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).

November 15, 2013 - 1:19pm

The AgustaWestland AW101 won Norway’s competition for a new search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopter. The win could be worth more than €1 billion if Norway buys 16 aircraft as planned and exercises options for another six. The AW101s will replace Sea Kings provided by Westland in the 1970s.

November 15, 2013 - 1:12pm

Israel will receive six Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel confirmed. They will come out of “the next order to go on the assembly line,” he added, with delivery within two years. The V-22s are being built under multi-year contracts, the latest of which was signed earlier this year.

November 15, 2013 - 1:07pm

Selex ES revealed its development of an expendable active-radar decoy (EAD) for combat aircraft. The BriteCloud is the size and shape of a flare and can be dispensed from a standard 55-mm flare cartridge. Flight-tests will take place next year on a Saab Gripen, and customers for the Swedish fighter will be the first to be offered the new electronic warfare device.

November 15, 2013 - 12:50pm

Alenia Aermacchi’s factory at Venegono has begun assembling the first of 30 M-346 advanced jet trainers for Israel. The Italian company said that the program to replace the Israeli air force’s TA-4 Skyhawks is on time and budget, “thanks to a highly skilled workforce and one of the most automated of production lines.”

November 15, 2013 - 6:30am
On August 27, Boeing flew the Advanced Super Hornet demonstrator for reporters and visiting delegations from Denmark and Brazil at its St. Louis facility. Visible are the Northrop Grumman conformal fuel tanks on the upper fuselage and Boeing-build centerline enclosed weapons pod.

The sunset could be farther off than thought for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the mainstay of the U.S. Navy’s carrier-based fighter fleet. With initial operational capability of the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter that will eventually replace the F/A-18 now planned in early 2019, Boeing and partner Northrop Grumman are proposing an “Advanced Super Hornet” upgrade designed to operate until 2030 and beyond.

November 15, 2013 - 12:10am
The Gripen E/F demonstrator in a test flight over Sweden last May, with a Swiss air force pilot onboard. In the competition among the three contending fighters, the Swiss chose the Swedish jet for its New Fighter Aircraft over its larger European rivals, the Eurofighter and the Rafale.

First it was Dassault with the Rafale and then it was Eurofighter with the Typhoon that competed for the favor of the UAE Air Force. In Oman, it was the Saab Gripen against the Typhoon. In Qatar, who knows? Around the world, Europe’s three rival fighters have been locked in virtual combat.

November 14, 2013 - 2:39am
Next Generation Jammer

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained BAE Systems’ protest of the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) contract award, referring back the procurement to the U.S. Navy.

November 8, 2013 - 10:40am

The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works revealed a hypersonic aircraft design that can take off and land conventionally using turbine-based combined-cycle engine technology. The company said it has been working with rocket propulsion specialists Aerojet for several years on the project, using company funds. Although the design could lead to a Mach 6 unmanned strike aircraft, Lockheed Martin has dubbed it the SR-72, after the company’s SR-71 Blackbird manned strategic reconnaissance aircraft that reached Mach 3 but was retired in 1997.

November 8, 2013 - 10:33am

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou ceremonially welcomed the first Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft at Pingtung airbase on October 31. Three days later, the island’s first six Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters arrived from the U.S. by sea. Neither event was publicized by the U.S. government or the contractors, no doubt because of concern that mainland China would react adversely.

November 8, 2013 - 10:22am

South Korea’s air force would be best served in the near term by a mix of fighters that includes an advanced version of Boeing’s F-15, according to retired U.S. Air Force general and former chief of staff Ronald Fogleman. The F-15 would provide needed combat capability to counter the threat posed by North Korea right away, whereas Lockheed Martin’s F-35 will lack full combat capability until around 2020 when its Block 3F software is installed and tested, he said.

 
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