Sunday, April 6, 2014

Saab Gripen-E Flies With IRST Targeting Sensor

Saab has successfully test flown a key passive detection capability for its in-development Gripen E fighter, using dedicated test aircraft 39-7.
Developed by Selex ES’s Airborne & Space Systems division, the Skyward-G infrared search and track (IRST) sensor will give the combat aircraft a long-range means of detecting and identifying potential airborne threats, without the need to first switch on its active electronically scanned array radar. Secondary applications include the ability to act as a navigation and landing aid during darkness.

Saab Gripen-E
Saab Gripen-E
“The first flight in the Gripen E test aircraft with IRST has been performed with very good results,” says Hans Einerth, wing commander flying at Saab’s Linköping production and test site in Sweden. “Multiple targets were detected, tracked and identified, and the system works perfectly.”

Monday, March 31, 2014

Did IAF’s 'US-made' C-130J Super Hercules that crashed have fake Chinese parts?

India's newly-acquired American C-130J Super Hercules plane that crashed last week near Gwalior has been under intense scrutiny in the United States and Canada after a Senate investigation concluded that counterfeit parts in the aircraft's display systems could cause it to "lose data or even go blank altogether" in midflight, with potentially catastrophic consequences. 

A 2011-2012 investigation by the US Senate armed services committee eventually traced the counterfeit electronic parts used in the C-130J, C-27J, and many other US military systems to a company in Shenzhen, China, called Hong Dark Electronic Trade Company. Hong Dark sold the parts at issue to Global IC Trading Group, an independent distributor in the US, which in turn sold it to L-3 Communications Display Systems, which in turn supplied it to Lockheed Martin, the US military's prime contractor for the C-130J. 

Indian C-130J Super Hercules plane Crash
Indian C-130J Super Hercules plane Crash
 Amid scathing observations by the Senate panel, the US air force suspended and banned Hong Dark in 2012 from competing for government contracts and subcontracts, but testimony before the armed services committee showed stunning lapses in the supply chain and procurement procedures for the military systems, including the C-130J Super Hercules, six of which New Delhi contracted to buy in 2010 for $1.1 billion, around Rs 1000 crores apiece. 
Indian C-130J Super Hercules plane Crash
Indian C-130J Super Hercules plane Crash

India has plans to buys six more to augment its transport fleet with the much-acclaimed aircraft, which has won plaudits for its safety record and its versatility. The acquisition enables the Indian military to put boots and supplies on the ground in remote and inhospitable terrain, giving it matchless reach in the region. 

However, the aircraft display systems itself will now come under scrutiny — if it already hadn't been under the scanner — although the cause of the Gwalior crash is yet to be determined. The US Senate committee report is withering in its observations not only about US procurement and supply chain system, but also the casual manner in which private contractors treated the issue once the counterfeit parts were detected. 

The story begins in November 2010 when L-3 Display Systems detected that the company's in-house failure rate for a chip installed on display units used in C-130J and C-27J had more than tripled from 8.5 per cent to 27 per cent. L-3 also noticed that the same part had previously failed on a fielded military plane. The company sent the chips for testing, which resulted in identification of "multiple abnormalities," with the tester concluding that the parts were "suspect counterfeit." 

Is It Chinese Answer to US X-47B Development?

Sino X-47B

Sino X-47B

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Is Saab’s New Gripen The Future Of Fighters?

The reason that the JAS 39E may earn a Gen 6 tag is that it has been designed with these issues in mind. Software comes first: The new hardware runs Mission System 21 software, the latest roughly biennial release in the series that started with the JAS 39A/B.

Long life requires adaptability, both across missions and through-life. Like Ed Heinemann's A-4 Skyhawk, the Gripen was designed as a small aircraft with a relatively large payload. And by porting most of the software to the new version, the idea is that all C/D weapons and capabilities, and then some, are ready to go on the E.

 JAS 39 E
 JAS 39 E

The Swedes have invested in state-of-the-art sensors for ISR and situational awareness (AW&ST March 17, p. 28), including what may be the first in-service electronic warfare system using gallium-nitride technology. It's significant that a lot of space is devoted to the identification friend-or-foe system. Good IFF is most important in a confused situation where civilian, friendly, neutral, questionable and hostile actors are sharing the same airspace.

Sweden's ability to develop its own state-of-the-art fighters has long depended on blending home-grown and imported technology. Harvesting technology rather than inventing it becomes more important as commercial technology takes a leading role and becomes more global. The JAS 39E engine is from the U.S., the radar from Britain, and the infrared search and track system is Italian. Much of the airframe may be built in Brazil.

Friday, March 28, 2014

China's J-10B Multi-Role Fighter Jet Nears Induction

J-10B MultiRole Fighter Jet
J-10B MultiRole Fighter Jet

J-10B MultiRole Fighter Jet
J-10B MultiRole Fighter Jet
China 's J-10B Fighter Jet is now near its induction stage  into Peoples Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). Fitted with diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI), active electronically scanned array (AESA) and infra-red search and track (IRST) sensors will be true 4.5+ generational  multirole fighter jet. China is working really hard in recent years in developing J-10's different version for different roles in PLAAF and PLANAF.

J-10 also has some export successs in international market and Pakistan's PAF is likely to be the first export customer of J-10B which is named FC-20 in Pakistan.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Russia's New UCAV Altius Unveiled

Russian New Altius UCAV

Russia's State Media says Altius drone (UCAV) is a long-endurance  Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle with capability to perform a wide variety of tasks, including strike missionsAltius UCAV  first prototype is a high-winged aircraft  powered by two turboprop engines, with slab-sided rear fuselage and a V-shaped tail.

First Israeli M-346 Lavi Rolled Out

Alenia Aermacchi has rolled out the first M-346 advanced trainer for Israel in a ceremony held at the manufacturer’s plant in Italy.
Dating from a July 2012 order, the company will supply 30 of the aircraft to the nation’s air force to replace its fleet of aged 60 Douglas A/TA-4 Skyhawks, alongside ground-based training systems.

Israeli M-346 Lavi
Israeli M-346 Lavi

Delivery of the first two M-346s, to be known as the Lavi in Israeli service, is scheduled for summer 2014, with a further seven aircraft to be handed over this year, 18 in 2015 and the remainder in 2016
Eleven of the Honeywell F124-200-powered type are in different stages of construction at the Production facility, four of which have entered final assembly.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A time to reflect

Dear readers, 

I started this blog in November 2013 with the purpose of being an English version of the site Aerofatos. My idea was to publish news about military aviation in India, Russia and China. 

Unfortunately, the blog did not get the number of views to make it something sustainable. Despite the 500 Facebook fans, only 100-200 views per day were recorded. Very little for two hour of daily dedication. 

If any of you want to take responsibility for posting materials, please contact me. This is not a paid job. It is for someone who likes aviation. 

The address will be available until May 2014. I will not renew with my host (Netfirms), but I can transfer to another person. The Facebook page also needs a new admistrador. 

But remain online. In portuguese, sure.

Sorry for the inconvenience. 

Julio Ribeiro

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Su-34 frontline bomber was put into service by Russian air forces

In accordance with the decision of the government of Russian Federation, the new Su-34 frontline bomber was put into service, Interfax reports with reference to a source close to the military-industrial sector. He reminded that the bomber successfully completed all the necessary tests and its deliveries were started long ago. The serial Su-34s are being manufactured by Novosibirsk Aviation Plant.

"Last year Sukhoi Company successfully implemented the first contract for delivery of 32 Su-34s to Russian air forces and started the implementation of the second contract for delivery of 92 bombers of the type”, - the source said.

Now it's PAK TA's turn

An-225 Mriya: illustrative photo
The enterprises of Russian military-industrial sector have started the development of a next-generation military-transport aircraft – PAK TA (similarly to PAK FA it may stand for Perspective Airborne Complex of Transport Aviation). The project should be completed in the next decade, ITAR-TASS reports with reference to CEO of Ilyushin Aviation Complex, Viktor Livanov.

"The project does not have an approved name; for now it is called PAK TA - Perspective Airborne Complex of Transport Aviation. Today it is just a project that may be implemented by 2030", - the source explained. According to him, the exact specifications for PAK TA will be elaborated later after negotiations with potential customers.

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