India may abandon plans to procure 197 light utility helicopter (LUHs) from abroad for the Indian air force (64) and army (133). Such a decision would favor government-owned defense manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), which is developing its own LUH design based on the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). The government was already planning to order an additional 187 light utility helicopters to be produced under license by HAL. It is not clear what the time frame for delivery would be, as HAL would need to expand its current production facility, requiring government approval.
Eurocopter is hoping to establish a completion center for its Ecureuil light helicopter series in Tianjin, China, next year. Company president Lutz Bertling inked a memorandum of understanding today with Feng Zhijiang, president of the Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TFTZ). The agreement aims at “exploring the creation of a completion and customization center.”
On Friday, Cessna announced that it has raised the top speed for its Citation Ten to Mach 0.935, which would make it the fastest civil aircraft in service once certified. This eclipses the speed of its Citation X predecessor by Mach 0.015 and the currently stated top speed of the soon-to-be-certified Gulfstream G650 by Mach 0.010.
Hawker Beechcraft filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and is currently in exclusive negotiations with Superior Aviation Beijing, which has placed a stalking-horse bid to buy Hawker Beechcraft for $1.79 billion. However, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer will ultimately be sold in a public auction, meaning it is still very much up for grabs.
Bombardier Aerospace has started conducting so-called virtual flights with CSeries “Aircraft 0”—the on-the-ground Integrated Systems Test and Certification Rig (ISTCR) based in Mirabel, Quebec, the company announced today.
Russia is developing requirements for its Future Aviation Complex for Long-Range Aviation (PAK DA) next-generation bomber, according to air force commander Gen. Victor Bondarev.
India’s government-owned electronics giant, Bharat Electronics (BEL), will sign a joint venture with France’s Thales next week to manufacture air defense components, AIN has learned from a senior defense official. The venture is expected to start operations within 18 months.
Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi rolled out the first of 12 M-346 advanced jet trainers destined for Singapore, the aircraft’s first export customer, on August 9, weeks after announcing a 30-jet contract with Israel. The Finmeccanica company has also sold 15 trainers designated T-346As to the Italian Air Force.
Alenia Aermacchi rolled out the first twinjet for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) in a ceremony held at its manufacturing plant in Venegono, Italy. The first M-346 delivery to Singapore is scheduled for the end of this year.
Executive AirShare introduced two new programs today – Launch and Launch Premium–for business jet users “seeking cost-effective alternatives to full ownership.” Both programs are based on a lease structure, according to the company.
Sikorsky Aircraft Australia has signed a four-year agreement with the Australian Defense Force for ongoing logistics and engineering support for the Commonwealth of Australia’s fleet of S-70A and S-70B Black Hawks. The more than $120 million deal, which includes six annual renewable options, is a follow-on agreement to one that is expiring after an eight-year term. Sikorsky Aircraft Australia does business as Sikorsky Helitech.