“Our competitors make the bottle, but we make the wine that is inside” is how Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems Division President Mike Keebaugh described the products and services that his firm provides to the U.S. defense market. “Despite the fact that we do not make any platforms–just what goes inside of them–we are the number- four aerospace firm in the U.S.”
In the last two years, France’s radar and airborne electronics firm Thales has enjoyed steady progress in the development and integration of new radar and avionic modes for the Dassault Rafale fighter, the latest being the F3 configuration. The French government signed a production order for this configuration in December and it should be fully deployed by 2008.
The largest multinational industrial consortium yet assembled for a defense program will gather this morning to brief on progress on the e4-billion-plus Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program for NATO. No fewer than 23 nations are involved in the TIPS consortium, whose mixed-fleet proposal was endorsed by NATO last year.
Over 20 years ago the Moscow-based Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Building (NIIP) made military aviation history with the production of the Mikoyan MiG-31’s N007 Zaslon radar. Zaslon was a technological marvel in its day, being the first airborne fighter radar fitted with an electronically scanning array (ESA).
“Stealth does not make you invisible,” said the Russian designer sitting across the table at an out-of-the way institute in Moscow. “It makes an aircraft more survivable–but the concept that it is the only path to increasing the survivability of a military aircraft is wrong. We have taken a different approach from the U.S.”
Competition to supply the United Arab Emirates with an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system is becoming intense as next year’s selection date nears, and Northrop Grumman is highlighting the benefits of its E-2C Hawkeye contender. With more than 100 examples in service worldwide, the aircraft has notched some 26 years of service, which some might consider suggests that the E-2 is an aging design.
ExxonMobil’s Avitat FBO network has adopted Megadata’s Passur FBO software suite to help track and serve Avitat customers. The Passur Avitat Networking software suite was developed exclusively for the Avitat network. Avitat FBOs will be able to use the Passur system to track customer aircraft, view data on aircraft flying into their airports and look up information about the owners of tracked aircraft.
The Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60 operated by the United Arab Emirates air force could be described as military aviation’s version of a “missing link.” Its on-board systems are the most advanced of any F-16 ever built, so much so that it bridges the gap between the futuristic capabilities of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the previous F-16C/D Block 50 series.
Northrop Grumman’s active electronically scanning array (AESA) radars have undoubtedly made a big impact on fighter technology. The AN/APG-77, the AN/APG-80 and the AN/APG-81 are fitted, respectively, to Lockheed Martin’s F-22A Raptor, F-16E/F Block 60 Desert Falcon, and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
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.