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.
After a difficult period in which the whole program’s future lay in doubt, AgustaWestland’s Future Lynx has emerged with a new name–AW159 Lynx Wildcat–and renewed optimism. The aircraft was selected by the UK Ministry of Defence in May 2006 to fulfill its battlefield reconnaissance helicopter requirement for the British Army, and a surface combatant maritime rotorcraft requirement for the Royal Navy.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has announced that it is to supply the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod to the Royal Saudi Air Force. The Snipers will replace the LANTIRN system used by the RSAF’s F-15S strike aircraft. The deal represents the first phase of a $100 million multi-year sensor modernization program, conducted through Foreign Military Sales channels.
Hermes 90, the latest member of Elbit’s UAV family, is on show here at Paris for the first time. Its appearance comes shortly after the creation of a joint venture between the Israeli company and General Dynamics to promote the sale of unmanned air systems into the U.S., which Elbit now considers a “home” market.
Raytheon’s RACR low-cost AESA upgrade radar for tactical aircraft is now ready for installation in the F-16 Fighting Falcon and awaiting its first order. The sensor draws on the technology used in Raytheon’s latest fighter radars, the APG-63 AESA versions in the F-15 Eagle and APG-79 in newer F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.’s Recce-U real-time reconnaissance system is making its debut here at Paris. The system has been developed from the RecceLite fast-jet tactical reconnaissance pod, an outgrowth of the widely used Litening targeting pod. Recce-U comprises a self-contained multi-sensor ISR system, a ground data link station and a ground exploitation station.
Finland is the latest customer for Raytheon and Kongsberg’s National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS), following Norway, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. NASAMS is a networked air defense system that includes Raytheon’s MPQ-64F1 Sentinel radar and the surface-launched version of the AIM-120 AMRAAM. NASAMS was developed in the 1990s, and is now in its NASAMS II configuration, as first delivered to Norway in 2007.
Aerodrones (Hall 4 Stand CD61bis) is here with its portable ground control station for unmanned aerial vehicles and the 2009 version of the built-in software. Aerodrones claims to have an intuitive interface. The user can turn on the computer and have
all mission plans and tools available in less than 30 seconds.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) hopes that new export orders, such as a $50 million deal to supply unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Russia, will bolster sales that dipped by 24 percent during the first quarter of 2009.
Alenia Aeronautica’s Sky-Y unmanned technology demonstrator has completed its most recent series of tests in Italy. The Sky-Y has made 19 flights, in Sweden and in its home country, and the Finmeccanica subsidiary (Hall 2 Stand A165) claims that it is the only entirely European unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to have begun flight testing.