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International Aerospace Discussion

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Dec 2017 21:22

Japan Refines Design For Indigenous Future Fighter

The latest concept design of Japan’s proposed indigenous fighter may have moved a little away from the bias toward long-range and endurance over flight performance that marked the previous preliminary design. The latest design exhibited is evidently 26DMU, the one prepared in the Japanese fiscal year beginning March 2014 as the last of a series of preliminary concepts.

Japan has planned to decide in mid-2018 whether to proceed with an indigenous or possibly internationally developed, aircraft as an alternative to a foreign design for its Future Fighter requirement. The aim is to replace the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries F-2 in the 2030s, but the defense ministry is leaving open the possibility of a delay.

Glimpses of 26DMU have appeared over the past year, but drawings revealed by the defense ministry at its annual technology seminar in November have made the design much clearer. The main change relative to the fiscal 2013 design 25DMU appears to be a reduction in the span of the wing and, as a result, its unusually high aspect ratio, or slenderness. The difference is difficult to judge from the low-resolution pictures, however.

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26DMU, the latest design for a Japanese indigenous fighter, has a wing with a more conventionally low aspect ratio. Credit: Colin Throm/AWST


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Dec 2017 21:34

MIT Develops Mach 0.8 Rocket Mini-Drone

The partnership that produced the Pentagon’s Perdix swarming drone is on to its next challenge: developing a small unmanned aircraft, called Firefly, that can be launched from a tactical aircraft to fly at Mach 0.8.

Perdix is one result of the Beaver Works research collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) aeronautics and astronautics department and MIT Lincoln Laboratory. It is an affiliation that has produced several innovative UAVs.

On behalf of Pentagon sponsors, Lincoln Lab channels design problems to MIT, where students dedicate themselves to pursuing solutions. “Perdix was our second project and was remarkably successful, turning into a program,” says John Hansman, MIT professor of aeronautics and astronautics.

Perdix began as an MIT AeroAstro project in 2010-11 to design and build a micro-UAV, called Locust, that could be air-launched from the flare dispensers on tactical fighters to form swarms and perform autonomous intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

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Firefly is designed to keep pace with its fighter launch platform, perhaps to act as a decoy. Credit: MIT

The Perdix, which unfolds after release to a wingspan of 11.8 in., weighs just 290 grams (10.2 oz.) and flies for more than 20 min. at 40-60 kt. The Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) took over the program and in October 2016 deployed a swarm of 103 Perdix from three F/A-18s.

The success of Perdix led Lincoln Lab to come back to MIT AeroAstro “and up the ante,” says Hansman. The new challenge from the U.S. Air Force was to develop a UAV no more than 2.5 in. wide and 17 in. long that could be air-launched from a fighter to fly at Mach 0.8 for 2-5 min.

“There was no vehicle with this speed, at this size, that could deploy off an aircraft,” he says. There was also no suitable propulsion system. “It is too small for a turbine and too fast for electric, while a pulse-jet presents thermal problems.”

The student team decided to go with a solid rocket, “but in a design space where no one had gone before,” Hansman says. Only 5-10 Newtons (1-2 lb.) of thrust was required, but the rocket motor had to run for as long as possible to maximize endurance.

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Renishaw Canada 3D-printed the thin-walled titanium body in two snap-fit halves. Credit: MIT

If a solid rocket burns too slowly, there is not enough pressure to maintain combustion, so the ammonium perchlorate propellant is mixed with an oxamide inhibitor to control the burn rate. “We use this burn-rate suppressant that cools the flame and changes the flame structure so that it burns slower,” doctoral candidate Tony Tao—who led design of the Locust/Perdix—told MIT News.

Where a model rocket will burn for 1-3 sec., the slow-burn propellant will power the 2-3-lb. Firefly for up to 3 min. “The real advantage is now we can schedule thrust by varying the inhibitor mix to vary burn rate,” says Hansman.

The Firefly is shaped like a seed. The bottom half is the rocket motor. The top half houses the payload, avionics and flight control system. A pop-out wing is mounted under the body, and deployable tail surfaces provide flight control.

Solid rockets usually burn from the inside out, says Hansman, but the Firefly’s motor burns from the aft end forward, exhausting through a graphite/ceramic nozzle. Most solid rockets are cylindrical, but because of the Firefly’s curved shape, the burning surface within the motor changes as propellant is consumed, which is another reason why inhibitor is mixed in to control the burn rate, he explains.

The titanium body of the UAV was produced by Renishaw Canada using additive manufacturing, making it one of the first 3D-printed rockets, says Hansman. Using selective laser melting, the body is printed in two halves that are designed to snap-fit together.

The thinness of the walls make the body a good application for 3D printing, says Mark Kirby, additive manufacturing manager at Renishaw Canada. Machining or casting would be difficult and expensive. The “switchblade” wing is made from machined titanium, deployed by a 3D-printed titanium spring.

Renishaw is to print three more shipsets of rocket cases, of a revised design with more curvature on the upper surface, more like a pressure vessel. “We’ve looked at printing it with integral channels for pressure tappings if they want to wind-tunnel test it,” Kirby says.

With the rocket motor so close to the electronics, thermal management is a challenge. The initial design had an inlet in the nose feeding free-stream air into a flow-through cooling duct separating the motor from the electronics. This has been replaced with an insulating layer, freeing up the nose for payload.

Engines have been printed and tested in partial burns. “We have not done a full engine yet,” says Hansman. The motor will not ignite at normal pressures, so an igniter charge is used to raise chamber temperatures and pressures to the point where the solid rocket will start burning. The laser igniter is mounted in a stabilizing tail unit that is blown off when the motor starts.

The students will finish work on the Firefly project within another year. “At some point, MIT is not the place for development. We will figure out when that is,” says Hansman. The Perdix transitioned to Lincoln Lab, which continued development, conducting its first air drop from an F-16 in 2014.

The Beaver Works collaboration with Lincoln Lab keeps MIT AeroAstro at sufficient distance from the Pentagon sponsor to allow students to work on operationally relevant design challenges.

Previous projects have included work for DARPA on the flexible manufacture of UAVs so that vehicles with different sizes and missions can be produced from one basic design. Using the same trapezoidal mold and stock carbon-fiber tubes of different lengths, MIT built long-endurance and backpackable UAVs and a system of three vehicles carrying a bistatic payload.

Students also made a low-reflectivity UAV for testing antenna patterns. For the Office of Naval Research, MIT students designed a UAV for ocean operations, the Dragonfly, that can autonomously land and recharge at sea. It is a floatplane with a self-righting system that automatically rotates the pontoons under the vehicle to flip it upright.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Dec 2017 21:39

Upskill Brings Wearable Augmented Reality to Manufacturing

At some point, the digitalization of manufacturing must connect to the worker on the shop floor. Monitors and tablets are common sights from machine shops to assembly lines, but alone they do not make the hands-on human part of the digital thread. Augmented reality (AR) can.

Vienna, Virginia-based Upskill is a startup developing software for industrial use of wearable AR. Two of its largest customers are Boeing and General Electric. They are also investors, Boeing HorizonX and GE Ventures having led the company’s Series B funding round in April.

Upskill’s Skylight software platform takes process documentation—from warehouse kitting through assembly instructions to maintenance procedures—and presents it in the worker’s line of sight via smart glasses. Instructions, diagrams, animations, even videos can be displayed using Glass Enterprise Edition devices developed by X, the advanced research arm of Google parent Alphabet.

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Skylight links a Glass Enterprise head-worn display with the Atlas Copco smart wrench to visualize torque being applied to a nut during engine maintenance. Credit: Upskill

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 04 Dec 2017 21:43

Machine Learning Optimizes Aerospace Designs

As aerospace systems become more capable and integrated, tools must advance to allow designers to cope with increasing complexity. From multi-scale simulation through computational intelligence and machine learning to augmented reality, engineering platforms are evolving to meet the challenges.

On the screen, a simplified digital representation of a heat exchanger rapidly cycles through thousands of possible ways to combine the key pieces in search of the optimum configuration with the highest heat transfer and smallest size. Fully rendered, the final design with its organic tangle of tubes looks like nothing a human engineer could conceive—because it was designed by a machine, not a person.

Turned into hardware, the product resulting from this automated optimization process is a 3D-printed plastic heat exchanger 20% smaller than the metallic equivalent. Its “non-intuitive topology” provides 80% higher heat transfer than a conventional design at fixed fluid power and volume.

The radically different heat-exchanger configuration was produced by a design framework called Discover, under development by the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) and aircraft equipment supplier UTC Aerospace Systems. The goal of Discover is to bring machine learning to bear on the design process to produce increasingly optimized systems more quickly.

Code: Select all

THE CHANGING FACE OF AEROSPACE DESIGN
* Algorithms can automatically optimize the topology of parts to reduce weight
* Machine learning can explore tens of thousands of design options to find the best solution
* Existing parts can be scanned and redesigned for 3D printing using convergent design
* High-fidelity, multi-scale physics-based simulations are becoming usable in preliminary design


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Airbus and Autodesk used generative design algorithms to evolve a lighter-weight biologically inspired structure for an A320 cabin partition. Credit: Airbus

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Singha » 04 Dec 2017 22:05

"Dharma can only be enforced by raw power. speaking of Dharma without the backing of power is the bleating of a sheep"

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 04 Dec 2017 23:05


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 05 Dec 2017 00:10

Next wave of Research and Development for USAF funded Next Generation Propulsion technology areas:-

USAF Unveils Future Power Research Plan Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Nov 29, 2017 , p. 6
Guy Norris


LOS ANGELES—The U.S. Air Force has revealed its top propulsion research priorities for the next decade, which target development of technologies for “disruptive” improvements in engines powering everything from future fighters and helicopters to hypersonic strike missiles and unmanned air vehicles.

The extensive list of leading-edge technology focus areas has emerged as the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) prepares for the first phase of its newly-initiated Advanced Turbine Technologies for Affordable Mission capabilities (ATTAM) initiative. The program, which is expected to gain momentum with the solicitation of proposals in January 2018, succeeds AFRL’s long-running Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engines (VAATE) program, which pioneered the era of adaptive technology for production engines.

Running through 2026, Phase 1 of ATTAM is targeted at increasing fuel efficiency by between 10% and 30%, depending on the specific class of engine. The program, which for the first time is fully inclusive of integrated power and thermal technology from the outset, is also aimed at increasing power and thermal management capability by up to twentyfold. Propulsive efficiency improvement goals range from 10% to 25%. AFRL says the ATTAM program is also aimed at reducing development, production and maintenance costs.

According to details issued in a draft Broad Agency Announcement, the Air Force will seek proposals for basic and applied research in four main “Grand Challenge” areas. The first of these is grouped into propulsion, power and thermal technologies that “provide high electrical power generation and thermal management to enable revolutionary capabilities across a wide range of engine classes,” AFRL says. Specific focus areas include further adaptive engine work, this time looking at the core rather than the low-pressure system, as well as closer integration of power and thermal management on subsonic and supersonic vehicles.

The second challenge area covers small and medium propulsion technologies which includes turboshaft, turbojet, and turbofan engines with thrust or power levels of less than 20,000 lb.-thrust and 10,000 shp. “Technologies should improve engine performance and operability for a wide range of flight conditions and Mach numbers,” AFRL says. Targeted principally at future missile and cruise vehicles, the improvements are aimed at mission requirements for time-sensitive targets or increased range and/or loiter.

The third challenge, covering sustainment and affordable technologies, is targeted at improving affordability, availability and “increased operational effectiveness with applicability to legacy, emerging, and/or future air platforms,” the Air Force says. As well as being environmentally friendly, the propulsion technologies should incorporate “cost-effective design methodologies and predictive capabilities for better components/systems performance, operability, durability, diagnostics and prognostics, and advanced fuels and lubricants.”

Innovative architectures and technologies form the fourth challenge area, which is focused on development of “revolutionary technologies” AFRL says, to significantly improve thermal and propulsive efficiency, reduce costs, decrease time to target, and enable increased power and thermal management. Included in this category are projects such as high-Mach turbine engines, turbo-electric propulsion, very high efficiency engines and pressure gain combustion.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Dec 2017 07:27

Airbus E-Fan X To Pave Way For Electric Regional Aircraft

The potential for regional aircraft with lower operating costs, emissions and noise that can bring air transport closer to customers is the driving vision behind Airbus’ plan to fly a hybrid-electric propulsion demonstrator in 2020.

The European manufacturer has partnered with Rolls-Royce and Siemens to fly the E-Fan X, a BAe 146 regional airliner modified to flight-test a 2-megawatt, serial-hybrid propulsion system—eight times more powerful than the highest-power electric aircraft now flying.

The E-Fan X could pave the way for a 50-100-seat hybrid-electric regional aircraft to enter service by 2030-35, says Mark Cousin, Airbus head of flight demonstrators. But the manufacturer’s ambitions go further. Work is already underway with Siemens to develop a 10-20-megawatt superconducting power train. “Our real aim is a next-generation single-aisle with 20-40 megawatts,” he says.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Dec 2017 07:35

Will China Win The Artificial Intelligence Race?

China wants to become the world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030, and the U.S. should make sure to keep pace, according to a former deputy defense secretary. “Only a similarly focused effort will keep the U.S. Joint Force from falling behind and being on the wrong end of a new generation of human-machine warfare,” says Robert Work in the introduction to a report charting Pentagon spending in AI, big data and cloud services.

The Pentagon’s so-called Third Offset strategy seeded research in these areas, Work writes in the study, which was issued by data-science company Govini. But the government cannot match the speed of development in the commercial sector. That means the technology will not be exclusive to the Pentagon and will be more easily acquired by rival nations.

Pentagon spending on AI, big data and cloud activities has risen 32% over the last five years, to $7.4 billion in fiscal 2017. But to build on the benefits of that research, the government will need to step up its commitment to advanced computing, which provides the key to unlocking the potential of AI and other endeavors.

The report comes as the Pentagon is in the midst of crafting a new National Military Strategy. In Washington, the strategy debate has largely focused on programs that run into the billions of dollars—nuclear weapons and delivery systems, aircraft, missiles and missile defense. By comparison, adding to the investment in computing research might seem small. And the Govini report underscores that the consequences of missing out may be gigantic. “Will the Chinese national plan be met with one of our own?” the study asks. “Given the high stakes, one hopes so, as this competition will have very real consequences both in economic and military terms.”

Star Watching

NASA’s multibillion-dollar successor to the James Webb Space Telescope is under pressure. The cost of the program has inflated to $4.2 billion—up $1 billion over previous estimates. So now NASA is trying to rein in the price of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (Wfirst), designed to study dark energy and extrasolar planets. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science, has launched a near-term analysis to scale the project cost back to the original $3.2 billion. That review is due in February.

In the meantime, one way to save about $400 million appears to be removing a 2.4-m (7.88-ft.) primary optical system developed by the National Reconnaissance Office that could block starlight to allow for studies of fainter planets orbiting the star. Another option is moving oversight of Wfirst from the Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland to NASA headquarters, the way that NASA did to block the Webb telescope’s $8.8 billion price from further inflating.

Continued Threat


When it comes to terrorist threats facing the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is closely watching the aviation sector. Terrorists are increasingly seeking so-called soft targets such as public gatherings.

Despite aviation security measures put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Islamic State group militants continue to test U.S. aviation security for vulnerabilities, says Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center. “Violent extremist publications continue to promote the desirability of aviation attacks and have provided information on how to target the air domain,” he says.

DHS has taken action, Acting Secretary Elaine Duke says in testimony to the House Homeland Security Committee. During the summer, DHS instituted “seen” and “unseen” measures, which included enhanced screening of electronics, passenger vetting and encouraging airlines and airports to make better use of screening technologies and explosive-detection dogs.

Up and Down

The U.S. sold at least $41.9 billion worth of military equipment to foreign countries in fiscal 2018. This year’s figure is up from $33.6 billion in fiscal 2016—an almost 25% increase, but slightly less than the $47 billion sold in fiscal 2015.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Dec 2017 19:58

Boost phase ...........................

F-35s Could Shoot Down North Korean Missiles

Imagine if seconds after North Korea’s Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile lifted off on Nov. 28, a Lockheed Martin F-35 armed with four Raytheon AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (Amraams) engaged the missile and destroyed it.

This isn’t some far-fetched concept or marketing ploy. It is one way the U.S. Defense Department could conduct “kinetic” intercepts of North Korean or Iranian missiles in the future.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Dec 2017 20:07

JAL Options Up to 20 Boom Supersonic Airliners

Japan Airlines (JAL) has entered into a strategic partnership with Boom Supersonic, the Mach 2-plus airliner developer, and has placed purchase options for up to 20 aircraft.

The Japanese flag carrier becomes the second airline after Virgin Atlantic to reveal its support of the Denver-based supersonic airliner project, which is targeting entry into service in the mid-2020s. Together with the 10 options announced by Virgin in mid-2017, the JAL commitment represents almost half of the 76 options received by Boom to date. Three additional operators for the remaining 46 aircraft remain unidentified.

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Japan Airlines is the second carrier to announce interest in Boom’s Mach 2.2 airliner with options for 20 and investment as a strategic partner. Credit: AW&ST Art Department


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Dec 2017 20:40

U.S. Air Force Embarking On Electronic Warfare Study


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After complaints by Air Combat Command about a commercial aircraft-based J-Stars platform not being survivable against sophisticated missile threats, should the U.S. Air Force then reconsider another plan to buy 10 business jets for the Compass Call electronic attack mission?
Gulfstream


Having wrapped up its enterprise-level review of multidomain command-and-control, the U.S. Air Force is embarking on a comprehensive study of electronic warfare systems needed to prevail in a 21st century peer conflict.
The broad review will seek to identify gaps in the Air Force’s suite of capabilities that exploit the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly when it comes to facing off against adversaries like China or Russia, which possess sophisticated radio frequency spoofers and jammers.

Speaking at the annual Association of Old Crows symposium in Washington on Nov. 28, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson confirmed that electronic warfare would be the focus of the 2018 Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team (ECCT).

The service’s first enterprise review in 2015 looked at the Air Force’s requirements for gaining air superiority in the 2030s against modern foes, a study which supported the development of the next-generation “penetrating counter-air” fighter and new weapons.

This year’s ECCT focused on multidomain command-and-control. The study was briefed to the service’s senior leadership on Nov. 27, and among the list of recommendations was the establishment of a Shadow Operations Center at Nellis AFB, Nevada, to test new methods for unified control of air, space and cyber forces.

The upcoming study on electronic warfare will likely have some impact on plans, programs, and budgets going forward. It will respond to concerns that the Air Force is losing its technological edge in the electronic arena. Wilson says the Air Force hopes to appoint a leadership team to carry out the study by year’s end.

“In the future fights, he who dominates the electromagnetic spectrum wins,” he exclaims. “That’s where our adversaries are focused.”

One program that will likely come under scrutiny through the ECCT process is EC-X, a program recently awarded to L3 Technologies for the transfer of electronic warfare antennas and mission systems from the EC-130H Compass Call fleet to 10 new Gulfstream G550 business jets. L3 Technologies selected the Gulfstream G550 airborne early warning type because it met the Air Force’s stated requirements. But the aircraft probably wouldn’t stand a chance against a modern, integrated surface-to-air missile system if sent undefended into battle.

The same dilemma has already driven the Air Force to reconsider its $6.9 billion J-Stars Recapitalization program, which will replace the Boeing 707-based Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (J-Stars) with another vulnerable commercial derivative aircraft, either the Boeing 737, Gulfstream G550 or Bombardier Global 6000.

When asked about this dilemma, Wilson said the Air Force has been very fortunate that most of the conflicts in recent years have been in benign environments, mostly free of modern, long-range surface-to-air missiles capable of shooting warplanes out of the sky. But the service might not be so lucky next time.

The Air Force must be prepared to enter contested or highly contested regions held by adversaries with advanced counter-air weaponry, he says.

Should it simply bite the bullet and proceed with the EC-X acquisition, or try another route that delivers a more survivable electronic attack platform? That question remains unanswered.

“In future fights against peer adversaries we need to fight across the continuum of the spectrum, from uncontested to contested and highly contested,” Wilson says. “We need to have a capability that will work in all of those conditions.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Dec 2017 20:53

Lockheed gets Air Force contract to develop high-power airborne laser weapons

* Lockheed Martin said its team is "focused on developing a compact, high efficiency laser within challenging size, weight and power constraints."
* Airborne laser weapons could one day be cheaper than conventional weapons used to counter enemies, say analysts.
* The Air Force lab plans to test the laser on a tactical fighter jet by 2021, according to Lockheed.


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Source: Lockheed Martin
Rendering showing how high-energy lasers on fighter jets could one day be a lethal weapon that augments existing kinetic solutions used by the U.S. military.


{In that rendering it looks like a rep of a 6th gen craft!!}

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 05 Dec 2017 21:33

The USAF uses its electronic warfare, airborne early warning, and even airborne battle management and command and control in an offensive capacity. Hence, solutions like the EC-X, E-3 like for like replacement, and JSTARS like for like replacement will work in some theaters (such as ME) but won't in others (Such as Pacific and Europe) given the adversaries ability to produce very long range anti-high value target missiles forcing a very large percentage of the offensive fleet to act in a defensive missile_hunting capacity. This will basically mean that these systems and their like for like replacement will focus primarily on the defensive missions against near peer threats while serving in both an offensive and defensive capacity against threats where a mismatch in capability exists or is expected to exist through their expected service lives.

For the higher end threat, other more challenging concepts need to be worked on. The ultimate long term E-3 and E-8 replacements won't look like an airliner with a big A$$ sensor, at least not for the highest end threat. Others have seen how this concept of a hub and spoke model works and have developed capable countermeasures. Part of the third-offset strategy is to develop and introduce asymmetric capabilities that bypass those countermeasures. This won't be technically easy but this is where the focus has to lie just as it did on C2 and net-centricity, PGMs etc during the second offset effort.

https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2015-03-30
Last edited by brar_w on 05 Dec 2017 22:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 05 Dec 2017 21:42

Oct, 2017 :: Potential Deals Pending For Lockheed’s F-16 ‘Viper’ Program

The pending deal between the U.S. and Greece to modernize the Hellenic Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-16 fleet would push the number of aircraft upgrades the manufacturer has in the pipeline to about 450.

The recent announcement that Athens wants to convert up to 123 of its legacy Fighting Falcons to the newest F-16V “Viper” configuration comes as Lockheed tries to complete the sale of new aircraft to Bahrain—which would be produced in Greenville, South Carolina, instead of Fort Worth.

Having completed production of the Iraqi Air Force’s F-16 Block 52 fighters, Lockheed is shutting down F-16 production in Fort Worth to free up space and personnel to build more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the U.S. and international customers.

REIGN OF THE VIPER
>> U.S., Lockheed optimistic about Bahrain buying F-16 Block 70s, which would be built in Greenville, South Carolina
>> A Greece F-16V upgrade deal would boost Lockheed’s Viper upgrade backlog beyond 450 aircraft
>> U.S. Air Force to operate F-16s until the mid-2040s, or 13,800 flight hours, with service-life extension


The manufacturer is optimistic about securing an order from Bahrain for 16 Block 70 Vipers, plus three options. This small but important deal could reinvigorate the supply chain for new parts and allow Lockheed to resume production of the single-engine fighter, but at Greenville instead of Fort Worth.

A sale to Bahrain would buy Lockheed time to secure meaningful contracts with other nations wanting to either procure their first F-16s or expand their fleets.

Although Lockheed’s primary focus is on delivering the F-35, industry sources see plenty of opportunities for F-16 upgrades and new production. Indonesia is a prime candidate; it already flies the F-16. Given the increasingly bleak security environment in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates could consider expanding its newly built fleet of F-16 E/F Block 60s—the most advanced F-16 configuration flying today.

And there is talk that the Trump administration could eventually re-examine Pakistan’s request for eight additional F-16 Block 52s. Islamabad’s request was approved by the Obama administration in 2016, but scuttled by Congress over concerns about the need for U.S. foreign military financing.

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Lockheed Martin has secured F-16V-based ‘Viper’ upgrades for Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea, and is nearing a deal with Greece. Bahrain could become the first customer for the new-production F-16 Block 70, which shares common components with the F-16V upgrade. Credit: Lockheed Martin

The greatest windfall for Lockheed’s F-16 program could come from India, which is seeking anywhere from 100-250 locally produced single-engine fighters. The deal would require significant technology transfer and the establishment of an in-country production facility.

Lockheed has partnered with the Tata Group to offer the F-16 Block 70 to India. The companies have an ongoing relationship; Tata builds empennages for Lockheed’s C-130J Super Hercules.

Swedish fighter manufacturer Saab is also promoting its fighter, joining forces with the Adani Group to offer the JAS-39 Gripen E.

New Delhi will first request expressions of interest from the competing teams. Once submitted, a formal request for proposals would be issued, probably sometime next year.

Although assembly would take place in India, Lockheed says any deal would also support thousands of jobs stateside. Top-level meetings have been held in Washington regarding the F-16 offer, and Lockheed senses a positive outcome. The Trump administration has been “fully supportive,” industry sources say, and Defense Secretary James Mattis expressed support for the F-16 proposal during his trip to India in September.

Perhaps the largest emerging market for new as well as upgraded F-16s is Eastern Europe, where nations are trying to replace their Soviet-era Sukhoi Su-22 and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighters with newer Western models.

Croatia is the latest country to solicit proposals, seeking a replacement for its outdated MiG-21s. Zagreb is weighing offers of secondhand F-16s from Greece, Israel or the U.S. Croatia is also considering South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries for its FA-50 and Sweden for its Saab Gripen C/D. Other opportunities to sell fighters are likely from Poland, Slovakia and elsewhere.

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More than 4,550 F-16s have been built since the 1970s, and Lockheed sees strong demand domestically and globally for upgrades of early-model and Block 50/52 aircraft. Lockheed is not alone in the F-16 upgrade market. It must compete against other capable firms, such as BAE Systems, Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries.

So far, Lockheed, as the original equipment manufacturer through its acquisition of General Dynamics’ fighter business in 1993, has pulled ahead of the competition with its F-16V, or Viper, configuration, which features technology derived from the F-35 and F-22 Raptor. The centerpiece of the upgrade is Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR).

Lockheed is already on contract to upgrade approximately 336 F-16s for Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea. Now, with Greece considering modernizing as many as 123 of its 154 Fighting Falcons to the F-16V configuration, the number of upgrades in Lockheed’s backlog could grow to more than 450.

Lockheed says these upgrade programs support thousands of jobs at hundreds of companies in dozens of states, and technologies developed for the programs can be rolled into the U.S. Air Force’s own F-16 modernization plans.

They are conducted as Foreign Military Sales through the Air Force’s program executive office for fighters and bombers, headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio.

The upgrade kits are designed and developed by Lockheed engineers in Fort Worth, and the new equipment must be thoroughly tested prior to production and delivery. Flight testing is mostly performed at Edwards AFB, California.

After being produced and packaged, the upgrade kits are typically shipped overseas for installation at a local depot.

The first aircraft modified to the F-16V configuration took flight from Edwards on Oct. 16, 2015. That U.S.-owned aircraft was supporting the Taiwan program, and industry sources say the first upgrade kits have since been shipped for installation by Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corp.

Image

Each upgrade is tailored to an individual country’s needs, but the foundational F-16V upgrades include a new APG-83 active, electronically scanned array fire-control radar; cockpit center pedestal display; mission computer; and high-capacity ethernet data bus. Other upgrades might be a Link 16 theater data link, satellite-aided precision navigation, interrogator/transponder, automatic ground collision avoidance system, new weapons and Lockheed’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod.

Lockheed does not disclose the exact number of aircraft it is on contract to upgrade, except to say “more than 300” total. However, information from Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcements and Pentagon contracting notices provide some details.

The deal completed with Taiwan in 2012 is worth about $1.85 billion. It covers upgrades for 142 of the country’s air forces’ legacy F-16A/B Block 20s, bringing them to an F-16V-based configuration, with work continuing through May 2022.

Lockheed secured a $914 million contract to upgrade Singapore’s F-15C/D Block 30 and Block 52 fleets in December 2015. Singapore requested “up to 60” F-16 upgrades, but the actual number is somewhere between 40-60, due by 2023.

South Korea originally selected BAE Systems to upgrade its homebuilt fleet of KF-16C/D Block 52 fighters, incorporating the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR). BAE Systems won a $1.2 billion contract in 2012, but in November 2016, citing cost increases, Seoul replaced them, opting instead for a Lockheed and Northrop team. The KF-16s will now be kitted with Northrop’s SABR instead of Raytheon’s RACR.

Lockheed’s contract with Seoul is valued at $1.2 billion, with work continuing through 2025.

The potential sale to Greece is worth an estimated $2.4 billion, but the final amount awarded to Lockheed if the deal closes will be somewhat smaller. The Hellenic Air Force’s F-16 fleet is a mix of Block 30, Block 50 and Block 52+ aircraft.

It was announced that the U.S. State Department had approved the package while President Donald Trump was hosting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the White House on Oct. 17. Lockheed will work with Washington and Athens to “consummate the deal” as quickly as possible following the standard congressional notification period.

The package includes delivery of a Joint Mission Planning System and one new F-16 simulator, along with two upgrades. Another line provides 26 more Raytheon-built electronic warfare suites, already installed on Greece’s Block 52+ fleet.

While deliveries have begun for Taiwan, upgrades for Singapore and South Korea are still in the advanced stages of development and testing. Production and delivery of upgrade kits are set to begin over the next couple of years.

In the U.S., the Air Force is hoping to keep its newest F-16s flying until the mid-2040s, which will require modernization and a service-life extension program.

Brig. Gen. Michael Schmidt, the service’s program executive officer for fighters and bombers, says the U.S. will leverage work already done for international programs to keep its Fighting Falcons' talons sharp. In the absence of an alternative bid by Raytheon, the service recently selected Northrop’s APG-83 SABR fire-control radar to modernize 72 F-16s belonging to the Air National Guard as part of a joint urgent operational need.

The program office is already looking for ways to buy more radars, if needed, for additional batches of F-16s. It is not clear whether there will be another opportunity for Raytheon to offer RACR.

Because the F-35 is being introduced later and slower than originally planned, the F-16 will keep flying well beyond its original design life. Full-scale fatigue testing shows that the F-16’s service life can be extended to 13,800 flight hours from the design life of 8,000 hr. with upgrades.

“The F-16 remains a fantastic fourth-generation fighter, but its structural health really needs to be addressed,” Schmidt says. “We’re flying these airplanes a lot longer than we could have ever anticipated, so these full-scale fatigue tests are really important for identifying what areas we need to beef up, and what investments need to be made to keep [them] flying into the future.”

Lockheed delivered 2,231 F-16s to the U.S. Air Force between 1978-2005. The service has, so far, rejected plans to buy new fourth-generation fighters because it wants to protect funding for the F-35 and future sixth-gen fighters.

Even though the service is desperate for new fighters, having purchased fewer than 20 per year over the past decade, Schmidt says he has not received any orders to buy new Lockheed F-16 Block 70s or Boeing F-15 Advanced Eagles.

“Certainly, we could produce better aircraft than what we’re currently flying, but it’s not going to get you anywhere close to the leap to fifth-generation,” Schmidt says.

His office has partnerships with 26 international F-16 operators, so Schmidt is optimistic about the F-16 Block 70 deal with Bahrain, and sees continuing strong demand for the F-16 worldwide, including new-builds and upgrades.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby ShauryaT » 06 Dec 2017 01:35

What is the view on this Quantum thingie?

https://jamestown.org/program/disruptio ... m-sensing/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby NRao » 06 Dec 2017 04:13

ShauryaT wrote:What is the view on this Quantum thingie?

https://jamestown.org/program/disruptio ... m-sensing/


Response: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5092&p=2235147#p2235147

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 06 Dec 2017 15:47

Interesting Ballistic missile 3D Tracking done using F-35 sensors back in 2014 at PMRF Hawaii (This is where they have the AMDR SPY-6 test unit installed). Has only now been publicly revealed by the OEM and the US Navy.

While Northrop Grumman has demonstrated the AN/AAQ-37 and AN/APG-81's combo's performance during launch detection and early warning scenarios using space launches etc in the past, this was the first time they were able to do a live demonstration of their new cooperative passive tracking algorithms and produce AEGIS compatible weapons-grade tracks using data exclusively from the passive DAS sensors (they do not appear to use the radar at all)..

This is pretty significant for the Boost Phase Intercept (BPI) mission if they ever decide to go back and reconsider the Air Launched Hit to Kill concepts modeled in the past. Even outside of BPI, this would provide an exponential increase in the number of sensors that could produce these tracks, passively since there will be hundreds of F-35s available, all of which will have these sensors. You are then basically limited by your abilities to transfer the data to the desired platforms which is far cheaper a problem to solve than fielding hundreds of new sensors or platforms..It would't be farfetched to assume that the AN/AAQ-37 or a derivitaive of it would end up on the B-21 since it is also a Northrop product..if so this gives quite a healthy number of survivable platforms that can add an additional layer of tracking sensors without having to field specific missile-defense assets just for this mission.

These aircraft can do much better in contested environments where your run of the mill Predator drone or Global Hawk just won't survive. That the data quality and link fidelity has been deemed to be also appropriate for use on the Patriot and THAAD targeting is also pretty significant since it then covers 100% of all of the IAMD systems available to a theater commander including those operated by foreign nations such as South Korea, Japan or Australia, all three of who either operate Patriot or have a desire to move to AEGIS BL 9.0 in the future.

That this is being done using a passive "always on" sensor that has a 360 degree view around the aircraft likely also means that this can be made autonomous and not something the pilots have to be specifically tasked with as a mission. The sensors are collecting this data all the time anyhow..the problem then is to simply develop algorithms and software to make it smart enough to recognize launches (something NG seems to have done already hence this demo) and then begin piping the data to either an appropriate gateway or directly to the missile-defense effector such as an AEGIS vessel or AEGIS Ashrore (Japan), a THAAD battery etc. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the Technology Refresh-3 (TRL-3) hardware and computers that are actually doing the processing and transfers. Even though DAS was made precise and sensitive enough to warrant dedicated processors for the 6 sensors (over and above the Central Integrated Processors) it may well require TRL-3 level processing power to do this autonomously, particularly if they are to leverage multiple waveforms as data transfer routes. Link-16 and J series is used to send protocol-limited fused data across diverse airborne, land and ship platforms while the organic F-35 data-link (MADL) can do both high speed fused data and raw data transfers. The latter is important if you want to use a gateway to do advanced processing using data from multiple disparate sensors.

That they just now revealed something that happened more than 3 years ago seems to suggest that they may already be working on the "next steps" required to bring the capability to the F-35 and AEGIS.

Last edited by brar_w on 06 Dec 2017 19:15, edited 21 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Manish_P » 06 Dec 2017 16:09

Venezuelan F-16 Gunning Down An OV-10 Bronco

Well it's 25 years old... but still

That Falcon must have been straining really hard to slow down enough to shoot the slow flying Bronco with cannon (deployed airbrakes can be seen).. and so close to the ground

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby VishalJ » 07 Dec 2017 01:22

Boeing Loses Super Hornet Deal With Canada To Second-Hand Australian Fighter Jets
http://www.ibtimes.com/boeing-loses-sup ... ts-2624366

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Dec 2017 04:34

Those aircraft don't really have that much more life left in them than the ones the Canadians already operate. This will buy them at best 5-6 years of life extension for the classic hornet fleet but may allow the current government a "get out" ticket to go back to buying the aircraft their air-force and industry actually wants them to buy.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Dec 2017 16:11

F-35: 1, Super Hornet: 0 In Boeing’s Rift With Canada


Lockheed Martin’s F-35 appears to have emerged the real winner from Boeing’s rift with Canada over Bombardier’s C Series passenger jetliner.
Canada’s liberal government has reportedly decided to scrap its planned $5.2 billion purchase of new F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets as an interim step to replacing its aging fleet of older-model Hornets. Instead, the Royal Canadian Air Force would buy earlier-generation Hornets from Australia as a short-term solution.

The decision, if confirmed, is seen as retaliation for Boeing and the U.S. government’s effort to penalize Canadian company Bombardier for allegedly dumping the C Series jetliner into the U.S. market at improperly low prices. Boeing filed an anti-dumping suit with the U.S. Commerce Department and the International Trade Commission (ITC) in April, saying Bombardier was unfairly subsidized by the Canadian government.

Ottawa has not yet confirmed reports that the Canadian government is backing out of the Super Hornet deal. Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan told reporters Dec. 5: “We are going to fill that interim capability gap. I look forward to making the announcement at the appropriate time.”

Losing the Canadian order would undeniably be a blow for Boeing’s fighter business. The company stands to lose not just the 18 new Super Hornets Ottawa planned to buy initially, but the chance to capture all 65 new fighters the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) needs to recapitalize its fighter force.

Even worse, the dispute could drive the RCAF straight into competitor Lockheed Martin’s lap.

For a relatively small air force like Canada’s, it makes little sense to operate two types of aircraft, virtually guaranteeing the first 18 Super Hornets would have been followed by 47 more, argues Richard Aboulafia, an analyst with the Teal Group.

“Having a unique, 18-aircraft squadron just doesn’t make a lot of economic or military sense,” Aboulafia says. “Most likely they would’ve said, ‘Hey, we would save billions if we simply buy 47 more—that takes care of our fighter requirement for the next three decades.’”

Buying the Australian aircraft, which are almost identical in terms of age and capability to Canada’s current fleet, is at most a five-year Band-Aid for the aging fighter force, Aboulafia says.

If Canada scraps the Super Hornet deal and pursues a competition for a next-generation fighter in the next five years, Lockheed’s F-35 will almost inevitably emerge victorious, analysts agree.

The Boeing-Bombardier dispute gives Canada’s liberal new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who campaigned on dropping plans to buy the expensive and politically controversial F-35, an excuse to go running back to Lockheed.

“The RCAF ultimately wanted [F-35s]. Industry wanted them too. But Trudeau had campaigned on basically a Super Hornet platform and Boeing could’ve easily held him to it … until they gave him the perfect out,” Aboulafia says.

Of course, Canada could also see bids for Saab’s Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault’s Rafale. But Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute argues that Canada will likely opt for the F-35 anyway, because most of its key allies are migrating to the stealthy fighter.

“The Super Hornet buy was basically a bridge to a long-term solution that would replace Canada’s Cold War fighters,” Thompson says. “It appears that most of the key allies are migrating to a stealthy solution, and that makes F-35 the only game in town.”

Plus, the further out Canada pushes its fighter competition, the less advantage Boeing has on cost. The price of an F-35 has been coming down for years, with Lockheed projecting an $80 million F-35A by fiscal 2019. Meanwhile, as the Super Hornet ages and Boeing struggles to maintain the production line, the company will be hard-pressed to keep costs from rising.

“We don’t even know if the Super Hornet line will be open,” Aboulafia says. “Chances are the Super Hornet will migrate upward, and the F-35A will probably migrate down.”

Despite the fallout, Boeing’s decision to pursue the C Series suit in the face of potential retaliation from the Canadian government signals the company has decided the stakes are much higher for its commercial market than its military side. The rationale is clear: Losing the Canadian Super Hornets is clearly a blow, but it is far from the catastrophe it would have been 18 months ago, when Boeing was facing the potential shutdown of both the F/A-18 and F-15 production lines. But with upgrade programs, international sales to Kuwait and Qatar, and potentially new U.S. orders, it looks like both of Boeing’s fighters will remain in production through at least the late 2020s.

Boeing will continue to deliver 24 F/A-18s per year at the rate of two per month—the minimum rate required to sustain the production line—to the U.S. and international customers, Boeing spokeswoman Kelly Kaplan said.

The U.S. Navy also is investing almost $300 million through fiscal 2022 in upgrading existing Super Hornets to Boeing’s proposed Block III configuration, which guarantees the company a reliable source of manufacturing work that may be done on the existing production line.

But Canada was arguably the biggest single opportunity for the Super Hornet outside of additional sales from the U.S. government, says Byron Callan of the Capital Alpha Group.

Aboulafia agrees, saying Boeing may have missed an ideal opportunity to further cement the future of the F/A-18 line.

“It’s very hard to compete on the world market when you are overwhelmingly reliant on upgrades of existing planes,” Aboulafia says. “Boeing might have missed a golden moment in time.”

Although Lockheed wins in the short-term, the Boeing-Bombardier dispute could ultimately spell trouble for U.S. defense companies in the global market more broadly. A similar battle has been brewing for years between Boeing and Airbus over what the U.S. government sees as the European Union giving unfair subsidies to the European company.

If such aggressive action by the U.S. over trade disputes continues, particularly if President Trump makes good on his pledge to pull out of NAFTA, it could drive foreign militaries to look elsewhere for equipment.

“How could this affect for example Germany’s interest in the F-35? If the U.S. is going after Bombardier on effectively aircraft subsidies, is Airbus next?” Callan says. “Countries will make choices and they are not going to look just at their military interests. They are going to look at their broader economic interests as well.”

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 07 Dec 2017 21:12

brar_w wrote:Next wave of Research and Development for USAF funded Next Generation Propulsion technology areas:-

USAF Unveils Future Power Research Plan Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Nov 29, 2017 , p. 6
Guy Norris




Some pictures added to the article now -

ADVENT Test setup -
Adaptive engine work under ATTAM will focus on varying flow through the core and builds on previous work, such as this General Electric three-stream test, which adapted the low-pressure bypass flow. Credit: General Electric


Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 08 Dec 2017 00:41

Truly hard to understand, except to justify it as currying favor and buying influence via defence deals. 3 different fighter types, all expensive, all twin engine multi-role types, within the last 3 years, while they still have 10-11 Mirage-2000s.
Image
France, UK confident of Qatari fighter orders


The French government is hoping that President Emmanuel Macron will secure a Qatari order for an additional 12 Dassault Rafale multirole fighters when he visits the emirate in early December, Defence Minister Florence Parly said in a 30 November television interview.


She said negotiations have been ongoing for months concerning the Rafales and a “large number of armoured vehicles”. The French newspaper La Tribune has reported that France is trying to secure a Qatari for 300 Nexter VBCI infantry fighting vehicles.

Parly was speaking after meeting Qatari Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah.

The day before, Qatari Ministry of Defence released photographs showing al-Attiyah visiting the Nexter showroom near Paris where he inspected a VBCI-2, which is an improved variant armed with the 40 mm CTAS cannon, a remotely operated weapon station, and MPP missiles.

Qatar has already ordered 24 Rafales, is in the process of procuring 36 Boeing F-15QA fighters, and has signed a letter of intent covering the acquisition of 24 Eurofighter Typhoons. BAE Systems, the Eurofighter consortium member that will assemble the Qatari fighters, revealed in October that the deal will also include six of its Hawk jet trainers.

A senior official from BAE Systems told a parliamentary committee on 28 November that the deal was nearly finalised. “Most of that is now done. It’s in place, it’s in agreement, so therefore it becomes a timing issue of when we move forward to that signature,” Chris Boardman said.

The British embassy in Doha announced on the same day that the Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) has already identified pilots who will fly Typhoons.

Announcing that four Typhoons from the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) 29(R) Squadron were participating in a joint exercise with Qatari Mirage 2000 fighters at Al-Udeid Air Base, the embassy said: “Many of the QEAF pilots involved in the week-long exercise will be amongst the first to be trained to fly them in Great Britain.”
Last edited by Kartik on 08 Dec 2017 04:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 08 Dec 2017 00:43

Can't fathom why Turkey would want STOVL fighters. They haven't operated any earlier, and with the current pilot pool shortage afflicting them after that tyrant purged the Air Force of people believed to have been involved in the coup attempt, it won't be easy to get pilots to fly these either.

Turkey seeks to buy Harriers as an interim measure until F-35Bs are ready

Turkey has been seeking to buy an unknown number of Harrier fighters as a stop-gap measure until the F-35B short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) version of the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is ready for Turkish service, Jane’s has learned from reliable Turkish and Western defence industry sources.

Jane’s earlier reported that Turkey had expressed to the United States its interest in purchasing 19-20 of the F-35B STOVL version. This is in addition to the 100 F-35As it already plans to buy from Lockheed Martin.


Turkey first approached the United Kingdom about the purchase of Harriers but then turned to the United States for the AV-8B in the inventory of the US Marine Corps because the aircraft have not been used by the UK armed forces since 2010.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 08 Dec 2017 00:53

This is why they want these - http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.ph ... -2015.html

Remains to be seen if and when they actually do field this capability. Getting into the carrier business even with an LHD and jump jets has a significant learning curve.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 08 Dec 2017 03:18

Man, these Qataris are in a hurry! They've already gone ahead and signed up for 12 additional Rafales with an option for 36 more, taking their total ordered to 36 and 36 options. The build up in the size of the QEAF is simply staggering. My guess is a lot of expats will be looking to secure lucrative contracts to man their air force. For both technical and flying cadres.

Good for Dassault, they're really doing well on the Rafale exports now. Egypt is looking for 12 more as well, but their financial condition is not inspiring confidence in French banks to go through with a deal.

Qatar to buy additional Rafales, 300 VBCI Combat vehicles from France

Qatar Acquires An Additional 12 Rafale

SAINT-CLOUD, France --- In the presence of the President of the French Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, and his Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Qatar Armed Forces and Dassault Aviation signed an agreement on future cooperation and the exercise of an option for 12 Rafale.

This new order follows on from the contract signed on 4 May 2015 between the State of Qatar and Dassault Aviation for the acquisition of 24 Rafale, thus raising the number of Rafale aircraft operated by the Qatar Emiri Air Force to 36.

Dassault Aviation and its partners thank the Qatari Authorities for having given them the opportunity to enhance their collaboration by restating their confidence in the qualities of the Rafale and expressing their satisfaction with the performance of the main contract.
..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 08 Dec 2017 03:19

brar_w wrote:This is why they want these - http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.ph ... -2015.html

Remains to be seen if and when they actually do field this capability. Getting into the carrier business even with an LHD and jump jets has a significant learning curve.


Thanks. I wasn't aware of this, but wondered if they planned on a small carrier.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 08 Dec 2017 04:48

From AW&ST


TEL AVIV—Israel wants more Israeli-developed weapon and electronic warfare systems on its Lockheed Martin F-35 Adir stealth fighters.

The nine aircraft already delivered to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) were declared fully operational by the force commander, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, on Dec. 6.

The integration of some of Israel’s desired systems requires access to the “heart” of the stealth fighter’s software. Israeli sources say Israel’s requests are being evaluated by the Pentagon.

The U.S. Air Force was briefed on the process of integrating Israeli-made systems on the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Immediately after the first F-35 contract was signed with the U.S., the Israeli ministry of defense and the IAF approved the development of special versions of Israeli weapon systems for the aircraft.

For example, Rafael has adapted its Python-5 and Derby air-to-air missiles on the aircraft. The company’s Litening 5 targeting pod also is being adapted. The main changes are related to the requirement to carry the weapons systems inside the F-35’s weapons bay.

Initial tests of some Israeli-developed systems have been performed by the IAF’s test flight center at Tel Nof airbase. The tests have begun even though the special F-35 test aircraft that is part of Israel’s purchase won’t arrive in the country until late 2018 or early 2019.

The often-heard notion that air-to-air combat is obsolete has not dissuaded planners of future Israeli weapon systems. While in recent operations the IAF has focused on air-to-ground missions, mainly to suppress the launch of rockets into Israel, planners do not think this type of combat is the shape of things to come.

Accordingly, they have decided to spend a huge sum of money purchasing the F-35 stealth fighter, as well as weapon systems that some consider behind the times, such as air-to-air missiles.

Rafael is working on a new air-to-air missile, but so far has released very little information about it other than to say that it will be the most capable of its kind, with an operational range significantly greater than other similar weapons.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 08 Dec 2017 06:18

The easiest way for Israeli OEMs to integrate their weapons is to switch to the Universal Armament Interface which will move to Air-Air weapons shortly, and will be brought into the F-35 in the early block-4 build. With UAI, the software and mission-computer integration bit is made much simpler so they can considerably shorten their integration cost and schedule since the only area of focus that would remain would be store clearances, bay dynamics and separation. The SDB-II, Joint Strike Missile, and the SOM-J will be integrated with the F-35 using UAI which will come to the F-35 around the early 2020s. The USAF has already integrated the JASSM-ER, and the SDB-II with the F-15E using UAI and will do the same with the F-16 and international users that buy the SDB-II. Once UAI is incorporated into the aircraft compatible weapons are plug and play using the UA interface to communicate instead of requiring proprietary integration on a case by case basis. It is like a driver for your printer.

Kartik wrote:Man, these Qataris are in a hurry! They've already gone ahead and signed up for 12 additional Rafales with an option for 36 more, taking their total ordered to 36 and 36 options. The build up in the size of the QEAF is simply staggering. My guess is a lot of expats will be looking to secure lucrative contracts to man their air force. For both technical and flying cadres.


Don't forget a couple of dozen Eurofighters as well.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 08 Dec 2017 16:03

Japan seems to be making a push into medium-long range Air launched cruise missiles for its fighters force. They could acquire the Joint Strike Missile, JASSM-ER, and the LRASM for their F-15J and F-35A fleets:

Using Google to translate -

President announced the introduction of defense minister long-distance cruise missile "not defeated by exclusive defense"


Onodera Defense Minister Onodera officially announced the introduction of long-range cruise missiles to be installed in fighter aircraft as it is necessary to respond to the increasingly severe security environment at the press conference after the Cabinet meeting. Besides, Minister Onodera stated, "Introduction is not aimed at attacking the so-called enemy base, it is not against anti-drupe defense."
Among them, Minister Onodera said on the long-range cruise missile to be installed in fighter aircraft, "In order to effectively defend our country while securing the security of SDF personnel based on the increasingly severe security environment, "We will introduce it as a" stand-off missile "that we can deal with," I officially announced to introduce newly.

Specifically, the range of 500 kilometers mounted on the F35A and Norway's "JSM", both of which are scheduled to be installed in the F15 900 km, made in the USA "LRASM" and "JASSM" related to the budget next year It is a policy to add expenses to be added.

Onoda said that the significance of introduction can be improved more effectively and safely by dealing with it without dealing with the enemy invading water soldiers and landing troops invading our country, North Korea's ballistic missile It is indispensable to protect the Aegis destroyer from defense of the country. "

"The introduction of long-range cruise missiles is not aimed at so-called" enemy base attacks "that attack enemy bases, and it is not against anti-drupe."


The F-35A can carry up to 6 JSM's, while the F-15Js can carry 4 or more JASSM-ERs depending upon how they configure and integrate the payload. While no one has asked for JASSM integration on the F-35 yet (since the US has other platforms that can launch it) but the A variant would easily be able to carry 4 of JASSM-ERs/LRASMs externally but none internally.

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 08 Dec 2017 22:48

Bell V-280 Inching To First Flight Slower Than Hoped ; Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Dec 08, 2017


Bell Helicopter is progressing toward first flight of the V-280 Valor slower than hoped, having missed the target months of September, October and November. The advanced tiltrotor prototype for the U.S. Army’s Joint MultiRole Technology Demonstration program has been completely assembled at Bell’s rotorcraft production facility in Amarillo, Texas. The 30,000-lb.-class aircraft is now undergoing extensive ground testing in preparation for first flight.
On Dec. 7, a company spokeswoman confirmed that Valor still has not flown, meaning it has missed the most recent target of late October or early November.

Construction began in June 2015, and Bell had originally hoped to get the aircraft off the ground in September. It is a marginal slip, but every month that goes by concedes a little more ground to Team Valor’s chief rival, the Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant, which is coming together at Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, with first flight expected by mid-2018.

Bell cautions that no “deadlines” have been missed, only target dates. “As a development program, our goal is to fly when we’re ready and when we’re confident it’s safe,” the company tells Aerospace DAILY in a statement. “We have been making great progress on our ground testing and, in fact, will be flying soon.”

The company did not provide any more details or explain why things were taking longer than planned. But it did release a video from Oct. 26, showing the first controlled conversion of the V-280’s engine pylons from 95 deg. to 75 deg.

This few degrees of movement on the company’s outdoor test stand is not very impressive on film, but it does shows clear and continued progress.

Bell says it must complete a series of functional tests and run all of the aircraft’s systems and flight controls prior to lifting off in powered flight.

Once in the air, flight testing will continue through 2018 and 2019, and should culminate in a series of company-backed unmanned flight tests.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 09 Dec 2017 18:58

brar_w wrote:
brar_w wrote:Next wave of Research and Development for USAF funded Next Generation Propulsion technology areas:-

USAF Unveils Future Power Research Plan Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Nov 29, 2017 , p. 6
Guy Norris




Some pictures added to the article now -




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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Prem » 10 Dec 2017 04:18

https://t.co/mkRBA9RgVs
U.S. F-22 Raptor Allegedly Interfered With Russian Su-25s Over Syria And “Chased Away” By Su-35S, Russian MoD Claims

Several Russian media outlets are reporting an incident that involved a U.S. F-22 and some Russian aircraft over Syria, to the west of the Euphrates on Nov. 23, 2017. Some details of the close encounter were unveiled by the Russian MoD’s spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, who described the episode “as yet another example of US aircraft attempts to prevent Russian forces from carrying out strikes against Islamic State,” according to RT.According to the Russian account, a Russian Su-35S was scrambled after a U.S. F-22 interfered with two Su-25s that were bombing an Islamic State target. Here’s Sputnik news version:“An American F-22 fighter actively prevented the Russian pair of Su-25 attack aircraft from carrying out a combat mission to destroy the Daesh stronghold in the suburbs of the city of Mayadin in the airspace over the western bank of the Euphrates River on November 23. The F-22 aircraft fired off heat flares and released brake shields with permanent maneuvering, imitating an air battle.”At the same time, he [Major-General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defense Ministry’s spokesperson] noted that “after the appearance of a Russian multifunctional super maneuverable Su-35S fighter, the American fighter stopped dangerous maneuvers and hurried to move into Iraqi airspace.”For the moment, the incident has not been confirmed nor denied by CENTCOM (our email to the Combined Joint Task Force OIR has not been replied yet). Many things are yet to be explained:it’s not clear why the F-22 was flying alone (most probably another Raptor was nearby);
why did the stealth jet release flares and perform hard maneuvering (lacking a direct radio contact, was the American pilot trying to catch the
The episode reminds the incident that occurred on Jun. 18, 2017, when an F/A-18E Super Hornet belonging to the VFA-87 “Golden Warriors” and piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Michael “Mob” Tremel,” shot down a Syrian Arab Air Force Su-22 Fitter near the town of Resafa (40 km to the southwest of Raqqa, Syria), after the pro-Assad Syrian Air Force ground attack aircraft had bombed Coalition-friendly SDF positions. In the official statement released from the Coalition about the incident the Combined Joint Task Force stated, “The Coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The Coalition does not seek to fight the Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition partner forces from any threat.”If confirmed, the one on Nov. 23 would be the first confirmed close encounter between F-22 and the Su-35 over Syria.The Su-35 is a 4++ generation aircraft characterized by supermaneuverability. Although it’s not stealth, it is equipped with a Irbis-E PESA (Passive Electronically-Scanned Array) and a long-range IRST – Infrared Search and Tracking – system capable, (according to Russian sources…) to detect stealth planes like the F-35 at a distance of over 90 kilometers.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Dec 2017 03:13

Kartik wrote:Just as a datapoint- the AIM-9M costs $107,000 per missile, whereas the AIM-9X costs $172,000 per missile.


The End Item URF on the Aim-9X (BII) for the combined USDOD Program of record (USAF and DON purchase) covering 6000 missiles through 2026/2028 is roughly $450,000 in 2011 constant dollars as per the FY15 SAR.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 12 Dec 2017 05:43

Qatar goes ahead and signs up for 24 Typhoons, worth $8 billion within days of signing for 12 Rafales. Unheard of, truly.

Qatar inks deal for 24 Typhoon jets with UK

LONDON — Britain has signed a deal with Qatar to supply 24 Typhoon fighters as well as a weapons and training package — the biggest export sale of the jet by the U.K. in more than a decade.

Recently appointed U.K. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was in Qatar‘s capital Doha on Dec. 10, along with his Qatari counterpart, Khalid Bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, for the signing of a deal expected to be worth an amount approaching £6 billion (U.S. $8 billion).

BAE Systems’ element of the deal, including support and initial training, is worth £5 billion, according to the British firm.

The largest export deal on the Typhoon was landed by the British in 2006 when Saudi Arabia purchased 72 of the jets. More recently, Italy secured a major sale for the Typhoon when Kuwait acquired 28 jets.

Aside from the Eurofighter Typhoon jets, the Qatar deal includes the supply of a weapons package covering MBDA-built Brimstone 2 ground-to-air and Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles as well as Raytheon’s Paveway IV precision-guided bombs.

The British Ministry of Defence said in a statement that during his visit, Williamson also agreed to a package of training and cooperation between the two countries’ air forces, which includes training for Qatari pilots and ground crew in the U.K.


Subject to financing conditions being met and receipt by BAE of the first payment, the first of the 24 aircraft are expected to be delivered to Qatar in late 2022.
Last edited by Kartik on 12 Dec 2017 05:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Kartik » 12 Dec 2017 05:50

brar_w wrote:
Kartik wrote:Just as a datapoint- the AIM-9M costs $107,000 per missile, whereas the AIM-9X costs $172,000 per missile.


The End Item URF on the Aim-9X (BII) for the combined USDOD Program of record (USAF and DON purchase) covering 6000 missiles through 2026/2028 is roughly $450,000 in 2011 constant dollars as per the FY15 SAR.


Wow..so what explains the difference? Foreign Military Financing?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Dec 2017 15:44

Difference with what exactly? Aim-9X-2 costs just about that and more once you factor in FMS sales, support, logistics etc.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby brar_w » 12 Dec 2017 16:15

Some slides from the 43rd Air Armament Symposium held in the US last month. One of the first presentations to disclose a multi-team award for the SAC Missile which now looks like a USAF Aim-9 replacement and an AMRAAM complementary system.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion

Postby Prem » 13 Dec 2017 00:38

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/canada-scraps ... nance.html
Canada scraps plan to buy Boeings, warns firm on future orders

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada said on Tuesday it was scrapping the planned purchase of 18 Boeing Co Super Hornet jets and made clear the U.S. company currently has little chance of winning a larger contract for 88 fighters.The announcement marks a new low in relations between the Liberal government and Boeing, which are locked in an increasingly acrimonious trade dispute.Canada will instead buy a second-hand fleet of 18 Australian F-18s, the same planes the Canadian air force already operates, officials told reporters.The Australian jets - set to cost around C$500 million ($388 million) - will act as a stopgap measure until Canada has run a competition for 88 fighters and the new jets start entering service in 2025.
In a clear reference to Boeing, an official said "any bidder responsible for harm to Canada's economic interests will be at a significant disadvantage" if the harm was still being inflicted the time bids for the 88 jets are being assessed.Reuters reported last week that the Liberal government would abandon plans to buy the 18 Boeing jets after the U.S. aerospace giant launched a trade challenge against Canadian plane maker Bombardier Inc , accusing it of dumping airliners on the American marke


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