GKN Aerospace has just shipped the 750th spares assembly for the Tornado fighter from its plant in Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. The company was awarded a maintenance contract by BAE Systems in 2006 as part of the ATTAC (availability transformation: Tornado aircraft) agreement. Under the contract, which runs until at least 2016, GKN Aerospace is responsible for a range of Tornado aircraft structures, including ammunition boxes and rudders.
Farnborough Air Show » July 9, 2012
GE Aviation has announced here at the show that it is to provide the data link for Lockheed Martin’s Block 8.1 upgrade for the C-130J Hercules. Lockheed Martin was awarded a $167 million upgrade contract by the U.S. Air Force in December, and has selected GE Aviation (Hall 4 Stand B7) to provide the advanced communication, navigation and air traffic management data link.
Goodrich has been awarded a contract extension to continue to maintain and overhaul the wheels and brakes of easyJet’s Airbus A320-family fleet. Meanwhile, the U.S. equipment manufacturer also revealed that it has demonstrated the performance of its carbon brakes on U.S. Air Force’s C-130s, for which retrofits have already started.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes is looking forward to continuing industry resilience, with its latest current market outlook (CMO) projecting a $4.5 trillion market for 34,000 new airplanes, for delivery 2012-31. This compares with a predicted 20-year requirement for just fewer than 24,000 units it forecast in 2002.
According to the latest GAO report, the program acquisition unit cost (PAUC) of the F-35 will be $161 million. That figure includes amortization of the development cost across the expected production run. But how much should acquisition officials reckon to pay for their F-35s, going forward? Of course, that will depend what F-35 variant they buy, in what quantity and when.
“We live in a goldfish bowl,” sighed Lockheed Martin F-35 vice president customer engagement Steve O’Bryan. Speaking in London last March, he was referring to the stream of official reports, testimonies and comments that examine the Joint Strike Fighter program. This year alone, five major documents on the F-35 have reached the public domain. In January, a Pentagon operational test and evaluation report surfaced.
MBDA has successfully completed firing trials of Meteor, the missile that will be carried by the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen, and the company is now preparing to start production. The collaborative effort by six European nations has been nine years in development but has produced a beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) that is “vastly superior to anything else in the market,” according to chief engineer Andy Bradford.
Late last month Airbus froze the design of its A320 New Engine Option (A320neo), the newly re-engined version of its established single-aisle family that will serve as an interim step toward an all-new narrowbody design that may not enter service until 2030 or later. The European manufacturer has just released its “master development schedule,” which foresees first flight by the end of 2014.
Geopolitical shifts including regime-change in Libya, the stiffening of international sanctions against Iran and violent unrest in Syria, are among the trends compelling Russian military export agency Rosoboronexport to keep looking for new clients worldwide. This is, to a large degree, one of its primary motives for exhibiting at the Farnborough International Airshow.
Raytheon’s new small tactical munition (STM), which the U.S. group claims is the first purpose-built weapon for tactical unmanned air systems (UAS), could be in active service within a few months. The U.S. group told AIN it is currently integrating the STM on “a couple of platforms that we can’t disclose,” while reporting interest from the U.S. Marines in weaponizing their Shadow UAS with the new device as well as possible special forces applications.