The past two years have seen a number of developments with the military aircraft programs of the People’s Republic of China’s aerospace industry.
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).
UTC Aerospace Systems (Chalet CD07) has been awarded a contract to provide the Royal Australian Air Force with upgraded wheels and brakes for its Lockheed Martin C-130 transport aircraft. Delivery of the new equipment is scheduled for May at Richmond Air Base in New South Wales.
France’s DGA defense procurement agency has awarded Thales a €119 million ($162 million) contract to develop a new laser designation pod for French air force Dassault Rafale and Mirage 2000D fighters, Thales announced in January. The development contract follows a risk reduction phase the government awarded Thales (Booth F23) in late 2012.
F-35 test pilots will begin flying this year with a third-generation helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) that incorporates modifications to the earlier-generation display system, which pilots deemed insufficient for missions the Joint Strike Fighter will perform. Last October, after testing the fixes over the course of two years, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) gained enough confidence in the new “Gen 3” system to stop the development of an alternate helmet-mounted display.
After years of neglect, the Indonesian Army Aviation (TNI-AD) is now set for some radical modernization in a bid to stem the country’s increasing threats. A deal for eight AH-64E Guardian helicopters worth around $500 million was announced in August 2013, but it is not clear if a contract has been signed. The original DSCA (Defense Security Cooperation Agency) notification quoted a figure of $1.42 billion to cover all the associated weapons (including 32 Hellfire missile launchers and 140 Hellfire AGM-114R3 missiles), support and other associated equipment. According to the U.S.
Boasting one of the fastest growing economies in the world is allowing Indonesia to invest much-needed funds in its military. After years of stagnation caused by the 1997 financial crisis, leading to most of Indonesia’s military acquisition programs being cancelled, the situation deteriorated further when the U.S. imposed an arms embargo in 1999 that lasted until 2005.
The U.S. Air Force’s RQ-4B Global Hawk is among 16 acquisition programs that experienced problems during early testing last year that need to be corrected, according to the Pentagon’s Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E).
In an end-of-year statement, Russian Helicopters confirmed that the Mil Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopter has finally been accepted into service. The company also listed deliveries for 2013.
The U.S. Congress authorized defense spending of $625 billion in Fiscal Year 2014, but calls for an independent review of the software being developed for the Pentagon’s largest weapons program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. A separate, two-year budget law the Congress passed reduces the more than $100 billion in automatic “sequestration” budget cuts the Pentagon faced over the next two years by about one third.
The U.S. Navy recently completed engineering and manufacturing (EMD) development of the ship-based component of the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (Jpals). The EMD phase of Jpals Increment 1A for ship systems included auto landings by F/A-18C Hornets to the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. The Increment 1B phase calls for integrating the system on aircraft.