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).

June 8, 2009 - 7:57am

On May 1 the JAS 39C/D Gripens of the Czech air force’s 211.tl took over NATO’s Baltic Air Policing detachment, which provides a two-aircraft, 24-hour, 15-minute readiness armed quick reaction alert (QRA) for the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The four-month deployment of four Gripens to Siauliai air base in Lithuania represents the type’s first out-of-country operational tasking.

June 8, 2009 - 7:50am

In late March Saab announced a teaming agreement with Selex Galileo to develop the ES-05 Raven active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the Gripen Next Generation fighter program. Selex Galileo is also the lead in the Euroradar consortium developing the Captor radar for the Eurofighter, while Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson) builds the mechanically scanned PS-05/A radar currently installed in the Gripen.

June 8, 2009 - 5:21am

Thales is engineering a series of upgrades to the sensor systems aboard France’s Rafale that will be incorporated in the next batch of aircraft for the French armed forces and should enhance Dassault’s chances in current fighter procurements contests in Brazil, India and Switzerland.

June 5, 2009 - 11:10am

India’s air force is planning to arm its growing fleet of Sukhoi Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighters with anti-ship missiles developed by the Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace. The missiles are expected to be ready to enter service in 2012 and are intended to bolster the air force’s ability to neutralize naval threats while they are still far from India’s coast.

June 5, 2009 - 10:58am

Indian navy pilots and support crew have started training on the MiG-29K/KUB fighters with RAC MiG in Russia. The first of the aircraft ordered by India are due to enter service this autumn and the air crew have already flown serial-produced models.

June 5, 2009 - 7:03am

Is Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter a “bomb truck,” optimized for the stealthy attack of ground targets but of limited value as a defender of airspace? Critics and rivals of the multibillion-dollar international program have been sniping at the F-35’s air-to-air maneuvering performance for years.

June 5, 2009 - 6:31am

Versions of the Global Hawk are proliferating, with five now in service or development for the U.S., as well as the Euro Hawk for Germany and another for the NATO-AGS (air/ground surveillance) requirement.

June 5, 2009 - 6:28am

If all goes well, the German air force could be the first air arm to routinely operate a military unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in European airspace. The first Euro Hawk should fly from the U.S. to the Manching test base in southern German during mid-2010 and begin operational flight evaluations from Schleswig-Jagel air base a year later.

June 3, 2009 - 10:04am

Last month Sikorsky displayed a mock-up of a possible X2 Light Tactical Helicopter
(LTH) design at the Army Aviation Association of America annual convention. The mockup reflects Sikorsky’s military concept for the X2 compound helicopter research vehicle, currently in flight test. Sikorsky hopes to set a new helicopter speed record

May 1, 2009 - 11:18am

he Obama Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2010 defense budget ends funding for the controversial Presidential helicopter replacement program, the cost of which had ballooned to $13 billion for 28 VH-71 Kestrels. The VH-71 was based on a highly modified version of the three-engine AgustaWestland EH101, with Lockheed Martin serving as the prime contractor and system integrator and Bell as a maintenance subcontractor.

 
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