26 juillet 2023 | International, Aérospatial

Airlines brace for hit from Pratt & Whitney's new engine problem

Airline executives are fuming about the prospect of grounding planes and trimming flight capacity amid a busy summer travel season after fresh problems arose with some of RTX's Pratt & Whitney engines.


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  • It’s do or die for Germany’s new missile defense weapon

    20 juillet 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    It’s do or die for Germany’s new missile defense weapon

    By: Sebastian Sprenger   COLOGNE, Germany — The German government continued another round of talks with vendors Lockheed Martin and MBDA this week about a contract for the TLVS missile defense system. The ongoing negotiations suggest there is still no common ground on the legal framework for costs and risks associated with the next-generation program. Berlin had asked the contractors in early May to submit a revised bid, the third attempt to nail down a replacement for the country's aging Patriot fleet. For its part, the Defence Ministry is still expecting a formal offer later this summer, a spokeswoman told Defense News on Friday. Hiccups lie mostly within the industry team, specifically relating to how and if the U.S. defense giant Lockheed can bend to Berlin's demands that the contractors absorb the majority of risk if problems come up in the program. German officials have so stretched the scope of desired capabilities of the former Medium Extended Air Defense System — the basis for TLVS — that the effort amounts to a new development, including a ramp for integrating defenses against hypersonic missiles. Those high-tech aspirations come packaged in Germany's new defense acquisition process that seeks to right past procurement failures by pushing more liability to companies. The ongoing negotiations come with the understanding that the new offer, if Lockheed decides to go forward sometime next month, equates to a contract-ready agreement that would be presented to lawmakers after the summer break. Next year is an election year in Germany, which means there's little appetite to push big-ticket acquisitions come January. A lot hangs on the TLVS program for Lockheed, as German defense leaders last year connected its outcome to the competition for a new heavy-lift helicopter fleet. Lockheed's subsidiary Sikorsky is offering the CH-53K for that race, going against Boeing's CH-47 Chinook. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/07/17/its-do-or-die-for-germanys-new-missile-defense-weapon/

  • China’s stealth fighter goes into mass production after thrust upgrade

    13 juillet 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    China’s stealth fighter goes into mass production after thrust upgrade

    The J-20B has overcome agility problems to finally be considered a fully fledged fifth-generation fighter, military source says Aircraft still will be fitted with Russian engine but ‘Chinese version could be ready in a year or two' A modified version of China's first stealth fighter jet, the J-20, has formally entered mass production, with upgrades earning it a place as a fifth-generation fighter jet, according to a military source close to the project. The moment was marked at a ceremonial unveiling of the modified J-20B stealth fighter jet on Wednesday attended by many senior military leaders including Central Military Commission (CMC) vice-chairman General Zhang Youxia, the source said. Zhang is the second-ranked vice-chairman of the CMC and is in charge of weapons development for the People's Liberation Army. “Mass production of the J-20B started on Wednesday. It has finally become a complete stealth fighter jet, with its agility meeting the original criteria,” the source said. “The most significant change to the fighter jet is that it is now equipped with thrust vector control.” Thrust vector control (TVC) allows pilots to better control the aircraft by redirecting engine thrust. In 2018, China debuted its J-10C multirole fighter – fitted with a WS-10 Taihang engine – at the China air show in Zhuhai, putting the aircraft through its paces in a performance that indicated that China had succeeded in thrust technology. While the TVC technology had been applied to the stealth fighter, the J-20B would still use Russian Saturn AL-31 engines because more work needed to be done on China's WS-15 engine, the source said. Chinese engineers have been developing high-thrust turbofan WS-15 engines for the J-20, but that work has fallen behind schedule. “The Chinese engine designed for the J-20s still failed to meet requirements, but its development is going quite smoothly, and it may be ready in the next one or two years,” the source said. “The ultimate goal is to equip the J-20B fighter jets with domestic engines.” China was thought to have built about 50 J-20s by the end of 2019, but problems with the jets' engines delayed further production plans. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth assembly plant in Texas delivered 134 F-35 stealth fighters in 2019, three more than its target and 47 per cent more than its output in 2018, according to the company. China's first batch of J-20s entered service in 2017 when the US decided to deploy more than 100 F-35s to Japan and South Korea that year. The J-20 was meant to be a fifth-generation fighter jet on a par with Lockheed's F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning multirole strike fighters. Fifth-generation fighters are defined by their stealth technology, supersonic cruising speed, super manoeuvrability, and highly integrated avionics. But the earlier version of the J-20 was described by Western media as a “dedicated interceptor aircraft” because of its lack of agility. “The launch of the J-20B means this aircraft now is a formal fifth-generation fighter jet,” the military source said, adding that Chengdu Aerospace Corporation (CAC), which manufactures the J-20s, had received “heavy orders” from the PLA. CAC set up its fourth production line in 2019, each one with a capacity to make about one J-20 a month. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3092839/chinas-stealth-fighter-goes-mass-production-after-thrust

  • RAF Targets Technology As Review Shapes UK Armed Forces

    21 septembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR, Sécurité

    RAF Targets Technology As Review Shapes UK Armed Forces

    The British Armed Forces are engaged in a technology race—as opposed to an arms race—as they look to gain the advantage in the government's upcoming Integrated Review. Ministers have promised that the... https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/budget-policy-operations/raf-targets-technology-review-shapes-uk-armed-forces

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