9 juillet 2022 | International, Aérospatial

Thales : un atelier d’excellence pour le Rafale

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  • US Navy takes delivery of new, more powerful radar

    21 juillet 2020 | International, Naval

    US Navy takes delivery of new, more powerful radar

    By: David B. Larter WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy has taken delivery of the first AN/SPY-6 radar array for the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Jack Lucas, which was designed and built specifically to accommodate the upgraded air and missile defense radar. The Raytheon-built system is about 30 times more sensitive than the SPY-1 arrays on the Navy's cruisers and destroyers, but it requires much more power. That led to a significant redesign of the Flight IIA DDG. Jack Lucas, being built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, is the first of the new builds. The ship is scheduled to be delivered in 2024, according to Navy budget documents. The delivery of the first SPY-6 marks a significant step for the radar, which looks poised to rapidly become the fleet standard. The Navy plans to install a scaled-down version of the radar on the older Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to keep them relevant, as well as on the future frigate, FFG(X), being built by Fincantieri. Wes Kremer, president of the Raytheon Missiles & Defense business, said in a July 15 interview with Defense News that the radar is designed to simultaneously handle multiple missions without losing fidelity on any individual mission. “SPY-6 is an evolutionary step forward in radar capability, but it was, most importantly, designed with incredibly long range and sensitivity to support all the missions that Navy destroyers do: ballistic missile defense, surface warfare and anti-air missions simultaneously,” Kremer said. “And what's sometimes lost in the noise is that it can do [its job] in the presence of electronic attack or jamming. That's really the magic of that radar.” Kremer is confident the radar has been put through its paces in the acquisition process and that the next major hurdle for the program will be Jack Lucas' sea trials. “These radars are being delivered under the low-rate initial production run,” he said. “For about three years now we've had a test radar in Hawaii and proving out the radar. We've also delivered an array to Navy's [Combat Systems Engineering Development Site] in Moorsetown, New Jersey. This isn't just a radar — it's part of Flight III, which is not just the radar, it's Lockheed Martin's Aegis Baseline 10, and we are fully integrated. So we've already gone through all that, so really the next step is sea trials.” The Navy wants to start backfitting the scaled-down version of SPY-6 in 2021, Capt. Jason Hall, who is the above-water sensors program manager at Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems, said in January. But beyond that, Kremer said Raytheon is looking to Japan and South Korea as potential customers for SPY-6. The Navy's investment in SPY-6 is not without some controversy. Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, said while the Navy needs a radar like SPY-6 for ballistic missile defense, the service still must figure out how to perform passive detection to avoid giving away its location to adversaries that will be able to electronically sniff out a big, powerful radar. Kremer said he wasn't comfortable discussing concepts of operations surrounding the issue of keeping electronically quiet with SPY-6. But he reiterated that during active electronic attack, the radar would perform. “You have to be able [to] operate around electronic attack, and on the active side we have a lot of capability to do that,” he said. “But when you get into that other stuff, you're really starting to talk about concepts of operations, and I don't think it's appropriate for a contractor to talk about CONOPS.” The Navy is also planning to scale back construction of the Flight III destroyer. In its most recent budget submission, the Navy cut four of the planned 12 Flight IIIs over the next five years as the service tries to juggle the enormous bill for the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine. https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/07/20/us-navy-takes-delivery-of-new-more-powerful-radar/

  • US Air Force pauses flight ops for more than a hundred C-130s over ‘atypical’ cracking

    9 août 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    US Air Force pauses flight ops for more than a hundred C-130s over ‘atypical’ cracking

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — More than a quarter of Air Mobility Command's C-130 Hercules fleet are being temporarily removed from service after “atypical” cracking was found. During scheduled depot maintenance, the U.S. Air Force discovered cracking of the lower center wing joint — also known as the “rainbow fitting” — which led Air Mobility Command head Gen. Maryanne Miller to order an inspection of a portion of the fleet, according to an AMC statement released Wednesday evening. A total of 123 of 450 C-130H and C-130J aircraft will be temporarily grounded while inspections occur. “This temporary removal of service will not impact ongoing C-130 support to overseas contingency operations,” AMC said in its statement. The decision to pause operations and conduct inspections was made after a single C-130 was found with the lower center wing joint cracks, said AMC spokesman Maj. Jonathan Simmons. But the risk posed by the issue — that the wing could become dislodged from the aircraft — was so serious that the Air Force decided to move forward with inspections for all planes that could potentially be impacted. The 123 aircraft chosen to go through inspections have not been equipped with an “extended service life center wing box” and have flown more than 15,000 hours. Maintainers will look for cracking, and, if discovered, will replace the rainbow fitting. That repair takes “approximately one to two months” to do and is “dependent on depot level availability and capacity,” Simmons noted in an email. Currently, AMC believes it has an adequate supply of rainbow fittings and is not concerned about a potential shortfall. If no defects are found, the aircraft will return to service. So far, eight aircraft have gone through inspections and are now able to fly, Simmons said. Each inspection is set to take eight hours, but the command does not know how long it will take to move all 123 aircraft through the inspection and repair process. “The Air Force takes the safety of its airmen and aircraft very seriously and is working diligently to identify and repair affected aircraft as soon as possible,” AMC said in its statement. https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/08/08/air-force-pauses-flight-ops-for-more-than-a-hundred-c-130s-after-atypical-cracking-found/

  • Saudi industry to produce THAAD air defense subsystems

    11 mars 2022 | International, Aérospatial

    Saudi industry to produce THAAD air defense subsystems

    In the first program of its kind in Saudi Arabia, a local organization is teaming with American firm Lockheed Martin to produce parts for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.

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