PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) has stepped up its marketing of maritime versions of the CN235 and is completing assembly of its first C295. The moves result from the collaboration agreement that PTDI signed with Airbus Defense & Space in 2011. That deal also transferred production of the smaller C212 transport to PTDI’s facility in Bandung.
Defense » Military Aircraft
News and issues relating to the defense aerospace business, with emphasis on current/in-use, in-development and prospective programs for manned military aircraft and unmanned combat aircraft vehicles (UCAVs).
Bell Helicopter and the team of Sikorsky Aircraft and Boeing will build rotorcraft demonstrators for the U.S. Army’s joint multi-role technology demonstration (JMR TD), which calls for flights to begin in 2017.
Britten-Norman is promoting what it describes as “affordable” and “entry-level” C2/ISR configurations of its evergreen BN-2 Islander and Defender twin turboprops. At the recent Farnborough Airshow, the company displayed an airframe designated BN-2T-4S, also known as the Defender 4000, that it said is best suited for the role.
Faced with a worsening security situation in Ukraine, Poland has issued a requirement for new attack helicopters that could be worth more than $1.3 billion. Meanwhile, however, the country’s choice of 72 new multirole helicopters worth nearly $2.7 billion remains undecided. Budget shortfalls continue to frustrate the armed forces’ desire for new equipment. Earlier this year, Poland decided to retain one squadron of aging Su-22 strike aircraft for up to 10 more years, since it cannot afford a replacement.
The U.S. Army will assemble a panel later this month or in September to explain the flight-test phase of its joint multi-role technology demonstration (JMR TD) to develop a future vertical-lift aircraft. The service has said that it plans to select two proposed designs to advance to fabrication and flight-testing.
Although the Italian Prosecutor has discontinued investigations of alleged wrongdoings in the sale of 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters to India for VVIP transport, the fate of the aircraft remains unclear. AgustaWestland has agreed to pay a “negligible fine (which)…is not in any way an admission of any wrongdoing or liability,” said a statement from Finmeccanica, which further noted that the Prosecutor had “specifically acknowledged the non-involvement” of the parent company.
Grob Aircraft revealed another military customer for the G 120TP turboprop trainer. The Mexican air force has ordered 25 and optioned another 15 in a deal worth about $110 million including ground-based training aids. Indonesia, Argentina and Kenya previously selected the German-built aircraft.
Lockheed Martin (LM) staged a ceremonial rollout of the first two F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on July 24 at Fort Worth, Texas.
Lockheed Martin (LM) and BAE Systems reported progress this month on their rival upgrades for F-16 Fighting Falcons. Two aircraft from each company’s launch customer (Taiwan for LM, Korea for BAE) are now in rework, ironically just a few miles from each other in Fort Worth, Texas. Meanwhile, the ferry of Iraq’s first two new Block 52 aircraft in September is looking unlikely.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Chalet C26) is developing an external auxiliary fuel tank for the Bombardier Q400 turboprop, providing an extra 10,000 pounds of fuel in two external pannier tanks. This extra capacity raises the Q400’s endurance up to 12 hours, which could be useful for a range of missions.
Bombardier will offer the tanks as an official option on the Q400, which has been selected as the platform for a number of maritime patrol and other special-mission proposals.