International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 04 Jun 2019 14:18

This is the latest development of the chini AN-24 ripoff. the MA700.


Seems like the AN-24/32 is a pretty robust and reliable design. We flew and are still flying large numbers of AN-32s. Very versatile too as the chinis had made their copies into PLAAF transports, AWACS testbeds, maritime patrol and multiple civilian regional airliners.

The latest development from the actual OEM is the AN-132 which is now available to an enterprising nation as the Ukraine is looking for a new partner since the Saudis left.
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby abhik » 04 Jun 2019 18:45

^^^
I know it one of your pet projects (my own being A400/An-72/C-2 faceoff), but it's quite an inopportune time given one more IAF An-32 crashed recently. Definitely questions woul be raised on the "reliability" aspect. BTW why did the Saudis back out from this program?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 05 Jun 2019 05:22

^^^ We've been flying them for decades. Our models have none of the new instrumentation updated on the AN-132.

The reason might be because of Saudis' maneuvering with Russia.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190429-ukraine-suspends-joint-venture-with-saudi-arabia-to-build-an-132-aircraft/amp/

Observers believe the suspension of the joint venture is a result of the Kingdom’s rapprochement with Russia.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kakarat » 05 Jun 2019 12:35

chola wrote:^^^ We've been flying them for decades. Our models have none of the new instrumentation updated on the AN-132.

The reason might be because of Saudis' maneuvering with Russia.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190429-ukraine-suspends-joint-venture-with-saudi-arabia-to-build-an-132-aircraft/amp/

Observers believe the suspension of the joint venture is a result of the Kingdom’s rapprochement with Russia.


Since we have almost committed on getting the C-295 which in all aspects is equal to An-32/132 it would be better to stay with C-295 than both.
Instead we should consider getting type certificates of An-178 as MTA and An-70/188 as medium heavy transport

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 05 Jun 2019 13:02

^^^ I love the C-295 but since it is Airbus' we will never be able to do much more than local contracting for it. Meaning no exports, no variants, non real transfer of tech.

Ukraine is in dire strait and from what I read, Saudi Arabia would have been to produce the AN-132 without a cap in numbers and would have been able to exports. Profits split with Antonov of course. That is the kind of "ToT" I would like us to have.

That is not to say I wouldn't be happy with the C-295. The expectation though would be ownership and future development path being less under our control.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 06 Jun 2019 23:48

First Rafales arrive in Qatar

Qatar received its first batch of Dassault Rafale combat aircraft on 5 June, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced.

The first five of 36 aircraft ordered for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) were received by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, during a ceremony at the newly completed Dukhan Airbase (also known as Tamim Airbase) on the western coast of the Middle East peninsula.

The arrival of the first Rafales at Dukhan Airbase marks a key milestone in a major military aviation capitalisation process for Qatar that has recently seen it order a large number of varied fixed- and rotary-winged combat and support aircraft.
..

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 08 Jun 2019 20:56

F-35 Enterprise Delivers 400th F-35 and Fleet Surpasses 200,000 Flight Hours


The F-35 fleet has achieved 200,000 flight hours across global operations, a significant milestone demonstrating the program’s progress and growing maturity. Within the same week, the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin also delivered the 400th production F-35...

The 400th production aircraft is a U.S. Air Force F-35A, to be delivered to Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The production total is comprised of 283 F-35A, 87 F-35B and 30 F-35C deliveries. The 200,000 flight hours includes all F-35s in the fleet comprised of developmental test jets, training, operational, U.S. and international aircraft. Among the three variants, approximately 125,850 hours were flown by the F-35A, 52,410 hours by the F-35B and 22,630 by the F-35C.


They have about 75 deliveries to go for the current calendar year so the 500 deliveries milestone should be reached in the first few months of 2020.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby darshan » 09 Jun 2019 04:29

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/08/raytheo ... e-wsj.html

The deal would give defense contractor Raytheon exposure to the booming commercial aerospace sector through the United Technologies’ unit.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 09 Jun 2019 10:05

Realtime video of the SpaceX Starlink satellite train, taken at 21:26 UTC on May 26, 2019 in the UK with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and 50mm f/1.8 lens. Shutter speed 1/25 sec. ISO 32000. Noise reduced with Neat Video.

On 24 May 2019, SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites of "Starlink". They are currently fairly close to each other and visible to the naked eye as a line of lights in the sky, but over time they will gradually drift apart and become much less obvious.

4 minute video


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Jun 2019 06:43

BIG development on the F-35 program and procurement. LOT 12-14 Hybrid multi-year Procurement+Option (US) negotiations are coming to a close with the contract to be signed by August. Lot 12 F-35A Unit Recurring Fly-Away (URF) cost will be $81.35 Million, with the URF for Lots 13 and 14 will be $76 Million. The target for the URF set by the last program head was $80 Million by 2020 (OY). They have not only beaten that by 4 million but done so a full year ahead of the plan.

Lockheed, Pentagon reach handshake agreement on next F-35 lot, paving the way for an $80M jet next year


Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Department of Defense have reached a handshake agreement on the next lot of F-35 joint strike fighters, an agreement that for the first time includes options for customers to purchase additional aircraft over the next few years.

In a statement, Pentagon acquisition head Ellen Lord called the agreement, worth $34 billion over lots 12, 13 and 14 for 478 aircraft, a “historic milestone.”

The agreement includes 157 jets in lot 12, and comes with an estimated 8.8 percent Unit Recurring Flyaway cost savings from the previous lot. While the Pentagon did not provide costs per aircraft in its news release, that would amount to about $81 million per F-35A conventional takeoff and landing model compared to $89.2 million for an F-35A in lot 11.

Lord estimated that the cost will drop around 15 percent from lot 11 to lot 14 across all variants, which could peg an A model at around $76 million.

“This framework estimates the delivery of an F-35A for less than $80M in Lot 13, one year earlier than planned," Lord said. "This agreement symbolizes my commitment to aggressively reduce F-35 cost, incentivize Industry to meet required performance, and to deliver the greatest capabilities to our warfighters at the best value to our taxpayers.”


The original story from Reuters - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1TB27T

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Jun 2019 08:53

For context, here was the curve up til LOT-10. LOT-11 had a CTOL URF of $89 (with the engine and contractor fees).

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby JayS » 11 Jun 2019 11:47

brar_w wrote:BIG development on the F-35 program and procurement. LOT 12-14 Hybrid multi-year Procurement+Option (US) negotiations are coming to a close with the contract to be signed by August. Lot 12 F-35A Unit Recurring Fly-Away (URF) cost will be $81.35 Million, with the URF for Lots 13 and 14 will be $76 Million. The target for the URF set by the last program head was $80 Million by 2020 (OY). They have not only beaten that by 4 million but done so a full year ahead of the plan.

Lockheed, Pentagon reach handshake agreement on next F-35 lot, paving the way for an $80M jet next year


Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Department of Defense have reached a handshake agreement on the next lot of F-35 joint strike fighters, an agreement that for the first time includes options for customers to purchase additional aircraft over the next few years.

In a statement, Pentagon acquisition head Ellen Lord called the agreement, worth $34 billion over lots 12, 13 and 14 for 478 aircraft, a “historic milestone.”

The agreement includes 157 jets in lot 12, and comes with an estimated 8.8 percent Unit Recurring Flyaway cost savings from the previous lot. While the Pentagon did not provide costs per aircraft in its news release, that would amount to about $81 million per F-35A conventional takeoff and landing model compared to $89.2 million for an F-35A in lot 11.

Lord estimated that the cost will drop around 15 percent from lot 11 to lot 14 across all variants, which could peg an A model at around $76 million.

“This framework estimates the delivery of an F-35A for less than $80M in Lot 13, one year earlier than planned," Lord said. "This agreement symbolizes my commitment to aggressively reduce F-35 cost, incentivize Industry to meet required performance, and to deliver the greatest capabilities to our warfighters at the best value to our taxpayers.”


The original story from Reuters - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1TB27T

small confusion. Reports say 34B for 478 Jets. That translated to avg unit cost of 71M. Given F35A is the cheapest of the three variants, I do not understand how the per unit cost for F35A is 81-76M for the three lots. Is the cost include engine cost separately..? Or something else..?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Jun 2019 19:27

JayS wrote:small confusion. Reports say 34B for 478 Jets. That translated to avg unit cost of 71M. Given F35A is the cheapest of the three variants, I do not understand how the per unit cost for F35A is 81-76M for the three lots. Is the cost include engine cost separately..? Or something else..?


The URF price quoted in the articles include the propulsion, airframe and contractor fees/profits for the LOT(s). The current announcement involved a handshake agreement between the Pentagon and the airframe supplier. Lockheed has no say over the engine supplier (it was picked by the Pentagon, and the contracting is done independent of the airframe OEM) Usually, the propulsion negotiations are far ahead of negotiations with Lockheed so that price probably has been already agreed to for the overall LOT 12-14 contract so they just added what discount they received over and above the LOT-11 URF of $89 Million and released that #. Traditionally (with the F-35), it has been negotiations with the airframe supplier that have dragged on while negotiations with UTC on propulsion contracts have been relatively easier and on time.

Expect the final LOT 12-14 propulsion contract to be in the $6 Billion range depending upon the aircraft mix in these LOTs. They could even sign or at least announce the exact details for it during PAS (if they haven't already).

One point to note is that there is probably some more scope to reduce the URF from the current $76 MM number. The current deal is a hybrid where the US services place firm orders for LOT 12, and options for LOT 13 and 14, while foreign partners place firm orders for LOT 12, 13 and 14. The US DOD is legally prohibited from entering into Multi-Year procurement (firm orders) until the program achieves Milestone-C which is expected by late (September-December) 2019 (most if not all foreign partners have no such legal restrictions). Subsequent contracts would be negotiated as MYP's which means 3-5 years worth of production at a time which adds another dimension and certainty to economies of scale and bulk negotiations with sub-contractors and suppliers. It is quite possible, if not highly likely, that the first full-rate production MYP gets them a CTOL URF of below $75 Million.

Via Aviation Week -

Handshake Deal Shatters F-35 Price Target



Lockheed Martin has tentatively agreed to a one-year contract with two priced options with the U.S. Defense Department that dramatically lowers the unit recurring flyaway costs for the F-35A a year ahead and beyond the previously stated goal of $80 million by the 14th lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP 14) in fiscal 2022.

If finalized, the “handshake” agreement would lower the cost of a currently $89.3 million F-35A by 8.8%, or $7.86 million each, from LRIP 11 to LRIP 12. A priced option in the deal would further lower the price of an F-35A to less than $80 million by LRIP 13, although Pentagon and Lockheed officials declined to provide specific figures for the option year.

“The handshake agreement, once finalized, will represent the largest F-35 production contract and the lowest aircraft prices in program history,” said Greg Ulmer, vice president and general manager of the F-35 program.

More importantly, a second annual option in LRIP 14 would reduce the price of the F-35 across all variants by an average of 15%. If that average reduction applies to the F-35A, the most numerous of the three variants in production, the price tag of each aircraft would fall to $75.9 million.

Combined with a three-year contract, previously agreed to with international customers over the same period, the tentative deal with the Pentagon covers a $34 billion order for 478 aircraft, including 157 F-35s that will be delivered next year under LRIP 12.

Lockheed and government negotiators achieved the lower prices despite a flattening production ramp-up over the three-year period. Lockheed’s deliveries under LRIP 11 are expected to reach 131 aircraft this year, essentially twice the volume from LRIP 9. But orders over the next three years are about 159 aircraft, or about the same covered under the LRIP 12 deal.

As volume declines, Lockheed’s falling prices suggest a maturing assembly system and supply chain, along with better pricing from suppliers on a larger delivery base.

“This agreement symbolizes my commitment to aggressively reduce F-35 cost, incentivize industry to meet required performance, and to deliver the greatest capabilities to our warfighters at the best value to our taxpayers,” said Ellen Lord, assistant secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.



What Steve misses in the article is that it's not JUST economies of scale as measured by production rates that results in lower production costs. What is probably more relevant in the long term is production certainty and the ability to go and negotiate multiple years worth of production contracts with the suppliers (where >60% of the cost lives). Negotiating end items for 150 aircraft is very different than for 500 aircraft for example and this is why traditional MYP's have historically resulted in double digit % savings to the Pentagon even when production and acquisition rates pre annum have remained unchanged.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 11 Jun 2019 20:45

Brazilian manufactured cargo plane undergoing certification tests in United States


The Brazilian Air Force visited the Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in the US a month ago to run a series of low-altitude cargo extraction tests as part of a certification process for their new cargo plane.

The Brazilian military’s brand new multi-functional twin-engine cargo plane, Embraer KC-390, will be tested by the country's air force at the US military's biggest range - Yuma Proving Ground (YPG). The plane has been in development since 2009 and is scheduled for introduction into the Brazilian Air Force in 2019, but before that happens, the KC-390 must be certified.

It has already gone through basic certification and now must be cleared to perform military missions through the tests at the YPG. Specifically, the Embraer KC-390's capabilities to carry out airdrops of military equipment will be verified at the Yuma range. YPG personnel will be assisting in those tests by rigging payloads, packing parachutes and helping to collect instrumentation, and video data.

Roberto Becker, the chief flight test engineer for Embraer, is confident of the KC-390's performance at the YPG. “The airplane is fantastic. The airplane is working perfectly, no malfunctions, the system is operating very well”, he said.

This is not the first time the Embraer KC-390 has visited the YPG. In May the plane conducted a series of low-altitude cargo extraction tests at the same range, allegedly as part of its certification process....


Yuma Test Center (YTC) is the Army’s premier test center for air delivery testing.
There are several factors which account for this, Air Delivery Test Officer Carlos Anaya explains. “YTC has the facilities, manpower, instrumentation, and great weather year round for Air Delivery Operations.”
YPG also has dedicated Air Test Force jumpers which play a large role in these types of test.
“YTC’s Soldier, Operator, Maintainer, Test and Evaluation (SOMTE) riggers are experienced Soldiers who were selected to be not only riggers, but also test parachute jumpers for the military.”
These resources are the primary reason why other countries look to YPG for aircraft certification.
Recently YPG hosted approximately 70 customers from Brazil, which include maintainers, test pilots, and engineers, who were here for the airdrop testing certification of the Embraer KC-390 aircraft.
The Embraer KC-390 is a twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft with multi-functional use that the Brazilian Force is looking to use in the near future. However, the certification part must be complete before the aircraft is cleared for employment.
Personnel at YPG supported Embraer in the air delivery testing for the K-390. It was a certification process which included conducting several tests to certify the system. The Brazilian Airforce set the requirements and YPG supported Embraer in conducting every critical test.
Anaya explains, “YPG’s role for this project was to rig all the payloads, pack parachutes, collect instrumentation data, photographs, video, and coordinate range support.”
Roberto Becker, is the chief flight test engineer for Embraer, where he has worked for 30 years. While this is not his first time at YPG, it’s the first time he’s come here for this test. After the test, he is confident about the aircraft’s capabilities.
“The airplane is fantastic,” he said. “The airplane is working perfectly, no malfunctions, the system is operating very well.”
Becker explains that the aircraft has undergone basic certification and now YPG is supporting military mission certification. He’s been pleased with the process. “The YPG staff is really professional and they know what they are doing.”

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/325405/br ... ing-ground

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby JayS » 12 Jun 2019 11:04

brar_w wrote:
The URF price quoted in the articles include the propulsion, airframe and contractor fees/profits for the LOT(s). The current announcement involved a handshake agreement between the Pentagon and the airframe supplier. Lockheed has no say over the engine supplier (it was picked by the Pentagon, and the contracting is done independent of the airframe OEM) Usually, the propulsion negotiations are far ahead of negotiations with Lockheed so that price probably has been already agreed to for the overall LOT 12-14 contract so they just added what discount they received over and above the LOT-11 URF of $89 Million and released that #. Traditionally (with the F-35), it has been negotiations with the airframe supplier that have dragged on while negotiations with UTC on propulsion contracts have been relatively easier and on time.
.

Thanks Brar Sahab.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby gaurav.p » 16 Jun 2019 19:59

PAS'19 is going to be interesting, with unveiling of Dassault NGF + loyal wingmen, TAI TF-X, Leonardo LE drone...

Is there even a market for 5-6gen a/c with so much overcrowding? (KAI KF-X, AMCA, FC31/J20, F35, Su57). I think going for unmanned tejas and optimised unmanned AMCA is a much better path to tread than trying to follow the rat race, but the jocks will let it happen? #noob_prespective...

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 16 Jun 2019 20:23

gaurav.p wrote:PAS'19 is going to be interesting, with unveiling of Dassault NGF + loyal wingmen, TAI TF-X, Leonardo LE drone...

Is there even a market for 5-6gen a/c with so much overcrowding? (KAI KF-X, AMCA, FC31/J20, F35, Su57). I think going for unmanned tejas and optimised unmanned AMCA is a much better path to tread than trying to follow the rat race, but the jocks will let it happen? #noob_prespective...


These aren't purely commercial decisions. If one went just by market sizing and commercial considerations the Rafale would not exist. Nor the Gripen for that matter. Both have had abysmal performance in the export market. These (SCAF/NGF) exist to support the combat aircraft needs of their principle backers namely France, Germany and Spain in the case of the NGF though the air vehicle on display is just a notional placeholder to generate some media buzz. They've only just begun working on concept definition so obviously they do not even know what the aircraft will eventually look like.

I think the level headed thing to do is to design and produce a weapon system that meets the demands of the end user. If the end user needs an optimized low-observable combat fighter in the 2030's then all those countries and their respective design teams are working on the right stuff. Giving considerations to market overcrowding or other commercial business considerations would be quite a distraction given indigenous capability and meeting the needs of their respective armed forces would be their primary consideration.

These aren't commercial airliners we are talking about here. These are instruments of national security and sovereignty.
Last edited by brar_w on 17 Jun 2019 04:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 17 Jun 2019 02:27


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 17 Jun 2019 12:12

12 - 18 per year capacity.

Military + civilian.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 17 Jun 2019 13:54


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby hnair » 17 Jun 2019 15:29

FCAS is unveiled and looks like something stolen from the chinese :((

from Twitter hashtag

Image

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 17 Jun 2019 16:09

hnair wrote:FCAS is unveiled and looks like something stolen from the chinese :((

from Twitter hashtag



It is the generic stealth planform. I wrote about this many moons ago.

chola wrote:The AMC :wink: A would be our homegrown FC-31 (not J-31 until officially a PLA project.)

In fact, it has the same general planform. Funnily enough the Turkish and the Korean 5th gens are also similar. The FC-31 is your generic run-of-the-mill stealth fighter.

FC-31
Image

AMCA:
Image

TFX:
Image

KFX:
Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Chinmay » 18 Jun 2019 00:59

The FCAS isnt generic. It is quite reminiscent of the YF23, with that v-tail. However, this is just a mockup for a potential fighter with a post 2040 induction. Things might change :)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 18 Jun 2019 02:34

To copy a design they also need to copy materials and processes, including manufacturing. Unless they want to compromise on the RCS.

The FCAS is expected to replace the Rafale in 2040 - 11 years from todayish.

It is quite reminiscent of the YF23, with that v-tail


Indeed. The Pelikan tail - named after Ralph Pelikan.

Image

Image

Image

The proposed companion UAV (on the left):
Image

Too early in the ball game.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Rakesh » 18 Jun 2019 03:03

NRao wrote:The FCAS is expected to replace the Rafale in 2040 - 11 years from todayish.

More like 20+ years, no? :)

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 18 Jun 2019 03:12

Rakesh wrote:
NRao wrote:The FCAS is expected to replace the Rafale in 2040 - 11 years from todayish.

More like 20+ years, no? :)


True. Good catch Adm. Should have been 21. Bad proofreading on my part.

Thx.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 18 Jun 2019 04:24

PARIS: MBDA unveils weapon concepts for European FCAS

June 16, 2019

Guided weapons specialist MBDA has unveiled a broad range of air-launched weapons concepts that could equip a future class of combat aircraft being studied by France and Germany, and also the UK.


Displayed at the European company’s outdoor exhibit, the products range in size from a lightweight glide weapon to a supersonic cruise missile, and span strike weapons to so-called “effectors”, which would be suitable for tasks potentially including electronic attack.

Pointing to the proliferation of advanced anti-aircraft systems around the globe, MBDA says air forces will need to operate from extended range in the future to keep their fighters out of harm’s way.

“Air superiority everywhere, every mission will be very difficult,” the company says, referring to the emergence of so-called anti-access or area-denial conditions in some regions of the world. “The goal is to be quicker than the enemy through the whole kill-chain – it will be more of a battle of networks tomorrow.”

PIC

Influenced by French requirements, the company’s Smart Glider product is being offered for future integration with the nation’s Dassault Mirage 2000 and/or Rafale combat aircraft, and a successor Franco-German Future Combat Air System (FCAS). A powered version of the wingkit-equipped weapon, named the Smart Cruiser, is also being proposed.

Advanced tactical networks and artificial intelligence would enable a swarm of such weapons to co-ordinate their own activities, MBDA says.

So-called remote carriers could be employed to carry a variety of sensors and effectors, which could be deployed ahead of a combat formation to confuse or attack enemy air defences. MBDA is showing two versions, weighing 150kg (330lb) and 250kg, and says such products could also be deployed from the cargo ramp of a transport aircraft or launched from surface ships.

At the upper end of the range, the company is showing models of subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles, which could follow its current Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG and ASMP-A products. In addition to targeting fixed infrastructure, a supersonic design could be employed against maritime vessels and airborne early warning and control system aircraft, MBDA says.

The company also is proposing the development of a short-range, “hard-kill” weapon that would engage incoming missiles. This would act as an “ultimate shield”, in addition to traditional countermeasures such as chaff and flare dispensers, decoys and jammers. The highly manoeuvrable defensive missile would be less than 1m (3.2ft) long and weigh under 10kg.

MBDA stresses that the models on show are not operationally-representative, but have been influenced by the future requirements and technical roadmaps of home nations Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

During the show, MBDA will announce an agreement with FCAS partners Airbus Defence & Space and Dassault regarding the development of armaments for such a product. Reflecting its multinational nature, with Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo as shareholders, the company also is part of the UK’s Team Tempest grouping.

“We are ready to take on the challenge to deliver to our domestic nations the full sovereignty of their future air combat systems, by taking part in the definition and development of the armaments that these systems will operate,” says chief Eric Beranger. This will “ensure European nations can sustain their air superiority in the long term", he adds.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 18 Jun 2019 04:36


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Jun 2019 09:35

Here's a SOS element that had its second flight recently -

Image

The USAF appears to be getting ready to place an order for 20-30 of these systems for wargaming, experimentation and to develop tactics -

LE BOURGET, France — Things are looking up for Kratos Defense’s XQ-58A Valkyrie drone. Fresh off its second flight, the U.S. Air Force is considering buying 20 to 30 aircraft for further experimentation, the service’s acquisition executive said Monday.

“I’m now looking at ways to do that and what the cost will be,” Will Roper told reporters on the sidelines of Paris Air Show, saying that the Air Force is looking for prototyping funds that it can access for a rapid procurement of those aircraft.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... ie-drones/


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 18 Jun 2019 10:06

Barath wrote:As a newish multi-role it was good enough to replace the F14 of Top Gun fame and a couple of others.


In the real world aircraft do not replace other aircraft (though in the media this is always pumped up) they fill in a mission or operational need. The F/A-18 E/F is a super lousy F-14 replacement. The reason it works for the US Navy is because it fits into a mission and role very nicely. They wanted a medium ranged multi-role strike fighter. That is what it is. They do not need to scramble and chase long range bombers armed to the teeth or do it the same way. Planned Integrated air and surface based fire control (NIFC-CA which is now operational) and the lack of a real threat (with SU collapse) allowed them to divest themselves of that mission and I doubt that an F-14 like aircraft is ever coming back to US Naval aviation. Back during the cold war a CSG would be lucky if it could shoot down an enemy aircraft at 100 km via its surface missiles. The capability to do integrated fire control using an E-2 or a F/A-18/EA-18 or F-35 with a capable 200+ nautical mile surface launched missile (that is getting a major range boost relatively soon) changes how the mission is done or how a carrier is defended. If all that wasn't there or in the pipeline, and if the threat were still as severe..the F/A-18E/F would not have replaced the F-14. The Naval ATF (F-22N) would have.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby gaurav.p » 18 Jun 2019 18:01

After reading this piece, the malayas doesn't seem much different from paki where deliberate obfuscation of information is done in order to save H&D.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... es/590653/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Jun 2019 08:07

AIM-120 replacement to be fielded/IOC by 2022. Initial platforms will be the F-22A, and F/A-18E/F with the F-35 to follow on later. Contract for the AIM-260 Joint Air Tactical Missile (JATM) was competed and won by Lockheed Martin a couple of years ago but the program was kept a secret. My bet is on a Knobley Technical Associates + Orbital ATK (Northrop) highly-loaded grain dual pulse motor (multiple USAF and USN SBIR contract awards to that end consistent with the contract award time window) and a PAC-3 MSE inspired Ka band seeker. A single pulse highly loaded grain SRM of similar size promises >50% range increase on legacy missiles as demonstrated by KTA over multiple SBIR awards now. A dual pulse motor should easily allow them to get considerably longer range. I always suspected that the USAF (the decision authority here) would prefer this over Aerojet and Raytheon's VFD ramjet given its weight penalty and multiple unsuccessful or, at best, partially successful attempts to get a inlet design proven that was compatible with compressed carriage. It is believed that the USAF sent Raytheon back to the drawing board after the company proposed initial inlet designs similar to the meteor.

Lockheed Quietly Developing AIM-260 To Counter Chinese PL-15

The AIM-260 is scheduled to begin flight testing in 2021 and achieve initial operational capability in 2022, said Brig. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, the Air Force’s program executive officer for weapons.
The disclosure, during a June 20 interview with Aerospace DAILY on the sidelines of Life Cycle Industry Days here, reveals a major initiative that had been cloaked in secrecy for more than two years.
A joint Air Force/Navy program office awarded Lockheed the contract in 2017 after a competitive acquisition phase, Genatempo said.
That timing is consistent with the public disclosure of the existence of China’s new PL-15 missile, an air dominance weapon advertised with greater range than the Raytheon AIM-120D. The Chinese Air Force publicly displayed the weapon at the Zhuhai air show last November, with an AVIC J-20 performing a flyby with an open weapons bay filled with four PL-15s.
The Air Force and Navy quickly responded with a rapid acquisition project, but chose not to disclose it until June 20.
Few details about the AIM-260 are disclosed. Genatempo called the weapon “JATM,” which is understood to stand for the Joint Air Tactical Missile (JATM). He noted the weapon does not use ramjet propulsion, and is compatible with the form-factor of the AIM-120.
This journalist asked how the AIM-260 achieves significantly greater range than the AIM-120D, yet is closely similar in size. Asked if the weapon uses a more efficient motor or propellant or if it perhaps employs a smaller weapon to accommodate additional fuel volume, Genatempo replied that each of those options are in the trade space for achieving greater range.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Jun 2019 19:36

Here's Air Force magazine's coverage on the AIM-260 JATM -

Air Force Developing AMRAAM Replacement to Counter China


Air Force Weapons Program Executive Officer Brig. Gen. Anthony Genatempo told reporters in a June 20 interview here the service is working with Lockheed Martin, the Army, and the Navy to field the Joint Advanced Tactical Missile in 2022. Work began about two years ago.

“It has a range greater than AMRAAM, different capabilities onboard to go after that specific [next generation air-dominance] threat set, but certainly longer legs,” he said. “As I bring up JATM production, AMRAAM production is kind of going to start tailing off.”

The weapon is initially planned to fly in the F-22’s main weapons bay and on the Navy’s F/A-18, with the F-35 to follow. Flight tests will begin in 2021 and initial operational capability is slated for 2022, Genatempo said.

“It is meant to be the next air-to-air air dominance weapon for our air-to-air fighters,” he said.

The Air Force will buy its last AMRAAMs in fiscal 2026 as JATM ramps up, answering combatant commanders’ needs, Genatempo said.


Interesting that they set aside various Raytheon proposals over the years that involved significant range extension on the AIM-120C and D via either a multi-pulse motor or Aerojet's proven VFDR. This appears to be much more than just an extended range weapon, perhaps introducing much higher levels of agility (a long USAF demand to cover a much wider launch envelope both in BVR and near WVR) and new seekers and guidance.

The USAF and USN currently have an AIM-120 D inventory of around 2500 missiles (+/- 200) or so they'll probably build that up to around 5000-6000. As the AMRAAM program winds down around the middle of next decade the JATM will likely enter full-rate production around the same time so it will probably begin fielding incremental capability starting 2022 with full rate production used to replace older AIM-120C stocks starting 2024ish ( my guess).

Raytheon's prior VFDR AMRAAM proposals (Engine motor actually test flown in 2014 for DARPA and bench tested more than a decade ago with its sister motors flying on the Navy target as the first in service VFDR system in the world). Their final pitch was a ramjet with a single inlet to conform 100% to the AMRAAM form factor and be able to fit 6 in both the F-22A and F-35 -

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 21 Jun 2019 21:01

StormBreaker IOC with USAF expected later this year; Jane's Missiles & Rockets; Robin Hughes, London; 21-Jun-2019

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The US Air Force (USAF) is expected to declare an initial operational capability (IOC) with Raytheon Missile Systems’ StormBreaker smart weapon on the Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle multirole combat aircraft in the third or fourth quarter this year following completion of the operational test and evaluation (OT&E) phase of the development programme in May.

Optimised to address moving battlefield targets, StormBreaker – formerly designated ‘Small Diameter Bomb II’ – is a 250 lb-class, air-launched unpowered glide weapon system furnished with a unique tri-mode seeker that combines millimetre wave (MMW) radar, imaging infrared (IIR), and semi-active laser (SAL) sensors with a GPS/inertial navigation system (INS) autopilot for precision accuracy in adverse weather conditions. The seeker’s optical dome is protected by a clamshell shroud, which is jettisoned before the seeker is activated. A Rockwell Collins TacNet bi-directional dual-band datalink enables Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) connectivity with aircraft and an ultra-high frequency (UHF) link with a ground designator.

Equipped with a deployable wing assembly to achieve stand-off engagement ranges in excess of 70 km, StormBreaker incorporates a multifunction warhead (blast, fragmentation, and shaped charge jet) designed to defeat armoured and non-armoured targets; a redesign of the warhead was performed during the development cycle to provide the capability to disable or defeat main battle tanks. The warhead fuze can be set to initiate on impact, at a pre-set height above the intended target, or in a delayed mode. The munition operates in three principal attack modes: normal attack (NA), laser-illuminated attack (LIA), and co-ordinate attack (CA). It can be used against moving or stationary targets using its NA (MMW/IIR) sensors or LIA modes, and against fixed targets with its CA mode.

The StormBreaker OT&E phase officially started in late April 2018 and, beginning June 2018 through to May 2019, encompassed a campaign of 57 test shots – using contracted engineering, manufacture, and development (EMD) rounds – at various range locations throughout the US. This was preceded by a firing campaign of some 80 Government Confidence Testing shots. “All operating modes of StormBreaker have been rigorously tested in operationally relevant scenarios against real-world targets in environments that are similar to actual battlefield conditions,” said Kim Ernzen, vice-president of Raytheon Air Warfare Systems. “With its tri-mode seeker and datalink, this smart weapon will close a capability gap and make adverse weather irrelevant.”

Raytheon completed development and integration activities on the USAF F-15E in April 2018. F-15E aircraft employ the weapon from the BRU-61/A four weapon carriage assembly. USAF and the US Navy (USN) have also begun integration activities with the weapon system on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Raytheon completed development and integration on the F-15E Strike Eagle in April 2018. The weapon will initially be integrated onto the F-35A conventional take-off variant, after which, with some additional integration activities, it will also be also integrated onto the F-35C carrier variant, followed by the F-35B short take-off/vertical landing variant. The company expects to finalise StormBreaker integration on US domestic F-35 platforms in the 2022–23 timeframe, following which integration activities will begin on the F-35 international configuration, Ernzen told Jane’s . “Once we get through that, we will follow up on the other international platforms; however, there is no specific order, and right now we are focused on the F-35 – that will be the pathway to getting international release,” she added. StormBreaker will also be offered for integration with, as yet, undisclosed US and/or allied unmanned aircraft system (UAS) platforms.

Raytheon is under contract to deliver five lots of low-rate initial production (LRIP) StormBreaker units for USAF and the USN. Lot 1 and 2, comprising 144 and 270 units respectively, have already been delivered for the USAF. Lots 3 and 4, consisting of 332 units for the USAF and 660 units for the USAF/USN, respectively, are under contract, and the USN StormBreaker acquisition kicks in with Lot 4. A contract for Lot 5 was signed in December 2018 for a quantity of 1,296 units.

The company has submitted a Lot 6 full production contract to the USAF, with an award expected in early 2020; Lot 6 transitions the programme from LRIP to full-rate production. To support these and future StormBreaker production lots, and prospectively other weapon systems, Raytheon has established an automated test capability at its production facility in Tucson, Arizona.

In October 2017 the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) approved a prospective sale, valued at USD815 million, of 3,900 StormBreaker munitions to Australia under the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mechanism. The weapons, if acquired, will equip the Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II aircraft. Raytheon has not yet embarked on any FMS production programmes.

Last edited by brar_w on 21 Jun 2019 21:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 21 Jun 2019 21:04

Why the age of electric flight is finally upon us

Aerospace firms are joining forces to tackle their industry's growing contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, with electric engines seen as one solution. But will this be enough to offset the growing demand for air travel?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Indranil » 21 Jun 2019 23:19

Brar ji,

I am also coming to the same conclusion as yours based on my own readings on ducted ramjet motors. I think that USAFs reservation about ducted ramjet motor powered A2A missiles are shared by players worldwide. I think every country will field both kind of missiles:

1. Long range, multi-pulse long range rocket-engines with better next gen propellants
2. Long range, but envelop-restricted ducted ramjet motor based missiles

India, China and Russia are focused on both. I don't know if Israel has a DR based missile program.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 22 Jun 2019 05:53

Indranil wrote:Brar ji,

I am also coming to the same conclusion as yours based on my own readings on ducted ramjet motors. I think that USAFs reservation about ducted ramjet motor powered A2A missiles are shared by players worldwide. I think every country will field both kind of missiles:

1. Long range, multi-pulse long range rocket-engines with better next gen propellants
2. Long range, but envelop-restricted ducted ramjet motor based missiles

India, China and Russia are focused on both. I don't know if Israel has a DR based missile program.


I think VFDR is great to add boost to current existing missile technology and performance metrics. Want a longer ranged AMRAAM get a VFDR AMRAAM or a Meteor. If you don't have strict Internal Weapons Bay requirements, and don't mind extra weight and a narrower mission focus it is a great option. Makes older generation aircraft more survivable by providing stand off range. Going forward missiles would need to become more agile, would have to meet or exceed current gen missile weight goals, and be able to be tightly packed in internal WB's no matter how big they are (fighter or for self-defense on larger strike bombers). Plus the target set is evolving. It is not just advanced $100 MM fighters but also smaller UAV's, UCAV's so being able to up the magazine count matters as does increased agility and post motor burn agility to have higher PK against non traditional target sets (cruise and even ballistic missiles for example).

Newer SRM technology highly loaded grain and multi pulse motors will be attractive there. The USAF has been asking for convergence between BVR and WVR missiles and post motor burn agility that resembles much different interceptor classes (like PAC-3) so there a VFDR with its added weight, drag and much complex compressed carriage (You can't load 6 Meteor's into an F-35 but you can with AMRAAM and now the AIM-260) is not ideally suitable. KTA has probably demonstrated to the USAF and USN's satisfaction the range claim of +60% compared to a baseline legacy SRM via its highly loaded grain motors. If you can add a second pulse with you can probably get an additional 50% out of the AMRAAM-D's range and if you can manage to add things like ACM's you can get tremendous leaps in end game, post motor burn out, agility currently impossible with legacy missiles. Speed is another thing that matters. 5th on 5th or 5th on 6th gen conflict likely demands a faster medium ranged missile that can get to a target a lot faster given the much smaller window of opportunity.

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The Aim-120D has modern internals, a seeker that was significantly upgraded just a few years ago, a new signals processor that is still under development, a two way data-link, and GPS for added accuracy and range increase. The fact that they simply decided against a much simpler SRM upgrade or VFDR on an AIM-120E probably indicates that they don't think that this is a viable path to arm 5th gen. and eventually 6th gen fighters. The USAF/USN between them will have nearly 1000+ F-22's and F-35's by the time the AIM-260 enters full rate production, and the TD's for 6th gen would have most likely already flown, so this was probably the right time to seek a missile more optimized for the next gen. combat aircraft and the types of threats that will be prevalent in the post 2030 timeframe. It appears the F-22 community won over the F-15 community when it came to the decision authority at the ACC as the many in the latter community were pushing an extended range AMRAAM during Gen. Jumpers time there. Probably still doesn't stop Raytheon from strapping aerojet's VFDR motor on the Aim-120D for export given the sheer number of qualified platforms and the supply constraint of the AIM-260 well into the early 2030s (US demand). But I doubt the USAF/USN will be interested unless they package it as a conversion for legacy rounds.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Barath » 22 Jun 2019 12:33

brar_w wrote:
Barath wrote:As a newish multi-role it was good enough to replace the F14 of Top Gun fame and a couple of others.


If all that wasn't there or in the pipeline, and if the threat were still as severe..the F/A-18E/F would not have replaced the F-14. The Naval ATF (F-22N) would have.


The Navy fought tooth and nail to get their own stealth attack fighter A-12/flying dorito and rejected the naval atf f22-n. And the F18 E/f was the hurried replacement for that disaster.

The F22N was rejected in favor of the F14, because it was too expensive , too optimized as as interceptor/air superiority and because the projected gross weight after modification and navalization (including beefing up landing structures etc ) was high

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military ... t/natf.htm

Aircraft do replace others on flight decks and in hangars, and to varied extent in missions.

The F14 had a bombcat variation see action

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... raft-33296

It's not as if the F14 served no other purpose except interception at long range with the aim-54 Phoenix of Soviet bombers trying to take out the carrier .

It's just that that particular mission was it's specialty and one that the US had no real need for after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The f14 was growing long in the tooth and swing wing was always a maintenance issue. But if the F18 E/f were inadequate, you would have seen new build F14-d and later variants continue.

Really, some of the other emotional mud slinging at the F18 E/F serves no useful purpose, compared to a cool and professional evaluation of its pro, con and suitability for your mission and context. It's not that the F18 E/F had no problems (eg wing droop in development)

The long range interception of heavy bombers is not a role that exists in india.

A multi-role aircraft is not only the international trend, it is what is appropriate for india.

And while the F18 E/F has never been top dog as an air superiority fighter, that isn't the only role either. As a platform and system of systems, and especially with the F18G and upgrades through 2030+ ,it performs quite decently - enough for consideration.


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