EADS Airbus Military hopes that by the Paris Air Show next month launch customers Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK will complete a review of their commitment to the A400M military transport.
C-130J Super Hercules
Embraer has redesigned its C-390 tactical transport after advice from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). The new configuration has a larger fuselage, a new wing and a T-tail, and therefore now has much less commonality with the EMB-190 regional airliner. The FAB is expected to launch the program with an order for at least 22 aircraft.
Lockheed Martin announced on October 7 a $393.6 million contract to supply four C-130J-30 “stretched” Hercules military transports to the Qatar Emiri Air Force beginning in 2011. This comes a few months after the Qataris signed a deal to acquire from Boeing two C-17s, which will be delivered next summer. Currently the QEAF has no tactical/strategic airlift capability, so the new purchases signal a dramatic change in air force doctrine.
Lockheed Martin has chosen Esterline CMC Electronics (Hall 4 C14a) to supply its TacView portable mission display to meet current and future C-130J mobile display system requirements. Compact and weighing less than four pounds, TacView brings paperless cockpit operations to military environments, while increasing crew efficiency by reducing cockpit workload.
Further delay to the Airbus A400M military transport now seems inevitable. “There’s an obvious risk of slippage,” Carlos Suarez, head of EADS Military Transport Aircraft (MTA), said here at Farnborough. The first A400M ceremonially rolled out from the brand-new final assembly line building at Seville, Spain, on June 26.
Production of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules has been assured for many years to come, thanks to the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (SOC). The unit has ordered a new version, designated HC/MC-130J, to replace its existing fleet of HC-130s and MC-130s used for combat search and rescue and special forces operations. Last week, Lockheed Martin received a contract for the first six aircraft, with another eight to follow soon.
Marking a major change in defense acquisition policy, the Indian Air Force has agreed to buy six Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules through U.S. foreign military sales. The agreement was signed on January 31 and is worth around $1 billion.
The Airbus A400M is not just a military airlifter, according to Peter Scoffham, vice president of customer marketing for Airbus Military, speaking at the 2007 Military Airlift in London. It is also well-suited to the transport of humanitarian aid, which, he said, is one reason Malaysia has chosen the aircraft for its fleet.
A series of flight tests held in France this past summer has successfully shown that the Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted display system originally designed for helicopter pilots works just as well for those flying military transport aircraft. The tests made use of the TopOwl-H head up display (HUD) system now in full-scale production. Thales has made more than 400 to date.
Four European engine exhibitors at Dubai–Rolls-Royce, Safran, MTU and ITP–are fighting to recover an engine program that has run into serious problems during testing, forcing major delays to the Airbus Military A400M transport currently being campaigned as the answer to medium uplift requirements in the UAE and other Gulf states.