A series of flight tests held in France this past summer has successfully shown that the Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted display system originally designed for helicopter pilots works just as well for those flying military transport aircraft. The tests made use of the TopOwl-H head up display (HUD) system now in full-scale production. Thales has made more than 400 to date.
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).
A senior air force officer serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has challenged the defense industry to produce lighter and more capable equipment for troops calling in air strikes on Taleban positions.
On August 31 this year Saab held a party at its Linköping aircraft factory to celebrate the company’s 70th birthday. Guests were treated to a flying display by aircraft from Saab’s past and entertained at a forum where speakers from various business units described their vision of where the Swedish company might be in 30 years’ time, when it comes to celebrate its centenary in 2037.
Test flights of a completely upgraded Sukhoi Su-35 will start before year-end, according to Sukhoi general director Mikhail Pogosyan. The Russian design bureau (Stand E738) hopes the super-maneuverable multi-role fighter will secure its future in the global fighter market shortly and is promoting it as an interim model between the existing Su-30MK and an advanced fifth-generation aircraft.
Russia’s defense industry seems determined to make up for ground it has lost to Western rivals in the market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The most tangible evidence to date came in August at the MAKS airshow in Moscow where RSK-MiG launched its stealth Skat unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV).
BAE Systems (Stand W412) has started building the airframe for the Taranis, a $254 million unmanned combat aerial vehicle demonstrator aimed at helping the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) determine its armed forces’ future equipment needs.
While the first two prototypes of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 lead-in fighter trainer are engaged in a development program, a third is taking shape at the Italian manufacturer’s Venegono facility. It incorporates some differences from the two existing aircraft, having benefited from test and evaluation programs Alenia Aermacchi conducted with air force pilots from various countries.
A new alliance with the evolving Russian aerospace sector and efforts to break into the Middle East defense market are key to Italian industrial group Finmeccanica’s strategy for boosting its global presence in the industry. Finmeccanica (Stand C310) comes to Dubai fresh from having formed the new Superjet International joint venture between its Alenia Aeronautica subsidiary and Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co.
The Pakistan air force is due to begin receiving new-build F-16s from Lockheed Martin beginning in 2009. The 18 aircraft on order–plus a major upgrade package for the nation’s existing aircraft and further options–will dramatically enhance the service’s capabilities and will bring to a close a controversial 20-year procurement saga.
Bahrain: The Royal Bahraini Air Force acquired its first batch of
F-16s in May 1990, having ordered eight Block 40 F-16Cs and four
F-16Ds through foreign military sales (Peace Crown I) channels in 1987. They flew missions during Desert Storm in 1991.