Sunday Telegraph MoD to sell off undelivered Eurofighters By Sean Rayment Defence Correspondent (Filed: 30/05/2004) The Ministry of Defence is seeking to sell off dozens of Eurofighter aircraft before it has even received them in an attempt to avoid further embarrassment over the escalating cost of the project. The Government is committed to buying 232 Eurofighters despite concerns that the aircraft, which is 10 years behind schedule and £5.4 billion overspent on a budget of about £15 billion, is already outdated and not suited for modern warfare. Ministers are now planning to sell up to 50 of the jets to Austria and Singapore instead of first re-equipping the Royal Air Force. The aircraft, which cost about £43 million each, could even be sold off at a loss if a country bids for a large number of them. Other countries on a list of potential purchasers include Norway and South Korea. Austria has agreed to purchase 18 aircraft, while Greece, which had said it was interested in buying 60 British Eurofighters, has deferred a decision on the final contract until after the Olympic Games. The Government had agreed to buy its Eurofighters in three separate packages of 55, 88 and 89, over the next 10 years as part of a joint project with Germany, Italy and Spain. The RAF has already taken delivery of six of the aircraft, which are being used to train pilots. The arrival of the remaining 49 from the first tranche will be delayed, however, if required by other countries. Although senior RAF officers have tried to argue that the full complement of 232 aircraft is essential for the security of Britain, the heads of the Army and the Royal Navy have convinced the Government that the money could be better used on more relevant defence projects. The decision to sell off some of Britain's Eurofighters was disclosed by Adam Ingram, the Armed Forces minister, in a reply to a parliamentary question by Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat MP. Mr Ingram said: "Some consideration has been given to the scope to provide for early export of Eurofighter to potential overseas customers. "If pursued, a sale might be accomplished by adjusting the delivery profile to the RAF. The RAF remains, however, the primary customer for these aircraft and any decision made will take full account of its requirements." Paul Keetch, the defence spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, said: "If other countries get their hands on Eurofighter it will be a blow to our pilots who have been waiting for this plane for years. "The fact that the Ministry of Defence is trying to sell off planes ordered for the RAF might make financial sense, but it is a damning indictment of government procurement strategy." The embarrassing revelation comes just days after it emerged that the Eurofighter's test pilots had been told to avoid flying through clouds because computer problems risked throwing the aircraft into a "catastrophic spin". In a leaked report by a test pilot it emerged that the computer had a tendency to switch from flight mode to ground mode while still in the air. Eurofighter was originally conceived 30 years ago to attack formations of Soviet bombers attempting to penetrate Western airspace before a full-scale invasion of Europe. When the threat of invasion disappeared with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the aircraft was remodelled to become a multi-role aircraft. The project has since been beset with a succession of problems, which have delayed the arrival of the aircraft and pushed up the cost. Two weeks ago, Mr Ingram was also forced to admit that the separate £25 billion Joint Strike Fighter project was also facing serious difficulties after it emerged that the aircraft, which is due to replace the Harrier jump jet, was more than 3,000lb too heavy to fly safely. A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed that the Government was examining a deal that would see Eurofighters delivered to the Austrian air force before being delivered to the RAF. All Eurofighters were recently grounded because of problems with landing gear and brakes - a problem described by the manufacturers, British AerospaceSystems, as "teething troubles". In 2002, during a test flight, a Spanish Eurofighter crashed after both of its engines failed. Both crew ejected and survived.
A estratégia da Aeronáutica é fazer um rodízio de aeronaves entre as bases, de forma que não se saberá que aviões e helicópteros estarão onde, em que data e executando que tipo de missão.
Francia e Israel firmarán en el marco de la exhibición internacional de armamento Eurosatory (París) el acuerdo de mayor envergadura para el intercambio de armamento y tecnología militar entre los dos países desde el embargo francés a ala venta de armas a Israel previo a la Guerra de los Seis Días. El acuerdo está valorado entre 150 y 200 millones de dólares, según el diario “Haaretz”. Las Industrias Aeronáuticas de Israel (IAI) venderán tecnología a las empresas más importantes de armamento francesas.
China is about to receive 24 Sukhoi Su- 30MK2 fighters from Russia in 2004, according to the latest report by Jane's Defence Weekly. These aircraft are improved naval variants based on the Su-30MKK fighter, with enhanced anti-ship strike capabilities including the Kh-31 supersonic anti-ship missile. China has already purchased 78 Su-27SK/UBK fighters and 76 Su-30MKK fighters from Russia, and is building 200 Su-27SKs under license. The latest Su-30MK2 will be deployed by the PLA Naval Air Corps. This is the first time that the PLA Navy obtains the imported Sukhoi fighter.
BOEING GANA UN CONTRATO DE 3.890 MILLONES DE DÓLARES PARA EL AVIÓN MARÍTIMO MULTI-MISIÓN DE LA MARINA DE EEUU. La Marina de Estados Unidos ha adjudicado al grupo liderado por Boeing un contrato de 3.890 millones de dólares para la construcción del avión marítimo multimisión (MMA). Este avión se basa en el modelo 737-800. El programa total está valorado en torno a 15.000 millones de dólares, con una producción que se desarrollará a lo largo de 10 años. El equipo liderado por Boeing, que incluye a otras compañías como CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, y Smiths Aerospace fabricará siete aviones de pruebas durante la fase de desarrollo de sistemas y demostración. Está previsto que la Marina estadounidense compre 109 aviones para reemplazar a su antigua flota de 223 aparatos P-3. “El 737 MMA va a tener un papel fundamental en el futuro de la práctica militar marítima, ya que aportará superioridad defensiva submarina y en la superficie, así como en misiones de reconocimiento y vigilancia”, destacó Jim Albaugh, presidente y Consejero Delegado de Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. El programa MMA dará empleo a 1.600 personas de las instalaciones de la división de IDS en St. Louis, Seattle y Patuxent River, en Estados Unidos.
CASA SE HACE CON UN CONTRATO EN CHILE. La española Construcciones Aeronáuticas Casa ha anunciado que modernizará al menos 18 unidades del Casa C-101 de la Fuerza Aérea Chilena, un reactor de entrenamiento básico, avanzado y táctico.
Aircraft Repair Plant in Moscow Suburb Kubinka Begins Series Upgrade of Su-25 Attack Aircraft Series upgrade of Russian air force Su-25 attack aircraft has stared at the aircraft repair plant in the Moscow suburb of Kubinka. "The first three Su-25 attack aircraft have reached the aircraft repair plane in Kubinka for overhaul and reconditioning and a subsequent upgrade," the chief designer of the Sukhoy Attack Aircraft scientific and production concern, Vladimir Babak reported. He recalled that the first upgraded Su-25SM was built in March 2002. "At the present time, a third upgraded experimental Su-25SM is being prepared for lifting into the air. Its flight will take place in the very near future," V. Babak said. According to him, upgrade of the attack airplanes at the aircraft repair plant in Kubinka will take place in accordance with serial documentation. The on-board equipment and some systems for weapons use have been fully renovated on the attack aircraft being upgraded. The "Bars" targeting and navigational complex being installed on the airplane is based on a fast-acting new generation computer. It allows an increase of 2-3 times of the precision of weapons usage and 10 times navigation precision. The "Pastel" ELINT station and SUO-39 weapons control system also have been installed on the airplane, and new types of ammunition also are being used. The Su-25SM allows the use of precision weapons with a laser-guidance system. The airplane's armament will be expanded owing to the use of guided weapons with television and laser guidance. Nearly 500 Su-25 attack aircraft are in the inventories of 16 countries at the present time. A program for upgrade of the airplane for foreign customers has been developed.
EH101: Canadian Cormorants return to full flight status while Royal Navy continues investigation of Merlin crash of 30 March ‘04Rotorhub can confirm that the Canadian Cormorants are flying again, despite an aircraft landing last week due to the crew experiencing aircraft vibrations and the ongoing investigation by the UK’s Royal Navy into the crash of one of its Merlins at RAF Culdrose at the end of March ‘04. The crash occurred as the aircraft was lifting off following a hot refuelling and crew change.While the RAF and the Royal Navy Merlins are still grounded under a precautionary directive that was issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) immediately after the crash, the Canadians returned to normal flying operations on 3 June. This followed the imposition of their own flying restrictions on 1 April that virtually limited all flights to search and rescue missions only.Rotorhub flew in a Canadian Cormorant on Monday 15 June on a SAR exercise and no problems were encountered. In an incident last week that is considered to be an unrelated issue, a Canadian Cormorant crew landed their aircraft away from their airfield after vibrations were experienced during the flight. As the aircraft had a vibration analysis kit on-board, the crew decided to land immediately and connect the kit to the sensors embedded in the aircraft. When the Cormorant was started again, some excessive vibration was recorded and the decision was made not to fly out before further investigation. Later analysis revealed a problem concerning the lead-lag damper on the main rotor head. This was changed and the aircraft eventually flown back to its base. Rotorhub currently understands that the problem with the Royal Navy Merlin might be traced to a maintenance procedural issue.Other EH101 users - the Italian Navy and the Tokyo police - decided that there was no need impose any flying restrictions on any of their EH101s
Wulfsberg Selects EDMO as Distributor for P-2000 Tactical FM RadioPRESCOTT, Ariz., June 18, 2004 – Wulfsberg Electronics has enhanced its sales and service capability by naming EDMO Distributors Inc., of Spokane Valley, Wash., as the exclusive distributor for its P-2000 digital tactical FM radio.Although Wulfsberg™ has an existing dealer network, the use of a distributor is a first for the company that will strengthen its product marketing, according to Walter Crawford, vice president of marketing and sales.“As our distributor, EDMO will multiply Wulfsberg’s existing capabilities, and specifically provide better, more direct support to our dealers,” Crawford said. “EDMO has an experienced and knowledgeable sales team that will enhance our overall marketing efforts, in part by maintaining closer, more regular contact with our dealers.”EDMO will also maintain inventory of the P-2000 in some of its more popular configurations. “EDMO looks forward to working with Wulfsberg and contributing to the success of the P-2000,” said Jeff Christensen, vice president of marketing and sales. Wulfsberg is the leading supplier of Flexcomm™ multi-band, airborne, FM/AM, analog and digital radio communication systems for the public safety and industrial markets.EDMO is a wholesale distributor of aircraft avionics, avionics test equipment, and other aviation-related products. The P-2000 is the world’s first digital tactical FM radio with a color LCD display. In addition to its brilliant display, which highlights critical information in an easy-to-read format, the P-2000 is the first panel-mounted, multi-band radio ever offered by Wulfsberg™. The P-2000 transceiver complements the powerful C-5000 and RT-5000 multi-band transceiver already in use by public service providers worldwide.Wulfsberg’s Flexcomm communication systems can be configured to support all conventional FM/AM channel frequencies from 29.7 MHz to 960 MHz plus multiple analog and digital P-25 compatible transceivers in the VHF-Hi, UHF-Lo, UHF-Hi, 700/800 MHz FM bands. In addition to its radio communication products, Wulfsberg™ designs and manufactures a complete suite of Chelton FliteLine™ Nav/Com products for the corporate aviation, military trainer, commuter airline, and helicopter markets. Wulfsberg Electronics is one of fifteen Chelton Avionics, Inc. Companies, including ACR Electronics, Artex Aircraft Supplies, Chelton Aviation, Chelton Flight Systems, Chelton, Inc., Chelton Satcom, Comant Industries, dB Systems, DTC Communications, Orion Electronics Ltd., Northern Airborne Technology (NAT), Pentar Avionics, Seimac, Sea Tel and Wulfsberg Electronics.Chelton Avionics, Inc. is a wholly owned business unit of U.K. based Cobham plc which has annual sales in excess of £690M ($1 billion).
CHC Awarded Super Puma MKII Contract in AngolaST JOHN'S, NL, TORONTO, June 15 CHC Helicopter Corporation ("CHC") announced today that it has been awarded a new contract in West Africa for the provision of one Super Puma AS332L2 aircraft for a period of initially 18 months commencing immediately. Anticipated revenue over the term of the contract is approximately CDN $11 million. Under the terms of the contract, CHC will lease the advanced Super Puma MkII to Sonair, the aeronautical subsidiary of the Angolan national oil company Sonangol. The helicopter will be based at Luanda, Angola.CHC Helicopter Corporation is the world's largest provider of helicopter services to the global offshore oil and gas industry, with aircraft operating in 30 countries and a team of approximately 3,400 professionals worldwide.
DASSAULT Y EADS COOPERARÁN EN EL PROGRAMA UCAV.Dassault y EADS han llegado a un acuerdo para cooperar en la nueva generación de aviones de combate sin piloto, UCAV en sus siglas en inglés. Sin embargo, Dassault ha descartado la idea de fusionarse con EADS, que lleva tiempo considerando opción de absorber a su competidor francés.España podría entrar en el programa con una inversión de entre 20 y 25 millones de euros.
A129 Combats: Sardinian work-up confirms Italy’s first Airmobile Brigade now ready to go After three years of development and intense training, the Italian Army’s Friuli Airmobile Brigade has now achieved its full operational capability (FOC) certification. This followed the successful culmination of exercise Forward Challenge ‘04, which took place in March at the Capo Teulada and Salto di Quirra ranges in Sardinia. The exercise involved 2000 soldiers, 52 helicopters and over 700 vehicles belonging to the Friuli Airmobile Brigade and validated the unit’s operational capabilities through a series of new force projection scenarios. The exercise was attended by the Italian Army’s Chief of Staff, General Giulio Fraticelli, the 1st Italian Army Land HQs commander, Lt. General Gaetano Romeo, as well as representatives from similar French and German airmobile units. In addition to AB205, AB412 transport, A109 scout and A129 anti-tank helicopters, it marked the first public showing of the AgustaWestland A129 EES combat helicopter (see Mangusta sharpens its teeth, p8-10, Defence Helicopter, Dec ’03 / Jan ‘04). The first two aircraft had been delivered from Agusta in time for the exercise. Headed by Brigadier General Enzo Stefanini and headquartered near Bologna, the Friuli Brigade is composed of two Army Aviation Regiments, the 5th Rigel at Casarsa della Delizia near Udine in northern-east Italy and the 7th Vega, near Rimini on the Adriatic coast. Other elements in the Brigade include the 66th Trieste airmobile infantry regiment based near Forlì, the Savoia Cavalry Regiment based in Grosseto and the Friuli Brigade command and tactical support unit near Bologna.