International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 31 Mar 2018 17:13

Singha wrote:other than US, not really very mature efforts...everyone is creeping forward to see how things go and who pays for it...preferably dumb but cash rich export clients :D

hence unlike our Tejas which reached IOC 3 decades after similar a/c from the world leaders, Uttam is not starting with such a great lag

how many rafale in french AF
(a) have the rbe2 aa today ?
(b) funded to get it in future?

my prediction - they will fund a token number and call it a day, relaying on making money via sales to india (36+36), egypt etc of the sooper dooper kit. they deleted the OSF IRST for funds claiming that damocles pod would do the job and no real a2a work was needed.
#weak

big talk from 2011 saar - only around 30% of their rafale at best have the rbe2 aa maybe less
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ar-214851/



Singha, France decided that only new built Rafale's will be getting the AESA for now so I believe only deliveries post 2013-14 have them. But this applies to all Rafale customers, so Egypt and Qatar also operate AESA equipped fighters as the legacy PESA radar is no longer in production. France moved its own internal orders to export customers in order to shorten delivery timelines and for budget relief so their own AESA equipped fleet will increase later once they begin adding aircraft back into their own inventory. But yeah, their Rafale purchase and inventory is rather small for France and should be about the levels of the USAF's F-22, or USN's EA-18G. The two US OEMs in comparison have delivered over 1500 Airborne AESA radars and this number is growing by about 150 a year and will soon be closer to 200. Both the two main OEMs at or fast approaching the 1000 delivery mark (Raytheon already exceeds it) and this in addition to providing massive capacity of this important capability also ensures iterative development and refinement (across the supply chain) that can only come with large production quantity.
Last edited by brar_w on 31 Mar 2018 18:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 31 Mar 2018 17:57

brar_w wrote:One is left wondering as to how the Germans will modify the Typhoon over a relatively short period of time in order to take over those missions at a time that they cannot even pursue an aggressive modernization strategy for their existing Typhoons. It is quite likely that they will let at least some of that capability atrophy in order to save money and keep schedule so the ability of the Air-Force to do ECR, SEAD etc will take a dramatic hit (this is probably the reason why there was pushback from the Air Chief)..The new Air Cheif would likely be asked to get in line and develop requirements that can be more easily met with the Typhoon. For reference, the Belgians published (publicly) their RFI for their strike fighter replacement needs and if the Germans put a set of requirements that were similar, there would be no way that the Typhoon could have come out on top which appears to be the result the politicians want to see.

But, they will get an aircraft that will have at least 30% German content so that constituency would be kept happy.


Tornadoes apparently not fit for NATO


Germany can no longer fulfill its NATO obligations due to decrepit Tornado fighter jets. The "Spiegel" quotes from a confidential paper of the Ministry of Defense, according to which all 93 tornadoes would have to be extensively modernized.

Retrofitting partially "no longer feasible"


The report lists shortcomings and risks on dozens of pages. According to "Spiegel", the question is whether the tornadoes introduced in the 1980s, which in the worst case should also drop American atomic bombs, can even be modernized so that they can remain operational as planned until 2035.

As it stands, "the Tornado weapons system could no longer participate in any NATO mission," the news magazine quoted from the ministry's report. The modernization means not yet predictable "additional costs in the millions". Likewise, the Tornado still has no NATO-requested friend-enemy detection system designed to prevent erroneous attacks on Allied jets. The installation of the devices in the German tornadoes until 2019 "no longer feasible".

Jets not tap-proof?


Also, the jets are not sufficiently tap-proof and have no encrypted communication system. Thus, there is a risk that confidential information could be intercepted.

Since the beginning of the year, the Bundeswehr has reported ten tornadoes for the NATO Response Force response force, which implies their ability to communicate securely. "Ensuring communication requires an interim solution (...)," the report said. Whether this alternative solution has already been implemented is not clear from the report.

An Air Force spokesman said the Air Force is meeting its current NATO commitments with the ten tornado jets reported to NATO Response Force. He did not name details.

Only 16 tornadoes ready for use

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen decided in 2016 to use the tornadoes until 2035, and thus longer than planned. In the meantime, she wants to choose a marketable successor.

The fact that the Bundeswehr has equipment problems was also recently revealed in the report on the condition of the main weapon systems. Accordingly, 63 of the 93 tornadoes were available on average, but only 16 were really ready.



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International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Neshant » 02 Apr 2018 03:58

*poofed* lest it starts another pointless discussion.

–---------
Lockheed Martin Patents Nuclear Fusion-Powered Fighter Jet

(not even fission..but fusion! I wonder if Cold Fusion might make a comeback...!)

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03- ... ighter-jet
Last edited by JayS on 02 Apr 2018 11:09, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Post moved to proper thread and cleaned up a bit

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Apr 2018 15:36

Interesting graphic shared by General Atomics -

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 03 Apr 2018 16:41

amazing. I feel they and orbital ATK symbolize the new breed of smaller 'agile' weapons cos vs the large behemoths.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Apr 2018 17:33

The big players are and have been working on smaller and more 'agile' weapons as well. In fact, the OMS movement is led by the the big three with Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed's Skunk Works having already put out systems that adhere to those standards. OATK had some of those smaller munitions at higher maturity and were able to secure SOCOM funding to advance them, hence we see and hear of them more often. Lockheed for example is pouring in a lot of money on miniature missiles and has had some good successes with the U-2's OMS architecture enhancement. One of their latest projects is a 17 inch long missile meant to be launched from a 40mm naval gun. GA benefited greatly from the exponential growth in the need for UAS and increasingly UCAS CAPs which is at a ridiculously high number which is highlighted in the quote from the article linked below -

Given the global demand for persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, the RPA force was overworked trying to keep up with what was as many as 65 daily combat air patrols a few years ago. A combat air patrol, or CAP, typically consists of four aircraft that rotate to provide persistent, "unblinking" eyes on a target.


https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/uas/2 ... -on-track/

^ This also explains why the latest availability numbers for the Predator/Reaper fleet is in the 90+% - it is out of necessity.
Last edited by brar_w on 03 Apr 2018 21:09, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Zynda » 03 Apr 2018 18:06

Brar_w, your research skills in finding things are a notch above mine. I am trying to obtain a cutaway diagram of a UAV like X-47, X-45, Taranis or Neuron...just like this B2
Image

I tried to search but could not find. Would appreciate your help in finding one from open domain.

Thx

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby SaiK » 03 Apr 2018 20:41


brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Apr 2018 21:48

^^^ The press announcement below. It will be powered by a GE F-414.

NASA Selects Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® to Build X-Plane


PALMDALE, Calif., April 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Supersonic commercial travel is on the horizon. Today NASA awarded Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Skunk Works® a contract to design, build and flight test the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator, an X-plane designed to make supersonic passenger air travel a reality.

"It is super exciting to be back designing and flying X-planes at this scale," said Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics. "Our long tradition of solving the technical barriers of supersonic flight to benefit everyone continues."

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works will build a full-scale experimental aircraft, known as an X-plane, of its preliminary design developed under NASA's Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) effort. The X-plane will help NASA establish an acceptable commercial supersonic noise standard to overturn current regulations banning commercial supersonic travel over land.

"We're honored to continue our partnership with NASA to enable a new generation of supersonic travel," said Peter Iosifidis, Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator program manager, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. "We look forward to applying the extensive work completed under QueSST to the design, build and flight test of the X-plane, providing NASA with a demonstrator to make supersonic commercial travel possible for passengers around the globe."

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and NASA have partnered for more than a decade to enable the next generation of commercial supersonic aircraft. NASA awarded Lockheed Martin Skunk Works a contract in February 2016 for the preliminary design of the supersonic X-plane flight demonstrator.

The aircraft will be built at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California, and will conduct its first flight in 2021.


Image


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 04 Apr 2018 02:14

Zynda wrote:Brar_w, your research skills in finding things are a notch above mine. I am trying to obtain a cutaway diagram of a UAV like X-47, X-45, Taranis or Neuron...just like this B2



I have seen them somewhere (perhaps in print) but cannot recall where. If I run into it I will surely post it here.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Zynda » 04 Apr 2018 17:59

^^Thanks Brar_w...would appreciate it. But for now, I got what I was looking for.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 05 Apr 2018 02:18

Astonishing BVRAAM loadout on Saudi F-15 prototype

Image

Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA (SA-2 aircraft) during a test flight with 12x AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles at Palmdale.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 05 Apr 2018 23:49

US DSCA approval for Foreign Military Sale to Slovakia of the F-16 Block 70/72 configuration.

14 aircraft, for a possible total of $2.91 billion including 2 spares engines, spares, a whole lot of equipment including JHMCS, Sniper pods, weapons including 100 AIM-9X, 30 AMRAAMs plus some training rounds, GBU-12, GBU-49, JDAMs, etc.

That's ~$208 million total acquisition cost for each F-16. Put that in context with the Rafale deal for the IAF. The F-16V is NOT a cheap jet, one must be sure of that. These days, if any nation buys even 18-36 fighter jets form the West, the deal prices all fall in the $6-10 billion range. For India, the only affordable option for a large fleet size, are indigenous options that keep the money within the country.

WASHINGTON, Apr. 4, 2018 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Slovakia of F-16 Block 70/72 V configuration aircraft for an estimated cost of $2.91 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 3, 2018.

The Slovak Republic has requested a possible sale of fourteen (14) F-16 Block 70/72 V configuration aircraft; up to sixteen (16) F-16 F110 General Electric or F100 Pratt & Whitney engines (MDE); fifteen (15) M61 A1 Vulcan 20mm Guns (MDE); sixteen (16) APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radars (MDE); fourteen (14) Modular Mission Computers (MDE); fourteen (14) LINK-16 (MIDS-JTRS) secure communication systems (MDE); sixteen (16) LN260 EGI Embedded Global Positioning System Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) (MDE); fourteen (14) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (MDE); fourteen (14) Improved Programmable Display Generators (iPDGs) (MDE); thirty (30) AIM-120C7 air-to-air missiles, one hundred (100) AIM-9X air-to­ air missiles; twelve (12) AIM-9X Captive Air Training Missiles, two (2) AIM-120C7, twenty-four (24) AIM-9X additional guidance units; two hundred twenty-four (224) each Computer Control Groups and Airfoil Groups for GBU-12 Paveway II 5001b Guided Bomb Kits; twenty (20) Enhanced Computer Control Groups for Enhanced Paveway II (GBU-49); one hundred fifty (150) KMU-572F/B Guidance Kits for Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) 5001b Guided Bomb (GBU-38); sixty (60) LAU-129 Guided – Missile Launchers; thirty-six (36) MK-82 or BLU-111 500 lb Inert Fill Bomb; four hundred (400) MK-82 or BLU-111 500 lb Bomb Bodies; four hundred (400) FMU-152 Joint Programmable Fuzes; and six (6) AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Pods. Also included are fourteen (14) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System II; fourteen (14) AN/ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management Systems; sixteen (16) AN/ALQ-211 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites; sixteen (16) AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispensers; Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF), Secure Communications and Cryptographic Appliques; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); ground training device (flight simulator); Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program (ECISAP) support; software and support; facilities and construction support; spares and repair/replace parts; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation; missile containers; DSU-38A/B Illuminated Target Detector (GBU-54); munition support and test equipment; aircraft and munition integration and test support; studies and surveys; U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated total cost is $2.91 billion.

..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 07 Apr 2018 03:11

Eurofighter's Captor E AESA radar at very high risk of delays

Eurofighter AESA radar at very high risk of missing delivery deadline

PARIS --- The development of the Captor-E electronically scanned radar for the Eurofighter combat aircraft is running 13 months late, and there is a “very high risk” that it will miss the initial delivery date of late 2018, according to a German Ministry of Defence report released in late March.

In addition, Germany’s share of the cost of radar development has increased by €585 million compared to the initial estimate, the report states.

“The acceptance and delivery of Block 25 aircraft will continue to be delayed due to weaknesses in the demonstration of the new front-end computer revealed in 2017,” the report says.

The delays are due to unforeseen difficulties in software development, to a continuing divergence between Germany and the UK on the radar’s principal function, and to the late approval of a new front computer. Furthermore, the “limited availability of [radar] components for production can additionally delay the delivery,” the report says.

“According to current industry estimates, the development plan can continue to be adhered to, but now with very high software development risk,” it adds.

But Eurofighter’s industrial partners, as well as the Eurofighter consortium itself, say there is no delay and that the program is on schedule.

“The Captor-E (E-Scan) radar development programme for Eurofighter Typhoon remains on track, with a number of flights, with the radar both powered and unpowered, having now taken place as part of the scheduled programme of activity,” BAE Systems, Leonardo and Eurofighter GmbH said in a joint April 6 statement in response to our request for comment. Airbus concurred separately.

“The Captor-E Radar equipment and Weapons System capability will be incrementally enhanced to enable the required capability (P3E Standard) to be available for the first deliveries to the Kuwait Air Force,” the joint statement added.

Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, a German company headquartered in Hallbergmoos, near Munich, is the Eurofighter program’s prime contractor and BAE Systems is the British industrial partner as well as the radar purchaser on behalf of Eurofighter GmbH.

The aircraft division of Leonardo is the Italian industrial partner for Eurofighter, while its Airborne & Space Systems division is the lead contractor for the Euroradar consortium that is developing the Captor-E AESA radar.

Software development “at very high risk”

A 13-month delivery delay would disrupt Eurofighter deliveries to Kuwait, which is the launch customer for Eurofighter’s Captor-E electronic scanning radar. Deliveries to Kuwait were originally planned to begin in the final quarter of 2019, according to a statement by Kuwait’s ministry of defense, but have already been postponed to late 2020, according to a December 12 press release by Leonardo.

The report also reveals that a working group comprising national representatives, industry and the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA), has been established to reconcile a major divergence within the program: “Whereas Germany’s priority is the improvement of the air to air/air to ground capabilities, the UK's priority is on electronic warfare,” a German defense ministry spokesman said April 4.

First radar delivery in late 2018 “at very high risk”

“However, for both capabilities a multi-channel receiver is needed,” the German MoD spokesman said, and this has still not obtained its airworthiness certificate.

“To safeguard German interests with regard to demand, costs and industrial policy consequences, in the short term a possible compromise solution is currently being prepared by a working group,” the report states.

“Because of delays in approving the new front-end computer,” the delivery of the first production radar by the end of 2018 seems unlikely.

The front computer controls the Utility Control System, and a new version has been introduced for obsolescence reasons. But “If the airworthiness certification of the computer is not granted on time, the new computer cannot be installed, further delaying the program,” the German MoD spokesman said.

“The mitigation and possible delays are currently under investigation by industry in close contact with NETMA and the Eurofighter Partner Nations,” the spokesman added, but it has been set no reporting deadline.

Despite these continuing delays, initial flight testing of the AESA radar began in March as scheduled, the spokesman said. The radar has been fitted to the program’s IPA 8 test aircraft for these tests.

..

“The technology of the AESA radar with multi-channel receiver will, in future, improve the Eurofighter’s operational capability by allowing simultaneous use of air-to-air and air-to-ground modes. In addition, with the AESA radar the operational added value of modern air-to-air weapons are exploited,” the report states.

The decision to fit all Eurofighter multiroles (Tranche 2 and 3a aircraft) with AESA radar, including a multi-channel receiver equipment, will also strengthen Germany's position in the four-nation Eurofighter program, the report observes.

Finally, the report notes that, since the Eurofighter program was approved by the Bundestag, it has accumulated 149 months of delay, and that its cost to Germany has increased by €6.6 billion over initial estimates.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Apr 2018 04:29

That they are having challenges does not surprise me at all. They kept the bare bone capability to develop advanced airborne sensors and never really ventured out of the lab in order to really put something intended to be operational. Contrast to others elsewhere (the US and to some extent even France) who have iteratively developed operational products by the scores. But I would wait to read a more comprehensive assessment of the AESA radar program because Briganti is a known Rafale shill and if anything he is basically notorious for going hard after anything that is non-Dassault or non-French.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 07 Apr 2018 09:57

Germany, France to move ahead on sixth-generation combat aircraft
COLOGNE, Germany – Plans for a Franco-German combat aircraft are set to kick off in earnest at the Berlin Air Show later this month, officials told French media on the sidelines of a meeting of the two countries’ defense ministers in Paris on Thursday.

The idea of a joint “systèmedecombat aérien dufutur,” or SCAF, came out of a bilateral Cabinet decision last summer, part of a larger effort to promote the Berlin-Paris relationship in a militarily stronger Europe. The aircraft program would initially be led by Germany and France, and later opened to other European states.

As envisioned, the planes would take to the skies by 2040, replacing the fleets of Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon jets in both air forces. The project is seen as a key indicator for how – and if – Europeans can manage a truly large-scale project, especially given industry rivalries that lie beneath the often lofty diplomatic language.

French minister Florence Parly told the La Tribune newspaper that discussions were “active” between the two countries toward a first step in an eventual program. The goal at this point, she said, is to bring together activities on the political and industrial level. Airbus, Dassault, Thales, MBDA and Safran are among the companies to be involved.

French officials look to sign with Germany what Reuters reported would to be a 10-page common requirements document at the ILA Berlin Air Show, which runs from April 25 to April 29. Companies would then spend almost a year separately working on technical specifications before negotiating a cooperation contract, Reuters reported.

According to Parly, additional countries would be invited later. Her primary concern at this point, she told La Tribune, was to solidify the French-German “base” before opening the project for wider participation.

France also has a future aircraft program going with the United Kingdom. That program would continue in parallel, Parly said. Both programs would be “extremely useful” on the way to the “aviation of the future,” she said.

By: Pierre Tran
The Berlin Air Show is slated to feature a host of global defense policymakers and aviation industry leaders. Besides the SCAF announcement, companies are expected to use the show to jockey for position in a number of European procurements, including a planned multinational “Eurodrone” and, in Germany, a new heavy transport helicopter and air-defense system.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Apr 2018 01:02

Signing agreements, or agreeing to sign agreements has traditionally not been a problem for European cooperation and joint programs. These projects often come under a lot of stress and potentially fall apart when it comes to a common set of requirements, R&D and industrial production work-share and dealing with monopoly suppliers in certain markets (as Dassault is in France). Here, Germany needs a Typhoon replacement while the French need a Rafale replacement with the ability to also operate from an Aircraft Carrier. It will be interesting to see whether they can overcome some of these challenges which led to the French walking out the last time around (and instead pursuing the Rafale). The timelines floated by a recent industry CEO are the 2040s.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby kit » 08 Apr 2018 03:47

Kartik wrote:Astonishing BVRAAM loadout on Saudi F-15 prototype


Royal Saudi Air Force F-15SA (SA-2 aircraft) during a test flight with 12x AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles at Palmdale.


probably up against the Houthi stealth fighter :((

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Singha » 08 Apr 2018 08:00

these mythical loads are for photo ops. so far none have found such a mission unless unlimited tanker support is available in a hot area with lot of airborne threats and they want to keep the F-15 there for 6+ hours. I dont think pilots can routinely fly such missions in fighter cockpits.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Apr 2018 08:14

That load isn't particularly draggy or something that will require a lot of tanker support given that the aircraft in questioning is already carrying fairly substantial fuel internally and in the two CFTs. The only legitimate mission for such a loadout (in the absence of the intercept mission against bombers) would be the Counter UAS mission but even then it is an overkill. However, mix it up in terms of air-surface and air-air and it makes a lot more sense and the Strike Eagle and its derivatives are really good in that department.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Apr 2018 17:56

Boeing starts service life modernisation of Super Hornets


The first of the US Navy’s (USN’s) F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets arrived at the Boeing plant in St Louis, Missouri, on 5 April from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia for aircraft service life modernisation (SLM).

The plan is to increase the service life of all Super Hornets to 9,000 hours from the initially designed 6,000 hours.

For the first aircraft, however, Boeing has a two-step process, Dan Gillian, Boeing vice-president of F/A-18 and EA-18 programmes, told reporters on 5 April.

“Initially, we’ll go from 6,000 to 7,500 [hours],” Gillian said. The aircraft will then be brought back in later to increase the lifespan again to 9,000 hours.“We’ll do that from now until 2022, when we go ‘full kit,’” he said. “Then they’ll come in 6,000 and go out 9,000.”

There will be a “little less than” 100 aircraft that have to go through the two-step modernisation, or roughly 18% of the USN Super Hornets, Gillian said.

It will take about 18 months to complete work on the first aircraft, but Boeing expects to cut that time to 12 months per aircraft. The company plans to complete 40-50 aircraft per year.

For the aircraft going under the initial SLM work, he said, Boeing will concentrate on increasing the life of the airframe metal, focusing on pod areas and other space that could use augmenting or similar work.

Starting in 2020, the SLM will include upgrades associated with Block III Super Hornet upgrades for stealth, extended range, and networking. While Boeing will begin modernising its Super Hornets at its St Louis plant, the company plans to start a line for the work in a facility in San Antonio, Texas. Gillian said the company wants to start with the “harder” aircraft in St Louis, bringing the first six to that facility and then sending the seventh to San Antonio. After that, the company will seek to strike a balance between the two lines.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 09 Apr 2018 16:25

Singha wrote:there have been experiments with F-18 sending inflight updates to a few GPS guided munitions in flight by somehow obtaining the changing GPS co-ordinates of moving targets (dont know how its done) . not sure this capability is fielded or they use a cheaper option like a maverick missile or a hellfire+LDP combo. the designator of platforms like A10 and Apaches would surely be able to track moving targets. likewise for the brimstone on the tornado


There is moving target capability and then there are moving target capabilities against all moving targets. Baseline capability of using tactics and LGBs the F-35 can attack slow moving targets but not some of the faster ones. In case of the F-35, the baseline capability was frozen in the early 2000s as they did not want to incorporate weapons, sensor advancements and concepts that themselves were in development at the time as that would have put the entire program at the mercy of other developmental efforts. Full envelope moving target capability was always planned in block 4 when the Small Diameter Bomb - II was to declare IOC with the aircraft. Targeting sensor enhancements developed during the mid to late 2000s and 2010s would be brought in with the Advanced-EOTS which is a multi-spectral system. This is still the case now. SDB-II is currently being operationally tested, and EOTS-NG will begin flight testing shortly.

However, in the meantime, it was brought to the attention of the USAF, that they could move a lot faster and field a capability to attack faster moving targets because they had a fully developed weapon in the GBU-49 that could do the mission if integrated on the F-35. The USAF decided that this was a worthwhile investment and during its analysis, the JPO informed them that it would not have any impact on the Final 3F schedule because integration was relatively straight forward because the stores management system already has the GBU-12 integrated which is a similar weapon.Here is a Jane's article describing the switch. The USAF placed a rapid order for 400 interim GBU-49s and this capability will be fielded on the F-35As well ahead of when the SDB-II declares IOC with the aircraft (SDB-II is as of this month preparing to enter its IOT&E so it will be a few months before it is declared fully operational).

US seeks 400 GBU-49 PGMs as interim moving target munition for F-35
Jane's Missiles & Rockets
March 2018


The US military is to procure 400 Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II precision-guided munitions (PGMs) as it looks to afford the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) with an interim moving target capability.

The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), which is the contracting authority for the F-35 across the US services, issued a request for information (RFI) on 14 March for the procurement of the 500 lb PGMs, as well as the associated logistics support. No details pertaining to delivery timelines or contract values were disclosed.

This RFI follows a ‘sources sought’ notice issued in February 2017 for an interim 500 lbclass weapon with a moving target capability for the F-35, to be fielded while the military continues with its Block 3F (full combat capability) integration efforts of the Raytheon GBU-12 Paveway II PGB.

As noted in the 2016 Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) report on the F-35, the GBU-12 has limited moving target capability. “Block 3i [initial combat capability] does not have an automated targeting function with lead-laser guidance (i.e. automatically computing and positioning the laser spot proportionately in front of the moving target to increase the likelihood of hitting the target) to engage moving targets with the GBU-12, like most legacy aircraft have that currently fly close air support (CAS) missions”, the report noted.

”Instead, F-35 pilots can only use basic rules-of-thumb when attempting to engage moving targets with the GBU-12, resulting in very limited effectiveness. Also, limitations with cockpit controls and displays have caused the pilots to primarily use two-ship ‘buddy lasing’ for GBU-12 employment, which is not always possible during extended CAS engagements when one of the aircraft has to leave to refuel on a tanker.

“To meet the Operational Requirements Document stipulation for engaging moving targets, the US Air Force (USAF) is considering integrating the Raytheon GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II, a fielded weapon that has similar size, weight, and interfaces as the GBU-12, or a similar weapon that does not require lead-laser guidance, in Block 3F,” it added.

The US Air Force (USAF) has a programme of record for 1,763 F-35A aircraft; the US Navy is set to receive 273 F-35Cs while the US Marine Corps has a programme of record of 353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs.

In April 2017 the Joint Program Office (JPO) dropped GBU-12 Paveway II PGMs from each variant of the F-35 using the Block 3F software. With the F-35 currently fitted with the Block 3i (initial full capability) software, Block 3F is due to be rolled out in May 2018.

The F-35 has 11 weapon stations, including two internal bays (and an internal GAU-22 25 mm cannon for the A-variant, with the B and C being provisioned for a missioned gun-pod).

Block 3F will see the F-35 equipped to employ the GBU-12; GBU-31/32 1,000 lb/2,000 lb Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs); GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB); Navy Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW)-C1; AIM-120C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM); and AIM-9X infrared guided short-range air-to-air missile.

Beyond Block 3F the F-35 is designed to carry the Storm Shadow and AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) cruise missiles; the GBU-38 500 lb JDAM; AGM-154A/C Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) glide bomb; GBU-31 2,000 lb JDAM; GBU-32 1,000 lb JDAM; GBU-10 2,000 lb Paveway II LGB; GBU-24A/B 2,000 lb Paveway III LGB; GBU-16 1,000lb Paveway II LGB; MK 83 BLU-110 1,000 lb Low-Drag General Purpose (LDGP) bomb; MK 83 BSU-85 High-Drag General Purpose (HDGP) bomb; Mk 84 2,000 lb LD/HDGP bomb; MK 84 BSU-50 Ballute 2,000 lb HDGP bomb; MK 82 500 lb LD & HD bomb; CBU-99/100 Rockeye II cluster munitions CBU-103/105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) system; Brimstone air-to-surface missiles and the Selected Precision Effects at Range Capability (SPEAR) 3.



Since the article was written, the 3F capability has dropped and is now the baseline configuration in both production aircraft and those in frontline squadron service that are now being upgraded with the software.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/2018/0 ... 00765.html

As the article gets at as well, it isn't as much that aircraft like the A-10 or other fast jets cannot attack faster moving targets using the GBU-12 - THEY CAN. It is the F-35 with its non-upgraded EOTS that cannot do the same as the older CAS aircraft have received quite a few upgrades to their sensors while F-35 design has been frozen and is now being upgraded via EOTS-NG. When that sensor is dropped in it will give the F-35 the same capability but in the meantime it will rely on the GBU-49 for the faster moving targets which does not require advanced targeting capability. At the end of the day, in the ME type of operations you really do not need the F-35 to drop even a GBU-49 as it is a premium weapon/aircraft combination. You ideally need a Hornet or a Harrier with an APKWS-II which is a much cheaper and optimized weapon for such fast moving trucks. That and the A-10 with its cannon..

Singha wrote:there have been experiments with F-18 sending inflight updates to a few GPS guided munitions in flight by somehow obtaining the changing GPS co-ordinates of moving targets (dont know how its done)


In flight re-targeting and updates are something the JSOW is capable of given its networked nature. The JDAM does not allow that capability to the best of my knowledge.
Last edited by brar_w on 10 Apr 2018 14:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 09 Apr 2018 18:37

Australia receives first ‘full combat’ F-35As


Australia has received a further batch of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), and the first to be fitted with the latest ‘full combat’ software.

Three conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35As (AU-3 to AU-5) were delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to add to the two already delivered, the Australian defence minister, Christopher Pyne, announced on 9 April.

While the two aircraft already delivered were fitted with the Block 3i (initial combat capability), these latest three aircraft have the Block 3F (full combat capability) software package. Indeed, Australia is the first international partner to receive aircraft to this standard (Israel, which is a customer of the F-35 rather than a partner, is understood to already have its aircraft at this standard).

All five F-35As are currently located with the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona, where they serve as part of the international training fleet. With five more RAAF F-35As set to join them at this location before the end of the year, the first aircraft will arrive at RAAF Williamtown in New South Wales shortly after.

The F-35A will enter Australian service from late 2018, replacing the RAAF’s ageing Boeing FA-18A/B ‘legacy’ Hornets and augmenting the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers. Full operating capability for the type in RAAF service is scheduled for 2023.

The F-35 is the central tenet in the RAAF’s ambition to build itself up as the world’s first fully networked ‘fifth-generation’ air force, with an ambitious procurement programme including the Super Hornet combat aircraft and Growler electronic attack aircraft; the Boeing E-7 Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform; up to five Gulfstream 550 intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare (ISREW) aircraft; seven Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems; and an armed medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), such as the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc MQ-9 Reaper.

This fifth-generation concept is built around the RAAF’s Plan Jericho, which was a strategy launched in February 2015 by the then chief of air force Air Marshal Geoff Brown to transform the service over 10 years into a force that will deliver air power as an integrated whole and in seamless alignment with the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy.

Procured under the Project AIR 6000 requirement, the F-35 is Australia's most expensive defence acquisition to date, with an estimated cost of AUD15 billion (USD11.5 billion). Procurement is presently divided into three phases with a total of 72 F-35s to be purchased in Phases 2A and 2B. A further batch of 28 aircraft to equip a fourth operational squadron will be considered at a later date for Phase 2C.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 10 Apr 2018 19:01

GA-ASI Sets RPA Industry Record With Help From Worldwide Customers Base



SAN DIEGO – 9 April 2018 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) today announced that its Predator®-series family of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), encompassing Predator, Predator B, Gray Eagle, and Avenger® lines, has achieved a historic industry milestone: five million flight hours. The milestone was achieved on April 4, with 360,311 total missions completed and more than 90 percent of all missions flown in combat.

“Five million flight hours is a testament to the reliability of our RPA systems that are designed, built, and maintained by a dedicated group of skilled and innovative professionals for operations around the world,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “Our 25-year history has produced a list of ‘firsts’ in RPA development and we have leveraged this progress to apply the latest technology and advancement in our new and improved aircraft, such as the MQ-9B SkyGuardian™.”

The identification of the specific aircraft and customer that achieved the milestone is unknown as every second of every day, 69 Predator-class Medium-altitude, Long-endurance aircraft are airborne worldwide. Flight hours have continued to grow at unprecedented rates in recent years, with 500,000 flight hours achieved from 1993 to 2008, one million hours in 2010, two million hours in 2012, three million hours in 2014, and four million hours in 2016.

“The demand for persistent situational awareness using GA-ASI RPA is demonstrated daily through the increasing accumulation of flight hours. This demand is consistently answered by our team of employees, suppliers, and partners who work hard to meet our customers’ dynamic mission requirements,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI.

Recently GA-ASI’s Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper fleet passed its own historic milestone, achieving two million flight hours on November 12, 2017 after flying approximately 143,279 total sorties. Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper flight hours now account for approximately 40 percent of GA-ASI’s five million total flight hours and are increasing at an average rate of 37,000 hours a month.

GA-ASI has more than 8,000 employees with 1135 employees and subcontractors deployed worldwide. On average, GA-ASI produces approximately eight aircraft per month.

GA-ASI aircraft average over 50,000 hours per month supporting the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Italian Air Force, the Royal Air Force, the French Air Force, the UAE Armed Forces, and other customers. Missions include helping protect ground units on the battlefield; supporting U.S. Customs & Border Protection operations, and first responders in the wake of natural disasters. These aircraft systems continue to maintain the highest operational availability rates in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army aircraft inventories. GA-ASI has produced more than 825 aircraft to date and over 300 Ground Control Stations (GCS).

The Predator-series family includes Predator A and Predator XP; Predator B/MQ-9B Reaper, Guardian, Predator B/MQ-9B Reaper Extended Range (ER), MQ-9B SkyGuardian, and SeaGuardian; Gray Eagle/ER; and Predator C Avenger/ER.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Lisa » 11 Apr 2018 22:38

https://www.chonday.com/15705/sr71jetplane1/

Tales of SR-71

Video by lockheedmartin.com

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 12 Apr 2018 04:44

How CHina is trying to woo Latin American customers to buy their equipment.

AW&ST

Image

Uruguay delegation with Hongdu L-15 trainer and light attack jet.

Little by little, Chinese defense companies are trying to increase their influence and sales in Latin America. Though acquisitions have been relatively minor to date, China is making inroads with Venezuela and Bolivia.

In December 2016, a delegation from the Venezuelan Army (the National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela) visited China for a briefing on the Poly Technologies Silent Hunter 30-kW mobile fiber-optic laser weapon, which can penetrate 5 mm of steel at 1 km (0.6 mi.). No sale has been reported to date, but since 2012, Venezuela has used more than 600 China North Industries Group Corp. Ltd. (Norinco) VN-4 4 X 4 armored cars, vehicles that have come to symbolize Venezuela’s suppression of anti-government dissent.

The delegation was also shown Norinco’s Sky Saker unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), which falls between the U.S. General Atomics MQ-1 and MQ-9 in performance and can be armed with a large selection of Chinese small precision weapons.

For about a decade at Latin American major military exhibitions, Chinese defense companies have displayed sophisticated wares, from submarines to ballistic missiles to combat aircraft and UCAVs. Beyond Bolivia and Venezuela, they have not received significant orders. Chinese arms sales officials at Chile’s recent FIDAE air show acknowledged China has made little headway breaking into the Latin American arms market.

An official from the China Electronics Technology Group Corp. (CETC) says Latin American militaries are used to working with U.S. and European standards and logistic support and are unfamiliar with China’s. That nation’s regional economic success has yet to translate into military influence. In a moment of candor, the official adds that China has had a penchant for seeking “government-to-government deals,” trying to persuade politicians to override the reluctance of their military forces to accept Chinese weapons.

But it was in such a government-to-government deal that China came closest to a breakthrough in Argentina. In late 2014, the government of then-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner started talks regarding coproduction of Norinco VN1 8 X 8 armored personnel carriers and five China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. P18 corvette-size combat ships. Also since at least 2012, the state-owned Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA) has been talking with Chinese and Pakistani officials about coproducing the Chengdu Aircraft Corp. and Pakistani FC-1/JF-17 lightweight fourth-generation fighter.

Officials at the air show said an initial deal could have included 24 fighters for less than $35 million each, figures FAdeA officials at FIDAE refused to confirm. Though a respectable platform for the price, the FC-1’s combat potential is greatly enhanced by access to modern Chinese weapons, such as the PL-10 helmet-display-sighted air-to-air missile and CM-400AKG hypersonic ground-attack missile.

Beset by economic strife largely of its own making, the Fernandez de Kirchner government had been stoking anti-British sentiment over its continued occupation of the Falkland Islands. New Chinese weapons would have had nationalist appeal, while also sanctioning Beijing as a regional power player. But such ambitions were dashed by national elections in November 2015 that saw the end of the Fernandez de Kirchner government. The new government of President Mauricio Macri quietly halted the prospective Chinese arms deals. Officials at FIDAE, including from FAdeA, noted that the Chinese weapons were not the first choice of the Argentine military.

But China is not giving up and appears willing to adjust its tactics. The same CETC official declared that “there will be no more government-to-government deals.” In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 15, U.S. Southern Command commander Adm. Kurt Tidd said China is spending “lavishly,” providing all-expenses-paid trips to bring South American military officers and their families to China. One high-ranking Latin American air force officer at FIDAE admitted taking two such trips this year but also said the nation is “not interested” in Chinese weapons.

By patiently working with Latin American air force officials to meet their requirements, while also offering “soft loans,” the often cash-poor regional services could be persuaded to warm up to Chinese weapons. Press reports from Uruguay indicate that an evaluation process that started in 2016 could lead to an initial purchase of eight twin-turbofan Hongdu L-15 lead-in-fighter-trainers (LIFT) that could also be modified to perform air defense and light-attack missions.


This in turn highlights another challenge for Washington: Since the demise of the Northrop F-20 lightweight fighter in the late 1980s, it has had nothing with which to compete with a growing range of cheap but capable Chinese LIFT light attackers such as the L-15, the Guizhou FTC-2000 and the inexpensive but capable FC-1/JF-17 fighter.


The Indian Govt. will need to step up its game if it wants to export defence wares to the Latin American region. the Ecuadorean experience with the Dhruv helicopters wouldn't have helped with the image of Indian defence wares.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby shiv » 12 Apr 2018 22:39

https://warisboring.com/american-warpla ... m-the-sky/
American Warplanes Are Falling From the Sky
Crashes killed 16 crewmembers in less than a month

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Apr 2018 02:19

F-35 System Design and Development's test program concluded yesterday with the last test-point and objective, involving F-35C , having been accomplished. Overall, > 9000 sorties, > 17,000 flight-hours, and 183 weapon drops. It took them 11 years and to wrap up SDD flight-testing and accomplish the 65,000 test points.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 13 Apr 2018 23:44

South Korea is developing its own MALE UAV, the MUAV.

From AW&ST

Image

Test flights of the midaltitude unmanned air vehicle (MUAV) have begun at a Republic of Korea Air Force base, revealing additions including what appear to be weapon pylons. The surveillance aircraft, dimensionally larger than the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper and comparable in weight, also now has a second big belly radome.

An attack capability for the MUAV has been foreshadowed in a number of media reports, among the many such reports evidently based on official leaks about the program.

The 300 billion South Korean won ($280 million) full-scale development effort has slipped by a year since it was launched, apparently in 2013. Testing and evaluation will now reportedly run until the end of 2018, with production in 2019 and 2020. The MUAV is designed to operate at altitudes of 10-12 km (33,000-39,000 ft.) on missions lasting up to 24 hr., the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported in 2016.

As is common in South Korean indigenous military equipment programs, the prime contractor and main source of technology for the MUAV is the defense ministry’s Agency for Defense Development. The manufacturing division of Korean Air is the subcontractor for the airframe; LIG Nex1 for the main sensor, a synthetic aperture radar; and Hanwha Systems for the electro-optical and infrared camera turret. The origin of the engine is unknown.

An MUAV that appeared at Cheongju Air Base in March is obviously a development aircraft used for flight-testing. A technology demonstrator that flew in 2012 was the result of a 160 billion won preliminary research effort in 2008-13.

The prototype sighted in testing has four underwing pylons, two outboard of the main landing-gear legs on each side. Conceivably, they could be used for electronics stores, but they have photogrammetric markings, which are used for precise measurement of distances. This means stores will be dropped from them, almost certainly weapons.

Broadcaster Channel A News reported in March 2017 that the MUAV would have one version for surveillance and one for attack. Chosun Ilbo reported in 2016 that the MUAV could be armed “later,” but fielding the MUAV with weapons now seems to be an early priority. Six air-to-ground missiles would be carried, the New Daily newspaper said in 2014. The type of weapon the Republic of Korea Air Force plans to use is unknown. A spokesperson for the military’s procurement office, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, declined to discuss the MUAV in general, or the question of its armament in particular.

For its original and presumably still primary mission of surveillance, the MUAV carries a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) mounted in a broad and very protuberant belly radome just ahead of the wing. The radome, creating much drag, contrasts with the much shallower SAR installations on various versions of the Northrop Grumman Q-4. It is far from ideal for the attack mission, but the budget likely precluded development of a new sensor for the armed variant.

The shape of the fairing indicates the MUAV’s SAR has a deep antenna; it is mechanically steered. The sensor can detect tanks and mobile ballistic-missile launchers 100 km away, says Chosun Ilbo. MUAVs, being slow and vulnerable, will no doubt be mainly useful in peacetime, helping the armed forces identify and monitor targets.

A smaller radome is mounted on a strut at the rear of the SAR installation and probably houses an antenna for communication with the ground controller; the demonstrator had the same feature. But the flight-testing prototype has another big belly radome, behind the wing. This could be for the antenna of a video data link that operators would need for the use of weapons.

The MUAV still has a turret for electro-optical and infrared cameras in the usual position under the nose, as the technology demonstrator had. But its design has changed: it is now spherical, instead of cylindrical.

Development was at first supposed to be completed in October 2017, says Channel A. But because of problems with the data link and identification-friend-or-foe system, this was pushed back to the end of 2018.

Production MUAVs, in unknown numbers, will be operated alongside four RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawks that are due for delivery to South Korea this year. The air force has set up an Aviation Information Group to operate the two types.

The Republic of Korea Army operates smaller drones for surveillance and reconnaissance. Korea Aerospace Industries is developing one for operation by corps headquarters. It has approximately the same configuration as the MUAV; the wingspan is 17 m (56 ft.) and length is 9 m.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 14 Apr 2018 09:09

"The four-day war" in Nagorno-Karabakh. IAI Harop. Video of Harop UAV application in armed clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Apr 2018 15:32

Italian Air Force finalises AARGM OT&E campaign

The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana: AMI) has finalised the operational evaluation and testing (OT&E) of its AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) Block 1 supersonic air-to-surface missile system with a live fire campaign at the US Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake Land Ranges in California during Exercise ‘Blazing Shield 2018’.

Commencing 2 April, a Panavia Tornado ECR (Electric Combat / Reconnaissance) aircraft from the AMI 155th ETS (Electronic Warfare Tactical Suppression) Group – attached to a contingent of nine AM platforms, including AMI Eurofighter Typhoons and a Spartan C-27J, assigned to NAWS as part of the exercise – conducted two successful live firings of the AARGM missile.

The ECR platform – a Tornado variant devoted to Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) missions – was piloted by a NAWS test crew, while a team from the Italian Air Force Test Wing (Reparto Sperimentale Volo: RSV) managed all phases related to the use of the missile from the China Lake Range Control Center, the AMI said in a release.he AGM-88E AARGM – a US Department of Defense Acquisition Category ACAT 1C (Component) programme between the US Navy (USN) and the AMI – is the development upgrade of the AGM-88B/C High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) missile.

Baseline capabilities include an expanded target set, counter-shutdown capability, advanced signals processing for improved detection and locating, geographic specificity providing aircrew the opportunity to define missile-impact zones and impact-avoidance zones, and a weapon impact-assessment broadcast capability providing for battle damage assessment cueing.

Specifically, AARGM Block 1 introduces multimode terminal guidance, Digital Terrain Elevation Database-aided GPS/INS navigation, net-centric connectivity, a modified control section, and a weapons impact assessment transmitter. The new guidance section includes a digital passive anti-radiation homing receiver and associated antennae (with an increased field-of-view and increased detection range compared to HARM), a millimetric-wave (MMW) radar for target discrimination and improved guidance in the terminal flight phase, and a global positioning system/inertial navigation capability to provide accurate location and time data. A weapons impact assessment (WIA) capability allows transmission of real-time hit assessment via a national satellite broadcast data system, and incorporates a provision to receive off-board targeting information via an integrated broadcast system.

The Block 1 AARGM retains the AGM-88 HARM WAU-7/B warhead section (a WDU-21/B warhead, FMU-111/B fuze, and MK 44 MOD 1 fuze booster) as well as the HARM’s Thikol SR113-TC-1 dual-thrust (boost/sustain) low-smoke solid-fuel rocket motor. The Block 1 has a stated range of 60-plus n miles and an engagement speed of Mach 2-plus.

The USN intends to initiate an engineering and manufacturing development phase for an extended range variant (AARGM-ER) in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, with an expectation to field an AARGM-ER capability by 2023.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby arun » 19 Apr 2018 11:25

After conceding her Eastern periphery including those in the formerly Soviet controlled Central Asian Republics to the Peoples Republic of China and playing Guran to the PRC’s Phantom, Russia does a repeat with regards to the commercial space launch business as the reality of Russia’s decline from Soviet heydays not just relative but the US but the Peoples Republic of China, hits hard resulting in face saving spin from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

"The share of launch vehicles is as small as 4% percent of the overall market of space services. The 4% stake isn’t worth the effort to try to elbow Musk and China aside,"


From Tass:

Russian deputy PM sees no reason for competing with Musk on launch vehicles market

And more on the same from Ars Technica:

Russia appears to have surrendered to SpaceX in the global launch market

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Austin » 19 Apr 2018 22:53

Algerian Mil being modernized with DIRCM

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby SaiK » 21 Apr 2018 08:55

Lockheed Martin to propose stealthy hybrid of F-22 and F-35 for Japan - sources

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japa ... SKBN1HR0MM


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 26 Apr 2018 03:02

AW&ST

Eurofighter Presents Tornado Replacement Offer to Germany

BERLIN—Airbus and Eurofighter have revealed they have delivered their offer to provide the Typhoon fighter as a potential replacement for the German air force’s Panavia Tornados.

Airbus, one of the three companies involved in the four-nation Typhoon program, announced they had submitted their offer to the German defense ministry on April 24 on the eve of the ILA Airshow here.

Germany already uses the Typhoon for air defense duties and is currently grooming the aircraft for the ground attack role.

Airbus claims the Typhoon is the “ideal successor” for the Tornado, and if purchased as its successor, the enlarged fleet could deliver “considerable cost savings in terms of support services and training costs due to economies of scale,” and reduce per-hour flying costs.

However, it also would leave Germany as the only major European defense player flying one type of combat aircraft. France, Italy, Spain and the UK all have at least two combat aircraft types in their inventories.

Germany wants to phase the Tornado out of service at the end of the 2030s. Berlin also is studying the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, as well as Boeing’s F-15 Eagle and the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Examples of all four aircraft under consideration are on display at the show.

In November, Lt. Gen. Karl Mullner, Germany’s chief of the air force, said the service desired a fifth-generation platform to replace the Tornado, implying that the F-35 was the “benchmark” option.

However, German politicians have been eager to distance themselves from Mullner’s comments, and reports have suggested that his remarks may have resulted in his enforced early retirement, planned for the end of May. Germany politicians are said to prefer a European solution.

Airbus has not said what the offer contains, but Aerospace DAILY understands the configuration of the aircraft will be different from the Tranche 3 jets currently being delivered and may encompass a so-called Tranche 4 configuration. More detail should emerge during the show.

Any Tornado replacement needs to be able to carry the U.S.-produced B61 nuclear weapon. Such weapons are based in Germany under a dual-key arrangement and would be carried under the Tornado in the outbreak of conflict. Mullner previously suggested that Germany was keen to retain this capability.

“The Eurofighter is already the backbone of the German Air Force and is therefore the logical option to adopt the capabilities of the Tornado in the medium term,” said Bernhard Brenner, head of marketing and sales at Airbus Defense and Space.

“We have an excellent aircraft, its production secures important aircraft construction know-how in Germany and, at the same time, strongly supports European sovereignty in defense. The successful continuation of Eurofighter production could also lead to further cooperation with other European nations such as Switzerland, Belgium and Finland,” he added.
Airbus notes that the Typhoon also likely will provide the technological basis for the next European combat aircraft.

French and German officials are likely to take the next steps for that development, agreed last July, here at the ILA show.

In the days before the show, Airbus Defense and Space head Dirk Hoke warned that a German procurement of the F-35 could end future fighter cooperation with France.

“As soon as Germany becomes an F-35 nation, cooperation with France on all combat aircraft topics will die,” Hoke told a German newspaper April 22.

Any order is likely to be sizeable. Germany currently operates 80-90 Tornados, and although the replacement purchase is not likely to be on a one-for-one basis, orders still are expected to be for 50-60 aircraft. Such a purchase could be worth €15-20 billion ($18.3-24 billion).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 26 Apr 2018 03:36

More details on the proposed Typhoon replacement for Germany's Tornadoes

AW&ST

BERLIN—The Eurofighter consortium is proposing the integration of new weaponry, performance enhancements and additional capabilities to the Typhoon fighter as part of its offer to replace Germany’s Panavia Tornado fleet.

Consortium partner Airbus announced it had delivered on Germany’s request for information for a Tornado replacement on April 24, the eve of the ILA Airshow here. Competitors—Lockheed Martin with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and Boeing with the F-15 Eagle and the F/A-18 Super Hornet family—are understood to have delivered their information through the U.S. government.

Eurofighter CEO Volker Paltzo told journalists on the opening day of the show April 25 that an additional Eurofighter buy from Germany would help secure Europe and Germany’s aerospace industrial base and maintain sovereignty. “There are no black boxes” in the Typhoon,” Paltzo said. Germany, he said, has “access to all data in the program,” and the software on the aircraft already meets national airworthiness requirements.

Included in the offer, according to Eurofighter officials, is the integration of additional weaponry and capability building on the Phased Enhancement program that is currently integrating the MBDA Brimstone air-to-ground missile, the Storm Shadow cruise missile, and the Meteor long-range air-to-air missile. The Airbus offer is similar to that being performed as part of Project Centurion for the UK Royal Air Force, transferring the weapons and capabilities from the Tornado over to the Typhoon.

Integration of air-to-ground weapons already has begun on German Typhoons as part of Project Odin.

Among the weapons being offered for integration as part of the Tornado replacement program are the Kongsberg Joint Strike Missile for the anti-ship mission and the Taurus cruise missile. Taurus already has undergone a partial integration because of its similar size, shape and weight to the Storm Shadow. Also being offered is the MBDA Spear 3 precision-guided munition and the Brimstone, a weapon Germany wants to install on the Eurofighter as part of upcoming Typhoon upgrade packages.

Airbus also is proposing adding the ability to perform destruction and suppression of enemy air defense missions using emitter detection systems that are yet to be integrated onto the aircraft, as well as the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). That mission currently is performed by the ECR version of the Tornado in German service. The new batch also would receive the Euroradar electronically scanned array radar, currently under development but with more advanced modes.

A key element in the new radar capability would be additional computing processes allowing it to be optimized for different tasks, adjusting power outputs depending on the phase of flight or mission.

In what is likely the first major upgrade for the Eurofighter’s Eurojet EJ200 engine, the consortium is keen to make use of the engine’s growth potential to boost thrust by around 15% as well as improve fuel efficiency and range. This will be combined with a new design and enlarged 1,800-liter fuel tank. The aircraft currently is fitted with 1,000-liter fuel tanks. Other modifications will include the Aerodynamic Modification Kit, test flown in 2014, to improve maneuverability and handling, particularly with heavy weapon loads.

Eurofighter says they also are comfortable with delivering integration of the U.S. B61 nuclear weapon onto the aircraft, a process that requires U.S. certification. Paltzo said he was confident the U.S. government would not use the certification requirements of the weapon as “leverage” to force Germany towards a U.S. platform such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

A win for the Typhoon also would provide a bridge for the development of any future European combat air system being developed by France and Germany, Paltzo pointed out, as the technologies developed for the Typhoon would be edged into the new aircraft.

However, the Eurofighter faces stiff competition from the U.S. fighters particularly the F-35. The Eurofighter is said to be the favored platform of German politicians, but German air force officials have said they favor the F-35 because of its low-observability characteristics.

Paltzo said the company was looking at a potential market for as many as 300 Typhoons in Europe. The aircraft is currently being marketed in Belgium, Finland, Poland and Switzerland. The German requirement alone is for a one-for-one replacement of the country’s Tornado fleet, which currently numbers 90. This could push production of the fighter out into the 2030s. Current orders for the partner nations, as well as orders from Kuwait, and more recently Qatar, have pushed production out to 2024 at present.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 26 Apr 2018 22:54

Dassault and Airbus to jointly develop next gen European fighter. This is leading to the two big aerospace houses, Airbus and Dassault, vying to see who will become prime contractor for the design. This is reminiscent of the tussle that led to the split in the Eurofighter program and led Dassault to go the Rafale way.

AW&ST

BERLIN—Airbus and Dassault Aviation have agreed to partner to develop a future European Combat Air System to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale.

The landmark decision comes less than a year after the French and German governments outlined their ambition to develop a new fighter jet in Paris last July.

As part of the roadmap, the two countries plan to fly demonstrators in 2025, while a prototype likely would fly in the early 2030s and begin replacing both the Typhoon and Rafale between 2035 and 2040, the two companies announced at the ILA Airshow here April 25.

The companies say the program would help “secure European sovereignty” and “industrial autonomy.”

The agreements fall short of defining workshare in the program, but Dassault is already maneuvering itself to take the lead role, particularly as it is the only partner to have fully developed a combat aircraft through its experience on the Mirage family and the Rafale.

Airbus and its forerunners have only shared a role in such programs.

“Dassault may wish to have a leading role as architect,” said its CEO Eric Trappier. “This is under discussion with Airbus…We have a good understanding about who is going to do what.”

Airbus Defense and Space CEO Dirk Hoke said the partners could not yet distribute “pieces of the cake until we know what it looks like.”


“We have to avoid the mistakes of the past,” Hoke warned, referring to the costly four-nation approach to production adopted by the Eurofighter consortium partners that has reduced the fighter’s cost competitiveness.

“We now have to jointly define the next steps, there are still a lot of question marks,” he told Aerospace DAILY.

Other countries likely to join the program are Spain, which is mulling over its own future combat aircraft plans to replace both the F/A-18 Hornet and the Typhoon. But these are complicated by Madrid’s need to replace its AV-8 Harrier carrier-borne aircraft.

Currently only the short take-off and vertical landing version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is in a position to replace the Harrier. But France also needs to consider replacing the Dassault Rafales operating from its Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.

The two companies say FCAS is more than simply a new fighter, but comprises a range of elements operating together, albeit with a manned fighter at its center.
“The overall system will be interoperable and connected in a larger perimeter with mission aircraft, satellites, NATO systems and land and naval combat systems,” Airbus says.

Airbus revealed its vision for the FCAS program last November—a family of manned and unmanned platforms, with the manned aircraft acting as a command-and-control platform. Swarming fleets of unmanned combat air vehicles carrying sensors, jamming equipment and weaponry could be launched by A400M airlifters and directed into action by the fighter jet. Open software architectures to allow easy upgrading of onboard systems and a directed energy weapon also were necessities for the new aircraft, the company suggested.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 26 Apr 2018 23:18

Bids In For German Fighter Replacement

AW&ST

BERLIN—Both the U.S. government and Airbus have delivered their responses to a German request for information (RFI) to replace Berlin’s aging Panavia Tornado fleet.

Airbus, proposing an upgraded version of the Eurofighter, and Washington, providing information on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Boeing’s F-15 Advanced Eagle and the F/A-18 Super Hornet family, delivered their responses to the German defense ministry in time for the April 23 deadline.

Up for grabs is a potential 90-aircraft order replacing on a one-for-one basis Germany’s Tornado IDS strike aircraft, and the smaller ECR electronic warfare version of the jet. Reports suggest such a sizeable order could be valued at €15-20 billion ($18.3-24 billion).

While Boeing’s Growler offer is understood to involve a mixed fleet of Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers for the electronic attack mission, the competition appears to be a face-off between the Typhoon and the F-35.


In November, Lt. Gen. Karl Mullner, the chief of the German air force, told a conference in Berlin that the service desired a fifth-generation platform to replace the Tornado, implying that the F-35 was the “benchmark” option.

However, German politicians have been eager to distance themselves from Mullner’s comments, and reports suggest his remarks may have resulted in his enforced early retirement, planned for the end of May. German politicians are said to prefer the Eurofighter.

According to industry officials the Tornado replacement RFI called upon the manufacturers to explain how they would take on 10 mission roles from the Tornado and two additional elements related to Germany’s Future Combat Air System, the aircraft that ultimately will replace Germany’s current Typhoon fleet.


Lockheed Martin is proposing the conventional takeoff and landing F-35A. Officials claim the company could deliver the aircraft three years after a contract is signed.

Eurofighter is proposing an enhanced version of the Typhoon kitted with new weaponry including the Kongsberg Joint Strike Missile, and a suppression/destruction of enemy air defense capability. The jet also would feature an uprated Eurojet EJ200 engine to produce as much as 15% more power. The aircraft also would be certified to carry the B61 nuclear weapon, enabling Germany to continue its NATO deterrence mission through dual-key arrangements with the U.S. Getting the certifications to carry the weapon will take time, however, and the four-nation Eurofighter consortium has to agree on the improvements to the aircraft.

Politically, a Typhoon purchase will support European jobs, and industry officials assert it will help with the development of a future European combat aircraft.

The F-35 will come with the B61 integration during the early 2020s, reports suggest, but it will not be compatible with all the weapons in Germany’s inventory. That integration may take several years. Furthermore, new infrastructure also will be needed to support the aircraft, as is happening in other partner nations.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 28 Apr 2018 04:12

Twitter -Scramble.NL link

On ILA 2018 in Berlin, the France and Germany presented a joint next-generation fighter development plan. Other countries may join. Please read the full story https://www.facebook.com/Scramblemagazi ... =3&theater … here. Photo is possible artist impression


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