20 Jul 15. Russia’s future PAK DA bomber to be delayed by Tu-160M2 production. Russia’s new-generation PAK DA bomber will be delayed past 2023 due to the development of the new-build Tupolev Tu-160M2 bomber, according to Russian deputy defence minister Yury Borisov.
“According to the plans, serial production of the [Tu-160] aircraft new version [the Tu-160M2] is to be implemented starting from 2023,” Borisov said during a visit on 17 July to the Samara-based Kuznetsov Plant of the United Engine Corporation.
Answering a question about a possible shift in the PAK DA’s timeframe because of the production of Tu-160M2s, Borisov said, “The PAK DA project will be somewhat shifted beyond [2023, when it is currently to begin entering service], otherwise there is no sense in it.”
The Tu-160M2’s production programme timeline has been defined, Borisov said, with design assignment and negotiations for the first contracts with industry currently ongoing. Design work on the Tu-160M2 is scheduled to be completed by 2023. He added that the Russian Air Force (VVS) would get at least three batch-produced Tu-160M2 per year after 2023 and that the aircraft will be in service for at least 40 years.
“We plan to install NK-32 series 2 [engines] on Tu-160M2. The motor has been upgraded, its main aggregates have become more cost-effective. Therefore, NK-32 series 2 has improved performance, and its range of flight will be increased by at least 1,000 km, compared with existing engines,” Borisov said. JSC Kuznetsov will begin work on the NK-32 (Unit R) series 2 engines for the aircraft in 2017 and will produce 20-22 engines per year.
Borisov also said that the VVS was looking to improve serviceability within Long-Range Aviation (LRA). “We have an intense plan to reach 80% serviceability of all LRA’s aircraft by the end of the year. The solutions to all troubles/issues have been defined in accordance with State Defence Order (GOZ)-2015.”
Russia is also developing several new missiles for the Tu-160M2 and PAK DA, Borisov said. “They drastically change the aircrafts’ combat performance. The missiles are to be installed on the PAK DA in the course of time. We are developing new missiles to be integrated on board all types of strategic bombers,” he said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Jul 15. Lockheed Martin Corp on Monday said Pentagon officials planned a detailed review of the company’s bid to acquire Sikorsky Aircraft, the helicopter unit of United Technologies Corp, but it did not expect major obstacles.
Lockheed Chief Executive Marillyn Hewson said the deal would not reduce the number of competitors in the helicopter sector, and a strategic review aimed at selling or spinning off $6bn of the company’s services and IT businesses would help streamline a crowded sector.
Carrying out both actions at the same time also meant Lockheed’s overall size would not grow substantially, she said.
“Between those two elements, it is very positive,” Hewson told analysts on an earnings call. (Source: Reuters)
19 Jul 15. JMSDF demos P-1 to undisclosed party at RIAT. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) demonstrated its Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) to a potential operator on 17 July, although officials declined to name exactly who. A ‘customer’ demonstration flight was conducted out of Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford during the first day of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), although the chief of the service’s air arm would not comment on precisely who was on board the aircraft.
“We are at RIAT for such a short time,” said Vice Admiral Makoto Sato, Commander Fleet Air Force, JMSDF, “but we hope we can show the P-1’s high manoeuvrability and low-level capabilities to Europe and the world. We did conduct a demo flight [on 17 July], but I am not saying who to.”
With a pair of P-1 aircraft from Air Development Squadron 51 having flown more than 9,000 km to RAF Fairford from their home base at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, near Tokyo,