Eurofighter confirmed in Paris yesterday that an AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar would enter service on the Typhoon in 2015, and announced the start of flight trials with the MBDA Meteor BVRAAM (beyond-visual-range, air-to-air missile).
Royal Air Force
Hawker Beechcraft is displaying for the first time the latest addition to the company’s customer demonstration fleet, a King Air 350ER configured to highlight the type’s adaptability to a variety of special missions. Appropriately, the aircraft carries the registration N1459, corresponding to the number of special mission turboprops that had been sold by this spring.
NATO’s Operation Unified Protector has given the Eurofighter Typhoon the opportunity to finally make its combat debut, with both the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and Italian air force aircraft involved in the operation. RAF operations over Libya have been mounted by a six-aircraft detachment at Gioia del Colle in southern Italy, from where they are operating alongside 12 Panavia Tornado GR.Mk 4s.
BAE Systems brings its Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) to the Paris Air Show seeking to extend the life of its hugely successful trainer, which has already trained around 20,000 pilots. There are plenty of opportunities for the Hawk AJT, including the potentially massive T-X requirement for a T-38 replacement for the U.S. Air Force.
Typhoon pilots with Britain’s Royal Air Force will soon be flying with a helmet-mounted system that will significantly increase their situational awareness (SA), particularly in the air-to-air role.
Honeywell Aerospace said its unmanned T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle has flown several missions in support of disaster-remediation efforts at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan.
Two semi-official reports have criticized support arrangements for the UK Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fleet. The UK National Audit Office (NAO) said that the four-nation collaborative contracts were complicated, and had resulted in “shortages of spares and long timescales for equipment repair.” The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) referred to “a very complex supply chain that stretches all over Europe.”
NATO-led air operations over Libya have failed to prevent a stalemate in the civil war there, although humanitarian aid flights and shipments have been protected. Air strikes on the heavy weapons of the Gaddafi regime have continued, but NATO commanders admitted the difficulty of identifying and attacking regime forces that move in light vehicles and trucks.
Columbia Helicopters has broken ground at its Aurora, Ore. headquarters for the expansion of its T55 engine maintenance program. The building will include a T55-714 engine test cell to allow the MRO to provide complete engine overhaul and quick-turn-around service for troubleshooting and engine testing. Columbia has more than 26 years’ experience operating the Model 234, the civilian version of the CH-47 Chinook.
The Los Angeles Fire Department’s air operations section has contracted with Spectrum Aeromed (Booth No. 1659) to design, engineer and install a custom carry-on medical device stand for its AgustaWestland AW139 multi-mission helicopters.
The Spectrum design and engineering team collaborated with the LAFD’s special missions staff to create the quick-release, modular floor-to-ceiling stand.