Thursday, January 31, 2013

India Hands Over Dornier 228 Transport Aircraft to Seychelles


Indian Defence Minister Mr. A. K. Antony handed over HAL’s Dornier-228 light transport aircraft to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, at a function in New Delhi today. The maritime surveillance aircraft will be used to guard the extensive coast line of island nation.

“It is yet another milestone of our close friendship between our two countries”,said Mr. Antony. He congratulated HAL for delivering the aircraft much ahead of schedule.

The Seychelles Foreign Minister appreciated the gesture and said the DO 228 will enable his country to fight piracy and strengthen the overall security in the Indian Ocean.

“The aircraft to be provided to Seychelles will be supported by HAL team for maintenance on site to enable the new user get the requisite expertise”, said Dr. R. K. Tyagi, Chairman, HAL.

The aircraft is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art facilities and is excellent platform of maritime applications, he added.

Mr. Waven Williams, High Commissioner for Seychelles to India, Major Micheal Pouponneau, Commanding Officer, Seychelles Air Force, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral D.K. Joshi, Mr. R. K. Mathur, Secretary Defence Production, Mr. Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs were among the invitees on the occasion.

Fuelled by the growth prospects of this aircraft, HAL has also set eyes on export market.
While the full aircraft structures are already being exported to Germany for assembly and supply to world-wide market, efforts are underway to achieve direct exports.

The company is making efforts to exploit conducive military markets in Mauritius, Nepal, Vietnam, South Africa, Afghanistan and Columbia. Efforts are also to penetrate civil export markets that are suited for HAL-DO-228s.

HAL manufactures this aircraft under licence agreement with the erstwhile Dornier GmbH of Germany at its Transport Aircraft Division, Kanpur, and has world-wide unfettered sales and marketing rights.

Along with the airframe, engines and several of the systems and avionics are also produced in house at various Divisions of HAL ensuring single window life-time support to the customers.

The cockpit is designed to accommodate two crew members and is fitted with duplicate controls.
The cabin can accommodate 19 passengers in commuter configuration.

Earlier, Indian Navy had deployed a Dornier aircraft in Seychelles under a government to government memorandum of undertaking.

The Dornier was stationed at Victoria, capital of Seychelles deployed for surveillance and anti-piracy patrols.

'Faraday Cage' Casing Protecting MQ-8C Fire Scout Unmanned Helicopter's Avionics

Northrop Grumman Corporation received the first protective cage for its next-generation MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter that will store and shield the aircraft's critical electronic components from strong electric fields and electromagnetic waves.
Without the cage, electrical components inside the helicopter would be susceptible to lightning damage and other possible electromagnetic interference (EMI) on board.
Summit Aviation, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, was selected last year to manufacture the protective enclosure known as a Faraday cage.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the U.S. Navy's Fire Scout program.
A total of 28 new MQ-8C Endurance Upgrade Fire Scouts will be built using a purpose-modified Bell 407 air vehicle.
"Adding the Faraday cage to Fire Scout will provide the Navy with improved accessibility and maintainability by centrally locating key critical avionics components and protect them from outside electrical interference," said George Vardoulakis, vice president for tactical unmanned systems with Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.

Once completed, the Faraday cages will be shipped to Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss., where electronics will be incorporated and tested prior to installation on the MQ-8C airframe.
The larger MQ-8C Endurance Upgrade Fire Scout will provide the Navy with increased range by more than one-third, more than double the endurance and increased payload capacity in comparison to the current MQ-8B variant capability.
Fire Scout, MQ-8B, is currently deployed on Navy frigates and in Afghanistan providing intelligence, surveillance andreconnaissance to maritime and ground commanders.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Assembly of 100th F-35 Underway

Lockheed Martin photo by Neal Chapman)
Assembly of the 100th Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is well underway at the F-35 production facility here. F-35 technicians are in the final phase of building the wings that will be installed on the 100th aircraft known as AF-41.
 AF-41, a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, is one of 88 F-35s in various stages of completion on Lockheed Martin production lines Fort Worth and Marietta, Ga., and supplier locations across the world.
The jet will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force and is slated for pilot training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

HAL Rudra Attack Helo Debut at Aero India 2013

Weaponized version of India's indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, christened Dhruv-WSI(Weapon System Integrated) or Rudra, would debut at the Aero India 2013, to be held from 6-10 February at Yelahanka Airforce base, Bangalore.

Lockheed Receives $197 Million U.S. Army Contract for Guided MLRS Rocket Production

Lockheed Martin received a $197 million contract option from the U.S. Army for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Unitary rocket production.

This contract option was attached to the GMLRS Production Lot 7 contract, which now has a total funded value of $550.8 million.

The GMLRS Production Lot 7 contract was originally awarded to Lockheed Martin in July2012. This move enables the service to pay less for each rocket than if a separate 2013 production contract were issued.

The new allotment of rockets will be delivered to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps beginning in September 2014.

Work will be performed at the Lockheed Martin facilities in Camden, Ark., and Dallas.

GMLRS is an all-weather, long-range rocket designed for fast deployment that delivers precision strike beyond the reach of most conventional weapons.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Boeing Increases B737 Production Rate

mechanics load initial parts of the spars for the first airplane at the new rate into a spar-assembly

Boeing has begun assembly of the first Next-Generation 737 to be built at the rate of 38 airplanes per month.
Over the past two years, production of the 737 has risen more than 20 percent, from 31.5 to 38 airplanes a month.
In 2014, the rate will go up again to 42 airplanes a month.
Today mechanics completed loading initial parts of the spars - internal support structures in the wings – into an automated spar-assembly machine. The spar is the first step in building the wings and marks the start of major manufacturing for an airplane.
"The first spar load serves as the defining moment for our latest rate break, and the 737 team did it as planned, on schedule," said Beverly Wyse, vice president and general manager of the 737 program. "We have more hard work ahead of us, but we are well on our way to another successful production rate increase."
Employee teams have been instrumental in reducing 737 production flow by developing and implementing innovative efficiency improvements.
The first Next-Generation 737 built at the new rate is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter of this year.

RAF Inducts 100th Eurofighter

The 100th Typhoon emerges from the hangar at RAF Leuchars for its first training sortie [Picture: Corporal Dave Blackburn RAF, Crown Copyright/MOD 2013]

The Royal Airforce's (RAF) most recently formed squadron has taken delivery of the latest state-of-the-art Typhoon Fighter jet.

The unit, No 1 (Fighter) Squadron , which was reformed just 4 months ago at RAF Leuchars in Scotland, is now home to the 100th Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet to enter service.

The RAF continues to move towards a combined fleet of Typhoon and Joint Strike Fighter jets, two of the world’s most modern and capable multi-role combat aircraft.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth-generation stealth aircraft which represents a step-change in the UK’s combat air capability.

Typhoon is already delivering air defence for the UK and the Falkland Islands, and its ground attack capabilities were instrumental to allied operations over Libya.

The U.K MoD is to spend a total of £18 billion on combat aircraft over the next 10 years which includes continuing investment in Typhoon to bring the latest Tranche 2 and 3 aircraft fully into service.

This latest delivery comes after the MOD signed a £25 million contract with Raytheon in December for more Paveway IV precision weapons for the RAF.

These weapons are to be carried by Tornados in Afghanistan and will also provide a key capability to be carried by the Typhoon and Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) aircraft.

The contract will sustain around 450 jobs at Raytheon UK’s plants: 300 at Glenrothes in Scotlandand 150 in Harlow, Essex.

AERO Vodochody to produce Airbus A321 fuselage Part

Image showing 14a fuselage section

Czech aerospace major AERO Vodochody has signed a new contract for delivery of Airbus A321 fuselage panels to Italian aircraft manufacturer, Alenia Aermacchi.
The Italian customer will use four 4.3 meters long panels made by Aero to build a 14a fuselage section of A321.
AERO Vodochody should produce up to 96 panel sets a year. The contract value is over 3 billion CZK.
AERO takes this new project as a big opportunity. A321 is the biggest aircraft of Airbus A320 family,the fastest selling airliners in history. A321 entered service in 1994 and can accommodate upto 220 passengers.
The 14a fuselage section is 4.14 metres high and 3.95 metres wide and is located just in front of wings of the aircraft.
This contract is not the first cooperation of AERO and Alenia Company. Since 2007, Aero produces centre wing box for Alenia C-27J Spartan. Following this successful cooperation, Alenia Aermacchi offered to AERO to take part in its A321 program.
Production of fuselage panels should start before the end of 2013 and there is no time limit of the contract. That means that Aero should participate on all current and all future versions of A321 up to the end of production of this aircraft.
The new program will require some investments in new technologies. AERO becomes the first Czech company using fully automatic riveting of aerospace structures. AERO will also offer about 150 new jobs for engineers and workers.
producers like Boeing, Airbus or Sukhoi.Aermacchi is the only producer of A321 14a fuselage section.

Turkey Inducts First CASA CN-235 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

Ankara, Turkey, 28 th January 2013

Thales has delivered the first of three CASA CN-235 maritime surveillance aircraft under the Meltem II programme for Turkey.
This aircraft will be operated by the Turkish Coast Guard from Izmir Air Base. Pierre Eric Pommellet, Senior Vice-President of Thales Group, officially handed over the aircraft at a ceremony held at the Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) facility in Ankara.
The official hand-over was presided by Turkish Minister of Interior, Mr İdris Naim Şahin, who thanked all contributors to the programme and its main contractor Thales for “delivering a state-of-the-art aircraft which will enable the Turkish Coast Guards to perform their surveillance duty up to 120 miles from the coast”.
The ceremony was also attended by the Undersecretary for Defence Industries (SSM), the Turkish Coast Guards Chief Admiral, and the Turkish Coast Guard Izmir Air-base Commander. The French Ambassador to Turkey also attended the ceremony with a representative of the French defence procurement agency (DGA), as well as the General Managers of TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft, the Turkish companies involved in the programme.
This marks the delivery of the first maritime surveillance aircraft equipped with the Thales AMASCOS mission system, which will provide the Turkish Coast Guards with an enhanced capability to better monitor the Turkish Exclusive Economic Zone and Territorial Waters.
This maritime surveillance aircraft is designed to perform a broad spectrum of missions including:
*. Surface Surveillance and Naval control, anti-drug and other types of smuggling operations, the prevention of illegal immigration and illicit fishing
*. Maritime pollution surveillance, with the provision of enhanced evidence collection capabilities, essential to this kind of operation
*. Search and rescue operations.
Thales is the prime contractor for the Meltem II programme, which calls for the delivery of six maritime patrol aircraft for the Turkish Navy and three maritime surveillance aircraft for the Turkish Coast Guard, all based on modified CASA CN-235 platforms.
The programme also includes the provision of additional maritime patrol systems to the Turkish Navy, to be integrated on ATR 72 aircraft.
All mission systems are based on Thales's AMASCOS solution (Airborne Maritime Situation & Control System).
This success marks a new major milestone in the Meltem II programme, and follows the delivery of four maritime patrol aircraft (initial standard) to the Turkish Navy during the first semester of 2012.

Alenia's SF-260 Trainer with Glass Cockpit Makes First Flight

Advanced Glass Cockpit

Alenia Aermacchi’s SF-260TP primary and basic trainer, equipped with new digital avionics (GlassCockpit), an enhanced multi-spectral vision system and an upgraded air conditioning system has completed its first flight in Venegono, Italy. The aircraft is in final testing stages, and potential customers have requested demonstrations of it.
The aircraft is equipped with new digital avionics that will increase the SF-260’s competitiveness and will allow the aircraft to play a greater role in the global trainer market.
The new cockpit’s layout, based on an integrated digital avionic system, features two large LCD displays (6x8 inches) and one Control Display Unit(CDU) that manage several of the aircraft’s functions.
Two Integrated Flight Displays (IFD) incorporate radio, VHF Omnidirectional Range radio-guide (VOR), GPS, and Inertial Platform and Air Data and ensure complete redundancy and top safety for pilots.
The new digital avionics allow for many functionsincluding:
• Presentation of primary flight data (Primary Flight Display) to pilots.
• Radio-guided navigation and GPS autonomous navigation
• Digital Moving Map
• Flight Management System
• Aircraft checklist display
• Multi-spectral vision systems obtained through the integration of an infra-red television camera
• Downloading of flight data for post-flight debriefs.
The aircraft Enhanced Vision System includes an infra-red television camera installed on the wing leading edge, allowing pilots better visibility at night and in adverse weather conditions.
In addition to the new cockpit digital avionics and the EVS, a modern air conditioning system is integrated on the aircraft that guarantees greater comfort for the crew.
The new system, characterized by a high cooling capability, is completely electrical and is operated by a Digital Control Display on the instrument panel.
The SF-260 is the best seller in the primary training market, with over 900 units delivered worldwide. The market interest for the aircraft is still high, as an undisclosed air force who is already SF-260 customers, having recently ordered 12 additional aircraft.

Turkish ANKA MALE UAV Successfully Completes Acceptance Trials

The acceptance test campaign of Turkish ANKA Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV System, which was designed and developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), was successfully completed with the last test flights held between January 20-22, 2013.
The 18+ hour long test flight commenced on January 20th at 9:05am and concluded with automatic landing on January 21th at 3:15am, after successful demonstration of full endurance and 200 km data link range performances under winds reaching to 45 kts.
During the flight, Air Traffic Control (ATC) coordination was achieved through on-board radio, which was relayed to GCS (Ground Control Station) over the data link, demonstrating ANKA's capability to operate safely in an airspace managed by ATC.
On a separate test flight on January 22nd, night take-off and landings were demonstrated using Automatic Take-off and Landing System (ATOLS).
During the acceptance campaign, which has been in progress since Fall 2012, about 130 different ground and flight tests were successfully accomplished, witnessed by MoD Under secretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) and Turkish Air Force representatives, proving ANKA systems' mission readiness.
Since its first flight in December 2010, ANKA system has accumulated more than 140 flight hours, during which flight control, data link, propulsion, fuel, landing gear, environmental control, ice protection and electrical systems, as well as mission systems including EO/IR payload, ATC radio and data recorder were tested at altitudes reaching 26000ft. Autopilot, navigation, automatic loiter pattern and ATOLS capabilities were demonstrated throughout the flight envelope, including severe weather conditions.
Contract negotiations are already underway with SSM for the initial serial production of ten ANKA systems for the Turkish Air Force.
In last December Egypt agreed to purchase 10 Anka air vehicles, which would be the first export order.

Italian Search Team Recovers Crashed F-16 Debris


Italian search teams have recovered debris in the Adriatic Sea believed to belong to an F-16 Fighting Falcon which went missing during a nighttime training mission Jan. 28.
The fighter jet, assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing, was performing a training mission when the base lost contact with the pilot at approximately 8 p.m. Italian aircraft and ships were quickly dispatched to the missing jet's last known location; 10 to 15 nautical miles east of Cervia, Italy.
U.S. military officials are coordinating search and rescue efforts with Italian military and civilian teams. While the effort has not yet found any sign of the pilot, the search continues.
"We are tremendously grateful for the support and coordination we've received from the Italian people and government," said Brig. Gen. Scott J. Zobrist, the 31st Fighter Wing commander. "From the initial notification, everyone involved has shown complete dedication to finding our missing Airman."

Northrop Grumman Awarded H-1 Helicopter Mission Computer Contract by U.S. Navy

U.S. Army UH-1 Helicopter

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command to provide Gen II mission computers for the H-1 Upgrade helicopter program.
Under the $9.3 million firm-fixed-price order, Northrop Grumman will supply Gen II mission computers and trays for the H-1 Upgrade program's Lot 10 production aircraft.
Deliveries are expected to be completed by January 2015.
Dual mission computers are the heart of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Avionics System (IAS) that powers H-1 helicopters' glass cockpits.
The mission computers provide centralized control of the IAS, interface with the tactical moving map, and display both situational awareness and health monitoring information. Additionally, the IAS and mission computers feature an open, modular architecture that allows for system upgrades and insertion of new technologies.
The mission computers will be used onboard UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters that make up the Marine light attack helicopter squadrons.
Critical mission data is shown on four displays, reducing workload and increasing aircrew situational awareness.
The H-1 Upgrade program involves replacing aging AH-1W and UH-1N helicopters with upgraded UH-1Y and AH-1Z aircraft, providing significant improvements in commonality, reliability and maintainability.
This reduces life cycle and training costs, and decreases the logistics footprint for both aircraft. Additionally, the upgraded helicopters have 100 percent software commonality through Northrop Grumman's IAS and the same operational flight program.
Both the UH-1Y and AH-1Z arein full-rate production by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.

Monday, January 28, 2013

First Tunisian C-130J Hercules Airlifter


Lockheed Martin has completed painting the first of two Tunisian Air Force C-130J-30 Super Hercules. 

Tunisia currently operates a fleet of C-130Hs and C-130Bs, first purchased in the mid-1980s.  The new C-130Js will support Tunisian operations across the mission spectrum, including relief efforts around the world, firefighting and traditional airlift sorties.

 The first aircraft is due for delivery later this year.

USAF F-16 Fighter Crashes in Italy


A U.S Airforce F-16 fighter jet went missing on monday evening after taking off from Aviano Air base in Italy.
U.S. military officials are coordinating search and rescue efforts with Italian military and civilian teams.
The aircraft, assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing, was performing a training mission over the Adriatic Sea when the base lost contact with the pilot at approximately 8 p.m. Soon after, Italian aircraft and ships were dispatched to the missing jet's last known location.

While the aircraft has not yet been found, search teams are working under the assumption that the aircraft crashed in the Adriatic.

"The search for and rescue of our pilot is our top priority," said Col. David W. Walker, the 31st Operations Group commander. "We want to assure the family and friends of the lost Airman that we are doing everything we can for this effort."

IndiGo Becomes the First Indian Airline to Induct Sharklet Equipped A320 Jet

India's largest airline, IndiGo has taken delivery of its first A320 aircraft equipped with Sharklet fuel saving wing tip devices, becoming the first Indian carrier to do so. Sharklets are newly designed wing-tip devices that improve the aircraft’s aerodynamics and significantly cut the airline’s fuel burn and emissions by four per cent on longer sectors.
Sharklets are an option on new-build A320 Family aircraft, and standard on all members of the A320neo Family. They offer the flexibility to A320 Family operators of either adding around 100 nautical miles more range or allowing increased payload capability of up to 450 kilograms. All future A320 aircraft to be delivered to IndiGo shall be fitted with the Sharklet wing tip devices.

First British Navy AW159 Wildcat Helicopter Makes Maiden Flight

The first AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat helicopter to be delivered to the Royal Navy has successfully made its maiden flight at Yeovil in Somerset, U.K.
The Wildcat has a more powerful engine, allowing it to be flown in extreme conditions all year round. It is also equipped with a more robust fuselage, a high-tech interactive display and a new radar system that provides 360-degree surveillance.
The Wildcat HMA Mark 2 will carry Sting Ray torpedoes, a door-mounted, 0.5-inch heavy machine gun and new light and heavy variants of the future anti-surface guided weapon missiles.
Expected to perform a range of tasks once in service, the maritime Wildcat attack helicopter will be used in anti-surface warfare, force protection and counter-piracy. It will also be able to carry out an anti-submarine role.

The MOD signed a £250 million contract with AgustaWestland last year to provide support and training for the Royal Navy and British Army’s 62-strong fleet of Wildcat helicopters.
AgustaWestland will produce 28 Wildcats for the Royal Navy and 34 for the British Army under a programme worth more than £1.6 billion ($2.5 billion).
 As a ship-borne helicopter, Wildcat will provide commanders with a flexible attack capability which can be deployed to tackle a range of threats at sea and from the sea.With state-of-the-art sensors, equipment and weapons, it will be an outstanding asset that will maintain Royal Naval units at the cutting-edge of worldwide maritime operations.
 The Royal Navy will receive 28 maritime attack variant helicopters, which will begin operations across the globe from 2015 and replace the existing Lynx Mark 8.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chinese Y-20 Transport Plane Makes Maiden Flight

Y-20 on its Maiden Flight
China’s first indigenously developed heavy transport aircraft, the Y-20, has successfully conducted its maiden test flight on January 26.
The Y-20 is developed by Xi’an Aircraft Industry, a subsidiary of China’s leading military aircraft maker, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.
Y-20 is large wide-body, four-turbofan engine-powered, high-wing and high T-tail configured military transport.

The Y-20 uses a wing-fuselage interface similar to that used by the Il-76, producing a pronounced hump atop the forward fuselage, while its wide body, empennage, and T-tail are similar to the Boeing C-17.
Prototype aircraft is powered by a Russian Saturn D-30K series turbofan engine and the production models would debut a Chinese indigenous engines.

RAF Sentinel R1 Spy Plane Supporting French Bombing in Mali

Photo: UK MoD

British Air Force has deployed its Sentinel R1 spy plane in support of French military operations in Mali.
The aircraft, Sentinel R1, is a modified version of the Global Express, which is an executive business jet manufactured by Canadian Bombardier.
Sentinel is fitted with a Dual Mode Radar (DMR). This radar is similar to the U2 ASARS radar, and provides Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) high resolution imagery and Ground Moving Target Indicator (GMTI) data.
It provides accurate image of ground activities and assists french bombing operations.
The Sentinel R1 is due to be retired in 2015, eight years after coming into service

Patriot Air Defense Missile Battery Operational in Turkey

MONS, Belgium

The first of six Patriot missile batteries deployed in Turkey was declared operational and placed under the command and control of NATO on Saturday, 26 January.
The battery, provided by the Netherlands, will help to protect the city and people of Adana against missile threats.
" NATO Allies asked us to augment Turkey's air defence capabilities in December, and we are delivering operational forces in January, " said Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe. " Thanks to the hard work of the nations providing Patriot systems, the expertise of communications specialists from six NATO nations, and the diligent planning of multinational military staff at Air Command Ramstein in Germany and at SHAPE Headquarters in Belgium, we have established this defensive capability promptly," Admiral Stavridis added.
Allies have committed to a total of six Patriot batteries to augment Turkey's air defences. The other five batteries are expected to be in place and operational in the coming days.
In response to Turkey’s request, NATO Foreign Ministers decided on 4 December 2012 that NATO would “augment Turkey’s air defence capabilitiesin order to defend the population and territory of Turkey and contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along the Alliance’s border.”
" This is a clear demonstration of the agility and flexibility of NATO forces and of our willingness to defend Allies who face threats in an unstable world ," said Admiral Stavridis.
Patriot systems will be deployed to help protect the Turkish cities of Kahramanmaras, Adana, and Gaziantep. This deployment is defensive only. It will in no way support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation.

India Successfully Test Fired Submarine Launched K-15 Ballistic Missile

Photo: DRDO

India successfully test fired its 700km range underwater ballistic missile, K-15 (code-named B05), off the Visakhapatnam coast, marking end to a series of developmental trials.
In its twelfth flight trial, the 10-metre tall Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) lifted off from a pontoon, rose to an altitude of 20km and reached a distance of about 700 km as it splashed down in the waters of the Bay of Bengal near the pre-designated target point.
V.K. Saraswat, the missile was tested for its full range of 700 km and the mission met all itsobjectives. He said the impact accuracy of the medium range strategic missile was in single digit.
With the completion of developmental trials, the process of integrating K-15 missile with INS Arihant, the indigenously-built nuclear submarine, will begin soon.
As many as 12 nuclear-tipped missiles, each weighing six tonnes will be integrated with Arihant, which will be powered by an 80 MWt (thermal) reactor that uses enriched uranium as fuel and light water as coolant and moderator.
India is only the fifth country to have such a missile — the other four are the United States, Russia, France and China.
Meanwhile India is also developing a longer range variant named K-4 missile with a range of 3,000 km.

Launch Video:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

U.S. Conducts Successful Anti Ballistic Interceptor Missile Test

Jan 26 2013
photo: MDA

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully completed a flight test of a three-stage Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) missile as a part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.
GMD is the United States' only defense against long-range ballistic missile threats.
The test at Vandenberg Air Force Base began at 2p.m. Pacific time yesterday with the launch of a GMD ground-based interceptor (GBI) carrying a next-generation Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV). The test measured the EKV's performance as the vehicle operated under stressful space conditions. Data gathered during the test will be used to validate the EKV's design.
Data from this flight test will be used to evaluate the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle system performance in a flight environment. If a target missile were present, the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle would collide directly with the threat warhead to perform a hit-to-kill intercept. Engineering data from this test will be used to improve confidence for future intercept missions.
A target missile launch was not planned for this flight test. After performing fly out maneuvers, the three-stage booster deployed the EKV to a designated point in space. After separating from the booster, the EKV executed a variety of pre-planned maneuvers to collect performance data in space.
Initial indications are that all components performed as designed. Program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
Yesterday’s event, designated Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Control Test Vehicle (GM CTV)-01, is part of an extensive test series initiated after the Flight Test Ground-Based Interceptor (FTG)-06a failure in December 2010.
The Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle flown during GM CTV-01 was modified based on findings from the FTG-06a Failure Review Board.
This test is the critical first step in returning GMD to successful intercept testing.
GMD flight testing was halted in early 2011 after a guidance error resulted in a failed intercept in a December 2010 test.
Boeing is the prime contractor since 2001 and works with industry partners Northrop Grumman, Orbital Sciences Corp. and Raytheon.
GMD is an integral element of the United States layered ballistic missile defense architecture. With interceptors deployed at Vandenberg and at Fort Greely, Alaska, the program consists of command-and-control facilities, communications terminals and a 20,000-mile fiber-optic communications network that interface with ballistic missile defense radars and other sensors.

Friday, January 25, 2013

UTC to Provide Wheels and Carbon Brakes for Aeroflot's Boeing 777-300ER Fleet

UTC Aerospace Systems has been selected by Aeroflot, Russia’s flagship airline, to supply the wheels and carbon brakes for its new fleet of 16 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The company will provide the equipment through its Wheels & Brakes business in Troy, Ohio.
The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in January, 2013.

The 777-300ER carbon brakes use proprietary DURACARB® carbon heat sink material. The DURACARB® carbon provides exceptional brake performance and a 35 percent brake life advantage over competitive products, producing significant cost savings for operators.

“This selection by Aeroflot expands the partnership which started in 2003 with the A320 program. We currently support the majority of Aeroflot’s western made aircraft as well as its Sukhoi SuperJet 100 aircraft,” said Cory May, vice president of commercial programs, Wheels & Brakes.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Eurofighter Guarding Airspace during World Economic Forum in Davos

Eurofighter belonging to the Austrian Armed Forces will be used to secure the airspace during the World Economic Forum 2013 in Davos.
As part of the airspace surveillance operation "Daedalus 2013", Eurofighter aircraft will ensure, as in previous years, that no unknown aircraft over Austrian territory can approach the conference in Switzerland.
The international conference is due to take place from 23 to 27 January in the famous ski resort.
In recent years, Eurofighter Typhoon were already in use in numerous large international events. For example, Eurofighter of the Royal Air Force secured the airspace during the Olympic Games in London in summer 2012. For that, these modern combat aircraft were on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duty seven days a week around the clock.
The aircraft also controlled the airspace during the European Football Championship in Austria and Switzerland in 2008.

NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Flight 6, Marks 20 Years on Orbit

The sixth Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS), built for NASA by Northrop Grumman Corporation, marked 20 years of successful on-orbit performance Jan. 13, surpassing its design life by a decade.

Placed into orbit by the space shuttle Endeavour (STS-54) in 1993, TDRS Flight 6 has provided a multitude of communications services to a wide variety of missions, such as transmitting stunning images from the Hubble Space Telescope to Earth, and delivering pictures, television, voice and data from the International Space Station.
Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector built the first generation of seven TDRS spacecraft at its Space Parkfacilities in Redondo Beach.
TDRS-6 is currently in geosynchronous orbit in a location over the Atlantic Ocean above Brazil, according to NASA.
Flight 6 joins other company-built TDRS spacecraft that have performed far beyond their 10-year design life.
Flight 1 was operational for nearly 27 years before being decommissioned in 2010, while Flight 4 was retired in 2011 after 22 years of service. Flights 3 and 5 are still performing on orbit after 24 and 21 years on orbit, respectively.
The TDRS system was established by NASA to rely less heavily on international ground stations and create long-duration and highly available communication coverage, with the prime design goal of providing continuous, around the clock communications services to the space agency's most critical low Earth-orbiting missions, and improving the amount of data that could be received.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is responsible for planning, developing and implementing the worldwide near-Earth space communications networks, including the management of the operations and development of the TDRS and the rest of the space network.

U.S. Airforce Upgrades Fuel Guzzling KC-135 Strato Tanker's with Fuel Efficient CFM56 Engines

U.S Airforce has started upgrading its KC-135 Tanker aircraft's fuel guzzling engines with fuel efficient F108 engines made by CFM.
Airmen installed the first of 1,440 upgraded Strato tanker engines at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, on Jan. 15.
The 1970s engine parts will be replaced with modern engines that burn less fuel and run longer without repairs, officials said.
"We expect the engine to stay on wing for 20-plus years and take the KC-135 into retirement," said Senior Master Sgt. Dong Kim, Air Mobility Command's propulsion branchchief.
Mounting the CFM Propulsion Upgrade Program on KC-135 and Navy E-6B Mercury culminates almost three years of work between Air Mobility Command, Air Force Material Command, the Navy and the original equipment manufacturer, CFM International.
The C-PUP engine delivered to MacDill AFB is the first of 15 that will be delivered by General Electric Aviation under anF108 engine augmentation contract.
The refurbished engines upgrade the high pressure compressor and turbine sections of the KC-135's F108 engine, a military variant of the CFM56-2 engine.
More than half of the engines on the KC-135 have not seen depot rework since they were initially installed; somedating back to 1984.
The engine depot at Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex expects to deliver the first organically produced C-PUP engine later this year and is planning to produce 120 annually. The upgrade effort is projected to take 12 years to complete and will affect 1,440 engines, according to officials.
CFM56 engine is used to power a variety of U.S. and foreign military aircrafts.
The CFM56-2B engine (USAF military designation: F108) is manufactured by a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (Safran group), CFM engines provide a vital link in the Tanker-Transport fleet by providing the proven source of power for Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command, Air National Guard and Reserve missions.
The US Military is the largest CFM operator in the world.
Following the success of the CFM56-2C with the re-engining of DC-8 jetliners, the U.S. Air Force chose the same basic engine to re-engine the existing Boeing KC-135 tanker.
The first USAF KC-135R was delivered in July 1984 and had the last originally installed engine changed in April 2010.
The CFM56-2A and CFM56-2B engines now power several applications around the world ranging from tankers and transports, KC-135R and KE-3, to surveillance and command and control applications, such as the RC-135, E-3 AWACS, and the E6B Mercury.
The US Navy CFM56-2A holds the military world record for time on wing.
CFM engines provide reduced takeoff roll, added thrust and increased fuel efficiency. CFM56 power also provides lower fuel burn for extended range, as well as increased time-on-station, payload and tanker offload capability.
Building on the strong foundation of success, CFM56 engines stand ready to power future critical missions well into the 21st century. CFM56-7B engines power the USAF and USN C-40s, Boeing's 737 AEW&C, and P-8 Poseidon.
The Boeing P-8 (based on the Next-Generation 737) will be used for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, replacing current aircraft that average 30 years of age.

Russian Mi-171Sh Combat-Transport Helicopter

The Mi-171Sh helicopter is being produced by the Ulan-Ude Aviation Plant (UUAP), part of Russian Helicopters. It is a military transport variant of the Mi-171 helicopter.
More than 120 helicopters have been delivered to customers in the Middle East, south-east Asia, Africa and eastern Europe.
Mi-171 is the latest evolution of the highly popular Russian Mi-17 helicopter, with over 12000 produced.
The military transport helicopter was introduced into the world market in 2002. The helicopter is delivered through the Russian state-owned special exporter Rosoboronexport.
The Mi-171Sh can be deployed on a range of missions, including the airlifting of assault forces, transportation of cargoes, troop fire support, air-to-surface attack, escort of the military columns, medical evacuation and combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations.
The Mi-171Sh was specifically designed for operating in combat missions in local armed conflicts. The design incorporates a five-bladed main rotor, a tail rotor and non-retractable tricycle nose-wheel landing gear.
Advanced Glass Cockpit

The glassed-in cockpit accommodates three crew and cabin houses up to 36 troops, or up to 12 casualties on stretchers. The helicopters are equipped with modern avionics and instrumental equipment, to operate in all weather conditions at any time of the day.
The armour protection provided over the crew cabin and vital units increases the combat survivability of the helicopter.
The engine exhaust ducts are equipped with infrared suppression exhaust mixer boxes for a low infrared signature.
The helicopter has an IR-decoy dispensing systemto counter an infrared homing surface-to-air missile or air-to-air missile. The fuel tank self-sealing covers and polyurethane foam protection avoid the possibility of fuel explosions and leakage in case of combat damage.
Ataka Missile

The Mi-171Sh is armed with a Shturm-V high-precision guided missile system. The missiles can destroy modern battle tanks protected by explosive reactive armour, fortified points and aerial targets.
The Shturm-V missile complex launches Ataka supersonic missiles equipped with a hollow-charge warhead for defeating armoured targets. The missile can destroy aerial targets with a fragmentation warhead and lightly armoured combat materiel by using a high-explosive warhead.
The Mi-171Sh is also provided with hardpoints to carry up to 80 S-8 unguided rockets and GSh-23L 23mm cannons, with an ammunition load of 500 rounds.
Small arms, such as the 7.62mm PKT machine gun,PK machine gun and RPK light machine gun, are mounted in the nose and rear fuselage sections. The gun pivots provided at the doorway and near the windows allow the onboard troops to operate these weapons during flight.
The multifunctional cargo cabin has a length of 5.34m, width of 2.34m and a height of 1.8m. It provides enough internal space to carry 4,000kg of payload.
The helicopter can transport up to 4,000kg of cargo externally under sling. The main cabin features internal winch facilities, while the floor has tie-down rings for cargo transport. Either side of the fuselage is provided with a pod for an external fuel tank.
Klimov TV3-117 Turboshaft Engine

The Mi-171Sh is powered by two Klimov TV3-117VM turboshaft engines mounted on top of the fuselage.
Each engine is rated at 1,641kW. The helicopter can be optionally fitted with two VK-2500 turboshaft engines, each rated at 2,700hp.
The Mi-171Sh can fly at a maximum altitude of 6,000m. The maximum speed of the helicopter is 250km/h. The range (without auxiliary fuel tanks) is 580km.
The helicopter has a maximum take-off weight of 13,000kg.

Airbus Military Delivers Last C212-400 Aircraft Assembled in Spain.

Airbus Military has delivered the last C212-400 light transport aircraft assembled in Spain. This delivery marks the end of more than 40 years of continuous production of the C212 in Spain at the Airbus Military final assembly line (FAL) in Seville.
Since its maiden flight in 1971, 477 C212 have been built for 92 different operators. Nowadays, 290 C212 remain in service in 40 countries all over the world.
The three countries in which there are today most C212s in operation are Indonesia (70aircraft), USA (37), and Spain (26).
This 477 th C212 –the third and final C212-400 for the Vietnam Marine Police– was formally delivered on December 28 th , ending 42 years of continuous production of the type.
Designed in the late 1960s, the C212 was first delivered to the Portuguese Air Force and the Spanish Air Force in October 1974. After its entry in service, the airlifter became rapidly renowned at a global level for its robustness and reliability.In fact, the C212 has been successfully operated in every corner of the planet –including the Antarctic ice cap.
Operators in some of the toughest operating conditions to be found developed enormous affection for its uniquely versatile characteristics and deployed it on an extraordinary variety of roles ranging from transport to rain-making, ultra-sophisticated surveillance to search and rescue. The Design Office of the company eventually developed four different series of the aircraft – culminating in the C212-400, which made its first flight in 1997, in addition to a variety of special mission versions.
Both military and civil operators have benefited from the C212´s versatility and reliability throughout four decades.
An upgraded version, renamed as NC212, is available now, that will be produced jointly by PT Dirgantara Indonesia and Airbus Military and assembled in Bandung (Indonesia).
The Airbus Military final assembly line in Seville will now focus on the production of the C295 and CN235 aircraft in both transport and mission configurations, as well as on the increasing activity on the A400M assembly line.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Boeing Deliver's First C-17 Airlifter for Indian Airforce to Test Flight

LONG BEACH, California

Boeing on Jan. 22 delivered on schedule, the first of 10 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
India's first C-17 will now enter a U.S. Air Force flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale, Calif. Boeing is on track to deliver four more C-17s to the IAF this year and five in 2014.
"The C-17 met the stipulated airlift requirements of the Indian Air Force when it flew field evaluation trials in India during June 2010," said Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, Air Attaché at the Embassy of India. "It was exciting to see the C-17 fly again, this time with Indian AirForce markings, as the airlifter completed its first-flight milestone on Jan. 11. We look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India."
"The C-17's ability to operate in extremely hot and cold climates; transport large payloads across vast ranges; and land on short, austere runways makes it ideal for India's airlift needs," said Nan Bouchard, Boeing vice president and C-17 program manager. "We value our continued partnership with India and the U.S. government and will provide dedicated support as India's first C-17 enters flight testing."
India's Ministry of Defence signed an agreement with the U.S. government on June 15, 2011, to acquire 10 C-17 airlifters, making India the largest C-17 customer outside the United States. The governments finalized the Foreign Military Sales contract for the airframe on June 6, 2012.
Boeing has delivered 250 C-17s worldwide, including 218 to the U.S. Air Force active duty, Guard and Reserve units.
A total of 32 C-17s have been delivered to Australia, Canada, India, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.
Boeing will support the IAF C-17 fleet through the Globemaster III Integrated Sustainment Program (GISP) Performance-Based Logistics contract. The GISP "virtual fleet" arrangement ensures mission readiness by providing all C-17 customers access to an extensive support network for worldwide parts availability and economies of scale. This brings spares and support closer to the point of use and makes the C-17 more affordable to own and operate.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Embraer Venture's into Helicopter Making with AgustaWestland

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer S.A. and Italian Helicopter maker AgustaWestland, announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding aiming at establishing a joint-venture which could lead to the production of AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil to be marketed for both commercial and military use in Brazil and Latin America.

Preliminary studies by Embraer and AgustaWestland show strong market potential for twin engine, medium lift helicopters, especially to meet the requirements of the offshore oil and gas market. Other key market sectors, such as executive transport and military, show promising potential as well. The partners aim at establishing the joint-venture within a few months once a final agreement has been reached and the relevant approvals have been obtained.

US Navy demonstrate new dual targeting capability for JSOW C-1 Standoff Weapon

The U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated the dual targeting capability of Raytheon Company's Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C-1. Two recent tests during the program's integrated test phase prove the weapon can engage challenging stationary targets. Previous testing in the integrated test phase demonstrated JSOW C-1's capability against moving maritime targets.
The first stationary land target test was designed to assess JSOW's capability against operationally realistic infrared and radio frequency countermeasures. An F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft launched a JSOW C-1 from approximately 29,000 feet and 17.5 nautical miles from the target. The weapon flew a preplanned route at 0.83 mach airspeed, employed 3-D waypoints, and successfully impacted a cement wall on a simulated bunker.
The second stationary land target test was designed to demonstrate JSOW's performance at night against an operationally representative bunker target. An F/A-18F Super Hornet launched the JSOW C-1 from approximately 25,000 feet. The JSOW C-1 flew the preplanned route at 0.81 mach airspeed and successfully impacted the buried bunker. Both tests occurred at the U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, Calif.
"These tests demonstrate that JSOW C-1 provides the U.S. and allied warfighters with a new dual capability to engage both stationary land targets and moving ships at range," said Celeste Mohr, JSOW program director for Raytheon Missile Systems. "These tests help clear the way for the important operational test phase of the program scheduled to begin early next year."
The JSOW C-1 is designed to provide fleet forces with the capability and flexibility to engage moving maritime targets, while retaining its robust capability against stationary land targets. The weapon is a modification to the existing JSOW C, which adds a weapon datalink radio and modified seeker software to increase capability for the anti-surface warfare mission.
About the Joint Standoff Weapon  JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employ an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal imaging infrared seeker. JSOW C-1 adds the two-way Strike Common Weapon Datalink to the combat-proven weapon, enabling a moving maritime target capability.
  • JSOW C-1 is the world's first network-enabled weapon with a range of more than 100 kilometers.
  • The U.S. Navy's first two JSOW C-1 free-flight tests also resulted in direct hits on their moving ship targets.
  • Raytheon is using company funding to develop a powered version of the JSOW that will have the potential to engage targets at more than 250 nautical miles.

Raytheon, US Air Force complete Small Diameter Bomb II fit check on F-35

The U.S. Air Force and Raytheon successfully completed a fit check of the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

F-35C Completes First In-Flight Dual Refueling

Jan. 22, 2013
photo: Lockheed Martin

For the first time, two Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II carrier variant test aircraft refueled together with a Lockheed Martin KC-130 Hercules in the sky above Patuxent River, Md. recently. The CV aircraft, known as CF-1 and CF-2, completed the milestone as part of an F-35 flight test program that will accomplish more than 1,000 flights in 2013.  Later this year, Eglin AFB, Fla., will receive its first CV aircraft joining the F-35 pilot and maintainer training program there.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Arabsat's Badr-7 Communication Satelite to be Orbited in 2015

ARABSAT has finalized the mission definition for BADR-7 and confirmed the in-orbit delivery contract to the consortium of Astrium and Thales Alenia Space which has now started building the new satellite.
Thales Alenia Space and Astrium are jointly responsible for building the satellite and delivering it in orbit. Astrium, the leading partner,will supply the Eurostar E3000 platform and integrate the satellites. Thales Alenia Space will design and build the communications payload.
The new satellite, the first in ARABSAT’s 6th generation of satellites, will be co-located with ARABSAT satellites at the 26° East video hot spot known as BADR. It will extend in-orbit ARABSAT’s capacity at this location for direct-to-home television broadcast and telecommunications services, and will provide broadband services in Ka-band with spot beam coverage.
BADR-7 is based on the Astrium built highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform and is able to operate up to 24 transponders in Ku-band and 24 Ka spot-beams as well as 3 Ka transponders for additional services. Four deployable antennas and three fixed antennas will address service regions over a large coverage that includes the whole of MENA, South and North-West Africa and Central Asia.
BADR-7 will weigh 6100 kg at launch and have a spacecraft power of 12 kW at the end of its more than 15-year design life. It is planned for launch in late 2015.

Embraer Defense to Modernize Brazilian EMB 145 AEW&C Jets

Indian EMB 145 AEW&S Aircraft

Embraer Defense and the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) signed a contract to modernize five EMB 145 AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning and Control) jets, designated E-99 in the FAB.

ESA to Provide Service Module to NASA's Orion Spacecraft

NASA Orion Spacecraft; Credit Nasa

NASA signed an agreement in mid-December for the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide a service module for the Orion spacecraft’s Exploration Mission-1 in 2017.
The service module, which will provide propulsion, electrical power, thermal control and life support system components and supplies, will be based on the design of ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle, an unmanned supply ship that has completed three flights to the International Space Station.
The solar-powered service module will be located just behind the Orion
ATV; Credit ESA
Exploration Mission-1 in 2017 will be the first integrated flight test with both the Orion spacecraft and NASA’s new Space Launch System(SLS).
It will follow the upcoming Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014, in which an uncrewed Orion will launch atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket and fly to an altitude of 3,600 miles above Earth’s surface, farther than a human spacecraft has gone in 40 years.
For the flight test, a test service module is being built by Lockheed Martin.
Exploration Mission-1 in 2017 will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to demonstrate the performance of the integrated Space Launch System rocket and the spacecraft prior to a crewed flight. It will be followed by Exploration Mission-2, which will launch Orion and a crew of four astronauts into space.

The agreement primarily maps out a plan for ESA to fulfill its share of operational costs and additional supporting services for the International Space Station by providing the Orion service module and necessary elements of its design for NASA’s Exploration Mission-1 in 2017.
There are three major components to the Orion vehicle: the crew capsule, which will carry four astronauts into space on crewed flights and bring them home for a safe landing; the launch abort system, which would pull the crew module to safety in the unlikely event of a life-threatening problem during launch; and the service module, which will house Orion’s power, thermal and propulsion systems. The service module is located directly below the crew capsule and will contain the in-space propulsion capability for orbital transfer, attitude control and high-altitude ascent aborts. It also will generate and store power and provide thermal control, water and air for the astronauts. It will remain connected to the crew module until just before the capsule returns to Earth.

STOVL F-35B Grounded Following Fueldraulic Line Failure

F-35B at Edward's Airforce Base

Pentagon has temporarily grounded the Lockheed Martin F-35B short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the stealth fighter after a failure of fueldraulic line in the aircraft's propulsion system.

The fueldraulic line, which uses fuel instead of hydraulic fluids to save weight,  powers the actuators for the F-35B's STOVL exhaust vectoring system.

The fueldraulic line failed prior to takeoff, and the pilot aborted the takeoff without incident and cleared the runway, the program office said in a statement.

Matthew Bates, spokesman for Pratt & Whitney, which builds the F135 engines for the singe-engined stealth fighter jet, said an initial inspection discovered a detached propulsion line in the rear part of the engine compartment.

The fueldraulic line is not used in the F-35A or F-35C models, which are still permitted to fly.

“A team of Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce engineers is investigating the cause of the incident and working closely with Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office to resolve the matter,” Bates said in a statement provided to Reuters.

Successful Test Flight of MUSECO Helicopter

The MUSECO (MUlti SEnsor COpter) helicopter accomplished a successful test flight on the 12 th December 2012.
The MUSECO is one additional platform option for the LUNA Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) which has been operational in Afghanistan, in extremely austere environmental conditions, since 2003.
The MUSECO helicopter is based on the SWISS UAV NEOS-350 VTOL UAV. EMT and SWISS UAV are teaming up for the development of the MUSECO.
“This successful test flight is a result of the close cooperation between SWISS UAV and EMT. We are happy that we can offer our customers new flexible capabilities with this additional platform option. Future operators of the tactical LUNA system will have a choice between the MUSECO helicopter or the LUNA and the LUNA NG fixed wing unmanned aircrafts.” says Sascha Lange, head of Business Development.
LUNA is a small-operational footprint, runway-independent TUAS. It can deploy a wide range of payloads such as EO/IR, SAR, SIGINT or CBRN sensors, and relay payloads. LUNA can stay aloft for 8 hours. It is thus very flexible and can respond to fast-changing mission requirements. Integration into armored ground vehicles (e.g. Ground Control Station) enables close organic integration in army units. This provides near real-time availability of actionable ISR results at tactical levels.
With its various UAS families, over 750 tactical UAVs delivered to customers on three continents and more than 11 years’ operational experience, EMT is Europe’s leading developer, manufacturer and service provider for affordable Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS).
Swiss UAV, based in Switzerland, is a young high-tech company focusing on the development and production of small and medium sized vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicles (VTOL UAVs). Early successes with the NEOand KOAX platforms have led to the development of fully redundant and autonomous systems specifically targeting mission critical applications in the civil and military markets.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sikorsky, Boeing Partner for Joint Multi-Role Future Vertical Lift Requirements

AVX JMR Design
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., and Boeing signed a teaming agreement on Jan. 13 to submit a joint proposal in response to the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate solicitation for the Army's Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) Phase 1 program.
The JMR TD supports the Department of Defense's Future Vertical Lift program to deliver the next generation of vertical lift aircraft with greater performance, reliability and affordability.
The Sikorsky and Boeing team will compete to build and fly one or more demonstrator aircraft in 2017 to be evaluated for next-generation vertical lift performance in a medium-lift-sized aircraft.

All Boeing 787 fleets Grounded

All Boeing 787 operators has grounded their fleets following U.S FAA directive on Jan 16 due to some series of snags developed.
Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines where the last to ground their fleets.
In a statement on Jan. 17, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the airline, which has five 787s in its fleet, “will resume [787] operations when we are clear that the aircraft meets the full requirements of the airworthiness directive.”
The two 787s operated by LOT, the only European operator of the type, are grounded following an airworthiness directive from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which has adopted the U.S. FAA’s directive.
Ethiopian Airlines has also confirmed it is temporarily suspending 787 operations. The airline says it has “not encountered the type of problems such as those experienced by the otheroperators,” however it is is suspending its four 787s “as an extra precautionary safety measure...and to perform the special inspection requirements mandated by the FAA.

Air India and LAN confirmed they are grounding their 787 fleets following the FAA directive, which called for U.S. airlines to temporarily cease 787 operations. United Airlines is the only U.S. carrier flying 787.
The groundings were prompted by an incident on Jan. 16 in Japan, when an ANA 787 on a domestic flight declared an emergency and diverted to another airport. Pilots reported messages on cockpit indicators concerning the battery and other systems, and they also noticed an unusual odor in the cockpit and cabin. Inspections revealed that the main battery in the forward electronic equipment bay was discolored and its electrolysis solution had leaked.

Alenia Teams With General Dynamics for U.S Air Force's T-X Trainer Program

Alenia M-346 Trainer Jet

General Dynamics and Alenia Aermacchi, announced the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to join forces and compete for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X trainer program, which will replace aging
T-38 trainer jets and related training systems.
The agreement leverages General Dynamics legacy of successfully integrating and delivering large, complex systems to the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and other government customers with Alenia Aermacchi’s proven jet training aircraft and demonstrated manufacturing capability.
General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, will serve as the prime contractor.
Together, the team will offer a fully integrated advanced pilot training system built around the Alenia Aermacchi T-100, a market variant of the company’s established M-346 military aircraft trainer. As the prime contractor, General Dynamics will bring its proven experience in systems integration and sub-contract management to deliver an Advanced Pilot Training (APT) Family of Systems (FoS) consisting of aircraft, flight simulation devices, multi-media classrooms and logistics support.
The T-100 Integrated Training System will incorporate any unique U.S. Air Force requirements and will be built in the United States with an emphasis on United States-made components and equipment.
Alenia Aermacchi’s M-346 is an advanced jet trainer that is currently training the world’s air forces to operate fourth and fifth generation air-combat aircraft. Currently in production for international customers including the Israeli, Italian and Singaporean Air Forces, the M-346 has also been selected by the United Arab Emirates as their advanced aircraft.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Airbus Increase Aircraft Prices by 3.6 Percent

Airbus has increased the average list prices of its aircraft by 3.6 per cent. The new pricing is effective from January 1st 2013. The 3.6 per cent price increase has been calculated according to Airbus’ standard escalation formula over the January 2012 to January 2013 period.

Price depends on design weights, engines choice and level of selected customisation.