14 janvier 2022 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Podcast: What Could Go Wrong In 2022

As the aerospace industry learns to live with COVID, it faces other big challenges from a stressed supply chain to geopolitical disruptions. Listen in as our editors discuss.


Sur le même sujet

  • For US Air Force pilots, the toughest training flights are going virtual

    26 août 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    For US Air Force pilots, the toughest training flights are going virtual

    By: Valerie Insinna NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — A new simulator campus at Nellis Air Force Base could be key for the U.S. Air Force as it grapples with the question of how it can train pilots against complex threats like Russia and China at a budget-friendly cost. On Aug. 17, the Air Force opened the doors of the Virtual Test and Training Center, or VTTC, a new, $38 million building where pilots will practice advanced tactics in a simulated environment that replicates war against a near-peer nation. “When you think about great power competition and where we might have to fight — shipping out to fight a China or Russia, particularly — there is no live training venue for the joint force, certainly for the Air Force, that's big enough, that has the threat density that can replicate what China or Russia can do,” said Maj. Gen. Chuck Corcoran, who leads the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis. While live exercises will remain an important component of pilot training, the VTTC will give the Air Force a way to simulate a vast battlespace populated by high-end threats. Users will be able to network with other pilots on the system — who fly F-16s, F-22s, F-35s and F-15Es, with perhaps more to come — and fly complex missions against virtual enemies that are impossible to emulate in live training exercises like Red Flag. The VTTC building, which Defense News toured during an Aug. 21 visit to the base, is currently empty. But it won't stay that way for long, said Lt. Col. Chris Duncan, an F-35 operational test pilot and commander of Detachment 1, 29th Training Systems Squadron. F-15E Strike Eagle simulators are slated to be delivered to the center in October and will go online in April 2021. The joint simulation environment — a government-owned virtual training environment currently under development at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, and when finished will emulate high-end threats — is set to be fielded at the VTTC in October 2021. “Typically aircraft simulators have taught pilots how to fly them and basic employment,” Duncan said. “We're not worried about those things. We're assuming they already know that.” Instead, the training will focus on more robust mission sets, including advanced training for Air Force Weapons School students, operational testing of new platforms and large-scale war games, he said. The Air Force is deliberating how best it can expand the VTTC's capabilities over time on a limited budget. Among the factors under consideration is whether to buy additional simulators, such as ones for the new F-15EX. It may roll out the Nellis Mission Operations Network, on which the VTTC will run, to other bases such as Whitman Air Force Base in Missouri — the home to the service's only stealth bomber. There is also discussion about how to integrate the simulators on the network with live aircraft flying on the Nevada Test and Training Range, which would allow the VTTC to project synthetic threats to jets practicing midair tactics. Historically, the Air Force has been hard-pressed to fund advanced simulation efforts. The ultimate success of the VTTC may ultimately come down to whether there is enough money to continue funding simulators for additional aircraft and to keep upgrading hardware and software. Duncan said the Air Force is already keeping that point in mind. Instead of simulators that provide a completely accurate cockpit experience, the service is looking to save money by prioritizing simulators that can provide the experience of advanced missions, even if the simulator imagery or cockpit experience isn't completely realistic. But he underscored the cost-effectiveness of virtual training when compared to its live counterpart. “The payoff, the bang for the buck,” Duncan said, “it far surpasses what we can do in live flying.” https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/08/25/for-air-force-pilots-the-toughest-training-flights-are-going-virtual/

  • Pentagon: We’re Buying Boeing F-15s to Keep 2 Fighter Makers in Business

    26 mars 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    Pentagon: We’re Buying Boeing F-15s to Keep 2 Fighter Makers in Business

    BY MARCUS WEISGERBER The acting defense secretary's ties to the company had nothing to do with the decision, a senior defense official said Friday. The decision to buy new Boeing F-15s reflects the Pentagon's desire to keep two American companies making fighter jets into the next decade — and not the acting defense secretary's ties to the company, a senior defense official said Friday. The 2020 budget request contains $1.1 billion to buy eight F-15X jets, a new variant of an aircraft the Air Force last bought nearly a decade ago. The twin-tailed plane was chosen over Lockheed's cheaper single-engine F-16 in part to keep a second U.S. manufacturer in the tactical-jet business as the Pentagon begins exploring new technologies for a new generation of warplanes, the official said. “One of the considerations was the diversity of the industrial base,” the official said. “If we look at something as important as the tactical aircraft industrial base and we look forward into sixth-generation [fighter] production and competition and that kind of stuff,...gaining diversity in that industrial base is going to be critical.” The senior defense official emphasized that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who formerly worked as a Boeing executive, was not involved in the decision to buy the F-15X. Full article: https://www.defenseone.com/business/2019/03/pentagon-were-buying-f-15s-keep-2-fighter-makers-business/155773

  • With laser weapons coming, the US Navy’s newest super carrier has space and power to spare

    4 février 2020 | International, Naval

    With laser weapons coming, the US Navy’s newest super carrier has space and power to spare

    By: David B. Larter ABOARD THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER GERALD R. FORD IN THE VIRGINIA CAPES — The U.S. Navy is trying to find an alternative to shooting down anti-ship missiles with other missiles, and the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford could prove useful in this pursuit. A major difference with Ford over its Nimitz-class predecessors is its twin A1B nuclear reactors that produce more than three times the electrical power of the reactors on Nimitz — more than 100 megawatts. That means Ford, with survivability questions looming over aircraft carriers, can support large, power-sucking equipment such as lasers, according to Capt. J.J. Cummings, the Ford' commanding officer. “When you talk about innovation in the Navy, this is where it lives,” Cummings said, referring to his ship. “We're lighter — designed lighter — than Nimitz class. “Nimitz class, she's barreling down pretty good now with a lot of stuff on her, and her electric plant is almost at maximum capacity. We're light and designed to have excess capacity in our electrical system to bring future systems on board.” That's a big advantage for the class, and it's one of the reasons the Navy has pursued the Ford class despite the controversies over buggy new technology and cost overruns. The Ford class is essential for the survivability of carriers, said James Geurts, the Navy's top acquisition official. “Part of the reason Ford is so important is that it gives you the flexibility to generate the next generation of systems you'll need to ensure the carrier can continue to stay survivable,” Geurts said. Killing missiles with missiles Bryan Clark, a retired naval officer and analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said Ford could use a boost in the survivability department and the Ford's powerful reactors could help them get there. “To improve the self-defense on carriers, you could put lasers on there to support that short-range, self-defense capacity,” Clark said. “Because the big problem with lasers right now is power management. You can build a three or four hundred-kilowatt laser, but for one, it's a big footprint so you have to find a ship big enough to put it on; and two, you have to have the power to actually supply it. So you're going to need a capacitor bank somewhere on the ship or you need a generator big enough to provide it continuously. On the Ford, you'd get that." Clark has argued for years that the Navy needs to get away from trying to shoot down missiles with missiles because a saturation attack from Russia, China, Iran, North Korea or anyone else who might have cause to attack a U.S. Navy ship could force a cruiser or destroyer to expend all its missiles and still not have defeated the threat. That's where shorter-range missiles such as the Evolved Seasparrow Missile, which can be packed four per cell in a vertical launch system, and lasers can have a big impact, even if it means the ship has to let missiles get uncomfortably close to the ship before it's taken down. “I think lasers could make a difference for Ford because the technology is pretty mature, you could fit it on the ship and it would address a big challenge for carriers, which is air defense,” Clark said. “You could put several lasers on there and really give a boost to your air defense capacity.” However, it's unlikely lasers could address all threats faced by carriers, Clark said. “It would be effective for cruise missiles up to maybe the supersonic cruise missiles,” Clark said. “Of course, it would also work against small boats and things like that. It may not work that well against hypersonic missiles or ballistic missiles.” https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/01/31/with-laser-weapons-coming-the-us-navys-newest-super-carrier-has-space-and-power-to-spare/

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