Defense » Military Aircraft

News and issues relating to the defense aerospace business, with emphasis on current/in-use, in-development and prospective programs for manned military aircraft and unmanned combat aircraft vehicles (UCAVs).

July 23, 2014 - 4:07pm

Lockheed Martin (LM) and BAE Systems reported progress this month on their rival upgrades for F-16 Fighting Falcons. Two aircraft from each company’s launch customer (Taiwan for LM, Korea for BAE) are now in rework, ironically just a few miles from each other in Fort Worth, Texas. Meanwhile, the ferry of Iraq’s first two new Block 52 aircraft in September is looking unlikely.

July 17, 2014 - 5:40am

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Chalet C26) is developing an external auxiliary fuel tank for the Bombardier Q400 turboprop, providing an extra 10,000 pounds of fuel in two external pannier tanks. This extra capacity raises the Q400’s endurance up to 12 hours, which could be useful for a range of missions.

Bombardier will offer the tanks as an official option on the Q400, which has been selected as the platform for a number of maritime patrol and other special-mission proposals.

July 17, 2014 - 3:50am

Thales has developed a 13-pound, unpowered, glide weapon that is especially suitable for application to UAVs and light attack aircraft.

Known as FFLMM (free-fall light multi-role missile), the weapon draws on many of the components developed for the powered LMM weapon that Thales is producing for the Royal Navy’s FASGW(L) requirement, but is much shorter (just 28 inches in length), as it lacks a rocket motor, and has fixed instead of folding wings.

July 17, 2014 - 2:45am

The contract to begin full integration of the MBDA Storm Shadow long-range precision attack missile with the Eurofighter Typhoon is expected to be signed today. Philip Dunne, UK Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, announced the signing while speaking at Farnborough yesterday.

The contract is between Eurofighter and NETMA, the four-nation Eurofighter management agency, and is worth €150 million ($205 million).

July 17, 2014 - 2:35am

The UK’s North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA), with more than 220 members and a combined turnover in excess of £7 billion, represents and supports about 25 percent of the UK aerospace industry. Many of its members have booths at the Farnborough Airshow in the NWAA area in Hall 1.

July 17, 2014 - 1:05am

Kongsberg and Raytheon announced a teaming agreement this week to develop and market the Norwegian company’s JSM (joint strike missile) for the air-launched OASuW (offensive anti-surface warfare) mission.

July 17, 2014 - 1:00am

Monday’s announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron that the RAF’s Raytheon Sentinel R1 fleet will be extended in service until at least 2018 has breathed new life into the program, and sparked real interest in further development.

One of the key features that could be added is a greater maritime capability. While the RAF is quick to stress that a maritime-capable Sentinel is not a maritime patroller, it could be used as a gap-filler in certain scenarios, and has considerable applications in littoral operations, such as amphibious landings or humanitarian missions.

July 17, 2014 - 12:50am

Canada’s Field Aviation has amassed considerable expertise in the special-mission aircraft design and modification sector. Two examples of its work are on display here at Farnborough (Hall 4 Stand C17-C19), in the form of the Boeing MSA (maritime surveillance aircraft) and a modified nose section for the Viking Twin Otter MRSA.

When Boeing launched the MSA, which is based on the Bombardier Challenger 604 airframe, as a lower-cost alternative to the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, Field Aviation was contracted to undertake the modification.

July 17, 2014 - 12:45am

Apple’s product strategy serves to describe the similarities between the high-end P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft the U.S. Navy uses and the new, smaller maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) being developed for international customers, according to Boeing Defense. Both aircraft are on display here at the Farnborough International Airshow this week.

July 17, 2014 - 12:10am
AW149

AgustaWestland’s AW149 multi-role military helicopter received military certification on July 15 from the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (Arma Aereo), following completion of trials with the country’s Reparto Sperimentale di Volo (RSV) test center at Pratica di Mare air base. According to AgustaWestland, operational tests are to begin shortly.

 
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