Hamilton Sundstrand, a United Technologies subsidiary, and EADS Sogerma Services announced a joint venture to repair and overhaul aircraft APU systems and accessories, subject to government and regulatory approvals.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded two $45 million contracts for further research into shoulder-launched-missile protection systems for commercial aircraft. BAE Systems, based in Nashua, N.H., and Northrop Grumman each got the nod to take its program to the Phase II level–a time period covering the 18 months from August this year through January 2006.
BAE Systems Regional Aircraft reports “good progress” with the conversion of the first relaunched BAe 146QT (Quiet Trader) freighter at the program’s Aerostar conversion center in Bacau, Romania. Program manager David van Veggel said he expects the first converted aircraft–a Series 200 (S/N E2099)–to roll out for service in the first half of next year.
With the goal of flight testing the system next year, BAE Systems recently signed a second contract with Mercury Computer Systems of Chelmsford, Mass., to provide its VistaNav synthetic-vision technology to create a rotorcraft brownout landing system. Award of the first contract was announced in March.
AIN has learned that the first two Eurofighter Typhoons for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) are now on the final assembly line at BAE Systems’ Warton, UK factory, although the potential $40 billion deal to supply and support 72 Typhoons has not yet been formally announced.
After years of preliminary definition and assessment, the UK Ministry of Defence gave the go-ahead for construction of two 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers. They will enter service in 2014 and 2016, and will be able to carry up to 40 aircraft, including F- 35 Joint Strike Fighters, AEW aircraft and helicopters.
The future of the Defence Export Services Organisation is under review by the new UK government. The agency promotes British arms sales abroad, and has administered the ongoing but controversial Al-Yamamah contracts through which the UK sold the Royal Saudi Air Force 120 Tornado combat jets, 50 Hawk and 50 PC-9 trainers, all supplied and supported by BAE Systems.
Two of Europe’s manned combat air vehicle programs have taken significant strides in recent times. The Neuron UCAV technical demonstrator is being built by a Dassault-led team with partners in Sweden, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and Spain. From official notification in February 2006, the team has established an efficient structure for industrial cooperation, leading to a satisfactory interim review in September.
Saudi Arabia and the UK have already concluded the huge contract for 72 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets that has been in negotiation for 18 months, informed sources told Aviation International News yesterday. The deal will be worth about $16 billion for the airframes alone.
Eurofighter’s first export sale–to Austria–has not been a happy experience, although the company has met all its schedule and performance commitments to date. The first of 18 aircraft is already flying, the second will fly soon, there are four more in final assembly and parts for the other 12 are already in production. The first Austrian pilots have been trained on the aircraft in Germany.