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26 Mar 12. Europe’s ability to develop next-generation combat aircraft has been dangerously eroded, and will reach “a point of no return” unless collaborative funding decisions are made soon, a new industry study warns. Commissioned by the European Defence Agency (EDA), the Future Air Systems for Europe (FAS4Europe) group study says “the situation for future air systems is severe, with some important industrial capabilities and technologies already at risk”. Without additional investment and a joint strategy, the situation “will soon become critical”, it says, identifying the “development of future combat aircraft (manned and unmanned) and attack helicopters” as being at risk. “Europe’s military aeronautics industry remains competitive, however, today’s position is based on past investment,” the report says. “Many of the capabilities at risk will be very costly, in both time and money, to adequately recover if lost.” It warns that in some cases industry will be unable to meet EDA member state requirements by as soon as 2020.
“The timescales and costs associated with advanced military aviation suggest the need for European Union member states to agree a coordinated plan, but no plan exists,” the FAS4Europe partners say. “Short-term pragmatic decisions need to be balanced with a long-term strategy and plan for sustaining sovereign military capabilities.”
They also point to the strong investments being made by China, Russia and the USA, and by emerging defence and industrial powers Brazil, India, South Korea and Turkey as another reason for action. Recommendations of the report include a three-phased strategy. To run between 2012 and 2017, the first of these would involve projects to “sustain industrial capabilities, mature technologies and prepare cooperation and business models, as well as procurement processes for common European programmes”. Member states should then fund substantial projects, including future air system demonstrator programmes, it suggests. (Source: Google)
29 Mar 12. Demand for Technologically Advanced Military Radars is Anticipated to Rise. The global defense industry is investing significantly in research and development (R&D) to increase the capabilities of modern military aircraft and naval vessels, which has led to the development of new and ground-breaking radar system technologies, which can enhance the detection capabilities, surveillance duration and resolution, incoming projectile defense capabilities, base and area protection capabilities and early warning system capabilities of the various types of military aircraft, naval vessels and ground-based forward forces. Current innovations are oriented towards integrating various band capabilities of different radars into a single module and developing multi-platform radars, based on modularity, without compromising on advanced technological features. The US is developing dual band radar that merges the X band SPY-3 radar with the S band VSR system, and has also completed work on the new LONGBOW Block III Fire Control Radar incorporating improvements such as reduced size, weight, and maintenance and power requirements. The Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar systems are the latest technology trend that is attracting military buyers. The US military’s latest fighter aircraft, such as the F/A-18E/F, F-22, and F-35 have been designed to include AESA radars and more early warning aircraft and naval vessels are expected to incorporate this radar system. Due to the high utility enabled by the new radar system, demand for the same has increased, which has led to an increase in levels of production, allowing economies of scale to be achieved, which in turn has helped in lowering costs and further increasing demand. The United Arab Emirates has ordered an AESA radar variant to be fitted onto its recently purchased