Aircraft noise activists in the UK are welcoming a judicial award of $1.42 million compensation to a country landowner for noise pollution. The award by an English High Court was made against the Ministry of Defence, although the activists see it as a landmark judgment opening the way to similar action against civil airfield operators.
The long-awaited competition to supply 126 new fighters to the Indian Air Force (IAF) is formally under way. The six contenders for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirement have received a formal request for proposals (RFP), and must respond by next March. The Boeing F/A-18E/F, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16, RSK MiG-35 and Saab Gripen will be evaluated.
After years of preliminary definition and assessment, the UK Ministry of Defence gave the go-ahead for construction of two 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers. They will enter service in 2014 and 2016, and will be able to carry up to 40 aircraft, including F- 35 Joint Strike Fighters, AEW aircraft and helicopters.
In our final edition at the recent Paris Air Show we revealed that Saudi Arabia had already concluded a contract for 72 Eurofighter Typhoons with the UK government worth $16 billion for the airframes alone.
All systems go! That was the message from the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter briefing at the Paris Air Show last week. The first test flights have already provided good validation of some of the aircraft’s unique features. The eight international partners are all still onboard, all having signed up for the production sustainment and flight development (PSFD) phase over last winter.
As original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for a large fleet of aircraft around the world, Lockheed Martin said it reduces ownership costs for its customers by combining its design and production expertise with low-cost sustainment services. “Noone– other than the customer–knows our aircraft better than we do,” said Marillyn Hewson, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Global Sustainment.
Gil Michielin, v-p and general manager of Thales Commercial Aircraft Solutions, has been appointed president of EUROCAE, the European air transport electronic systems and equipment standardization body. With 20 years’ experience in the industry, Michielin has worked on programs ranging from the Mirage 2000 and Rafale fighters to the A380 and 787 airliners.
Boeing test pilot Ricardo Traven is flying his usual impressive routine here in the Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet. The price of this significantly upgraded warplane to the U.S. Navy has been significantly reduced in recent years, so Boeing is bullish about international prospects. Australia recently became the first export customer for the Super, and Boeing is eyeing India, Japan, Greece and Switzerland, among others.
As the final E-2C Hawkeye 2000 proceeds down the Northrop Grumman production line at St. Augustine, Florida, the company is preparing to fly the first example of its replacement–the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. The first of two system development and demonstration (SDD) aircraft was rolled out at the plant on April 30 and is being checked out on the ground prior to a first flight in late summer.
In the fighter aircraft business, there’s no substitute for combat experience, if you want to impress potential customers. The Dassault Rafale has now dropped bombs in anger as part of NATO’s stabilization effort in Afghanistan.