The Royal Air Force (RAF) will emerge from the current UK Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) with only two types of airlifter, two types of fighter and two types of helicopter. That much was confirmed here Tuesday when Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), spoke to journalists after delivering a presentation on Combat ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance).
Bell Helicopter has begun converting OH-58A Kiowa cabins into OH-58D Kiowa Warrior cabins, the company announced here at Farnborough. The aim of the program is to replace OH-58Ds that have been damaged beyond repair.
Talks to amend the Airbus A400M development and production contract will drag on into the autumn as the moratorium on funding imposed by the European partner nations continues.
Helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland is here at the Farnborough airshow with three new aircraft: the civil GrandNew and the military AW159 Lynx Wildcat and AW149. All made their first flights during the last 12 months, although flight testing for the development of the Grand derivative is believed to have started two years ago.
The world’s largest private King Air operator is exhibiting at the Farnborough Airshow for the first time in a bid to broaden the appeal of its fleet of 150 special-mission twin turboprops, available for hire for everything from covert spy operations to aerial mosquito spraying.
The first courses to be provided under the UK’s new military flying training systems (MFTS) are to begin in less than a year when Royal Navy observers start training next May. Later that year, advanced jet training with new BAE Systems Hawks is to begin, and air crew destined for that training are already preparing on the first of six flight training devices installed at the Royal Air Force’s Valley base.
Announced last week was the first successful test of the 250-kilogram laser-guided version of Sagem’s AASM modular weapon. The laser AASM was launched from a Rafale and hit a target at the Biscarrosse range 25 kilometers away. AASM versions already qualified are the basic inertial/GPS guided bomb, and a version that adds imaging infrared.
Boeing has flown the interim version of the Silent Eagle, a company-funded effort to generate further export sales of the F-15 Strike Eagle.
Armed forces in Europe are bracing themselves for severe cutbacks as governments tackle budget deficit problems. The scale of the cuts is evident in a couple of proposals made public last week. Germany’s defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, has tabled a plan that saves €9.3 billion ($11.7 billion) in the long term, with current fleets and acquisition programs hit hard.
Northrop’s venerable T-38 Talon supersonic trainer entered service with the U.S. Air Force in March 1961 and has provided the advanced portion of the service’s training syllabus ever since. Over 1,100 were delivered and more than 450 remain in service.