AIN’s team of editors and reporters provided full coverage of the Farnborough International airshow this week. All the stories can be found online.
JAS 39 Gripen
The Omega Air KDC-10 tanker is here to remind visitors that a contract air refueling service is readily available. It brought the two Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets across the Atlantic to Farnborough last week; the U.S. Navy is Omega’s prime customer, buying about 85 percent of the Irish company’s tanking output, which was nearly 1,600 hours last year with the KDC-10 and three KC-707s.
Saab and Selex Galileo revealed the Gripen NG’s new repositioning AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar for the first time in public here at the Farnborough International airshow. Selex Galileo delivered the preproduction ES-05 Raven radar to Saab on June 12. Five days later, in time for the show, it was fitted in the Gripen NG. A second identical radar, complete with repositioning system, is being retained at Selex Galileo’s Edinburgh facility for roof tests.
Embraer and Boeing signed an agreement here yesterday to collaborate on the integration of new weapons on the A-29 Super Tucano single-engine turboprop trainer.
Having selected the Gripen E/F to fulfill its F-5 replacement requirement, the Swiss air force is calmly confident that the acquisition makes it through the political process unscathed. Lt. Gen. Markus Gygax, the air force chief of staff, spoke to AIN last month about his service’s plans for the machine.
Saab has brought its new-generation Gripen to the Farnborough International Airshow not as a demonstrator aircraft for potential new technologies, as previously, but as a systems prototype for the intended production Gripen NG, or Gripen E/F as it is also known. Designated as aircraft 39-7, the two-seat Gripen has new avionics and new cockpit installed, and just before Farnborough received the full-standard Selex Galileo ES-05 Raven e-scan radar, complete with repositioner. In this guise, 39-7 has become the avionics testbed for the Gripen E/F.
Saab is to establish an advanced training center for Gripen pilots at Overberg air force base in South Africa, the Swedish company announced this week. The center will act as a fighter weapons school and will specialize in honing the skills of experienced pilots. The first course will take place late next year, and the syllabus will focus on advanced multi-role aspects of Gripen operations.
GKN Aerospace is set to create a $1.4 billion engine components business when it completes its acquisition of Volvo Aero, announced last week. The UK-based group is to pay approximately $981 million for Volvo Aero, which already supplies components for all major aircraft engine manufacturers.
MBDA has successfully completed firing trials of Meteor, the missile that will be carried by the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen, and the company is now preparing to start production. The collaborative effort by six European nations has been nine years in development but has produced a beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) that is “vastly superior to anything else in the market,” according to chief engineer Andy Bradford.
With facilities in Italy and the UK, Selex Galileo lies at the heart of radar developments in Europe. Not only is the company heavily involved in two of Europe’s three new-generation fighter programs, but it is also making important strides in the field of surveillance radars for patrol aircraft, helicopters and UAVs. Active electronically scanned antenna (AESA), or e-scan, technology is at the center of this capability.
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