Dassault Aviation had mixed fortunes in 2005 with a slight fall in revenue and net result, balanced by a record 123 firm orders for Falcon jets, up from 69 the previous year and 40 in 2003. At a press conference in Paris on Thursday, chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne said he does not expect the same level of sales to be maintained this year.
The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) medium multirole combat aircraft (M-MRCA) tender is beginning to resemble a free-for-all that shows no signs of abating and will continue for several years.
French avionics and radar firm Thales has a major presence here in Singapore, along with a substantial number of employees. Thales representatives told Aviation International News that, among other major projects, its technical and service personnel are one of the major contractors for supporting the Airbus A380 aircraft that are to be delivered to Singapore Airlines (SIA) beginning next November.
The Boeing F-15SG fighter recently selected by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) will feature some of the avionics found on the F-15I version already in service with the Israeli Air Force (IAF), combined with the latest U.S. active-array radar and electro-optical targeting technology.
Japan’s Air Self Defence Force (JASDF), which is accustomed to having the most modern variants of U.S. fighter aircraft designs, now appears to be interested in acquiring for its F-X next-generation fighter one of the most expensive ever built: the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor.
“Even though you can still buy VHS videotape movies almost everyone buys DVDs instead,” Steve Martin, head of campaigns UK and naval radar systems for Selex, told a press conference here yesterday. “E-scan (the UK term for AESA) radars are the DVDs of the airborne systems world of today.”
The MBDA Meteor ramjet, active radar homing air-to-air missile (AAM) program is still alive and kicking, but has had to focus its efforts on meeting the deadlines imposed by the original December 2002 contract in order to avoid cancellation penalties.
Aerospace and defense group Ruag (Hall 1 Stand A21) currently has two major domestic defense orders in process. The first is for upgrading Switzerland’s Boeing F/A-18 fighter force with a new friend/foe recognition system and error-resistant air-to-air and air to-ground datalinks.
The Eurofighter Typhoon program is one of the longest running projects in the history of military aircraft. The sheer number of years from initial design studies to production deliveries to the air forces of the four original partner nations (Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy) has been fodder for criticism that the program has become a mammoth, never-ending defense project that imposed an excessive burden on taxpayers.
The Gripen team occupies the high ground at the Farnborough show this year in a new prime-site chalet and with the Swedish fighter flying a daily solo routine. Meanwhile, seven Swedish Air Force Gripen fighters flew to Alaska this past weekend to participate in their first “Red Flag” exercise. In practical terms, that deployment will demonstrate more about the Gripen’s capability and prospects than the marketing effort going on here.