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  • Stealthy UAS Unveiled For USAF Target, Loyal Wingman Needs

    14 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Stealthy UAS Unveiled For USAF Target, Loyal Wingman Needs

    Steve Trimble A small start-up company in California has unveiled a new proposal for a stealthy unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to offer the U.S. Air Force as a “fifth-generation” target drone or a low-cost attritable aircraft. Tehachapi, California-based Sierra Technical Services, a company founded by previously retired Lockheed Martin Skunk Works engineers, unveiled the first photos of the completed Fifth Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) prototype after completing engine tests on the ground. A first flight of the 5GAT is scheduled in early 2020. The name of the aircraft is derived from its origins as a prototype funded by the Defense Department's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), says Roger Hayes, president and CEO of Sierra Technical Services. Several years ago, DOT&E recognized an emerging gap for a new target drone that could fly as a surrogate for fifth-generation fighters emerging in Russia and China such as the Sukhoi Su-57 and AVIC Chengdu J-20. In 2017, DOT&E awarded Sierra Technical Services a $15.9 million contract to develop the 5GAT prototype, Hayes said. The pace of assembly has been dictated by the availability of parts cannibalized from other military aircraft, such as the engines and metallic components from the Northrop T-38 trainer and F-5 fighter, as well as aileron actuators from the Boeing F/A-18, Hayes said. Sierra Technical Services supplemented its revenue as assembly continued by working on other programs, including supplying components for the Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie. As development continued, the Air Force started to develop interest in a fifth-generation target. The service has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to develop the AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile, which is being designed to counter the PL-15 missile fielded on China's J-20 fighter. The Air Force needs to test the AIM-260 and other missiles against a representative threat. Last May, the Air Force released a request for information for the Next Generation Aerial Target, which included a version that can replicate fifth-generation fighter attributes, such as a stealthy airframe with canted tails and serpentine inlet ducts. The Air Force also is developing a concept to pair manned fighters such as the F-22 and F-35 with an unmanned partner, known sometimes as a Loyal Wingman. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) funded Kratos' XQ-58A, which completed a first flight in March. AFRL also plans to demonstrate a UAS controlled by a “software brain” using artificial intelligence. This Skyborg program is sometimes considered a follow-on for the XQ-58A program, but Hayes said Sierra Technical Services could offer the 5GAT for the Skyborg contract.

  • India To Buy 200 Fighters: Defense Secretary

    14 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    India To Buy 200 Fighters: Defense Secretary

    The acquisition of 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, and an additional 110 fighters to replace the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) fleet of ageing jets that had long been in the pipeline appears to have moved forward with Ajay Kumar, Defense Secretary of India, hinting at the projects advancing at an accelerated pace. “The contract for Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)- manufactured 83 LCA Tejas Mark 1A advanced fighter jets are in the final stages. It will definitely be signed this year,” Kumar said, during a ceremony held to commission two Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) in Kolkata city, West Bengal state. He added that the manufacturer HAL is set to double the annual production of Tejas jets. “With the design having being finalised, HAL will be ramping up production of the LCA mark 1A jets from 8 to 16 per year. If required, through outsourcing, we can further enhance it.” In November, a senior IAF official had stated that the deal will be finalised in the “current financial year.” The contract maybe signed during DefExpo-2020 exhibition to held in India next month. Additionally, New Delhi wants to buy over a hundred jets to supplement its depleting fleet of fighters. Lockheed Martin (F-21), Boeing (F/A-18 Super Hornet), Saab (Gripen), Dassault (Rafale), Eurofighter Typhoon and Mikoyan MiG-35 are in the race to bag the multi-billion worth order. “Apart from these Expression of Interest (EOI) has been floated for another 110 aircraft, based on which Request for Proposal (RFP) will be floated,” he added. "We want to do it as soon as possible," Kumar said, when asked whether a time frame has been finalised by which the new aircraft are to be acquired.

  • ‘Red Air’ providers prep for a big year of war games

    14 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    ‘Red Air’ providers prep for a big year of war games

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Last year, the Air Force tapped seven defense companies for a $6.4 billion opportunity for “Red Air” training where contracted pilots pose as aggressors in air-to-air combat. With the fiscal 2020 budget finally approved, those firms are hungry to hear for more information about when and where they start flying. The companies — Air USA Inc., Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), Blue Air Training, Coastal Defense, Draken International, Tactical Air Support and Top Aces Corp. — currently find themselves waiting for the next phase of the competition, when the Air Force will issue individual work orders for a total of 22 bases that will allow contractors to begin flying this year. “I think we've all watched the Air Force program develop over the last two years kind of in awe at the size of it and the ambition, the commitment they're making to have enough adversaries out there to challenge their pilots,” said Russ Bartlett, CEO of Textron Airborne Solutions, which is the parent company of ATAC. “That's great for industry, because the Air Force knows they need to do that.” Unlike major programs for weapon systems, which have a dedicated line item in the budget, the work orders for adversary air services will be paid out of the operations and maintenance account, which is more flexible. While the Air Force's FY20 budget request flags a $151 million increase for “contract air training,” it's unclear how much of that amount will ultimately be set aside for that adversary air services. It will be up to Air Combat Command “to decide how much money they're going to put against the adversary air budget. So we're really just waiting to figure out how that all works,” said Russ Quinn, president of Top Aces. “We and the program office are looking very forward to hearing how Air Combat Command is planning on funding the contract.” Draken International is already conducting aggressor flights at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as part of a five-year contract awarded in 2018. That work is helping the company keep its Red Air planes ready ahead of work at other bases, said Sean Gustafson, Draken's vice president of business development. "We're flying 6,000 to 7,000 hours a year out there right now,” he said. “We're excited for the task orders to come out shortly, looking to expand and set up operations on the East Coast and then supporting those bases.” The Draken pilots, who currently fly the Aero Vodochody L-159E Honey Badger and Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, regularly deploy from Nellis AFB and visit other installations, including Hill AFB in Utah, Eglin AFB in Fla., and Holloman AFB in N.M. The company will begin adding Mirage F1s to the mix next month, Gustafson said. “We're very excited about that, because that will be the first radar-equipped, supersonic aircraft in the industry. We have the first three [of 24 total] going out there in February,” he said. The company has also purchased 12 radar- equipped, supersonic Atlas Cheetah fighters that will help cover Air Force requirements outside of Nellis. Meanwhile, the other companies are doing training and modifications necessary to get their aggressor fleets ready to fly whenever the U.S. Air Force decides it needs those planes. Top Aces has purchased 29 used F-16s from an undisclosed user specifically for the Air Force's adversary air contract. Those aircraft are not yet in the United States, but Quinn is confident that the company will have the aircraft in hand in early spring, he said. After that, Top Aces will begin modifying each jet with an open architecture system that will allow the company to more easily outfit the aircraft with a range of radar, sensors, electronic warfare pods or other technologies that increase the capability of Red Air forces, he said. Depending on whether the company wins a contract with Germany for adversary air services, it may also have excess capacity with its Douglas A-4N Skyhawk fleet, which it could also offer to help supplement the U.S. Air Force's needs, Quinn said. ATAC plans to use its new fleet of Mirage F1 jets to meet the Air Force's requirements. So far, the company has fully trained one F1 pilot, who flew the first ATAC Mirage in August. Another two pilots were set to begin training in December, Bartlett said late last year. “On the airplane side, we're in really good shape. Sixty-three airplanes is a huge win for us. There are a lot of economies of scale that we intend to capitalize on,” he said. “The challenge is going to be — of course — hiring and retaining pilots. The services are trying keep their pilots and grow their pilot cadres; the airlines are hiring aggressively and paying lucrative salaries, and this industry is growing by leaps and bounds with just this Air Force program.” So far, recruiting pilots has not been a problem for Draken, Gustafson said. The company has employed 52 aggressor pilots to meet the demands of its contract with Nellis, and has a “stack of resumes” from pilots that jobs as the company expands to other bases. “We're doing well on [hiring],” he said. “Some folks, they don't want to go to the airlines. They recently retired from the military and they want to keep flying fighters.” The company is looking to grow its fleet with new aircraft, as well, he added. “We should have some pretty exciting news about five to six months from now,” he said.

  • Lebanon’s Air Force to arm newly refurbished AB 212 helicopters

    14 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Lebanon’s Air Force to arm newly refurbished AB 212 helicopters

    By: Agnes Helou BEIRUT — The Lebanese Air Force has refurbished an Agusta-Bell AB 212 helicopter as part of a proof of concept, and will now begin a five-year project to revive the fleet with five operational helicopters. “The twin engine choppers have been out of service since 1990. We are bringing them back to service to perform [multiple] tasks, from military missions to firefighting missions and search and rescue,” Brig. Gen. Ziad Haykal, the commander of the Air Force, told Defense News. Due to the similarity between the AB 212 and the Huey II, which is currently operational with the fleet, the Air Force can use spare parts and technical expertise gained from the latter helicopter for local refurbishment, the general added. Indeed, local refurbishment will reduce the cost of the project by 60 percent because the service is not sending the helicopters back to the manufacturer. “The expected operational life span of the helicopters is 20 years, and it is worth noting that we obtained technical references for the project from Leonardo company, the manufacturer of this type of choppers,” Haykal said. “We are anticipating to operate these twin-engined helicopters in the missions to help secure oil and gas installations above Lebanese waters, particularly security preservation of the exclusive economic zone, by air or by sea.” The five helicopters are expected to be equipped with 70mm Hydra rockets, .50-caliber machine guns and 250-kilogram bombs, much like the Huey II during missions at the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in 2007, a Lebanese official told Defense News on a condition of anonymity. Fatah al-Islam militant launched at attack on the Lebanese Army from the Palestinian refugee camp in North Lebanon in May 2007. The Army struck back with modified Huey helicopters that were able to deploy 250-kilogram bombs. The Hydra rockets and their integration on the helos are part of American military aid to Lebanon, the official said. The head of Lebanon's military, Gen. Joseph Aoun, oversaw the refurbishment project, which was launched at Beirut Air Base.

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 13, 2020

    14 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - January 13, 2020

    NAVY AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corp., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is awarded a $176,472,608 firm-fixed-price contract for the production and delivery of 32 TH-73A aircraft, initial spares, peculiar support equipment, flyaway kits, hoists, sling loads, data in excess of commercial form fit function/operations maintenance instructional training data as well as ancillary instructor pilot and maintenance personnel training. Work will be performed at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (87%); Mineral Wells, Texas (5%); and various locations outside the continental U.S. (8%), and is expected to be completed in October 2021. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $176,472,608 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposal; five offers were received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N61340-20-C-0007). Airbus Helicopters Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas, is awarded a $37,729,000 firm-fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides performance-based logistics support to include ground and repair maintenance of five UH-72 aircraft, sustaining engineering required to maintain UH-72 Federal Aviation Administration certification, the incorporation of U.S. Navy Test Pilot School specific modifications, and the support to provide ground and flight training for the UH-72/EC-145 aircraft. Work will be performed in Patuxent River, Maryland, and is expected to be completed in January 2025. No funds will be obligated at the time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual orders as they are issued. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00421-20-D-0010). C.E.R. Inc.,* Baltimore, Maryland, is awarded a $12,886,000 firm-fixed-price task order (N4008020F4121) under a multiple award construction contract for Gambo Creek Bridge replacement at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren. The work to be performed provides for a design build project to remove and replace Gambo Creek Bridge on Tisdale Road with a reinforced concrete bridge structure that complies with the Federal Highway Administration lane widths for two way traffic. Work will be performed in Dahlgren, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by November 2022. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $12,886,000 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Five proposals were received for this task order. Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington, Public Works Department, South Potomac, Dahlgren, Virginia, is the contracting activity (N40080-19-D-0011). DRS Systems Inc., Melbourne, Florida, is awarded a $7,660,583 modification (P00001) to a cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost reimbursable delivery order (N0001919F2730) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-19-G-0030). This modification provides program management, engineering and logistics support to mitigate identified risks to the Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasure program. Work will be performed in Dallas, Texas (70%); San Diego, California (27%); and Fort Walton Beach, Florida (3%), and is expected to be completed in December 2020. Fiscal 2019 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $2,670,597; and fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $3,798,000 will be obligated at time of award, $2,670,597 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE Raytheon Missile Systems Co., Tucson, Arizona, has been awarded a $10,593,360 modification P00001 to previously awarded contract FA8675-20-C-0033 for Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile Production Lot 33 spares. This contract modification provides for the production Air Force and Navy spares. Work will be performed at Tucson, Arizona, with an expected completion date of March 31, 2022. Fiscal 2018 Air Force procurement funds in the amount of $1,730,203; and fiscal 2020 Navy procurement funds in the amount of $8,863,157 are being obligated at the time of award. Total cumulative face value of the contract is $778,877,267. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity. (Awarded Jan. 10, 2020) *Small Business

  • Rolls-Royce développe un démarreur électrique pour le futur chasseur de la Royal Air Force

    13 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Rolls-Royce développe un démarreur électrique pour le futur chasseur de la Royal Air Force

    Depuis 2014, Rolls-Royce développe un démarreur électrique qui devrait être intégré au moteur du Tempest, le futur avion de combat de la Royal Air Force britannique. Le tout devrait prendre moins de place et générer de l'énergie de manière plus intelligente, ce qui permettra à l'appareil d'optimiser ses consommations, tout en étant moins gros que l'actuel Eurofighter Typhoon. Le Tempest, futur avion de combat de la Royal Air Force britannique devrait comporter nettement plus d'éléments électriques que son prédécesseur, l'Eurofighter Typhoon. Dans cette optique, Rolls-Royce a confirmé être en train de développer, pour l'appareil, un nouveau système de démarrage des turboréacteurs, électrique et intégré. Le constructeur planche sur le projet depuis plus de cinq ans. Dès 2014, il met au point un générateur de démarrage électrique, entièrement intégré au cœur d'un moteur à turbine à gaz. Le programme du démonstrateur est baptisé "Embedded Electrical Starter Generator", ou E2SG. Moins de place pour un appareil moins gros "Le générateur électrique embarqué permettra de gagner de la place et fournira une importante quantité d'énergie aux futurs chasseurs", explique dans un communiqué Conrad Banks, ingénieur en chef du programme chez Rolls-Royce. Les générateurs actuels génèrent de l'énergique à l'aide d'une boîte de vitesses située sous le moteur. Un élément qui requiert un certain espace. N'en ayant plus besoin, le Tempest pourra être plus petit et donc plus furtif. En 2017, le projet est entré dans sa deuxième phase. Un second générateur électrique a été intégré à l'autre partie du turboréacteur. Le réseau électrique de l'appareil est désormais capable de stocker de l'énergie et une fonction intelligente gère l'alimentation de tous les systèmes. Baptisé Power Manager, il "utilise des algorithmes et prend des décisions intelligentes en temps réel pour répondre à la demande électrique de l'avion, tout en optimisant d'autres facteurs, comme la consommation de carburant ou la température du moteur, pour prolonger la durée de vie des composants", détaille le communiqué. Une troisième phase devrait bientôt voir le jour, avec l'intégration d'un nouveau système de gestion thermique et l'électrification d'autres composants. Rolls-Royce prévoit également la présentation prochaine d'un démonstrateur taille réelle qui comprendra toutes les innovations susmentionnées.


    13 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial


    13 janvier, par Nicolas Lefebvre D'ici 2040, le Rafale français, l'Eurofighter allemand et le F-18 Hornet espagnol laisseront la place aux chasseurs de 5e génération du programme européen SCAF. Si les partenaires français de ce consortium tirent leur épingle du jeu, reste à mettre en place une gouvernance à long terme dans ce programme. Juin 2019, salon aéronautique du Bourget. Le patron de Dassault Aviation, Éric Trappier, ne cache pas sa fierté au moment de poser pour les photographes devant la maquette grandeur nature de la future fierté européenne en matière d'avions de chasse. Le SCAF (Système de Combat Aérien Futur, également baptisé Next Generation Fighter, noms provisoires) est certes sur les rails, mais il n'y a pas une minute à perdre. Le patron de Dassault est un homme pressé, et veut se donner les moyens de tenir les délais. « Ce n'est pas de l'impatience, c'est indispensable », a-t-il lancé au Bourget, avec le planning en tête : première démo en 2026, produit fini en 2040. Cela semble loin ; en réalité, c'est demain pour l'Europe de la défense. Tenir ce planning passera forcément par une bonne entente avec ses différents partenaires français, allemands et espagnols, les trois pays scellant leur avenir commun le 17 juin dernier. Genèse d'un projet pan-européen L'histoire mérite un petit retour en arrière. Initialement, Dassault devait convoler en justes noces avec les Britanniques de BAE Systems, l'un des géants européens de l'industrie de la Défense. En 2010, Paris et Londres – gr'ce au tandem Sarkozy-Cameron – sont sur la même longueur d'ondes, les premiers budgets de développement sont débloqués, le futur avion de chasse mobilise les équipes de part et d'autre de la Manche. En 2014, Dassault Aviation, BAE Systems, Thales, Rolls-Royce et Safran, auxquels se sont joints les Italiens de Leonardo, travaillent de concert. Jusqu'en 2016. Les dents grincent dans de nombreuses entreprises, Safran (ex-Snecma) a par exemple peur de disparaître, écrasé par Rolls-Royce. La coopération s'arrête, le divorce est consommé ; les Français cherchent d'autres partenaires et se rapprochent des Allemands. En juillet 2017, le tandem Merkel-Macron lance le programme SCAF, sous l'impulsion commune du Français Dassault Aviation et de l'Allemand Airbus Defence And Space, basé à Munich. La planification stratégique pour les 25 prochaines années se fera donc en haut lieu, suivant la vision de ces deux intégrateurs systémiques, piliers du projet. Ont par la suite rejoint l'aventure le motoriste allemand MTU Aero Engines et son homologue français Safran, l'électronicien français Thales et leurs homologues allemands Rohde & Schwarz et Hensoldt, ou encore le consortium européen MBDA et le fabricant allemand Diehl pour l'armement. Depuis, les Britanniques ont choisi de s'allier avec les Italiens de Aeronautica Militare et les Suédois de Saab pour développer le chasseur furtif Tempest. Mission nº1 : d'abord régler le différend avec les Allemands Retour à l'actualité. Les plus belles histoires connaissent elles aussi des couacs. Tout allait bien jusqu'en juin 2019, les Allemands sortant alors le carnet de chèque pour compléter un premier budget de 65 millions d'euros pour les 24 prochains mois, sachant que la recherche et développement s'élèvera à terme à 200, voire 300 millions d'euros. Mais Paris et Berlin sont tombés sur un os : les deux pays ne suivent pas la même politique diplomatique à l'export. Au printemps dernier, l'affaire des livraisons d'armes françaises à l'Arabie saoudite, dans le cadre de la guerre au Yémen, passe mal outre-Rhin. Le Bundestag – le Parlement allemand – est en effet très réticent à l'idée d'exporter des armes servant dans cette guerre en particulier. Une position d'autant plus paradoxale que l'Allemagne est beaucoup plus indulgente vis-à-vis des entreprises qui exportent par exemple des armes vers la Turquie, embourbée dans sa guerre contre les Kurdes. Un avion commun comportant des éléments français et allemands devra néanmoins nécessairement respecter les contraintes les plus fortes. En l'occurrence celles venues de Berlin. En septembre, le patron français de Dassault a demandé aux gouvernements français et allemand de régler cette brouille diplomatique pour ne pas entraver la bonne marche du programme commun. Mission nº2 : ensuite assurer le leadership systémique du projet Côté français, le programme SCAF réunit aujourd'hui les compétences et savoir-faire de fleurons de l'industrie de la Défense : l'avionneur Dassault Aviation, le motoriste Safran, ainsi que Thales pour la partie électronique. Trois grandes entreprises du secteur régalien de la Défense. Thales – dirigé par Patrice Caine – et Safran – dirigé par Philippe Petitcolin –ont en commun d'avoir l'Etat français à leur capital, respectivement à hauteur de 25,7% et de 11%. L'Etat français est également présent indirectement chez Dassault via la participation d'Airbus (9% environ, sachant que l'l'Etat détient 11% d'Airbus). A noter que Dassault Aviation, aux mains de la famille Dassault – détient également 24,3% de Thales. Chez Dassault, la priorité est désormais de garder la main sur le projet, et de rendre pérenne la coopération franco-allemande. Une position de nº1 qui fait d'ailleurs des envieux, notamment du côté de Thales. Entre les patrons de Dassault et de Thales, il y a d'ailleurs un petit air de Je t'aime, moi non plus, les deux entreprises se connaissant par cœur puisqu'elles collaborent sur de nombreux projets et en premier lieu sur le fleuron militaire de Dassault, le Rafale. En réalité, Patrice Caine a très mal pris de ne pas être intégré au projet SCAF, dès le début. De plus, si Dassault considère que le fuselage reste la pierre angulaire d'un avion furtif, Thales pense que l'électronique et l'intelligence artificielle ont déjà pris le pas sur plateformes. En clair, Thales ne veut plus de l'étiquette de simple « équipementier » et se rêve désormais en maître d'œuvre des grands programmes d'armements. Sachant que du terrestre au naval, en passant par l'aérien, Thales est présent absolument partout, l'argument n'est pas complètement dénué de sens. De plus, les systèmes d'armes actuels sont effectivement centrés sur la communication entre systèmes de capteurs et systèmes d'armes, cœur de métier de Thales version défense. Pour autant, Thales manque cruellement de l'expérience nécessaire à la conduite des grands programmes. Il est possible que l'adoubement de Caine par Emmanuel Macron, après le rejet de la candidature d'Henri Proglio en 2015, ait donné des ailes au patron de Thales dont l'ambition dévorante dérange, en interne comme en externe. Le groupe n'hésite pas en effet à croiser le fer avec ses condisciples industriels de défense et Patrice Caine est coutumier des joutes franco-françaises : pour marquer son territoire il n'hésite pas, par exemple, à présenter Thales face à des partenaires français comme cela a pu être le cas face au constructeur maritime Naval Group début 2019 lors d'un important appel d'offre belgo-néerlandais qu'il a finalement perdu. L'histoire ne manque pas de sel quand on sait que la société détient 35% de Naval Group. Thales ne manque pas pourtant de sujets internes de préoccupation voire d'inquiétude, parmi lesquels l'intégration de Gemalto, spécialiste de la cybersécurité récemment racheté pour 5,6 milliards d'euros. Pour revenir sur le futur avion de chasse européen, Éric Trappier garde la main. Et à travers lui, l'aéronautique français dans son ensemble. La France n'est pas la seule bénéficiaire de ce programme ; se joue aussi à long terme la souveraineté industrielle de l'Europe sur les questions de défense.

  • Lockheed Martin To Deliver 50 C-130Js To U.S. Government Via Multiyear III Award

    13 janvier 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Lockheed Martin To Deliver 50 C-130Js To U.S. Government Via Multiyear III Award

    MARIETTA, Ga., Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) will deliver 50 C-130J Super Hercules to the U.S. government through a C-130J Multiyear III award, which was finalized by the U.S. government on Dec. 27, 2019. The award comes as a delivery order under an existing Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract awarded in August 2016. The Department of Defense awarded more than $1.5 billion in funding for the first 21 C-130J aircraft on the multiyear award. The overall award, worth more than $3 billion, provides Super Hercules aircraft to the U.S. Air Force (24 HC/MC-130Js), Marine Corps (20 KC-130Js) and Coast Guard (options for six HC-130Js). Aircraft purchased through the C-130J Multiyear III award will deliver between 2021-2025, and will be built at Lockheed Martin's Marietta, Georgia, facility. "The C-130J Multiyear III award represents a joint commitment between Lockheed Martin and the U.S. government in delivering proven capability that meets our operators' mission and affordability requirements," said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. "Our partnership with the U.S. government provides significant savings through multiyear procurement as compared to annual buys, and provides the best tactical airlifter to crews who fly and support the world's largest Super Hercules fleet." The C-130J Super Hercules is the global standard in tactical airlift, providing a unique mix of versatility and performance to complete any mission — anytime, anywhere. The Super Hercules worldwide fleet has more than 2 million flight hours and is the airlifter of choice for 20 nations. For additional information, visit About Lockheed Martin Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

  • Indian Navy hits a major milestone with a home-grown experimental jet

    13 janvier 2020 | International, Naval

    Indian Navy hits a major milestone with a home-grown experimental jet

    By: David B. Larter WASHINGTON – The Indian Navy hit a major milestone in its quest for a home-grown carrier-based fighter aircraft, the military's research and development wing announced Saturday. A prototype of a naval version of India's Tejas light combat aircraft performed an arrested landing on board the carrier Vikramaditya in the Arabian Sea, the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation announced on Twitter. “After completing extensive trials on the Shore Based Test Facility (SBTF), Naval version of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) did a successful arrested landing onboard INS Vikramaditya at 1002 hrs today,” DRDO said in a press release. India's defense minister took to Twitter to hail the step forward in India's goal of developing more of its fighter technology in country. “Extremely happy to learn of the maiden landing of DRDO developed LCA Navy on INS Vikramaditya,” Rajnath Singh tweeted. “This successful landing is a great event in the history of Indian Fighter aircraft development programme.” While the Tejas is a single-engine fighter, the Navy is looking to develop a twin-egine carrier-based fighter to field in the 2030s. The Indian Navy has an ongoing competition for 57 carrier-based fighters, with Boeing's F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet being among the competitors. The Indian Navy operates the MiG-29K Fulcrum, but has been generally unhappy with its ability to stand up to the rigors of carrier-based aviation, Defense News reported in 2017. “We (Indian Navy) want the MiG-29K aircraft to be ruggedized to carry out operations because landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier is almost like a hard landing and the fighter aircraft needs frequent maintenance,” a Navy official told Defense News. “There are frequent structural defects due to deck landing,” the official added. However, Anastasia Kravchenkov, a representative of Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG, said in official correspondence: “Neither we, nor our partners have received any official claims about operational problems with the Russian MiG aircrafts.” The Indian Navy has made subsequent statements that it has worked out its maintenance and spare parts issues. The MiG-29K is among the competitors for the ongoing competition, along with Saab, which is pitching joint development of a Sea Gripen. Dassault is reportedly offering its Rafale M fighter. Defense News contributor Vivek Raghuvanshi contributed to this report.

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