The new combat aircraft requirement in India is a hot topic in the chalets here this week, thanks to its size and–for Boeing and Lockheed Martin–the prospect that this country could become a customer for U.S. warplanes for the very first time. Meanwhile, Lockheed seems likely to clinch the sale of 24 new F-16C/D Block 52 fighters to India’s prospective adversary, Pakistan, later this year.
Some 20 new aircraft, including the world’s largest–such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777-200 Long Range–are among the 200 types on display here, making the Paris Air Show an exceptional showcase of flying hardware. Also making their first appearances are the Dassault Falcon 7X and Gulfstream G450 and G550 business jets, Embraer’s new 195 regional aircraft and Kazan Helicopters’ Mi-38.
DGA, the French arms procurement agency, last year spent €9.87 billion ($12.1 billion) on equipment orders for the French armed forces under the country’s 2003-2008 defense budget. This accounted for a 15.3-percent increase over 2003 investments and included €1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) in research funding.
Russian fifth-generation fighter programs could undergo major revisions to meet India’s requirements, following Sukhoi’s offer of an export version of the latest T-50 model. With India as a major importer of Russian defense equipment (purchases last year accounted for $1.8 billion), Sukhoi and its rival/possible collaborator can ill-afford to be out of sync with the Asian power’s military agenda.
Celebrating the fifth anniversary since its formation, Rosoboronexport has successfully promoted the sale of Russian aerospace products, valued at more than $5 billion, for the last couple of years. The company manages about 90 percent of Russian defense exports and current orders totaling some $12 billion will keep the country’s factories busy into at least 2008.
Three years after its creation, Irkut Corp. has established itself as a key player in still evolving aerospace and defense industry. It is one of the main pillars of the country’s new OAK conglomerate which aspires to become a sort of Russian equivalent to Europe’s EADS group.
Following its introduction into service with the four Eurofighter partner air forces–Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom–in spring 2004, the service Typhoon fleet has passed 5,000 hours of flight. By the end of October the manufacturers’ development aircraft had also racked up more than 4,000 hours, so that the combined fleet is rapidly approaching the 10,000 mark.
Regarded as a prime example of Russian expertise in fighter design, the MiG-29 has become a classic much admired for its ability to perform extreme maneuvers–not least on the international airshow circuit. However, as perceptions of potential threats have changed, so too the MiG-29 has developed from a dedicated fighter/interceptor into a multi-role combat aircraft with a much enhanced capability for attack against ground and naval targets.
Piaggio Aero Industries is showcasing the new Avanti II version of its distinctive twin pusherprop here at Dubai 2005 this week. But the Italian company is remaining tight-lipped about long-anticipated plans for a new light business jet.
The Avanti II completed European certification last month and delivery of the first new-version aircraft is to follow to an unnamed Swiss customer.
Elettronica has become a leader in the development of electronic warfare systems to protect many different types of military aircraft as well as warships. The company’s experience in the use of solid-state technology for the design and production of passive electronic support measures for use with laser warners and missile approach warners is evident on Stand C209.