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Keyword: avionics

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  • Latest F-22 upgrade brings ability to jam enemy radars

    04/03/2012 12:35:07 AM PDT · by U-238 · 4 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 3/3/2012 | David Mujumdar
    This year, the US Air Force started fielding the Increment 3.1 upgrade to its Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fleet. The modifications add a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capability to the fighter's Northrop Grumman APG-77 radar, plus electronic attack, better geo-location capabilities to find enemy radars and the ability to carry eight 113kg (250lb) small diameter bombs (SDBs), for use in pairs against four ground targets. Introduction of an SAR mode will assist during the manual targeting process, which is an improvement over the previous Increment 2 configuration's use of two 454kg Joint Direct Attack Munition satellite-corrected, inertially guided bombs against...
  • Fifth generation fighters crucial to air superiority

    03/05/2012 12:21:07 AM PST · by U-238 · 22 replies
    Defense Talk ^ | 3/4/2012 | Defense Tech
    The Air Force is the world's most advanced air and space force and, with the integration of fifth generation aircraft, is gaining new tactical advantages that transcend beyond just stealth into areas such as enhanced maneuverability, multi-role capabilities and fused sensor and avionics systems that can communicate with other weapons systems. That's why it is imperative that U.S. forces continue to develop and begin to use fifth-generation fighters as they transition to the new Pacific-based strategy, according to Lt. Gen. Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. During the Air...
  • Pakistan Air Force Receives New, Upgraded F-16s from U.S., Turkey

    03/02/2012 1:12:46 AM PST · by U-238 · 4 replies · 26+ views
    AIN Online ^ | 2/24/2012 | AIN Online
    The Pakistan Air Force received the last of 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 fighters from Lockheed Martin in early February. Accompanying the aircraft on its delivery flight were two PAF F-16A Block 15s that have undergone the mid-life update process in the U.S. A few days later, the PAF also accepted the first of its F-16s to undergo an avionics and structure upgrade in Turkey. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has been selected to do the work on 41 PAF F-16s, in a program named Peace Drive II. Modification of the first aircraft began in October 2010 and the last should...
  • Indian, Russian firm plan JV for defence

    02/09/2011 12:27:47 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld
    Sify ^ | 2/7/2011 | Sify
    Given the huge potential in military avionics, Indian aerospace firm Axis Aerospace and Technologies (AAT) and Russian defence exporter FGUP Rosoboronexport Monday announced they have signed an agreement to start a joint venture focusing on avionics for IAF's front line Sukhoi SU-30 and MiG-29 fighter jets, as also military helicopters. Apart from these Russian-origin platforms, the JV will also work on the new fighter jet from the Mikoyan stable, the MiG-35, which is one of the contenders in India's $10.4-billion tender for 126 combat aircraft. 'The JV will focus on creation of cutting-edge technology for aerospace and defence applications in...
  • BAE Systems to Support F-35 Mission Planning; Secures Another Data Security Patent

    01/19/2011 9:29:40 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld
    Aviationnews.eu ^ | 1/19/2011 | BAE
    BAE Systems has signed a $3.8 million contract to continue supplying the secure operating system that runs the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s mission-planning software. The company’s operating system collects data at different security levels and is used by the aircraft’s software to develop the mission plan, which includes intelligence, weather, communications and navigation. That information is then loaded on to the jet for mission execution. When it is complete and the plane has returned, the operating system parses the data according to its security classification. The process, known as a cross domain transfer, occurs within seconds. “The most advanced aircraft...
  • Northrop improving C-130 system

    12/07/2010 10:23:12 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies
    UPI ^ | 12/7/2010 | UPI
    U.S. Air National Guard C-130H crews are being given increased situational awareness during airlift, airdrop and other operations by Northrop Grumman. The company said it had been given a $12.7 million cost-plus fixed-fee contract from the Defense Micro-Electronics Activity to integrate software and hardware that will enable real-time tactical information to be displayed in the C-130H cockpit and navigator station. The displays will provide information obtained from Joint Range Extension Applications Protocol and Situational Awareness Data Link communications, allowing the C-130 crew to not only see the theater tactical picture but also electronically identify its position to others within the...
  • Raytheon Awarded AESA Radar Upgrade Contract for F-15C Aircraft

    12/07/2010 10:08:56 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies
    Raytheon ^ | 12/7/2010 | Raytheon
    Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has received a contract from Boeing for the production of advanced APG-63(V)3 Active Electronically Scanned Array radars. The U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Air National Guard will receive radars from the contract and deliveries will begin in the second quarter of 2011. The radars are intended to enhance the performance of deployed F-15C aircraft and will replace the current mechanically scanned radar systems. With its superior targeting and tracking capabilities, the APG-63(V)3 will enable aircrews to detect and identify targets well beyond the range of the existing systems. "Our APG-63(V)3 AESA radars offer significant reliability...
  • Japan seeks US approval for E-767 AWACS upgrade

    12/01/2010 8:17:29 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 12/1/2010 | Greg Waldron
    Japan has requested US government approval for the installation and checkout of four kits to upgrade the radars on its Boeing E-767 airborne warning and control system aircraft. Tokyo has already procured four radar systems improvement programme (RSIP) kits, says the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The estimated cost of the installation and checkout work of the kits is $119 million, which includes transport of the aircraft to and from Japan, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, documentation and personnel, it says. The prime contractor for the deal will be Boeing. Japan operates four E-767s, which are essentially...
  • NAMMO Signs a New Development Contract for Ammunition for the F35 Lightning II

    11/29/2010 2:08:11 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies
    Yahoo Marketwire ^ | 11/28/2010 | Yahoo Marketwire
    Nammo Raufoss AS and the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO) have signed a contract on the final development and qualification of 25 mm APEX ammunition and associated training ammunition adapted to the F35 Fighter. The contract is worth up to NOK 66 million and Nammo will also be providing capital in the amount of NOK 22 million. The contract will be completed by the end of 2012. Several decades' experience in technology Nammo has a long background in the development of aircraft ammunition. Over the last 40 years, both Norwegian and allied fighters have used aircraft ammunition manufactured at Raufoss....
  • Major AWACS upgrade begins

    11/20/2010 8:28:27 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 10 replies
    USAF ^ | 11/19/2010 | Patty Welsh
    The next step in the largest block upgrade in the history of the E-3 Sentry, or Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft occurred Nov. 18 at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., when the first aircraft receiving the block 40/45 modification was inducted by the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center. New mission software will enhance tracking and combat identification capabilities, in addition to providing operators with a better picture of the battlespace. "This modification replaces a mission computer system originally installed in the 1970s," said Maj. Brett Johnson, the AWACS the 40/45 Production chief. "The new system will have an open,...
  • Navy buys 19 AESA radar systems from Raytheon to retrofit F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter-bombers

    11/18/2010 8:39:29 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies
    Navy and Aerospace ^ | 11/17/2010 | John Keller
    The U.S. Navy is buying 19 AN/APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems from the Raytheon Co. Space and Airborne Systems segment in El Segundo, Calif., to retrofit F/A-18E/F Super Hornet carrier-based jet fighter-bombers. Raytheon is buying the AESA radars under terms of a $52.3 million contract modification announced Tuesday from Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md. The new AN/APG-79 AESA radar systems, which will replace the Super Hornets' ageing Raytheon AN/APG-73 radars, will increase the F/A-18E/F's air-to-air detection and track range, as well as its air-to-ground targeting capabilities, Navy officials say. The new...
  • F-35 begins flying Block 1 software

    11/15/2010 6:44:33 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 6 replies
    F16.net ^ | 11/15/2010 | F16.net
    ThThe fundamental building block for all future avionics software on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter has entered flight testing on an F-35 test jet. BF-04 lifts off on its 24th flight on November 6 2010. Pilot was Lt Col Matt Taylor. block 1, the first of three principal software-development blocks for the F-35’s mission systems, made its inaugural flight on Nov. 5 in the F-35B short takeoff/ vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft known as BF-4. The functional check flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent River lasted 1.5 hours, and all planned test points were accomplished. “Getting this software...
  • Eye In The Sky Has The Sniper On Target

    11/12/2010 8:37:37 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 7 replies
    Defense Talk ^ | 11/12/2010 | Defense Talk
    The last 28th Bomb Wing B-1B Lancer received the necessary modifications to operate the Sniper advanced targeting pod Oct. 18. The advanced targeting pod acts as a long-range camera, which can pinpoint targets for precision strikes and close-air-support missions. "It's hard to imagine doing close-air support without it," said Capt. William Louie, the 34th Bomb Squadron weapons systems officer. "The sniper pod and the B-1 go together very well, especially with the expanded mission of the bomber." Since its combat debut in 2008, the Sniper pod has become an invaluable tool in assisting coalition servicemembers on the ground in hostile...
  • Singapore gets upgraded C-130

    11/11/2010 9:17:45 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld
    UPI ^ | 11/11/2010 | UPI
    Singapore's air force has received its first modernized C-130 featuring Rockwell Collins avionics upgrade. The company's Flight2TM upgrade included an improved flight management system allowing access to precision Global Positioning System approaches, preferred air traffic control routings and search-and-rescue patterns; multifunction displays featuring active matrix liquid crystal display technology; a central engine instrument display replacing analog gauges; improved voice communication; an enhanced digital autopilot and flight director; and an advanced digital weather radar.
  • F-35 Delays Speed Up UAV Development

    11/08/2010 9:35:25 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies
    The Strategy Page ^ | 11/9/2010 | The Strategy Page
    to buy new aircraft designs (because they are too expensive, or simply take too long to get into service), and facing the prospect of unmanned aircraft (UAVs) displacing more and more manned ones, the American military is spending a growing chunk of its budgets on upgrading and refurbishing the combat aircraft they already have. This was not a deliberate, long term plan, but simply a reaction to shortages of new aircraft. A lot of the new electronics and weapons involved in these upgrades can also equip UAV designs still in development, so such efforts are a double win. More and...
  • France to postpone Mirage upgrades

    07/09/2010 4:58:09 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies
    UPI ^ | 7/9/2010 | UPI
    The French government plans to postpone $888 million worth of upgrades to its Mirage 2000D fighter-bombers as part of an effort to cut back spending. Defense Minister Herve Morin, speaking at a hearing this week of the Parliamentary Defense Committee, also said the government plans to delay acquisition of Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft and level-four of the SCCOA national air command-and-control system, according to a report from DefenseNews. According to defense sources, Morin told the committee that some elements of the Scorpion land systems modernization program also would be postponed but major programs, such as the Barracuda nuclear attack...
  • F-15 Silent Eagle scores two firsts with export license, flight test

    07/09/2010 4:14:08 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 12 replies
    Flight Global ^ | 7/8/2010 | Stephen Trimble
    Boeing on 8 July received a license to export the F-15 Silent Eagle to South Korea and tested in flight one of the key upgrades for the stealthy new design. "It was a big week for the F-15," says Brad Jones, Boeing director for F-15 development programmes. The US Department of State awarded the license after a two-month review based on an undisclosed export policy established in May, Jones says. South Korea is expected to issue a request for proposals for the F-X3 contract in the first quarter of 2011, Jones says. The F-15SE will compete with the Lockheed Martin...
  • Israel Reassesses Defense Options

    07/09/2010 4:46:05 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 7/9/2010 | David A. Fulghum
    Israel is making plans to both integrate the stealthy F-35 in smaller than desired numbers or, in extremis, to do without stealth altogether. Electronic specialists say they are cobbling together more powerful electronic warfare systems based on wide-frequency active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar to protect their non-stealthy aircraft. Defense officials contend that Israel is exploring the integrated use of manned and unmanned aircraft to attack defended air space. Aerospace designers hint that they are looking at stealthy UAV designs as well as at faster, higher-altitude and larger aircraft. There also are suggestions that programs in cyber-operations and network and...
  • F-35A becomes second variant to fly with mission systems

    07/07/2010 4:14:59 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies
    F-16.net ^ | 7/7/2010 | John R Kent
    The ninth Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter entered flight testing on Tuesday, becoming the second test jet to fly with the next-generation avionics package that will populate all operational F-35sThe F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, known as AF-3, flew for 42 minutes during its first flight. F-35 Test Pilot Bill Gigliotti took off at 6:20 p.m. and initiated a series of flying-qualities tests in a flight focused on propulsion and vehicle systems operation. Some mission systems data were collected before the flight was curtailed by storms in the area. "AF-3 is very much like the first...
  • S. Korea firm to supply F-15 HUDs

    07/07/2010 1:44:04 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies
    UPI ^ | 7/6/2010 | UPI
    South Korean electronics maker LIG Nex1 has signed an $8 million contract with Rockwell Collins for head-up data display units for U.S. Air Force F-15 fighters. The displays will also be delivered to the air forces of three other country's that fly the jet, LIG Nex1 said in a news release. The HUD is an instrument that's placed above the cockpit instrument glare shield for viewing data. It allows a pilot to view the information through a transparent screen as the flyer continues to look forward. HUDs are specifically designed to improve pilot situational awareness. The company, in a news...
  • Pentagon Approves C-130 AMP Production

    06/26/2010 2:05:15 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 6/25/2010 | Robert Wall
    The Pentagon has signed off on low-rate initial production of the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP), kicking off the installation of the first 20 kits. The Pentagon is pursuing a mixed acquisition program owing to problems throughout the AMP program. Boeing, the incumbent contractor, will upgrade five C-130s with AMP under this phase, with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center performing 10 installations. The remaining five will be installed under a source familiarization program by a to-be-selected alternative contractor the government is bringing on because of Boeing’s program execution problems. Boeing says the first two C-130Hs will be inducted into the...
  • F-35 avionics: an interview with the Joint Strike Fighter's director of mission systems and software

    06/24/2010 6:19:08 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 1+ views
    Military and Aerospace ^ | 6/1/2010 | John McHale
    The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth-generation jet fighter that has even more sensors than the F-22 Raptor. The program, led by Lockheed Martin, uses that state-of-the-art avionics with as much commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software as possible, says Eric George, director of mission systems and software for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, in the interview below. George will discuss the F-35 avionics suite in a keynote address to the Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum on 3 June 2010 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego. Register for the event online at www.avionics-usa.com/index/registration-information.html Q: What is...
  • Boeing outlines C-130H and KC-10 cockpit upgrades

    06/24/2010 4:09:16 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies
    FlightGlobal ^ | 6/24/2010 | Stephen Trimble
    Boeing will upgrade cockpits for US Air Force C-130Hs and KC-10 tankers under separate deals announced on 24 June. The USAF has cleared Boeing to launch low-rate initial production (LRIP) for the C-130 avionics modernization programme (AMP). Boeing will deliver five of 20 kits ordered by the USAF during the first lot of LRIP, with the balance produced by the Warner Robbins Air Logistics Centre and also by an unnamed competitor. Boeing developed the AMP kit under a $1.4 billion development programme awarded in 2000 that endured cost overruns and schedule delays until a final restructuring in 2007. Last year,...
  • Boeing Begins Flight-testing B-1 with New Link 16 Communications

    06/21/2010 3:49:33 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies
    Boeing ^ | Boeing
    The Boeing Company today announced the start of flight tests for a B-1 Lancer bomber upgraded with new digital avionics for the aft cockpit, including a line-of-sight Link 16 data link. The B-1 Fully Integrated Data Link (FIDL) made its first flight test on June 4 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The four-hour flight was conducted by the U.S. Air Force around the local Edwards test ranges. The crew successfully tested the Link 16 data link by sending and receiving text messages and receiving virtual mission assignment data such as target coordinates for a weapon. Link 16 adds line-of-sight...
  • Goodrich selected to retrofit Saudi F-15s

    06/01/2010 10:22:16 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies · 220+ views
    UPI ^ | 6/1/2010 | UPI
    Goodrich Corp. was selected to provide the Saudi Arabia air force with flight controls upgrades on the fleet of F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft. Goodrich says its California-based Aerostructures unit will deliver its Grid-Lock flight controls surfaces including ailerons, flaps and wingtips among other technologies for integration with the Saudi F-15s. The Saudi Arabian air force selected Goodrich following the company's success F-15 retrofit with aircraft in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. "The Saudi Arabian air force recognized the improved life-cycle costs that the U.S. Air Force is realizing on its flight control surfaces as a result of...
  • Pakistan launches avionics production line for JF-17 Thunder combat aircraft

    05/29/2010 10:15:24 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies · 389+ views
    Sify News ^ | 5/29/2010 | Sify News
    Pakistan has started the production of avionics and other important gadgets for the JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. The equipments for the combat jets would be produced at the Kamra based Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the production line for the latest avionics, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman described the project as a step forward in making the PAF 'self-reliant.' "A strong air force is essential for the country's survival, therefore, it is important that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) gets self-reliant. Today's ceremony is an important step in...
  • On The Job With A B-52 Radar Navigator

    05/21/2010 6:27:58 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 40 replies · 991+ views
    KERO 23 ^ | 5/20/2010 | Julie Flannery
    The B-52 entered into service in 1955 and was referred as one of the most powerful bombers. While that was true when the war plane first hit the skies, nearly 55 years later, it’s still true. Partly due to the testing B-52 Radar Navigator Christopher Rudd does at Edwards Air Force Base. “We’re an independent organization that plans, executes, analyzes, the new systems that’s coming on board for in this case the B-52,” said Rudd. From testing new software to new weaponry, they do it all to make sure despite its age, the B-52 is still top notch. “We are...
  • Boeing B-52 set to receive major radar upgrade

    05/20/2010 6:59:33 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 56 replies · 926+ views
    Flight Global ^ | 5/19/2010 | Flight International
    The US Air Force is moving forward with a major new upgrade for the half-century-old Boeing B-52H fleet, focused on replacing the bomber's radar, which is roughly 30 years old. The Northrop Grumman APQ-166 strategic radar is nearing the end of its useful life and will be replaced on 76 B-52Hs, the USAF says in a request for information issued to industry. The new system will perform all of the mission functions now performed by the APQ-166 mechanically scanned array, but provide "new and enhanced capabilities", the air force says. Although active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology is now available...
  • Most Of The F-22ski Flies

    01/31/2010 6:17:36 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies · 911+ views
    The Strategy page ^ | 1/31/2010 | The Strategy Page
    The latest Russian fighter design, the T-50, made its first flight on January 29th. Also called PAK FA (Prospective Aviation System of Frontline Aviation), or T-50, it’s a radical development of the Su-27/30/35 series of aircraft. The 47 minute test flight was done without the new engines designed for the T-50. Russia has always had problems with high performance jet engines, and those woes continue. "Evolving" an aircraft design, in this case, the Su-27, is a Russian custom. New models of a base design are given new names. The U.S. also does this, but keeps the original name. The Russian...
  • The Big Money Behind Europe's U.S. Warplane Trash-Talk

    01/29/2010 10:41:06 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 974+ views
    Popular Mechanics ^ | 1/25/2010 | Joe Pappalardo
    When there is more than $10 billion in weapons sales at stake, marketing can trump diplomacy during NATO air combat training. NATO pilots routinely participate in war games with its members, during which flights of "red team" airplanes play the opposition and square off against NATO pilots in realistic encounters. Recently, a squadron of pilots of the Spanish air force flew Eurofighter Typhoons, a multirole airplane with good dogfighting abilities, in mock combat against U.S. Air Force F-15s in the skies around Gando Air Base, Gran Canaria. The engagements, judging by a press release issued by Eurofighter, did not go...
  • Software Code Source of Tension for F-35 Sales

    01/27/2010 10:05:30 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 22 replies · 624+ views
    Wharton Aerospace ^ | 1/17/2010 | Wharton Aerospace
    A dogfight over software is intensifying as the Pentagon reaffirmed that it will not share with partner countries the sensitive code that controls Lockheed Martin's F-35 radar-evading jet fighter, according to an article published by Reuters. Britain, which funded about $2 billion of the F-35, is among eight countries that co-financed the system. Nonetheless, no country will receive the source code or the vital electronics that control everything from weapons integration to radar to flight dynamics, according to the article. The jet, known as the Joint Strike Fighter, can switch between air-to-ground and air-to-air missions in mid-flight, thanks to some...
  • Next-Generation Jammer Takes Shape

    01/23/2010 8:57:16 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 473+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 1/22/2010 | David A. Fulghum
    Many of the tools for airborne electronic warfare and attack are aging and lack flexibility. At the same time, new off-the-shelf technologies used by irregular and conventional foes—ranging from low-power command-and-control communications to advanced, long-range anti-aircraft missiles—are increasingly sophisticated, making it more expensive and time-consuming to find, analyze and counter them. Developers are in a quandary about which technologies to pursue first, a problem compounded by a lack of agreement among the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Army about how to address common problems. Faced with this swiftly changing environment, the Navy is searching for solutions within the framework of...
  • US slows Lockheed's F-35 fighter program

    01/21/2010 1:26:16 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 474+ views
    Budapest Business Journal ^ | 1/21/2010 | Reuters
    The US Defense Department is slowing Lockheed Martin Corp's $300 billion F-35 fighter jet program, a multinational effort, to stabilize its schedule and costs, according to draft budget documents obtained by Reuters. The department's fiscal 2011 budget will request $10.7 billion to continue the F-35's development and to procure 42 aircraft, a budget overview shows. Overall, the plan is to cut planned purchases by 10 aircraft in fiscal 2011 and a total of 122 through 2015. The Pentagon “has adjusted F-35 procurement quantities based on new data on costs and on likely orders from our foreign nations partners and realigned...
  • USAF Sees New C-130 AMP Competition

    01/19/2010 10:48:42 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 672+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 1/19/2010 | Amy Butler
    In the latest chapter of the on-again, off-again U.S. Air Force program to upgrade avionics on the C-130 airlifter fleet, service officials say the once-dead project is now funded and will move forward. The Air Force says it has not yet ironed out a procurement strategy, but industry officials suggest the program will go ahead with a competition to build kits. Last month, a contest to manufacture C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) kits was quashed. The Air Force said the “government will readdress the [issue] once a way forward for the AMP program has been determined.” This reversal was brought...
  • Boeing Looks To First Silent Eagle Flight

    01/16/2010 7:51:40 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 51 replies · 2,372+ views
    Avation Week and Space Technology ^ | 1/16/2010 | Amy Butler
    With radar-cross-section (RCS) trials for Boeing’s Silent Eagle semi-stealthy F-15 prototype complete, company officials are now focusing on South Korea as a possible first customer. The RCS testing took place during a two-week period last August and September, although Boeing has only just acknowledged it because of proprietary issues, says Mark Bass, vice president of F-15 programs. The company is eyeing South Korea’s forthcoming F-X3 competition for 60 fighters as the first sales opportunity for the Silent Eagle. The South Korean parliament’s recent hesitancy about investing in all-stealth aircraft “validates our approach” with the aircraft, says Bass. The company is...
  • F-35 Beginning To Fade

    01/15/2010 9:21:22 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 51 replies · 1,658+ views
    The Strategy Page ^ | 01/10/2010 | The Strategy Page
    The U.S. Navy has been nervously watching as the costs of the new F-35C and F-35B carrier aircraft increase. It comes down to this. Currently, it costs the navy, on average, $19,000 an hour to operate its AV-8 vertical takeoff and F-18C fighter aircraft. It costs 63 percent more to operate the F-35C (which will replace the F-18C) and the F-35B (which will replace the AV-8). These costs include buying the aircraft, training and maintaining the pilots, the aircraft and purchasing expendable items (fuel, spare parts, munitions.) Like the F-22, which recently had production capped at less than 200 aircraft,...
  • Second Lockheed Martin F-35B STOVL Aircraft Arrives at U.S. Navy Test Site

    01/04/2010 12:48:22 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 15 replies · 1,278+ views
    Defense Professionals ^ | 1/03/2010 | Defense Professionals
    The second Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) F-35B Lightning II short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) stealth fighter arrived today at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Joseph T. "O.D." Bachmann piloted the aircraft nonstop from Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth, Texas, plant to Patuxent River, successfully completing aerial refueling en route. Bachmann departed at 11:07 a.m. EST and arrived in Patuxent River at 2:26 p.m. EST. "Pax River is ready to begin the extensive four-year flight test campaign to help field the future of Marine Corps and Navy Aviation," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35...
  • US mulling Japanese participation in F-35 fighter

    12/31/2009 9:51:58 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 622+ views
    Space War ^ | 12/29/2009 | Staff Writers via Space War
    The United States is considering allowing Japan to take part in a multinational project to develop the F-35 next-generation stealth fighter, a press report said Tuesday. Washington may allow Tokyo to participate in the project even without assurances from Japan that it will procure the F-35, Kyodo News reported, quoting sources from both governments. The move is intended to clear the way for Japan to introduce the F-35 as its future mainstay fighter as countries not participating in the joint development would not be allowed to acquire it at an early date, Kyodo said. Tokyo's participation would be limited to...
  • Russia Finally Gets Its F-15E

    12/24/2009 7:59:22 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 15 replies · 1,643+ views
    The Strategy Page ^ | 12/24/2009 | The Strategy Page
    Three years after deciding to start production, the Russian Air Force received the first two production models of the Su-34 fighter-bomber. The original plan was to put 24 aircraft into service by 2010. It was hoped that they would eventually be able to buy a hundred. Apparently one goal of undertaking serial production was to encourage foreign purchases. No luck there yet. The 45 ton Su-34 is a replacement for the 43 ton Su-24 bomber, which is beginning to show its age (over twenty years). There are 300 Su-24s on the books, but most of these are not fit for...
  • USAF Appears To Shelve C-130 Upgrade

    12/24/2009 8:06:15 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies · 961+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 12/23/2009 | Amy Butler
    The U.S. Air Force appears to have halted the forthcoming competition to build C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) kits, a sign that this program could be terminating in the coming budget request for 2011. On Dec. 16, the Air Force program office overseeing the C-130 AMP program issued a statement noting that the "government is finalizing the way forward on the C-130 AMP program" and the solicitation is "cancelled." The statement adds that "the government will readdress the [issue] once a way forward for the AMP program has been determined." This is the latest chapter in the troubled $5.8 billion...
  • A Sniper for the Lancer

    12/20/2009 11:22:55 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 29 replies · 1,760+ views
    Defense Update ^ | 12/2009 | Defense Updatw
    Testing of the Lockheed Martin Sniper Targeting Pod on board the B-1B Lancer bomber has been accelerated in recent and is nearly completed, leading to the Air Force's Air Combat Command plans to approve sending pod-equipped bombers on operational missions by mid-summer. Because the sniper pod is a desperately needed capability in theater, Edwards Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force and the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, combined the operational and developmental testing of a B-1B Lancer to accelerate the integration of the sniper targeting pod with the B-1B bomber. "Everyone at the here...
  • New Bomber To Focus Heavily On ISR

    12/18/2009 1:42:48 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 8 replies · 758+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 12/17/2009 | David A. Fulghum
    The U.S. Air Force’s ISR chief says a new bomber design will be more about intelligence gathering and non-kinetic weapons than about bombing. The arsenal of this “long-range, ISR/Strike” aircraft may eventually include directed energy and network attack, says Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Directed energy weapons under development by the Pentagon include a range of lasers and devices that produce pulses of high-power microwaves. Other non-kinetic capabilities include the attack of enemy sensors with very precise, exotic-waveform jamming and the low-power, electronic invasion of networks that link tactical weapon systems...
  • X-51A WaveRider Gets Airborne

    12/12/2009 11:01:50 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies · 2,017+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 12/11/2009 | Graham Warwick
    The US Air Force Research Laboratory's X-51A WaveRider scramjet engine demonstrator completed its first captive-carry flight under the wing of its B-52H mothership from Edwards AFB on Dec. 9. The first free flight is planned for mid-February. The B-52 climbed to the planned launch altitude of 50,000ft during a 1.4h flight that checked out systems and telemetry. The next flight, planned for mid-January, will be a full dress-rehearsal for the first of four planned X-51A hypersonic test flights. The Boeing-built X-51A will be released at 50,000ft over the Pacific and accelerated to Mach 4.5 by a solid rocket booster. The...
  • LM Delivers First Production F-35 Electro-Optical Targeting System

    12/07/2009 12:34:13 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 613+ views
    Space War ^ | 12/07/2009 | Staff Writers Via SPX
    Lockheed Martin has marked successful entry into low rate initial production on the F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS). The first production units have been delivered to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, TX, for integration onto the aircraft. Embedded into the F-35's fuselage with an innovative faceted sapphire window, the low-drag, stealthy EOTS is the world's first and only sensor combining forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality. The F-35 EOTS will provide Lightning II pilots with significant air-to-air and air-to-ground situational awareness in a single compact and completely passive sensor. "Our team looks forward to meeting...
  • The USAF's Secret Spaceplane

    12/06/2009 4:42:05 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 35 replies · 3,011+ views
    Kompas.com ^ | 12/09/2009 | Michael Klesius
    It's been a long wait—in some ways, more than 50 years—but in April 2010, the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to launch an Atlas V booster from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying the newest U.S. spacecraft, the unmanned X-37, to orbit. The X-37 embodies the Air Force's desire for an operational spaceplane, a wish that dates to the 1950s, the era of the rocket-powered X-15 and X-20. In other ways, though, the X-37 will be picking up where another U.S. spaceplane, NASA's space shuttle, leaves off.
  • Japan Seeks An F-22 Substitute

    12/03/2009 4:43:03 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies · 2,467+ views
    The Strategy Page ^ | 12/03/2009 | The Strategy Page
    Japan has grounded all of its F-15J fighters until it can figure out what exactly caused one of its F-15s to shed several parts during a recent air show. Seven pieces fell off the aircraft as it made a sharp turn.. This sort of thing makes Japan even more eager to find a modern fighter to replace its 118 F-4 and 202 F-15 aircraft. With China and Russia putting more new fighters into service, Japan sees a threat. Japan has made several efforts to buy the U.S. F-22, without success. The United States does not want to export its premier...
  • Will Australian JSF Buy Avoid Delays?

    12/03/2009 4:18:16 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 348+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 12/02/2009 | Robert Wall
    The Australian defense department’s uphill struggle to control acquisition programs is progressing, but it is far from reaching fruition. The government’s decision to go ahead with the purchase of up to 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters will test what lessons have been learned from delays on airborne early warning aircraft, tankers and helicopters. Schedule performance has long been a thorn in the side of the department, which in recent years has rolled out a range of reform measures to try to curb these costly failings. Even more efforts are on the drawing board, in large part out of concern that...
  • Israel sticks to its guns on F-35

    11/30/2009 10:17:13 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 36 replies · 1,462+ views
    Space War ^ | 11/30/2009 | UPI Via Space War
    Israel is sticking to its guns on a demand the United States allow it to integrate its own electronic warfare suite in Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, even though the Americans have given the green light to install other Israeli systems in the jet. Israel wants to buy an initial batch of 25 F-35s, enough for one squadron, in fiscal 2012 and would like to acquire another 50. The U.S. Department of Defense and Maryland-based Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor in the program, want to finalize a contract with Israel as soon as possible. The main holdup has been...
  • US Guards JSF Crown Jewels

    11/28/2009 11:32:20 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 24 replies · 1,056+ views
    Dod Buzz ^ | 11/24/2009 | Colin Clark
    The Pentagon, after years and years of deliberation and heavy pressure from Britain, has finally decided it will not share the all-important computer source code for the Joint Strike Fighter. Sharing source code would, in the words of one close observer of the program, “turn the British JSF into a Trojan Horse.” The message this source would send the British: “Yes we love you… but who are those third party nationals from the EU working for you? And how do we know we can trust them?” British officials had threatened to pull out of the program if the US did...
  • Touchscreens, Broadband Coming To Flight Decks

    11/27/2009 12:02:07 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 7 replies · 743+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 11/20/2009 | Graham Warwick
    For the inspiration behind the next generation of avionics, just look around you; it is to be found in the consumer electronics we use every day. The touchscreen interactivity and broadband connectivity of today’s smart phones and laptops is poised to enter the flight deck. The signs are already here. Garmin International has introduced touchscreens with its G3000 integrated flight deck, selected for the HondaJet and PiperJet light business jets. In addition to wide-screen liquid crystal displays, the G3000 has a pair of vehicle management system controllers with touch-sensitive screens and desktop-like menu icons. Garmin says the user interface draws...