Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Boeing reveals plans for AH-64E Block 2 Compound

AH-64 Apache

Boeing reveals plans to add bigger wings and a pusher-propeller to the Apache

by Alex Hollings · 21 hours ago

The AH-64 Apache has long served as one of America’s primary attack helicopters. The first iteration of the legendary attack aircraft took to the skies in 1975, with full production approved to begin in 1982 — making the storied platform yet another of the long list of U.S. military aircraft quickly approaching the end of their projected service lives. The Apache — like the B-1B Lancer, the B-2 Spirit, and so many other aviation hallmarks of American supremacy — is slated to be replaced in the coming years by a new platform that hasn’t fully manifested yet, leaving it in a sort of technological limbo. The Apache is getting too old to stay in the fight, and the U.S. Army needs to decide how best to keep it operational until a replacement can come to fruition.

“Even using the most aggressive plan they have to replace that fleet [the AH-64s] with something of the Future Vertical Lift family, there will have to be another evolution of some sort to keep the aircraft sustainable, ready and relevant to support the warfighter out to that time frame,” said Shane Openshaw, Boeing’s head of the Apache program.

Boeing has emerged at the forefront of finding solutions to today’s aviation quagmire — offering up a series of seemingly radical solutions that would keep some of America’s most prolific aircraft in the fight for years to come. Not long after word of the B-1B Lancer’s impending retirement, Boeing filed for a patent on a system that could turn the supersonic bomber into a heavily armed gunship.

The F-35 is slated to become America’s go-to carrier fighter, but Boeing, again aware that it will take years for the F-35 to reach the numbers (and operational capability) to usurp the Super Hornet as the nation’s primary carrier-based fighter, secured a contract with the U.S. Navy to deliver a massive technological overhaul to the existing fleet of Super Hornets. Boeing is well aware that its legacy platforms need to stay in service for longer than their existing equipment may allow — and they’re happy to break out a sketch pad to come up with creative ways to help their platforms evolve with the times. Now, it appears they’re looking to do the same for the Apache.

Actually, in the case of the Apache, that evolution may be the most dramatic yet. Boeing doesn’t just want to update the helicopter with more advanced systems… they want to add a propeller.

The update, which Boeing is calling the AH-64E Block 2 Compound, would include the addition of a larger main wing, an updated engine exhaust system, a large vertical tail fin, and — most interesting of all — a large, rear-mounted pusher propeller that aims to increase the Apache’s top speed and fuel efficiency at once.


Boeing had actually proposed a number of these changes to the U.S. Army in the form of an all-new platform they called the AH-64X back in 2014. At the time, the Army passed on their proposal. Now, Boeing hopes to coax the Army into opening its checkbook by modifying existing platforms, rather than producing a whole new fleet of choppers. Currently, the U.S. Army operates 235 of their most modern AH-64E Guardians, along with more than 500 of the older Apache Longbows. The Guardians are actually already undergoing an update that includes upgrading a number of flight systems.

The Block II Apache would cost, according to Boeing, only 20% more than previous Apache Guardians (which ring in at around $33.6 million a piece).



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Overhauled Sukhoi handed over to IAF

Su-30 MKI - Public domain

Mrityunjay Bose, DH News Service, Mumbai, OCT 26 2018, 14:10PM IST

The first overhauled Su-30 MKI ac was handed over to the operational squadron of the Indian Air Force by the 11 Base Repair Depot at Ojhar in Nashik district on Friday.

The first overhauled Su-30 MKI was handed over to the operational squadron of the Indian Air Force by the 11 Base Repair Depot at Ojhar in Nashik district on Friday.

In a landmark event, Air Marshal Hemant Sharma, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Maintenance Command handed over the indigenously overhauled Su 30 MKI aircraft to Air Marshal HS Arora, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South Western Air Command at...continue reading: HERE

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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

India inks $950 million deal for Russian frigates

By Manu Pubby, ET Bureau

Russia has inked a $950 -million deal to supply two new warships to India that will be equipped with Brahmos missiles to add to the firepower of the Navy. The two frigates of the Project 11356 class will be bought directly from Russia and a contract to build two more at an Indian yard is likely to be signed at a later stage. 

Sources told ET that while final clearances for the long-pending project came before the summit earlier this month between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the deal was signed last week after price negotiations. 

Given that the US has implemented sanctions on weapons purchases from Moscow, India could make payments for the ships using the rupee-rouble route. The deal — under a ‘2+2’ scheme where technology will be transferred to an Indian shipyard to construct two of the frigates from scratch — has been in the works since 2015......continue reading: HERE

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Gripen E has successfully completed the first tests to release and launch external payloads

Gripen E - Saab

First Missile Firing by Gripen E


26 October 2018

Gripen E has successfully completed the first tests to verify the ability to release and launch external payloads. The tests took place in October 2018 at Vidsel Test Range in the north of Sweden. 

The tests, conducted by the first Gripen E test aircraft (designated 39-8), comprised jettisoning one external fuel drop tank and one firing of an IRIS-T air-to-air missile.

Gripen E - Saab

 “As a pilot, flying with external stores such as drop tank and missiles is important to allow for evaluation of how the aircraft behaves with the stores attached. This test was also used to evaluate the effect on the aircraft when releasing and launching the stores. The highlight was of course to pull the trigger and watch the missile fire away. It also brings us closer to making the aircraft ready for its operational use”, says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Gripen Test Pilot at Saab.

Gripen E - Saab

“I am pleased to see the aircraft behaving and performing according to our expectations, which is proof of its smart design and world-class engineering by Saab. The programme is on track, and we are making good progress in the programme towards delivery to our Swedish and Brazilian customers”, says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

These tests are the latest steps in the Gripen E flight test programme preceded by the carriage trials in July and forms part of the weapon integration work.

Gripen E has weapons for all types of missions, such as stand-off precision strike using guided glide bombs, heavy anti-ship and deep strike missiles, to long-range and agile air-to-air missiles such as Meteor. Gripen E can also carry pods and sensors for reconnaissance and special missions. To give air forces a wide choice of operational capabilities, Gripen E is designed to enable quick integration of various weapons. This is partly made possible by Gripen E’s flexible avionic architecture.


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Monday, 29 October 2018

Chinese Experimental Submarine

H I Sutton

Source: H I Sutton

Go to article: HERE

Embraer KC-390 receives a type certification Brazilian aviation authority

Embraer YouTube

Embraer KC-390 receives Brazilian type certification

24 OCTOBER, 2018 

Embraer's KC-390 transport has received a type certification from the Brazilian aviation authority, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil.

A ceremony was held at Brasília Air Force Base to deliver the civil certificate of airworthiness to Embraer on 23 October. It was attended by Brazilian President Michel Temer, as well as the country’s Defense Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna, and Lt Brig Gen Nivaldo Rossato, its air force commander.

"The certification of KC-390, the largest and most complex aircraft developed throughout Embraer's history, expresses the high technological level achieved by the company," said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, president and chief executive of Embraer. "I would like to congratulate the teams that participated in the development of this program in partnership with the Brazilian Air Force."

The aircraft is expected to reach Final Operation Capability by the end of 2019 when it receives its military certification. Embraer has said that the first production aircraft will be delivered to the Brazilian air force in the first half 2019. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that the service has 28 firm orders.

The first series production example of the KC-390 made its maiden flight on 9 October. That aircraft joins two other test aircraft. Has of early November these had logged 1,900 flight hours.

The KC-390 is designed to perform missions such as cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refueling, search and rescue and forest fire fighting. Embraer is attempting to push the medium-size, twin-turbine powered transport aircraft into a military transport market dominated for decades by the Lockheed Martin C-130, by pitching what it claims is the lowest life-cycle cost in the market.

There are 38 letters of intent from international customers, including six LOIs from Argentina, six from Chile, 12 from Colombia, two from Czech Republic, and six from Portugal.

Embraer aims to make inroads into the US and international markets by leaning on an agreement that would have Boeing market and sell the transport. What’s more, after establishing a joint venture with Boeing that gives the American aerospace manufacturer complete control over its commercial aircraft unit, Embraer says it also plans to "explore the establishment" of a joint venture around the KC-390, according to a memorandum of understanding released this month by the company. The two companies are exploring the establishment of a manufacturing plant for the KC-390 in the USA, according to Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico.


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Sunday, 28 October 2018

First steel cut for RAN new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs)

Steel Cut for First  OPV

October 23, 2018 – Australia has hit a key milestone in its landmark naval shipbuilding program with the first steel cut for the country’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).

This is the next step in our nation’s $90 billion naval shipbuilding program that will keep Australia safe and deliver jobs for generations around the country.

Our plan for an even stronger economy means using Australian steel, Australian workers and investing in Australia’s skills base.

Australian steel is being used for all 12 OPVs and after being prepared and processed in Western Australia it will be delivered to South Australia. Two ships are being built at Osborne in SA by ASC Shipbuilding before construction for the other ten moves to Civmec in WA in 2020.

Ultimately, our Government’s OPV project will create up to 1,000 positions.

The first bolt has also been locked down on the steelwork at the country’s largest ship assembly hall at Civmec’s massive new $85 million facility at Henderson.

The facility will also include a blast and paint workshop, undercover storage, offices and carparks.

The new assembly hall will be bigger than the WACA Ground in Perth and large enough to house multiple OPVs for construction.

The facility project will create around 140 jobs and Civmec estimates it will provide positions for up to 1,000 West Australians, including 100 new apprentices and trainees, when it’s up and running.

Our Government’s investment in Australia’s naval shipbuilding program demonstrates our commitment to the safety and security of our nation, its people and its borders, and it represents an unprecedented investment in the local economy, workers and skills.


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S. Korea navy destroyer Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong (DDG 993) launches Raytheon SM-2 missile during exercises

Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong (DDG 993 -

Standard Missile-2 defeats aerial targets in South Korean Navy exercises

October 23, 2018 – Five Raytheon Company-built SM-2 surface-to-air missiles successfully completed five test flights in back-to-back summer exercises conducted at sea by the Republic of Korea Navy, or ROKN.

The Republic of Korea navy destroyer Seoae Ryu Seong-ryong (DDG 993) launches a Raytheon SM-2 missile during a previous exercise. The missile is an integral part of layered defense that protects the world’s important naval assets and gives navies a greater reach in the battlespace.

ROKN fired two Block IIIA missiles in an initial exercise to test the missiles’ advanced semi-active radar seeker technology. During a second exercise, the navy destroyed three aerial threats using the Block IIIB variant.

The SM-2 missile gives navies the capability to defend against anti-ship missiles and aircraft out to 90 nautical miles.

“These successful flight tests add to SM-2’s impressive legacy of more than 2,700 successful firings,” said Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Air and Missile Defense Systems vice president. “As we begin to produce a new generation of SM-2s, the missile will be in the inventories of navies worldwide for decades to come.”

Raytheon restarted the SM-2 missile line in 2017 to meet global demands from international customers, which include eight international countries.

New deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2020 and will include more than 280 SM-2 Block IIIA and IIIB missiles.


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Germany to field RQ-4C Triton (Pegasus) unmanned aerial vehicle late next year

German Triton programme on course for 2019 contract, renamed Pegasus

Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

24 October 2018

The German Air Force's plans to field the Northrop Grumman RQ-4C Triton high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle is proceeding to plan with a procurement contract expected to be signed late next year, a senior service official said on 24 October.

Speaking at the SMi Airborne ISR conference in London, Lieutenant Colonel Roland Runge, Deputy Commander Tactical Air Wing 51, said the Luftwaffe's latest effort to field an unmanned signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability is on track for a contract in late 2019 ahead of a planned entry-into-service in the mid-2020s.

"Following the cancellation of the Euro Hawk programme in 2013, the Triton was chosen as the next airborne SIGINT platform. A contract signing is expected next year, and things are looking pretty positive right now," Lt Col Runge said.

Germany's procurement of the Triton system was approved by the US government in April. The sale, which is valued at USD2.5 billion, covers four Triton UAVs that have been modified to an undisclosed German configuration, as well as one mission-control station (MCS) comprising one main operating base (MD-3A) and one forward operating base (MD-3B). Other equipment and support is also provided.

Formerly known as Broad-Area Maritime Surveillance-Demonstrator (BAMS-D), the US Navy's Triton programme is a HALE platform based on the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40 unmanned aircraft system (UAS). As noted by Lt Col Runge, the Luftwaffe is to rename its Triton platforms Pegasus, which stands for Persistent German Airborne Surveillance System.

The Triton was one of the main programmes featured in the inaugural Air Capability Strategy Paper that was released by the German Department of Defence in January 2016. Other unmanned programmes included the Airbus-IAI Heron TP and the European medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) remotely piloted air system (RPAS) being developed by Airbus, Dassault, and Leonardo.


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MQ-4C Triton: Details

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Nigeria to buy three JF-17s for $184.3m

Public domain

Pakistan to sell three JF-17s to Nigeria for $184.3m

Talks under way for the sale of batch II of the aircraft, which is more sophisticated and advanced than batch I

Sana Jamal, Correspondent

Islamabad: Pakistan has successfully gained a contract for the sale of JF-17 thunder aircraft to Nigeria while talks are under way with several other countries to promote indigenously produced aircraft.

Pakistani government’s Economic Coordination Committee has approved sovereign guarantee certificate over the sale of three JF-17 jets to Nigerian Air force for a sum of $184.3 million.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production informed the economic decision-making committee that Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra has signed a contract for the sale of three JF-17 aircraft and associated package to Nigerian Air Force.

Nigeria is Pakistan’s second international customer for its domestically assembled JF-17 thunder multi-role fighter jet after Myanmar. The Pakistani aircraft is a cost-effective and competitive alternative than the western fighter aircraft available in the market.

According to officials, Pakistan is also holding talks with at least three other countries including Malaysia, Azerbaijan and a Gulf nation for the sale of JF-17 batch II, which is more sophisticated and advanced than batch I.

In 2010, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) equipped its first squadron with JF-17 multi-role fighter, developed jointly with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). In recent years, PAC has successfully inducted more than 100 JF-17 Block-I and Block-II and anticipating for the more advanced Block III which includes major upgrade in electronic subsystems.

The recent sale of Pakistani multirole fighter indicates potential and capabilities of Pakistan’s aircraft and defence industry. According defence expert, Sultan M Hali, “Pakistan’s defence industry has launched cutting-edge indigenisation programmes together with strengthening the local industry and harnessing the demands of foreign aviation industry by promoting joint research and production ventures.”


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Nigeria to acquire three JF-17 fighters

JF-17 “Thunder” fighter: Details

US warns of sanctions over Turkey's plans to install Russian S-400s

Первый канал

Responding to Ankara’s announcement that it will proceed with the installation of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in October 2019, Washington has warned of sanctions and repercussions in defense trade.

In response to questions posed by the news website Hellas Journal, a State Department official was quoted on Friday as saying that “an S-400 acquisition could potentially trigger actions under the Countering Americas Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and have serious ramifications for US ability to do business with Turkey across the defense trade spectrum.”

The US government imposed sanctions on the S-400 manufacturer Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defense Corporation JSC in October last year.

“The United States is committed to Turkey’s security and ensuring Turkey’s ability to defend itself. We have long made it clear that we want to work collaboratively on air and missile defense with Turkey,” the same official said. However Washingtion “has also made it clear to Turkey that we have very serious concerns with plans to proceed with the acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system,” the official added.

The statement cited a series of concerns, including that military equipment procured by NATO countries should be ‘interoperable with NATO systems.” “A Russian system does not meet that standard,” the official said, adding that the procurement would be “inconsistent with the commitment made by Allies at the Warsaw Summit to enhance resilience by working to address existing dependencies on Russian-sourced legacy military equipment through national efforts.”

On Thursday, Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu news agency Thursday quoted Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar as saying that the installation of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems in Turkey will begin in October 2019.

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Northern Fleet to get first Arctic version Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile systems in November


The first division of the Tor-M2DT anti-aircraft missile systems in the Arctic version will be delivered to the Northern Fleet in the third decade of November, said Lieutenant-General Alexander Leonov, head of the Russian Armed Forces air defense.

The anti-aircraft gunners still have to undergo retraining, conduct combat coordination and carry out combat docking firing with the use of new weapons.

Tor-M2DT is an arctic version of the Tor-M2 complex installed on DT-30M two-link track-type conveyors. Combat vehicles of the air defense system have a unique maneuverability: they can overcome ditches, swim, do not lose their performance in more than 50 degrees of frost. They are capable of hitting targets a few seconds after their detection.

Source:  Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

Source: Roy Lanek

Vesti News
Published on Feb 21, 2018
Tor-M2’s Tested in Astrakhan: Powerful Russian Anti-Aircraft Missile System Gets a Smooth Test Run

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Friday, 26 October 2018

Belgium to purchase 34 F-35 fighter jets

Royal Netherlands Air Force F-35 - Dafydd Phillips

Belgium agrees to buy 34 US F-35 fighter jets

by Joel Gehrke

Belgium has decided to purchase nearly three dozen F-35 fighter jets, edging out the Eurofighter Typhoon and creating another customer for the multinational program.

“The United States welcomes the decision by the government of Belgium to purchase thirty-four new F-35 fighter aircraft,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. “Belgium is now poised to fly the F-35 alongside its closest NATO allies and longtime partners.”

Belgian officials announced the decision Thursday, concluding a competition between the Lockheed Martin F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon, a jet built in coordination with four European governments. The planes will replace Belgium's older U.S.-made F-16s.

“The United States is proud of our enduring air partnership with Belgium, a country whose air power has contributed to the defeat ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria, and NATO’s Baltic air policing mission,” Nauert said. “With Belgium’s commitment to the F-35 program, its five-star aerospace industry will continue to expand as it supports this fifth-generation aircraft, which was jointly developed with European partners.”

Belgian officials didn’t fully explain why they chose the F-35 over the European-made rival, but a number of factors point to the potential threat of conflict with Russia.

“Most importantly, F-35 is the only aircraft currently being produced anywhere that is invisible to Russian radars,” Forbes’ Loren Thompson observed last month. “But there are other compelling reasons for buying the more survivable F-35. It is the only plane in the competition equipped to carry the tactical nuclear weapons that deter aggression from the East — a role in which Belgium's air force has long participated.”

The announcement comes just days after President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from a treaty banning Russian or American deployment of land-based, intermediate-range nuclear weapons. The 1987 arms control agreement was designed to prevent a nuclear arms race in Europe, whose capitals could be destroyed quickly by missiles fired from just a few thousand miles away or less. But Russia has deployed such missiles already recent years in violation of the deal, according to U.S. officials.

“Belgium’s participation in the F-16 program has been a cornerstone of our modern transatlantic defense partnership,” Nauert said. “We look forward to continuing this partnership for many decades to come with the F-35 program." 

The article is a bit of a joke 

“Most importantly, F-35 is the only aircraft currently being produced anywhere that is invisible to Russian radars,” 

Doubt that is true because since Russia declared the delivery of the S-300 to Syria it seems all Israeli jet activities over Syria have ceased that includes the F-35I.

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