20 May 15. Boeing touts A-10s for international customers should USAF divest fleet. Boeing is in discussions with the US Air Force (USAF) to sell off the service’s Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft to international customers should the fleet be retired from the inventory, a senior company official disclosed on 20 May. Speaking to reporters at Boeing’s Global Services and Support facility in San Antonio, Texas, Paul Cejas, chief engineer for off-Boeing platforms, said that the company and the USAF are in the early stages of discussions to sell off surplus A-10s to international customers, which he declined to name. Boeing is the de facto prime for the A-10, owning the technology data packages for the legacy aircraft, and is currently under contract to re-wing 173 of the USAF’s approximately 300 A-10s (a number already being in storage), with options for 69 more. Of these, 105 have been completed and delivered back to the USAF, with the contract set to run through to the first quarter of 2017. Should the USAF be allowed to the retire the A-10 as it wishes (but which is opposed by the US Congress), the Cejas said that the re-winging contract is now so far along that the most likely course of action would be for the service to complete the contract and then look to offload the aircraft to interested third parties. As well as offering re-winged aircraft, Cejas said that Boeing would look at a wider modernisation effort ahead of any proposed sale. This, he noted, would include new engines, a cockpit upgrade (including a helmet-mounted cueing system), and targeting pods. Cejas explained that these proposed enhancements are currently in a concept stage, and are not being touted in response to any specific customer requests. Cejas declined to name the potential customers for any off-loaded A-10s, saying that this would be a matter for the USAF to disclose. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 May 15. Turks seeking Export Deals for helos, tanks. Two Turkish defense companies are ambitiously seeking to export their attack helicopters and a medium-weight tank, chasing deals in Poland and Indonesia. At the IDEF ’15 show in Istanbul May 5-8, Turkey’s aerospace powerhouse Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed two memorandums of understanding with Polish companies, MESKO and WCBKT, to cooperate on KRUK, Poland’s attack helicopter program. TAI wants to sell its T129 helicopter to Poland. Last year, the Polish government issued a request for information for its planned acquisition of 32 attack helicopters. TAI is one of the producers that expressed interest in the contract. The others are Airbus Helicopters, Bell and Boeing.
“We expect [Poland] to release a request for proposal in the coming days,” TAI said in a statement.
“Tusas has been having meetings with Polish defense and aerospace companies for possible cooperation on the KRUK program,” TAI said. “Memoranda of understanding with MESKO and WCBKT were signed within that framework. The company will continue on meeting with Polish companies in the future.”
TAI developed the T129 under license from the Italian-British AgustaWestland. In April, it delivered an initial batch of two machines to the Turkish Army.
“TAI faces tough competition in Poland,” said one Western defense analyst. “But every contender can win, including TAI.”
Also during IDEF ’15, Turkish and Indonesian governments signed an agreement for the coproduction of the Kaplan, a medium-weight tank built by the privately-owned Turkish armored vehicles producer FNSS. Under the deal, the two countries will work to design, develop and produce two light tank prototypes. The deal also involved integration, certification and the production of a tank body for mine tests. In 2010, FNSS won a $500m contract from the Malaysian government for 250 armored personnel carriers. That was the largest ever single export deal won by a Turkish defense company. Ankara-based FNSS is a joint venture between Turkey’s Nuro