The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford in the UK reports a record number of acceptances in response to invitations sent to international air forces. Approximately 250 military aircraft from 25 countries, and air chiefs from more than 40 countries, are attending the event, which takes place this weekend before the Farnborough International Airshow opens.
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.
In response to the lawsuit filed by Hawker Beechcraft over the light air support (LAS) competition, competitor Sierra Nevada filed an action in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims yesterday seeking reinstatement of the contract that had been originally awarded to Sierra Nevada and its partner, Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer.
U.S. Army AH-64D Block III helicopter crews exercised directional control of the MQ-1C Grey Eagle unmanned aircraft system (UAS) during the recently completed initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) of the upgraded Apache. The Army will decide whether to approve full-rate production of the Block III in July, including production of the mast-mounted UAS tactical datalink assembly (UTA) developed to control the Grey Eagle.
Lockheed Martin has provided more details on the lower-cost C-130XJ that it revealed earlier this year, along with the proposed SC-130J Sea Herc for maritime missions. The company has delivered 252 of the 320 C-130Js on order by 15 countries, and is reducing the production rate to 30 per year from last year’s peak of 36.
The latest Selected Acquisition Report on the Lockheed Martin F-35 program has updated the Pentagon’s cost estimates. The eight international partners may take some comfort from the predictions of future unit recurring flyaway costs, once full-rate production begins. That is, if they defer the majority of their buys until then, which seems increasingly likely. The report also details the schedule delays that were officially approved last December.
The U.S. Navy grounded its fleet of 14 MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopters following the recent crash of an aircraft in Afghanistan and a ditching at sea. The Naval Air Systems Command (Navair) said it is reviewing Fire Scout system performance and operational procedures. Loss rates of U.S. military unmanned platforms are not often discussed, but official data from the U.S.
Halfway through a 10-year agreement between Washington and Tel Aviv, the U.S. now gives Israel $3.1 billion each year in foreign military funding (FMF), which is about one-fifth of the total Israeli defense budget, according to a recent report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) .The FMF total does not include American money spent on joint missile defense projects with Israel, for which $99.8 million has been requested in Fiscal Year 2013.
As UAVs become more prevalent, their capabilities will continue to develop. If you haven’t seen the videos demonstrating the nano-quadrotor UAVs under development at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, then you are missing something.
Lockheed Martin agreed at the show this week to forge a teaming agreement with PT CMI Teknologi to pursue the NASRI (National Airspace Surveillance–Republic of Indonesia) program. This NASRI project seeks to greatly enhance the Indonesian military’s ability to maintain air sovereignty over the country’s widely spread territory, which includes 17,000-plus islands.
Raytheon has just conducted a successful trial of its Griffin B forward-launch small precision weapon. The test demonstrated the weapon’s capability to defend a forward operating base (FOB). The Griffin was fired from a fixed Wedge launcher against target coordinates more than 2.5 miles away provided by sensors mounted on a tethered aerostat, of the type that are typically raised to protect Army FOBs. The Griffin A aft-launch version is in service with the U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Harvest Hawk aircraft and the Air Force’s MC-130W Dragon Spear.