Deliveries of the Eurocopter UH-72A (EC 145) Lakota to the U.S. Army are gathering pace since the first helicopter entered into service in November 2006. Last month the first operational unit received its first aircraft, and the second unit began accepting aircraft a few days ago.
Elbit Systems has been awarded a contract valued at some $20 million to supply Hermes 450 UAV systems to an unnamed European country. The order specifies both air vehicles and complementary ground systems, for delivery next year.\
IAI’s Conformal Airborne Early Warning aircraft, top right, arrives at Farnborough for its first public appearance. Underneath all the bulges and fairings lurks a Gulfstream G550 bizjet airframe, which has been heavily modified to carry the conformal arrays for the Elta EL/M-2085 airborne early warning radar.
Parts distributor Avio-Diepen is here in Hall 3 Stand C6 and is sponsoring the Sally B, the UK’s last remaining airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress. The Sally B flies regularly at air shows, memorial flypasts and commemorative events as a memorial to the 79,000 Allied airmen who gave their lives during the Second World War.
CMC Electronics and Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems signed a 12-year agreement for the supply of more than 35,000 hybrid microcircuits for active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems in the F-18E/F and F-15E. The radar provides targeting and tracking capabilities in the airplanes, flown by the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Air National Guard. Boeing most recently selected the AESA technology for the Air Force’s F-15E Strike Eagle.
Intended to arm the ‘Euro-canards’ (Gripen, Rafale and Typhoon) and possibly integrate into the RAF’s JSFs, the MBDA Meteor ramjet-powered missile is taking giant strides towards service entry. Recent successful guided firings have paved the way for trials of production-representative missiles, keeping the program on track for an in-service date of 2013.
Last year, Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport (Hall 1 Stand B13) achieved a new post-Soviet-period record for export of military hardware totaling $6.2 billion. Its previous record of $5.3 billion was established in 2006, a significant rise over $3 billion worth of sales in 2000.
As the British subsidiary of a leading American defense contractor majoring in sensitive communications and intelligence technologies, General Dynamics UK (Chalet A34) treads an interesting but complex path. On the one hand, the company is a portal for the import and adaptation of U.S. systems that help the British armed forces achieve connectivity and interoperability.
Analysis and simulation of operations by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is not always an easy task because of the need to consider the broad C4-ISTAR picture, often in a joint scenario. However, being able to verify mission requirements and to validate concepts of operation before buying new systems is certainly of value to military clients.
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.