Raytheon has been awarded a contract to provide four podded dismount detection radar (DDR) systems to the U.S. Air Force. The SAR/GMTI (synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator) sensors are for carriage by General Atomics MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper UAVs, and the new radars will provide operators with the ability to find and track individuals and vehicles. The Block 5 is the forthcoming upgraded version of the Reaper.
Farnborough Air Show » July 10, 2012
General Electric said yesterday that component efficiency improvements on its CF6-80E1 engine would provide up to a 1-percent improvement in fuel efficiency for Airbus’s planned extended-range A330. The airframer announced plans for the new development with an increased maximum takeoff weight at the Farnborough International airshow on Monday. The U.S. engine manufacturer expects to deliver the enhanced engine for the first 240-metric-ton A330 in 2015.
After generating $12.7 billion in revenue in 2011 and having won the first three launch orders for the Airbus A320neo re-engined narrowbody, Pratt & Whitney president David Hess was naturally in an upbeat mood when he faced reporters at the show yesterday.
Malaysia Airlines has signed up for Rolls-Royce’s TotalCare support program for the Trent 900 engines on its fleet of six Airbus A380s. It already has the customer support arrangement for the Trent 800 turbofans on its fleet of 17 Boeing 777s.
Rolls-Royce is making further performance improvements to its Trent 700 engine, which powers the Airbus A330. Technologies from the Trent 1000, Trent XWB and BR725 engines are being incorporated into this latest Trent 700 variant, increasing efficiency by at least 1 percent.
In late June, Boeing and Embraer announced an extension of their April collaboration agreement to cover the KC-390 program. The pair will jointly assess the medium-lift military transport market. Boeing may help sell the KC-390 to “potential customers that had not been considered [as] initial market prospects,” the companies said.
Embraer will soon freeze the design of its first purpose-built military transport, the KC-390, for tactical missions. Although the first flight is planned for 2014, some details remain sketchy. But at least the program seems well funded, with the Brazilian government providing most of the $2.2 billion needed for development.
AgustaWestland’s AW159 Lynx Wildcat has moved closer to being fully operational. The initial release into service for the British Army model was issued last April and the first operational flight came on June 18. The AW159 is the successor of the Lynx helicopter family although the only major components in common with the earlier Lynx design are the main rotor blades and rotor head.
Having selected the Gripen E/F to fulfill its F-5 replacement requirement, the Swiss air force is calmly confident that the acquisition makes it through the political process unscathed. Lt. Gen. Markus Gygax, the air force chief of staff, spoke to AIN last month about his service’s plans for the machine.
Saab has brought its new-generation Gripen to the Farnborough International Airshow not as a demonstrator aircraft for potential new technologies, as previously, but as a systems prototype for the intended production Gripen NG, or Gripen E/F as it is also known. Designated as aircraft 39-7, the two-seat Gripen has new avionics and new cockpit installed, and just before Farnborough received the full-standard Selex Galileo ES-05 Raven e-scan radar, complete with repositioner. In this guise, 39-7 has become the avionics testbed for the Gripen E/F.