Just before the 2003 Paris Air Show, the long-running saga of the Airbus Military A400M finally resulted in a definitive launch for the project, when seven European nations signed up to purchase 180 of the military transports.
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.
With its ASQ-228 ATFLIR (advanced targeting forward-looking infrared pod) in full-rate production for the U.S. Navy, and in daily use over Iraq, Raytheon is building upon the pod’s outstanding long-range performance to expand its repertoire, both in operational roles and capabilities.
Russian fifth-generation fighter programs could undergo major revisions to meet India’s requirements, following Sukhoi’s offer of an export version of the latest T-50 model. With India as a major importer of Russian defense equipment (purchases last year accounted for $1.8 billion), Sukhoi and its rival/possible collaborator can ill-afford to be out of sync with the Asian power’s military agenda.
Celebrating the fifth anniversary since its formation, Rosoboronexport has successfully promoted the sale of Russian aerospace products, valued at more than $5 billion, for the last couple of years. The company manages about 90 percent of Russian defense exports and current orders totaling some $12 billion will keep the country’s factories busy into at least 2008.
The Royal Bahraini Air Force’s new air training wing is on track to start full operations in 2007. In March 2006 synthetic training equipment will be delivered, and by the end of next year all six Hawk aircraft are to be in place.
Deliveries of six Hawk Mk 129s to the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) by BAE Systems beginning in the middle of next year will highlight the company’s continuing efforts to promote its advanced jet trainer in the highly competitive Middle East market. On August 26, the first of six aircraft destined for Bahrain made its first flight at BAE’s Warton facility in the UK.
Nine Eurocopter EC 635 helicopters supplied to the Royal Jordanian Air Force some two years ago have performed so well that the RJAF considering placing an additional order. The original batch had been ordered and subsequently cancelled by the Portuguese military but have proved to be ideally suited to the tough climatic conditions in Jordan.
CMC Electronics has completed the avionics systems integration of the cockpit upgrade for the Dubai Air Wing’s L100-30 Hercules, one of which is on static display here. The operator has also selected CMC’s PilotView electronic flight bag (EFB) for installation on its L100.
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).
As competition to meet demands for advanced jet trainers in the region intensifies, Irkut is promoting the Yak-130 now entering production to meet a Russian Air Force requirement. Selected in 2002 as the principal aircraft for basic and advanced training, the Yak-130 has only recently begun rolling off the Irkut production line against an initial order for 12.