The Dubai airshow is a benign environment. As you cruise the air-conditioned halls, or sip your drink while watching airplanes cavort in the sunny skies, it’s easy to forget that war is going on. In the air. Just 800 miles from here. That is roughly the distance from Dubai to Baghdad in one direction, and to Kandahar in another.
The recent delivery of the last of 16 AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 helicopters to the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has boosted export prospects for a program that is extending the life of a highly successful design. Oman has bought the Super Lynx, powered by two Rolls-Royce/Honeywell LHTEC CTS800 engines, to replace aging single-engine Bell 205s–an application that should be of interest to other operators of the venerable Huey.
Iranian customers have recently placed orders for 15 locally built Shahed-278 light helicopters, but suppliers from around the world see Iran as a market ripe for development. The interest reflects the growing demand for modern rotorcraft to support Iran’s flourishing oil, shipping and construction business industries, as well as for medevac and VIP travel.
In past decades better and more accurate weapons served as the generally accepted solution to increasing the effectiveness of an attack aircraft. More recently electro-optical (EO) targeting systems have made those weapons all the more lethal.
New contracts for Canada’s CMC Electronics (A1010) will see the company’s CMA2082F avionics management system supplied for the German air force’s Tornado mid-life improvement program and its CMA2082MH aircraft management systems installed on the Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopters for the Canadian Forces.
Derco Aerospace has signed an agreement with the Royal Netherlands Air Force to provide two C-130 transports. The U.S. firm will provide the RNLAF with all necessary components, repair and overhaul of components, engines, propellers and spare parts. Marshall of Cambridge Aerospace will provide refurbishment labor and services at its UK facility.
European helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland is developing a palletized airborne mine countermeasures (AMCM) system for installation on the three-engine, fully marinized EH-101.
New Royal Netherlands Air Force Boeing CH-47F (NL) helicopters are to be equipped with Honeywell’s avionics control and management system, which will also be used to modify the customer’s existing fleet. To reduce crew workload, the equipment will provide an integrated cockpit with “improved functionality and efficient human factors,” said Honeywell.
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.
The first of 11 AgustaWestland A109 LOH (light observation helicopters) was handed over to the Malaysian army at the end of last year, during the country’s biennial Langkawi airshow. The start of training for (initially) five pilots began at the same time, coincidentally as an earlier contract to train Royal Malaysian Navy crews on their six new AW Super Lynx 300s came to a successful conclusion.