MBDA is stepping up efforts to consolidate Europe’s missile industry, on the back of last November’s Anglo-French Defence Declaration. This pact nominated the company–already a four-nation European industrial combine owned by BAE Systems (37.5 percent), EADS (37.5 percent) and Finmeccanica (25 percent)–as “a test case” for further integration, according to CEO Antoine Bouvier.
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.
In another wide-ranging speech on future defense strategy, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that the U.S. Air Force must increase its focus on asymmetric threats and unconventional warfare.
I have long suspected that the main U.S. purpose in supplying huge arms packages to Gulf countries is to recycle petrodollars. Uncle Sam pays heavily for its reliance on imported oil, but offers in return a shopping list of shiny new weaponry from the U.S. defense industry. Like kids in a candy store, the Arabs take up these offers, although with not enough thought given to how they might absorb and operate the kit.
India will join Russia in the development of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) as well as a multirole transport aircraft (MTA). At a meeting in Delhi, the defense ministers of both countries confirmed the projects, although India has not yet signed a draft $300 million preliminary design contract for the FGFA. The MTA agreement was signed last month, when Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
Saab Avitronics has arrived at the NBAA show having just achieved the first supplemental type certificates for its Civil Aircraft Missile Protection System (Camps). The equipment has been approved for use on two twin-turboprop models, and the Swedish company believes that having made the breakthrough of civil certification it is now ready to pursue STCs for business jet applications.<o:p></o:p>
The U.S. Air Force has selected Belac to provide turbine blades for the high-pressure turbine (HPT) first stage in F108 (CFM56-3) engines that power KC-135 tankers. The FAA-approved blades are manufactured by Oldsmar, Fla.-based Belac under FAA parts manufacturer approval (PMA) regulations. “This is the first agreement of its kind for Belac and the U.S.
Raytheon is currently involved in two major upgrade programs for the U.S. Air Force’s Eagle fleet, providing AESA (active electronically scanned array) radars for both the air defense F-15C/D and the multi-role F-15E. Both programs have recently achieved significant milestones.
Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of Operation Skyshield, one of the largest air drills in U.S. history. Operation Skyshield, which took place on Sept. 10, 1960, tested the ability of the U.S. to detect and defend against an assault by air. During the joint U.S.-Canadian military exercise, all civilian aircraft in North America were grounded. The exercise was repeated twice more–on Oct. 14 and 15, 1961, and a third time on Sept. 2, 1962.
The crash of a Spanish Air Force two-seat Eurofighter at Moron airbase on August 24 that killed a pilot from the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) has raised questions about the progress of the al-Salam agreement between the UK and Saudi governments. This $6.6 billion deal provided for the training of RSAF pilots and ground crew by the UK Royal Air Force, as well as the supply of 72 Eurofighters and various support services by BAE Systems.
The Sikorsky CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter program this week achieved “ready to load” condition with the successful light-off of its first auxiliary power unit (APU). The program will be ready to begin formal integration testing early next year.