Farnborough International Airshow Trade 2016

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#1
Farnborough 2016: Lockheed Martin unveils new armed Black Hawk
Gareth Jennings, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
13 July 2016

The new armed Black Hawk provided the centrepiece for Lockheed Martin's pavilion at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016. Source: IHS/Gareth Jennings

Lockheed Martin has leveraged its Missiles and Fire Control division to develop, with its Sikorsky subsidiary, an armed version of the S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopter, which it launched at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016 during the week of 11 to 17 July.

Speaking at the event on 12 July, Bill Gostic, vice president Global Military Systems and Services outlined the philosophy behind the armed variant of the venerable transport helicopter, and how it was made possible by pooling the resources of the two newly joined companies.

"Why arm the Black Hawk? It is trusted and it is versatile," Gostic said. "The world today is unstable and budgets are tight - militaries need options, and the armed Black Hawk provides them. We believe that this is the right time for an armed Black Hawk that combines a reduction in the pilot workload with lethality and versatility."

With Sikorsky as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for the Black Hawk, Lockheed Martin has brought missiles and fire control expertise to the project in terms of integrating the weapons package into the aircraft's existing flight management system. Indeed, although the two companies only formally merged in November 2015, their history of collaboration on the Black Hawk-series of helicopters goes back many years, and is most recently shown in the MH-60R Seahawk for the US Navy.

"Since the acquisition, we have been exploring synergies that might give added value to the customer," Gostic said.

In terms of the armed Black Hawk, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky have built two testbed platforms at the PZL Swidnik factory in Poland, one of which provided the centrepiece for the former's Farnborough pavilion. As shown at the event, the platform features four tub-wing hardpoints carrying four AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles (ASMs); two 70 mm Hydra 19-shot rocket pods; and an FN Herstal 12.7 mm heavy machine gun pod (HMP).
http://www.janes.com/article/62197/farnborough-2016-lockheed-martin-unveils-new-armed-black-hawk
 

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Farnborough 2016: Assurance in automated capabilities key to UCAVs
Huw Williams, Farnborough - IHS Jane's International Defence Review
12 July 2016

BAE Systems will leverage the work undertaken on its Taranis platform for the FCAS programme. Source: BAE Systems
A high level of assurance in on-board processing and decision making will be key to the success of future unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs), according to BAE Systems' Martin Rowe-Willcocks.

Speaking at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016, Rowe-Willcocks explained that while the company's concept of operations for the likes of the Anglo-French Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme will maintain a man-in-the-loop for important decisions, the nature of the missions it will fly and the environments it will operate in necessitates that a platform will be required to operate 'quietly', if not completely independent of supervision and control for certain aspects of its mission profile.

Rowe-Willcocks noted that BAE Systems has already examined automated aspects of a strike mission as part of its Taranis technology demonstrator effort, where the aircraft conducted an automated search profile, locating and identifying targets that it had been assigned.

The key here, Rowe-Willcocks explained, is that an aircraft would conduct that element of the mission within constrained parameters, for example a defined area and in search of specified targets, undertaking onboard processing of data that it has gathered in order to simplify the operator's decision-making process. It would not make a decision to prosecute a target on its own; this would remain in the hands of the operator.

Some of the technology required for this is not unlike that which will be needed to support the routine operation of unmanned aircraft in civil airspace, Rowe-Willcocks noted, pointing to BAE Systems involvement in the Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment (ASTRAEA) programme as one area of work that could potentially be drawn upon.

Also important, Rowe-Willcocks noted, is ensuring that the public perception of how these systems are operated is accurate.

With manned-unmanned operations noted as key to the widespread take-up and operational success of future UCAVs, Rowe-Willcocks said that the development of platforms and concepts of operation will look to utilise the best aspects of both systems.
http://www.janes.com/article/62192/farnborough-2016-assurance-in-automated-capabilities-key-to-ucavs
 

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#3
Farnborough 2016: L-3 debuts SPYDR II reconfigurable ISR platform
Peter Felstead, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
12 July 2016

L-3 Communications debuted its SPYDR II reconfigurable ISR platform at this year's Farnborough Airshow. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen

L-3 Communications displayed its SPYDR II tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft for the first time at this year's Farnborough International Airshow.

Integrated onto a Beechcraft King Air 350 twin turboprop, which at Farnborough was sporting the green and sand-coloured paint scheme of a 1970s-era F-4 Phantom fighter, the SPYDR II builds on L-3's previous work on the SPYDR I King Air 350 ISR platform but features the company's Rapid Aircraft Payload Deployment System (RAPDS). This turns the aircraft into a truly reconfigurable plug-and-play ISR platform in which any given sensor fit can be swapped out within a matter of hours, enabling the user to tailor the sensor payload to changing operational requirements or to incorporate upgraded sensor technologies as they emerge.

As of this March the aircraft has been fully certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration and has secured supplemental type certificates (STCs) for several different sensor configurations using a variety of different under-fuselage pod shapes. The aircraft also has a hardpoint under each wing that can be used for extra fuel tanks, antennas or even munitions in the same class as the Raytheon Griffin A guided bomb.

Typical SPYDR II sensor fits include wide-area motion imagery (WAMI), maritime radar, ground moving-target indicator (GMTI) and foliage-penetrating (FOPEN) synthetic aperture radar (SAR), signals intelligence (SIGINT), and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) payloads. The aircraft displayed at Farnborough featured an under-fuselage pod of a size that could accommodate a maritime radar, two Wescam MX-15 electro-optical/infrared imaging systems (one forward of the nosewheel and the other at the rear of the pod), a high-frequency (HF) direction-finding antenna under one wing and a representive munitions pod under the other. Inside the aircraft was a typical mission fit for the four-person crew (pilot, co-pilot, and two mission specialists), much of which can be reconfigured, with the necessary connections for the onboard equipment already wired into the airframe.
http://www.janes.com/article/62180/farnborough-2016-l-3-debuts-spydr-ii-reconfigurable-isr-platform
 

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Farnborough 2016: Falco EVO secures launch customers in the Middle East
Gareth Jennings, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
13 July 2016

The Falco EVO features extended wings and tailbooms to improve range, endurance, service ceiling, and payload. Source: Mark Daly

Leonardo has secured sales of its Falco EVO unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to two Middle Eastern customers, the company announced on 13 July.

The sales, announced at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016, are the first for the Falco EVO, which is the long-endurance variant of the baseline Falco tactical UAV in service with five operators, including the United Nations. The company declined to name the new Falco EVO customers, saying only that they are in "the Middle East and Gulf region".

Designed for surveillance, the Falco EVO has a payload of 100 kg (including the Gabbiano 20 multi-mode surveillance radar, the PicoSAR active electronically scanned array [AESA] radar, the newly launched Osprey multi-mode AESA radar, as well as the SAGE electronic warfare system), an endurance of 20 hours, and a line-of-sight range of 200 km. The platform's mission set includes stand-off target detection, classification, identification, and shadowing.
http://www.janes.com/article/62228/...o-secures-launch-customers-in-the-middle-east
 

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#5
Farnborough 2016: Leonardo unveils armed M-346 FT aircraft
Luca Peruzzi, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
13 July 2016

Leonardo debuted their armed M346 FT trainer/strike aircraft at Farnborough 2016. Source: Luca Peruzzi
Leonardo unveiled an armed version of its M-346 jet trainer aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016. The dual-role platform is intended to offer operational and training capabilities and has been named the M-346 Fighter Trainer (FT).

The new low-cost aircraft will be ready within two years, said Leonardo. It is based on the proven M-346 lead-in fighter/trainer platform, of which 68 aircraft have been ordered by Italy, Singapore, Israel and Poland, with 48 delivered.

"The new version has been conceived to take the advantage of additional market opportunities by offering in a two-year time frame from now a product solution with operational capabilities as a fall-out of the already certified M-346 AJT [advanced jet trainer] platform," said Filippo Bagnato, head of Leonardo's aircraft division.

Leonardo will, however, continue to market both the AJT and FT versions, as well as providing the dual-role capability of the M346 FT as a retrofit to existing and future sold AJTs.

"The M-346 FT version will be able to provide both training and operational capabilities as a low-cost solution based on the same platform including airframe, avionics, inflight refuelling and current underwing and under-fuselage stations of the AJT version," said Enrico Scarabotto, Leonardo's aircraft division chief test pilot.

Leonardo has identified three main mission types that can be satisfied by the M346 FT version: urban and battlefield close-air support; homeland security; and tactical reconnaissance. "In addition to a range of operational [payloads] that can be carried on the same five external stations of the AJT version … the M-346 will be equipped with a tactical datalink such as the Link 16 as well as a defensive aids subsystem to provide situational awareness and self protection, as well as a multiband secure radios package for platform networking. The M-346 FT won't have a radar system, but Leonardo has already studied the application on the platform if a customer requires it," said Lucio Valerio Cioffi, head of engineering at Leonardo's aircraft division.
http://www.janes.com/article/62231/farnborough-2016-leonardo-unveils-armed-m-346-ft-aircraft
 

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#6
Farnborough 2016: F-35B completes initial phase of land-based ski-jump trials
Peter Felstead, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
13 July 2016

Peter 'Wizzer' Wilson, the F-35 programme STOVL lead test pilot, undertaking ski-jump trials at NAS Patuxent River in 2015. Source: BAE Systems

The initial phase of land-based ski-jump testing for the F-35B short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the Lockheed Martin Joint Strikes Fighter has been successfully completed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Maryland in the United States, laying a key foundation for first-of-class flight trials with the UK's future Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carriers.

Briefing journalists at the Farnborough International Airshow on 12 July, David Atkinson, BAE Systems' F-35/QEC integration manager, said the flight trials were "critical to validate a lot of the work that has been done through modelling and provide the certification-quality evidence that's needed to allow service pilots to operate from the ship". BAE Systems is under contract via the F-35 Joint Program Office to perform the ski-jump trials work.

Following on from the first F-35B take-off from a ski-jump ramp at NAS Patuxent River, performed by aircraft BF-04 on 19 June 2015, another 30 take-offs were made over the course of the next 12 months by aircraft BF-04 and BF-01.

Describing the parameters of the ski jump tests in the same briefing, Pete 'Wizzer' Wilson, the STOVL lead test pilot for the F-35 programme at NAS Patuxent River, said, "We've done weights up to full fuel and full internal stores; forward/mid/aft centre-of-gravity positions; a range of ramp exit speeds up to 95 KCAS [knots - calibrated air speed]; line-up distances from 315 to 620 ft; and we've done mil and max power [non-afterburning and afterburning] launches: a total of 31 in all. So we have successfully executed the initial phase of the F-35 ski jump testing; this is a very significant milestone from our perspective."

Wilson explained how "an awful lot is happening in a very short amount of time, about a second's worth", when an F-35B takes off from a ski jump: a process that is effectively automated and "cognitively simple for the pilot" in comparison with taking off in a Harrier jump jet.
http://www.janes.com/article/62226/...s-initial-phase-of-land-based-ski-jump-trials
 

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#7
Farnborough 2016: Armed AVIC Harrier Hawk breaks cover
Charles Forrester, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
13 July 2016
An armed variant of AVIC's Harrier Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been displayed by the company at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016.

AVIC's Harrier Hawk in its armed configuration, showing hardpoints and electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) turret. (IHS/Charles Forrester)

The aircraft features a tricycle undercarriage and is powered by a turboprop engine and three-bladed propeller. AVIC representatives were unable to reveal much about the aircraft, however, they did disclose that the system first flew in 2015, and has an endurance of 16 hours. The ground control station is housed in two truck containers.

At present, the UAV is operating in an unarmed version in China for use by military and commercial operators, with the platform featuring an electro-optical (EO) turret at the rear of the aircraft.
http://www.janes.com/article/62236/farnborough-2016-armed-avic-harrier-hawk-breaks-cover
 

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#8
Farnborough 2016: Boeing wins contract for 50 new British Army Apaches
Nicholas de Larrinaga, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
12 July 2016

The United Kingdom has ordered 50 AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters from Boeing. Source: US Army
The British Army has purchased a new fleet of Apache attack helicopters from Boeing, it was announced during the opening of the Farnborough International Airshow 2016 on 11 July.

In total the United Kingdom is purchasing 50 AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters at an announced cost of USD2.3 billion. These will replace the 66 AgustaWestland-Boeing WAH-64D Block I Apache Longbow AH.1 helicopters currently operated by the Army Air Corps (AAC).

Although smaller than the full WAH-64D fleet, the purchase essentially amounts to a like-for-like replacement as 16 British Apaches were mothballed in early 2015 after the end of UK combat operations in Afghanistan.

Unlike the WAH-64Ds, which were built in Yeovil by Westland (now Leonardo Helicopters) and heavily customised to British specifications the new AH-64Es are being purchased off-the-shelf and will be built by Boeing in the United States. The purchase is being made under the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system.

UK defence minister Philip Dunne told IHS Jane's on 11 July that "we are using elements of the airframes that have got life in them but the airframes are being stripped down, each component will be assessed to see what its viability is to go into the new aircraft … but they are an evolution rather than completely new aircraft."

According the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD): "Buying the AH-64E off the shelf allows the MoD to take advantage of the US government's larger production programme in Mesa, Arizona, with the UK benefiting from economies of scale. To further guarantee value for money, systems from the current Apache fleet, such as the Modernised Target Acquisition and Designation System, and the Longbow Fire Control Radar, will be reused and incorporated into the new helicopters where possible."

The first AH-64E is due to come off the US production line in early 2020, with the type beginning to enter service with the AAC in 2022.
http://www.janes.com/article/62166/...wins-contract-for-50-new-british-army-apaches
 

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Farnborough 2016: C295 makes static appearance, showcases new capabilities
Gareth Jennings, Farnborough - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
11 July 2016

A Portuguese Air Force C295 is on the static display at this year's Farnborough Airshow. An aerial refuelling kit is one of a number of enhancements being rolled out for the platform. Source: IHS/Gareth Jennings
Airbus Defence and Space (DS) is displaying its C295 tactical transport aircraft at this year's Farnborough International Airshow, as it looks to promote a series of enhancements for the twin turboprop.

A Portuguese Air Force aircraft is on the static display at the event, with Airbus DS showcasing a new air-to-air refuelling (AAR) kit that has been developed mainly for the in-flight refuelling of helicopters, turboprops, and even unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It will also enable the C295 to serve as a forward refuelling platform for ground vehicles.

According to Airbus DS, the modification uses AAR kit fitted to standard pallets and involved only minimal modifications to the aircraft. These modifications are primarily in a new control systems for hose-and-drogue operations. While the AAR refuelling kit does not currently include auxiliary tanks fitted in the aircraft (fuel for offloading being drawn from the main tanks), these could be added at the customer's request.

Ground trials of the AAR kit have already been completed, and the hose has been successfully deployed in flight between 95 to 140 kt (and shown to be stable). Helicopter proximity flights have also been successfully concluded, with dry contact flights scheduled for the end of the year.

The AAR kit is one of a number of enhancements that Airbus DS is either developing for the C295, or has recently rolled out. Another modification currently being developed is the automation of the cockpit procedures.

The objective of this particular effort is to enhance modern cockpit operation taking into account human factors, so as to improve situational awareness and reduce pilot workload.

The new function aims to simplify the way in how the flight crew interacts in the cockpit during normal operation or after a system failure, to reach the objective of automated flight. It provides for increased automation in many of the aircraft's functions, such as the setting of flaps, landing gear, speed brakes, lights, general systems, etc.
http://www.janes.com/article/62134/...-static-appearance-showcases-new-capabilities
 

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#10
arnborough 2016: TX – More than just the aircraft
13th July 2016 - 10:49 by Trevor Nash in Farnborough


The US Air Force TX programme, the replacement of the venerable T-38 advanced training aircraft, is a major target for four international consortia.

Raytheon has used Farnborough Air Show to put its case for its T-100 bid, an aircraft based on the Leonardo, formally Aermacchi, M-346 Master training aircraft.

Already in service in Italy, Israel, Singapore and shortly Poland, the M-346 is gaining very positive reviews from its customers.

‘The thing about the airplane is that it has been designed to be a trainer from the outset and that gives it a number of advantages,’ says former US Air Force three-star, Dan Darnell VP strategic initiatives at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems.

‘But it’s not just about the aircraft; we are offering a fully integrated training system that includes high-end ground based training from our partners at CAE as well as an embedded training system,’ Darnell told MTSN.

The embedded training system is being provided by Elbit Systems and the Israeli company is expected to work very closely with CAE in defining the overall ground based training system (GBTS) and embedded training system to provide an I-LVC training environment.

Darnell stated the GBTS portion of the contract would comprise eight key components: the operational flight trainer (OFT); weapon system trainer (WST); classroom training; training management information system (TMIS); mission planning and debrief station; instructor and mission operating station; part task trainer (PTT); and a unit training device (UTD).

Up to 40 WST/OFT devices could be delivered as part of the programme Darnell told MTSN.

‘The aircraft easily exceeds the US Air Force’s technical specification and so we believe that we are in a very strong position within the competition,’ opined Darnell.

With the request for proposals not expected until the end of 2016, all companies bidding on the programme remain coy about disclosing specific details about elements of their bids. Raytheon, when questioned on where the aircraft would be built said, ‘this matter is still being investigated.’

The company did state that 70% of the ‘total integrated training’ would be built in the USA; this includes the aircraft, GBTS and of course, the Honeywell F124 engines.

Darnell said that all of the bidders have been asked to consider adding an air-to-air refuelling capability as well as considering using their aircraft in a close air support role.

Stating the obvious, the US Air Force will decide the best bid for the programme but with Lockheed Martin and KAI bidding the T-50 and Raytheon offering proven aircraft designs and Northrop Grumman/BAE Systems and Boeing/Saab offering designs still on the drawing board, the competition is an interesting one.

In theory, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin should be in pole position. Experience and the vagaries of the US procurement system suggest otherwise.
https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/...h-2016-tx-more-just-aircraft/?linkId=26526083
 

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#11
Farnborough 2016: Ton target for MS-110
15th July 2016 - 15:00 by Richard Thomas in Farnborough


UTC Aerospace Systems expect the market for the new multispectral (MS) 110 reconnaissance system to run into three figures, building on the widespread use of the preceding dual-band (DB) 110 day/night system.

Operational on the Tornado with the UK RAF (pictured above), a number of F-16 export programmes and the P-3 MPA in a maritime surveillance role the DB-110 is an exportable derivative of the U-2 SYERS system, producing high definition imagery in the visible and IR bands.

The multispectral version of the DB-110, the MS-110 reconnaissance sensor, bring additional capabilities to the role, stated UTC officials. The expectation of market demand for the DB-110 and MS-110 is for around 100 units each.

‘We have sold and/or delivered 71 DB-110 units. We expect the same for MS-110 when we receive these awards for both new and upgraded DB-110 to MS-110,’ said ISR Systems vice-president Kevin Raftery.

Senior UK government officials have disclosed to UTC the need to maintain the capabilities that the DB-110, known as the RAPTOR pod in UK service, provides the UK Armed Forces.

With the Tornado’s looking set to be retired from the fleet by the end of the decade UTC are looking at how to provide a solution that will fit onto the UK’s remaining platforms, such as the Typhoon.

The DB-110 could also be fitted to the UK MQ-9 Reaper replacement programme which this week was confirmed as the Certified Predator B manufactured by GA-ASI.

It has been revealed that the RAPTOR has provided 80% of all ISR material gathered for Allied forces in Operation Shader over Iraq and Syria.

Emphasising the need to not only gather information but also present it in a format that was both accessible and easy to understand, a UTC official said that during the first Gulf War around 85% of data gathered was either lost or left unused as a result of inefficiencies.

‘The real product [today] is information [and] the science lies in getting large amounts of information to the ground,’ said the official.

To achieve this UTC have developed a software programme that maximises image and information accessibility which minimising the bandwidth used.

This can enable mobile units at the front line or forward operating bases access to multiple stream of data that they otherwise would not be able to, and enhances situational and tactical awareness.

For more news about FIA16, visit our dedicated show page.
https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/digital-battlespace/farnborough-2016-ton-target-ms-110/
 

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#12
Farnborough 2016: Brimstone in for a firing shot with UK
15 July 2016 - 14:00 by Helen Haxell in Farnborough


MBDA’s Brimstone missile has undergone successful firing tests from the AH-64E, heightening the weapon's potential appeal to the British Army for future capability plans.

It was announced at the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA 2016) that the missile had now formally entered service on the RAF’s Tornado GR4 ...
https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/rotorhub/farnborough-2016-brimstone-firing-shot-uk-army/
 

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#13
Farnborough 2016: T129 nears full weaponisation
13th July 2016 - 16:00 by Tony Skinner in Farnborough


The Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) T129 ATAK attack helicopter is expected to be fully weaponised by the end of the year after final qualification tests in coming months.

Developed in conjunction with Leonardo Helicopters, the T129 is already in operational service with the Turkish Armed Forces with 13 helicopters delivered to date.

Speaking to Shephard at the Farnborough International Airshow 2016 (FIA 16), Metin Sancar, the executive VP of TAI’s helicopter group, said the 14th and 15th T129s were currently in production and the company was ramping up to deliver one to two aircraft per month.

‘So far the performance of the T-129 has been very pleasing. We are hearing very good performance news from the operations of the aircraft,’ Sancar said.

As a further indication of the maturity of the programme, the various elements in the weapons suite are nearing full integration.

The Roketsan Cirit laser-guided 70 mm rocket system is now integrated with the T-129 while the Mizrak-U/L-UMTAS air-to-surface anti-tank missile is scheduled to undergo qualification flight tests in September.

The ongoing work was confirmed by Roketsan president and CEO Selçuk Yaşar at FIA 16 and while he was unable to provide further details, he said the integration was progressing well.

The AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missile will also take part in flight tests on the T129 in August, to get that weapon fully qualified on the aircraft.

Sancar also highlighted the recent hot and high trials TAI carried out in Pakistan, which was observed by the Pakistan Armed Forces, as further preparation of the company preparing the T129 for the export market.

The company fancies its chances in Poland and will offer the T129 in conjunction with Leonardo Helicopters once the request for proposals for the country’s Kruk attack helicopter tender is issued.

Meanwhile, after a significant delay since Sikorsky was first selected for the Turkish Utility Helicopter Programme (TUHP) in 2011, the ball may finally be rolling for that programme.

The contract licences TAI as TUHP prime contractor to manufacture and deliver 109 T70 helicopters over the next ten years.

Sancar said the agreements were now in effect between TAI as the prime contractor and Sikorsky Aircraft as a major subcontractor while three major Turkish aerospace contractors - Alp Aviation, Turkish Engine Industries (TEI) and Aselsan - have also been selected as subcontractors.

‘There were some export licence provisions the two governments were working through but now they have come to an agreement and the programme is progressing smoothly. So in around four and a half years we expect the first aircraft to be available to the customer.’

Once up and running, the production line is expected to produce one to two aircraft per month – a similar capacity level to Sikorsky’s PZL Mielec facility in Poland.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sikorsky and TAI will market an additional 109 aircraft on the international stage.

TAI’s helicopter ambitions go even further, and the company is forging ahead with the Ozgun (indigenous) helicopter, a new 5-6 tonne rotorcraft Sancar is hopeful will be flown for the first time before the end of 2018.

‘It will be a civil certified helicopter but there will be a military version as well, with additional mission systems,’ Sancar said.

‘Once that project gets to a certain point, we are aiming to introduce more platforms. We aim to have a complete helicopter portfolio – if you don’t put a target in place like this, you just stand still and don’t grow. And we aim to be one of the main players.’
https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/rotorhub/farnborough-2016-t129-nears-full-weaponisation/
 

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#14
Farnborough 2016: UK’s ASDOT takes shape
13th July 2016 - 14:40 by Trevor Nash in Farnborough


Competition for the UK Ministry of Defence’s Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme is beginning to take shape following a teaming arrangement between Thales, QinetiQ and Textron AirLand. The consortia will be offering Textron’s Scorpion light combat aircraft.

This is the second team to declare following the announcement at RIAT 2016 that CAE, Draken International and Babcock International were to bid on the programme.

ASDOT aims to rationalise the UK’s live air training activities that currently includes target towing and EW/ECM facilities provided by Cobham Aviation and airborne threat training delivered by 736 Naval Air Squadron based at RNAS Culdrose.

The contract is expected to be awarded in September 2018 with a service delivery start in January 2020. The programme is expected to be worth up to £1.2 billion over 15 years.

Interestingly, the RAF’s 100 Squadron will not be included in the programme. 100 Squadron, equipped with Hawk T1s, currently provides JFAC and target towing services.

The other question raised by ASDOT is how the highly innovative Scorpion can replace the multi-crew Falcon 20 that is currently operated by Cobham Aviation in terms of carrying multiple EW/ECM pods and towed targets.

‘Through this unique partnership with QinetiQ and Textron and the complementary expertise within our respective fields, we have the opportunity to offer all three armed services the most effective, cutting edge technology coupled with world leading training and services expertise,’ stated an up-beat Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK.

‘The UK Ministry of Defence will be able to benefit from the collaboration of technologies and knowledge to deliver important long-term air operational training services.’

Bearing in mind the focus on I-LVC at the present time, some may consider it strange that the UK is running ASDOT as a separate ‘live’ programme to its forthcoming Defence Operational Training Capability Air (DOTC (A)) requirement, and to an extent, the Typhoon Future Synthetic Training (TFST) programme.

Perhaps, given the recent creation by Thales of Team OTIS, its members, ‘working collectively to deliver operational excellence through proven, tailored and innovative live, virtual and constructive training solutions,’ ASDOT, TFST and DOTC (A) might morph into a single or more coordinated programme in the future.

It would certainly make sense.
https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/training-simulation/farnborough-2016-uks-asdot-takes-shape/