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International Aerospace Discussion

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 13 Oct 2017 01:52

Safran Helicopters reveals new engine family for rotorcraft

Safran Helicopter Engines has unveiled a new family of powerplants for military and commercial rotorcraft covering the 2,500 to over 3,000 shp power range.

The Aneto high power engine family was launched in early October and is said by the French-based company to feature “ground-breaking” technologies.

Developed via the Safran Helicopter Engines Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap, the Aneto-series covers several engine models for the super-medium and heavy helicopter market.

The first Aneto-1K engine is rated at 2,500 shp and has already been selected to power the AgustaWestland AW189K. The engine and helicopter combination flew for the first time in March and is slated to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2018.

As noted by the company, the engines should offer superior performance (25% more power compared with existing engines of the same volume is quoted) with reduced operating costs (Safran touts up to 15% in fuel savings), particularly in ‘hot and high’ operating conditions. The engines are also said to be more reliable than existing units, requiring less maintenance.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 13 Oct 2017 22:55

Japan positions C-2 transport for exports

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) is increasing efforts to promote Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ (KHI’s) C-2 medium transport aircraft to international customers, it confirmed on 6 October.

The MoD said in a statement that, for the first time, it is flying the C-2 to foreign countries to display the aircraft to customers in the Middle East and New Zealand.

The MoD added that the Japan Air Self-Defense Force will fly the C-2 to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to participate in the Dubai Airshow in mid-November while later that month, it will present the aircraft to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

The MoD cited Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera as saying that the C-2’s capabilities had attracted interest in international markets and that the decision to display the aircraft in the Middle East and New Zealand is an opportunity to demonstrate Japanese defence technologies.

The KHI C-2 formally entered service into the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) in March 2016. The JASDF currently operates four C-2s but it is expected to order about 60 aircraft in total to replace its ageing Kawasaki C-1 and Lockheed Martin C-130H transports.

According to Jane’s All The World's Aircraft: Development & Production , the 44-m long C-2 is the largest transport aircraft in service with the JASDF. It is intended to provide greater range than the platforms it is replacing, with a stated range of 3,024 n miles (5,600 km; 3,480 miles) when carrying its maximum payload of 30 tonnes.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 14 Oct 2017 03:54

First flight shouldn't be more than a few weeks away..


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 14 Oct 2017 08:13

Unusually clear depiction of Tornado thrust reversers in action
https://youtu.be/iP6NWa-BVkw?t=209

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 14 Oct 2017 08:18

the C2 seems very similar to the embraer KC390 and our stillborn MTA hot air project.

perhaps a new dharmic claimant to the empty MTA throne if we want to establish ties to Japan using a large but non-weaponized project which all can piously claim is a non-lethal export onlee?

Soryu US2 C2 shinkansenN700 the list of cookies grows longer. time to sit down and eat. i know we do the chai biskoot thing well, none dare doubt that but we gotta get things done sometime...just saying :D

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 14 Oct 2017 09:08

Singha wrote:the C2 seems very similar to the embraer KC390 and our stillborn MTA hot air project.

perhaps a new dharmic claimant to the empty MTA throne if we want to establish ties to Japan using a large but non-weaponized project which all can piously claim is a non-lethal export onlee?

Soryu US2 C2 shinkansenN700 the list of cookies grows longer. time to sit down and eat. i know we do the chai biskoot thing well, none dare doubt that but we gotta get things done sometime...just saying :D

For India the critical thing will be high altitude high temperature performance. 14000 feet + 30-35 deg C

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Zynda » 15 Oct 2017 12:04

Not sure if Times of Islamabad is reliable...but
Pakistan Russia in talks for fifth generation fighter jet: RUSI

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Air Force which has always been equipped with US fighters is now in consultation with an eye to buying the latest Russian aircraft. It has already signed deals on engineering procurement and Russian engines for its joint fighter produced with China, the JF-17.

“It is no secret that the US has made it harder for Pakistan to buy its F-16s and military aid has been drastically cut in the past two years.

Pakistan has therefore had to look to Turkey and Jordan for procuring used F-16s which are not quite the standard required to counter-balance the Indian Air Force.”

The RUSI said that Pakistan’s shift comes in view of the almost monthly amendments and legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington against military sales to Pakistan which has prompted Islamabad to look elsewhere.

“The Russians have stepped into the gap, providing military attack helicopters – a historic first, given Pakistani reliance on American aircraft for six decades. And the embrace is widening. Last year saw the first military drills between the Pakistani and Russian militaries.

This was followed last week by the country’s special forces exercising in the Caucasus with Russia. The drills covered mountain warfare, countering urban terrorism and engaging in broader land warfare,” said the report.

It said that Kremlin is uneasy about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s deep embrace of the US and closer military ties with Washington. And, as the Indians now buy US and French fighters, Russia too is looking elsewhere, including Moscow’s participation in the alliance with China and Pakistan over rising tensions in Afghanistan and Central Asia, it said.

The RUSI report noted that Russia’s strategic turnaround in Afghanistan has also been most remarkable as gone are the old zero-sum game theories applied to the Taliban and the fighters of the Northern Alliance, to be replaced by the courting of both Russia and Pakistan of the Taliban.

The two militaries are cosying up and strategic objectives are aligning in the Middle East and Central Asia, it said.


Wonder how TSP will pay for 5th gen aircrafts? Does the above means that J-20 is no longer in question? :)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 15 Oct 2017 12:34

Its quoting a comment piece in RUSI. That author appears to be treating a lot of prevailing rumour as fact (eg. PAF training TuAF pilots) though the general trend of Pak-Russia ties is accurate.

The PAF has its eye on a 5th gen fighter but its not a Russian one. The natural successor to the JF-17 is the J-31. Cheap but good value-for-money. Can be locally assembled. Developed solely for the export market while the PLAAF equips itself with more not-for-export capable aircraft (J-10 & J-11.. succeeded by the J-20).

Growing Pakistan–Russia Military Ties Reflect Central Asia’s Changing Geopolitics - RUSI
Kamal Alam

Pakistan’s military is intensifying security cooperation with Russia. It is a remarkable and historic turnaround for two countries that for many decades considered each other rivals.
Since independence in 1947, Pakistan has been a frontline state for US dominance of the region. It became clear to the US then that they would need Pakistan’s military and its airspace to monitor Soviet activity.

Pakistan was central to the 1960 U-2 spy plane incident, as Peshawar hosted the US Air Force planes in their forward operating bases against the Soviets. Throughout the 1980s, the CIA used Pakistan’s military to train insurgents to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan and launch raids into Soviet Central Asia.

It can also be argued that the US always favoured Pakistan over India during its wars; at least while Henry Kissinger was Secretary of State. However, now as Pakistan marks its 70th year, there seems to be a strategic shift towards Russia by Pakistan’s military leadership.

The Pakistan Air Force which has always been equipped with US fighters is now in consultation with an eye to buying the latest Russian aircraft. It has already signed deals on engineering procurement and Russian engines for its joint fighter produced with China, the JF-17.

It is no secret that the US has made it harder for Pakistan to buy its F-16s and military aid has been drastically cut in the past two years. Pakistan has therefore had to look to Turkey and Jordan for procuring used F-16s which are not quite the standard required to counter-balance the Indian Air Force.

Pakistan’s frustrations with the F-16 difficulties do not just end at the procurement level. For Pakistan is also training Turkish Air Force pilots, to make up for the shortfall created by the arrest of many Turkish pilots following last year’s failed coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

However, the US blocked this effort, much to the dismay of both the Turkish and Pakistani Air Forces. Besides, the almost monthly amendments and legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington against military sales to Pakistan has prompted Islamabad to look elsewhere.

The Russians have stepped into the gap, providing military attack helicopters – a historic first, given Pakistani reliance on American aircraft for six decades.

And the embrace is widening. Last year saw the first military drills between the Pakistani and Russian militaries. This was followed last week by the country’s special forces exercising in the Caucasus with Russia. The drills covered mountain warfare, countering urban terrorism and engaging in broader land warfare.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby deejay » 15 Oct 2017 13:15

Viv, PAF instructors have indeed been training the TuAF pilots with at least one instructor dying in crash in Turkey.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 15 Oct 2017 13:37

deejay wrote:Viv, PAF instructors have indeed been training the TuAF pilots with at least one instructor dying in crash in Turkey.

PAF has had an exchange program with the TAF since the 80s IIRC with two pilots from each force, cross deployed. Extended in 2015 (the Turkish coup attempt & subsequent purge happened in the July-Aug 2016).

Pakistan, Turkey sign MoU for training pilots - Jun 18, 2015
Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Turkish Air Force at the opening ceremony of Multinational Military Flight Crew Training (MMFCT) Centre on Wednesday.

Both the air forces have agreed to exchange two pilots for training every year. This would enhance the bilateral relations at a grass root level.

According to PAF, the main purpose of Multinational Military Flight Crew Training Centre (MMFCT-C) is to provide comprehensive training solutions to Fighter Pilots of Allies and to develop flight training tactics and techniques in line with Nato operational requirements.

Such pilot exchange programs are common in the West/NATO as well. But that shouldn't be conflated with the idea of the PAF as an organisation "training" its counterpart in Turkey. The TAF still has an F-16 fleet of 245 units (compared to just 75 for the PAF). Even after dismissing 350 pilots, the TAF was still left with ~1,300 serving pilots (assuming it started off with a 2.5-1 pilot-aircraft ratio). While veteran exchange pilots could be useful for training, fact remains, the TAF is quite capable of reconstituting the purged part without any assistance.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby deejay » 15 Oct 2017 13:46

Viv, I am aware but that still does not change the fact that PAF training pilots for TuAF is not a rumour. However, the PAF getting 5th Gen Jets from Russia is a rumour. Even we are blowing our bank to get the 5th Gen planes from Russia. Pakis are not left with enough grass to afford this kind of deal.

Of course if US and IMF continue to hand out doles, they may have the money.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Ravi Karumanchiri » 17 Oct 2017 14:20

European giant Airbus to buy majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries program

The two aircraft manufacturers announced the partnership Monday evening, weeks after the United States announced 300 per cent preliminary duties on exports of the aircraft following a complaint from Airbus rival Boeing.


With this deal, Canada would become Airbus’s fifth home country and first outside Europe.

The CSeries headquarters and main assembly line will remain in the Montreal area, but a second production line for the 100- to 150-seat plane will be set up at Airbus’s facility in Alabama to meet demand from U.S. customers and avoid duties.

Airbus has promised to maintain 100 per cent of those employed Mirabel, Que., and to keep production at the Mirabel plant, where production will be ramped up far beyond its current rate.

The union representing many Bombardier workers said it’s too early to celebrate even though Airbus’ stake could strengthen the CSeries.

“It is a sad day that a high-tech Canadian treasure is ending up in European control, but we can take some satisfaction that the CSeries is getting some needed stability,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

“The attempt to weaken Bombardier has pushed it to join with one of its competitors, which should not have had needed to happen,” Dias said. “Ultimately, the U.S. actions have created a stronger Bombardier.”

Even though talks began in August, months after Boeing challenged government subsidies to Bombardier, Enders said the partnership wasn’t motivated by the trade dispute.

“It was motivated by the clear recognition that the stars were kind of all aligned this time,” he said.

...<SNIP>....

The big losers are Boeing and Brazil’s Embraer, said industry analyst Chris Murray of AltaCorp Capital.

“Certainly this makes a much, much stronger program and certainly more competitive against anything Boeing would want to offer,” he said.

... <SNIP>...

Quebec economy, science and innovation Minister Dominique Anglade said the strategic partnership will ensure the sustainability of the CSeries and consolidate Quebec’s aerospace cluster.

“In the current context, the partnership with Airbus is, for us, the best solution to ensure the maintenance and creation of jobs in this strategic sector of the Quebec economy,” she stated in a news release.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 18 Oct 2017 18:27

Additional Details on Aussie Growlers and their formal involvement in the Next Generation Jammer development program -

RAAF prepares to bring EA-18G into service -Jane's International Defence Review- October,2017

Australia’s latest Defence White Paper, released in February 2016, said the EA-18G fleet would “be periodically upgraded over their operational lives to maintain commonality with the Growler fleet operated by the United States”. Aligned to this intent, the Commonwealth is nearing agreement to join the USN’s AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer – Medium Band (NGJ-MB) programme as it seeks to ‘future proof’ its new AEA capability.

Defence minister Marise Payne announced in March this year that Australia would invest AUD250 million to partner with the United States on NGJ development and futureproof the Growler’s capability. “As this is a rapidly evolving area we will work in partnership with the US Navy to develop the next-generation jamming capability, which will ensure that these aircraft remain at the technological forefront throughout their service life,” she said.NAVAIR confirmed in early July that representatives from the Australian DoD are negotiating an agreement with NAVAIR’s AEA Systems and EA-6B Program Office (PMA-234) and the Navy IPO to come on board the NGJ-MB development, previously known as NGJ Increment 1. According to NAVAIR, during a Cooperative Partnership week in mid-June, the RAAF “had an opportunity to gain insight into the current status of the NGJ-MB programme, in anticipation of formally entering a cooperative project later this year”. It added that the agreement “will solidify both governments’ intent to establish the joint programme office and mature the electronic warfare capability together”.

In April 2016 Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems was awarded a USD1 billion contract by PMA-234 for engineering and manufacturing development of the next-generation ALQ-249 NGJ-MB electronic attack pod as a replacement for ALQ-99 from 2021. Intended to provide the EA-18G with enhanced AEA capabilities to disrupt and degrade enemy air-defence and ground communication systems, the system represents a step change from the AN/ALQ-99 TJS in terms of its software-based digital architecture, and use of high-power active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs) based on Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology.

PMA-234 completed a Critical Design Review (CDR) for the NGJ-MB in late April this year. The CDR confirmed the maturity of the design, and gave the green light for the fabrication and assembly of test articles.

Another potential upgrade is the acquisition of the extended range (ER) variant of the Orbital ATK AGM-88E AARGM missile in development for the USN. AARGM ER is expected to double the range of the AGM-88E, providing improved survivability and effectiveness against complex, new, and emerging threats. At this stage, the procurement of AARGM ER “is still subject to consideration”, a DoD spokesperson told Jane’s .

Image



I expect this partnership to extend to the NGJ-LB/Increment-2 as well, which is just getting started as a program, will be competitively acquired (not a direct deal for Raytheon) and which has an IOC window 3-4 years after that of the Increment-1/MB pod.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 19 Oct 2017 00:27

US clears $2.4 billion upgrade for 123 Greek F-16s to F-16V standard

WASHINGTON --- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Greece for an upgrade of F-16 aircraft to an F-16 Block V configuration. The estimated cost is $2.404 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on October 16, 2017.

The Government of Greece has requested a possible purchase of an upgrade of its existing F-16 fleet to an F-16 Block V configuration which includes up to one hundred twenty-five (125) APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radars (includes two (2) spares); one hundred twenty-three (123) Modular Mission Computers (MMCs); one hundred twenty-three (123) LINK-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS-JTRS) with TACAN and EHSI; one hundred twenty-three (123) LN260 Embedded Global Navigation Systems (EGI)/Inertial Navigation Systems (INS); and one hundred twenty-three (123) Improved Programmable Display Generators (iPDGs).

Also included in the proposed sale are up to one hundred twenty-three (123) APX-126 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) Combined Interrogator Transponders (CIT); one (1) Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); one (1) F-16V Simulator; upgrade to two (2) existing simulators; one (1) Avionics Level Test Station; Secure Communications, cryptographic equipment and navigation equipment; upgrade and integration of the Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suite (ASPIS) I to ASPIS II on twenty-six (26) F-16s; Ground Support System, systems integration and test; spares and repair parts, support and test equipment; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, logistical, and technical support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The total estimated program cost is $2.404 billion.
..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 19 Oct 2017 00:52

This is a pretty substantial upgrade in terms of number of units. Takes overall order book for the AN/APG-83 AESA to close to 500 (Taiwan, South Korea, Bahrain, Greece and the USAF ANG). This with no decision yet on the Active USAF component upgrades, or the Big version of the radar that will be going into the Bomber fleet.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Prem » 19 Oct 2017 01:05

http://www.businessinsider.com/chinese- ... sh-2017-10

China's first space station is doomed — but objects inside of it may reach the ground unharmed

Launched in September 2011, China's first space station — Tiangong-1 — will soon burst into a fiery rain of debris over Earth.China recently told the United Nations that Tiangong-1 could reenter our atmosphere by early 2018. When it does, extreme heat and pressure caused by plowing through air at more than 15,000 miles per hour will destroy the 8.5-ton spacecraft.But not everything may vanish.Bill Ailor, an aerospace engineer and atmospheric reentry specialist, says there's actually a good chance gear and hardware left onboard could survive intact all the way to the ground, thanks to Tiangong-1's onion-like layers of protective material."The thing about a space station is that it's typically got things on the inside," Ailor, who works for the Aerospace Corporation, told Business Insider. "So basically, the heating will just strip these various layers off. If you've got enough layers, a lot of the energy is gone before a particular object falls out, it doesn't get hot, and it lands on the ground."When NASA's Columbia space shuttle broke up over the US, for example, he said investigators recovered a working flight computer — an artifact that ultimately helped explain how the deadly incident happened.In the same note, China also said it lost contact with the spacecraft on March 16, 2016, after it'd "fully fulfilled its historic mission."
By May 2017, Tiangong-1 was coasting about 218 miles above Earth yet dropping by about 525 feet per day. Its altitude has since plummeted to about 180 miles, according to The Guardian.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 19 Oct 2017 01:31

ADEX 2017- KAI refining KF-X configuration ahead of key milestones

Image

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is in the process of refining the final configuration of its Korean Fighter Experimental (KFX) aircraft ahead of a number of milestones that are due in the coming months and years, Jane’s was told on 17 October.

Speaking at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) 2017, a senior programme official said that, while the baseline twin-jet configuration has been chosen, the final refinements are now taking place ahead of a planned preliminary design review (PDR) mid next year.

“We are putting the final touches on the configuration, and plan to have a PDR in June 2018,” the official who asked not to be named said, adding that this PDR would be followed by a critical design review (CDR) in September 2019; a rollout of the first prototype in 2022; and an entry into service in 2026.

The KFX fighter was first revealed by South Korea’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) in 2010. Indonesia joined the project in 2012, with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) covering joint development of the platform that Jakarta refers to as IFX.

KAI is leading the USD8 billion project in partnership with Lockheed Martin, with Indonesia expected to invest USD1 billion to acquire fighter aircraft technologies, knowledge of production techniques, and an option to procure up to 50 fighters at a later date. Jakarta should also benefit from any future exports of the aircraft.

While initial operational capability (IOC) for the KFX/IFX was planned for 2023, budgetary constraints and concerns over technical risk prompted KAI to re-align the programme from a ‘fifth-generation’ fighter into a less sophisticated '4.5 generation'.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 19 Oct 2017 03:38

They won't get to IOC even for 4.5 generation by 2023. Need to be realistic. If it is a multi-role platform will take at the very least 5-8 years of hard developmental testing once they have a definitive configuration sealed and are able to get out of the initial prototype test phase. This is more of a late 2020s, early 2030s from effective multi-role capability in appropriate quantity (1-2 operational units) for SoKo.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 20 Oct 2017 02:26

Some good shots and write up on Hellenic Mirage 2000s. Check it out....

http://aviationphotodigest.com/hellenic-deltas/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 20 Oct 2017 16:06

Good B-Roll footage of F-35Bs operating out of Japan -


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2017 05:13

From an IHS "Parting Shot" commentary received via email. It seems that this series is back (used to be monthly, until a few years ago). This one is by Martin Streetly.

Parting Shot: F-35 ISR payloads : Jane's International Defence Review

When attempting to assess the F-35’s capabilities as an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platform, the open world analyst is at a distinct disadvantage as there are as yet no real matrices by which to judge them. All that can be said with certainty is that the aircraft is equipped with an integrated suite of sensors that have the potential to make it an effective ISR tool.

To fit it for its various roles – listed by Lockheed Martin as comprising air-to-air combat, air-to-surface strike, electronic attack (EA), command and control (C2), and ISR – the F-35’s sensor/avionics suite includes the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-81 multimode, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; the Northrop Grumman/Lockheed Martin AN/AAQ-37 electro-optic (EO) distributed aperture system (EO-DAS) imaging architecture; an internally mounted Lockheed Martin EO targeting system (EOTS); and BAE Systems AN/ASQ-239 Barracuda defensive aids suite.

Taking these in turn, the AN/APG-81 offers synthetic aperture radar (SAR), ground-moving target indication (GMTI) and track, spotlight SAR, and high-resolution ground mapping air-to-surface modes, all of which form an effective ISR tool set. Within the F-35 weapon system, acquired radar data is fused with that from the aircraft’s other sensors to provide the pilot with access to as complete as possible situational awareness.

In terms of ISR effectiveness, the choke point for AN/APG-81 derived data centres on how that data is handed off. In this context, the F-35 is equipped with a software-defined radio communications, navigation, and identification (CNI) capability, which is logged as providing (among other things) multiple voice encryption modes, 300 MHz to 3 GHz satellite communications, a weapons datalink, Link 4 and 16, and an intra-flight datalink. If correctly described (and bearing in mind a lack of precise parametric information), such a fit does not bode well for the distribution of bandwidth heavy radar imagery (if the intent is to offload raw material rather than the onboard processed ‘God’s-eye view’) to external users. However, Lockheed Martin-sourced view graphs do appear to indicate that the F-35’s radar will also be used as a passive electronic support capability against radio frequency (RF) emitters within its field-of-view.

For its part, AN/AAQ-37 EO-DAS comprises six mid-wave infrared (MWIR, 3-8 µm band) focal plane arrays that are grouped around the F-35’s airframe to provide hemispherical situational awareness, missile warning, air-to-air threat warning, and day/night pilot vision support. Within its operating domain the system is supported by the EOTS, which takes the form of a high-magnification MWIR telescope that can function as an air-to-surface forward-looking IR (FLIR) tracker, and an air-to-air IR search-and-track tool. The EOTS incorporates an eye-safe diode-pumped laser range-finder/designator. While both elements of the F-35’s EO imaging capability appear to be integrated with one another and the aircraft’s radar, the description given suggests an architecture that is primarily combat orientated rather than one that provides a reconnaissance imaging capability. If it does generate reconnaissance grade imagery, the EO-DAS/EOTS package faces the same bandwidth constraints as the aircraft’s radar when it comes to imagery hand-off.

The remaining cited part of the F-35’s avionics fit – its AN/ASQ-239 RF electronic warfare system – provides the aircraft with all-aspect, broadband, radar warning, and emitter geo-location; RF and IR countermeasures options; and simultaneous jamming and threat warning functionality. In ISR terms, the radar warning and emitter geo-location capabilities have obvious utility, particularly when fused with data derived from the aircraft’s radar’s receiver chain.

The F-35’s sensor suite has the potential to provide useful ISR capabilities within the radar and EO imaging, and RF emitter identification and location domains, and to amplify those capabilities using its low-observability characteristics (‘stealth’) to undertake ‘stand-in’ operations. However, the platform appears to be up against the frequently encountered problem of handing off data-heavy material. Much will depend on exactly what on-board processed situational awareness picture or raw data is to be transmitted and whether or not ISR will form a mission set in its own right or will be seen as an ancillary to the type’s combat roles.

Finally, it is worth noting that transmitting ISR data in real time is going to compromise the F-35’s ‘stealthiness’ and it remains to be seen whether this will be acceptable or whether onboard data storage will be used to hold material until that point in the mission where it is safe to begin transmission.



As the author discusses, the F-35/JSF has three data sharing links with different objectives, design drivers and capability. MADL is short range, directional, and LPI/LPD and operates at higher frequency via AESA emitters located around the aircraft. It is not designed to transfer very large loads of data over great distances as it is designed to be discrete and hard to detect and intercept. Moreover, it shares situational awareness and information required for cooperative targeting and not necessarily raw sensor data. Link-16 is small-medium pipe data, and is longer ranged but designed around the lowest denominator with the overall tactical chain. Finally, there is SATCOM which is more of a C2 node and not tactical (beyond a point).

There is a big-data pipe that the Navy has on the E-2Ds and EA-18Gs, that Boeing is planning on integrating on the Block III Super Hornet. It handles a significantly greater volume of data compared to L16, is lower latency but is not LPI/LPD. The Navy will likely field this on the F-35C at some point using its CNI suite which has antennas covering most of the relevant bandwidth so you need terminals and software. The Air-Force will likely wait for more expotic solutions since they have other LPI/LPD LO platforms out there in the B-21, and F-22. It is also quite likely that they already have a large pipe LPI/LPD data link for the RQ-180 and B-21 either fielded or int he works. For strategic assets they have very large AESA antennas for SATCOM but that won't work on tactical fighters. Likely will be something based on existing waveforms using installed antenna architectures.

The issue with data-downlink isn't just restricted to the ISR mission or tactical need. Overall, the combined sensors and the PHM system onboard generates an insane amount of data per sortie, much of which at the moment does not get offloaded, processed and used tactically. This is something they are looking to change in the future. In the video linked below, the speaker talks about roughly 1 terabyte of data per sortie.

https://livestream.com/wab/tailhook2017

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby VinodTK » 22 Oct 2017 21:36

How the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 Will Go to War Against Russia's Su-57 or China's J-20
Some upgrades are coming.

How the U.S. Navy's F/A-18 Will Go to War Against Russia's Su-57 or China's J-20
Boeing has awarded Lockheed Martin two new contracts to upgrade its IRST21 sensor system for use on the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet. Boeing is developing the upgraded Block III Super Hornet for the sea service.

The new upgraded long-wave infrared search and track system will afford the Navy the capability to detect and track new adversary stealth aircraft such as the Chinese Chengdu J-20 or the Russian Sukhoi Su-57 PAK-FA at extended ranges. It also affords the carrier air wing a type of sensor that cannot be disrupted by increasingly capable enemy electronic warfare systems.

"The U.S. Navy's strategic block upgrade program enables us to continue advancing our technology and rapidly deliver it to the warfighter," Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control/Special Operations Forces Contractor Logistics Support Services at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, said.

"We are excited to implement the Block II upgrades and enhance IRST21's performance."

According to Lockheed, the two Block II contracts provide up to $100 million for developing advanced software, performing hardware upgrades and delivering prototypes.

“These efforts will further enhance IRST21's proven detection, tracking and ranging capabilities in radar-denied environments,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

“Compared to radar, IRST21 significantly enhances the resolution of multiple targets, enabling pilots to accurately identify threat formations at longer ranges. This ‘see first, strike first’ capability empowers pilots with greater reaction time, improving survivability.”

The ability to engage stealthy airborne targets is one of the Block III’s selling points and should keep the Super Hornet relevant into the 2040s.

“That IRST sensor is a key capability Super Hornet brings to the carrier air wing that nobody else has,” Dan Gillian, Boeing’s F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager told The National Interest earlier this year.

“It is a counter-air, counter-stealth targeting capability.”

Unlike Boeing’s previous Advanced Super Hornet concept that made its debut in 2013, the new Block III aircraft is a more modest proposition that is designed to support the rest of the air wing including the Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and the EA-18G Growler under the service Naval Integrated Fire Control Counter Air construct (NIFC-CA).

The Block III takes the existing upgrade path for the Super Hornet—including biennial hardware and software upgrades—and expands upon those. Indeed, some of the existing planned upgrades to the jet’s powerful Raytheon AN/APG-79 active electronically scanned array radar, AN/ALQ-214 Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) Block IV suite and the Lockheed Martin AN/ASG-34 Infrared Search and Track pod—the IRST21 sensor—are part of the Block III package.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the F/A-18E/F will be serving in the fleet until at least 2040. As such, the Navy has requested funding for the advanced Block III version of the venerable Super Hornet in the 2018 budget. Many of those modifications are also likely to be used onboard the EA-18G Growler variant too.

If the Super Hornet is still in service in the 2040s, it would be a remarkable feat for an aircraft that was designed as an interim stopgap after the Navy’s McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II was and cancelled and other naval aviation modernization efforts of the early 1990s such as the NATF, A-X and AF-X came to naught.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 22 Oct 2017 23:22

If the Super Hornet is still in service in the 2040s, it would be a remarkable feat for an aircraft that was designed as an interim stopgap after the Navy’s McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II was and cancelled and other naval aviation modernization efforts of the early 1990s such as the NATF, A-X and AF-X came to naught.


This is preplexing until you realize that Yahoo published an article from National Interest and their click driving editor. The SH would be expected to serve till beyond 2040 just given basic math and fleet planning. It is a 6000 hour frame that has has SLEP certified for another 3000 hours. It is quite possible that the USN would be able to extend the life via another 3000 hour SLEP. Even otherwise an airframe delivered in 2018 will burn through its 9000 hour frame life only in the mid 2040s and the USN plans on buying Rhino's till the early 2020s . In fact Strike Eagles delivered a decade plus earlier will likely serve till then as well.

Contrary to what hipster Dave has going inside his head it would be extremely surprising if the SH did not serve well into the 2040s much like the Harriers will through the 2020s, or the classic hornet's till late 2020s as well.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Oct 2017 12:39

http://www.popularmechanics.com/militar ... or-combat/
Nearly 200 of America's F-35s May Remain Indefinitely Unfit for Combat (Updated)
As the services buy new planes, older ones may remain permanently unfit for combat.

The Pentagon may end up with about 200 F-35s that remain unready for war. Because of defense budget headaches, the money to fix them up is going somewhere else.

The Armed Services are presently spending their money on brand new Joint Strike Fighters. That means up to $40 billion in older planes—built before the F-35 design was complete—could forgo upgrades meant to bring them up to the latest standard.

Dan Grazier, an analyst for the Project on Government Oversight, explains in The National Interest that 108 early model F-35s may remain non-combat-rated—that is, unprepared for combat and suitable only for air shows and training missions. There are also 81 early model Navy and Marine Corps F-35s in need of upgrades, which adds up to 189 F-35s that can't go to war.

The root of this predicament is a procurement model known as concurrency. The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin knew that the F-35 program, which planned to deliver variants for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, would be immensely complex, requiring many years and billions of dollars to complete. While the basic prototype first flew in 2000, the F-35's development took a total of more than 15 years. The final version of the F-35's software, Block 3F, is still undergoing product testing.

To let the manufacturing base get a head start on making F-35s, and for the services to get their hands on the plane ASAP, they and Lockheed Martin collectively agreed to concurrently build F-35s while still finalizing their development. That means the early birds would need to be brought up to the final standard at a later date.

Marine Corps F-35B variant hovering.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Farbo
The earlier F-35 models in question are all built to the incomplete Block 2B standard, two levels lower than the final Block 3F, and there are 213 software and hardware differences between the two standards. Block 2B provides some but not all of the F-35's combat capability. The Air Force accepted 108 Block 2B F-35As, while the Navy and Marines collectively accepted another 81 F-35B and -C models.

This new money-saving proposal would keep the 108 Air Force F-35s (which cost taxpayers a staggering $21.4 billion, according to Grazier) at a non-combat-rated status. The Project on Government Oversight contacted the F-35 program office (which manages all three variants of the plane) and Lockheed Martin asking when the 81 Navy and Marine Corps early version jets would be upgraded to Block 3F and never got a response.

What happened to all the money for these upgrades? The Armed Services are currently spending their procurement money buying the latest F-35s, and with limited defense dollars to go around, the services are buying the jet in large lots to lower costs. If the Pentagon diverts monies from buying new jets to upgrading the old ones, it will have to buy fewer new jets at higher prices per plane. However, the quest to lower prices today may mean that 189 airplanes—a $39.4 billion investment—end up sub-par.

It's important to note that the this is just one option floated by the F-35 office and may not come to pass. Even if it is implemented, the F-35's production lines will crank out planes for decades, and the upgrades could be performed at a later date when money is available. What is for certain, however, is that the concurrency model has been a persistent, decade-long headache for everyone involved. Next time, maybe the Pentagon should avoid buying a warplane until it is truly ready for mass production.

Update: A U.S. Air Force official tells Popular Mechanics that, "the Air Force plans to upgrade all aircraft in question to Software Block 3F."


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Viv S » 23 Oct 2017 14:08

Philip wrote:http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a28685/f-35s-unfit-for-combat/
Nearly 200 of America's F-35s May Remain Indefinitely Unfit for Combat (Updated)
As the services buy new planes, older ones may remain permanently unfit for combat.

Typical bullshit.

- There are ~ 90 aircraft (not 'nearly 200') in the Block 2B configuration that need a hardware update to reach full spec - Block 3F.

- The 2B aircraft are all capable of combat (some are currently deployed to Japan). Whether they are employed for operational tasks (i.e. combat-coded) or not, is entirely upto the service that owns them.

- There are a certain number of aircraft required for operational conversion & training - upgrading those aircraft is an unnecessary expense.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 23 Oct 2017 14:39

I have tried to explain all to him earlier..He doesn't seems to understand that there are quite a lot of F-35's that simply will never see combat because they aren't meant to. They are there to train a large number of pilots, for tactics development, and for testing. The remaining, predominantly USMC aircraft will go to their respective depots, at a pre-determined time and get upgraded as per the individual service schedule. All of USAF combat coded jets are in 3I which means they require just a software update to get to 3F. In fact, some of the operational jets have already been ported over to early iterations of 3F. I even annotated a graphic to show where the operational squadrons were and where the test, tactics and training jets were located. Clearly to no avail :).

Clearly, unlike a small acquisition program (like say the F-22) the very large inventory of F-35s requires proportionally higher training footprint hence the USAF, which plans on operating 1500+ aircraft front loaded its training squadrons in order to prepare for eventually receiving 2-4 squadrons worth of aircraft a year at high LRIP and low FRP. The enterprise has trained 500 pilots till date and we aren't even out of Low Rate production yet.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5098&start=4560#p2219150

And then the article ends with :

Update: A U.S. Air Force official tells Popular Mechanics that, "the Air Force plans to upgrade all aircraft in question to Software Block 3F."


We'll at least, we got POGO to chime in. Run a hit job w/o getting official on the record statement ---> Hit job generates a million clicks. Get officials to respond, and issue an update ----> Update gets 10,000 clicks :-?
Last edited by brar_w on 23 Oct 2017 15:10, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby vina » 23 Oct 2017 15:05


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Rakesh » 27 Oct 2017 04:58

DoD needs to address challenges affecting readiness and cost transparency
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-75

The Department of Defense (DOD) is sustaining over 250 F-35 aircraft (F-35) and plans to triple the fleet by the end of 2021, but is facing sustainment challenges that are affecting warfighter readiness (see table). These challenges are largely the result of sustainment plans that do not fully include key requirements or aligned (timely and sufficient) funding. DOD is taking steps to address some challenges, but without more comprehensive plans and aligned funding, DOD risks being unable to fully leverage the F-35's capabilities and sustain a rapidly expanding fleet.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby shiv » 27 Oct 2017 20:24

You guys think you know about aircraft? Think again and never show off again..
https://twitter.com/mcgboye/status/922297759880822784

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Zynda » 27 Oct 2017 22:03

^^That kid was so cute and enthusiastic about explaining stuff. Just guessing here that perhaps some adult in his family is hooked on to flight sims. FSX & X-Plane & (Prepar 3D by Lockeed) are amazing flight sim and I've heard that in terms of operations, they get as real as possibly allowed. Just possible that kid showed enthusiasm and adult started explaining things. But it is still amazing to see how far he has managed to grasp.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 28 Oct 2017 18:46

Followup video of that Kid young pilot


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Lisa » 31 Oct 2017 00:19

The jet plane that shot itself down

http://datagenetics.com/blog/august22017/index.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Lisa » 31 Oct 2017 00:25

Duplicate

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 31 Oct 2017 17:17

New ELINT Payloads to be flight tested on the Predator B next year. Via Jane's IDR (posting snippets only):

ARDS ELINT pod set for 2018 flight testing on Predator B : Jane's International Defence Review, Weapons and Equipment, Germany

"This is a new high-sensitivity payload designed for long-range, long-endurance reconnaissance missions," Radermacher told the EW Europe 2017 conference in London.

"Integrated into a standard pod that will be mounted on the centreline hard point of Predator B, it will [provide] passive, wide-area ELINT over land and sea and enable high-fidelity detection and precision direction finding [DF] of RF [radio frequency] emitters to auto-generate the electronic order of battle."

He added, "Predator B is the ideal platform for ARDS as it deploys the capability with significantly greater endurance at much lower cost per flight hour compared with other platforms.

"Right now, Predator users are limited to radar and electro-optical sensors. What ARDS brings is a complementary capability for ELINT and electronic reconnaissance."

The prototype ARDS system, which is now undergoing systems integration prior to delivery to General Atomics, will cover the 1-26 GHz portion of the RF spectrum (with extension available to expand frequency coverage to 0.5-40 GHz). Raytheon Deutschland claims a DF accuracy of less than 0.5°; sensitivity of -84 dBm (continuous wave); frequency resolution of 100 Hz or lower; frequency accuracy of less than 100 kHz for pulse signals; less than 10 kHz for continuous wave emitters; and an instantaneous bandwidth of 1 GHz.

"The initial [prototype] version operates in three [frequency] bands," said Radermacher. "The pod will have five digitally-controlled interferometric antennas per band on each side, with each antenna group covering a 120° sector.

"The receiver is scanning through 40 GHz in 140 milliseconds. We can process up to four signals per side simultaneously."

Image



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby JayS » 31 Oct 2017 18:11

Lisa wrote:The jet plane that shot itself down

http://datagenetics.com/blog/august22017/index.html


What an incredible coincidence. :shock:

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Zynda » 31 Oct 2017 19:22

What are the white ordinances that are being carried by this F/A-18C Hornet? CBU 100 units?

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 01 Nov 2017 00:23

Posted from AW&ST

South Korea Tackles Challenging Systems Development In KF-X
Indigenous systems development intensifies KF-X challenge

Bradley Perrett, Kim Minseok Seoul
The Deep End

For an industry newcomer, developing a fighter airframe is difficult enough even when complex onboard systems are supplied by experienced foreign companies. Creating and integrating the most difficult equipment domestically is surely something to avoid.

Yet that is what South Korea is doing with its Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) KF-X indigenous fighter. To succeed, its engineers are adapting nonfighter and even nonaviation technologies. They are sidestepping challenging advances where they can and using some outside suppliers.

Perhaps the most notable system program aims at developing an indigenous radar with an active, electronically scanned array. But there are many other indigenous installations in the KF-X as well. From flight-control computers to hydraulics and the electronic warfare suite, South Korean engineers are, at least nominally, taking the lead. Whether they are always in fact leading is not so certain, since many foreign companies have been hired to assist.

Until 2015, as the defense ministry’s ambitious technology agency campaigned to launch KF-X, the fighter was supposed to have appeared first in a version with its most advanced systems supplied from abroad; local engineers would use the program to catch up and develop indigenous equipment for a later version.

But the country decided to go it alone that year following the revelation that the U.S. would not share integration technology for systems such as advanced radars—that is, let South Korea know how such equipment was designed and built. A point that has never been explained is why indigenous development was preferable to using European and Israeli systems.


Regardless, the result is that the technology organization, the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), has been taking on much of the hardest work, assisted to varying degrees by South Korean companies, mostly Hanwha and LIG Nex1. Those companies are also working on systems in which they had more experience and were always likely to handle. KAI is necessarily deeply involved as the prime contractor.

The choice last year of Hanwha’s defense electronics business, Hanwha Systems, to work with ADD to develop a fighter radar was a surprise; LIG Nex1 had much more experience in the field. Indeed, LIG Nex1 displayed a mockup of the antenna of what was probably its KF-X radar concept at the Seoul Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, held Oct. 16-22. The mockup, about 80 cm (32 in.) in diameter, presumably indicates the size of the still classified ADD design.

Hanwha Systems is working on the fighter’s targeting pod, no doubt with much support from ADD. The country has not made such a device before, but it has technology from naval infrared sensors. The key challenge involves reducing size and weight, says a project manager on the supplier side of the fighter program. ADD also has experience in developing a reconnaissance pod.

The choice of a pod, in contrast to the Lockheed Martin F-35’s internal system, was probably driven by ease of integration and a lack of space in the smaller South Korean aircraft. Using a pod implies a planned second, stealthy version of the KF-X will not have low radar signature in the surface-to-air role. The weapon bay intended for the second version is not likely to accommodate a large internal air-to-surface load, anyway.

By contrast, the electronic warfare (EW) system that LIG Nex1 is working on will be internal. The technology comes in part from the ALQ-200 EW pod used by South Korean F-16s and F-4s, says another supplier-side source.

The same company is supplying the flight-control computer, radar altimeter and flight data recorder. All of these are derived from systems developed for the Korean Air Lines Co. MUAV surveillance drone.

The predecessor program most relevant to KF-X is the one that developed the T-50 trainer and its light-attack versions. The T-50 used the conventional aeronautics hydraulic pressure of 3,000 psi (21,000 kPa). KAI wanted consideration of the more modern figure of 5,000 psi, which should have cut weight and bulk. But familiarity with 3,000-psi technology and the availability of testing equipment led to the decision to stay at that level, says the second supplier-side source. Spanish hydraulics specialist CESA will assist in hydraulics development, as well as in designing the arrestor hook.

Since the KF-X is bigger and carries more systems, notably a radar, electrical capacity is much greater than in the T-50. Power in the LIG Nex1 system is up more than 50%.

The head-up display (HUD) will be manufactured under license from BAE Systems by LIG Nex1, which will have to design the interface with the rest of the avionics. BAE also made the less advanced HUD in the T-50.

KAI chose Heroux-Devtek and Hanwha to develop the landing gear. Most of the work will surely be done by the experienced Canadian company, although this has not been officially announced.

The KF-X’s engine is the General Electric F414. Hanwha’s propulsion division, Hanwha Techwin, will make parts and, according to the companies’ joint statement, lead integration and installation. Again, the foreign manufacturer is likely to play a larger role than is acknowledged.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 03 Nov 2017 01:54

Wow!

Latest Afghan Super Tucanos to cost $174.5 million



The US Air Force’s latest batch of six Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucanos for Afghanistan cost $174.5 million, a price tag includes aircraft transportation, maintenance spares and advanced sensors, the service tells FlightGlobal.

The average price of an A-29 hovers around $10 million or more depending on modifications.


The six new Super Tucanos are the same variant as the previous 20 aircraft the USAF procured for delivery to the Afghan air force, an air force spokesman says.

The $174 million contract covers more than the aircraft and includes long lead parts, maintenance spares and cost of ferrying the aircraft to the training location. The six A-29s are equipped with avionics that manage the release of unguided munitions, such as Mk-81 and Mk-82 bombs, as well as guided GBU-12, GBU-58 bombs and 50-cal machine guns.

In addition to the Afghan air force delivery, Sierra Nevada and Embraer delivered the first two A-29 aircraft for the Lebanese air force on 9 October. The USAF handed over the aircraft to Lebanon’s army at the end of the October.


So a cool $74.5 million over the base price of an A-29 Super Tucano, for sensors, maintenance spares and cost of ferrying the aircraft to Afghanistan.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 03 Nov 2017 02:20

Posted from AW&ST. Additional $1 billion for a support package for 36 F-15QAs with options for 12 more. Those 36 F-15QA's could cost upto $12 billion for the package. Mind-boggling costs.

The U.S. government is talking up Qatar as a force for good in the Middle East as the State Department approves of a potential sale worth up to $1 billion for construction, cybersecurity and force protection infrastructure connected to Doha’s Boeing F-15QA fighter program.

In a Nov. 1 statement, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) describes Qatar as an “important force for political stability and economic progress in the Persian Gulf region.” This compares to June, when U.S. President Donald Trump sided with Saudi Arabia in an ongoing economic and diplomatic dispute with the small but wealthy Arab nation, which has been accused of sponsoring terrorist groups and cozying up to the U.S. and Saudi Arabia’s common adversary, Iran.

On June 14, at the height of the diplomatic crisis, the U.S. and Qatar reached an agreement on the purchase of 36 F-15QA aircraft. The fighter package had been approved by the State Department in November 2016 and is valued at $12 billion. U.S. Air Force officials say the package includes options for up to 12 additional aircraft, and a foreign military sales contract with Boeing is expected in the coming weeks.


In a sign that the Qatar program is advancing despite continued regional infighting, the State Department has approved Qatar’s supplementary request for local services and infrastructure to support the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF) adoption of the F-15QA. The new package, worth an estimated $1 billion, is subject to 30-day congressional notification period, which will probably pass without intervention given the magnitude of the F-15QA deal and its impact on the U.S. aerospace and defense industry. The work will be competed and will require economic or industrial offsets, DSCA says.

“This proposed sale supports the foreign policy and national security objectives of the U.S.,” the DSCA notification says. “Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the QEAF plays a predominant role in Qatar’s defense.”

The multirole F-15QA air-to-air and surface attack aircraft will be the centerpiece of QEAF’s combat fleet. If finalized, the F-15QA sale will sustain Boeing’s F-15 production line well into the early 2020s. The main suppliers include Astronautics, BAE Systems, Elbit Systems, General Electric Aviation, Honeywell Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, L3 Technologies, NavCom, Rockwell Collins, Teledyne and UTC Aerospace.

In an awkward twist, Saudi Arabia currently maintains the world’s most formidable F-15 fleet outside the U.S. Boeing is on contract to life-extend and convert legacy Saudi F-15s to the new “Saudi Advanced” configuration. It is also delivering new aircraft. So far this year, Boeing has delivered 11 F-15 models, including four in the last quarter.

Company officials say the version now being developed for Qatar will be the most potent Eagle version yet. It introduces a new cockpit and quad missile racks, and activates two additional weapon stations, among other features.

The Qatari fleet will be relatively small compared to the Royal Saudi Air Force’s fleet of 152 F-15SAs. But the Qatar jets will carry the latest weapons, sensors and electronic warfare equipment. Doha originally sought up to 72 aircraft, but the final number has been revised down to 48 at most.

The F-15QA will substantially increase the punching power of the QEAF, which currently operates a handful of Mirage 2000s and Alpha Jets. Qatar has also ordered 24 Rafales from France.

Qatar’s request includes design and construction services; new parking and loading ramps; hot cargo pads; taxiways; hangars; back shops; alert facilities; weapons storage areas; hardened shelters; squadron operations facilities; maintenance facilities; training facilities; information technology support and cyber facilities; force protection facilities; squadron operations facilities; F-15QA-related support structures; construction, facilities and design services; cybersecurity services; mission-critical computer resources; support services; force protection services; and logistics and program support, the DSCA says.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 03 Nov 2017 02:57

Japan’s Defense Ministry Urged To Start Fighter Program Soon

Image

Bradley Perrett

BEIJING—The Japanese aeronautics industry is pushing for an early start to development of the country’s next fighter, pointing to a record of good cost control and the need to pass on the experience of engineers who will soon retire.

The fighter project should be led by Japan, the industry says through its association, the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies. By advocating Japanese leadership, the society leaves open the possibility of a foreign partnership. Britain and Japan are looking at the possibility of cooperating in this field.

Under a program called Future Fighter, the Japan Air Self Defense Force needs a replacement for the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) F-2 in the 2030s. The government is due to decide by March 2019 whether to develop domestically, adapt a foreign design or fully import. By urging expedition, the society seems to imply there is some risk of deferral of the decision.


For the indigenous option, the ministry’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) has drawn up a concept design for a very large fighter. MHI would be the prime contractor for this aircraft, which would be called the F-3.

The F-2 was developed from 1990 to 2000. MHI, Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) and Fuji Heavy Industries (now Subaru) employed 270 engineers on the F-2, of whom only 20% are still working, the industry association says. A similar loss of F-2 experience must have occurred at suppliers.

Japan also has been running research programs that must have been training younger engineers. In the case of one of them—development of the MHI X-2 fighter-technology demonstrator—they have learned much about overall aircraft integration. Indeed, F-2 engineers have surely been working alongside them.

But the society says the new fighter program needs to begin soon enough for the diminished band of F-2 engineers to pass their skills on to people who have been involved in the X-2, KHI P-1 maritime patroller and C-2 airlifter programs.


Expenditures in the P-1 and C-2 programs were well controlled, the society argues. P-1 development cost only 40% as much as the U.S. spent in developing the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, it says, citing a study prepared for the ministry over the past year by accountancy firm KPMG. The P-1 is an all-new aircraft, whereas the P-8 is based on the 737-800 airliner. The C-2 cost 20% as much to develop as the AirbusA400M Atlas, according to the study. Both airlifters have entirely new airframes, but the C-2 uses the General ElectricCF6-80C2 civil engine; the A400M’s Europrop TP400 engine is new.

The P-1 and C-2 were late in development, taking 12 years and 16 years from launch to first delivery, respectively, instead of the originally planned 10 years each.

Japan has been laying technical groundwork for the F-3 for a decade or more, including preparation of a demonstrator engine by IHI Corp. The society points to ¥13 billion ($110 million) spent since 2010 on developing an integrated sensor system and particularly its centerpiece—a small, high-output radar that the country has been working on for at least a decade.

The integrated sensor suite is intended to fuse data from the radar, passive radio-frequency equipment and an infrared sensor to find and track aerial targets.

Continued funding of the radar is included in the ministry’s budget request for the fiscal year beginning in April 2018. The reason for calling it “small” is unknown, although a fighter sensor would not be as big as most radars mounted in larger aircraft or on ships. The antenna is an active electronically scanned array and uses gallium-nitride technology.

The defense ministry has had at least two demonstrators for fighter radar technology built over the past 10 years: one of square form only 45 cm (18 in.) across, and more recently one of unstated size with the usual rounded antenna shape for installation in a fighter nose. Since the F-3 probably would have an empty mass of more than 20 metric tons (44,000 lb.), it should easily be able to carry an antenna much larger than 45 cm.



South Korea's KF-X is moving ahead, as is Turkey's TF-X. And now the Japanese 5th gen fighter program is being pushed by their industry. Meanwhile, our AMCA program is lagging behind with apparently no serious funding available. Seriously pushing for more funding for the AMCA program will have to be one of the solutions that the IAF must propose to the Defence Minister. Work has to be begin now, for it to enter service in 2030.


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