fury is a thirteen pound aerial glide bomb that has both a GPS/inertial navigation guidance system and a laser guidance system. The little bomb is useful against moving targets and accurate to within three feet of its target. Fury is also capable of carrying first aid supplies, ammunition, or other supplies, dropping them by parachute.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 18 Dec 2017 03:50

No wonder the Typhoon is so expensive.You are first "CAPTOR-ed by "PIRATEs", then "DASS-ed" and IFF you don't hand over much wampum, then you will "AGE" in captivity!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 18 Dec 2017 08:02

Lockheed Martin teams up to build supersonic business jet

For 27 years, until its retirement in 2003, the Concorde was a flying symbol of glamour and speed, a sleek embodiment of technological prowess and supersonic power that ferried the wealthy from New York to London in 3½ hours while they dined on veal medallions and crème caramel.

Its excess, though, led to its demise. The plane was too expensive and carried too few passengers to be sustainable. After a fatal crash, the fleet ceased operation with one last flight from Charles de Gaulle to Dulles International Airport, as the pilot raised a glass of champagne and toasted his passengers: “To your first Mach 2 — and the last.”

On Friday, however, leaders of Lockheed Martin and the Aerion Corp. announced a deal to build a speedy business jet that they vowed would “engineer a renaissance in supersonic travel.” Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, the companies said they would build a civil jet, capable of flying as fast as Mach 1.4, or about 60 percent faster than a typical commercial airliner.

With operations projected to start in 2025, the AS2, as the jet would be called, would be able to fly as many as 12 passengers, and shave as much as three hours off the seven- to eight-hour trips between New York and London, so business executives could make a daily commute back and forth across the Atlantic.

The memorandum of understanding between the two companies represents a departure for Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin. The company is the largest defense firm in the world, known primarily as a maker of weapons and military aircraft, including the F-16, F-22 and F-35.


The AS2 is designed to carry 12 people at a maximum cruising speed of Mach 1.4. (Lockheed Martin Aeronautics)
That legacy in building supersonic fighter jets, as well as the SR-71 surveillance jet — capable of traveling three times the speed of sound — is what made Lockheed such a good partner, the companies said.

Although Lockheed is focused on defense, it did build the first operational business jet, the Lockheed JetStar, which flew in the 1960s and ’70s.

“We do believe new material and new technologies are making civil supersonic flight a realistic near-term possibility,” said Orlando Carvalho, the executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.


Despite the struggles of the Concorde — a commercial airliner capable of flying about 100 people — Brian Barents, the executive chairman of Aerion, said he believes the demand would be there for a comfortable, fast-
flying jet designed for corporations and the ultrawealthy.

“We strongly believe that speed is the next frontier in civil aviation, and we will begin that journey with a supersonic business jet,” he said.

Reno, Nev.-based Aerion forecasts building 300 jets in the first 10 years of production, and the comfort of the jets would rival other business jets on the market.

One of the problems with supersonic travel is the sonic booms they create. The United States bans commercial airliners from flying at supersonic speeds over land. Such speeds are permitted over water, however. NASA and several companies are working on ways to lessen the impact of sonic booms, reducing the bone-rattling cacophony to mere rumbles.

But the even bigger hurdle may be persuading people to pay a premium for the extra speed and convenience.

“Some very wealthy people are going to have to say, ‘I want the speed. I want my own Concorde,’ ” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst at the Teal Group, a consulting firm. The fact that it doesn’t fly as fast as the Concorde, which could hit Mach 2, “might also put a crimp in the ego factor.”


He predicted governments could also be a customer, making Lockheed Martin’s involvement essential. “There are absolutely no options for rapid delivery of essential personnel — soldiers or diplomats or doctors,” he said. “There’s nothing faster than the fastest civil jet.”

Since Lockheed Martin has traditionally shied away from civil markets, Aboulafia said the question is, will it “actually come through with the large pile of cash needed to bring [the jet] to market?”

Aerion and Lockheed, however, were optimistic.

“This really is the dawn of a new era,” said Aerion Chairman Robert Bass. “As our motto says, ‘It’s about time.’ ”



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby ashishvikas » 18 Dec 2017 23:45

Lockheed Martin Plans to Reduce F-35 Fighter Jet Cost To $80 Million Apiece by 2020

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/21542/ ... jgFNL3hXqA

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 19 Dec 2017 02:10

V-280 Valor flies for the first time


WASHINGTON — Bell Helicopter’s V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft flew for the first time Monday in a low hover over the ground, according to an official tuned into the proceedings.

The V-280, which took off at approximately 1:59 p.m. CDT at a Bell facility in Amarillo, Texas, was still flying at press time. The flight is expected to last roughly 15 to 20 minutes, according to the official.

The demonstrator aircraft, which Bell finished building in September, began ground runs that month and proceeded to unrestrained ground runs over the past several months, culminating in its first flight, just one week shy of Christmas.The U.S. Army has been planning — through its Joint Multi-Role demonstrator program — for two very different vertical lift prototypes to begin flight demonstrations this fall as part of a critical path to informing and shaping the design of a Future Vertical Lift helicopter fleet expected to hit the skies in the 2030s.

More significant testing will follow Valor’s first flight over the course of a year as the Army observes the potential capability.

The other prototype’s first flight has fallen behind the originally intended goal of September. The Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter is now expected to start flying some time in the first half of 2018.

The demonstrator’s delay for first flight can be attributed to challenges in manufacturing its complex rotor blades for the helicopter’s coaxial design, Dan Bailey, the U.S. Army’s JMR program manager, told Defense News in September.Defiant is based on Sikorsky’s patented X2 technology, which is also being used in the company’s internally developed helicopter, Raider, which experienced a hard landing earlier this summer.The Army is shooting for a low-rate production goal to build an FVL aircraft by 2030 and Bell Helicopter has said many times that it believes it could potentially shorten that timeline.

The way the Army is approaching its JMR demonstrator program will likely serve as a model for future major acquisition programs where prototyping done earlier in the process leads to more capable and reliable weapon systems delivered to the war fighter faster.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 19 Dec 2017 04:32


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 19 Dec 2017 11:28

Pardon if already posted.........

Future wars may depend as much on algorithms as on ammunition, report says.

Image
A man walks by a poster depicting a version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the Berlin Security Conference in Germany last month. Experts call Lockheed Martin’s combat aircraft a “flying computer,” saying it is as much a sensor in the skies as it is a fighter jet. (John MacDougall/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

The Pentagon is increasingly focused on the notion that the might of U.S. forces will be measured as much by the advancement of their algorithms as by the ammunition in their arsenals. And so as it seeks to develop the technologies of the next war amid a technological arms race with China, the Defense Department has steadily increased spending in three key areas: artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, according to a recent report.

Investment in those areas increased to $7.4 billion last year, up from $5.6 billion five years ago, according to Govini, a data science and analytics firm, and it appears likely to grow as the armed services look to transform how they train, plan and fight.

“Rapid advances in artificial intelligence — and the vastly improved autonomous systems and operations they will enable — are pointing toward new and more novel warfighting applications involving human-machine collaboration and combat teaming,” Robert Work, the former deputy secretary of defense, wrote in an introduction to the report. “These new applications will be the primary drivers of an emerging military-technical revolution.”

The United States “can either lead the coming revolution, or fall victim to it,” he added.

In an interview, Work, who serves on Govini’s board, said the advancements in technology are transforming war just as the advent of the rifle, telegraph and railroad did generations ago. Much of the current work is being driven by companies with large presences in the Washington area, including Leidos, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, CACI and SAIC, according to the report.

Service members are using virtual reality to simulate battle conditions in training. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been investing in better computing power designed to handle vast amounts of data, including quantum computing and what’s known as neuromorphic engineering, helping develop incredibly complex computing systems designed to mimic biological systems.

There are signs that AI and human-machine collaboration are already making their way into American weaponry and its intelligence apparatus. The Pentagon is working toward using drones as the wingmen of fighter jets and ships, which can probe into enemy territory on their own. The Marine Corps has been testing cargo helicopters that can fly autonomously and that would allow Marines, using a tablet, to “easily request supplies even to austere or dangerous environments,” according to the Office of Naval Research.

The stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with 8 million lines of code, is called a “flying computer” that is as much a sensor in the skies as it is a fighter jet, officials say. As an example, officials point to how F-35s communicate with one another on their own. If one jet in a sortie detects an enemy fighter on its radar that is out of the range of the other F-35s along with it, that information is automatically relayed to the other jets.

Another example is Project Maven, a computing system being designed to sift through the massive troves of data and video captured by surveillance and then alert human analysts of patterns or when there is abnormal or suspicious activity.

The technology in robotics is fast improving, as well. In 2015, when DARPA sponsored a challenge to test how robots could navigate certain obstacles, many of the semiautonomous machines tumbled and fell, crashing in sometimes comical fashion. But last month, Boston Dynamics released a stunning video that showed a humanoid robot doing a back flip off a raised platform and landing on its feet.

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Future wars may depend as much on algorithms as on ammunition, report says.

A man walks by a poster depicting a version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the Berlin Security Conference in Germany last month. Experts call Lockheed Martin’s combat aircraft a “flying computer,” saying it is as much a sensor in the skies as it is a fighter jet. (John MacDougall/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
By Christian Davenport December 3
The Pentagon is increasingly focused on the notion that the might of U.S. forces will be measured as much by the advancement of their algorithms as by the ammunition in their arsenals. And so as it seeks to develop the technologies of the next war amid a technological arms race with China, the Defense Department has steadily increased spending in three key areas: artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, according to a recent report.

Investment in those areas increased to $7.4 billion last year, up from $5.6 billion five years ago, according to Govini, a data science and analytics firm, and it appears likely to grow as the armed services look to transform how they train, plan and fight.

“Rapid advances in artificial intelligence — and the vastly improved autonomous systems and operations they will enable — are pointing toward new and more novel warfighting applications involving human-machine collaboration and combat teaming,” Robert Work, the former deputy secretary of defense, wrote in an introduction to the report. “These new applications will be the primary drivers of an emerging military-technical revolution.”

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The United States “can either lead the coming revolution, or fall victim to it,” he added.

In an interview, Work, who serves on Govini’s board, said the advancements in technology are transforming war just as the advent of the rifle, telegraph and railroad did generations ago. Much of the current work is being driven by companies with large presences in the Washington area, including Leidos, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, CACI and SAIC, according to the report.

Service members are using virtual reality to simulate battle conditions in training. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been investing in better computing power designed to handle vast amounts of data, including quantum computing and what’s known as neuromorphic engineering, helping develop incredibly complex computing systems designed to mimic biological systems.

There are signs that AI and human-machine collaboration are already making their way into American weaponry and its intelligence apparatus. The Pentagon is working toward using drones as the wingmen of fighter jets and ships, which can probe into enemy territory on their own. The Marine Corps has been testing cargo helicopters that can fly autonomously and that would allow Marines, using a tablet, to “easily request supplies even to austere or dangerous environments,” according to the Office of Naval Research.


The stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with 8 million lines of code, is called a “flying computer” that is as much a sensor in the skies as it is a fighter jet, officials say. As an example, officials point to how F-35s communicate with one another on their own. If one jet in a sortie detects an enemy fighter on its radar that is out of the range of the other F-35s along with it, that information is automatically relayed to the other jets.

Another example is Project Maven, a computing system being designed to sift through the massive troves of data and video captured by surveillance and then alert human analysts of patterns or when there is abnormal or suspicious activity.

The technology in robotics is fast improving, as well. In 2015, when DARPA sponsored a challenge to test how robots could navigate certain obstacles, many of the semiautonomous machines tumbled and fell, crashing in sometimes comical fashion. But last month, Boston Dynamics released a stunning video that showed a humanoid robot doing a back flip off a raised platform and landing on its feet.


But despite those advancements, the Pentagon and others are worried that the United States is not moving fast enough.

“The bad news is our competitors aren’t standing still,” Work said.

China in particular has been investing heavily in AI, defense analysts say.

“China intends to seize the initiative to become the ‘premier global AI innovation center’ by 2030, potentially surpassing the United States in the process,” according to a recent report by the Center for a New American Security.

That should serve as a call-to-arms “Sputnik moment,” Work said. “I personally believe that a national challenge like this has to be met with a national response,” he said.

For the past several years, the Pentagon has been wooing Silicon Valley firms that have driven much of the innovation, but have traditionally been loath to work within the Pentagon’s plodding and cumbersome bureaucracy.

In September, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan wrote in a memo that he was “directing aggressive steps to establish a culture of experimentation, adaptation and risk-taking to ensure we are employing emerging technologies to meet our warfighters’ needs and to increase speed and agility technology development and procurement.”

He also signed a directive to accelerate the development of cloud computing for the Pentagon, which he said “is critical to maintaining our military’s technological advantage.”


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 19 Dec 2017 16:25

DARPA hopes to swarm drones out of C-130s in 2019 test


Image

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency plans to demonstrate the ability to launch and recover swarms of drones from a C-130 sometime in 2019, according to statements by the agency and by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, one of two companies contracted to design prototype of the drones. The other is Dynetics.

The test would serve as a major leap into the next phase of testing for DARPA’s Gremlins program.Gremlins — an initiative DARPA says is named after the imaginary, mischievous imps that became good luck charms for British pilots in WWII — is intended to give the U.S. military “improved operational flexibility at a much lower cost than is possible with today’s expensive, all-in-one platforms,” according to a DARPA statement.

Once dispatched, the drones would be outfitted with different payloads in order to accomplish an assortment of missions, to include ISR, electronic warfare, signals intelligence and even kinetic effects.

“When the gremlins complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft would retrieve them in the air and carry them home, where ground crews would prepare them for their next use within 24 hours,” the DARPA statement reads.

Although the technology to project volleys of cheap, reusable drones was previously out of reach for defense contractors, the Gremlins program has gradually dialed in on the possibility.

The program also seeks to one day launch the drones from smaller fixed-wing aircraft, such as fighters, while still keeping those manned platforms out of the range of enemy air defenses.

The program’s first phase concluded in March, and showed the program was not just feasible, but “would require minimal modification to the host aircraft,” said Scott Wierzbanowski, the DARPA program manager, in a statement.

During the second phase, the team aims to complete preliminary designs for full-scale technology demonstrations, Wierzbanowski added.


Each drone would be capable of a remaining on station for one hour at a range of 300 nautical miles while carrying a 60-pound payload, according to General Atomics.

The company is incorporating commercial technology to drive down the cost of the gremlins. The goal is for each drone to come in under $500,000 per unit, a company representative told Defense News, a sister publication, at an August demonstration.

The company has two options for recovery systems. The first can be mounted on the wings of an aircraft, while the second is loaded in the cargo bay. A company official declined to comment to Defense News on how many gremlins could be carried on the wing for competitive reasons.

The hope is that the gremlins could be reused up to about 20 times. In the end, the goal is for the drones to provide a cheaper alternative to larger aircraft platforms with heavier payloads and higher maintenance costs over their lifetimes.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 19 Dec 2017 17:09



Expect a pretty healthy increase in delivery rate for the 2018 Calendar Year compared to the 66 delivered in 2017.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vasu raya » 19 Dec 2017 21:15



Good development, the movements still need refinement, though its just their first flight - wonder what is the FCS update rate?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 20 Dec 2017 23:30

SpaceX Falcon Heavy:

Elon Musk has tweeted out photos of SpaceX’s almost fully assembled Falcon Heavy rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida — the biggest and best glimpse so far into what the final iteration will look like. The rocket’s launch date is set for sometime in January and has never gotten this far in development before, so the photos do show something that’s quite promising. From the pictures, the biggest missing pieces look to be the payload and nose cone at the top.

The Falcon Heavy consists of three Falcon 9 cores strapped together and will be mostly reusable, with all three cores intended to return to Earth after launch so they can be used for other missions. Musk has said the rocket’s outer cores for this upcoming launch are previously flown Falcon 9 boosters.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 21 Dec 2017 19:24

Lockheed To Develop ‘Gray Wolf’ Cruise Missile

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Dec 20, 2017


The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has tapped Lockheed Martin to produce a swarm of autonomous cruise missiles capable of wreaking havoc on enemy air defenses in a highly networked and coordinated fashion.
The company’s missiles and fire control group of Dallas beat six rivals to win a five-year, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract worth up to $110 million for AFRL’s Gray Wolf cruise missile experiment.

The contract relates to a broad agency announcement released by AFRL in March 2017 for the “design, development, manufacture and testing” of a low-cost, subsonic cruise missile prototype that uses collaborative networking for enhanced navigation, survivability and attack of particular targets.

AFRL had anticipated splitting the available $110 million between two vendors, providing $45 million each, but retained the right to award “zero, one or more contracts.” It seems Lockheed’s entry won the whole share.

The contract, announced by the Defense Department on Dec. 18, includes a $2.8 million down payment to get started, with the ordering period extending through 2022. The broad agency announcement, as amended in May, notes that the contract for Gray Wolf might be extended another two years, through 2024.

The defense industry has been reluctant to comment publicly about the Gray Wolf opportunity, but some information has been disclosed in U.S. Air Force documents.

AFRL’s broad agency announcement says this will be a spiraled development program aimed at demonstrating low-cost manufacturing processes and collaborative attacks.

The laboratory wants to see if the aerospace industry can deliver batches of expendable cruise missiles at a significantly lower price compared to today’s multimillion-dollar weapons, even when delivered in low quantities and on short notice. It also wants to validate new concepts of operations, tactics, techniques and procedures and regulatory policies for the employment of autonomy-enabled weapons like Gray Wolf.

Over the course of the program, Lockheed’s cruise missile platform will be paired with a variety of payloads for kinetic strikes, electronic attack and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

To succeed, the long-range, networked missiles must be capable of disabling various components of an integrated air defense system in a highly contested environment, including surface-to-air missile, radar and communications sites.

“Low unit costs support affordable missile attrition and imposes high-cost adversary response,” according to an undated slide presentation by Jack Blackhurst, AFRL’s director of plans and programs. “The spiral experimentation framework provides rapid technology prototyping and provides multiple transition opportunities.”

Analogous efforts being pursued by AFRL include the Low-Cost Attritable Strike Unmanned Aerial System Demonstration, won in 2016 by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions for the XQ-58A Valkyrie. Another is DARPA’s Gremlins, won by Dynetics and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which will demonstrate the launch and recovery of unmanned aircraft from a Lockheed C-130 Hercules.

Gray Wolf is expected to be an attractive air-launched armament for Air Force bombers, cargo aircraft and perhaps the Strategic Capabilities Office’s proposed “Arsenal Plane.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 21 Dec 2017 22:59

Boeing Held Takeover Talks With Brazilian Aircraft Maker Embraer

Boeing Co. has been in takeover talks with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer SA, a move that would strengthen Boeing’s hand in the regional jet market and help it counter a recent move by Airbus SE to strike a similar deal.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby chola » 22 Dec 2017 08:24

brar_w wrote:Boeing Held Takeover Talks With Brazilian Aircraft Maker Embraer

Boeing Co. has been in takeover talks with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer SA, a move that would strengthen Boeing’s hand in the regional jet market and help it counter a recent move by Airbus SE to strike a similar deal.


It’ll be a sad day if this comes to pass. Embraer is the greatest aerospace company created in the Third World. Better than Cheen and maybe even Russia on the civilian front. A true South firm that was able to compete on the global marketplace without a large guaranteed home market (like Cheen or Russia.)

Maybe they were too competitive with their ERJ and E-Jet in driving Bombardier into selling the C-series to Airbus. Airbus getting into the regional space with Bombardier forced Boeing’s hand.

Would have liked to see where Brazil ends up with an independent aviation industry.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 22 Dec 2017 08:28

yes, like India they do buy subsystems and help from massa/EU but unlike india they planned and executed their projects well and have been successful.

sad day if it becomes just another part of the boeing beehive.

our RTA is not even a wind tunnel model :wink:

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 Dec 2017 15:51

Unusual but Northrop Grumman has added another test platform to support the F-35 program and the mission system testing NG supports. Unusual because the CATBIRD is already there and has accomplished virtually all SDD systems testing so far. Perhaps this is looking into future upgrades and may be shared by other programs they are working on internally..

Image

Meanwhile, the F-35 program has now completed all weapons testing :

F-35 test pilots complete Weapons Delivery Accuracy flight trials


Testers from the 461st Flight Test Squadron and F-35 Integrated Test Force completed a major test milestone bringing the F-35 Lightning II’s full combat capabilities closer to the battlefield, said the US Air Force 412th Test Wing Public Affairs on December 20, 2017.Weapons Delivery Accuracy flight tests began in July 2013 and wrapped up earlier this month. The WDA portion of the F-35 developmental test and evaluation mission ensures the fifth-generation fighter’s weapons system can deliver lethal ordnance both air-to-air and air-to-ground using the jet’s warfighting Block 3F software.

The ITF used all three F-35 variants and delivered air-to-air missiles including AIM-120s, the AIM-9X and the United Kingdom’s advanced short range air-to-air missile. The WDA tests also confirmed air-to-ground delivery of the Paveway IV laser-guided bomb, GBU-39 small diameter bomb, GBU-12, GBU-31 joint direct attack munition and the AGM-154 joint standoff weapon.

“Weapons delivery accuracy tests are important, because without proof that the F-35 can actually drop these weapons where we need them to go, then the F-35 is just an information-gathering system,” said Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton, 461st FLTS commander and F-35 ITF director. “The F-35 proved it was extremely capable in delivering these weapons where we wanted it and how we wanted it delivered. These are the most complicated and intricate missions that we had and the jet did extremely well.”

Hamilton said the air-to-air accuracy tests finished in August with air-to-ground tests ending in October. The F-35 ITF then capped off WDA tests by completing testing on the F-35’s GAU-22 25mm gun at the beginning of December. The WDA gun tests included the Air Force’s A-variant where the gun is internally carried and on the Marine Corps’ and Navy’s B and C variants, which employ a gun pod beneath the jet.

Each weapon test required multiple missions including software development, “dry runs” and then the actual weapon release. Not including the gun, Hamilton said the F-35 ITF delivered 55 weapons during WDA testing, which was mainly done over the military sea range off the California coast and at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California.

Maj. Jonathan Gilbert, 461st FLTS pilot, completed the final air-to-ground WDA test as a new test pilot to the F-35 Integrated Test Force.

“I didn't even know it was a milestone, I just knew I was dropping a weapon,” said Gilbert. “It wasn't until after that I felt the excitement from the team and the squadron to close out the WDA program. It is a credit to the team and the planning as it did not appear this would be achievable in the time the squadron accomplished it in, but yet they were able to complete it. I just had the pleasure of dropping the last one.”

Hamilton said the F-35 Joint Program Office analyzes the data from all the WDA tests and any upgrades to the F-35 mission systems software will be sent out to the F-35 operational fleet.

“When they get their 3F software, the one that is going to be productionized for full 3F capability, (the fleet) will be confident they can load these weapons and drop them on the target they’re selecting,” Hamilton said.

The F-35 Integrated Test Force, operating at both Edwards Air Force Base and at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, continues to conduct developmental flight test for the Defense Department’s F-35 Joint Program Office. Ongoing testing at Edwards AFB includes mission effectiveness testing, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime interdiction, and offensive and defensive air-to-air combat testing.

“The ITF takes these extremely challenging and intricate data requirements and then finds a way to coordinate with multiple outside agencies, drones, tankers, ranges and basically conduct these missions and make them happen in a historical manner,” said Hamilton. “No one before them has ever been able to pull off executing weapons deliveries like the individuals in the ITF.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby ashishvikas » 23 Dec 2017 09:34

Boeing Wins $6.2 Billion to Provide 36 F-15 Fighters to Qatar

23-Dec-2017

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/21604/ ... j3U6b3hXqA

All these gulf countries are buying weapons like anything.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Cybaru » 23 Dec 2017 11:10

Qatars insurance policy!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 23 Dec 2017 12:11

ashishvikas wrote:Boeing Wins $6.2 Billion to Provide 36 F-15 Fighters to Qatar

23-Dec-2017

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/21604/ ... j3U6b3hXqA

All these gulf countries are buying weapons like anything.


This article has an error, the earlier USD 12 Billion purchase was for 36 F-15 QA with an option to buy 36 more, the option has now been signed at USD 6.1 Billion Dollars.

So Qatar is buying.

2015 Euro 6.5 for 24 Rafale plus Euro 1.1 Billion(Nov 17) for 12 Rafales- 36 at Euro 7.6 Billion (i.e USD 9.5 Billion)
Nov 2017 GBP 6 Billion -i.e USD 8 billion for 24 Eurofighters
June and Dec 2017 - 72 F15's for USD 18.1 Billion.

This in addition to Fleet of 16 M-2000. and it has place for 1 Airbase- 148 aircraft.

I think the West is just liquidating Qatar's Soverign Wealth fund to their pockets through Reverse Jaziya.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 23 Dec 2017 12:15

So Saudi USD 115 Billion Arms Sales, Qatar around USD 50 Billion Arms Sale plus anther 50 Billion to UAE. Looks like West is cashing in on these Soverign Wealth Funds.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 23 Dec 2017 12:26

using the bogey of iran to recycle their petrodollars back to homeland.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Prasad » 23 Dec 2017 14:44

Funny thing is, with all these squadrons and squadrons of fighters, they're going to have to find pilots for them. Already the Typhoon deal includes joint ops with Brit squadrons and personnel, for a period.
In Libya, UAE fighter operations weren't as integrated as say Swedish Gripens despite them not being part of NATO.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Dec 2017 17:28

Aditya_V wrote:
ashishvikas wrote:Boeing Wins $6.2 Billion to Provide 36 F-15 Fighters to Qatar



This article has an error, the earlier USD 12 Billion purchase was for 36 F-15 QA with an option to buy 36 more, the option has now been signed at USD 6.1 Billion Dollars.


No, this looks like the only deal that has gone through for the F-15's. There were announcements and notifications earlier but those do not constitute a deal. This is the first Qatar, F-15 deal that has been completed. In fact, this is the $12 Billion deal that was announced earlier. Remember that the FMS notifications are just that. It does not constitute a deal and there must be intense negotiations either directly with the OEM, or via a USDOD agency on the final package. This $6.2 Billion award is just one aspect of this deal and contracts Boeing to start producing the aircraft which I believe are in very similar configuration to those new builds Saudi Arabia is getting except the cockpit configuration (Qatar seems to have selected the large panel displays which the Saudi's didn't opt for because they were made by Elbit) . The contracts for the package, support, and a logistical and support deal will come later and there will be other aspects of the deal that wouldn't be announced since this will require long term USDOD support when it comes to training since not only does Qatar have a very small air-force, they have no experience with this type. I believe some contracts for air-base modifications/upgrades may have been issued already.

Aditya_V wrote:So Saudi USD 115 Billion Arms Sales, Qatar around USD 50 Billion Arms Sale plus anther 50 Billion to UAE. Looks like West is cashing in on these Soverign Wealth Funds.


The Saudi $115 Billion deal was also a forward looking announcements and those deals would not be completed, likely for over a decade. Some will likely not end up happening while others will be delayed for quite a while. If you break it down into annual spend it isn't very atypical of a ME nation that is on a replacement and/or upgrade cycle for most of its defense systems ordered over the decades. It looks large because the way they announced it.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Dec 2017 18:13

Philip wrote:The UK parliamentary committee on defence has found that the JSFs on order will actually cost them $200M a pop.In addition to fully utilise the carrier's capabilities a lot of software connectivity is further reqd. plus they also want connectivity with their Typhoons.ALIS has its glitches too.The eventual order for F-35Bs is likely to be cut as a consequence.They now feel a reg. Cat version would've been a better option.What they discarded in favour of the STOVL variant!
Something for the IN to chew upon for IAC-2.


Sometimes it helps to understand what they refer to when it comes to the "cost". Here is directly from the UKMOD submission from this October :

Image

As you can see, the first 2 aircraft the UK purchased cost $161 Million each. The last three they have bought have come in at $123 Million each. While future lots are currently being negotiated it isn't unreasonable to expect that the cost per aircraft will be lower than the $123 Million the UK has paid for its last 3 aircraft. The internal program goal is to reach a fly-away cost of $105 Million per F-35B @ Rate production around Lot-14. Overall, below is what what the UK Government approved on the F-35 program. Do note however, that this involves assumptions because as of now they do not know what the cost of the remaining 31 aircraft will be.

Also note that the F-35 costs they are including as part of the initial 48 aircraft has the cost of modernization rolled in since this is how the program has been set up (constant upgrades in hardware and software instead of a big mid life upgrade that was the norm in the past).

Image

So yeah, if one wanted to do a "bean counter" analysis, then the first 48 aircraft has cost the UK taxpayer over 200 Million USD. But what they paid for was to be an L1 partner and take a production/industrial share of each and every one of the more than 2000 aircraft expected to be produced, and all the industrial benefits that this entails. They are also rolling the cost of sustainment (out to 2020), spending for infrastructure unique to them in the US, cost of upgrading their aircraft from block 3 to block 4, and actual procurement.

Procuring the F-35C was always going to be a "capability" argument instead of a cost argument since overall the impact on cost would have been more significant had they shifted to the F-35C instead.

Naturally, the UK isn't going to be paying development costs over and over again. Their L1 commitment to the program has been paid up so any subsequent purchase will not include partnership status investment. But there is a way for them to lower the cost of their aircraft from the $105 Million the OEM and JPO is currently aiming for, but this entails converting some of the remaining 90 aircraft to the F-35A configuration which would save them approximately $20 Million per aircraft. They don't really need an F-35B fleet that is greater than 60 aircraft to sustain a one carrier surge requirement so they could very easily buy 50-70 F-35As instead and save a significant amount of money in procurement and long term O&S provided the Typhoon lobby allows this to be done politically.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Lisa » 23 Dec 2017 18:32

^ I have gone through the said report and cannot find a reference to $200 million. Pillip can you help me?

https://www.parliament.uk/business/comm ... hed-17-19/


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