Stealthy Jet Draws Flak by Escalating Cost, Delays

Two reports soon to be released, by the Pentagon’s Selected Acquisition Reports (SARs) and Government Accountability Office are expected to cast more shadows on the F-35 Lightning II program recently scrutinized by almost every senior Pentagon official. One of the most vocal critics of the program is the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOTE), and the Joint Estimating Team (JET) formed to investigate the JSF program have both released negative reports leading the Secretary of the Air Force and Secretary of Defense to openly criticize the program, sofar considered to be an example for joint services and multinational program advantages. (read more...)

Tanker program – Round 3!

In a third attempt in nine years to replace its current 50-year-old tanker aircraft, the U.S. Air Force will release the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the USD$35 billion aerial tanker competition. The Air Force is hopeful, that both the Boeing Company and Northrop Grumman/EADS will bid for the work. The Northrop/ EADS team won the Air Force contract in the last competition, but following a Boeing protest, the government cancelled the contract. Northrop has said the team will not bid again, unless changes are made to the draft RFP released last September. The RFP, scheduled for publication Wednesday, lists 372 requirements, which the bidders should address within 75 days. The Pentagon will announce its decision by September this year. (read more...)

Brazil's FX-2 – Time for Decision

The selection of the next generation fighter for the Brazilian Air Force is expected to be announced by the end of March. The selection process drew much criticism in Brazil, due to the conflict between the President Luiz Inacio Lola and Air Force commander General Juniti Saito. Lola has personally negotiated with French president Nicolas Sarkozi who agreed to grant Brazil generous technology transfer, to produce the Omnirole Rafale in-country. (read more...)

Russia Unveils New Stealth Fighter

Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA made a successful 47-minute maiden flight on Friday 29 January 2010, taking off from Komsomolsk-on-Amur Airfield in Russia’s Far East, adjacent to the manufacturer’s site. The aircraft was flown by Sukhoi test-pilot Sergey Bogdan. Sukhoi, the aircraft designer is expecting to complete flight testing and enter serial manufacturing by 2015, anticipating orders for at least 400 aircraft for the Russian and Indian Air Forces. (read more...)

Gripen NG to Get Selex Galileo IRST

Saab has selected the Skyward-G Infrared Search & Track (IRST) system to equip the Gripen Next Generation (NG) fighter. IRST performs air-to-air functions similar to a 'passive radar', thus contributing to reduced electromagnetic signature while denying the target early warning about offensive actions being taken ('lock on signal'). According to Selex Galileo, the Skyward-G can operate in highly cluttered environments to track single and multiple targets, and can also operate in slaved acquisition mode. The selection of the SKYWARD-G system follows an earlier agreement signed in March 2009 between Saab and SELEX Galileo, for the development of the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar Raven ES-05 for Gripen NG.

Sikorsky to Refurbish over 100 S-61s for Operations in Afghanistan

The U.S. State Department has awarded Sikorsky Aircraft an indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity (IDIQ) agreement to purchase up to 110 modernized S-61T aircraft to be used for passenger and cargo transport, supporting the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. The new helicopters will provide an alternative to the Pentagon's current purchase and use of Russian Mil-8 and Mil-17 helicopters. (read more...)

France to Receive E-3F AWACS Upgrades

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a $324 million under a Foreign Military Sale contract to upgrade four French Air Force E-3F Sentry (AWACS) aircraft. The upgrade program will modernize the mission computing systems on board, to be brought to a level similar to the U.S. Block 40/45 system. The change takes the AWACS fleet from large legacy mainframe computer architecture to modern Windows- and Unix-based mission computing which are more convenient to support. (read more...)

 

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