The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) published its equipment spending plan for the next 10 years for the first time. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond–known in political circles as “spreadsheet Phil”–has made a virtue of cutting unrealistic ambition in UK defense spending plans, following a painful review in 2010 that made substantial force cuts that are still being implemented.
Royal Air Force
Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air twin-turboprops continue to take the lion’s share of the Middle East turboprop business market, accounting for more than 70 percent of sales over the last three years. However, the type’s good endurance, configuration, capacious cabin and attractive operating economics have also made it a natural platform for a wide variety of special tasks, and many hundreds have been converted for special missions during the type’s long career.
Technical issues continue to affect the Airbus Military A330MRTT Multi-Role Tanker-Transport program, delaying full operational capability with four air forces that are due to receive a total of 28 aircraft ordered to date. A second refueling boom separated from an A330MRTT during a test flight in Spain in September.
Bombardier Aerospace recently delivered a Global 6000 to the U.S. Air Force, the fourth Global-series aircraft added to the existing USAF inventory with E-11A military designation. The Air Force plans to equip this new addition with the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, in time for deployment next summer. This system will allow battlefield communications systems to share data.
Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support opened a factory-owned aircraft maintenance facility last week at New Castle County Airport in Wilmington, Del. The Part 145 repair station offers airframe, engine, avionics and mobile service support for the company’s entire product line, from the Bonanza to the Hawker 4000.
London is on high alert as Olympic airspace changes and a slot allocation extension to 40 airports (rather than the usual four) kicked in this past weekend, and visitors start to arrive ahead of the summer games opening ceremony on July 27. Slot coordinator Airport Coordination Ltd (ACL), based at London Heathrow Airport, reported that approximately 5,000 bookings have been registered for slots at the 40 airports, though it expects this number to reach 7,000 or 8,000.
The long-delayed solicitation for fixed-wing basic training aircraft to serve in the UK’s Military Flying Training System (MFTS) will be issued within 40 days.
The Korean T-50 jet aerobatic team has been wowing the crowds at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Fairford this weekend. But Farnborough airshow-goers have been denied the chance to see their dynamic eight-ship display.
Boosted by a visit from British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, yesterday Eurofighter described an upgrade path for the Typhoon that finally appears to be on a firm footing.
Airbus Military will supply a Thales full-flight simulator (FFS) for the A400M Atlas airlifter to the UK Royal Air Force in spring 2014, ahead of the aircraft’s entry into RAF service in late 2014. A joint venture between Airbus Military and Thales will maintain the FFS, which will be located at RAF Brize Norton, where all 22 UK Atlas aircraft will be based.