Chairman of the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) introduced the Federal Aviation Research and Development Reauthorization Act of 2007 with co-sponsor Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) last month. The bill, which has already passed Rep. Udall’s subcommittee, reauthorizes some existing projects, introduces some new ones and aims to strengthen the oft-handcuffed Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO).
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.
The UK is wheeling out the big guns at the show this year, led by chief of the air staff, air chief marshall Sir Glenn Torpy. Alan Garwood, head of the Defence Export Services Organisation, and air vice marshal Gavin Mackay, senior military adviser to DESO, are joining him here in Paris.
Hawker Beechcraft has appointed India’s InterGlobe Enterprises, owner of low-cost carrier IndiGo, to be its sales and servicing agent in India effective July 1.
As the A400M program gathers force, Airbus Military has chosen Thales as its preferred partner for training systems. A formal agreement covers the delivery of full-flight simulators to AMSL, plus an MoU for the provision of training solutions to France and the UK. AMSL and Thales will pool their considerable resources to provide training systems and services for A400M customers.
Northrop Grumman’s laser directional infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) system has successfully thwarted simulated heat-seeking missile attacks on an AH-64D Apache helicopter. The series of 31 tests took place at Vliehors Test Range in Netherlands on a Dutch aircraft.The system is self-contained in a pod and thus removable. It automatically detects a missile launch.
The U.S. Marine Corps has chosen Northrop Grumman’s directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for its CH-53E helicopters in a $19.7 million deal. It will be the first application of the company’s two-color infrared missile warning sensor system coupled with its mini-pointer/tracker assembly, forming a DIRCM suite to protect the CH-53Es from threat missiles.
MBDA, the missile manufacturer owned by BAE Systems, EADS and Finmeccanica, has appointed Antoine Bouvier as its new chief executive. He replaces Marwan Lahoud. Bouvier was most recently chief executive officer of EADS Astrium Satellites, a post he took up in 2002, and before that he held senior positions at ATR culminating in his becoming chief executive in 1998.
Israel launched another reconnaissance satellite last week as military tensions increase in the Middle East. After lifting off from the Palmachim range at 2:40 local time on June 11, the Shavit three-stage launcher successfully delivered the 300-kilogram Ofeq-7 into a low-Earth, elliptical orbit. Once in orbit, Ofeq-7 unfurled its solar array that should give it a minimum life of four years.
The retiring president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association of America, John Douglass, said modifying the U.S export control system could double the trade surplus from the present record $55 million. “We have to get rid of a Cold War philosophy that puts many civil products in the military domain,” he told Aviation International News in an exclusive interview.