Saturday, 29 February 2020

Germany lines up 60-unit H145M purchase

Germany lines up 60-unit H145M purchase | News | Flight Global

Germany is looking to buy more than 60 Airbus Helicopters H145Ms to address a broad spectrum of missions - including training and light attack - chiefly for its army.

In fact, the army requires nearly 50 helicopters on its own: 24 for training and a further 24 as battlefield utility helicopters to equip its three aviation regiments. The navy and air force are likely to need another 16 aircraft between them.

Detailing the requirement at Defence IQ’s International Military Helicopter conference on 26 February, a representative from the army’s rapid forces division said the helicopters could be required from 2021.

Initial examples would replace the older EC135s and Bell 206Ds currently deployed at the army’s multinational training school at Buckeburg, contracts for which expire next year.

“We are seeking to relieve the legacy fleet of today through buying a common platform,” he says.

Germany has already bought two variants of the H145M – which it calls the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) – 15 for the air force in support of special forces missions (LUH SOF) and five examples of a search and rescue model for the army (LUH SAR); both have been painless acquisitions.

“The H145 is already known to the German armed forces and we are now thinking of profiting from those good experiences,” says the army representative, with the new variant to be known as the LUH Streitkrafte (LUH SK).

An initial eight LUH SKs equipped with Airbus Helicopters’ HForce modular weapons system will support the army’s Tiger attack helicopter fleet. However, all 48 rotorcraft will have the necessary systems in place to use HForce.

“We want to use [those training aircraft] also in a wartime scenario to support the fight,” he says, describing the likely acquisition as a “smart” use of resources.

Additional tasks could include battlefield liaison, transport or medevac. The H145 has achieved considerable success in the commercial emergency medical services market, notes the army representative, so “why not do the same on the military side?”

In addition, the LUH SK could allow Tiger or NH Industries NH90 crews to transfer certain training tasks onto the cheaper helicopters, helping to make up for the consistently low availability rates of those two platforms which is blamed on “weak industrial support”.

Although the German army envisages an anti-armour mission for the LUH SK fleet, there is as yet no anti-tank missile integrated onto the H145M.

However, in early 2021 Airbus Helicopters and Israeli firm Rafael will conduct test firings using the latter’s Spike ER munition; qualification should be achieved the following year.

H145M: Details

Russia’s Defense Ministry to sign contract for two helicopter carriers

Russia’s Defense Ministry to sign contract for two helicopter carriers

Russia’s Defense Ministry is planning to sign a contract for the construction of the first two all-purpose amphibious assault ships by late April, a source in the Russian defense industry told rest of article

Navy commander: Russian helicopter carriers will lay down by May 9

Sikorsky is Replacing Electronic Countermeasure Systems in the King Stallion

MarineCorpsAviationAssociation (flickr)

Sikorsky is Replacing Electronic Countermeasure Systems in the King Stallion | SIGNAL Magazine

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. a Lockheed Martin Co., Stratford, Connecticut, is awarded an $11,967,528 modification (P00003) to a cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order (N00019-19-F-2972) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-19-G-0029). This modification provides non-recurring engineering to replace existing subsystems, such as the Data Transfer Unit, Defense Electronic Countermeasure System and ARC-210 radio, with the CH-53K production aircraft. Non-recurring engineering efforts include investigation, systems engineering support, risk analysis, integration development, weight impact, publication updates including maintenance, training, update tooling and qualification testing. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (55.82%); Stratford, Connecticut (35.7%) and Fort Worth, Texas (8.48%), and is expected to be completed in August 2021. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $11,967,528 will be obligated at time of award, all of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Replacing US Marine’s CH-53K helos with CH-47F choppers is a poor idea
Sikorsky Awarded $1.13B to Produce Additional CH-53K Helicopters for US Marine Corps
Lockheed's (LMT) $31 Billion King Stallion Helicopter Delayed - Bloomberg
Lockheed's $31 Billion King Stallion Helicopter Delayed
USMC gets its first CH-53K King Stallion from Sikorsky

US Air Force names HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter “Jolly Green II”


US Air Force names HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter “Jolly Green II” | News | Flight Global

By Garrett Reim, Orlando, Florida28 February 2020

The US Air Force has named its Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter the “Jolly Green II.”

The service also awarded Sikorsky a $500 million Lot 2 Low Rate Initial Production contract for 12 more examples of the aircraft, the manufacturer says at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium on 27 February in Orlando, Florida.

The HH-60W gets its name from Vietnam-era HH-3E Jolly Green and HH-53 Super Jolly Green crews, who pioneered the practice of aerial combat rescue. The nickname Jolly Green Giant came from the impression the helicopters would leave in rice patties and grass fields after they lifted off.

The Combat Rescue Helicopter programme has progressed quickly in the last 12 months.

The type first flew in May 2019 and since a fleet of seven aircraft have been built, a mix of engineering, manufacturing and development, as well as systems design training aircraft. In total, the helicopters have flown about 480h.

In addition to the recent award for 12 production aircraft, Sikorsky was awarded a lot 1 contract for 10 helicopters in September 2019. The USAF programme of record calls for 113 helicopters to replace the aging HH-60G Pave Hawks.

The first production unit of the HH-60W is planned for delivery in April 2021.

Even though production on the Jolly Green II has just begun the USAF is already looking at upgrading the helicopter. The service released a request for information on possible modernisation of the new aircraft in the fall 2019.

“The Air Force is undertaking their own internal study to determine which of all the features we have in our aircraft that they would like to keep, those that they would like to eliminate because it’s no longer relevant in today’s modern battlefield, and those that they have to upgrade,” says Greg Hames, Sikorsky’s Combat Rescue Helicopter programme director.

For example, two items likely to be pulled from the helicopter include its Situation Awareness Data Link and Automatic Direction Finder, he says.

With the initial contract award granted in 2014, and requirements written even earlier than that, Hames explains a combination of rapidly improving electronics and quickly increasing threats have outpaced some of the helicopter’s capabilities.

Other possible upgrades to the HH-60W include the Lockheed Martin-made Pilotage Distributed Aperture Sensor system, a series of cameras mounted to the outside of an airframe which give pilots a 360-degree live video feed of their surroundings. Additionally, the autonomous flight capabilities within Sikorsky’s Matrix technology could be an option. Hames says both technology upgrades are purely hypothetical and subject to the preferences of the USAF, however.

Sikorsky delivers HH-60W helicopters to USAF for testing

Friday, 28 February 2020

BAE nabs $113.5M for 26 Amphibious Combat Vehicles for Navy


BAE nabs $113.5M for 26 Amphibious Combat Vehicles for Navy -

By Christen McCurdy

Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The Navy awarded BAE systems with a $113.5 million contract to add 26 vehicles to its Amphibious Combat Vehicle program, the contractor and the Department of Defense announced this week.

This award brings the total number of ACVs on order for the program to 116, according to BAE.

It is the fourth order for the vehicles, which are intended to supplement and ultimately replace the Marine Corps' Assault Amphibious Vehicle.

"The ACV provides the most survivable and mobile amphibious vehicle to the U.S. Marines Corps for supporting the warfighters' ability to successfully execute their unique expeditionary missions," John Swift, director of amphibious programs at BAE Systems, said. "This award further demonstrates our commitment to that mission, it's an important milestone for the program and represents a major step toward full rate production."

The contract was awarded through a competitive bidding process, with five bids received, according to the Pentagon.

Work on the contract will take place in York, Penn.; Aiken, S.C., San Jose, Calif., Sterling Heights, Mich., and Stafford, Va.

BAE Gets $120M Modification on USMC Amphibious Combat Vehicle Production Contract

State department approves $325.5M arms deal with Tunisia

Textron Aviation Defense

State department approves $325.5M arms deal with Tunisia -

By Christen McCurdy

Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of four AT-6C Wolverine Light Attack Aircraft and related equipment to Tunisia for an estimated $325.8 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Wednesday.

According to DSCA, the government of Tunisia has asked to buy four Wolverine aircraft, along with a variety supporting equipment, including but not limited to 312 MAU-169 computer control groups, 468 MK81 250 LB GP bombs and 3,290 advanced precision kill weapon systems -- as well as bomb components and practice bombs.

"The proposed sale will improve Tunisia's ability to meet current and future threats by increasing their capability and capacity to counter terrorism and other violent extremist organization threats," the DSCA's announcement said.

The agency also said the sale would support the foreign policy and national security of the United States "by helping to improve the defense capabilities and capacity of a major non-NATO ally, which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa."

The AT-6C Wolverine, manufactured by Textron Aviation Defense, is part of the AT-6 series of light attack aircraft.

The contractor describes it as "a multi-mission aircraft system designed to meet a wide variety of warfighter needs and accommodating 95 percent of the aircrew population."

AT-6B Light Attack Aircraft / Trainer: Details

Pakistan considers Chinese attack helicopters on back of stalled AH-1Z, T129 deals


Pakistan considers Chinese attack helicopters on back of stalled AH-1Z, T129 deals | News | Flight Global

By Dominic Perry 

26 February 2020

Pakistan looks set to turn to China for its attack helicopter replacement needs after US embargoes halted sales of rival Bell and Turkish Aerospace products.

Islamabad had in 2015 ordered 12 Bell AH-1Zs under the USA’s Foreign Military Sales process and then followed that in 2018 with a deal for 30 Turkish Aerospace T129s worth $1.5 billion.

But the AH-1Z sale has been on hold since US President Donald Trump cut security funding to Pakistan, and export sanctions related to the US-built LHTEC T800 engines which power the T129 has led to the suspension of that contract.

This impasse, and a pressing need to retire its fleet of 48 Bell AH-1Fs, is now pushing Islamabad to consider alternatives, Major General Syed Najeeb Ahmed, commander, army aviation, told Defence IQ’s International Military Helicopter conference in London on 26 February.

“We are looking at other options. One of them is in China in the shape of the new attack helicopter they have created called the Z-10ME,” he says. “In case the first two options do not materialise this third option will be considered.”

Pakistan had previously evaluated an earlier version of the CAIC Z-10, but Ahmed says the latest iteration has improved weapons and systems.

Ahmed is extremely doubtful that the AH-1Z deal can be resurrected, and although Turkish Aerospace is developing an indigenous replacement engine for the T129, he is not confident that this will be ready in time.

In fact, Pakistan has set a deadline of July this year for a final decision, Ahmed says.

The relative urgency is driven by India’s capability increases, as New Delhi grows its fleet of Boeing AH-64E Apaches.

“The Cobras are no match for the Apaches that the Indians are getting,” he says. “We definitely want to match that [capability].”

Z-10 Attack Helicopter: Details

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Y-20 tanker and AEW&C variants in the pipeline, senior PLAAF officer confirms

Chinese Internet

Y-20 tanker and AEW&C variants in the pipeline, senior PLAAF officer confirms | Jane's 360

Andrew Tate, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

26 February 2020

An in-flight refuelling tanker variant of the Xian Aircraft Corporation (XAC) Y-20 Kunpeng strategic transport aircraft will appear in public “in the near future”, said the commander of a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aviation regiment in an interview with state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast on 24 February.

Variants of the Y-20 have been anticipated for some time. Satellite imagery from November 2018 of the XAC assembly facility at Xian-Yanliang airfield appeared to show a Y-20 fitted with underwing refuelling pods, and a low-resolution image that appeared in October 2019 suggested that flight testing of this variant was in progress.

Y-20A aircraft is now operational with a second PLAAF transport division

Royal Thai Air Force outlines offset requirements

Natee Sukcharoen

Royal Thai Air Force outlines offset requirements | Jane's 360

Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - Jane's Defence Weekly

26 February 2020

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has outlined a commitment to ensure that all future procurements are accompanied by offset-like requirements to ensure foreign contractors engage with RTAF technical teams and the country’s aerospace and defence industries.

In the RTAF’s new White Paper, which was published on 20 February, it states that its “purchase and development” (P&D) concept will be applied to all future acquisitions of equipment in order to support national “sustainable development”.

The RTAF said in the White Paper that the P&D concept focuses on several methods to support indigenous capability development. These include technology transfers; supporting RTAF capability to allow “further materiel development in-house”; and to support domestic industry’s involvement in development and production projects.

Thailand sets out aircraft procurement plans
Thailand shows off upgraded F-5TH fighters

Shenyang resumes production of carrier-borne J-15 fighters


Shenyang resumes production of carrier-borne J-15 fighters | Jane's 360

Andreas Rupprecht, Mainz and Juan Ju, Bonn - Jane's Defence Weekly

25 February 2020

The images, the publication of which comes about three months after the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) commissioned its second aircraft carrier, Shandong , show at least one J-15 painted in green primer - suggesting that the aircraft is part of a new batch - and technicians working on the platform at what appears to be a factory.

Although the SAC announcement does not specifically mention the J-15, the aircraft type can be identified by its shape and canards. The images also feature a short text, stating, among other things, "full resumption of production".

It is unclear, however, when the images were taken and whether the new J-15s will be different in any way from the ones currently in service with the PLAN on the service's first aircraft carrier, Liaoning .

That said, the technicians are wearing surgical masks presumably as protection against the Covid-19 coronavirus, indicating the images were taken relatively recently.

Since 2012 the J-15, which is a Sukhoi Su-33 derivative, has been the PLAN's sole fixed-wing carrier-borne aircraft. Only 24 of these aircraft had been delivered to the PLAN in two batches before production was apparently halted in mid-2017.

At least two J-15s have so far been lost and two more have been damaged, meaning that fewer than 20 of these aircraft are believed to currently be available for the PLAN's two carriers as well as for training. The additional aircraft will most likely be used to set up a second carrier-based air wing to be assigned to Shandong .

J-15s have become navy's 'iron fist'
J-15 fighter jet a drag on carrier’s combat capabilities

Russia Stages First Ship-Launched ‘Tsirkon’ Hypersonic Missile Test

Russia Stages First Ship-Launched ‘Tsirkon’ Hypersonic Missile Test - The Moscow Times

Russia is reportedly planning more test-launches of the missile from nuclear submarines this year.

Russia has conducted the first ship-launched firing of its new hypersonic missile called Tsirkon and plans further tests from nuclear submarines, two unnamed military sources told the state-run TASS news agency Thursday.

President Vladimir Putin, who confirmed the Tsirkon’s development last year, has warned that Russia would be forced to place hypersonic nuclear missiles on submarines near U.S. waters in response to arms-control tensions. The United States dismissed Putin’s warnings as disingenuous propaganda.

“The Admiral Gorshkov [guided missile frigate] test-launched the Tsirkon missile in early January from the Barents Sea on a ground target at a military range in the northern Urals,” one source told TASS.

The news agency’s other source said that more sea launches are planned this year for the Tsirkon, which flew a distance of more than 500 kilometers.

The source said that the Tsirkon missiles will be test-launched from nuclear submarines after the Admiral Gorshkov tests are completed. 

The head of Russia’s state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation had said in December that the Tsirkon will be deployable on all advanced Russian ships currently under development, according to TASS.

The Tsirkon program began in 2011 and entered the active testing stage in 2015. Previous reporting has suggested that the Tsirkon test trials in 2012 were held on board the Tu-22M3 bomber.

Putin has said the Tsirkon ground- and sea-based hypersonic rocket can fly at nine times the speed of sound and hit underwater and ground targets more than 1,000 kilometers away.

Russia State TV Boasts New Hypersonic ‘Zircon’ Missile Will Turn U.S. Defense ‘To Dust,’ Flies At 6,000 MPH

Admiral Gorshkov Class Frigate: Details
3M22 Zircon: Details

Russians don't shoot down F-22 and F-35s, Russians just burn electronics

Bernie Condon (flickr)

Русские не сбивают F-35, русские просто жгут электронику - Аргументы Недели

Translated by google

The effectiveness of a breakthrough of any air defense frontier is, first of all, based on the thoroughness of preliminary reconnaissance. Best reconnaissance in battle. 

They launched a couple of unmanned kamikaze drones on the target and carefully scanned the ether, detailing the nature of the reaction of the anti-aircraft gunners. What has turned on there, where, when, in what ranges, with what characteristics, in what order. Where they used tracking radars, where - guidance stations, how they captured the target, how they drove, how they shot down.

Then these data form the basis of the settings of your own electronic warfare equipment and tactical methods of breaking through strike groups, as well as the choice of specific ammunition for hitting a target.

The Russian air force base in Syrian Khmeimim and the naval base in Tartus , in this sense, serves as a testing ground not only for testing Russian weapons, but is also a very attractive object of interest for "our foreign partners." There, in neutral space, the P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft and the RC-135W electronic reconnaissance aircraft from the Suda Bay air base in Crete constantly hang out.

And then the unexpected happened. As reported by the major American analytical magazine The National Interest, during the reflection of another massive raid on Hmeymim barmaleyskih drones, including in the Russian equipment EW critically injured onboard electronics, as the source said, "happened to be close to" F-35 fighters and F-22 . Pilots with great difficulty managed to return the "extremely poorly obeying control" of the car home.

The most unpleasant thing for American experts was that both aircraft belong to the class of the most technologically advanced weapons, and the REB 1RL257 Krasuha 4 station (pictured) , which was adopted by the Russian army in 2013 and was developed earlier , broke down on them . Officially, the program of its state tests ended in 2011. So, theoretically, both the F-22 and, especially, the newest F-35 should have been guaranteed to have, if not invulnerability, then in any case sufficient combat stability.

However, an oops happened. What is most fun, according to the Americans, is not even focused. According to them, the Russian radars from their position of the area of ​​barrage of American fighters could not see, and therefore could not influence them deliberately. Well, they shouldn't have. They generally dealt with the direct attack of drones .

Funnily enough, the F-22 was American, and the F-35 was from the Israeli Air Force. But it went to both. The Russians didn’t bring them down, no. Just burned high quality. And no complaints can be made.


kimo dial @twitter

1RL257 Krasukha-4: Details

Spanish firm to complete work on two unfinished Brazilian Navy patrol ships

Spanish firm to complete work on two unfinished Brazilian Navy patrol ships - Baird Maritime: 

By Baird Maritime - February 18, 2020

Spanish engineering company Ghenova has been awarded a contract for the completion of construction on two unfinished patrol vessels for the Brazilian Navy.

The contract for work on Maracanã and Mangaratiba, the third and fourth vessels in the Macaé-class, has an estimated total value of BRL 6.4 million (US$1.5 million).

The work will be carried out by Ghenova’s Brazilian subsidiary for an expected duration of one year. There are also options to extend the work by an additional four years if necessary.


The Ghenova manager pointed out that the agreement is “a very important opportunity for the company”, since it will allow new hires with the Brazilian Navy. The expected duration of the contract is one year with the possibility of renewal for four.

“The contract is a landmark agreement, a kind of umbrella contract, which covers detailed engineering work for the construction, repairs and modernization of the naval naval assets,” said Cupello.

THE Ghenova presents a trajectory with several military vessel projects, being able to carry out all phases of the program. Source:

Macaé-Class Patrol Vessels: Details