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.
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 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.
The order book of Russian Aircraft Corp. (RSK) MiG will exceed $4 billion by year-end, according to Sergey Tsivilev, the company’s acting director general and designer general. Tsivilev was appointed acting head of RSK-MiG at the end of September after Aleksey Fedorov stepped down from the position to focus on his larger role as president of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).
As reported first in AINalerts on September 20, the U.S. Air Force and Navy’s suspension of deliveries of the Hawker Beechcraft T-6A Texan II single-engine turboprop trainer resulted from an unapproved change to the manufacturing process of the airplane’s wing spar, according to a Hawker Beechcraft spokesman.
News from the Lockheed Martin Advanced Developments Projects (ADP), aka The Skunk Works, is a rare commodity. But the Palmdale, Calif.-based R&D shop recently described progress in a hypersonic missile demonstration program, named the Revolutionary Approach To Time-Critical Long-Range Strike (RATTLRS).
The controversial Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey is now flying in a combat zone for the first time. The U.S. Marine Corps deployed 10 of the tiltrotor assault aircraft to western Iraq earlier this month. Their performance there will be scrutinized closely by critics of the V-22 program, who charge that the aircraft is difficult to fly and vulnerable to enemy fire while landing.
The first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) has now been grounded for nearly six months. On its 19th flight in early May, the aircraft encountered an electrical arcing problem in the flight control unit of the right horizontal tail. The F-35 has a unique electro-hydrostatic actuation system.
• The Hellenic Air Force was expected to take delivery in late February or early March of a new Gulfstream V contracted for in late March last year.
At a time when the progress of big-ticket military helicopter programs is measured in decades, it is worth noting that the first Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche production line opened September 17 at Sikorsky’s Bridgeport, Conn. plant.