International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 28 Sep 2019 02:43

Image

Sinuous smoke soars above the Earth's atmosphere while a bright star - actually a Russian Soyuz rocket - stands against the dark night sky, encircled by a ring.

This is the jaw-dropping picture that NASA astronaut Christina Koch snapped Wednesday from her privileged position at the International Space Station (ISS).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 28 Sep 2019 19:24

French Navy firms up plans to buy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye; Jane's Navy International;Henri-Pierre Grolleau, Paris



France is to order three Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft in 2020, the French defence minister has confirmed.Florence Parly made the commitment in an interview published in the Les Echos national newspaper.

The French Navy had been closely following the introduction of the E-2D into US Navy service, with the type to be adopted to replace the three E-2C Hawkeyes serving with Flottille 4F at Lann-Bihoué, near Lorient, in Brittany.

The E-2C has been in French Navy service for more than 20 years and the Marine Nationale is looking at the new E-2D as the obvious replacement. The newer variant is fitted with an entirely new AN/APY-9 radar with combined electronic/mechanical-scanning capabilities, more powerful processors, and an improved man-machine interface with larger screens. The airframe and engines remain the same, however, which will help accelerate and facilitate the transition from the E-2C to the E-2D.

Separately, Parly also confirmed that the contract for seven Dassault Falcon 2000LXS Albatros maritime surveillance aircraft will be inked in 2020. The type has been selected as part of the Avsimar (Avions de surveillance et d’intervention maritime, surveillance, and maritime intervention) programme to replace fast-ageing Guardians and Falcon 50s. Seven offshore patrol vessels will be ordered for surveillance missions in French overseas dependencies.

Parly also revealed that two upgraded Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft and two NH90 Caïman helicopters will be delivered in 2020, bringing the number of Caïmans to 26 out of 27 planned. She also said the Suffren nuclear attack submarine will begin sea trials in February 2020 and that it should be officially delivered to the Marine Nationale in August.

Admiral Olivier Goutay, commander of the French Naval Aviation, explained in a recent interview that “Compared to the Alizé [that used to be] in service on board [the former] carriers Foch and Clemenceau , the E-2C offered considerably improved operational capabilities, allowing us to better understand the tactical environment around the task force. The E-2D will bring even more advanced operational capabilities against the latest airborne and surface threats. The E-2D will be operated by Flottille 4F and flown from the Charles de Gaulle and her successor. The Marine Nationale is also conducting a study to determine what advantages the unit might have moving from Lann-Bihoué to Landivisiau where the Navy Rafale M fleet is stationed.”



Comment


Meanwhile, Japan's E-2D acquisition updated -

Northrop Grumman gets $1,3 billion Japanese E-2D contract modification


U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $1,3 billion U.S. Navy contract modification for non-recurring and recurring engineering for the production and delivery of nine Japan configuration E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS).

This modification definitizes a previously awarded modification (P00003) for long lead parts associated with the Japan E-2D aircraft.

In November 2014, the Japan Ministry of Defense competitively selected the Northrop Grumman E-2D to fulfill an emerging next-generation airborne early warning requirement.

Japan has operated the Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye since 1983 and is the largest E-2 operator outside the U.S. The E-2D delivers a two-generation leap in radar technology, allowing the aircraft to track threats at extended range. The aircraft can also be used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capacity for civilian emergency coordination.

The E-2D offers interoperability with next-generation aircraft systems and U.S. Navy allies to support regional security cooperation. To ensure long-term success of the Japan E-2D fleet, Northrop Grumman is providing continued support to JASDF in the areas of sustainment and maintenance, in coordination with several Japanese firms.

Furthermore, Northrop Grumman Corporation completed its first delivery of an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) on March 29, 2019.

Currently, the E-2D is the most advanced Airborne Command and Control platform that the U.S. and Japan have in its inventory.

E-2D Hawkeyes have eight-bladed, turbofan propellers and twin engines, giving it over 300 knots of air speed. While it is not as fast as a jet, it gets better fuel flow, meaning it can stay airborne long enough to complete their mission.

The Northrop Grumman’s website said the E-2D gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations delivering battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 29 Sep 2019 21:15

SpaceX Unveils Silvery Vision to Mars:

Elon Musk wrote:‘It’s Basically an I.C.B.M. That Lands’


Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 02 Oct 2019 07:32

KF-X first prototype to be rolled out in first half of 2021. A very ambitious schedule for development and flight testing. With no experience of having done this level of development on their own before, I doubt that they'll manage to complete it all within 4 years of first flight. Just for comparison's sake, this is approximately what the MWF schedule will look like, but it will reuse a bunch of systems or they'll be scaled up from the existing Mk1 design. These guys need to do it all from scratch. And the T-50 was essentially a Lockheed Martin design and they assisted them from start to finish on everything on that program. This time, KAI is the senior partner.

Image

KF-X fighter prototype to be rolled out in first half of 2021, confirms DAPA

Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) is expected to complete construction of the first KF-X fighter aircraft prototype by the first half of 2021 and conduct the first test flight of the platform a year later, South Korea's Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) confirmed in a 26 September statement.

DAPA said that the critical design phase of the aircraft has now been completed, allowing the KF-X/IF-X project, which stands for Korean Fighter eXperimental/Indonesian Fighter eXperimental, to move on to the next phase: prototype construction.

Development of the single-seat, twin-engined, multirole aircraft began in January 2016, with the preliminary design of the KF-X being finalised in June 2018. Production work on the first prototype began in February 2018, with KAI announcing at the time that it had started manufacturing the aircraft's bulk head.

As Jane's reported, the KF-X development programme envisages the production of six prototypes, followed by four years of trials and the completion of development by mid-2026. Serial production of the aircraft will take place during 2026-32, with an initial 120 units intended to replace the Republic of Korea Air Force's (RoKAF's) ageing fleets of F-4E Phantom and F-5E Tiger II aircraft.


Total production is expected to exceed 350 units, including a quota for exports.

Indonesia is currently renegotiating its involvement in the programme, although Jakarta remains committed to honouring its payment obligations set out under a 2015 financial agreement.

Under this original agreement, which is now subject to renegotiation, Indonesia committed to paying for 20% of the total development costs, which are estimated at about USD8 billion. The South Korean government would pay for 60% of the development programme, with prime contractor KAI covering the remaining 20%.

KAI's industry partner on the project is PT Dirgantara Indonesia.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Oct 2019 07:50

Just look at historic growth between test points and flight test hours between the F-16, F-18E, F-22 and F-35 dev/ops test programs. There is no chance in hell that KAI can actually fashion together a development and operational test program of a proper 5th generation multi-role fighter (with IWB, internal sensors etc etc etc) and get all of that done in under a decade unless they are sitting on a huge leap in M&S and simulation test capability that the rest of the world does not have. And the clock really does not even begin ticking until they have a set of production representative test articles so don't expect this thing to be operational with its fully advertised capability before the middle of the 2030's. You are not going to convince the test community to validate test points with non production representative tech demonstrators and you cannot even begin doing fatigue testing on them.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ramana » 02 Oct 2019 22:45

For those interested on NASA Moonlander proposals:

https://spacenews.com/nasa-issues-call- ... r-landers/

It has links to the first and second draft of the requirements.

First Draft;

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity ... e&_cview=0

Second draft:

https://spacenews.com/nasa-refines-plan ... ar-lander/

Please read and get informed.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby JayS » 03 Oct 2019 17:15

brar_w wrote:Just look at historic growth between test points and flight test hours between the F-16, F-18E, F-22 and F-35 dev/ops test programs. There is no chance in hell that KAI can actually fashion together a development and operational test program of a proper 5th generation multi-role fighter (with IWB, internal sensors etc etc etc) and get all of that done in under a decade unless they are sitting on a huge leap in M&S and simulation test capability that the rest of the world does not have. And the clock really does not even begin ticking until they have a set of production representative test articles so don't expect this thing to be operational with its fully advertised capability before the middle of the 2030's. You are not going to convince the test community to validate test points with non production representative tech demonstrators and you cannot even begin doing fatigue testing on them.

True that. They are likely going to induct a half baked Fighter a few yrs later than this over ambitious date of 2026. And continue development later.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby SaiK » 04 Oct 2019 07:58


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 04 Oct 2019 18:56

Aditya_V wrote:I influence to push Boieng out of both the F-22 and the F-35, they probably have a lot clout in the US government and are pushing for these deals.


Lockheed and Boeing had a business arrangement that whoever missed the first cut in the ATF program would join the other program as a sub-contractor. Boeing missed the cut, and hence became a sub-contractor on Lockheed's ATF team. Once requirements were zero'd in, they decided that it would be more of a partnership than a pure prime-sub relationship and Boeing had design influence. The resultant FY-22 was a Lockheed-Boeing product though Lockheed was the Prime and dominant partner. Boeing lost the X-32 because it ignored one of the vital stakeholders and did not design to the level of capability that it wanted and assumed that if other two stakeholders are happy the third one will tag along. It turned out the other two customers were not as happy as Boeing thought they'd be and they ended up totally antagonizing the Marines. There was also the concern that they never flew their final configuration as it was very difficult to prove maturity if those changes have not made it into the technology demonstrator.

In both cases (ATF and JSF) Lockheed had a superior product and was able to very quickly take a set of requirements and generate demonstrations with very high confidence. They were able to do this in no small part due to their lean Skunk Works legacy as was evident from their confidence and going up and exploring a far greater supersonic envelope on the YF-22 (compared to the YF-23) or pulling off a "Hat Trick" on the JSF program. This is widely believed to be the reason why Boeing pumped a ton of money into MD's Phantom Works post acquisition and continues to buy startups, and why Northrop acquired Scaled Composites..

Boeing is the most politically well connected US A&D company out there thanks to its huge commercial business. Though regardless, companies do not need clout to advance FMS sales as it is the duty of the US administration to provide the diplomatic push to make sure these interests are pursued just like it is for all other organizations be it in France, London, Berlin, or elsewhere.

Both the ATF and JSF examples do not point to political clout influencing the decision in any sort of way. In both of those cases, risk, performance during the demonstrations, or design choices more than sufficiently explain the acquisition decision and both were appealable decisions. If we continue on this argument one would have to conclude that the much smaller, Northrop Grumman, enjoys more clout than both Lockheed and Boeing combined since it beat that team out to win the B-21 contract, and was able to survive the GAO protest filed by Boeing. There too, it was most likely recent performance on a classified program, past experience on stealth aircraft and their current B-2 sustainment and upgrade work that carried the day.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 06 Oct 2019 01:47

Aditya_V wrote:The other 5 gen programs were developed at a time when engines produced less power, AeSA radars were unheard of,...


That's not true. By the time the ATF EMD contracts were awarded, Active Phased Array radars had already been evaluated under the same Demonstration and Evaluation contract that evaluated LO shaping, 5th generation propulsion (YF119 and YF120) and integrated electronic warfare suite. Two competing teams presented their DemVal proof of concept radars and both flew on the test bed. It was up to the Airframe designers to choose the radar OEM they wanted and both selected what we now know as Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. Even before that, the choice to go active ESA instead of Passive ESA was also studied prior to start of the ATF EMD phase..here Westinghouse (now NG) demonstrated higher reliability and performance via the URR program allowing the designers to move from PESA (which were present on the B-1 and B-2 bomber at the time (covering X (B-1) and Ku band (B-2). A decision had already been made to prematurely terminate PESA radar development and transition the industry fully to support AESA radars. Even the F-15 received its first AESA radar (IOC) nearly 5 years before the F-22 achieved its IOC. As for the rest of the stuff, by the time the ATF EMD was awarded, the F-117 had been operational for > 7 years, and the B-2 had flown and been in production for a number of years. I don't know about you but I don't think that the teams that worked on the F-117 or the B-2 and their respective competing bids were using "4th gen" level metal tech before pursuing 5th gen. fighters. In fact you could literally trace a multi-decade path of technology development investment under the "second offset" that these OEM's had the benefit of. I had detailed more than 2 dozen individual technology or industrial base development programs that led to the base that created the F-22, and F-35 fighters. That can probably be dug up using search as I don't have a copy of that anymore.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby somdev » 06 Oct 2019 02:22

NRao wrote:SpaceX Unveils Silvery Vision to Mars:
Elon Musk wrote:‘It’s Basically an I.C.B.M. That Lands’


What is interesting is the use of stainless steel for the methane powered rocket

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 07 Oct 2019 02:24

International Fighter Conference 2019 :: NETWORKED LETHALITY: BEYOND GENERATIONS

The International Fighter Conference 2019 returns to Berlin to discuss the future of Combat Air Power across the spectrum of operations. The utility of Combat Air, air-integration into multi-domain operations, and continuing interest in both next generation and light attack platforms calls for a broad range of discussion suited to the 250 attendees that gather each year from both large and small air forces alike. The Conference, now in its 19th year, has built a reputation as the world’s premier event for all elements of the fighter aircraft community, with attendance spanning from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia.

Investment in expensive high-end platforms needs to be balanced with a requirement for platforms adept and efficient in low-intensity conflict. What is consistent is that information and connectivity is at the heart of operations. This year’s wide-ranging programme uniquely covers the key and emerging issues related to airpower delivery for military leaders and industry. Over the few conference days, we will exchange perspectives and gain insights towards meeting the challenges of operations now and in the future, addressing integration of next generation assets with existing platforms, light attack aircraft, electro-magnetic spectrum dominance, cyber integration, advanced training, LVC, cost-effective capability development, disruptive technologies and mission planning. The next generation programmes, including FCAS, Tempest, and F-X will be discussed and will provide an incredible opportunity to revolutionise airpower delivery and open the door for international opportunities.

The conference format runs 12-14 November with the 14 November comprising a day of focus sessions: a dedicated morning for smaller air forces to examine the Ford vs. Ferrari debate and a focus afternoon, evaluating the role of disruptive technologies in future airpower delivery.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 08 Oct 2019 03:17

brar_w wrote:Just look at historic growth between test points and flight test hours between the F-16, F-18E, F-22 and F-35 dev/ops test programs. There is no chance in hell that KAI can actually fashion together a development and operational test program of a proper 5th generation multi-role fighter (with IWB, internal sensors etc etc etc) and get all of that done in under a decade unless they are sitting on a huge leap in M&S and simulation test capability that the rest of the world does not have. And the clock really does not even begin ticking until they have a set of production representative test articles so don't expect this thing to be operational with its fully advertised capability before the middle of the 2030's. You are not going to convince the test community to validate test points with non production representative tech demonstrators and you cannot even begin doing fatigue testing on them.


4 years was not even possible for 4th gen fighters. Not a single 4th gen fighter was put into service from first flight in 4 years. Even with the KAI KF-X being a quasi 5th gen fighter (no internal weapons carriage initially), it seems like they're setting themselves up for not being able to meet such timelines. Add to it the fact that they have done no full scale development work entirely on their own, with extensive hand holding from LM on the T-50. their partner from Indonesia is providing funding and engineers but brings little fast jet design and development experience to the table.

Regarding Production standard prototypes, I wonder whether they have just 1 or 2 Technology Demonstrator type prototypes planned. For the Medium Weight Fighter (Tejas Mk2) the plan is to go straight to Production Standard Prototypes.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Oct 2019 03:38

The MWF builds on the LCA, the KFX is going to be their first attempt at a whole host of new fifth gen capability much of which cannot be demonstrated on test beds hence the need for a few demonstrators to validate tech unless they are willing to assume significant risk by bypassing this step. Basically a good ballpark for 5th gen fighter IOC is between 10-15 years from first flight. That is how much it has taken everyone else, none of whom were moving slow for the sake of moving slow. I’d reiterate my observations from an earlier post on this topic -

But from my observation standpoint (having followed 5th gen fighter programs for over two decades) there are two universal themes that keep recurring -

1) That 5th gen aircraft, integrated mission systems, performance, IWB and LO shaping, and materials is some SERIOUS hard work and the complexity and technical hurdles have consumed a lot of time of everyone that has taken on the challenge

and

2) The operator community and the civilian administrators put in charge of them have almost universally underestimated the magnitude of the challenge as has been reflected in their initial estimates for both cost and schedule. Again all well intentioned folks wanting to get everything right and on time. This stuff is just hard because you are inventing in many cases and iterating on the fly.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 08 Oct 2019 05:12

Denel A-Darter short range IIR missile gets formally qualified


Image

A-Darter AAM formally qualified

Denel Dynamics completed the formal qualification review of the A-Darter imaging infrared (IIR) short-range air-to-air missile (SRAAM) in August, followed by certification in September by the South African Air Force's (SAAF's) Directorate Systems Integrity and the Brazilian Institute for Industrial Development and Coordination. The two Type Certificates were handed over to Denel Dynamics in Brasilia on 29 September, with South Africa's Armscor simultaneously formally handing over the A-Darter data pack to the Brazilian Department of Aerospace Science and Technology.

The A-Darter has already been integrated, qualified, and cleared on the Saab JAS39 Gripen C/D fighters that are used by the SAAF, and the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) will now work with Saab to similarly integrate the missile with its Gripen E/F fighters. It is understood that at least one other country has already expressed interest in the A-Darter.

The A-Darter is a fifth-generation 23 km range SRAAM that weighs 93 kg and has a length of 2.98m, diameter of 16.6cm, and a wingspan of 48.8 cm across the tail fins. The missile features a multi-element, two-colour thermal imaging infrared seeker with a 180° look angle and 120°/second track rate. High agility - 100 G - is provided by using body lift and thrust vector control. The IMU will handle up to 9,000°/sec (+/- 500°/sec) and linear accelerations up to 30 G. The motor composition and design have been optimised to minimise the launch signature. It has a laser proximity fuze and multi-mode ECCM using digital processing and the latest available hardware and software.

The guidance system offers lock-on-before-launch and lock-on-after-launch modes, and can be cued onto a target using the aircraft's radar, an infrared search and track (IRST) system if fitted, or through pilot's helmet sight.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 08 Oct 2019 05:13

brar_w wrote:The MWF builds on the LCA, the KFX is going to be their first attempt at a whole host of new fifth gen capability much of which cannot be demonstrated on test beds hence the need for a few demonstrators to validate tech unless they are willing to assume significant risk by bypassing this step. Basically a good ballpark for 5th gen fighter IOC is between 10-15 years from first flight. That is how much it has taken everyone else, none of whom were moving slow for the sake of moving slow. I’d reiterate my observations from an earlier post on this topic -

But from my observation standpoint (having followed 5th gen fighter programs for over two decades) there are two universal themes that keep recurring -

1) That 5th gen aircraft, integrated mission systems, performance, IWB and LO shaping, and materials is some SERIOUS hard work and the complexity and technical hurdles have consumed a lot of time of everyone that has taken on the challenge

and

2) The operator community and the civilian administrators put in charge of them have almost universally underestimated the magnitude of the challenge as has been reflected in their initial estimates for both cost and schedule. Again all well intentioned folks wanting to get everything right and on time. This stuff is just hard because you are inventing in many cases and iterating on the fly.


Agreed.

Did the J-20 take that long though?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Oct 2019 05:16

There is no way to verify the level of capability on that aircraft at IOC or establish a definitive and accurate schedule and various milestones. Nor do we know what systems work and what don’t as they aren’t very transparent regarding extent and results of development or operational testing. You can do so reasonably for both the US program ( where tester summaries are present for each
Year of the program including official test pilot reports in some cases) and to a large extent the Su-57.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 08 Oct 2019 06:28

Shaping the Next-Generation Air Power

CREATING THE FIRST FIFTH-GENERATION FIGHTER: 8 LESSONS
LEARNED FROM THE F-35 PROGRAMME
Lieutenant General (Ret’d) Chris Bogdan, Former PEO F-35
Lightning II Joint Program Office, U.S. Air Force

DESIGNING THE EUROPEAN NEW GENERATION FIGHTER: THE
FCAS PROGRAMME 13
PART 1: ACHIEVING AIR SUPERIORITY AT THE HORIZON 2040
Major General Jean-Pascal Breton, Programme Lead FCAS, French
Air Force

PART 2: ENABLING EUROPEAN AIR FORCES TO FIND AN ANSWER TO
FUTURE AIR POWER CHALLENGES
Bruno Fichefeux, Head of Future Combat Air Systems, Airbus
Defence and Space

PREPARING FOR THE POST-TYPHOON ERA: THE TEMPEST
PROGRAMME
Air Commodore Dan Storr, Head Combat Air Acquisition
Programme, UK MoD

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 10 Oct 2019 23:17

60 will complete the original FX-Phase III competition but not account for any growth since those topline numbers were finalized by the ROKAF. I wouldn't be surprised if there is another 20 on top of that that is delivered in the 2025-2030 time-frame to account for growth and the fact that there is huge risk in the KFX hitting its In service date in that timeframe.

South Korea to buy 20 more F-35 jets


South Korea will begin the second phase of its plan to acquire stealthy fighter jets, code-named F-X III, by acquiring 20 more F-35s, the country’s arms procurement agency has confirmed.

The Asian economic power had ordered 40 F-35As for Air Force operations under a 2014 deal worth about $6.4 billion, with the delivery of the fifth-generation fighters starting earlier this year.

“The government is preparing to launch the second phase of the F-X III in 2021 for the five years to come,” the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, or DAPA, said in a report to the National Assembly on Oct. 7. About $3.3 billion will go toward buying the additional Lockheed Martin-made aircraft, the report noted.

Which F-35 variant is under consideration has been a point of debate here, though multiple defense sources say the government will buy the F-35A rather than the "B" variant because of the former’s short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing capability. The STOVL ability allows the aircraft to take off and land from South Korea’s new large-deck landing ship planned for deployment in the 2030s.

“The state-funded Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, or KIDA, has concluded a study on the additional acquisition of F-35 aircraft, and the study is to suggest the introduction of more F-35As be more feasible,” a source at the Ministry of National Defense told Defense News on the condition of anonymity. In July, the South Korean military approved a plan to construct a carrier-type landing platform helicopter ship as part of its long-term force buildup plan. The new vessel is to be refit to displace 30,000 tons, double the capacity of the previous two types with 14,500 tons of displacement.

“There are two issues [with getting] the F-35B. First, it’s more expensive than the conventional-takeoff-and-landing version. Second, the deployment of a carrier-type landing ship is far away from now,” the source said.

On Oct. 1, the Air Force showcased its F-35As for the first time since it received the fighters during an Armed Forces Day ceremony.The service has so far brought in eight units, with five more arriving here by year’s end. Fourteen more aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to South Korea next year, according to the service.

“For its operational deployment, we are now carrying out related processes such as training pilots and maintenance technicians and the construction of facilities and relevant systems,” the service said in a report submitted to lawmakers on Oct. 10. “As a centerpiece of the country’s strategic targeting scheme against potential enemy forces, the radar-evading warplane is expected to boost operational capabilities and strengthen the readiness posture against threats from all directions.”

The F-35A can fly at a top speed of Mach 1.8 and carry top-of-the-line weapons systems such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition.

North Korea has decried the deployment of F-35 aircraft in South Korea due to the jet’s capability to evade radars and penetrate its territory. In July, Pyongyang threatened to destroy all the F-35As arriving in South Korea.

A senior North Korean official was quoted by the state-run media as saying that the North has “no other choice but to develop and test the special armaments to completely destroy the lethal weapons reinforced in South Korea.”

North Korea test-fired new short-range ballistic missiles and guided rockets in recent months. The weapons take aim at the F-35 base in particular, experts say.

The ballistic missile, identified as KN-23, appears to have been modeled after Russia’s SS-26/Iskander. It’s believed to be capable of maneuvering at different altitudes and trajectories during flight so as to evade anti-ballistic missiles.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 11 Oct 2019 02:56

FCAS partners appeal to govts to move programme forward

Airbus and Dassault have called on the German and French governments to commit to additional funding and the launch of the demonstrator phase for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) programme.

In a joint statement issued on 7 October both companies proclaimed their desire to achieve speedy, concrete progress on the project, saying that a high-level ministerial meeting to be held between Germany and France later in the month should provide a spur to achieving this.

"The upcoming Franco-German ministerial council meeting should serve as a catalyst for this joint desire to move forward by rapidly launching this demonstrator phase and committing the partner nations to a reliable funding plan to confirm the sustainable and coherent nature of this European development programme," the statement read.

Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, and Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation, added; "We call on our political leaders to make every effort to launch these demonstrators at the earliest opportunity in what will be a key step in moving this ambitious project forward."

As noted by the companies in their statement, a Franco-German industrial organisation has been defined under the respective national leadership of Dassault Aviation and Airbus (France is to lead development of the New Generation Fighter [NGF], with Germany leading the wider FCAS). A Franco-German Joint Concept Study (JCS) was launched in January 2019 to define the main features of the system.

"Airbus and Dassault Aviation wish to underline how quickly both companies had jointly concluded agreements and prepared themselves to move forward," the statement read, adding, "However, future technologies need to be developed now for subsequent flight testing and qualification. This maturation phase is essential to de-risk and anticipate developments of such complexity.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Oct 2019 03:47

The XQ-58A had a bit of rough landing during recovery after completing its third test flight under the AFRL program. Initial reports indicate that it will be repaired and will continue on to flight 4 as it chews through test points on its way to wrapping up the current phase of testing and concept validation -

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq:KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that the Kratos / AFRL team has successfully completed Valkyrie Flight 3. During the 90 minute flight, the XQ-58A executed a perfect launch and met 56 of 56 baseline test points, plus two additional test points with excess fuel remaining after completion of the mission. After successful completion of the flight, the recovery parachute system worked flawlessly, and the aircraft descended nominally under the canopy system. In final descent, the prototype cushion system, which was employed for the initial test series but is not intended for ultimate operational use, suffered an anomaly resulting in the aircraft sustaining damage upon touchdown. The XQ-58A Valkyrie, like all Kratos’ heritage drones and Kratos’ high performance jet target drones, are designed to be quickly repaired and reused if damage is sustained after performing operational missions. The Valkyrie has been recovered, and the damage has been initially evaluated and determined to be fully repairable. Kratos plans to address the cushion system prior to Flight 4 and complete its test flight series with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) while continuing to execute with its other Valkyrie customers.

“Based on the flights performed to date and the resulting data generated, we do not need to revise any of the airborne control systems, which is amazing for any newly developed system, but especially so for UAS. We believe that our customer set is extremely pleased with the XQ-58A’s system performance to date. The reliability of the cushion system is an area we must improve, and we’ll be working with our subcontractor to perfect the system before Flight 4. However, this is specifically why flight test series are performed: to address any issues ahead of full operational capability being achieved and ensure our Armed Forces are using the most reliable technologies available.”

LINK

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 11 Oct 2019 04:25

From AW&ST

Image

TAIPEI, Taiwan—Taiwan has begun early research on fighter engine development in support of a possible program for a potential indigenous combat aircraft.

The engine work began last year, said Eddie Chien, director general of the island’s defense technology agency, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (Ncsist).

It started ahead of other research because propulsion is seen as the greatest area of difficulty for indigenous development, Chien added. Ncsist said in 2017 that it already had a specific (but undisclosed) propulsion research program underway, so the agency appears to have shifted to a broader effort in 2018.

The entire program for acquiring fighter technology is at a very preliminary stage, Chien emphasized, noting that spending is limited by other defense priorities. Universities are doing part of the work.

Concepts for the future fighter are being considered broadly; there is no immediate design that researchers are working toward. The government has set no timetable for developing such an aircraft, but the air force’s current fighter inventory seems likely to need replacement no later than the 2030s.

If Taiwan eventually launches full-scale development of a combat aircraft, the government’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC)—which developed the F-CK-1 fighter with help from Lockheed Martin—will almost certainly be the prime contractor. More immediate experience has been gained by AIDC and Ncsist with an F-CK-1 upgrade and, now underway, the development of the Advanced Jet Trainer by AIDC.

Electronic systems are seen as the second most difficult area, though Ncsist has extensive experience in surface-to-air radar technology that can serve as the basis for an air-to-air radar. Asked whether this could include development of radars using gallium-nitride as a semiconductor, a technology that is appearing elsewhere, Chien said the agency could do that if the government wanted it to do so.

Ncsist understands aerodynamic design well, so that should present a lower degree of difficulty. As for weapons, the agency has a considerable background in developing missile systems.

Taiwan’s economy is only about as big as Poland’s. But it is spending on technology for the possible future indigenous aircraft because it fears that the U.S., faced with pressure from China, may decline to supply fighters.

Taiwan has had such an experience already. The administrations of U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both refused to supply Lockheed Martin F-16s requested in 2006, the latter instead authorizing an upgrade of F-16s already in Taiwan’s inventory. The current U.S. administration is moving to sell 66 F-16 Block 70s to Taiwan, however.

A report last year by Rand Corp., a U.S. think tank, recommended that Taiwan emphasize surface-to-air systems rather than fighters for air defense.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 11 Oct 2019 04:27

From AW&ST

Poland To Spend $133 Billion On Defense Equipment. May look at purchasing additional F-16s, most likely the Block 70 version.


Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Oct 10, 2019
Tony Osborne

Poland has laid out yet another new plan for the modernization of the country’s armed forces, with the aim of spending 524 billion zlotys ($133 billion) on equipment through 2035.

Under the new plan, details of which were announced on Oct. 10 by Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, aerospace programs are given a high priority.

As well as charging ahead with the purchase of 32 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from the U.S., the plan also calls for additional F-16 Fighting Falcons and the development of a loyal wingman unmanned aircraft system under the Harpi Szpon program.

A previous iteration of Poland’s defense plan published last summer called for 185 billion Polish Zloty ($47 billion) to be spent through 2026.

Błaszczak said laying out a long-term plan would open the way to “creating a legal basis for concluding long-term contracts.”

Until now, Błaszczak said, the modernization of the armed forces had been impacted by “delays, incompetence, helplessness and lack of interest” from previous administrations.

Błaszczak said significant progress on the purchase of the F-35s had already been made. He added that finalization of the aircraft contract—expected to be the largest defense contract in Polish history—was now a “matter of time.” The letter of offer and acceptance to proceed with the Foreign Military Sale is expected to be signed before year’s end, with deliveries expected in 2024.

No details have been provided about the number of additional F-16s or whether they would be new-build or secondhand aircraft. Poland already operates 48 Block 52 models. The country could purchase Block 70 aircraft, but would end up flying a mixed fleet unless the Block 52s were bought up to the Block 70/72/F-16V standard. Officials have previously suggested secondhand aircraft could also be in the cards.

The Harpi Szpon program calls for the purchase of a low-observable unmanned aircraft system in the class of the U.S. Kratos XQ-58 or the Australian Boeing Air Teaming System. Polish officials say the platform should be able to perform both reconnaissance and combat tasks, and attack “well-protected targets without exposing pilots to danger.”


The Observer program appears to call for a layered intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system using satellites, smallsats, reconnaissance aircraft and a mixed fleet of unmanned aircraft systems, but does not outline the type of equipment or numbers to be purchased. Projects such as Kruk—Polish for Raven—to purchase a new fleet of attack helicopters will also proceed once existing programs to buy helicopters for the country’s special forces and navy have been completed, Błaszczak said. No mention has been made of a new program to replace transport helicopters such as Poland’s fleet of Soviet-era Mil Mi-8 models or the Mil Mi-2 scout helicopters.

Programs to develop a multilayered air defense system are also proceeding. Wisla/Vistula is to deliver a medium-range air defense system and Narew a short-range air defense system, of which around a dozen will be acquired, Błaszczak said. Purchase of the Patriot air and missile defense system is continuing.

Officials are also looking to buy containerized weapons with submunitions that allow for the attack of large groups of mechanized and armored vehicles. It is unclear whether the Groszek program, Polish for “spot,” is linked to the U.S.-made CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon. Such a weapon was listed in the package of weaponry included in Poland’s purchase of the F-16. The country is not a signatory to the convention on Cluster Munitions. Warsaw also wants to purchase loitering munitions.

Other buys planned include tactical missile launchers capable of striking targets 300 km away, as well as new surfaces and anti-tank systems. Warsaw also wants a new infantry armored fighting vehicle and a tank destroyer capable of destroying multiple tanks with salvos of missiles.
Last edited by Kartik on 11 Oct 2019 04:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Oct 2019 04:29

Kartik wrote:FCAS partners appeal to govts to move programme forward

Airbus and Dassault have called on the German and French governments to commit to additional funding and the launch of the demonstrator phase for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) programme.

...


Further down the article :

As the plan currently stands, the first phase of the demonstrator phase is now due. This is to be followed by the release of a common operational document due in 2020. A demonstrator platform will fly in about 2026, and between 2026 and 2030 the design will be fine-tuned ahead of the specifications being frozen in time for an in-service date of between 2040 and 2045.


In service date of 2040-2045 :roll:

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 11 Oct 2019 04:53

From AW&ST


Netherlands to Buy Nine More F-35s


The Dutch government has confirmed it will purchase an additional nine F-35s for its air force, making it the first European air service to increase its F-35 order.

The additional nine F-35s, which will bring the Dutch fleet to 46 aircraft, are being purchased thanks to an increase in defense spending announced in September. The aircraft will reduce the burden on the F-35 fleet, particularly if they are deployed on operations, State Secretary for Defense Barbara Visser told the Netherlands House of Representatives on Oct. 8. It will also allow the air force to react more quickly to conflicts.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force wants to be able to deploy at least four F-35s on a long-term mission.

The purchase of the nine additional aircraft will cost around €1 billion ($1.10 billion), Visser says. The cost includes spares, additional training resources and infrastructure.

“By adding nine aircraft to the current fleet, the defense organization is better able to perform constitutional tasks,” the Dutch defense ministry says. It added that the purchase means “the foundation is laid for a third F-35 squadron,” hinting at possible additional future orders. Until now, the Netherlands had only purchased enough aircraft for two frontline squadrons.

No details on when the additional aircraft will be delivered have been released. But the last of the 37 aircraft currently ordered is due to arrive in mid-2023 from the assembly line in Italy, where 29 of the Dutch aircraft are being built.

As one of the nine original F-35 partner nations, the Netherlands had originally pledged to purchase 85 aircraft to replace its locally assembled F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Dutch F-35s will be based at two bases on Dutch soil at Leeuwarden and Volkel. A handful will also be located in the U.S. to support training.

—Tony Osborne in London

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 11 Oct 2019 04:55

From AW&ST

Image


The 31-year-old F/A-18C Hornet number 300 flew for the last time Oct. 2. Credit: U.S. Navy


Farewell U.S. Navy Hornets


The U.S. Navy’s final F/A-18C Hornet made its last active-duty flight on Oct. 2 at NAS Oceana, Virginia.

Aircraft number 300 was assigned to Strike Fighter Sqdn. (VFA) 106, entering service in October 1988—the same year that Lt. Andrew Jalali, who flew its final flight—was born.

The squadron, which trains Navy pilots to fly Super Hornets, transferred more than 50 F/A-18 Hornets to Navy Reserve and U.S. Marine Corps units during the last year. The squadron has already received updated F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets. But this aircraft, tail number 300, will be stripped for parts and then scrapped, the Navy says.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Oct 2019 08:31

^ These were some beat up airframes that were driven hard over the last couple of decades with nearly constant carrier forward deployment in multiple theaters with a standard cruise rotating for 4-6 months at a time and chewing airframe hours at a brisk pace..The Marines will still get another decade+ from their Hornets but only after new mission computers and AESA radars to make sure they can pull their weight..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ArjunPandit » 15 Oct 2019 02:17

Image
would anyone know why the larger tail part on the left of engines as compared to the right in the top view....

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Gerard » 15 Oct 2019 07:57

Aft radar (left) and parachute (right)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 16 Oct 2019 05:27

Kartik wrote:
brar_w wrote:Just look at historic growth between test points and flight test hours between the F-16, F-18E, F-22 and F-35 dev/ops test programs. There is no chance in hell that KAI can actually fashion together a development and operational test program of a proper 5th generation multi-role fighter (with IWB, internal sensors etc etc etc) and get all of that done in under a decade unless they are sitting on a huge leap in M&S and simulation test capability that the rest of the world does not have. And the clock really does not even begin ticking until they have a set of production representative test articles so don't expect this thing to be operational with its fully advertised capability before the middle of the 2030's. You are not going to convince the test community to validate test points with non production representative tech demonstrators and you cannot even begin doing fatigue testing on them.


4 years was not even possible for 4th gen fighters. Not a single 4th gen fighter was put into service from first flight in 4 years. Even with the KAI KF-X being a quasi 5th gen fighter (no internal weapons carriage initially), it seems like they're setting themselves up for not being able to meet such timelines. Add to it the fact that they have done no full scale development work entirely on their own, with extensive hand holding from LM on the T-50. their partner from Indonesia is providing funding and engineers but brings little fast jet design and development experience to the table.

Regarding Production standard prototypes, I wonder whether they have just 1 or 2 Technology Demonstrator type prototypes planned. For the Medium Weight Fighter (Tejas Mk2) the plan is to go straight to Production Standard Prototypes.


It’s even a more dumbed down than I previously envisioned. The financial challenges are no surprise given they banked on Indonesia to pay a percentage development share on a fifth gen aircraft project. Would love to know which genius came up with that idea..One thing they do have to their advantage is that they received a lot of wind tunnel and configuration test data from Lockheed’s 5th gen R&D so that may have saved them some time and cost early on.

Fitted with a homegrown active electronically scanned array, or AESA, radar, the jet has a max take-off weight of 25,600 kg and a max payload of 7,700 kg, according to KAI. The jet can fly as fast as Mach 1.8 and has a cruising distance of 2,900 km.

The KF-X Block I will not have an internal weapons carriage, which is planned for subsequent production blocks. The initial version will also lack air-to-ground striking capability since the homegrown long-range air-to-ground missile is to be developed by the mid-2020s. The Korean version of the Taurus air-to-ground missile is being developed by LIG Nex1, the country’s precision guided weapons maker....

Despite development progress, there are signs of challenges in the jet fighter program, including a potential funding loophole. That’s because Indonesia, the only international partner of the KF-X, has been backtracking from its original commitment to investing 20 percent of the development costs. KAI is obliged to pay for 20 percent, and the government is to fund the remainder.

Under a 2016 deal, Indonesia is obliged to pay around $1.3 billion to acquire up to 48 jets called IF-X in Indonesia and get the transfer of fighter jet technologies.

But the South Asian nation has paid only $190 million, some 13 percent of its financial commitment, citing domestic budgetary constraints. As of July, Indonesia has funding shortfall of $250 million, according to DAPA officials.

Jakarta, instead of cash, has offered to make payment in kind, including the provision of CN235 transport aircraft produced by Indonesian Aerospace, also known as PTDI, under a license.


https://www.defensenews.com/2019/10/15/ ... ves-along/


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Indranil » 16 Oct 2019 05:48

Kamov and Mildesign bureaus have been merged!!!!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Oct 2019 08:13

NASA’s Supersonic X-59 QueSST Coming Together at Famed Factory


In the high desert of California, where some of the most important aircraft in aviation history have been built and flown, the next airplane destined to take its place among those aeronautical icons continues to take shape on a legendary factory floor.

That airplane is NASA’s X-59 QueSST (short for Quiet SuperSonic Technology), an experimental piloted aircraft designed to fly faster than sound without producing the annoying – if not sometimes alarming – sonic booms of previous supersonic aircraft.

That factory is better known as the Skunk Works, a renowned Lockheed Martin division that for the past 76 years has used an out-of-the-box approach to design and manufacturing that has produced the nation’s most advanced airplanes.

Now that legacy continues as the company assembles the X-59 for NASA in Palmdale, California, where, for the first time since the initial machined parts were delivered in November 2018, workers can see the familiar outline of an airplane forming.

“It’s pretty obvious when you look at it on the production floor. You can see there’s an aircraft starting to get built,” said Craig Nickol, NASA’s project manager for the X-59, which also is known as the Low Boom Flight Demonstrator.

And with the recent completion in September of a major project milestone – known as the Critical Design Review, or CDR – the X-59 will rapidly accelerate its evolution from an airplane on paper toward an airplane ready to roll out of the factory and take flight.

“The CDR showed us the design was mature enough to continue into the next phase and essentially finish the assembly,” Nickol said, noting the next milestone will come in December when an independent review board will present their findings from the CDR – a gathering known as a Key Decision Point.

“They’ll go through their review of the CDR, present any findings or issues that need to be addressed and then will make a recommendation if we should proceed with the project,” Nickol said.

Based on the results from the CDR, no show-stopping issues were identified and the pace of assembly work on the X-59 is already ramping up.

“I think now the rubber is really hitting the road as we have dozens of parts coming in each week that we’ve completed the design engineering on and will be ready for installation,” said Mike Buonanno, a Lockheed Martin aerospace engineer who is the company’s vehicle lead for the X-59.

“We’re on track to meet all the key performance requirements of the airplane, including those driven by its shape, which is so essential to the mission of the X-59,” Buonanno said.

The X-59’s mission is to gather data that has the potential to aid in the opening of a new era of commercial supersonic air travel over land.

Here’s the deal:

During the 1960’s, as both the United States and Europe were developing a civilian supersonic transport – the SST and Concorde, respectively – the general public made it known they did not want to endure the constant annoyance of sonic booms from airplanes flying over their work and homes.

So, in 1973, after several years of research and due process, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned aircraft from flying over land faster than Mach 1 – the speed of sound, which can vary based on temperature and atmospheric conditions. That would prevent the loud sonic booms.

Although the SST program was cancelled in 1971, the Concorde went on to fly for British Airways and Air France from 1976 to 2003, its supersonic cruising near the United States limited to only over the Atlantic Ocean.

Still, the demand for commercial supersonic air travel continued, which prompted this question: What if you could fly a supersonic airplane that didn’t produce loud sonic booms? What if, for those on the ground below, those sonic booms were quiet enough not to be an annoyance, or perhaps not heard at all?

That’s what the X-59 is going to help find out.

Based on decades of research into supersonic flight that included work in wind tunnels, testing concepts on aircraft in flight, and using powerful supercomputers to run simulations, NASA’s aeronautical innovators think they’ve come up with a solution.

By carefully designing the aircraft’s shape and overall configuration, engineers have found a way to manipulate the shockwaves coming off an airplane flying supersonic so they don’t produce sonic booms as intense as those the public is wary of.

It will be the X-59’s job to validate those theories, and once that’s done the airplane will go on the road, so to speak, and be flown over several U.S. communities (yet to be selected) so residents below can provide reactions to what they might or might not hear.

That data will then be passed on to the FAA and international regulators who, it is hoped, will use that information to help rewrite the rules so that supersonic flight over land is regulated based on noise levels and not the arbitrary speed of Mach 1.

When that happens, a major hurdle will be cleared for the nation’s aviation community to move forward in establishing a new market for commercial supersonic flight over land, where people and packages can get to their destinations in half the time...


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Oct 2019 08:23

Sierra Nevada ready to complete assembly of first Dream Chaser spacecraft


LOUISVILLE, Colo. — Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) says it’s ready to proceed into final assembly and testing of its first Dream Chaser cargo spacecraft, as the company retains plans to eventually develop a crewed version of the vehicle.

At a media event at a company facility here, SNC took possession of the primary structure of the first orbital Dream Chaser vehicle. That structure was built for SNC by Lockheed Martin and recently shipped from a Lockheed facility in Fort Worth, Texas, to SNC.

“This is a really, really complex structure,” said Steve Lindsey, SNC senior vice president of space exploration systems. The company described the structure as one of the most complex all-composite structures ever built in the aerospace industry, serving as the fuselage of the vehicle and the structure around which the rest of the vehicle will be assembled.

Lockheed Martin contributed to the construction using both its space and aeronautics expertise, the latter coming from a facility that makes composite structures for the F-35 fighter aircraft. “We took our space knowhow in our Lockheed Martin space business area and integrated that with our aeronautics division and their manufacturing capabilities to bond composites together,” said Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of commercial civil space at Lockheed Martin.

John Curry, the Dream Chaser program director for its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) 2 contract with NASA, said the other components of the vehicle, including the two wings and a separate cargo module, will arrive late this year and early next year. The goal, he said, is to have the vehicle fully assembled and tested by April 2021.

SNC will then fly the vehicle on a C-5 Galaxy cargo aircraft to NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Ohio for three months of environmental testing. That will include acoustics, vibration and thermal vacuum tests. From there, the spacecraft will be flown to the Kennedy Space Center for final preparations for its launch on a United Launch Alliance Vulcan rocket no earlier than September 2021.That mission is the first of at least six under the company’s CRS-2 contract to transport cargo to and from the International Space Station. It will join Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus and SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which have been providing cargo delivery services for several years under the original CRS contract and will continue to do so, with some upgrades, under CRS-2.

Kirk Shireman, NASA’s ISS program manager, welcomed the upcoming addition of the Dream Chaser to the fleet of vehicles supporting the station. “This vehicle really offers unique capabilities,” he said. Its cargo capacity to the station of 5,500 kilograms will be the largest of any of the cargo vehicles, and its ability to land on runways will give crews immediate access to cargo. “We’re really looking forward to having this capability.”

Those missions can, in theory, be handled by a single Dream Chaser vehicle. Curry noted that the vehicle is designed to fly at least 15 times. However, the company expects to build more to meet additional demand it foresees developing.

“We’re already working with Lockheed and others, looking at that second structure and when we’re going to start that. Our intent has always been to build a second vehicle,” Lindsey said. Additional vehicles will depend on demand, but, he said, “our intent is to build a fleet of these.”

While SNC received some NASA commercial crew awards to start development of Dream Chaser, Lindsey said the company has invested a “huge amount of money” to complete this first orbital vehicle. “We’re investing over a billion dollars of our own money into this program.”

SNC is still holding out hope that it will still be able to develop a crewed version of the vehicle that was set aside after losing out to Boeing and SpaceX for commercial crew contracts in 2014. The CRS-2 contract, Lindsey said, allows SNC to complete development of the cargo version of the vehicle, whose design is about 85% common with the crewed version.

“I do think this is a great people mover,” Curry said. “So I think one of these days, once we fly our missions to the space station, it’ll be like ‘Field of Dreams’: build it and they will come. I think we’ll be flying crew soon enough.”

While there’s no near-term NASA opportunity for a crewed version of Dream Chaser, Shireman said with an extension of the ISS beyond 2024, which looks likely, there may be opportunities to add new commercial crew providers in much the way SNC was added to the contracts for cargo delivery. “We haven’t forgotten about it,” he said.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Mort Walker » 18 Oct 2019 09:22

brar_w wrote:French Navy firms up plans to buy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye; Jane's Navy International;Henri-Pierre Grolleau, Paris



France is to order three Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye airborne early-warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft in 2020, the French defence minister has confirmed.Florence Parly made the commitment in an interview published in the Les Echos national newspaper.

The French Navy had been closely following the introduction of the E-2D into US Navy service, with the type to be adopted to replace the three E-2C Hawkeyes serving with Flottille 4F at Lann-Bihoué, near Lorient, in Brittany.

The E-2C has been in French Navy service for more than 20 years and the Marine Nationale is looking at the new E-2D as the obvious replacement. The newer variant is fitted with an entirely new AN/APY-9 radar with combined electronic/mechanical-scanning capabilities, more powerful processors, and an improved man-machine interface with larger screens. The airframe and engines remain the same, however, which will help accelerate and facilitate the transition from the E-2C to the E-2D.

Separately, Parly also confirmed that the contract for seven Dassault Falcon 2000LXS Albatros maritime surveillance aircraft will be inked in 2020. The type has been selected as part of the Avsimar (Avions de surveillance et d’intervention maritime, surveillance, and maritime intervention) programme to replace fast-ageing Guardians and Falcon 50s. Seven offshore patrol vessels will be ordered for surveillance missions in French overseas dependencies.

Parly also revealed that two upgraded Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft and two NH90 Caïman helicopters will be delivered in 2020, bringing the number of Caïmans to 26 out of 27 planned. She also said the Suffren nuclear attack submarine will begin sea trials in February 2020 and that it should be officially delivered to the Marine Nationale in August.

Admiral Olivier Goutay, commander of the French Naval Aviation, explained in a recent interview that “Compared to the Alizé [that used to be] in service on board [the former] carriers Foch and Clemenceau , the E-2C offered considerably improved operational capabilities, allowing us to better understand the tactical environment around the task force. The E-2D will bring even more advanced operational capabilities against the latest airborne and surface threats. The E-2D will be operated by Flottille 4F and flown from the Charles de Gaulle and her successor. The Marine Nationale is also conducting a study to determine what advantages the unit might have moving from Lann-Bihoué to Landivisiau where the Navy Rafale M fleet is stationed.”



Comment




brar_w,

I'd like to continue on in the discussion we had in the other (Raafale) thread regarding stealth. I was going to stop the discussion, but scrolled through this thread and found your post and was not entirely surprised when I saw the following and decided to post here. What gave me pause to look into this is the development of the AN/APY surveillance radar system.

Here is the link from Lockheed which developed the AN/APY-9 radar. From reading between the lines, it appears NG's radar division in Baltimore was involved in the development.

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/pr ... radar.html

1. The AN/APY-9 is a solid state radar in the UHF band which makes the wavelength between 10-70 cm. What this means is that solid state transmitters can't generate narrow pulses, but signal processors can do pulse compression and just look at windowing into timing of less than 1 us.

2. Space-Time-Adaptive-Processing provides significant clutter reduction. See: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/1006605
This is very important in terms of reducing clutter by 25 dB. This is nothing to sneeze at and is a real achievement.

3. Since you're a program management type of fellow, you'll appreciate the following link: https://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabil ... ooklet.pdf

Poking around some more confirms what has been speculated, note that this is a 5-yr old article:
https://news.usni.org/2014/06/09/u-s-na ... lain-sight

“It is the physics of longer wavelength and resonance that enables VHF and UHF radar to detect stealth aircraft,” Westra wrote in his article titled Radar vs. Stealth.

UHF-band radars operate at frequencies between 300MHz and 1GHz, which results in wavelengths that are between 10 centimeters and one meter long.

Typically, due to the physical characteristics of fighter-sized stealth aircraft, they must be optimized to defeat higher frequencies in the Ka, Ku, X, C and parts of the S-bands.

There is a resonance effect that occurs when a feature on an aircraft—such as a tail-fin tip— is less than eight times the size of a particular frequency wavelength. That omni-directional resonance effect produces a “step change” in an aircraft’s radar cross-section.

Effectively what that means is that small stealth aircraft that do not have the size or weight allowances for two feet or more of radar absorbent material coatings on every surface are forced to make trades as to which frequency bands they are optimized for.

That would include aircraft like the Chengdu J-20, Shenyang J-31, Sukhoi PAK-FA and indeed the United States’ own Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and tri-service F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Only very large stealth aircraft without protruding empennage surfaces — like the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit or the forthcoming Long Range Strike-Bomber — can meet the requirement for geometrical optics regime scattering.

“You can’t be everywhere at once on a fighter-sized aircraft,”

However, as Westra and many other sources point out, UHF and VHF-band radars have historically had some major drawbacks. “Poor resolution in angle and range, however, has historically prevented these radars from providing accurate targeting and fire control,” Westra wrote.

Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin appear to have overcome the traditional limitations of UHF-band radars in the APY-9 by applying a combination of advanced electronic scanning capability together with enormous digital computing power in the form of space/time adaptive processing.


After reading this I would think that the IAF should acquire the AN/APY-2 radar in another platform.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Oct 2019 10:31

I have posted these before and we have discussed these in depth here over the years. I believe if you use search you may even be able to dig up the paper I had posted from the AN/APY-9 design and integration team. Yes impressive capability
, not new but well proven and actively used as a test against current generation stealth aircraft in both formal evaluations and for pilot training and tactics development. And the technology comes from the same folks who are pushing themselves to make RF detection harder and harder. That they also operate on the other side is an added benefit and a source of competitive advantage.

Even the L band AESA that Northrop built for the AEW testing managed to find its way as a test article on the F-22 program. They’ve also built more stand alone. VHF radars for this specific purpose ( red teaming) and we only have a glimpse of what these teams were doing till the 90s. Nearly all of the 2000s and particularly the last decade of red teaming efforts are secret. They are relevant because the last decade is when the underlying technologies for the RQ-180 and B-21 would have been validated against future possible threat systems. Similarly, while we know what the high end capability coming online on the training and tactics side Is ( ARTS v-1 through 4) there is no visibility on what the threat representation and red teams have achieved over the timeframe from the early 2000s to now. But the lack of information doesn’t mean they have been sitting idle and doing nothing especially when there has been a resurgence in stealth spending between 2005 and 2019 owing to the two programs I cited earlier, and preliminary work on sixth generation fighter enabling technologies. It is a given that next generation stealth designs have a higher threshold barrier to cross given advances on the threat system side..

I will disregard the USNI article because it is from an author who is a sensationalist who is known to fabricate quotes and plant stories vis the pogo revolving door and now finds himself editing a tabloid. There are plenty of hints and even tacit admissions from the people in the know about how for example the F-35 addressed the issue of wideband lo. Papers have been published and some team members have even come out and admitted it. Articles in the stealth thread have been posted that highlight that.

chola
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 18 Oct 2019 15:18

The KFX! Looks like our AMCA:

https://mobile.twitter.com/ReutersAero/status/1184088570438586368


Conversation

ReutersAerospaceNews
@ReutersAero
South Korea unveils fighter jet mock-up amid program challenges

Image

https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1WU1H2



It's a mockup at ADEX2019 in Seoul.

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With all that stuff hanging outside, it ain't gonna be too stealthy ...

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Oct 2019 18:48

The design looks like something influenced by Lockheed Martin, which would be logical since they received assistance as an F-35 offset. The 2020s version of this aircraft is a 4.5 generation fighter without an internal weapons bay or flush mounted sensors. All of the stuff that is expected to make it LO comes later based on a get to be disclosed schedule.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Karan M » 18 Oct 2019 20:34

Its literally like the Japanese drew an anime version of a F-22.

brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Oct 2019 20:45

The problem with that from a design perspective is that the F-22A produces just about as much thrust dry as the KFX will with full afterburners. This will put tremendous pressure on the design team when it comes to weight, internal fuel capacity and drag. Same with the extreme right end of the envelope. That will be very difficult to replicate. But as a follow on to the T-50/FA-50 this seems like a good project ad they can use it to recapitalize some of their older fleets. Replicating or surpassing the F-22A's capability when it comes to the combined effects of performance and RCS is extremely challenging without access to very advanced propulsion technologies. I fully expect compromises when it comes to speed, range, payload, supercruise and other performance..they won't get anywhere close with the F-414..


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