International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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Kartik
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 05 Dec 2019 01:47

USAF F-16 crashes while attempting to land at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, pilot ejected

This is the third USAF F-16 to crash in the past 2 months.

It’s the third U.S. F-16 crash in less than 2 months.

A U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcon (nicknamed “Viper” in the fighter pilots community) crashed near Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, around 3:30PM LT. The jet was approaching the runway at the airbase to perform what the Air Force defined a “routine landing” when the pilot was forced to eject for reasons that have not been disclosed yet. The F-16 pilot landed near the base suffering minor injuries, and was taken to a medical facility.

The 8th Fighter Wing commander has suspended all military and civilian flying operations to ensure the safety and security of people and assets.

..

While “a board of officers will investigate the incident” it’s worth noticing that this is just the last in series of crashes of U.S. F-16s across the world: an F-16 assigned to the 49th Wing out of Holloman Air Force Base crashed during an evening training flight on Oct. 29, 2019. The pilot successfully ejected before the impact. That was the second incident in less than a month. Indeed, at the beginning of October, another F-16 crashed near Spangdahlem AB, Germany. The pilot ejected safely. Earlier this year, on May 17, 2019 another pilot successfully ejected from his F-16 before crashing into a large warehouse building on landing at March Air Reserve Base in Perris, California. That crash exposed several people on the ground to debris and to risk of hydrazine, a colorless, highly toxic and highly inflammable liquid that feeds the electrical systems and the EPU (Emergency Power Unit) in case of engine failure.

Two USAF F-16s crashed last year, including a fatal accident involving the U.S. Air Force flight demonstration team, The Thunderbirds that occurred on April 5, 2018. The other USAF F-16 accident in 2018 happened when an aircraft overran the runway on emergency landing and the pilot ejected safely at Lake Havasu City Airport in Arizona on April 24, 2018.

..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 05 Dec 2019 02:07

It is not atypical for the USAF to have between 3-5 class A mishaps with the F-16 fleet in a given fiscal year. It's been this case for 6/7 of the last 10 years. Late Fiscal Year 19, and Early Fiscal Year 20 was also when the USAF met or exceeded its 80% MCR for the F-16 which could potentially indicate that the flight hours in that time-frame likely were higher than a similar period immediately prior. I wouldn't be surprised if the F-16 fleet surpasses 225K flight hours this fiscal-year and that the Class-A rate is closer to 2-2.5 per 100K which though higher than the last couple of years is also not that atypical if one looks at it over a 5-10 year horizon for the fleet. FY 18 and 19 were really safe years for the F-16 fleet which were during times the fleet saw a not so negligible decrease in its utilization..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 06 Dec 2019 04:56

A couple of weeks old news, but still posting it. Highlights the age of the T-38 Talon fleet. 7 airplanes lost in 2 years in 6 separate accidents.

2 confirmed dead in crash of 2 T-38 Talons at Vance AFB

Two pilots are confirmed dead in the crash of two USAF T-38 Talon II advanced jet trainers at Vance AFB in Oklahoma.

A photo posted on the Enid News & Eagle website showed one T-38 Talon II lying upside down with significant damage on what appears to be a runway. Live video feed from the KOCO 5 News helicopter showed a second T-38 Talon II stopped on its landing gear with both canopies open.

..

Based on our records, this was the sixth crash involving a T-38 in two years. Five crashed in 2018, with the last one lost on Nov. 14, 2018.

..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby kit » 06 Dec 2019 17:15

This one comes right off Ripleys Believe it or Not ! ..

The Fastest Speeding Recorded?
When two traffic officers in Scotland were running speed checks, little did they know, they could have caused a major security incident.
The two traffic officers - using a handheld radar speed checking device, were shocked to see a recorded speed of over 300 mph for an approaching vehicle. The radar device promptly stopped working and the traffic officers could not manage to re-set it.

And the reply from the RAF takes the cake !! 8)

It turned out that the police radar "gun" had locked on to a NATO Tornado fighter jet, which had been engaged in low flying exercises over the North Sea. The local Chief Constable immediately complained to the RAF liaison officials and received the following reply:
"Thank you for your message, which allows us to complete our file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had automatically locked on to your 'hostile radar equipment' and sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore, the Sidewinder air-to-ground missiles aboard the fully-armed aircraft had also locked on to the target. Fortunately, the Dutch pilot flying the Tornado responded to the missile status alert intelligently and was able to override the automatic protection system before the missile was launched."

Anyway, those bobbies weren't toasted for checking speeding vehicles :((

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 06 Dec 2019 19:05

Sidewinder Air-to-ground missile :shock: ?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Karan M » 06 Dec 2019 20:38

That writeup is a complete mess.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 07 Dec 2019 01:31

kit wrote:This one comes right off Ripleys Believe it or Not ! ..

The Fastest Speeding Recorded?
When two traffic officers in Scotland were running speed checks, little did they know, they could have caused a major security incident.
The two traffic officers - using a handheld radar speed checking device, were shocked to see a recorded speed of over 300 mph for an approaching vehicle. The radar device promptly stopped working and the traffic officers could not manage to re-set it.

And the reply from the RAF takes the cake !! 8)

It turned out that the police radar "gun" had locked on to a NATO Tornado fighter jet, which had been engaged in low flying exercises over the North Sea. The local Chief Constable immediately complained to the RAF liaison officials and received the following reply:
"Thank you for your message, which allows us to complete our file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had automatically locked on to your 'hostile radar equipment' and sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore, the Sidewinder air-to-ground missiles aboard the fully-armed aircraft had also locked on to the target. Fortunately, the Dutch pilot flying the Tornado responded to the missile status alert intelligently and was able to override the automatic protection system before the missile was launched."

Anyway, those bobbies weren't toasted for checking speeding vehicles :((


what a load of bollocks..so many mistakes in this that only laypersons would believe such BS.

1) what is the range of a hand held radar speed checking device? The Tornado was flying over the North Sea but the hand held radar tracker could lock onto it?! :roll: And how could the traffic officer not see or hear the approaching fighter which HAD TO BE within the line of sight of the device itself for it to lock onto it?

2) the handheld radar speed check device has to be manually tracking the car by the traffic officer. it doesn't "lock on" to anything.

3) Third, the Sidewinder (which is an air to air missile, not air to ground) locks on to a heat signature. And you're saying that a human standing a few or maybe several miles away gives off such a huge heat signature that the seeker on a Sidewinder would lock on to it?! That too with all the ground clutter all around?

4) Fourth, if they're on a training mission in Scotland, would they be carrying live ordnance?

5) Fifth, automatic protection systems on board the Tornado would've released flares and chaff, not fired off missiles without the pilot's command.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby kit » 07 Dec 2019 06:39

Kartik wrote:
kit wrote:This one comes right off Ripleys Believe it or Not ! ..

The Fastest Speeding Recorded?
When two traffic officers in Scotland were running speed checks, little did they know, they could have caused a major security incident.
The two traffic officers - using a handheld radar speed checking device, were shocked to see a recorded speed of over 300 mph for an approaching vehicle. The radar device promptly stopped working and the traffic officers could not manage to re-set it.

And the reply from the RAF takes the cake !! 8)

It turned out that the police radar "gun" had locked on to a NATO Tornado fighter jet, which had been engaged in low flying exercises over the North Sea. The local Chief Constable immediately complained to the RAF liaison officials and received the following reply:
"Thank you for your message, which allows us to complete our file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had automatically locked on to your 'hostile radar equipment' and sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore, the Sidewinder air-to-ground missiles aboard the fully-armed aircraft had also locked on to the target. Fortunately, the Dutch pilot flying the Tornado responded to the missile status alert intelligently and was able to override the automatic protection system before the missile was launched."

Anyway, those bobbies weren't toasted for checking speeding vehicles :((


what a load of bollocks..so many mistakes in this that only laypersons would believe such BS.

1) what is the range of a hand held radar speed checking device? The Tornado was flying over the North Sea but the hand held radar tracker could lock onto it?! :roll: And how could the traffic officer not see or hear the approaching fighter which HAD TO BE within the line of sight of the device itself for it to lock onto it?

2) the handheld radar speed check device has to be manually tracking the car by the traffic officer. it doesn't "lock on" to anything.

3) Third, the Sidewinder (which is an air to air missile, not air to ground) locks on to a heat signature. And you're saying that a human standing a few or maybe several miles away gives off such a huge heat signature that the seeker on a Sidewinder would lock on to it?! That too with all the ground clutter all around?

4) Fourth, if they're on a training mission in Scotland, would they be carrying live ordnance?

5) Fifth, automatic protection systems on board the Tornado would've released flares and chaff, not fired off missiles without the pilot's command.


That article was taken right off a dvla related website , God knows the authenticity, but makes a good laugh !

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby kit » 07 Dec 2019 06:42

Manish_P wrote:Sidewinder Air-to-ground missile :shock: ?


At tree level maybe air to air becomes air to ground :rotfl: , I should have put it in the humour thread anyway !!

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Dec 2019 06:46

Manish_P wrote:Sidewinder Air-to-ground missile :shock: ?


The current Sidewinder actually has an air to surface mode and has demonstrated that capability, in live testing, over a dozen years ago. But clearly the post (and wherever it was sourced from) is not talking about it. Should be added to the junk section and not this thread.

During a 23 September Gulf of Mexico test, a US Air Force F-15C fired the air-to-surface AIM-9X and hit a speeding "cigar boat", a type commonly used by drug smugglers. "The missile went right through the boat," says White.

The F-15C test follows a previous shot by an F-16 at a similar target, which also scored a hit on the boat, he adds.

The project to develop the air-to-surface mode for the AIM-9X began with a request from the USAF in March 2007. Although the AIM-9X is primarily an air-to-air missile used in short-range engagements, USAF officials saw a need to make it multi-purpose.

"Maybe you're flying an F-15 that only has air-to-air weapons," says White. "The F-15C only carries air-to-air weapons. Well, now the pilot has an air-to-ground weapon." LINK

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 10 Dec 2019 06:17

From AW&ST

Image

Czech aerospace firm Aero Vodochody has flown the second prototype of the L-39NG jet trainer.

The first pre-serial production aircraft took to the air on Dec. 9 and flew for 32 min. in the hands of company test pilots Vladimír Továrek and Vytautas Požela from Aero’s airfield near Prague.

The flight comes almost a year after prototype L-39NG took to the air on Dec. 22, 2018. This gives Aero Vodochody three aircraft to perform flight testing and certification, including a demonstrator which was converted to the L-39NG configuration from a standard L-39.

Primary changes from the standard L-39 include the replacement of the Ukrainian Ivchenko AI-25 engine with the U.S. Williams International FJ44. The company has also introduced a modern avionics suite produced by Genesys and eliminated the type’s distinctive wingtip fuel tanks, replacing them with a wet wing which improves performance and roll rate. The company is also making use of composites, allowing it to shave 350 kg of empty weight from the standard L-39.

“We can now speed up the flight testing according to our plan and get the advanced trainer certification in the third quarter of 2020,” said Dieter John, Aero Vodochody’s CEO.

So far Aero has produced four L-39NG airframes: two for flight testing, one for static testing and another for fatigue tests. Aero said the airframe for fatigue testing has been delivered to the Czech Aerospace Research Center (VZLU) to enable testing to get underway in early 2020. Static testing has been underway since June 2019 and will continue through to mid-2020.


John said the aircraft is the first to be built according to the final specifications and will enable potential customers to test fly the aircraft.

The company had targeted a three-phase introduction to the market, certifying the aircraft as a basic trainer first, then as an advanced trainer and then the light attack version in the summer of 2021. But the process is now being streamlined, with the merging of basic and advanced training certification into one step and having the aircraft ready for the third quarter of 2020. The light attack version will be delivered in the summer of 2021.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 11 Dec 2019 11:38

brar_w wrote:
Manish_P wrote:Sidewinder Air-to-ground missile :shock: ?


The current Sidewinder actually has an air to surface mode and has demonstrated that capability, in live testing, over a dozen years ago. But clearly the post (and wherever it was sourced from) is not talking about it. Should be added to the junk section and not this thread.


Damn.. how i wish i knew this earlier.

Years ago i was ragged no end in a online gaming community when, by mistake, instead of releasing a AGM-65 Maverick i hit the wrong key to release (and hit) a Radar station with my AIM-9 Sidewinder :D

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Dec 2019 20:44

South Korea is getting ready to declare IOC on their F-35A's next week, with a dozen aircraft delivered and one that is expected to arrive before the end of the year. By my count, this would make them the 7th nation overall to have declared the F-35 operational (US, Israel, UK, Japan, Norway, and Italy comprise the other operators who have declared IOC). The other two current operators of the aircraft, the Dutch and the Aussies, have their IOC scheduled for 2020 based on a set of parameters as total number of aircraft in country, support infrastructure and pilot and crew training and minimum strength to support combat operations.

S. Korea to officially deploy F-35A stealth fighters this month

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea plans to hold a ceremony this month to mark the operational deployment of F-35A stealth fighters, officials said Tuesday.

South Korea has so far brought in 12 F-35As, beginning with two in late March, under a plan to deploy a total of 40 fifth-generation jets through 2021. By the end of this year, one more unit is to arrive here.

"We plan to hold a fielding ceremony within this month to be presided over by the Air Force chief of staff," Lt. Col. Cho Se-young told a regular briefing, adding the military is "setting up details about the event."

The upcoming ceremony means that the aircraft is capable of carrying out operations at least to a limited extent, he added.

Sources say the ceremony is scheduled to take place around next Tuesday at the Air Force's 17th Fighter Wing base in the central city of Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province....

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 12 Dec 2019 00:36


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 13 Dec 2019 06:21

Rafale F3R standard gains key French approval

France has declared initial operational capability (IOC) with the F3-R-standard Dassault Rafale fighter.

Introduced by the French air force in July, F3-R has been developed by Dassault, missile manufacturer MBDA, Safran and Thales under a 2013 contract.

Enhancements include a new Thales active electronically scanned array radar, an automatic ground collision avoidance system and a new electronic warfare system, plus integration of the Sagem AASM air-to-surface munition.

In addition, from the first half of 2020, F3-R Rafales will also gain the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Thales Talios targeting pod, says the French air force.


Declaration of the IOC enables the service to use upgraded Rafales for airspace protection and nuclear deterrence missions, says the service.

Meanwhile, Dassault is continuing development work on the future F4 standard for the Rafale, under a €2 billion ($2.21 billion) contract unveiled in January.

Enhancements to sensors and connectivity are planned, along with the integration of the MBDA Mica air-to-air missile.

Validation of the F4 standard is planned for 2024, with some functions becoming available as of 2022.


Now, against the backdrop of the original F3R schedule qualifying the Meteor by the first half of 2020, we have the IAF request to deliver at least 10 Meteor BVRAAMs for use with the first 4 Rafale jets that will land in India in May 2020.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Dec 2019 06:27

That is a one slow winding road to Meteor operationalization on all 3 Eurocanards. I'm not sure if the Rafale utilizes the two-way data-link capability of the missile system either.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 13 Dec 2019 06:42

Not sure about the 2 way datalink on the Meteor with the Rafale myself. Looking to confirm it if possible.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Dec 2019 06:52

On the Rafale, as a default, it does not so all one needs to look for is to see if any funding has gone the way of MBDA and Thales and other systems integrators on the Rafale to see if this was remedied. I haven't found anything that points to the French having contracted for it. Perhaps it is planned for the F4 variant.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 13 Dec 2019 08:01

Dec 13, 2019 :: New 'no escape' Meteor missiles boost fighter jets' firepower

Article published today.

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

When will Meteors hit the skies?

A missile this advanced does not happen overnight. The Meteor program began back in the 1990s.

In 2016, Sweden’s Saab Gripen was the first to declare operational capability with the Meteors and now British Typhoons are armed with the missiles as well.

The French Dassault Rafale, most probably the latest iteration, is expected to be armed next. Three more key U.S. allies - Germany, Italy and Spain – will also have their fighter jets upgraded with this fierce missile.

F-35 joint strike fighter jets may potentially also become armed with Meteors.

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

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Dec 2019 08:07

The Meteor won't be operational on the F-35 till 2022-2023. The AIM-270 EOC is expected by 2021/2022 and by the Mid 2020's it will likely be available on the F-35 given UAI etc. That will limit how successful the Meteor will be on the platform. The JATM is designed primarily with 5th and 6th generation aircraft in mind and fits within the AIM-120 footprint. The Meteor does not and will always limit compressed carriage given its intakes. Meteor is useful for the Eurocanards and the AESA_upgraded F-teens but as it currently stands, it isn't a particularly interesting weapon for 5th generation aircraft (to justify building inventory if you don't already have the weapon). Had they pitched the weapon to F-16 customers around the mid 2010's they could have roped them in as they transitioned to the F-35. Now, a lot of those users will simply run through their AIM-120 C7 stock, procure interim AIM-120D's (100% commonality in terms of support and logistics) and transition clean to the JATM after their block 4 upgrades are complete. That's an opportunity lost for MBDA for a few thousand missile sales to the F-16/F-18 community.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 14 Dec 2019 04:35

Puts into context the rationale behind why the US Army is so invested in its LRPF effort and is seeking extended ranges of up to 200 km from its GMLRS, 500 (baseline) and 750+ km from PrSM and even longer ranges from the Strategic cannon. Portable MADL terminals linked into IBCS and offensive C2 systems sharing the same underpinnings allow long range, high speed and low-latency fire-control-level connectivity unlike anything possible with even newish traditional/legacy data-links..

F-35 Cueing Artillery To Take Out Air Defense Site During Test Is A Glimpse Of The Future

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 14 Dec 2019 07:22

Australia approves more F-35s, ends classic Hornet pilot conversion

Australia has approved the procurement of 24 more Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, the Department of Defence (DoD) announced on 12 December.

The approval from Defence Minister Linda Reynolds came on the same day that a further seven F-35s arrived at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales, and a day after the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF's) 2 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) flew its final flight on the Boeing F/A-18A/B 'classic' Hornet.

With the additional F-35s now approved, Australia is committed to its total programme-of-record of 72 aircraft (though it has a stated requirement of 100 aircraft). Including the most recent arrivals to Williamtown, the RAAF has now received 18 aircraft (five of these remain at Luke Air Force Base [AFB] in the United States for international pilot training).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby JTull » 14 Dec 2019 18:36

IDRW is reporting that ex-Jordanian F-16s are likely to sold by Florida based Jetlease to Pakistanis at $8.5m per aircraft.

I wonder if we can invest a bit to upgrade them and get ourselves an aggresor sqn.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 14 Dec 2019 18:40

JTull wrote:IDRW is reporting that ex-Jordanian F-16s are likely to sold by Florida based Jetlease to Pakistanis at $8.5m per aircraft.

I wonder if we can invest a bit to upgrade them and get ourselves an aggresor sqn.


We should at least bid and jack up the price for the pakis.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 17 Dec 2019 03:33

from AW&ST

ZADAR, Croatia—The Croatian government has moved forward this week on a new plan to acquire a replacement for 12 aging MiG-21s scheduled for retirement in 2024 after the previous selection process collapsed amidst international controversy.

The National Security Council released a statement on Dec. 11 about the fighter acquisition process for the first time since a deal to acquire 12 used F-16C/D Barak fighters from Israel fell apart due to U.S. objections.

The statement reveals that authority for the fighter selection process has been moved out of the Ministry of Defense and into an “Interagency Commission for the Supply of Multipurpose Fighter Airplanes.”

Although the statement comes only five days after Croatia’s defense minister said a request for proposals would be released soon, the National Security Council offered no details or timeline for the new acquisition process.

Instead, the Council “expressed its support for the project and the Republic of Croatia’s commitment to retaining and restoring this strategically significant defense capability of the Republic of Croatia,” according to the statement.

The country’s roughly $1 billion annual defense budget has little room to accommodate a fighter purchase, but the military officials are eager to maintain an air superiority capability. The air force favors an acquisition of new fighters, but is understood to be in negotiation with six parties offering a mix of new and used options.

In 2018, Croatia evaluated four bids: New Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70/72s or Saab Gripen E/Fs, or used Greek or Israeli F-16s. Croatia selected the Israeli offer for F-16s modified with the Barak’s unique communications and sensor equipment. But the U.S. State Department intervened, blocking the third-party transfer of a U.S.-built fighter on grounds that the Israeli equipment is incompatible with NATO interoperability standards.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 17 Dec 2019 03:40

JTull wrote:IDRW is reporting that ex-Jordanian F-16s are likely to sold by Florida based Jetlease to Pakistanis at $8.5m per aircraft.

I wonder if we can invest a bit to upgrade them and get ourselves an aggresor sqn.


Apparently, 4 are available for sale.

link

A 1980 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon is for sale in Palm Beach for $8.5 million, according to The Drive. The fighter jet, originally from Jordan, first got attention after aircraft brokerage and leasing firm Jet Lease posted the aircraft for sale on their website.

The aircraft is unique because it has not been demilitarized, a key difference between it and other F-16 jets that have been privately purchased.

In fact, the aircraft has been enhanced and includes modern features such as a Link16 datalink, a night vision-compatible cockpit, a data-bus for guided weapons and a Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, according to The Drive.

Likewise, the aircraft has undergone updates allowing it to fly at least 8,000 hours. It’s maximum speed is Mach 2.05 at 40,000 feet — which translates to approximately 1,573 miles per hour.

Furthermore, the F-16 isn’t the only one that Jet Lease has to offer. The Drive reports the company also has similar F-16AM and BM Block 20 Mid-Life-Update jets from Jordan as well. If purchased altogether, the four jets could compose a private F-16 mini squadron.



and more details here

Apparently at least one of them has at least 2000 hours left on it, giving a solid 15 years worth of service left. At ~$10 million inclusive of other costs, it would be very attractive to the Pakis.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Dec 2019 06:48

The deployment date of "2029" for the hangers and other infrastructure makes one suspect that this is with their F-35 purchase in mind though they'll likely also rotate F-15's and F-16's and other AEW assets.

Singapore to base fighters on Guam for training | Defense News Weekly Extra

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 18 Dec 2019 04:36

From AW&ST

C-295 on a run this week

The Czech Republic has ordered an additional pair of C295 turboprop airlifters from Airbus.

The order, announced by Airbus and the Czech defense ministry on Dec. 16, brings the C295’s order tally to five in one week, having secured orders from the African state of Burkina Faso and the Republic of Ireland.

Prague’s two additional aircraft will bolster the Czech Air Force’s existing fleet of four C295s. The two new aircraft likely will be delivered with the production enhancements developed for the Canadian Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue program, including the integration of a Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite with large touchscreen displays.

The 2.34 billion Czech koruna ($100 million) contract covers the purchase of the aircraft, operational equipment, spares and ground support equipment.

The two aircraft will replace a pair of Russian-made Yakovlev Yak-40 three-engine transport aircraft that the Czech defense ministry describes as “technically obsolete” and at the “margins of their technical life.” The Yak-40s will be retired in 2020, with the two new C295s arriving in early 2021, increasing the transport capacity of the Czech Air Force but also reducing the number of aircraft types in service.

A separate, 436 million Czech koruna contract will upgrade the four current Czech C295s with modernized communication system, navigation and avionics systems to ensure compatibility with international air traffic requirements. The aircraft will also be equipped with a satellite communications system and datalink.

..

Prague says the four-strong fleet of aircraft have flown 15,000 flight hours since their introduction and transported 65,000 passengers. One aircraft has also been deployed in support of the Multinational Force and Observers operating in the Sinai, with the deployment continuing into 2020.

..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 18 Dec 2019 04:40

From AW&ST

Turkey's F-35As to be converted to USAF models

Lockheed Martin F-35As previously designated for Turkey will be converted to the U.S. Air Force fleet, congressional appropriators said Dec. 17.


A portion of the savings from the negotiated order for aircraft in the 12th lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP) and priced options in LRIPs 13 and 14 will be used to fund the conversion, according to the appropriators’ report on a conference agreement for the fiscal 2020 spending bill.

The status of Turkey’s at least four completed F-35As and others in various stages of build through Lockheed’s supply chain has been an open question.

The U.S. Defense Department moved to expel Turkey’s military and industry from the program on July 17 over a dispute about the acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defense system.

The expulsion raised questions about the disposition of the aircraft Turkey has already ordered that the Pentagon had declined to answer. Lockheed delivered the first F-35A to the Turkish air force on June 30, which was handed over to a training unit in Arizona. The aircraft was originally due to fly to Turkey last month, but it remained at Luke AFB, Arizona, as the dispute over Turkey’s S-400 order escalated.

Pentagon officials say any deliveries of the S-400 are “incompatible” with F-35s operated by the same country.

In addition to converting Turkey’s aircraft to U.S. Air Force models, Congress also directed that additional savings from the LRIP 12-14 pricing agreement be used to replace Turkish suppliers in the F-35 program. The Pentagon has set a deadline by the end of March to remove Turkish companies from the F-35 supply chain.


Lockheed agreed to lower the unit recurring cost of the F-35A to less than $80 million by LRIP 13, a year earlier than planned, and slash overall costs for all three models by an average of 15% by LRIP 14. The result was a price tag at least $573 million less than the Pentagon had budgeted for deliveries over the next three years.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Dec 2019 15:36

NATO E-3A Upgrade Announced


NATO’s Airborne Early Warning & Control Program Management Agency has signed a $1 billion Final Lifetime Extension Programme (FLEP) contract with Boeing to upgrade 14 E-3A Sentry Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS) aircraft to allow them to remain in service until 2035.....

The FLEP upgrade will ensure that NATO remains at the leading edge of technology, providing the E-3A with sophisticated new communications and networking capabilities, including new Have Quick radios, new encryption equipment, new operator consoles, upgraded mission computing, expanded data capacity, and increased bandwidth for satellite communications. Ground systems, including the mission training center and the mission planning and evaluation system, will also be upgraded.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 25 Dec 2019 02:49

Israel seeks new US military aircraft

KC-46A, F-15X and possibly more F-35Is, plus V-22s. Of course, partly paid for by US tax payers

Emboldened by strengthened U.S. support under the Trump presidency, Israel is making plans to acquire a major package of U.S. defense equipment, confident that aid and weapons will continue to flow despite the lack of progress in solving the ongoing Palestinian problem.

Replacing the Israel Air Force’s dwindling fleet of aging Boeing KC-707 Reem tankers (about seven of which remain in service) is a particular priority, and reports suggest that the IAF will request early delivery of two Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers, taking over two U.S. Air Force production slots.

This is perhaps surprising in view of the fact that the Bedek Aircraft Division of Israel Aerospace Industries has already produced its own tanker conversion of the Boeing 767, known as the Boeing 767 MMTT (Multi-Mission Tanker Transport). One was delivered to the Colombian Air Force in 2010, configured as a two-point probe-and-drogue tanker, and three similarly configured tankers have been ordered by the Brazilian air force. Bedek has also developed a variant of the MMTT equipped with a fly-by-wire boom refueling system, with a remote aerial refueling operator station and day/night viewing systems.

In June 2019, the Israel defense ministry issued an official request for information for the Boeing F-15X, and a price and availability (P&A) request for the Lockheed Martin F-35I. Israel already has 50 F-35Is on order and has had a long-standing intention to buy 25 more, but recent reports suggest that the Israel Air Force intends to buy 75 additional F-35Is and a similar number of F-15X strike fighters.


In August 2019, Israel issued a P&A request to the U.S. Navy’s V-22 program office, following a decision by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) that there is an operational need for 12-14 V-22s to transport special forces elements “very fast over long distances.”


Israel has been the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since 1945, receiving $142.3 billion in bilateral assistance. Under a new 10-year memorandum of understanding signed in 2016, the U.S. has pledged to provide $38 billion in military aid. Annual Foreign Military Funding grants to Israel represent about 18 percent of the total Israel defense budget.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 25 Dec 2019 02:56

Taiwan to get 66 F-16V fighters (very similar to the F-21 offered to India) for approximately USD 8.1 billion. Would be interesting to see what all that includes, and if weapons are a separate package or part of the same contract.

Combined with 142 F-16 A/B fighters being upgraded to F-16V standard, that gives Taiwan a fleet of just over 200 F-16s of the latest standard. A real deterrent for any Chinese invasion.

Taiwan and US proceed with F-16V deal

Image


Taiwan has confirmed that the US Foreign Military Sale of 66 Lockheed Martin F-16Vs to the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) is in the implementation stage, after both sides signed the letter of offer and acceptance (LOA).


Ministry of National Defense (MND) spokesperson Major General Shih Shun-wen announced on Saturday 21 December that the LOA for an arms package consisting of the F-16Vs, main battle tanks and anti-tank missiles was signed by both parties a week earlier on December 13.

The Trump administration first approved the F-16V sale in August 2019 and this was subsequently cleared by Congress. In November, Taiwan’s Parliament agreed to the NT$247.23 billion (US$8.1 billion) budget, allowing the MND to sign the agreement.

The delivery schedule for the program, internally named ‘Phoenix Soaring’, calls for the first two F-16Vs – a single-seater and twin-seater – to be delivered by 2023 for initial testing, while the last of the 66 aircraft are expected to be received by 2026. According to local media, 56 of the aircraft will be single-seaters, with the remaining 10 twin-seaters.

..

Under the ‘Phoenix Rising’ program, the ROCAF’s current fleet of 142 F-16A/Bs are being upgraded to the F-16V standard at AIDC’s Shalu Complex in Taichung.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 25 Dec 2019 02:59

YIKES! $7 billion for just maintaining 195 F-22 over 5 years!

Lockheed Martin awarded $7 billion contract to maintain F-22 fleet for 5 years

Lockheed Martin was awarded a five-year contract worth $7 billion for maintenance of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

The contract is an option exercised by the US Air Force (USAF) from its ongoing sustainment deal with Lockheed Martin, the Department of Defense says in an online notice on 20 December. This additional five-year contract will extend the service’s contract work with Lockheed Martin through 31 December 2032.

Work will be performed at a variety of operational bases, support hubs and overseas locations – wherever the F-22 is deployed, according to the Pentagon.

Lockheed Martin produced 195 examples of the F-22, with the last stealth fighter rolling off its production line in 2012. The USAF plans to operate the aircraft until at least 2045.

The F-22 fleet is maintained under a performance-based logistics contract, says Lockheed Martin. Typically, under performance-based logistics contracts suppliers are awarded a flat fee to maintain a certain level of performance, such as mission readiness, for an aircraft, rather than just supply parts or repair services.

“About 50% of the maintenance performed on the F-22 is related to repairing the low observable stealth coatings that are damaged when the aircraft is opened up for routine maintenance,” says Lockheed Martin on its website.

The company says it is working on several initiatives to reduce the amount of low observable coating repair work needed on the F-22. Cutting labour from stealth coating repairs is especially important as the USAF tries to execute its “agile” basing strategy, a form of expeditionary warfare that envisions its fighters quickly hopping around to different air bases so as to make it difficult for an enemy to strike the aircraft on the ground.

..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 25 Dec 2019 12:51

China's AVIC units to cooperate on new fighter

From AW&ST

BEIJING—More highly integrated composite structure is a possible technology for a future Chinese fighter, two Avic units have revealed in announcing their cooperative effort for the aircraft program.

Mention of the joint structural work follows a forecast by a high Avic official at the beginning of 2019 that the next Chinese fighter would appear no later than 2035.

A need for quick development has been emphasized in both cases.

The vaguely mentioned technology projects may well relate to a fighter program not yet launched. In general, Chinese state aerospace companies talk a little about work for military programs that they envision and hardly at all about those that are under contract.

The cooperative structural effort was announced on Dec. 12. It is aimed at tackling technological challenges for a new fighter, said the sponsoring organizations, Avic’s Shenyang Aircraft Design and Research Institute (Sadri) and the military projects section of the Avic Manufacturing Technology Institute. Only structural technology is discussed in relation to this.

Sadri is attached to Shenyang Aircraft, one of Avic’s two main fighter builders; the other is Chengdu Aircraft. The official who mentioned 2035 as the latest likely time for entry into service for a new fighter came from the Chengdu works.

Sadri and the manufacturing technology institute will cooperate in materials, design and fabrication, according to the Chinese-language announcement. They will share information in relation to advanced manufacturing technology as it relates to design concepts, composite materials and structural components.

Their joint team is called JJ, a reference to the Chinese words for “structure” and “military products.” It has begun working on sectional drawings for the fighter.

The statement mentioned awards given to three subordinate design teams, presumably for work relevant to a new fighter. Award plaques held by members of the teams in photographs revealed what they had been working on. For one team, this was integrated composite structure—presumably meaning production of complex monolithic pieces instead of assembling such parts from smaller elements.

Another team that got an award had been working on metal inlet ducts made in the same way. And the third team had been involved in preliminary verification of advanced materials.

Drawings for a test piece were issued in November 2019, the Avic units said, without saying what kind of piece it was.

Urgency is mentioned twice in the statement: cooperation is said to be urgently needed; and there is an urgent “definite cycle,” presumably a development cycle.

Avic Chief Technical Expert Wang Haifeng, from a design institute at Chengdu, repeatedly mentioned the need for fast development in an interview that China’s Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology magazine published online in early 2019.

“We have chosen technology development directions according to a war [concept] we have designed,” Wang told the magazine in reference to fighter design but without setting out the specific research. “Considering the characteristics and maturity of those technological directions, we have adopted various organizational models for pre-research and research. I believe that no later than 2035 our current efforts will turn into a weapon for protecting the seas and skies.”

China’s latest fighter, the Avic Chengdu J-20, was declared operational in 2017, so passing the same milestone for the next fighter in 2035 would imply an 18-year interval between types. It is most unlikely that China, striving to catch up with the U.S., is intending to wait so long.

“The new situation requires us to significantly shorten type-development cycles, reduce research and development costs and still provide capabilities that can compete with those of strong enemies,” Wang said. He did not say what that “new situation” is, but pressure from the armed forces for quicker results would not be a bad guess.

As to the method of development, Wang says Chinese engineers must have regard for what is going on elsewhere. “While achieving independent capacity for research, we must understand the direction of foreign development. Core technology cannot be bought but, in certain areas, ideas can be borrowed.” But while absorbing foreign ideas, China needs to innovate: “This will promote the modernity of products and shorten technology research cycles.”

And technological missteps are hard to avoid, he added, signaling a willingness to take developmental risks.

The air force has probably set the Shenyang and Chengdu organizations in competition with each other in proposing fighter designs. Aiming at preserving such competition, it has sought to preserve the independence of Avic’s military aircraft factories and design bureaus, industry sources have previously said.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 25 Dec 2019 23:49

Kartik wrote:YIKES! $7 billion for just maintaining 195 F-22 over 5 years!

Lockheed Martin awarded $7 billion contract to maintain F-22 fleet for 5 years


Lockheed Martin provides exclusive end to end comprehensive sustainment for the globally deployed and deployable raptors and the entire enterprise minus the engine (which is shared with the OEM). This is not a run of the mill parts and consumable PBL contract but covers all of that plus many modernization activities including co-ownership or the only F-22 modernization depot and program that upgrades aircraft to the most modern standards while also introducing other sustainability enhancements and other classified enhancements to the fleet.

The USAF has about two wings worth of Raptors but the deployable footprint is atypical for such a fleet size in that they can be housed in support of any COCOM request and those facilities must be able to sustain the most current aircraft standard inclusion uplink and downlink is the mission data . The below links includes a summary of the entire extent of what Lockheed does for the USAF..

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/wh ... nment.html

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 27 Dec 2019 13:14

Germany boosts Meteor BVRAAM inventory

The German Air Force is set to augment its inventory of beyond visual range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAMs) with the award to MBDA Missile Systems for a consignment of additional new-build Meteor effectors.

Signed on 16 December, the contract for the German Air Force was awarded by the Meteor Integrated Joint Programme Office (IJPO) on behalf of the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw). Jane’s understands that Germany ordered an additional 100 Meteor BVRAAMS, with a contract valued at EUR185 million (USD205 million). MBDA declined to disclose information on the quantities involved and the value of the contract.


So as per Jane's, the price works out to approx $2 million per Meteor.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 27 Dec 2019 13:17

Image

LRASM achieves early operational capability on F/A-18E

The US Navy (USN) has declared an early operational capability (EOC) for the Lockheed Martin AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet carrier-borne strike fighter.

This milestone, achieved in November, follows the declaration of EOC for LRASM on the US Air Force's B-1B Lancer bomber in December 2018.

The joint service LRASM Deployment Office (LDO) and Lockheed Martin have developed LRASM as an air-launched, precision-guided anti-ship weapon to meet the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment 1 requirement. Derived from the AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range air-launched cruise missile, LRASM introduces a multi-mode sensor suite, a weapon data link, and enhanced digital anti-jam GPS to support precision routing, guidance, and terminal homing in all weather conditions, day or night.

The sensor/seeker package combines a passive radio frequency long-range sensor (developed by BAE Systems) for wide-area target acquisition and an imaging infrared seeker for terminal targeting. Navigation to the target is enabled by an integrated jam-resistant GPS and a navigation-grade inertial measurement unit (Lockheed Martin calls the weapon "GPS-enabled, not dependent"). The weapon data link enables in-flight target updates to 'collapse' the search area.

LRASM integration activity on the F/A-18E/F began in the first half of 2015 with transonic wind tunnel testing at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex to capture data to inform safe and controllable store separation. Missile load and fit checks using a LRASM mass simulator vehicle followed in August 2015 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 facility.

This was followed in November 2015 by the commencement of airworthiness testing from NAS Patuxent River. Again, initial activity used a mass simulator vehicle to evaluate inflight structural loads on the F/A-18 E/F airframe. F/A-18E/F captive carry and jettison test events were completed in the second half of fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 27 Dec 2019 14:21

Kartik wrote:YIKES! $7 billion for just maintaining 195 F-22 over 5 years!

“About 50% of the maintenance performed on the F-22 is related to repairing the low observable stealth coatings that are damaged when the aircraft is opened up for routine maintenance,” says Lockheed Martin on its website.
..


For me, that's the Yikes part

If i have understood some later posts (and some links shared by brar_w), this would not be of the same factor for the F-35 due to advancement in tech and incorporation of the stealth components in the build stage itself..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 27 Dec 2019 18:05

Chinis are gunning hard for Boeing. At least in its home market.

A game changer if Cheen is successful with it. They have the world's largest projected market by far and right now it is all Airbus and Boeing.

https://www.flightglobal.com/c919-test-fleet-complete-with-flight-of-sixth-prototype/135944.article


C919 test fleet complete with flight of sixth prototype

By Greg Waldron
27 December 2019

The sixth and final Comac C919 prototype has conducted its maiden sortie from Shanghai’s Pudong International airport.

The 2h 5min sortie commenced 10:15am on 27 December during which 30 tests were conducted, according to the official China Daily quoting Comac.

Image
Comac C919
Source: China Daily
The sixth prototype of the C919 narrowbody takes off on its maiden flight.


The aircraft, numbered 106, joins five other prototypes in the test campaign of the narrowbody type. Production has already commenced on customer aircraft.

The advent of aircraft 106’s testing campaign comes just weeks after the 5 December department of aircraft 105 for Nanchang in Northeast China. Aircraft 105 had its first flight in late October.

Cirium fleets data shows that there are 305 firm orders for the C919. Comac has also secured more than 700 commitments for the CFM International Leap-1C-powered aircraft.

FlightGlobal understands that the C919 is likely to enter service in 2021 or 2022, a delay compared with the originally planned timeframe of 2020-2021.

The launch customer for the type will be Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines.



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