In the era of “smart weapons” a lot can still go wrong, not the least at the interface between the combat aircraft and the missile or bomb. Here at the Paris Air Show, the EDO Corporation is displaying new “solutions” in the specialized and surprisingly complex business of weapons carriage and release.
U.S. and Indian Air Force (USAF/IAF) units are back at the Kalaikunda Air Station (KAS) in India for the third series of Cope India exercises between the two services. Both sides have benefitted from the exchange which pits the IAF–outfitted mostly with Russian and French-made fighters–against frontline U.S.-made aircraft.
Just as those responsible for fighting wars now talk in terms of “effects”–as opposed to material assets–when discussing battle management and the equipment available to them, so defense contractors increasingly talk about “solutions” rather than products.
The arrival of the Gripen at the Dubai airshow represents a major milestone in an expanding marketing campaign for Sweden’s multirole fighter. Not only does it mark the aircraft’s first public appearance in the Middle East, it introduces the latest JAS 39C/D–now in service with Sweden and the Czech Republic–to the major international airshow circuit.
The Asia/Pacific region is continuing to provide Raytheon with ample opportunity to demonstrate its versatility as a solutions provider across a wider range of capabilities spanning air traffic control, pilot training, missile defense systems and security. The U.S. group now has clients and partners spanning a vast triangle between India, Japan and Australia.
Imagine this. It is the year 2020 and a coup by a radical political movement has taken over a southeast Asian government. The new administration has seized power in a state that has some of the latest weaponry available. The neighboring city state of Singapore is now locked in a tense standoff with the new regime that puts them on the verge of war.
Many of the air-launched weapons in Russia’s arsenal have been around for more than 15 years. Consequently, they all need to be upgraded to comply with the performance requirements of the newer model Mikoyan MiG-35 and Sukhoi Su-35 fighters.
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