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15 Nov 10. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. will expand its Savannah facilities through a $500m, seven-year plan to ensure that the company is well-positioned to meet future demand for business-jet aircraft and support services. The growth is expected to result in 1,000 additional Gulfstream jobs, an increase of more than 15 percent from Gulfstream’s current Savannah employment level of approximately 5,500 employees. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)
17 Nov 10. The Air Force announced today its preferred basing decision for eight C-17 aircraft at an Air National Guard location. The preferred base approved by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force is: Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y. Along with the C-17 basing action, 12 C-5A aircraft assigned to Stewart will be retired. Once the environmental impact analysis process is complete then a final decision will be made. For more information about this basing action, media may contact the Air Force public affairs office at 703-695-0640.
16 Nov 10. Malaysia has remained committed to its order for four Airbus A400M military transport aircraft despite reductions made by some countries on their orders, according to an Airbus Military official.
Airbus Military vice-president of defence capability marketing Peter Scoffham said Malaysia was the only nation in the region purchasing the A400M and it was still committed to its orders. In 2009, it was revealed that Malaysia, which will receive the planes in 2013, will not have to pay the additional money for the four aircraft it ordered in
2005. The A400M will offer an increase in range and air-lift capacity over the current Royal Malaysian Air Force’s main air-lifter, Hercules C-130. A high-winged, four-engine, turbo-prop transport aircraft, the A400M can carry heavier loads compared to the C130J Hercules while landing on a short runway, according to Bernama.com. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)
15 Nov 10. The Finnish Air Force (FAF) is considering the decommission of 41 BAE Hawk attack and trainer jets by 2014 as well as replacing all 27 Vinka trainer aircraft by 2017. The FAF’s move will open the door for possible procurement cooperation with Sweden, which is also considering the replacement of its Saab jet trainers over a similar time period. Finland will upgrade 18 Hawk aircraft and extend their service life by 20 years for exclusive use for pilot training. During the replacement programme, the FAF will decommission 41 of its 67 remaining two-seat Hawks. The air force have removed ten Hawks from operational service due to metal fatigue affecting the aircraft’s frames and wings, according to defensenews.com. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)
09 Nov 10. Harrier and Tornado Aircraft: Basic Figures. The Lords’ Defence Spokesman said (9 Nov 10) that the number of aircraft in service is: Harrier – 74;
Tornado F3 – 17 and Tornado GR4 – 137. The numbers include “those aircraft available for Operations and training and those undergoing repairs, trials or modifications”.
The Minister also said (11 Nov 10) that the average cost per flying hour of the Harrier GR9 is £37,000 and of the Tornado GR4 is £35,000. These costs are based on ‘total fleet costs’ including manpower, servicing, stock consumption, aircrew training, accommodation, depreciation and capital charges.
Comment: The figures were given in Written Answers on the dates shown, together with other basic information which may be of use to those involved in ‘Harrier versus Tornado’ discussions. The Answer on 11 Nov 10 includes an interesting Table showing the targeting pods and weapons that have been cleared to be carried by the two types of aircr