Assembly of the first F-35 Joint Strike fighter to be produced outside the U.S. has begun in Italy. Manufacturers delivered major structural components to the new final assembly and check-out (FACO) facility at Cameri Air Base, west of Milan, where the first F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, designated AL-1, will be assembled for the Italian air force. The facility is operated by a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Alenia Aermacchi.
AIN Defense Perspective » July 26, 2013
On behalf of the seven European nations buying the Airbus Military A400M, the French government defense procurement agency (French acronym DGA) announced that the new airlifter had achieved military certification.
A briefing on the Eurofighter Typhoon organized by BAE Systems at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford last week provided a further indication that some key upgrades to the combat jet are being funded by Saudi Arabia and possibly Oman. The four original partner nations have proved reluctant to collectively fund in the near term enhancements that extend the aircraft’s air-to-ground capability, such as integration of the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile. The four partners have also so far failed to approve full development of the Captor-E AESA radar by the Euroradar consortium.
Raytheon Systems revealed a series of planned upgrades to the Paveway IV “smart” 500-pound bomb for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF). In British service since 2008, the weapon has been dropped more than 1,000 times, said T.J. Marsden, chief engineer of weapons systems for Raytheon’s UK subsidiary. He described Paveway IV as the UK’s primary air-to-ground weapon.
Selex ES is supporting sales of electronic warfare equipment with training courses in the company’s EWOS (electronic warfare operational support) facility at Lincoln, UK. A group of 11 Kuwait Air Force (KAF) personnel has just completed a training course there on the company’s Hidas (helicopter integrated defensive aids system) that equips the KAF’s AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters. The courses at the EWOS are also designed to allow customers to develop their own EWOS capabilities, so that they can react independently to meet emerging electronic threats.
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