Raytheon has trademarked the system of elements concept, which was described to Aviation International News by Dean Cash of the company’s Network Centric Systems. “Take a fighter aircraft,” he said. “It’s a system, but one composed of five elements: the platform itself, the pilot, the sensor suite, the weapons payload and the communications. You assign an IP address to each of these five elements.
In 1999, Operation Allied Force was a success, as Serbian forces were evicted from Kosovo. But then-USAF commander Gen. John Jumper was distinctly unhappy. He said those Serbian tanks that rolled out of hiding after the shooting stopped should have been spotted and destroyed by coalition airpower. Jumper also said he knew that the Serbian air defense system had never really been neutralized.
It would take a miracle–in fact, two miracles–for network-centric operations (NCO) to become a reality. So says John Allen of the Advanced Technology Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA). Many companies in the defense industry claim to offer solutions for NCO, but only a few have demonstrated even minor miracles in the field.
Brian Kilburn of the Boeing B-2 System Program Office presented insights into the true cost of a stealth operation at the Stealth Conference conducted recently in London by military/defense conference organizer Defence IQ. Kilburn noted that the 20-strong fleet of B-2s requires 70,000 maintenance hours annually, and that 40 low-observable (LO) technicians work on them full-time. The U.S.
AirData, the flight planning specialist, is preparing to launch its new SwiftOps.com online flight planning and crew briefing system this fall. The new software is intended to automate as much of the flight planning process as possible, reducing crew workload during busy operations without compromising the operational control of crews.
Appropriately enough, the .aero Worldwide Web domain is sponsoring the Internet café here at EBACE. The Internet’s first industry-specific domain is growing in popularity among aviation companies wanting to set themselves apart from all the dot-coms, dot-nets and dot-orgs on the information super highway.
Universal Avionics has joined forces with the Kansas City Aviation Center to develop a three-screen LCD upgrade for the Pilatus PC-12. The Universal EFI-890R is to be offered as a replacement for the turboprop single’s Bendix/King EFIS 40.
Bombardier Aerospace (Booth No. 1300) is gradually building parts inventory levels at its new super-warehouse near Germany’s Frankfurt Airport and is already beating its own performance targets at the facility, which opened last December. By the end of next month, the airframer expects to have some 25,000 individual parts on the shelves, a total that could grow to 40,000.
IBM Euroflight, the computer giant’s European corporate flight department, is to close down before the end of June due to “insufficient activity.” Its two Dassault Falcon 2000 jets are to be sold and bargaining between management and the unions as to the future of the operation’s 20 permanent employees–including seven pilots and seven maintenance technicians–at its Paris Le Bourget Airport base is at an advanced stage.
Honeywell Aerospace is giving both its own staff and its customers the tools they need to ensure consistently good product support, according to Adrian Paull, vice president of customer and product support.