Dramatically expanding the country’s airlift capabilities, the United Arab Emirates plans to add Boeing C-17s and Lockheed Martin C-130Js. The country is purchasing four C-17 Globemaster IIIs for AED4.3 billion ($1.17 billion), and 12 C-130Js for AED5.9 billion ($1.6 billion). Financial management of the purchases has been assigned to Al Waha Capital, and deliveries are scheduled for 2012 and 2013.
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).
The United Arab Emirates has selected the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master to fulfill its advanced trainer and combat support requirement. The UAE Air Force and Air Defense (AFAD) plans to acquire 48 Masters for lead-in fighter training and light attack duties.
The Russian government has bailed out the MiG Corporation after it lost more than $300 million last year and reported total debts of $1.25 billion. Twenty-four MiG-29 SMTs that were built for Algeria will be bought instead by the Russian Air Force for $690 million. Another $417 million will be provided through an issue of additional shares, so that MiG can be integrated debt-free into Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. (UAC).
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) identified its first potential customer in Southeast Asia last month when it announced an agreement with Indonesia’s Kartika Airlines covering a firm order for 15 Sukhoi Superjet 100s and options on another 15. The SSJ100/95Bs under consideration would carry either 98 passengers in a single-class configuration or 86 passengers in a dual-class configuration.
Eurofighter CEO Aloysius Rauen made a strong plea here yesterday for the four partner nations–the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain–to close the deal for 236 more Typhoon combat jets. “My highest goal is to ensure the continuity of production. That way we avoid extra cost,” he said. Rauen confirmed that the UK and Italy have requested information on what it would cost to buy fewer airplanes–or none at all.
Lockheed Martin announced on October 7 a $393.6 million contract to supply four C-130J-30 “stretched” Hercules military transports to the Qatar Emiri Air Force beginning in 2011. This comes a few months after the Qataris signed a deal to acquire from Boeing two C-17s, which will be delivered next summer. Currently the QEAF has no tactical/strategic airlift capability, so the new purchases signal a dramatic change in air force doctrine.
Although India’s 126-aircraft requirement is the main prize for the world’s fighter manufacturers, major procurement decisions in Brazil and Switzerland are expected to be made long before Delhi makes its choice.
An all-composite four-seat general aviation aircraft made in Austria is attracting serious interest in the ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) world. The manufacturer of the Diamond DA42 Twin Star is also marketing the airplane as a multipurpose platform (MPP), equipped variously with small radar, EO and IR sensors. A modular nose to house these has recently been certified.
The program to provide new VIP helicopters for the U.S. president has taken a step forward with first flight of an “operational pilot-production example” of the Lockheed Martin VH-71. The three-engine helicopter, which is based on the AgustaWestland AW101 (born as the European Helicopter Industries EH 101), had its maiden flight at the AgustaWestland factory in Yeovil, England, on September 23.
Four Rafale fighters from the French Air Force have completed a month-long deployment to the U.S., where they conducted a squadron exchange at Luke AFB and then took part in a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB. According to Dassault, no shootdowns were scored against the Rafale during the 10-day exercise, and American observers were particularly impressed with the accuracy of the fighter’s Sagem AASM “smart” bombs.