So many countries, with so many aerospace companies! Visitors shouldn’t be fooled by the panoply of European companies displaying at the Paris Air Show next week. The harsh truth is that there’s not enough money to sustain them all, especially with respect to defense technology. The European Defence Agency (EDA) commissioned a study of the problem–and reached some alarming conclusions.
News and issues relating to the defense aerospace business, with emphasis on current/in-use, in-development and prospective programs for manned military aircraft, unmanned combat aircraft vehicles (UCAVs), military aircraft engines, avionics, missiles, bombs, guidance systems and ground-based air-defense systems.
For the Dassault Rafale combat jet, the French intervention in Mali provided another chance to demonstrate its multirole capability. Starting with a 3,400-mile interdiction mission (AI) launched from France on the night of January 13, up to six aircraft subsequently flew daily from their deployed base at N’Djamena, Chad, also performing reconnaissance and close-air-support (CAS) missions. Six of them are still there.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) recorded its lowest accident rate in 36 years in the year ending March 31. The introduction of upgraded Western aircraft; quality audits of maintenance practices; increased use of simulators; and voluntary reporting of unsafe acts have contributed to the improved record, a senior official said at a recent media briefing.
MBDA has confirmed that production rounds of the Meteor long-range air-to-air missile are scheduled for delivery before year-end. However, MBDA managing director Steve Wadey would not disclose which air force will be the first to get the new missile, which MBDA UK claims represents a “step change in the air-to-air world.” AIN reported last year that French Rafale and Swedish Gripen fighters would be flying operational Meteors ahead of the four Eurofighter nations.
The lingering effects from sequestration have taken a heavy toll on the 2013 military airshow and demonstration season, as multiple public outreach events and at least one high-profile team have seen their entire schedule scrubbed due to budget cuts.
LMB of Malemort, France, is showcasing a range of its high-performance/high-reliability electric fans, blowers and motors here at Heli-Expo (Booth No. C3504). LMB designs and manufactures both AC (50/60 Hz, 400 Hz and wild frequency) and DC (12-300 VDC) brushless motors used in fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft, as well as in ground military vehicles. The company offers more than 1,000 shelf-qualified products, while its engineering expertise capabilities enable it to quickly design and build these components to meet specific requirements that meet Mil STD 810/461 and RTCA DO-160 standards.
Wednesday will be a big day for helicopter OEMs and could shape the future of the industry for decades to come, when Phase One proposals are due into the Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. The proposals will likely lead to the construction of Joint Multi-role demonstration aircraft (JMR TD) that could fly as early as 2017, with the start of production expected between 2025 and 2030.
After delays of nearly a year, the U.S. Air Force announced yesterday that it selected Sierra Nevada Corp. and its partner, Embraer Defense and Security, for its light air support program (LAS). After a lengthy rebidding process, the Air Force in essence confirmed its original choice of the A-29 Super Tucano, built by Brazilian airplane manufacturer Embraer.
The Indian government has begun the process to cancel its contract with AgustaWestland (AW) for 12 AW101 VIP transport helicopters.
The integration of the Indo-Russian BrahMos missile on 40 of the Indian air force (IAF) Su-30MKI fleet of combat aircraft is proceeding this year. The land- and ship-launched version of the highly maneuverable, supersonic, anti-ship cruise missile have already been tested successfully.