The proposed 60-40 merger of EADS and BAE Systems was called off after management in both companies miscalculated the reaction of governments and shareholders. Paris and Berlin proved unwilling to give up their stakes in EADS, or reduce them to a degree that was acceptable to the two merging companies, to London, and (perhaps) to Washington.
AIN Defense Perspective
A year after industry groups such as the Aerospace Industries Association started warning about the threatened U.S. government budget reductions known as “sequestration,” the White House has offered specifics about what the impact would be for the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies.
The Russian defense ministry awarded United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) a launch order for 39 Il-476 heavy airlifters, also referred to as the Il-76MD-90A. The move is partially designed to convey program assurance to potential customers in China and India. These countries already operate “classic” Il-76s. The new version can transport a 114,500-pound payload over a range of 2,700 nm.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is poised to take important decisions on new helicopters and refueling aircraft, said Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne in a briefing to mark the service’s 80th anniversary and the release of a new, unclassified doctrine document.
On October 6 Israel shot down a UAV over the northern Negev desert, south of Hebron and near the country’s nuclear weapons site at Dimona. The UAV entered Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean and was intercepted by F-16s from Ramon air base. According to Israeli media reports, the first Python missile fired at the drone missed, but a second was successful. The Israeli air force has released a video purporting to show the engagement.
Dassault and Thales announced delivery of the first production Rafale to carry the Thales RBE2 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The companies noted that the aircraft, production number C137 for the French Air Force, is the first AESA-equipped European combat aircraft to enter service. The development was completed on time and budget, they added.
The delay in development of India’s intermediate jet trainer (IJT) by government-owned defense manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has the Indian air force worried, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal N.A.K.Browne told AIN in an exclusive interview. The HAL HJT-36 is intended to replace the aging fleet of Kiran Mk II jet trainers in the Indian Air Force (IAF) by 2015.
Paramount’s innovative AHRLAC (advanced high-performance reconnaissance light aircraft) program is advancing rapidly, with the first prototype now in the final stages of construction. The South African company intends to fly the first machine next year, but will not give a more exact schedule.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin testing and evaluating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) this month near Lawton, Oklahoma, under a federal and state initiative to study UAS applications for emergency response. The DHS is also considering the use of small UAS by its constituent organizations: the Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency.
Multinational pressure group Transparency International has published a study claiming that two-thirds of the world’s biggest defense companies “do not provide enough public evidence about how they fight corruption.” The group says that its Defense Companies Anti-Corruption Index studied the 129 biggest defense companies worldwide with a combined revenue of over $500 billion. Transparency International estimates the global cost of corruption in the defense sector to be at least $20 billion per year, based on data from the World Bank and SIPRI.