Australia’s Super Hornet Tests JSOW Guided Weapons

JSOW Weapon Super Hornet aircraft from No. 1 Squadron conducted their first live weapon trials at the Woomera Test Range, north of Adelaide. The JSOW test is part of Australia’s new Super Hornets testing their deployment capabilities. (Read More & Videos...)

Saudi Arabia to Order 180 New Helicopters for a New National Guard Aviation Regiment

The recently announced acquisition of more than 180 helicopters for the Saudi Arabian National Guards (SANG) provides the first major step in expansion of the SANG Aviation Command, established in 2006. The announced package worth well over $25 billion equals the modernization of the Royal Saudi Air Force’s F-15 force. (Read More...)

Better F-15SA Eagles for the Royal Saudi Air Force

Updated: October 21, 2010: The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have finalized an arms package that shadows even the large arms mega-sales in the region. The current program includes several packages worth about $60 Billion, which include mostly platforms produced by the Boeing Company. (Read More...)

Rafael Delivers the 1,000th Litening Targeting pod

GrippenIn 1997 Northrop Grumman joined Rafael to become the prime contractor for the Litening pod for the U.S. market and U.S. Government Foreign Military Sales (FMS), representing more than half of all sales (designated AN/AAQ-28). The pod has been integrated on many different aircraft, from the B-52 bomber, MiG-21, F-5E and F-4E to the latest versions of F-16, F-15E, Su-30 and Typhoon. Among the countries operating Litening are Australia, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, the U.K., U.S. and Venezuela.

DARPA Selects AAI, Lockheed Martin for Transformer (TX) Program

Darpa Transformers To meet much of transportation needs of today’s deployed Warfighter, either highly mobile multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWV) are used, or helicopters, which have limited availability, are used. DARPA’s Transformer (TX) program seeks to combine the advantages of ground vehicles and helicopters into a single vehicle equipped with flexibility of movement. (Read More...)

Israel Air Force Helicopters Conclude a CSAR Exercise in Greece

A joint training exercise conducted by the Hellenic and Israel Air Forces took place in Greece this week. Israeli and Greek helicopters took part in simulated Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) operations, flying in a ‘coalition’ type operation as a joint force, as well as foes – training in a force-on-force scenario. This training included flights and landing in mountainous terrain and under changing weather conditions. (Read More...)

Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin Share USAF $2.3 Billion Advanced Targeting Pods Buy

On Thursday last week (Sept 30) the Pentagon awarded two competitive contracts for the delivery of advanced targeting pods for U.S. Air Force fighters. The Air Force will continue the procurement of two types of pods under the Advanced Targeting Pod – Sensors Enhancement (ATP-SE) program – the AAQ-33 Sniper from Lockheed Martin and AAQ-28(V) Litening – from Northrop Grumman and Israel’s Rafael. The total spending on the two systems over the life of the program could reach US$2.3 billion. The service is seeking to acquire an estimated 275 systems. At present, the contracts awarded to each of the two teams amount about $23 million each.

USAF Caps B-52 Spending at $12 Billion for Support and Modernization Over the Next Eight Years

b52 Boeing has been awarded a sole-source $11.9 Billion  indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract to support the fleet of B-52H bombers operated by the U.S. Air Force for the next eight years. The contract provides for the all acquisition and sustainment activities needed to support the aircraft and its systems, through their life extension and modernization. The award sets the framework for the program with individual orders to be awarded as required. (Read More...)

Ausi Super-Hornets to be Wired for Electronic Attack

Super Hornets Boeing is pre-wiring 12 of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Super Hornet for potential conversion of the aircraft for Electronic Attack role. At present the Australians have not decided whether to equip the aircraft with such capabilities. According to RAAF Group Capt. Steve Roberton, Officer Commanding 82 Wing currently operating these fighters, the ability to introduce an electronic attack capability on part of the Australian Super Hornets provides maximum flexibility for future missions. (Read More...)

Laser JDAM Tested with 2,000 pound Mk-84 Warhead

Laser JDAM Boeing completed the first pair of seven flight tests of the MK-84 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (Laser JDAM) this summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the new weapon qualification process. Integration of Laser JDAM will provide these heavy warheads with pinpoint strike precision, utilizing redundant navigation and guidance modes the guidance kit will enable midcourse GPS and terminal laser guidance, providing more effective, flexible attack modes. (Read More...)

Eurocopter Tests the X-Cube a New High-speed Hybrid Helicopter

Eurocopter A Hybrid High Speed Helicopter (H3) technology demonstrator developed by Eurocopter began flight testing on September 6, 2010 at the French flight test center at Istres. The new aircraft designated ‘X3′ (X Cube) combines vertical takeoff, landing and hovering performance with high speed cruising capability at speeds exceeding 220 knots. The announcement came less than two weeks after United Technologies (UTX.N) unit Sikorsky claimed an unofficial speed record of 250 knots (460 km/hour) with its X2 prototype . Today’s helicopters typically cruise around 130-40 knots. (read more...)

Riyadh to Invest up to $60 Billion Modernizing Airpower with U.S. Systems

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are finalizing an arms package that shadows even the large arms mega-sales in the region. The packages worth about $60 Billion include mostly platforms produced by Boeing, including 84 F-15 fighter jets, replacing the Kingdom’s aging F-15C/D fighters, upgrading of existing F-15S strike fighters in service with the RSAF, supply of 70 new AH-64D attack helicopters and upgrading of existing Apaches, and delivery of 36 AH-6 Little Bird. (Read More...)

AgustaWestland to Offer HH-71 for USAF Combat Search and Rescue HH-60G Pave Hawk Replacement Program

Augsta WestlandAgustaWestland plans to compete for the U.S. Air Force’s planned replacement of HH-60G Pave hawk combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter with over 100 ‘off-the-shelf’ platform. The European group is offering a version of the AW101 designated HH-71. Two years ago the company teamed with Lockheed Martin to offer the U.S. Air Force a similar search and rescue helicopter (CSAR-X program). (Read More...)

Russia, India set JV for the Multirole Transport Aircraft

India and Russia are setting up a Joint Venture Company (JVC) to design and develop the IL-214 Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA). The partners in the JVC will be Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Russian United Aircraft Corporation and Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport. The operating site of the new JVC will be in Bangalore, India – adjacent to HAL headquarters. (Read More...)

Despite recent ABL Failure, MDA Pursue With Long Range Missile Intercept in October '10

airborne laserAn airborne intercept of a liquid-rocket target failed on September 1, 2010 when the megawatt power airborne laser (ABL) veered away from the target a split second before the planned engagement. Despite this problem, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) plans to resume flight experiments this week, testing the performance of the software fixes, leading to a lethal shoot-down experiment involving a solid-fuel target missile by the end of September 2010. (Read More...)

WWII Flypasts Mark the 70th Anniversary for the Battle of Britain

WWII annviversaryOn the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain this week the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) performed commemorative flypasts and displays to mark the occasion. These flights culminate with a flypast over the cabinet War Rooms where Robert Hardy read the famous speech by Mr Winston Churchill “never has so much been owed by so many to so few”. (Read More...)

Moscow to Spend $300 Million on Eight Aerial Firefighters

The Russian Emergencies Ministry signed a $330 million contract with the Beriev design bureau for the procurement of eight Be-200 Altair amphibious planes configured for firefighting. The Russian news agency Novosti reports. The Altair is the largest multipurpose amphibious aircraft currently operational. This acquisition comes as a quick reaction to the criticism of Russian authorities failing to contain wildfires raging through western Russia for two months in the summer of 2010. (Read More...)

New Opportunities Mature for Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Advanced Trainer

M-346 Trainer One of the most modern Advanced/Lead-In Fighter Trainer in production today, the M-346 from Alenia Aermacchi is gathering momentum to become the leading trainer preparing future combat pilot to fly the latest generation fighters. On the way, it will have to fight tough opponents, from the BAE Systems’ Hawk – being the market leader in the past 35 years, and still going strong with the latest AJT version, and Korean T-50 Golden Eagle, eagerly promoted by Korea and U.S. based Lockheed Martin, still awaiting the international breakthrough. (Read More...)

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