While record-breaking orders for airliners were announced, the just-completed Dubai Air Show, held from November 11 to 15, offered no big news for the defense industry. However, there were important developments across the border in Saudi Arabia, and the UAE Air Force is close to making important decisions about its future pilot training system.
News and issues relating to the defense aerospace business, with emphasis on current/in-use, in-development and prospective programs for manned military aircraft, unmanned combat aircraft vehicles (UCAVs), military aircraft engines, avionics, missiles, bombs, guidance systems and ground-based air-defense systems.
Saudi Arabian Airlines has signed a MoU for 22 A320 narrowbodies, heralding the eventual signing of the first order by the Kingdom’s flag carrier for Airbus airplanes in some two decades, Airbus announced here yesterday. The agreement allows the flag carrier to increase the order by eight aircraft of the same type.
Having acquired its first aircraft in 2004, the reborn Iraqi air force is now performing routine missions alongside coalition fleets in the country. Further procurement is expanding the air force inventory in key mission areas, and U.S. forces are extremely pleased with the progress that the young air arm has made in a short time.
A series of flight tests held in France this past summer has successfully shown that the Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted display system originally designed for helicopter pilots works just as well for those flying military transport aircraft. The tests made use of the TopOwl-H head up display (HUD) system now in full-scale production. Thales has made more than 400 to date.
A senior air force officer serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has challenged the defense industry to produce lighter and more capable equipment for troops calling in air strikes on Taleban positions.
The debate about the design of future commercial aircraft engines broadened this year as concerns mounted over the effect aircraft engines may be having on global warming, while the cost of aviation fuel rocketed and noise became ever more of an issue.
On August 31 this year Saab held a party at its Linköping aircraft factory to celebrate the company’s 70th birthday. Guests were treated to a flying display by aircraft from Saab’s past and entertained at a forum where speakers from various business units described their vision of where the Swedish company might be in 30 years’ time, when it comes to celebrate its centenary in 2037.
Ruag Aerospace calls its Super Ranger the first UAV built in accordance with the new international UAV Systems Airworthiness Requirements and Stanag 4671 rules.
Test flights of a completely upgraded Sukhoi Su-35 will start before year-end, according to Sukhoi general director Mikhail Pogosyan. The Russian design bureau (Stand E738) hopes the super-maneuverable multi-role fighter will secure its future in the global fighter market shortly and is promoting it as an interim model between the existing Su-30MK and an advanced fifth-generation aircraft.
Russia’s defense industry seems determined to make up for ground it has lost to Western rivals in the market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The most tangible evidence to date came in August at the MAKS airshow in Moscow where RSK-MiG launched its stealth Skat unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV).