Raytheon has warned against overreliance on stealthy platforms alone in future air combat. Despite their low radar cross-sections (RCS), fifth-generation fighters such as the F-35 can be detected by modern air defense systems. To defeat these defenses, air forces should take full advantage of the latest sensors and weapons that can be carried on less stealthy aircraft, the company said.
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.
Russia’s Irkut Corp. is well known in the Asia Pacific region because of the mighty vectored-thrust Sukhoi Su-30 series multirole fighters in service with Indian and Malaysian air forces, numbering about 200 aircraft. The maker also supplied Su-27UB operational trainers to China; and a number of Asian nations still operate swing-wing MiG-23U trainers and MiG-27 strike aircraft built at the corporation’s manufacturing site in Irkutsk city, western Siberia.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) last month signed two contracts for a new training system to replace its ageing Pacific Aerospace CT-4E Airtrainer piston-engined trainers–currently shared by the Central Flying School and Pilot Training School.
At the heart of the new $128 million system are 11 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II turboprop trainers and two CAE simulators. The contracts also cover parts, training, logistics and maintenance support. Local company Safe Air has been selected as sub-contractor to assist with implementation of the system.
Faced with China’s increasingly assertive military posture, as well as a continuing ballistic missile threat from North Korea, Japan plans to spend more on defense, boosting its air and maritime forces. The plan commits to buying 28 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft, 17 Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors, and three Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAVs over the next five years. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) will also upgrade existing fleets of F-2 and F-15 fighters.
Israeli defense specialist Rafael (Booth N51) has unveiled a new system to tackle short-range mortar and rocket threats, and close-in air threats such as UAVs. Rather than employing a projectile to destroy incoming threats, the new Iron Beam system uses a high-energy laser (HEL).
The Indian government last week stalled completion of several major military equipment deals until at least the end of the current financial year on March 31. “We have no money,” said defense minister A. K. Antony at the Defexpo show in New Dehli on Thursday.
Singapore’s Black Knights aerobatic team has been reformed for the seventh time to wow the crowd at this year’s show. The six Lockheed Martin F-16Cs have been painted in a snazzy new red-and-white design. Led by Lt Col Joseph Leong, 44, a 26-year veteran of the Republic of Singapore Air Force, the team’s pilots are all experienced instructors with a minimum of 1,000 hours in the Fighting Falcon.
AgustaWestland has opened an office in the Seoul to capitalize on recent sales success in South Korea. The subsidiary of Italian group Finmeccanica has about 50 helicopters of various types in service or on order there in military, parapublic or commercial roles. These include eight AW159 Wildcat maritime helicopters for the Republic of Korea Navy–the first export sale of this type. The manufacturer hopes that this order may be expanded. The AW139 is selling well for commercial applications.
As concern over the jamming of GPS signals grows, Elbit Systems (Booth N65) announced that it had sold its iSNS immunity system to an unspecified Asia Pacific country for installation on maritime surveillance aircraft. The Israeli company claims that the system provides full jamming immunity for multiple satellite channels and handles multiple interfering signals and/or jammers operating on concurrent frequencies. ISNS is very flexible and can work with all types of GPS, without prior knowledge of satellite locations, Elbit says.
The Elta subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (Booth P39) has added an electronic intelligence (Elint) capability to its ELM-2060 synthetic-aperture radar reconnaissance pod. The pod fits on the centerline of fighters from almost any origin, and has already been sold to a number of customers worldwide.