International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

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brar_w
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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 25 Dec 2019 23:49

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

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


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

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

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

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 27 Dec 2019 13:14

Germany boosts Meteor BVRAAM inventory

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

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


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

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 27 Dec 2019 13:17

Image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Manish_P » 27 Dec 2019 14:21

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

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


For me, that's the Yikes part

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

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 27 Dec 2019 18:05

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

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

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


C919 test fleet complete with flight of sixth prototype

By Greg Waldron
27 December 2019

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby mahadevbhu » 27 Dec 2019 22:12

Praful Patel when.he was civil aviation minister used to get a small cut off every seat that was sold through Emirates..he also made a bunch of money from orders through Boeing and Airbus for Air India. While such capabilities are available in India we would not find Indian companies and govt. entities buying from Indian aerospace firms. Can't even dream of an Indian Comac.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Indranil » 30 Dec 2019 07:50

Does anybody here have the specs of the Boeing/SAAB T-7A trainer aircraft? I am interested in the empty and clean TO weights. Please don't say it is 3250 its and 5500 its. That is not possible.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby NRao » 30 Dec 2019 08:32


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 31 Dec 2019 07:41

134 F-35s delivered in 2019 vs a target of 131. Up from 91 in 2018, with >50 aircraft bound for international partners or FMS users. They’ve now successfully increased production by 200% in three years and this is the first year that deliveries were trending ahead of expected completion dates for more than quarter in a year.

At least, 141 deliveries are planned for 2020 with about 160 planned for 2021 and about 170 planned for 2022 representing planned peak production rate. These are global deliveries out of US , Japan and Italy.

Lockheed Martin Delivers 134 F-35s in 2019; Exceeding Annual Commitment

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Vips » 31 Dec 2019 20:10

F-35's has a huge market to tap (As a potential replacement of all F-16's in the next 10-20 years). They are on track to do so if they increase the production rate to cater to it. With the amortization of cost spread over an ever increasing number being produced, this one is going to be a very affordable 5th Gen bird.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby vishvak » 31 Dec 2019 20:16

If f-35 is going to be replacement of f-16 then surely that's a new world in terms of stealth warfare - which is what counts a most for controlling air warfare. Hopefully we can get s-400 pronto.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 31 Dec 2019 21:52

The 500th aircraft delivery, the 250k cumulative flight hours flown, and the 1000th trained pilots are going to be the next program milestones for early 2020 . The Australians will be the next major user to declare IOC in 2020.

Image

vishvak wrote:If f-35 is going to be replacement of f-16 then surely that's a new world in terms of stealth warfare - which is what counts a most for controlling air warfare. Hopefully we can get s-400 pronto.


As much (or more) than stealth is the ability of the aircraft to sense using a wide range of active and passive systems, and to be able to communicate and share raw sensor data (and not just overlays) with other F-35's and other aircraft with high bandwidth discrete data-links and long range non LPI data-links. This will be more of a value add especially with future weapons (some currently in the works like SIAW and JATM) that can make use of that data.

Similarly, this, and the fusion engine, changes how one views sensor growth and evolution. You no longer need the largest, most expensive, and most power hungry radar to maintain an edge or to enhance the lethality and reach of your BVRAAM. Individual sensors now contribute to your detection and targeting probabilities and allow you to approach sensor development in a collective fashion and get more SWAP-C optimized solutions earlier which collectively have the same effect as much larger capability leaps in individual traditional sensors which take longer, cost more, and require more deeper modernization which is often reserved for the mid-life upgrade. This is important because detecting, tracking, and targeting very high end 5th and 6th generation aircraft, and future IADS (not the giant "complexes" of today but those that will be much lighter, smaller and easier to hide, and rely on a whole host of active and passive remote sensors) will be a team effort, beyond the capabilities of just one aircraft.

Of course VLO airframe is the underlying enabler as without VLO you won't be able to use those sensors, the sensor fusion optimally in an offensive fashion like you can with VLO and the freedom and survivability that it provides. Having just a VLO airframe only allows you to pin point certain targets and hold them at risk (like what the F-117 did). When that VLO capability is paired with deep connectivity at individual sensor-level raw-data transfer, and a large sensor footprint on every aircraft this really allows a pilot on a strike sortie, SEAD or an O/DCA mission to be able to develop SA and bring to bear effects via multiple ways including in the EW and cyber realm.

The Israeli official summed it up nicely a couple of years ago when they received their aircraft -

With all that is on the table, Israel is happy. “This jet brings us everything we’ve dreamed of doing, in one package,” said another senior air force source, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It’s all concentrated on one table for us. As we all know, the F-35 can reach places in a way that others can’t. But in addition, it integrates high-level operational capabilities as well as the ability to read and analyze a battle map. The earlier, fourth-generation jets are excellent at maneuvering and activating sophisticated weapons systems, but they are not able to collect intelligence and independently analyze battle movement. The F-35 can do all this by itself in real time, with only one pilot sitting in the cockpit. We have never had such an operational capability until today. Until now, attack aircraft were operated independently of air support aircraft. The former waited to receive analysis of the battle picture that came from the latter. But in the F-35, everything is on the same platform, and this is no less than amazing. When you connect that to several aircraft, you receive strategic capability for the State of Israel.”

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origin ... z69i2TNfFm


^ Do note the information and single pilot comment. The debate of whether 2 or 4 in the cockpit are better than 2 or 1 will live on forever..but on the F-35, the fusion-engine and autonomous connectivity and raw-data sharing is your second digital man in the seat..EODAS+fusion engine also tracks blue and red bogies in a furball. That is akin to constantly having multiple sets of eyeballs covering dozens of aircraft constantly during dynamic maneuvers..
Last edited by brar_w on 01 Jan 2020 07:02, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 01 Jan 2020 00:14

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



For me, that's the Yikes part

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


USAF and the DOD at large attributes both fixed and variable cost in its CPFH and O&M costing data in general. So everything ranging from the infrastructure funding to support a fleet, a location etc, is included as is all the labor cost associated with that fleet. Cost shared with other systems are appropriated to individual systems in an appropriate fashion. Smaller fleets therefore get an inflated CPFH because there is less number of aircraft to spread that higher fixed cost on. The B-2 is the best example of that as all the infrastructure and support investment on any given year is spread over flights flown by just a handful of aircraft. The F-22 is just a couple of wings worth of aircraft and as such it faces the same issues especially when most if not all of the investments aimed at its stealth are exclusive to it and not shared by another platform. The F-35 is a large program so that investment will be less per aircraft and per aircraft per hour, but yes you are right..its stealth is more durable and a large part is baked in as opposed to relying as heavily on coatings as the F-22 and B-2.

For comparison, the F-22 costs (variable cost only including labor) around $36K per hour..while the F-35A costs around $17K per hour. Adding annual fixed cost aimed at sustaining the fleet (upgrades to infra, depot cost etc) and the number climbs to between 1.5x to 2x of those numbers. With a fully bedded down fleet the USAF expects to get the F-35A Total CPFH (fixed annual cost+variable cost) to around $25K..The F-22's # will continue to remain high because they are always going to be utilizing those depots and investing in sustaining its LO and the denominator (# of aircraft or # of cumulative flight hours) is not going to change and in fact may go down over time due to aircraft losses or retirements. One of the contributors is the fact that the F-22 has to be globally deployable at far more locations than one would typically need for a 2 air-wing worth of operational aircraft. Maintaining that comes at a cost as each and every location must be able to sustain combat operations and once you upgrade the sustainment infrastructure you must then upgrade it for all locations.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Jan 2020 01:25

Kelly Johnson talks about his greatest creation the SR-71, Uncut interview.



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 02 Jan 2020 10:40

The six test prototypes of the C919. Last three in primer and assembled during past 12 months -- clues of the production line coming together.

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 02 Jan 2020 20:58

Bell continues to hit it out of the park with this program..which has flown more, and is scheduled to do a lot more than initially planned or required for this stage of the tech demonstrations..These autonomous demonstrations would also de-risk their V-247 concept and proposal..

Bell V-280 to begin autonomous flight tests in ‘next couple of months’


Bell plans to start autonomous flight tests of its V-280 Valor tiltrotor demonstrator in “the next couple of months.”

The company loaded the aircraft with its autonomous flight control software in the beginning of December and has been conducting pilot-controlled test flights, says Ryan Ehinger, programme manager of the V-280 Valor at Bell’s Arlington, Texas flight test facilities on 12 December.“We just loaded that software onto the aircraft and performed the initial regression testing that proves that the software is okay to fly with and we’ve been flying with it the past week,” he says. “Next steps are to do envelope expansion with that autonomous-build software, improve that capability out here over the next couple of months.”

As part of the US Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator programme, the V-280 is being used by Bell to prove that its tiltrotor technology could be quickly and cost-effectively incorporated into a bid for the service’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programme. The company says its tiltrotor has accumulated more than 150h in the air since its first flight in December 2017.

FLRAA is a competition to replace the US Army’s utility helicopter, the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. The service began asking manufacturers for conceptual designs of their next-generation aircraft in September 2019.

After Bell proves the aircraft is safe to fly manually with the autonomous software aboard, it will start autonomous flight manoeuvres, says Ehinger.

“Essentially, there’ll be a lift to a hover. There’d be a conversion [to horizontal flight]. [The aircraft will] fly around the pattern in cruise mode, and then return back and land autonomously,” he says. “We’ll have safety pilots on board.”

The company is also testing how pilots interact with the V-280’s autonomous flight controls in its systems integrations lab, trying to smooth the transition between automated flight and manual control, as well as looking for potential bugs that would cause errant manoeuvres.

Bell aims to use autonomy to help reduce pilot workload, says Ehinger.

“We’ve flown with control laws on this aircraft that have allowed us to demonstrate the [key performance parameters],” he says. “We are also introducing as part of this autonomy build additional features to those control laws – hover hold, position hold, altitude hold, attitude hold – those types of capabilities that will reduce pilot workload and also enabled that autonomous flight capability.”



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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Rakesh » 03 Jan 2020 05:29

I do not know where else to put this. Apologies in advance, if this is the wrong thread.

https://twitter.com/Acemal71/status/1203736399733645312 ---> Greeks proudly share the photos of a Greek Mirage 2000 locking on a Turkish frigate with the Exocet anti ship missile in the Aegean sea.

Image

Image

https://twitter.com/Acemal71/status/1203943700474281990 ----> Turkish military sources who talked to a Turkish journalist say, the photos are from Greek Air Force's own military training and the targeted ship is also from the Greek Navy.

https://twitter.com/Acemal71/status/1203785289342300160 ---> The photo is probably from the Greek Air Force's own military training. PRAC means practice mode.

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chetak » 03 Jan 2020 19:07

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 03 Jan 2020 22:27

Indranil wrote:Does anybody here have the specs of the Boeing/SAAB T-7A trainer aircraft? I am interested in the empty and clean TO weights. Please don't say it is 3250 its and 5500 its. That is not possible.


The 2 prototypes Boeing is currently flying were both designed and built before Boeing was down-selected as the USAF refused to accept non-fight-verified submissions for its requirements. Now that they have secured the program, the first few test jets built to the final USAF requirement (final program requirements were not set when these aircraft were built) will represent the final configuration and those will likely be weighed for the official program (6 "to spec" EMD articles are being currently built with all expected to be delivered by end of next year). I don't think Boeing has shared the official weight of the two aircraft it has built..The RFP did not specify any weight restrictions. It specified threshold and objective performance when it came to things like sustained turn, instantanous, AOA trade space, take-off distance/landing distance etc. etc. etc. The company owned jets were built to validate the paper submission but only a subset of the EMD testing can be done with them as they are most probably not 100% of what the paper submission (because they were built while the USAF had not finalized their requirements).

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Jan 2020 18:35

From the PAKFA Thread -

brar_w wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:
I think one point where they differ in tactics from the f22 is the use of irst for silent kills. Maybe even at bvr distances with their newer missiles, esp. against non lo targets.

A combination of IRST, LPI high frequency data links and passive RF/ EW for passive targeting and IFF is exactly the ATF approach..The General Electric LWIR IRST was dropped from the F-22A for cost reasons and to preserve the program from cancellation so it is always on the table to be brought back. Tech developed for it is what is essentially inside the IRST-21 and Adv EOTS. On the Block 4 F-35 they are going one step further with Multi-Ship IRST which would allow a four ship to seamlessly and autonomously divy up airspace and targets and more efficiently use IRST to scan airspace before handing targets off to DAS for tracking.




A recent Year In Review published by the USAF has showcased the Multi_Ship IRST capability being tested by the Integrated Test Force at test ranges in 2019. That to me suggests that this capability can be deployed in 2020 or 2021 much ahead of the formal block 4.1 release and in line with the continuous improvement plans (smaller more frequent upgrades than before).

https://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article ... in-review/

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 07 Jan 2020 20:05

US Navy prepares to receive first Super Hornet Block 3 test aircraft

The US Navy (USN) is soon to receive the first Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block 3 testbed aircraft.

A representative from Boeing told Jane’s on 7 January that the first aircraft will be delivered “on schedule” later in the first quarter of 2020.

In 2019 at Boeing’s St Louis production facility in Missouri, Jennifer Tebo, Director of Development F/A-18 Program, said this schedule had been accelerated by about 12 months to allow the USN to have two test aircraft to start carrier suitability trials of the advanced computing and networking capabilities of the Block 3 platform.

With the first aircraft set to be handed over shortly, Tebo noted that Boeing will begin to deliver full-up Block 3 jets to the navy during late 2020 and early 2021.

Senior programme officials recently outlined the importance of what Boeing terms ‘the evolutionary approach’ to the Hornet platform that has resulted in the latest Block 3 iteration of the McDonnell Douglas aircraft that was first rolled out to the fleet in the early 1980s.

Boeing announced in 2011 that it was developing a USN Flight Plan upgrade path that would run in parallel with an International Roadmap for current and future export customers. With some tweaks, this Flight Plan/International Roadmap became the Advanced Super Hornet in 2013 and the Block 3 Super Hornet in 2017. In the FY 2018 President’s Budget, the USN fully funded the Block 3 development programme. This involves five major changes, or Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs), to the aircraft.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 08 Jan 2020 12:35

Another Boeing 737 crash. Huge loss of life again.

Not the Max but another recent variant to the 737 family.

Initial reports are that it is related technical issues. But things can't be discounted in this time of great tension.

Might be the final nail in Boeing's race with Airbus in this segment regardless.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-08/boeing-737-carrying-180-people-crashes-in-iran-state-media-says

Boeing 737 Crashes in Iran, Killing All People on Board

By Arsalan Shahla and Alan Levin
January 7, 2020, 10:42 PM EST



Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was headed to Kyiv

Aircraft was just 3 years old, according to planefinder.net


A Boeing Co. 737 jet crashed in Iran shortly after takeoff Wednesday morning, killing all passengers and crew, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent’s Relief and Rescue Organization said on state television.

It wasn’t clear how many people were on board but local reports ranged from 167 to 180. They said the plane crashed at 6:22 a.m. local time.

...

Boeing is already mired in crisis following crashes in October 2018 and last March. Those disasters, which killed nearly 350 people, involved the U.S. manufacturer’s 737 Max jet, which has been grounded globally for 10 months. The 737-800 and 737 Max are both variants of Boeing’s 737 narrow-body planes but the 737-800 hasn’t been grounded.

...

The international rules for investigations also allow the country that manufactured the plane to participate in an investigation. That arrangement allows planemakers to provide their technical expertise. However, the current political turmoil between Iran and the U.S. is likely to complicate the involvement of the National Transportation Safety Board and Boeing.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby chola » 08 Jan 2020 15:30

Cheen is making some major advancement in the airline building business by making some far-sighted moves in manufacturing tools and processes.

Surprised me that they were able to make those strategic acquisitions.

All centered around the ARJ-21 which is laughably obsolete but serves its purpose in kickstarting an industry.

https://theaircurrent.com/china/chinas-arj21-should-scare-boeing-and-airbus/

China’s ARJ21 should scare Boeing and Airbus

A different way to think about China's aerospace technology crucible.

With its Antonov wing, 2000s-era General Electric engines and a re-purposed McDonnell Douglas fuselage, Comac’s ARJ21-700 isn’t a head-to-head competitor with Brazilian, Canadian or Japanese regional jet designs.

But that doesn’t really matter.

With little fanfare in 2016, a quartet of Chinese firms bought four companies that specialize in factory automation and robotic assembly: Kuka AG and Broetje-Automation of Germany, Valiant Machine & Tool of Canada and Aritex of Spain. All four are now wholly- or mostly-owned by Midea Group, Shanghai Electric, Hubei Huachangda Intelligent Equipment and AVIC, respectively.The automated tools of all four for can be found in factories across the industry at every major plane maker on the planet.

The Center for Strategic & International Studies identified ten strategic sectors as part of its Made in China 2025 analysis that the nation believes are central to its ascent as an advanced economy. ‘Automated machine tools & robotics’ and ‘Aerospace and aeronautical equipment’ are numbers three and four on that list.

...

While it glacially (by Western standards) produces the first batch of ARJ21s on its primary Dachang assembly line, Comac is standing up a second facility at Pudong by 2019 with the Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

But the line isn’t a duplication of the capabilities of the first.

“It’s an R&D testing ground for proving out concepts” for automated manufacturing that will eventually mature for the C919 and CR929, concludes David Pritchard, Associate Professor of Business and aviation Researcher at SUNY Empire State College in Buffalo, New York. Pritchard worked in aviation manufacturing development and assembly automation for two decades.

...

A detailed presentation about the establishment of the second Pudong assembly line – reviewed by this page – focuses heavily on increasing the automated assembly of the ARJ21. Employing technologies like flexible rail drilling machines, load-transferring AGV drilling systems and other robotic drilling arms are all slated be at the center of manufacturing.

The goal is to increase output capacity to as many as 45 airplanes per year, including 30 from Pudong. Boeing and Airbus individually produce more than that many 737s or A320s each month, but “at the end of the day it’s a learning project,” said Pritchard.

“We’re not worried about 40 per month,” he says assessing the Chinese posture. “We’re worried about advancing technology inside China’s commercial aircraft industry.”

AlixPartners, a management consultancy with a focus on aerospace and defence, posits that over time that automation in Chinese factories for the C919 won’t play a significant role in matching western competitiveness.

Instead, it believes China’s will reach parity by 2027 with Boeing and Airbus through a combination of repetitive learning curve and hourly cost advantage.

But with Kuka, Broetje, Valiant and Aritex – and the ARJ21’s technology crucible – now firmly established as part of the Chinese industrial ecosystem, is it time to revisit those assumptions?


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 10 Jan 2020 03:26

This could be a major boost to capability (due to magazine capacity and cost/exchange ratio) for both traditional CMD missions and the very important Counter-UAS mission especially if the platform could also be unmanned (Reaper or something like that) and rotary winged aircraft (Apache).

F-16 downs target drone with laser guided rocket in unprecedented test


The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron shot down a subscale drone using an AGR-20A Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rocket on December 19, 2019, providing a proof of concept for using rockets queued from an F-16 targeting pod as viable munitions to perform cruise missile defense.



“The test was unprecedented and will shape the future of how the Air Force executes CMD,” said Col. Ryan Messer, commander, 53d Wing. “This is a prime example of how the 53d Wing is using resources readily available to establish innovative ways that enhance combat capabilities for our combat units.”



Originally developed as a low cost, low collateral damage air-to-ground weapon for use in Afghanistan and Iraq, adapting the AGR-20A for counter-air use is momentous. The AGR-20A is a fraction of the cost of an AIM-120 missile commonly used for cruise missile defense. Additionally, the AGR-20A can be loaded faster than an AIM-120 and an aircraft can carry two-to-three times the number weapons.



This directly supports the NDS priority of reform the Department for greater performance and affordability.



Finding a more cost-efficient CMD weapon was the #2 of 76 Tactics Improvement Proposals following the January 2019 Weapons and Tactics Conference, known as WEPTAC. The 85th TES planned and conducted the test with support across the Air Force and contract partners ensuring efficacy and potential prior to execution.



“This proof of concept can have implications for homeland defense missions, Combined Defense of the Arabian Gulf, and beyond,” said Messer. “I am exceptionally proud of the efforts of the 85th TES and the units across the 53d Wing that made this possible.”




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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 10 Jan 2020 04:16

FMS Notification for Singapore's F-35B's and associated equipment and support -

Singapore – F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) Aircraft

WASHINGTON, January 9, 2020 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Singapore of up to twelve (12) F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.750 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Singapore has requested to buy up to twelve (12) F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft (four (4) F-35B STOVL aircraft with the option to purchase an additional eight (8) F-35B STOVL aircraft); and up to thirteen (13) Pratt and Whitney F135 Engines (includes 1 initial spare). Also included are Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence/Communication, Navigation and Identification (C4I/CNI) system; Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); F-35 Training System; Weapons Employment Capability and other Subsystems, Features and Capabilities; F-35 unique infrared flares; reprogramming center access and F-35 Performance Based Logistics; software development/integration; aircraft transport from Ft. Worth, TX to the CONUS initial training base and tanker support (if necessary); spare and repair parts; support equipment, tools and test equipment; technical data and publications; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support. The total estimated cost is $2.750 billion.
.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 11 Jan 2020 02:34

chetak wrote:Image


There is a picture of an IA Dhruv pilot semi perched on a road, with one skid on a road and the other in the air, with the rotors barely 1 meter or so away from the cliff from which the road was cut out. This was from some rescue mission in Uttarakhand I believe. Can't find that picture now. :(

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby Kartik » 11 Jan 2020 02:35

From AW&ST


Singapore has opted to purchase the short takeoff and vertical landing version of the Lockheed Martin F-35 to replace its F-16 fleet.


The Asian city state formally requested to purchase up to 12 F-35Bs through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales system, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on Jan. 9.

The potential $2.75 billion deal consists of four aircraft, with an option to purchase a further eight, in line with the Singaporean defense ministry’s January announcement that it would purchase a small number of F-35s to perform a full evaluation of its capabilities before pushing ahead to procure a full fleet. Until now, Singapore had kept which F-35 variant it had selected under wraps, although with the aircraft expected to replace the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s fleet of Block 52 F-16s, it was widely predicted the air arm would opt for the conventional F-35A.

Singapore has never purchased a short takeoff and vertical landing combat aircraft in the past, so the order for the F-35B may suggest the air force is concerned about the vulnerability of the island’s airfields. The air force regularly practices road-runway operations should conventional runways be knocked out in time of war. Japan is also planning to purchase the F-35B, but primarily for naval operations.

As well as the aircraft, the FMS proposals includes engines, electronic warfare systems and support systems including the Autonomic Logistics Information System and training at a yet-to-be-disclosed U.S. location.

The Singaporean air force already has training detachments in the U.S. for both its F-15 Strike Eagles and F-16s.

The sale of F-35s to Singapore would add an “effective deterrence to defend its borders and contribute to coalition operations with other allied and partner forces,” the DSCA said. It added that the purchase would “not alter the basic military balance in the region.”

Several other air forces in Asia have already inducted the type into use including Australia, Japan and South Korea.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 12 Jan 2020 21:58

A video from 1990 shows the first world appearance of the YF-23


Made in the summer of 1990, the video shows in some frames the first public appearance of the YF-23 and the first tests that see it in the taxiing and take-off phase.





Being piloted by the legendary Paul Metz who counts stints as a test pilot on the YF-23, later on B-2 bomber, and finally the F-22 (where he flew the first EMD prototype)among his other accomplishments (more than 50 combat missions and a stint as an instructor). He is the only person to have flown both the YF23 and F-22 and also the only person to have flown the B-2 and the F-22.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ldev » 12 Jan 2020 23:45

I always thought the YF-23 looked prettier, with it's trapezoidal wings. It was also faster and stealthier. Could never figure out how it lost out to the YF-22.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2020 00:28

ldev wrote:I always thought the YF-23 looked prettier, with it's trapezoidal wings. It was also faster and stealthier. Could never figure out how it lost out to the YF-22.


There are many reasons the YF-22 was selected, including those having to do with the performance and as it related to the requirements at the time. However, one of the main reasons why the YF-22 won was because of the Skunk Work's ability to design, and deliver very advanced demonstrators with very high maturity and design stability. And do so within stringent schedule constraints.

Case in point - Lockheed built its YF-22 demonstrators 100% as in based on the last set of requirements provided to the contractors and the YF-22 flew with the exact design the Skunks planned to offer to the USAF for the demonstrator down-select. Northrop and McDonnell Douglas couldn't do this. The design they submitted as the flight worthy demonstrators was not identical to the design they submitted for the down-select. Major changes like the final weapons bay configuration were not mature enough to be included in the build stage. So while Northrop submitted engineering changes for a re-designed bay, Lockheed put AMRAAMs inside the demonstrator and even did High AOA live fire demonstrations even though those were out of scope of the fly-off (this shows confidence, design maturity and probably some brownie points)..Lockheed enjoyed this lead for years afterwards thanks to the ability of the Skunk Works to very rapidly take a set of requirements and fashion demonstrators and even prototypes that showed stable designs with high level of maturity. That comes from the way they were created and the type of projects they worked since they started designing aircraft.

The same came into play during the JSF when Boeing tried to change both its propulsion system, and the wing during the final submission while Lockheed essentially built the basic X-35 and test flew it in all three configuration including the now famous Hat trick flight. This has led to Boeing significantly enhancing internal investments in the Phantom Works after it acquired McDonnell Douglas and Northrop doing the same with its acquisition of Scaled Composites. In fact, it appears that with the RQ-180 down-select, and the B-21 program, Northrop may have closed the gap substantially between it and Lockheed..though we don't know what the Skunks have been working on since the X-35 finished up (they keep building more hangers and infrastructure and we know at least one Skunk Works program that has an undisclosed US military customer).

THIS is the best program-history book I've ever read (of any military systems/programs) and most certainly the source of truth for everything ATF and later F-22. It has amazing nuggets and details on the dynamics between the two teams and how Lockheed-Skunks Works planned out to win this program. The executed the JSF demonstrator phase the exact same way.
Last edited by brar_w on 13 Jan 2020 00:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ldev » 13 Jan 2020 00:40

brar_w wrote: Northrop may have closed the gap substantially between it and Lockheed..though we don't know what the Skunks have been working on since the X-35 finished up (they keep building more hangers and infrastructure and we know at least one Skunk Works program that has an undisclosed US military customer).......

.....It has amazing nuggets and details on the dynamics between the two teams and how Lockheed-Skunks Works planned out to win this program. The executed the JSF the exact same way.


Yep, Lockheed's performance has always been turbo-charged by the Skunk Works, ever since the A-12 days....it is a difficult proposition to bet against their ability to design and execute.....but I have always liked the look of the YF-23.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2020 00:45

It also has its drawbacks. Skunks for years did great when they could design to their own requirements. Under Kelly probably 90% of what they did were unsolicited proposals and designs that they offered to the USAF which were then picked up and modified. They never did great when you had very strict requirements with tens if not hundreds of well defined performance parameters. This was one of the reason they did not do much business with NAVAIR and the USN as they like to have very lengthy and specific requirements. In fact, Lockheed Martin has never won a naval fighter competition and the F-35C is the first naval fighter they've actually built and operationalized. Pre-ATF they changed course under Ben Rich and mended the way they did their business. But even now they are probably still focused on majority programs were requirements are few and sometimes vague and the contractor has to make judgement calls on what the operator will ultimately value...The traditional primes are better at dealing with advanced requirements and building something to exact spec.

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ldev » 13 Jan 2020 00:55

Was the A-12 an unsolicited design? And if it was and had not been picked up for it's designated role by it's operator, would there have been an SR-71 I wonder?

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 13 Jan 2020 01:45

ldev wrote:Was the A-12 an unsolicited design? And if it was and had not been picked up for it's designated role by it's operator, would there have been an SR-71 I wonder?


Yes. The idea to do the A-12 (a high altitude high supersonic U-2 replacement/complement) actually came from Kelly as the CIA was still deliberating between an upgraded U-2 that could hold the line until the satellite program was up and running. Once the committed they held a quick competition and Kelly's design was selected. The Skunk Works flew the A-12 some 2.5 years after they received the contract from the CIA and within a year after that they were flying at speeds of Mach 3+.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby ldev » 13 Jan 2020 02:34

Now that is some sh*t, actually some double sh*t!! Firstly to design a product that it's targeted operator did not know they wanted or could have, and secondly to have it flying in 2. 5 years and achieve Mach 3 a year later.

Thanks for the OXCART presentation link. Will watch it. Looks fascinating.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 14 Jan 2020 09:48

brar_w wrote:Some additional information on the 5th generation Aerial Target (LO design features (shape, materials and serpentine ducts), and internal EW/EA payloads) developed for Operational Testing of the F-35, Inc. 3.2B of F-22A, New Patriot Radar and Interceptor Missile programs..The final design iteration is expected to fly this summer and will be delivered to the testers in 2020..

Unique approach to designing - The DOT&E essentially hired a bunch of retired Skunk Works engineers and gave them access to government lab. infrastructure and let them come up with the design..Fabrication too is being done by a startup founded by a team consisting of ex prime retired engineers IIRC..

Image


Just revealed the final product. Via AviationWeek -

Designed and built by STS Inc., a new company staffed almost exclusively with retired Skunk Works engineers and alums.

Stealthy UAS Unveiled For USAF Target, Loyal Wingman Needs

Image

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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 14 Jan 2020 20:11

^^ Full article below. The original award to SNT was for just two systems that were to be used for F-35 follow on operational test and evaluation. If they perform well with those I think the USAF is likely to scoop up a dozen or so (AIM-260 testing) and the US Army could probably use a few as well..Rorger Hayes is the former Chief Engineer of the F-117 Stealth Fighter and a prior senior leader of advanced design at the Skunk Works so there is a bit of history here with this startup when it comes to working with LO requirements.

Tehachapi, California-based Sierra Technical Services, a company founded by previously retired Lockheed Martin Skunk Works engineers, unveiled the first photos of the completed Fifth Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) prototype after completing engine tests on the ground. A first flight of the 5GAT is scheduled in early 2020.

The name of the aircraft is derived from its origins as a prototype funded by the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), says Roger Hayes, president and CEO of Sierra Technical Services.

Several years ago, DOT&E recognized an emerging gap for a new target drone that could fly as a surrogate for fifth-generation fighters emerging in Russia and China such as the Sukhoi Su-57 and AVIC Chengdu J-20. In 2017, DOT&E awarded Sierra Technical Services a $15.9 million contract to develop the 5GAT prototype, Hayes said.

The pace of assembly has been dictated by the availability of parts cannibalized from other military aircraft, such as the engines and metallic components from the Northrop T-38 trainer and F-5 fighter, as well as aileron actuators from the Boeing F/A-18, Hayes said. Sierra Technical Services supplemented its revenue as assembly continued by working on other programs, including supplying components for the Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie.

As development continued, the Air Force started to develop interest in a fifth-generation target. The service has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to develop the AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile, which is being designed to counter the PL-15 missile fielded on China’s J-20 fighter. The Air Force needs to test the AIM-260 and other missiles against a representative threat. Last May, the Air Force released a request for information for the Next Generation Aerial Target, which included a version that can replicate fifth-generation fighter attributes, such as a stealthy airframe with canted tails and serpentine inlet ducts.


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Re: International Aerospace Discussion - Jan 2018

Postby brar_w » 17 Jan 2020 01:37

brar_w wrote:
Kartik wrote:
Is this based on any existing Towed Decoy system that is in use?


It is a Demonstration of Existing technologies around a Dual-Band decoy system. Raytheon and BAE are free to choose whichever path they want to take to execute the 27 month DET. They can integrate the said technology on a new ALE-50 derivitive or pursue a new design. After the demonstrations, the USN will determine whether they are satisfied and if so procure the said solution, or whether additional technology needs to be brought in. They are doing the same with the Next Generation Jammer - Low Band. Northrop Grumman is currently executing a DET with a pod that is currently flying. If the US Navy thinks that technology is sufficient it will introduce it by 2024 and if not it will open up the competition to new technology solutions.


Folowing the Dual-Band decoy request, the US Navy seems to now also want a completely new Electronic Warfare / Electronic Attack upgrade for the Block 3 (backfit on block II) and beyond Super Hornet and even as GFE for a future NG fighter (FA-XX). They want something that is more advanced with room to grow all the way up to the 2040 time-frame so it appears they want a new system that is going to last the remaining life of that program..I suspect BAE will be a front runner here with the possibility to align with the USAF EPAWSS and the F-35's upgraded EW system. High component commonality with a system that is producing upwards of 150 units a year is going to be difficult to compete with for Raytheon, Northrop Grumman or others who may wish to offer something.

Advanced Electronic Warfare (ADVEW)


The Naval Air (NAVAIR) Systems Command (SYSCOM) is issuing this Request For Information (RFI) as part of a market survey to obtain technical and program information supporting the Advanced Electronic Warfare (ADVEW) Suite acquisition strategy and materiel solution analyses, intended for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the next generation of naval aircraft. The Government seeks ADVEW notional concepts, along with relevant cost/schedule/performance (CSP) information. The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the submitted suite solutions shall objectively support CSP information. CSP information provided by the Respondent will be used by NAVAIR for initial planning and cost estimation for the ADVEW program. ......

The ADVEW suite is intended to serve as a replacement for the AN/ALQ-214A(V) RFCM and AN/ALR-67(V) RWR systems to be deployed onboard the F/A-18E/F Service Life Modification (SLM) Block II, F/A-18E/F Block III, and the next generation of naval platforms. Specific information sought is identified in subparagraphs (a) through (j) below. RFI responses need not address all of the content areas identified and may be limited to a specific relevant technology or capability. ROM Cost Estimates, execution schedules and trade space analyses are required. The following requirements establish objective levels of performance for the ADVEW system.

Electrical and Radio Frequency (RF) Performance and Interface Requirements: The ADVEW system shall meet the performance requirements for frequency coverage (for the current band and extending into additional bands), receive sensitivity, RF power output, receiver threat ID and ECM jamming responses, per the RFCM and RWR Performance Specifications. Performance attributes of the system shall be clearly conveyed (i.e. Rx/Tx Channels, Bandwidth/IBW, Dynamic Range, Sensitivity, DF/AoA accuracy, Transmitter configuration, antenna technologies and associated backend electronics, Resource management schema, etc.). The ADVEW system shall be interoperable with the APG-79 Config D radar and meet existing F/A-18E/F aircraft electrical interface Tx/Rx requirements IAW the current ICD; further consideration should be given to compatibility with future block III and next generation of naval aircraft capabilities.



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