With four maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) in the static park at this week’s Farnborough Air Show, and much talk about British requirements in the chalets, it might seem that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is about to take action to rectify its most glaring “capability gap.” But British defence procurement minister Philip Dunne told journalists at the show on Wednesday that no decision to reconstitute the capability will be taken until after next year’s strategic defense review.
The second quarter of 2014 has been good to ST Aerospace, which booked $520 million worth of contracts during the quarter.
ST Aerospace (Chalet B18/19) booked a five-year agreement with a regional airline in the U.S. for heavy maintenance on 42 Embraer E-170 and E-175 jets. The maintenance will be done at ST Aerospace’s San Antonio, Texas facility.
In Guangzhou, ST Aerospace received FAA, EASA and Chinese CAAC Part 145 approval. This makes it possible for the company to service aircraft registered under those authorities’ frameworks.
U.S.-based UTC Aerospace Systems and Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, have signed an agreement to offer a TacSAR (tactical synthetic aperture radar) to complement the proven DB-110 EO/IR sensor. The European company will adapt its Seaspray 7500 radar to fit in the center third of the pod that houses the UTC DB-110 on fighter aircraft.
Boeing’s centerpiece display at the show, the 787-9 not only represents a revolution in technology, but perhaps more important, it embodies a validation of the company’s decision a year and a half ago to reorganize its management structure to segregate airplane development from production.
Hong Kong Aviation Capital (HKAC) today at the Farnborough International Airshow signed a firm order with Airbus for 70 A320neo narrowbodies.
BAE Systems launched a new version of the Striker integrated display helmet for combat aircraft pilots here at the Farnborough Airshow this week. Mark Bowman, the company’s chief test pilot, demonstrated how BAE has leveraged its work on an alternative helmet-mounted display (HMD) for the Lockheed Martin F-35 to produce Striker 2. The company was tapped to provide the alternative, using night-vision goggles, after serious development problems with the Elbit Systems/Rockwell Collins HMD that is integral to the F-35 cockpit.
Aero Vodochody launched a new version of the popular L-39 jet trainer in Farnborough yesterday. The L-39NG will be powered by a Williams FJ44-4M turbofan.
Other changes from the original version include a new wet wing, lighter structure, single-piece canopy, and modern cockpit. Company officials told AIN that they hoped to finish the prototype by the end of 2016, certify the L-39NG in 2017 and begin deliveries in 2018.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker officially endorsed the Boeing 777-9X yesterday here in Farnborough by converting the 50-airplane memorandum of understanding announced at the Dubai Air Show last year to a firm order. A separate agreement to take purchase rights for another fifty 777-9Xs could increase the value Qatar’s investment from $18.9 billion to $37.7 billion at list prices. Finally, Al Baker also announced his intention to order four 777 Freighters and place options on another four.
MBDA Missile Systems (Outdoor Exhibit 10, Chalet D1) said yesterday that it would assemble the first copy this week of the Brimstone 2 missile, which is now in series production. The missile incorporates a dual-mode, millimeter-wave radar and semi-active laser seeker, an “insensitive munition” (IM) rocket motor and warhead and a new, stronger airframe.
Airbus is working hard to complete the A350 flight-test campaign, which it hopes to close by the end of August in preparation for formal European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) airworthiness approval in September. By early last week, the five A350 test aircraft had logged 2,189 hours during 516 flights that involved more than 1,360 take-off/landing cycles.