British plans for a new AEW helicopter system were in focus at the Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) show in London this week. Lockheed Martin UK (LMUK) and Thales will compete for the requirement named Crows Nest, to provide a replacement for Royal Navy’s current Sea King Mk7 airborne surveillance and control (ASaC) helicopters, and be deployable on the UK’s two forthcoming aircraft carriers.
Airborne early warning and control
At MAKS 2013 the Russian air force exhibited Red 33, its second upgraded Beriev A-50U Awacs aircraft. Built in 1984, it was modernized from the A-50M standard last year and redelivered in February this year. Work on the A-50U began in 2008. Aerial trials followed in 2009 on the industry-owned prototype Side 37.
Three of the four Sukhoi T-50 prototypes now flying came together in formation over the Moscow Air Show at Zhukovsky this week. According to the organizers of MAKS 2013, one-third of the more than 1,000 exhibiting companies were from abroad.
With president and CEO Joseph Weiss completing his first year in office, IAI has a relatively new cadre of top management executives, but remains focused on the development of new systems and technologies to face future challenges. A key element of the company’s strategy for sustained growth and development is cooperation with its customers, with governments and with other companies, both at home and overseas.
Within the next month, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will re-release a request for proposal (RFP) for nine aircraft to perform signals intelligence (Sigint), communications jamming (Comjam), ground survey and target towing roles. The previous RFP released four years ago shortlisted Embraer and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), both offering the IAI-Elta airborne integrated signal intelligence system (Aisis). But delays in defining India’s offset policy resulted in price escalation from the bidders, leading the Indian defense ministry to cancel that RFP.
Northrop Grumman (NG) is promoting the E-2D Hawkeye AEW aircraft to Malaysia, as well as India and the U.A.E. NG attended the recent LIMA show in Langkawi, where it was publicizing the recent go-ahead for full E-2D production by the U.S. Navy. Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) is expected in 2015. The Navy’s program of record is for 75 E-2Ds; nine have been built for development and operational testing, and 11 more are now in production.
India’s indigenous airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system made its debut at Aero India 2013. The Embraer 145 flew on the opening day and remained in the static for two more days. A cutaway scale model on display revealed the operator positions and equipment placement, and further details were made available by the Center for Air Borne Systems of Defense Research and Development Organization (CABS-DRDO).
Embraer believes it stands to benefit from the Indian military’s desire to maximize commonality in its fleet of aircraft in a bid to control maintenance costs. Five of the Brazilian manufacturer’s Legacy jets are in use with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Border Security Force for functions such as transporting government officials and visiting foreign dignitaries.
Northrop Grumman is at the Aero India show highlighting capabilities in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) including airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye for maritime reconnaissance and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Israel had prevented Boeing from delivering two Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft to the Turkish air force, but has now agreed to lift its restriction, according to a November 9 report in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. AIN understands that the Elta division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) provides the vital electronic support measures (ESM) system for all the Wedgetails sold to date–four to Turkey, four to Korea and six to Australia. Northrop Grumman provides the core AEW radar system. Both Boeing and IAI declined to comment on the matter.