Hawker Beechcraft’s first AT-6 PRTV (production-representative test vehicle) has taken time out from its busy test schedule to make its international debut here at Farnborough. It arrives having completed an impressive demonstration of its light attack and armed reconnaissance capabilities during a two-week U.S. joint forces exercise.
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).
Air Tractor’s AT-802U light attack and surveillance aircraft made its debut at Paris last year, but comes to Farnborough this year with new capabilities. Chief among them is a mission endurance extended to more than 10 hours thanks to a new fuselage fuel tank.
In late May, Kaman Aerospace announced that it had received a $2.9 million contract from the U.S. Army’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) to further refine its Unmanned K-Max heavylift helicopter for potential theater operations. The contract comes hot on the heels of two successful demonstrations of the Unmanned K-Max for both the army and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Making its international debut here is this Chengdu/PAC JF-17 Thunder, a joint Chinese/Pakistani multi-role fighter project. Known in China as the FC-1 Xiaolong, the Thunder is now in series assembly at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex’s Kamra plant. The aircraft is powered by a Russian Klimov RD-93 engine and has a Chinese NRIET KLJ-7 radar.
Boeing will reveal more details here today about the NewGen Tanker, its entry for the third round of the U.S. Air Force KC-X competition. In the war of words accompanying the long-running and ill-starred contest, Boeing has not previously specified exactly how it will add a digital 787-style cockpit and a new fly-by-wire boom to the 767 airframe. Rival contender EADS North America (EADS NA) has again bid the A330MRTT, as the KC-45.
Talks to amend the Airbus A400M development and production contract will drag on into the autumn as the moratorium on funding imposed by the European partner nations continues.
The Saab Gripen NG demonstrator arrives at Farnborough today on the second leg of its international public debut, having spent the weekend at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford (seen in this photo). The Swedish government, which owns the aircraft, granted permission for its trip to the UK only on Thursday.
Amid tight security, the Taranis Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (shown above) was unveiled at BAE Systems Warton airfield last Monday. Uncleared visitors were not allowed to approach the aircraft, but the stealth-driven configuration seemed unchanged from artists’ impressions previously released. The Taranis concept demonstrator is due to fly next year from an undisclosed overseas airbase.
Recent orders for the Mikoyan MiG-29K may pave the way for further successes for the sea-going version of the “Fulcrum,” according to RSK MiG. A first batch of MiG-29Ks and KUB trainers for the Indian navy was followed by a second order this March for 29 aircraft. Meanwhile, the Russian navy has decided to buy 26 MiG-29K/KUBs to replace its Sukhoi Su-33s.
The Moroccan government’s military transport wing has taken delivery of the first of four C-27J Spartans that it ordered from Alenia Aeronautica in October 2008. The aircraft, which arrived at Kenitra air base on July 7, is equipped with the self-protection suite but does not feature an in-flight refuelling probe.