Northrop Grumman’s long-serving E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) platform is about to have a major update which will create a next-generation capability for any users in the region that want to increase the range and effectiveness of their airspace and sea lane control. This new configuration features an entirely new set of onboard systems and a rotating active electronically scanning array (AESA) radar.
Imagine this. It is the year 2020 and a coup by a radical political movement has taken over a southeast Asian government. The new administration has seized power in a state that has some of the latest weaponry available. The neighboring city state of Singapore is now locked in a tense standoff with the new regime that puts them on the verge of war.
French avionics and radar firm Thales has a major presence here in Singapore, along with a substantial number of employees. Thales representatives told Aviation International News that, among other major projects, its technical and service personnel are one of the major contractors for supporting the Airbus A380 aircraft that are to be delivered to Singapore Airlines (SIA) beginning next November.
The Boeing F-15SG fighter recently selected by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will feature some of the avionics found on the F-15I version already in service with the Israeli Air Force (IAF), combined with the latest U.S. active-array radar and electro-optical targeting technology.
China has been emerging lately as a truly global player in commerce and tourism, but as the Beijing Olympic Games approach in 2008, followed by the Shanghai World Expo two years later, the country must solve major infrastructural, cultural and equipment issues.
Raytheon has trademarked the system of elements concept, which was described to Aviation International News by Dean Cash of the company’s Network Centric Systems. “Take a fighter aircraft,” he said. “It’s a system, but one composed of five elements: the platform itself, the pilot, the sensor suite, the weapons payload and the communications. You assign an IP address to each of these five elements.
Brian Kilburn of the Boeing B-2 System Program Office presented insights into the true cost of a stealth operation at the Stealth Conference conducted recently in London by military/defense conference organizer Defence IQ. Kilburn noted that the 20-strong fleet of B-2s requires 70,000 maintenance hours annually, and that 40 low-observable (LO) technicians work on them full-time. The U.S.
Four decades after the first truly stealthy air vehicles were secretly flown in the U.S., the technology has matured and proliferated. Many countries could now design a stealthy, small unmanned aerial vehicle, but since uncompromised stealth capabilities bring penalties, developers and operators are still wrestling with multiple trade-offs.
Back in 2000, customers were not thrilled with Raytheon’s product-support performance, and neither was the airframer itself. Ed Dolanski was brought in from retail giant Wal-Mart and over the past six years he has made significant progress by pushing through new processes and technology.
Selex Sensors & Airborne Systems (Outside Exhibit 2) has flown its new PicoSAR synthetic aperture radar, demonstrating the system’s ability to map both urban and rural areas at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 9,500 feet.