Brazil has chosen the Saab Gripen E as its new fighter aircraft, after years of indecision. Defense Minister Celso Amorim and Brazilian air force commander Bg. Juniti Saito announced their preference for the Swedish jet over the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Dassault Rafale after authorization from President Dilma Rousseff. Previous attempts to decide the FX-2 competition failed at the political level.
Next month a ceremony will be held in Pakistan to mark the delivery of the 50th JF-17 multirole fighter from the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) factory at Kamra. The handover marks the completion of production of the first batch of aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Designed in China by Chengdu as the FC-1, the JF-17 Thunder is being jointly developed and marketed by the Chinese and PAC.
Dassault Aviation launched its long-awaited, all-new Falcon 5X at last month’s NBAA show in Las Vegas. The long-range, advanced technology model should provoke strong interest among the growing Middle Eastern jet set.
The sunset could be farther off than thought for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the mainstay of the U.S. Navy’s carrier-based fighter fleet. With initial operational capability of the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter that will eventually replace the F/A-18 now planned in early 2019, Boeing and partner Northrop Grumman are proposing an “Advanced Super Hornet” upgrade designed to operate until 2030 and beyond.
Eurofighter has signed a new development contract with the four European partner nations for the Typhoon. The Evolution Package 2 (EP2) comprises various improvements to the combat jet’s avionics. Two days earlier, EADS Cassidian said that flight testing of an earlier set of improvements had been completed.
Dassault took the wraps off the airplane known thus far as “SMS” at the NBAA Convention late last month. The Falcon 5X is a Mach 0.8 fly-by-wire twinjet powered by Snecma Silvercrest turbofans, and it is decidedly not the super-midsize that its project initials suggested.
In fact, SMS could have stood for smokescreen. The 5X, slated to fly before mid-2015 and enter service in the first half of 2017, is bigger inside than the company’s current flagship, the Falcon 7X.
Dassault Aviation, the French business aircraft and fighter manufacturer, launched its all-new Falcon 5X yesterday here at NBAA. A twin-engine, Mach 0.8, fly-by-wire business jet powered by Snecma’s new Silvercrest engine, the 5X is scheduled to fly before mid-2015, with certification and entry into service following in the first half of 2017.
Software remains the biggest risk of the F-35 program, according to U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the program executive officer. In a presentation at the Air Force Association (AFA) Air & Space Conference on September 17, Bogdan also discussed progress in fixing the Joint Strike Fighter’s helmet-mounted display systems (HMDS), and program costs.
There is no shortage of uncertainty about the future of Russia’s Sukhoi Perspektivniy Aviatsonnoi Kompleks-Frontovoi Aviatsii (PAK-FA)/T-50 fifth-generation fighter project. These doubts are driven by problems with major subsystems, delays with the aircraft’s introduction into service, and plans to defray some of the R&D cost by making India a developmental partner on the aircraft.
“Imported avionics” are being installed into Russian air force aircraft in increasing quantities, “to ensure that our airframers satisfy our demanding requirements for their new and upgraded products,” said Russian air force commander Lt. Gen. Victor Bondarev at last week’s Moscow Air Show (MAKS 2013).