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).

December 6, 2013 - 11:50am

India’s twice-bid reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter (RSH) competition has been delayed again. An oversight committee is now scrutinizing the latest bids to inquire into allegations of improper conduct by an army officer during flight trials of the finalists. The Kamov Ka-226T and Eurocopter AS550C3 Fennec are competing for an Army and Air Force requirement for 197 helicopters.

December 6, 2013 - 11:45am

The U.S. Marine Corps has extended Lockheed Martin’s contract to operate two K-Max unmanned helicopters in Afghanistan into next year. Operating there since December 2011, the converted Kaman cargo-lifting machines have demonstrated a 97-percent operational availability, according to Lockheed Martin. The company hopes that either the Marines or the U.S. Army will create a formal program of record for the K-Max, for at least one unit operating six helicopters.

November 22, 2013 - 12:08pm

The heavy rain that forced organizers to cancel the last day of the Dubai Airshow was a metaphor for the main defense story of the week. The prospect of the UAE ordering a new fighter–specifically the Eurofighter Typhoon–had been talked up by UK officials in particular, and reinforced by an eve-of-show visit by the British Prime Minister.

November 22, 2013 - 12:00pm

China’s first unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), the Lijian or Sharp Sword, made its first flight on November 21. The event took place at an unidentified flight-test site in southwest China after several months of ground testing. The first flight lasted approximately 20 minutes, and unofficial video footage was soon available on Chinese websites.

November 22, 2013 - 11:50am

France and the UK have agreed a common military staff requirement for a future medium-altitude long-endurance (Male) UAS, according to Gen. Denis Mercier, commander of the French Air Force. However, he cautioned that the move would not automatically result in the development by European industry of a Male UAV “because there is no money available at the moment.” European aerospace leaders have been pressing for the launch of a “Euro-Male” development program.

November 22, 2013 - 11:45am

Boeing formally announced the Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) program, based on the Bombardier Challenger business jet. Development has been under way for some time, with Field Aviation in Toronto already modifying a Boeing-owned Challenger 604 to serve as the demonstrator.

November 22, 2013 - 11:40am

This week’s Dubai Airshow was the first time that a UAE Air Tractor AT-802i has been shown in public. The UAE purchased 24 of these highly modified agricultural aircraft, and took delivery of the first in late 2010. Media reports suggest that six of the aircraft are being donated to Jordan but probably with armament capability removed.

November 19, 2013 - 6:28am

Aerospace and defense contractor AAR (Stand 2118) has announced new contracts with U.S. government agencies. Here at the Dubai Airshow, the company is emphasizing its increasing global reach.

November 19, 2013 - 3:16am

In June this year the second multi-year procurement contract was signed for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. It will deliver 93 MV-22s for the Marine Corps and seven more CV-22s for the US Air Force over the course of five years. With the current annual rate of production running at around 40 aircraft, that means that in the near future there will be considerable production capacity available for foreign military sales (FMS) as deliveries to the U.S. military drop off.

November 19, 2013 - 2:17am

Boeing has selected the Bombardier Challenger 605 business jet to be the platform for its maritime surveillance aircraft (MSA) offering. This program was announced in 2012 as a cheaper alternative to Boeing’s high-spec P-8 Poseidon maritime patroller that is on show here at the Dubai Airshow. However, the MSA mission suite draws heavily on the technology developed for the P-8, albeit sized for a business jet application. At the time of the MSA launch the platform had not been selected.

 
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