Some 200 companies will be exhibiting at the three-day Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE), which starts next Tuesday at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. Organized by NBAA in partnership with the Shanghai Airport Authority, the event will be located once more at the Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre–a joint venture between the Shanghai Airport Authority and Hawker Pacific–with the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) co-hosting the event.
At the Dassault Aviation annual press conference, in Saint-Cloud (France), CEO Eric Trappier has confirmed achieving a firm agreement with Indian group Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) concerning the partnership between Dassault and HAL for the 126 Rafale fighters that India wants to buy. The agreement covers the general configuration of the aircraft, the technology transfers and the detailed workshare between the two partners and their subcontractors. Also, it clarifies the mechanism of warranties, said Trappier.
On February 17 the co-pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 hijacked the aircraft single-handedly and flew to Geneva airport to seek political asylum. Although both Italian and French aircraft were scrambled to escort the 767, the fighters of the Swiss Air Force remained firmly on the ground. A Swiss air force spokesman confirmed that no interceptors were on alert at the time, as the air force operates to office hours only, or by special notification. However, the air force was keen to point out that it could have generated interceptor sorties given more warning.
Russia’s Irkut Corp. is well known in the Asia Pacific region because of the mighty vectored-thrust Sukhoi Su-30 series multirole fighters in service with Indian and Malaysian air forces, numbering about 200 aircraft. The maker also supplied Su-27UB operational trainers to China; and a number of Asian nations still operate swing-wing MiG-23U trainers and MiG-27 strike aircraft built at the corporation’s manufacturing site in Irkutsk city, western Siberia.
While much of the world’s media attention is focused on China’s indigenous fighter programs, such as the J-10, J-20 and J-21/31, Shenyang continues to develop the “Flanker” series that has been in PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) service since 1992. The latest versions to go into production are the J-15 carrier-borne fighter, and the J-16 multirole attack aircraft.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has once again come to the Singapore Airshow to display a diverse selection of its products. Despite the economic turndown, the group has maintained a strong financial position through the focused application of its technological capabilities, and a healthy research and development effort across its portfolio.
France’s DGA defense procurement agency has awarded Thales a €119 million ($162 million) contract to develop a new laser designation pod for French air force Dassault Rafale and Mirage 2000D fighters, Thales announced in January. The development contract follows a risk reduction phase the government awarded Thales (Booth F23) in late 2012.
Dassault Aviation received a development contract from the French Ministry of Defense for a further upgrade of the Rafale combat aircraft. Designated “F3 R”, the upgrade consists mainly of integration of the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM; the laser-homing version of the Sagem AASM air-ground weapon; and the new Thales PDL-NG laser designator pod. There will also be some improvements to the Rafale’s avionics and defensive systems.
The assets of bankrupt fractional provider Avantair will be auctioned off next month at a warehouse about a mile from the company’s former headquarters at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport in Florida. According to court documents, the auction is being held off-site from its headquarters to address airport security concerns, especially since the building is adjacent to a National Guard air unit.
The Elisra passive airborne warning system (PAWS-2) has been selected for the Gripen fighter. Elbit, Elisra’s parent Israeli company, said that the system was selected “following a comprehensive in-depth evaluation and testing in various scenarios as well as in a comparative live fire test.”