A Royal Air Force Merlin helicopter is the leading hardware item in a major participation at the Dubai show by the UK Ministry of Defence and its associated Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO).
Royal Air Force
Riyadh-based Alsalam Aircraft Co. is emerging as a key player in efforts to upgrade Saudi Arabia’s fleet of 84 Panavia Tornado interdiction strike aircraft.
Following its introduction into service with the four Eurofighter partner air forces–Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom–in spring 2004, the service Typhoon fleet has passed 5,000 hours of flight. By the end of October the manufacturers’ development aircraft had also racked up more than 4,000 hours, so that the combined fleet is rapidly approaching the 10,000 mark.
BAE Systems has recently announced three major programs aimed at improved flight safety and providing contingency plans in the event of emergencies.
The arrival on Sunday of the BAE Systems Hawk New Demonstrator Aircraft (HNDA) marks the debut of the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) anywhere in Asia and the start of a six-week tour of the region. After a number of the Singapore air force’s leading pilots have flown in the Hawk, the HNDA team will take the opportunity to fly pilots from the Royal Brunei Air Force.
Sikorsky has selected BAE Systems to develop an active pilot inceptor system for the U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk program. The new system will replace the mechanical pilot controls on the current UH-60 with active technology that saves weight and provides pilots with intuitive tactile cues for easier handling and reduced workload.
AgustaWestland has sold its first A109 Grand light twin helicopter to a private operator in the Philippines, joining 10 earlier A109 models already in service in the country. Orders for nearly 60 aircraft have been placed since its launch in July 2004. Initial deliveries commenced in mid-2005 following European certification. Deliveries to the U.S. will commence this month.
Jet Aviation’s Dubai maintenance facility is just about to start serving the Hawker 800 business jet series. Raytheon Aircraft has named the company an authorized service center. Jet Aviation Dubai will thus perform line and base maintenance, as well as provide warranty and spare parts support. Operations are to start by mid-May.
The U.S. is the next frontier in the expansion plans of the ExecuJet business aviation services group. The firm expects to be ready to announce plans for a new American facility or joint venture between now and the NBAA Convention in October.
After a development that could only be described as protracted, the BAE Systems Nimrod MRA 4 maritime patrol aircraft finally won a production contract yesterday. Defense minister Des Browne signed the deal and in celebration, one of the aircraft flew over Farnborough.