The commander of the Indian Air Force (IAF) said that the IAF would likely acquire at least six more Boeing C-17s and another six Lockheed Martin C-130J airlifters. The first two of six C-130Js already ordered by the IAF have been delivered, and the order for an initial 10 C-17s has been finalized, according to ACM P. V. Naik, who was interviewed for the latest edition of India Strategic magazine.
C-17 Globemaster III
EADS Cassidian has selected Goodrich’s Terprom terrain-referenced navigation (TRN) system for the Airbus Military A400M airlifter.
The 23rd 787 Dreamliner, flown from Everett, Wash., to San Antonio, Tex., last Friday, began undergoing so-called change incorporation work today at Boeing’s Global Services & Support site in San Antonio. The work marked the start of a process under which airplanes not expected to participate in the flight-test program undergo configuration changes to conform with standards established as part of type-certification efforts.
Confirmation of the serious problems in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development came yesterday when U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates dramatically fired the Marine general running the program. Maj. Gen. David Heinz, the program executive officer, took the blame for the delays and cost increases that have mounted in recent months. Gates also withheld $614 million in performance fees from prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
As negotiations to secure a future for Europe’s troubled A400M airlifter continue, the UK government is taking the hardest line with Airbus Military, and moving quickly to secure alternative solutions. At the meeting of defense ministers in Seville, Spain, last month, the UK vetoed a Franco-German proposal to delay a final decision until December.
EADS Airbus Military hopes that by the Paris Air Show next month launch customers Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK will complete a review of their commitment to the A400M military transport.
Dramatically expanding the country’s airlift capabilities, the United Arab Emirates plans to add Boeing C-17s and Lockheed Martin C-130Js. The country is purchasing four C-17 Globemaster IIIs for AED4.3 billion ($1.17 billion), and 12 C-130Js for AED5.9 billion ($1.6 billion). Financial management of the purchases has been assigned to Al Waha Capital, and deliveries are scheduled for 2012 and 2013.
Continuing production of the C-17 Globemaster airlifter into the next decade now seems assured. Boeing officials are quietly confident that the U.S. Congress will add another 15 of these airplanes to the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, following similar action for FY09. The company also expects “at least 15 more international orders,” according to Dave Bowman, until recently Boeing’s v-p and general manager for mobility systems.
On December 17 a C-17 Globemaster III heavy airlift airplane touched down at McGuire AFB in New Jersey, completing the type’s first transcontinental flight using a synthetic fuel blend. The flight, which carried an AIN editor on its last leg from McGuire to Andrews AFB, is a crucial step in the Air Force’s plan to certify its entire fleet on synthetic fuel by 2011.