19 Apr 21. Boeing Logistics Contract Builds on Decades of Support for Israel Apaches. Services package will enhance Apache sustainment capabilities for the Israeli Air Force. Boeing [NYSA: BA] today announced a contract to provide the Israeli Air Force (IAF) with integrated logistics support for Israel’s AH-64A-model and D-model Apache helicopters. The direct commercial sale, awarded in December 2020, is a five-year follow-on contract that builds on Boeing’s current IAF Apache support. Boeing will deliver logistical, program, engineering and technical support, A- and D-model technical publications, D-model unique repairs, an in-country field service representative, and overhaul material kits for various drivetrain systems, including transmissions and gear boxes.
“This tailored support package and Boeing’s decades of vertical lift experience bring superior global sustainment expertise to our Israeli customer and elevates the capability of their Apache fleet to support key missions,” said Indra Duivenvoorde, director of Europe and Israel services for Boeing.
Boeing has been delivering support for the IAF’s fleet of Apache helicopters for decades and currently provides transactional spares, A-model repairs, support and test equipment, and engineering project support for the IAF. A Boeing field service representative has been co-located with the customer since 1991 to provide on-site technical support.
In addition to the U.S. Army, Israel is one of 16 partner nations around the globe operating the Apache as its primary attack helicopter, with multiple global defense forces expressing high interest. More than 2,500 helicopters have been delivered worldwide.
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries, leveraging the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth. (Source: ASD Network)
22 Apr 21. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (MADG) has been awarded a contract by the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency for upgrades to the NATO Deployable Air Command and Control Component’s (DACCC) communications systems. The upgrades will modernise the way in which NATO’s transportable shelters transmit, relay and receive critical mission data from ally nations by replacing the current communications suite with a future-proof voice over internet protocol-based communication system.
This vital equipment will help to ensure that the DACCC can continue to support NATO, both within its European territory and on deployment in the planning, tasking and execution of all air command and control operations.
MADG Land Systems Managing Director Ray Cutting explained, “We’re proud that the NCI Agency have trusted us to deliver this very important upgrade, building on our long-standing relationship with NATO.
NATO’s commands are on the front line against physical and cyber-attacks, so we wanted to ensure they could stand ready for critical situations with modernised equipment and secure communication systems
We have developed this solution to ensure that crucial data and information can be securely transmitted between allies in a quicker, safer and more cost effective way, a great example of the work that we do at Marshall to help protect people in critical situations.”
The installation and testing of the new equipment will start in the coming months.
20 Apr 21. Singapore’s A330 MRTT aerial tankers attain full operational capability. The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has declared its fleet of six Airbus A330-200 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) aircraft fully operational at a ceremony at Changi Air Base (East) on 20 April. The attainment of full operational capability (FOC) comes after an operationalisation programme that commenced as soon as the first A330 MRTT arrived home on 14 August 2018 following conversion work by Airbus Defence and Space in Getafe, Spain, to transform the baseline commercial A330-200 passenger aircraft for air-to-air refuelling (AAR), airlift support, and aeromedical evacuation (AME) operations.
Speaking at the event, Singapore defence minister Ng Eng Hen highlighted that the A330 MRTT’s FOC is a part of ongoing efforts to sustain and improve the RSAF’s capabilities to meet evolving operational needs. The new aircraft replaces the four Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker aerial tankers previously operated by 112 Squadron, which ceased operation of the refurbished former-USAF platforms in June 2019 and have since fully transitioned to the new platform.
“The MRTT marks another step up in extending the range of RSAF’s fleet of planes. This journey of mid-air refuelling started more than 30 years ago,” said Ng. “It was given a boost 20 years ago with the KC-135 Stratotankers, the MRTT’s immediate predecessor, now retired.”
He also noted the efforts of Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) engineers involved in the development and delivery of the new aircraft, who “enabled operational and technical problems to be addressed, such as the [AAR] boom not performing up to the manufacturer’s standards during flight trials”. (Source: Jane’s)
19 Apr 21. Airbus A400M conducts major helicopter refuelling certification campaign. The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has successfully conducted a major helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification campaign, completing the majority of its development and certification objectives. Airbus Defence and Space aims to achieve full helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification later this year with the conclusion of all mandatory night operation trials.
The flight tests, performed in coordination with the French Armament General Directorate (DGA), involved operations with two French Air Force H225M helicopters.
The campaign took place in day and night conditions over the west coast of France at between 1,000 ft and 10,000 ft and flight speeds as low as 105 knots. During those flights, a total of 81 wet contacts and transfers of 6.5 tonnes of fuel were achieved, which included simultaneous refuelling of two helicopters for the first time. The tests confirmed the positive results of the dry and wet contact operations conducted in 2019 and 2020.
Helicopter air-to-air refuelling is a unique military capability and key for Special Forces operations, involving aircraft with different flight profiles and sharing a very limited common flight envelope, requiring close formation flying patterns at low altitudes and night time conditions.
With this capability the A400M becomes one of the few tanker aircraft in the world capable of such operations. The multi-purpose H225M is one of the few helicopters in the world capable of in-flight refuelling, extending the standard 700 NM range by up to 10 hours flight time.
A400M as tanker
The A400M is certified as standard to be quickly configured as a tanker. Carrying up to 50.8 tonnes of fuel in its wings and centre wing box, without compromising any cargo hold area, two additional cargo hold tanks can also be installed, providing an additional 5.7 tonnes of fuel each. The separate cargo-hold tanks allows for the use of different types of fuel, enabling the A400M to cater for the needs of different types of receiver aircraft.
As a tanker, the A400M has already demonstrated its ability to refuel fighter receivers such as Eurofighter, Rafale, Tornado or F/A-18 at their preferred speeds and altitudes, and is also able to refuel other large aircraft such as another A400M for buddy refuelling, C295 or C-130.