Northrop Grumman unveiled a new optionally piloted vehicle in the medium-altitude, long-endurance (Male) class, which is currently dominated by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems with its Predator/Reaper series. The Firebird will fly in piloted and multisensor configuration later this month at Empire Challenge 2011, a military intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) exercise hosted by the U.S.
AIN Defense Perspective » May 16, 2011
In recent weeks, important contractual issues surrounding the A400M airlifter have been resolved. First, Airbus Military signed a formal agreement to amend the development and production contract with the seven European launch nations, represented by the OCCAR procurement agency.
The Boeing Phantom Ray stealthy and autonomous UAV demonstrator made its first flight at Edwards AFB on April 27, and flew again in early May. The flights followed high-speed taxi tests that validated ground guidance, navigation and control and verified mission planning, pilot interface and operational procedures.
Flight tests of the first production Sukhoi Su-35S to be built by JSC KNAAPO at Komsomolsk-na-Amur began on May 5. The initial test flight from KNAAPO’s Dzemgi facility lasted around 90 minutes, and was flown by Sergei Bogdan.
A partial flotation of state-owned Russian Helicopters on the London and Moscow stock markets was postponed last week after potential investors failed to subscribe. The joint stock company’s major shareholder, Oboronprom, was offering new and existing shares exceeding $500 million, implying a total value for the company of between $1.8 billion and $2.4 billion. This was the first such offer of a company in Russia’s defense industry.