Beechcraft claimed a communications first for the AT-6, its losing contender for the USAF Light Air Support (LAS) program. Meanwhile, Embraer described progress in producing the winning LAS contender, the A-29 Super Tucano.
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).
Flight trials of the MiG-29K on the INS Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov) in the Barents Sea have been completed. Deliveries of the naval version of the fighter to India continue, with the carrier to follow on November 15, and the Russian Navy will soon receive its first MiG-29K.
India’s own medium-altitude long-endurance (Male) UAS has experienced another delay, with first flight now expected toward the end of next year. A senior official from the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) told AIN that the Rustom-2 project has suffered from lack of access to technology for sensors and engines. “Requirements for ISR are huge in India, given threats from the border. However, Hale, micro and nano UAVs require powerful algorithms. That is where we require help,” added V.S.
The Netherlands confirmed its previous choice of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II to replace the air force’s F-16s. But in a statement, the Dutch government noted that “based on current insights, the available financial room is sufficient for 37 aircraft.” A total of 85 had originally been planned.
Contractors are working on risk-reduction contracts for the secretive and stealthy long-range strike-bomber (LRS-B) program, the former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force for acquisition disclosed. During a panel discussion at the Air Force Association (AFA) Air and Space Conference near Washington, D.C, on September 17, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford said the contracts serve as a technology “bridge” to the future bomber following the cancellation of the Next Generation Bomber (NGB) program in 2009.
Textron and joint-venture partner AirLand Enterprises surprised the Air Force Association (AFA) Air & Space Conference near Washington, D.C., this week by unveiling a new midsize twin-turbofan jet designed for armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Textron division Cessna Aircraft has quietly built a prototype of what the team has named the Scorpion and intends to fly it by year-end.
There is no shortage of uncertainty about the future of Russia’s Sukhoi Perspektivniy Aviatsonnoi Kompleks-Frontovoi Aviatsii (PAK-FA)/T-50 fifth-generation fighter project. These doubts are driven by problems with major subsystems, delays with the aircraft’s introduction into service, and plans to defray some of the R&D cost by making India a developmental partner on the aircraft.
A surface-to-air version of the Vympel R-77 AAM was displayed at the recent MAKS 2013 Moscow Air Show. The SAM system was developed jointly by Almaz-Antei and Tactical Missile Corp. (Russian acronym TRV). Housed in a container weighing 360 pounds, the weapon has a firing range greater than 10 miles and a ceiling of more than 30,000 feet. “A number of foreign customers have repeatedly asked us for this application of the missile,” said Boris Obnosov, TRV general director.
Cessna and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron and partner AirLand Enterprises unveiled a prototype intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance/strike aircraft named “Scorpion” at the Air Force Association Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Monday.
Russia’s Tactical Missile Corporation is negotiating with Dassault Aviation for the possible use of its missiles on the Rafale combat jets that have been selected by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The corporation, whose Russian acronym is TRV, told journalists attending last week’s Maks air show in Moscow that the Indian air force has large stocks of Russian air-launched weapons, which drives its interest in adapting them to the French warplane.