On Tuesday Patria handed over the first serial production upgraded Hawk trainer to the Finnish air force here at the Paris Air Show. The Finnish group has upgraded the aircraft with a CMC Electronics Cockpit 4000 avionics suite, SparrowHawk HUD and multi-function displays, among other improvements.
Versions of the Global Hawk are proliferating, with five now in service or development for the U.S., as well as the Euro Hawk for Germany and another for the NATO-AGS (air/ground surveillance) requirement.
If all goes well, the German air force could be the first air arm to routinely operate a military unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in European airspace. The first Euro Hawk should fly from the U.S. to the Manching test base in southern German during mid-2010 and begin operational flight evaluations from Schleswig-Jagel air base a year later.
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration has awarded Griffon Corporation subsidiary Telephonics a $71.5 million contract to develop an enhanced version of the APS-147 radar used in the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopters. Known as automatic radar periscope detection and discrimination (ARPDD), the program will install software and hardware improvements.
After completion of a ?90 million ($139 million) development program funded by five countries for nearly six years, Europe has developed significant new technology for air-to-ground surveillance. But the work may not be fully exploited, since the intended follow-on program has been cancelled.
Last month, bidders submitted proposals for the U.S. joint air-to-ground missile (JAGM) and they now await a contract award for a 27-month risk-reduction phase. That announcement is expected in August or September, with two teams being selected to demonstrate their technologies, including live-firing.
The proposed Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system for NATO was scaled back when program officials quietly dropped plans to convert four Airbus A321 airliners after deeming it too expensive. NATO also cancelled development of the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR), which would have been the main airborne sensor for the AGS.
In a major marketing change spurred by the fallout from September 11, Salt Lake City, Utah-based Groen Brothers Aviation (GBA) recently announced it would slow the already lagging FAA certification program on its four-place Hawk 4 gyrocopter, and concentrate on selling the aircraft to government agencies as a noncertified public-use aircraft.
The Royal Bahraini Air Force’s new air training wing is on track to start full operations in 2007. In March 2006 synthetic training equipment will be delivered, and by the end of next year all six Hawk aircraft are to be in place.
The Firefly throwaway micro unmanned aerial vehicle (MUAV) system displayed for the first time by Integrated Dynamics (Stand W301) places the Pakistani company in the forefront of this technology. Designed to enable a soldier to see what is behind a building or over a hill, the Firefly is a rocket-boosted glider carrying a day/night digital camera.