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.
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).
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.
Thales has developed a 13-pound, unpowered, glide weapon that is especially suitable for application to UAVs and light attack aircraft.
Known as FFLMM (free-fall light multi-role missile), the weapon draws on many of the components developed for the powered LMM weapon that Thales is producing for the Royal Navy’s FASGW(L) requirement, but is much shorter (just 28 inches in length), as it lacks a rocket motor, and has fixed instead of folding wings.
The contract to begin full integration of the MBDA Storm Shadow long-range precision attack missile with the Eurofighter Typhoon is expected to be signed today. Philip Dunne, UK Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, announced the signing while speaking at Farnborough yesterday.
The contract is between Eurofighter and NETMA, the four-nation Eurofighter management agency, and is worth €150 million ($205 million).
The UK’s North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA), with more than 220 members and a combined turnover in excess of £7 billion, represents and supports about 25 percent of the UK aerospace industry. Many of its members have booths at the Farnborough Airshow in the NWAA area in Hall 1.
Kongsberg and Raytheon announced a teaming agreement this week to develop and market the Norwegian company’s JSM (joint strike missile) for the air-launched OASuW (offensive anti-surface warfare) mission.