The UK took a step toward airborne network-centric warfare this month when it confirmed that the Tactical Information Exchange Capability (TIEC) would be added to Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 and Harrier GR9 combat aircraft. General Dynamics UK is the key provider of TIEC, which allows ground troops to transmit the coordinates of targets that they have identified into the cockpits of RAF Harrier GR9 and Tornado GR4 aircraft.
Royal Air Force
Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is considering plans to allow 30- or 40 percent more business aviation traffic at the Royal Air Force’s London-area Northolt base. At the same time, newly formed Northolt Business Aviation is preparing to offer unused air force hangar space to corporate operators.
Raytheon Aircraft has selected airborne telecommunications equipment company AirCell’s ST3100 Iridium-based satcom system as standard equipment on the Beechcraft King Air 350 and as an option on the B200.
The crash of a UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Nimrod MR.2 surveillance aircraft in Afghanistan last year that killed all 14 onboard was likely caused by escaped fuel from a pressure-relief valve igniting against an improperly insulated hot bleed-air pipe in the starboard wing root. So says the British Ministry of Defence (MoD), which took the unusual step of releasing the entire report of the accident inquiry.
Eurocontrol is offering equipment exemptions until March 31 next year for operators flying to Europe without ACAS II (TCAS with Change 7). A rash of problems related to obtaining necessary STCs and Service Bulletins, equipment non-availability and certification problems has been plaguing operators since before the original January 1 deadline, prompting the extension.
Negotiations continue between the UK and Saudi Arabian governments over the details of Project Salam, the agreement to supply 72 Eurofighter Typhoons to Saudi Arabia. Major decisions still have to be taken on the avionics and weapons configurations, and on the arrangements to produce and support the aircraft in Saudi Arabia. Final assembly of the first 24 aircraft, and training of the first Royal Saudi Air Force crews, will be done in the UK.
The UK Royal Air Force Red Arrows make a return appearance to the Dubai Air Show. Flying nine Hawks, the team is a crowd pleaser wherever it performs. Joining the Reds are the Patrouille de France flying Alphajets and Patrulla Aguila of Spain in CASA 101s. See videos of all the flying displays on AINtv.com.
In a reorganization intended to improve customer support, Raytheon Aircraft Services’ chain of 15 FBOs in the U.S., UK and Mexico will, with the exception of the Little Rock, Ark. facility, become part of the customer-support division and report to the v-p of customer support. This division is also the home of Raytheon Aircraft Parts and Inventory Distribution (RAPID).
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.
Iridium Satellite of Bethesda, Md., has added four North American air-ambulance operators to its subscriber rolls.
Air Methods has decided to install Sky Connect Tracker systems for Iridium-based automatic flight following as well as cockpit voice and data communications in its aircraft.