Israel Approves Initial Buy of 20 F-35A Stealth Fighters

F-35i Israel's defense minister Lt. General (Ret) Ehud Barak has given the go-ahead to a $2.75 billion purchase of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35I Lightning II fighter jets. The new fighter will be provided along with an integral support package, sustaining the aircraft through its service life. The decision has yet to pass the approval of the Israeli government. The purchase will be funded by U.S. military aid to Israel. Israel originally planned to buy 75 such planes, with an initial option of 25 aircraft. According to Israel MOD sources, the flyaway cost of these aircraft will be $96 million, but this cost reflects only the net platform price. (read more...)

Lightweight Kinetic Energy Net (KEN) Structural Armor for Airborne Applications

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) is developing a new Kinetic Energy Net (KEN) armor concept for military rotorcraft and aircraft, which could also find application in future combat vehicles. In April 2010 the company has won a US$1.5 Million from the U.S. Army Applied Aviation Technology Directorate to continue continue development of the KEN armor design. (Read More...)

India Shortlists the European Typhoon and French Rafale for $10 Billion Fighter Buy

Rafale F3 The Indian Air Force has concluded the technical assessment of six fighter aircraft proposed for the Medium MultiRole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program, paving the way for the Ministry of Defense to decide on the Air Force’s US$10 billion (Rs 42,000 crore) acquisition of 126 new fighters plus options for additional 63. (Read More...)

Raytheon Selected to Deliver the U.S. Air forces with SDB-II Weapons

Raytheon SDBThe U.S. Air Force has awarded the Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) US$450 million for the development and production of GBU-53/B for the Small Diameter Bomb increment II program. SDB II is the next generation of the lightweight, aerial precision-strike standoff weapon designed with integral capability to accurately strike moving and fixed targets in adverse weather conditions. Read More...)

Farnborough Review - Are Fighters Going Forward?

Farnborough 2010 Our first impressions from the Farnborough AirShow this year are that short termed, urgent requirements, have finally reached the air forces, traditionally known for their long term visionary and meticulous planning processes.
The recent conflicts fought at high profile, in Southwest Asia and Iraq, leave the military with minimal tolerance for error and, under these circumstances, they want everything right now and at the lowest cost. (Read More...)

Militarized Air-Tractor Arrive at Farnborough

Air TractorThe Air Tractor AT-802U today completed its Trans-Atlantic flight, from Newfoundland to the Azores to England, to display its new capabilities at the 2010 Farnborough Air Show. Air Tractor and Air Tractor Military Dealer CAV (Combined Air Ventures LLC) will display the aircraft and demonstrate its new electronics, sensors and weapons. The AT-802U prototype made its international debut last year at the Paris Air Show. This year at Farnborough the aircraft is displayed with a militarized cockpit, Wescam MX15Di stabilized EO sensor turret, integrated with large HD displays and the all-new glass cockpit. Real-time video can be transmitted directly to ground units using the L3 Rover datalink. (Read More...)

Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin Expand Teaming to Pursue HH-60 Recap

HH-60 Helicopter Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) are joining forces to compete to replace the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of 112 Combat Search and Rescue HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. The agreement positions Sikorsky as prime contractor, with Lockheed Martin as the major subsystems supplier. The companies are expected to share facilities, experience and engineering talent for several collaborative opportunities. The two companies are already teaming on the U.S. Navy's MH-60R program; systems deployed on the Navy program could be implemented in the USAF HH-60 Recap. In April 2010, the companies announced a teaming agreement to compete jointly for the U.S. Navy’s revived VXX Presidential Helicopter program. (Read More...)

Defense Update: Farnborough 2010 Preview

Faranborough 2010 The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) is one of the world’s most iconic global aviation events. Every two years in the month of July, the airshow takes place at the Farnborough airfield near London, for one week. The first five days of the show are traditionally trade days only, followed by a weekend where the exhibition is opened up to the public. (Read More...)

AW101 Proposed to Replace Royal Navy's Sea King Mk7 AEW Helicopter

AW101 Helicopter AugustaWestland and Thales presented the conceptual design of an AW101 ‘Merlin’ based Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC), positioned to replace the Sea King Mk7 ASaC currently operated by the Royal Navy. Operating from the deck of helicopter and aircraft carriers, Sea King Mk 7 helicopters are carrying the Searchwater 2000 radar and Cerberus mission system to provide airborne early warning at sea for the Royal Navy naval surface fleet. (Read More...)

Algerian Su-30MKA Line Up at Ain Beida Airbase

SU-30 Algiers has bought 28 Su-30MKA aircraft from Russia, and has options for additional 28. Lead-in training will be provided by 16 Yak 130 to be delivered from Russia. These Sukhoi fighters will operate in three squadrons positioned in Ain Baida airbase, in North-Eastern Algeria.  Algeria is also reportedly was the lead export customer for the 34 Su-35 fighters to be delivered upon completion of the new fighter’s development. (Read More...)

U.S. Air Force Deploys the Last MC-12 to Afghanistan

MC-12 aiecraft The 30th MC-12 Liberty was recently deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility completing the initial deployment plan, an Air Force official announced July 9. MC-12 Liberty ISR aircraft are currently operating with three units in SOuthwest Asia: the 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron operating from Kandahar, Afghanistan and the 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron stationed in Bagram, Afghanistan and the 362nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron in Balad air base, Iraq. (Read More...)

Australia Formally Requests Buying 24 MH-60R from the USA

MH60 Australia is interested in buying 24 MH-60R Seahawk maritime multi-mission helicopters at an estimated cost of US$2.1 billion, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress.  The Royal Australian Navy currently operates 32 SH-60B and B-2 Seahawk models. Under Air 9000 Phase 8 plan to replace the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet of 16 S-70B Seahawks and the Seasprites whose acquisition has been cancelled. RAN considers two alternatives for this program - the NH 90 NFH from NH Industries and MH-60R from U.S. based Sikorsky. (Read More...)

Maiden Flight for the Silent Eagle

F15 Silent EagleThe Boeing company completed the first flight of the F-15SE ‘Silent Eagle’ flight demonstrator on July 8, 2010. The aircraft, designated F-15E1 took off from the Lambert St. Louis International Airport on an 80-minute flight, where the aircraft opened and closed its left-side Conformal Weapons Bay, which contained an AIM-120 Instrumented Test Vehicle (ITV) missile. “[In this flight] we cleared the desired flight envelope needed to fire the missile at the test range” said Boeing F-15 Chief Test Pilot Dan Draeger. According to Boeing F-15 Development Programs Director Brad Jones, in the next couple of weeks, the F-15E1 will be ferry to a test range to launch an AIM-120.(read more...)

The U.S. Army is Eying More Missions for the C-12

LibertyThe U.S. Army is embarking on an acquisition program of a new aerial surveillance manned aircraft designated 'Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System' (EMARSS), augmenting tactical ground units with persistent surveillance, intelligence gathering and situational understanding, supporting their 'Overwatch' capability. The new program of record represents a low-risk approach to field advanced, critical intelligence gathering capabilities based on the field operationally Hawker Beechcraft 350ER (C-12) aircraft. (Read More...) 

EADS North America to Face Boeing in the KC-X 'Finals'

After failing to find a local prime for the KC-X bid, the European conglomerate decided to pit its U.S. subsidiary EADS North America to compete against Boeing in the $35 billion bid to replace the U.S. Air Force KC-135 tankers. EADS is expected to propose a derivative of its Airbus 330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft, currently undergoing flight testing. Five customers have already selected the MRTT as their future tanker. Boeing is proposing the B767 NewGen tanker, that uses elements from other aircraft, such as the P8 and Boeing B777 that will have to be tested and refined through the development program. (more... )

An Israeli Helmet Display is Tailored for Rocket Planes

Rocket Race Rocket Racing pilots participating at the upcoming Tulsa Airshow will have the first opportunity to experience and demonstrate the next generation helmet mounted display technology sofar available only to fighter pilots. The revolutionary Targo Racer aviator’s helmet developed by Israel's Elbit Systems integrates a display system and avionics, that enable Rocket Racing League (RRL) pilots to competitively challenge each other flying the  3D Raceway-In-The-Sky (RITS) sky track. (Read More...)


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