14 May 14. DCNS is pursuing sea trials in the Mediterranean for the combat system on the FREMM Normandie. The FREMM Normandie multi-mission frigate, second of the series ordered by OCCAR (1) on behalf of the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) and the French Navy, left the DCNS site in Lorient on 14 May on its way to the DCNS site in Toulon. Over the next few weeks, DCNS will perform a new series of sea trials to test the performance of the FREMM’s combat system before delivery to the French Navy at the end of 2014. This series of sea trials, which will take place in the Mediterranean, will allow the Navy’s operating crew and the DGA, OCCAR and DCNS specialists to check the performance of the main combat system sensors and their integration into the frigate’s Combat Management System. During these trials, the teams on board will simulate different operational scenarios to collect the information delivered by the vessel’s different sensors. Numerous tests are performed including in particular electronic warfare and tactical data link tests. The teams will carry out these exercises thanks to the contribution of helicopters, fighters and vessels provided by the French Navy, and with the human and data-processing resources of the DGA’s technical centres. The performance of these trials off the Toulon coast will thus allow the optimized use of such naval and air support. Further to these trials, the FREMM Normandie will return to the DCNS site in Lorient so that the final finishing work can be carried out over the summer before its delivery to the French Navy in the final quarter of 2014. The FREMM program: a major program for DCNS and its partners.
09 May 14. The Scorpion intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR)/strike aircraft completed additional test flights in January and February, reveal officials at Textron AirLand LLC, a joint venture between Textron Inc. and AirLand Enterprises LLC. The Scorpion team plans to conduct several hundred hours of additional flight tests in 2014, each flight targeting specific objectives pushing the aircraft’s airspeed, altitude, and performance envelope. Most of the test flights will be conducted at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, and the team is planning numerous flights outside of the area. Textron AirLand is pursuing sales opportunities with U.S. military branches as well as a number of U.S. partner nations. The company is seeking market license and export approvals for additional opportunities, driven by early interest from specific U.S. partner nations. Textron AirLand is showcasing the Scorpion at major defense industry exhibitions across the globe. (Source: Open Source Information Report/Avionics)
09 May 14. Ukroboronprom on track to complete Croatian MIG-21 fighter upgrade. Ukrainian company Ukroboronprom’s Odessa Aircraft Plant is continuing the repair and overhaul of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence’s MIG-21 fighter aircraft in accordance with the original schedule. Ukroboronprom deputy director general Oleksandr Stecenko said the plant and its co-contractors have managed to resolve all technical problems and have agreed to a working schedule that enables it to fulfil contract conditions on time. Around seven Croatian MIG-21 fighters are being overhauled by Ukraine’s State Company, Ukrspecexport, in Odessa, Ukraine, under a €13.9m contract signed with the Croatian Ministry of Defence in June 2013, as reported earlier by Flightglobal. The contract also includes the supply of five new single-seat examples, which are being refurbished and equipped to Croatian Air Force specifications. Stecenko said three upgraded MiG-21BIS fighters have already been shipped to Croatia, and are currently undergoing final assembly at the customer’s air base, while the remaining three have also completed post-repair testing and run orientation flights by the Croatian air crew. Two of the three MiG-21Bis jets are being prepared for shipment to