06 Sep 19. US DoD puts brakes on British military base projects for border wall. The US Department of Defence (DoD) has paused 44 infrastructure developments, including many destined for the European Defence Initiative, to free up funding for a border wall between the US and Mexico. The postponed projects cover 14 countries across Europe including construction set to take place on Royal Air Force bases in the UK that are used by the US Air Force (USAF). In the UK the DoD has put the brakes on eight projects, five of which would have seen the development of RAF Fairford used by the 509th Bomb Wing of the USAF. The total cost of the infrastructure projects being deferred in the UK is $179m.
The most expensive project being paused is a $119m development of a storage warehouse at Ramstein Airbase, Germany. The move will also see $18m earmarked for construction of Talon Tactical Mobile Over-the-Horizon Radar (TACMOR) in classified locations.
European countries that have seen US infrastructure projects put on hold include Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Turkey. Worldwide the delay will see projects in Bahrain, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Korea and Japan also being paused.
In Asia, the plans will see construction of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hangar, specialist C-130j corrosion control hangar and a school scuppered.
In total, the DoD is pausing 127 defence projects to fund the development of 175 miles of new fencing or repairs along the length of the US border with Mexico. The deferral of the projects will enable the DoD to reallocate a total of $3.6bn to the border.
The DoD is set to spend an average of $20.6m per mile of wall repaired or constructed. The total could cover the cost of around 36 advanced F-35 fighter jets or the yearly salary of 180,000 privates in the US Army. The total DoD budget for the wall falls just shy of 10% of the UK’s entire military budget for 2019.
Projects in Europe being delayed include work on schools, munitions depots, warehouses and other maintenance or reconfiguration projects. In Germany alone, the DoD has paused 11 projects with a combined value of $467.5m.
The DoD has put around $1.7bn worth of projects in the US and $1.8bn worth in Europe on hold. On 3 September, the DoD issued a memorandum listing the projects being delayed and the reasons behind the move.
The memorandum reads: “These projects will deter illegal entry, increase the vanishing time of those illegally crossing the border, and channel migrants to ports of entry. They will reduce the demand for DoD personnel and assets at the locations where the barriers are constructed and allow the redeployment of DoD personnel and assets to other high-traffic areas on the border without barriers.
“In short, these barriers will allow DoD to provide support to DHS more efficiently and effectively. In this respect, the contemplated construction projects are force multipliers.”
The Pentagon is deferring the projects and redistributing funds after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to secure funding for the border wall. Before declaring a national emergency, the Trump administration had requested almost $6bn in funding but the funds were blocked by Congress.
Officials chose to find the funds from projects due to start in 2020 so they can assure funding with a new budget. The Pentagon is also reported to have only deferred projects that were not of critical need.
Stars and Stripes reported that the DoD had received no assurances that its budget would be backfilled to cover the moving of funds and as a result the projects pause, leaving uncertainty as to when the DoD will be able to continue them. The DoD is already committed to around $2.5bn of funding for the US-Mexico border, this money comes through a fund designed to stop the flow of drugs. (Source: army-technology.com)
05 Sep 19. UK nearing completion of HMNB Portsmouth preparations for new carrier. The UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is giving final touches to HMNB Portsmouth as part of efforts to prepare the naval base for the scheduled arrival of a Royal Navy aircraft carrier.
DIO is working along with Volker Stevin on the £30m project to deliver crucial infrastructure at the Portsmouth base.
The project involves the preparation of the second operational berth at the base to accommodate the HMS Prince of Wales Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.
The 65,000t carrier is the second of the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers. It is expected to arrive at its home base of Portsmouth by the end of the year.
The closing stages of the project saw the installation of two fendered spacer units (FSU) similar to those previously installed on the Princess Royal Jetty to support the navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier.
DIO project manager Colin Efford said: “It’s fantastic to see the finishing touches being put to this important project which has made improvements to the existing Victory and Sheer jetties, so they can support the 65,000t new carrier.
“This has been a challenging but rewarding project and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver infrastructure for such a crucial naval asset. We are proud to be playing our part to support future naval capability.”
Local company ML (UK) was contracted to build the FSUs, which measure 17.6m by 18.7m.
FSU is a unit that floats between the ship and the jetty and moves up and down with the tide. The structures are designed to ensure the carrier’s overhanging flight deck does not collide with the jetty.
The two FSUs arrived at the naval base last month from ML (UK) yard and have been positioned at Victory Jetty.
The organisation also conducted infrastructure enhancements at Victory Jetty to extend its life by more than 50 years.
New infrastructure includes a mooring dolphin and a Galvanic Cathodic Protection system. A new high-voltage electrical system has also been installed at the jetty. (Source: naval-technology.com)
04 Sep 19. Lendlease to deliver RAAF Townsville upgrades. Lendlease has secured a contract with the Department of Defence to deliver the LAND 4502 Project at RAAF Base Townsville to support the Australian Army’s CH-47F Chinook fleet. The project includes the construction of new facilities and infrastructure, and upgrading of some of the existing facilities, to support three additional Chinook Helicopters (CH-47F) for 5th Aviation Regiment at RAAF Base Townsville. Project LAND 4502 will provide the additional facilities and infrastructure required to support the three recently acquired CH-47F Chinooks under LAND 4502 Phase 1 to the 5th Aviation Regiment precinct at RAAF Base Townsville.
Dale Connor, chief executive officer – building, Australia, said the appointment reinforced Lendlease’s local Defence capability and commitment to the Townsville region.
“Lendlease has been delivering work at RAAF Base Townsville for more than 10 years. Securing the LAND 4502 Project allows our north Queensland team to transition from the recently completed Replacement Chinook Facilities Project and continue our work promoting increased Indigenous and local industry participation,” Connor said.
The LAND 4502 Project will be an employment generator in the region over the next 18 months, providing opportunity for approximately 85 full-time jobs onsite at peak times.
Connor added, “Our recent work on the Replacement Chinook Facilities Project at RAAF Base Townsville injected around $39m into the local economy, with 72 per cent of subcontract packages being awarded to local businesses. Other Defence projects delivered by Lendlease in Townsville include the recently completed LAND 121 Project at Lavarack Barracks that achieved 92 per cent local industry participation.”
The 5th Aviation Regiment Precinct is positioned within the ‘Operational Support Zone’ and ‘Operational Zone’ of RAAF Base Townsville. The proposed development is situated on a brownfield site within the existing precinct at RAAF Base Townsville and provides new fit-for-purpose facilities to enhance the operational capability and supports functional requirements of the unit’s existing facilities. The proposed development is consistent with current use and the RAAF Base Townsville Zone Plan. Work on the LAND 4502 Project has commenced and is due for completion in late 2020. (Source: Defence Connect)
02 Sep 19. UK DIO contracts VolkerFitzpatrick for RAF Lossiemouth runway upgrade. The UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded a contract to VolkerFitzpatrick to resurface runways at Royal Air Force (RAF) Lossiemouth airfield in Moray, Scotland. The £75m contract continues preparation works for the planned arrival of nine P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft at the base from next year. Resurfacing works and other enhancements at the RAF Lossiemouth are aimed at future-proofing the base. Enhancements also include accommodation for personnel, a new air traffic control tower, drainage and electrical supplies improvements. In addition, the DIO is upgrading facilities at the Moray base to support IX (Bomber) Squadron.
DIO project manager Russ Liddington said: “The improvements to the runways will make them suitable for use by the new maritime patrol aircraft, and continue to enable Typhoon operations which are essential to the UK’s Defence capabilities. It represents a significant investment in Scotland and secures the future of RAF Lossiemouth status as a main operating base.”
Work under the resurfacing contract is expected to be completed by spring 2021. It is likely that aircraft and crews operating from RAF Lossiemouth will have to relocate to another base while the runway intersection is completed. RAF Lossiemouth is the home base for four Typhoon combat aircraft squadrons supporting RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) operations.
Lossiemouth Development Programme director group captain Simon Strasdin said: “Resurfacing our airfield operating surfaces represents the next stage towards operating the fleet of P-8A Poseidon from RAF Lossiemouth, and I am glad to welcome VolkerFitzpatrick onto the team, which will help to deliver it.”
A joint venture between Kier and VolkerFitzpatrick is under another contract to prepare RAF Lakenheath for the arrival of the first US Air Force F-35A aircraft in 2021. Last month, construction got underway on the F-35 infrastructure at RAF Lakenheath. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
02 Sep 19. US Army awards $139m airfield repair contract to Parsons. The US Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract to Parsons to perform repair works at Bucholz Army Airfield on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The firm fixed price project delivery contract has a base value of $139m and could reach up to $229m if all options are exercised. Parsons highlighted the challenging conditions at the Bucholz Army Airfield, stating that it is situated in a ‘remote, highly corrosive, humid and salt-laden environment’. Parson will replace airfield components such as runways, taxiways and parking aprons under the contract.
The company will also install water line systems, lined water catchment and drainage systems, electric vault and airfield pavement markings. In addition, the contract will include runway and taxiway lighting systems, and an airfield electrical distribution system.
Parsons programme manager Dave Bird said: “We understand the strategic significance of a fully operational Bucholz Airfield for the US military in the Pacific theatre and are honoured the US Army Corps of Engineers has selected Parsons for this important mission.
“The company’s multi-decade history of delivering thoughtful, predictable, safe and sustainably focused results represents the lowest risk, highest value option for the US Army to ensure operations continue during renovation.”
Parsons will also upgrade Bucholz Army Airfield navigation aids to support flight operations. According to the company, the design-bid-build renovation project will not affect airfield operations at the site.
The project aims to finish airfield repairs in a single phase. (Source: army-technology.com)
04 Sep 19. South Korean shipyard launches landing platform dock for Myanmar Navy. South Korean company Dae Sun Shipbuilding & Engineering has launched a landing platform dock (LPD) on order for Myanmar. The vessel, which has an overall length of approximately 125 m, first began appearing on satellite images opposite Busan Port in 2018, and is believed to have been launched around July 2019. A series of verifications with multiple industry and government sources done by Jane’s since late August have confirmed that the vessel bears the pennant number 1501, and is destined for the Myanmar Navy as an ‘amphibious assault ship’. Based on satellite imagery analysis, the LPD has an overall beam of about 22m, with a flight deck that can accommodate up to two Mi-17 helicopters. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Sep 19. US Navy’s Delaware submarine concludes initial sea trials. Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has announced the completion of the initial sea trials of the US Navy’s newest Virginia-class submarine, Delaware (SSN 791). The three-day sea trials tested the performance of all of Delaware’s systems and components. During the trials, the submarine submerged for the first time. The ship also carried out high-speed surface and underwater manoeuvres. Delaware, which is the seventh navy ship to be named after the US state, is in its final stages of construction at Newport News Shipbuilding.
Newport News submarine construction vice-president Dave Bolcar said: “Delaware performed well during sea trials, which is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the incredible team of shipbuilders who are working to uphold our high standards of quality. We look forward to continuing our testing programme to deliver the submarine to the US Navy later this year.”
HII noted that Delaware will undergo acceptance trials prior to being delivered to the navy. The ship will be the ninth Virginia-class submarine delivered by HII.
The construction of the ship has involved shipbuilders from Newport News and its partner General Dynamics Electric Boat. HII and General Dynamics Electric Boat are building the Virginia-class vessels under a teaming agreement. SSN 791 was christened in October last year and launched into the James River in December. The nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine is designed to support anti-submarine and anti-surface operations. The Virginia-class vessels are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles for power projection. The US Navy also uses the ships in support of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, as well as other mine operations and missions. These ships are intended to gradually replace the navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines. (Source: naval-technology.com)
03 Sep 19. Damen launches second of two 2,300-ton corvettes for Pakistan Navy Dutch shipbuilder. Damen has launched the second of two 2,300-ton corvettes on order for the Pakistan Navy (PN) at its facilities in Galati, Romania. The PN announced on its Facebook page that the vessel (with pennant number 272) entered the water on 3 September in a ceremony attended by PN Chief of Staff (Personnel) Vice Admiral Ather Mukhtar, among others. The contract for the two platforms, which the PN has also referred to as offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), was signed in June 2017. The first ship, which was launched at the same shipyard on 17 May, is expected to enter service by the end of 2019, and the second one is set to be delivered by mid-2020, according to the navy.
Vice Adm Mukhtar was quoted as saying during the ceremony that the vessels “will act as force multipliers in enhancing [the] navy’s capability of safeguarding maritime frontiers and will offer more flexibility in the conduct of [the] Pakistan Navy’s initiative of independent Regional Maritime Security Patrols in the Indian Ocean Region”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Sep 19. US Second Fleet on course for FOC in 2019. Key Points:
- The newly established US Second Fleet remains set to achieve full operational capability (FOC) by the end of 2019
- This will include being certified to operate as a forward-deployed expeditionary command headquarters
The US Second Fleet remains set to achieve full operational capability (FOC) in 2019, reaching this milestone by the end of December, Second Fleet commander Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis told Jane’s. The Norfolk, Virginia-based Second Fleet was formally re-established on 24 August 2018. It reached initial operational capability (IOC) in May 2019, before commanding its first exercise – ‘BALTOPS’, in the Baltic Sea in June – as a major milestone in its operational command validation process.
“We have the capability now; it’s just a [question] of capacity,” Vice Adm Lewis told Jane’s.
Several milestones in the process will be achieved in the coming months. “One is operating as an expeditionary forward headquarters [HQ] with a ‘reach-back’,” he said. This means part of the fleet’s HQ remaining in Norfolk or elsewhere on the US east coast, with the expeditionary part forward deployed with required command-and-control (C2) capability but having “an ability to reach back to that rear HQ for planning or more detailed intelligence that we have access to inside the HQ”.
Such forward-deployed expeditionary command capability is also scalable, the admiral explained. “BALTOPS was … confirmation of that expeditionary capability. It was really a relocation of the entire operational HQ. That’s on the high end, I would say, of scalability. The low end would be something as few as maybe two dozen people, where you have [the] ability to do basic C2, provide basic indicators and warnings and overall situational awareness, and issue orders and issue plans and change the plans from that location, [but] with a ‘reach-back’ capability,” he continued. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Aug 19. Navantia launches Australia’s second, final Supply-class AOR ship. Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has launched the second and final Supply-class auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) ship on order for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Named Stalwart (III) (with pennant number A304), the 173.9m-long ship entered the water in a ceremony held on 30 August at the company’s facilities in the northwestern Spanish coastal city of Ferrol. The vessel, which like first-of-class Supply (II) is based on the Spanish Navy’s Cantabria-class AORs, is expected to enter service in 2022, while Supply is set to join the force in 2020, according to the RAN.
The two 19,500-tonne AOR ships were ordered as part of an AUD642m (USD432m) contract signed in May 2016 under Australia’s Project Sea 1654 Phase 3 Maritime Operational Support Capability programme. They are to replace AOR ship HMAS Success (II), which was decommissioned on 29 June after 33 years of service, and supply ship HMAS Sirius. The two new AOR ships for the RAN are intended to carry fuel, dry cargo, water, food, ammunition, equipment, and spare parts to provide operational support for the deployed naval or combat forces operating on the high seas for longer periods. The double-hulled ships have a beam of 23m and a draught of 8 m and are expected to have a top speed of 20kt with a range of 11,000km at 13kt. In addition to replenishment, these vessels can be used to combat environmental pollution at sea, provide logistics support for the armed forces, and to support humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) operations following a natural disaster, according to the RAN. Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said in a statement that the launch of Stalwart marked “an important milestone” in Australia’s AUD90bn investment in the largest regeneration of the RAN since the Second World War. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
05 Sep 19. India’s HAL completes high-altitude tests of Light Utility Helicopter. The HAL-designed and developed Light Utility Helicopter completed high weather tests in the Himalayas. Credit: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has conducted hot weather and high-altitude trials of the locally developed Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). Testing was carried out by pilots from HAL, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army in the Himalayas during the period between 24 August and 2 September. The LUH demonstrated its high-altitude capability and met all user requirements during testing, HAL stated.
HAL chief managing director R Madhavan said that the completion of the testing brings the helicopter close to operational clearance certification.
The LUH demonstrated a comprehensive test plan at an altitude of 3,300m in the Leh region in the Himalayas in temperatures up to 32°C. The trials tested envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities.
The team then tested the helicopter’s hot and high-hover performance at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at 5,000m. This was followed by another forward helipad at an altitude of 5,500m at 27°C.
In a statement, HAL said: “While these extreme weather conditions imposed flight restrictions on all other civil and military aircraft, LUH flights were unhindered as it is designed for such operations.”
The chopper demonstrated the capability to deliver high reliability without the need for service support during its journey from Bengaluru, where the HAL is headquartered, and the high altitude trials.
The flight tests were performed in the presence of the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC) and ORDAQA officials.
While CEMILAC is responsible for certification and qualification of military aircraft, ORDAQA is the agency for civil certification.
HAL has performed all planned tests during the period. Previously completed tests include hot weather trials, cold weather trials, and sea-level trials. The LUH is designed as a replacement for the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used by the IAF and the Indian Army. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
05 Sep 19. Brazilian Air Force receives first Embraer KC-390 military aircraft. The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) has received the first multi-mission KC-390 military transport aircraft from Embraer during a ceremony at Anápolis Air Base in the country’s Goiás state. The delivery marks the start of preparations for the induction of the airlift KC-390 into service with FAB’s First Troop Transport Group (1st GTT). To support the aircraft’s entry into the fleet, Embraer has been providing theoretical and practical training to FAB personnel. The company developed the KC-390 aircraft under a joint effort with the Brazilian Air Force.
Brazilian Air Force commander lieutenant-brigadier Antonio Carlos Moretti Bermudez said: “The incorporation of the KC-390 into the Brazilian Air Force is a milestone in military aviation. Its modernity will bring an implementation and improvement in the doctrine of use of this multi-mission vector, greatly contributing to the fulfilment of the mission to control, defend and integrate the 22 million square kilometres under our responsibility.”
The aircraft delivery is part of a contract received by Embraer in 2014 from FAB to supply 28 KC-390s and initial logistical support. The company manufactures the transport aircraft at its Gavião Peixoto factory in São Paulo state.
Embraer Defense & Security president and CEO Jackson Schneider said: “The entry into service of the KC-390 by FAB represents an important milestone for the programme and it will certainly increase the growing international interest for this aircraft, consolidating the path to new sales.
“We are confident that the KC-390, in addition to successfully fulfilling the missions required by our airforce, will have a positive economic impact on job creation and new investments in Brazil, as well as high value-added exports.”
Embraer is also under contract to provide services and support for the FAB’s KC-390 fleet for a period of five years.
Support covers logistics and engineering, maintenance control, component repair, support staff to enable the aircraft’s entry into service, and materials supply.
Additionally, the package will see the delivery of other services, including structural analysis, maintain bulletin development and aircraft painting. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
04 Sep 19. Delivery of Jordan-donated Cobra helos to PAF slated for 2020. The delivery of two Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters donated by Jordan to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will take place later than expected, the state-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported on 3 September.
“The ‘Cobra’ might be delivered early next year  as training for [the pilots] is still ongoing,” PAF chief Lieutenant General Rozzano Briguez was quoted by the media outlet as saying, adding that “both Jordan and the Philippines are doing their best efforts to hasten the process”.
The handover of the helicopters was initially expected to take place in September 2019, said the PNA. All over-land combat aviation in the Philippine military is owned and operated by the PAF, which in terms of rotary-winged aircraft already fields 10 AW109E Power, eight W-3A Sokól, and 12 MD 500 helicopters in the attack role. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Sep 19. Indian Air Force commissions eight Apache attack helicopters. The Indian Air Force (IAF) commissioned its first batch of eight Boeing ‘AH-64E(I)’ Apache Guardian helicopters in a ceremony held on 3 September at the Pathankot Air Force Station (AFS) in northwestern India near the border with Pakistan.
“The Apaches will upgrade the IAF’s inventory to include the world’s latest attack helicopters,” said Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa while inducting the twin-engined rotorcraft into the IAFs’ 125 ‘Gladiators’ Helicopter Squadron.
Modified to suit the “exacting standards” demanded by IAF, the Apaches will be deployed on multiple missions, including suppressing enemy defences, as well as in an air-to-air support role, he added.
The eight attack helicopters were delivered to Hindon AFS on New Delhi’s outskirts in late July, several weeks ahead of schedule, aboard an Antonov An-124 ‘Condor’ strategic airlifter. The platforms were then assembled, flight tested, and flown to Pathankot.
The recently inducted Apaches are part of a USD2.02bn order placed by the IAF in 2015 for 22 such rotorcraft. Delivery of the remaining 14 helicopters is scheduled to be completed by 2020, according to Boeing officials.
Of the 22 Apaches, all of which have been specially customised to operate in mountainous terrain, 10 will be based at Pathankot, while a second squadron featuring an equal number of platforms will be stationed in northeast India near the country’s disputed border with China.
The two remaining Apaches will be held as reserves in the event of accidents or combat losses.
IAF officials said the Apaches will initially supplement and later replace the service’s ageing fleet of about 20 upgraded Mil Mi-25/35 combat helicopters, the first of which were inducted into service three decades ago. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Sep 19. Russia unveils new aerial tankers. Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) unveiled new aerial tankers at the MAKS 2019 aerospace show that was held in Zhukovskiy close to Moscow from 27 August –1 September. The company presented its new Ilyushin Il-78M-90A tanker based on the Il-76MD-90A heavy airlifter. “The Il-78M-90A is the first aerial tanker produced from scratch in Russia,” said a UAC representative, explaining that previous Ilyushin tankers were built in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The Il-78M-90A has been fitted with a new fuel transfer system, the pump performance of which has increased fuel flow by some 10% compared with the existing system on the Il-78M. Trials of the system are set to be completed before the end of the year.
The export version of the Il-78M-90A is designated as the Il-78MK-90A. According to UAC, the aircraft is in fact a multirole tanker-transport that, depending on range, transfers 47 – 78 tonnes of fuel or has a payload of 60 tonnes. The Il-78MK-90A has a maximum take-off weight of 210 tonnes and a ferry range of 9,300 km. It is powered by four PS-90A-76 jet engines that allow the tanker to refuel other aircraft at an altitude of 2,000m – 9,150m and at a speed of 450 – 650km/h. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Sep 19. RAC MiG unveils export version of MiG-35. United Aircraft Corporation subsidiary Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC) MiG has developed an export-oriented variant of its Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-35 multirole combat aircraft (MCA), which was unveiled at the MAKS 2019 aerospace show held in Zhukovskiy close to Moscow from 27 August to 1 September.
An RAC MiG spokesperson told Jane’s that the MiG-35 export version is a 4++ generation MCA “made using some fifth-generation aircraft technologies”. The platform has been fitted with a nose-mounted radar with an active electronically scanned array (AESA), as well as an electro-optical search-and-track system installed under the fuselage for employment against land targets.
The upgraded MiG-35 has a maximum take-off weight of 24,500 kg and is powered by two 9,000 hp RD-33MK afterburning jet engines, producing a top speed of 2,100 km/h and a service ceiling of 16,000 m. “The platform also features a modular design, allowing integration of new electronic subsystems, including of foreign origin,” said the RAC MiG representative. Installation of a PAZ-MK refueling pod allows the modernised platform to be employed as a tactical aerial tanker.
The MiG-35 export version has received a Russian-designed helmet-mounted target designation system and head-up display. Its armament suite comprises RVV-AE air-to-air, Kh-35UE anti-ship, and Kh-38MLE air-to-surface missiles, KAB-500 guided bombs, and various free-fall bombs. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Aug 19. Russia unveils export variant of Su-57. Rostec’s Rosoboronexport unveiled the Su-57E, an export variant of its only fifth-generation fighter aircraft, at the 2019 MAKS international airshow being held in Zhukovskiy near Moscow on 27 August-1 September. A Sukhoi Su-57E was displayed publicly for the first time with few details of its specifications or performance. Demonstration flights are being performed by baseline Su-57 aircraft.
A Rosoboronexport representative told Jane’s that the Su-57E has state clearance for export and the latest aircraft is a priority in its business plans. Rosoboronexport is now hoping to begin initial discussions with undisclosed potential foreign customers. However, there are no formal requests to buy the aircraft from any countries so far, he added. He refused to comment further on programme status, aircraft weapon systems, specifications, and performance.
The single-seat Su-57E is a multirole fighter aircraft designed for a wide range of combat missions against air, ground, and maritime targets in all weather, day or night, and in a severe jamming environment. Its main features are multifunctionality, stealthy design, and automation. It has an improved passive and active protection and countermeasures system.
The twin-engine aircraft has extended supersonic flight mode with great manoeuvrability and can carry a wide range of weapons, including precision munitions. It has a short take-off and landing capability.
The Russian Air Force signed the first contract for the initial production batch of Su-57 (baseline or domestic variant) fighters in 2018. The first production unit is likely to enter service in the Russian Air Force in 2019-20. Russia says Su-57 weapons and subsystems have been tested in combat in Syria. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Sep 19. Russian Mi-26T2V heavy transport helicopter to complete state trials by mid-2020. Russia’s newest Mil Mi-26T2V heavy rotary-wing airlifter will complete trials by mid-2020, according to Rostec holding Russian Helicopters.
“The Mi-26T2V has been developed in accordance with the requirements set by the Russian Ministry of Defence. The platform has successfully completed its preliminary trials. We are planning to complete joint state trials by mid-2020,” Russian Helicopters’ deputy director for military helicopter sales, Vladislav Saveliev, told media at the MAKS 2019 aerospace show held in Zhukovskiy close to Moscow from 27 August to 1 September. The Mi-26T2V has been fitted with the NPK90-2 avionics suite, glass cockpit, and Vitebsk direct infrared countermeasures suite. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
06 Sep 19. Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter. Airbus Helicopters has delivered its 1,000th Super Puma helicopter: a twin-engine multi-role H215 assembled in Marignane, France, and handed over to the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei) to support the German Havarie Command, which manages maritime emergencies off of Germany’s coast. This delivery completes the German Federal Police’s order for four H215s, the first three of which were delivered in December 2018, and increases the German Federal Police’s Super Puma fleet to 23, including 19 AS332 L1s, making the police force one of the largest operators of Super Pumas in the world today.
“The Super Puma family of civil and military helicopters has consistently performed well thanks to its ability to appeal to many different mission segments, whether you’re fighting fires, building power lines, transporting troops, or saving lives in extreme environments,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “Thanks to our close partnerships with long-standing customers like the German Federal Police, whom we are honoured will operate our 1000th Super Puma, we are able to continuously improve so that this important product continues to meet the evolving market needs for decades to come.”
Today, the Super Puma is operated by nearly 100 customers in 59 countries representing all regions of the world. The Super Puma family is composed of the H215 and H225 for the civil market, produced by Airbus Helicopters for law enforcement, aerial work, search and rescue, offshore transport and governmental missions, and appreciated for their versatility and ability to operate in extreme environmental conditions. In the military sector, Airbus Helicopters offers the H215M and H225M for search and rescue, troop transport, special ops and utility missions, among others.
MILITARY AND GOVERNMENT
04 Sep 19. German Air Force Short On Pilots, Not Planes. Germany’s military has long struggled with a shortage of functioning equipment. At the Laage Air Base near Rostock, however, it’s not the planes that are hard to come by, but the pilots. Just minutes apart, three Eurofighter aircraft thunder down the runway outside the northeastern city of Rostock and rise up into the skies with a deafening roar. It’s business as usual at the Laage Air Base, where Eurofighters take off up to 20 times a day on practice flights, and to secure German airspace.
The facility, situated at the Laage-Rostock airport, is the German Air Force’s showcase location. It is where the Steinhoff air force squadron trains its Eurofighter pilots. After basic flight training abroad, practical experience is put to the test in the air and on the ground at the base.
Operational fighter planes, no pilots
Jan Gloystein, deputy wing commander of the Steinhoff squadron, is proud of “his” air base, but he has a serious problem: “I don’t have enough pilots.” Currently he has 23, but he needs 20 more, he says. The German Air Force simply has too few applicants, he adds.
Other air force locations have similar problems. Only about two-thirds of the combat pilot positions are filled, according to a recent report by the government’s parliamentary military commissioner, Hans-Peter Bartels.
Six pilots resigned in the first half of 2018, the German government said in response to a request by the Free Democratic Party, compared to 11 resignations over the previous 5 years. It seems the pilots were lured by lucrative salaries in civil aviation. The crash of two Eurofighters at the end of June that killed one pilot has hurt the German Air Force’s image as an employer. For a long time, the shortage of junior staff could be blamed on a lack of flight experience because operational aircraft were scarce.
“The air force is at a low point,” Air Force Inspector Ingo Gerhartz warned about a year ago shortly after taking up his post. Many fighter jets were not operational, spare parts were not available and servicing a Eurofighter often took longer than a year. Completely unacceptable, Gerhartz said at the time.
Since then, the situation at the Steinhoff air force squadron has greatly improved. Gerhartz’s remarks appear to have made an impression on politicians and the defense industry. Lieutenant Colonel Gloystein says 70% of the 24 Eurofighters are now ready for training, and only the older models occasionally lack spare parts. But while there used to be a shortage of operational aircraft, the air force now lacks pilots — a problem that will likely keep Germany’s military, the Bundeswehr, busy for years to come.
Hope for funding and new flight simulators
Pilots in Laage can fly without making a sound in one of the two “Full Mission” flight simulators located in large dome-like halls. In original Eurofighter cockpits, the landscape, the sky, the pale sun and the attacking plane are projected onto a surrounding screen. It all looks amazingly real. Twenty-nine experts, 16 of them former flight instructors, supervise the simulator training. It is the best system in the world, they say.
Bundeswehr pilots must meet the target of 180 flight hours per year, according to NATO regulations — of those, 40 hours can be completed in a simulator. Only about 58% of German pilots currently meet these requirements for NATO responsiveness. Laage Air Base hopes to remedy the situation by adding two new flight simulators that would allow pilots to better practice critical situations in the air.
Germany’s air force fully relies on Defense Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer, who has promised to push for more money for the country’s military. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Deutsche Welle German Radio)
03 Sep 19. Maj. Gen. Timothy Haugh assumed command of 25th Air Force during a change of command ceremony Aug. 29, the Air Force said in a release. Haugh comes to 25th Air Force, which is responsible for global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, after multiple assignments at U.S. Cyber Command. Most recently, Haugh was the commander of the Cyber National Mission Force, which is responsible for defending the nation against cyber threats by targeting actors in neutral and hostile cyberspace. His replacement there is Army Brig. Gen. William Hartman. Haugh also served as the director for intelligence at Cyber Command and as the deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ares, the cyber offensive against ISIS. Haugh is taking over for outgoing 25th commander Maj. Gen. Mary O’Brien, who was confirmed for her third star and to be the the deputy chief of staff for ISR and cyber effects. Haugh assumes command of 25th Air Force at a time when the service will soon be merging it with 24th Air Force to become the first information warfare numbered Air Force. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
03 Sep 19. Groundbreaking public and private collaboration in the Indian defense sector. Finnish DA-Group participates in Indian Navy project. The design development of the recently awarded contract worth ₹6,311.32 crore (~800 M€) for the construction of eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASWSWCs) to M/s Cochin Shipyard Ltd. (CSL) by Indian Navy will be a joint collaboration effort between CSL, M/s Smart Engineering & Design Solutions (India) Private Ltd. of India (SEDS) and DA-Group subsidiary Surma Ltd., Finland (Surma). In what is to be one of the most technologically advanced naval combatant platforms to be commissioned by the Indian Navy, the design will have features only found in other naval powerhouses. The vessel design shall be collaboratively developed by SEDS & CSL, with SEDS doing the basic part and CSL the rest.
SEDS CEO, Antony Prince remarked “It is a great testament to the achievements made by CSL, which have built the first indigenous aircraft carrier, that they have bagged another prestigious order from the Indian Navy. We are honored that CSL has put their faith in us in this collaborative effort and we are certain that with CSL’s track record of delivering excellent quality vessels in both commercial and defence sectors and with the aid of Surma, a world leader in their field of naval survivability, we will achieve the highest quality and on time delivery of these naval platforms to the Indian Navy. This project will strengthen India’s coastal defence capabilities and will continue to elevate India to the ranking of strongest navies in the world. We hope this will be a model for future public and private partnerships in the Indian defense sector as promoted by the Indian Government. Surma is synonymous with signature management in the naval design sector and their knowledge in this domain is unparalleled and sought after by many navies from around the world.”
Surma, CEO, Kristian Tornivaara has this to say on their participation to this project “This project is for us an important demonstration on how comprehensive and practical approach to combat survivability management can enhance the operational capabilities and increase the safety level without adding the building or operation costs of a ship. We are utilizing our one-model concept and fast simulation codes enabling efficient signature and other required analysis. We are pleased to work with CSL and SEDS competent ship designers to fulfill the very challenging end-customer requirements. It has been fortunate to have open dialogue and truly integrate the management of combat survivability features as an integral part of the ship design process.”
CSL is the largest shipbuilding facility in India. It is part of a line of maritime-related facilities in the port-city of Kochi, India. https://www.cochinshipyard.com/
SEDS provides complete design solutions from concept to production of ocean going, coastal, inland, and naval vessels. http://www.marinedesigners.com/seds/
DA-Group delivers advanced embedded technology solutions for the most demanding environments from seabed to space. http://www.da-group.com/
Surma is part of DA-Group providing solutions for navy combat survivability management. https://surma.ltd/
03 Sep 19. Pegasus Universal Aerospace signs MoU with Callen-Lenz Group as partner for flight control systems development. Veteran aviator Captain Andrew Dietrich appointed as Chief Pilot.
South Africa’s Pegasus Universal Aerospace, pioneer of the Vertical Business Jet (VBJ®) Pegasus One, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UK-based, technical aviation consultancy, Callen-Lenz Group. The agreement brings the two companies together to exclusively collaborate on the design and development of the flight control systems for the Pegasus One aircraft.
The flight control systems are integral to supporting the aircraft operations in all phases of flight, including transition from vertical take-off and hover, to forward horizontal flight. The merging of these functions, into one unique system, will be a key technology, enabling Pegasus One to deliver its powerful performance capabilities. Pegasus selected Callen-Lenz as its development partner owing to the team’s reputation for creating innovative solutions, required core competencies and experience, in realising complex technologies in the aerospace sector.
Dr Reza Mia, Pegasus founder and Chairman said, “We believe that Callen-Lenz is the ideal partner for Pegasus. Their inventive approach to aerospace challenges, their expertise, and their willingness to embark on this exciting journey with us to deliver a unique proposition determined our selection process. We are excited to be working on this game changing project with them.”
“We have been invited to work with a number of new aircraft programmes, but were extremely impressed by the ambition, vision and quality of the Pegasus VBJ project. As the race hots up to deliver new aircraft technologies, we are pleased to join forces with one of the most exciting airframes in development,” said Jonathan Webber, CEO, Callen-Lenz.
The Pegasus team has already made great strides over the past year in developing multiple scale models, completing comprehensive studies into the drivetrain and thrust fan systems to support a true hybrid-electric propulsion power source. Pegasus is in ongoing discussions with two leading powerplant OEM’s to ensure the best performance capability is achieved.
The signing of the MOU with Callen-Lenz Group ushers in the next significant phase in the programme. Under the terms of the MOU the Callen-Lenz team will work closely with the Pegasus executive team, engineers and newly appointed chief pilot Captain Andrew Dietrich, whose appointment was also confirmed in August. Captain Dietrich joins the expanding Pegasus team with some 16,000 hours flying time spanning a 26-year career operating ultra-long-range commercial airliners and corporate jets. Familiar with numerous flight-decks, working with a variety of avionics systems and aircraft simulators, Captain Dietrich brings valuable knowledge to Pegasus. Reporting directly to the executive team, his hands-on experience will deliver vital input to the aircraft operational capability, performance and safety requirements.
As an integral part of the Pegasus technical team he will work alongside Callen-Lenz and Pegasus Chief Engineer Matthew Buttle and be responsible for overseeing compliance, safety procedures and the co-ordination of test pilots during the official test flight phase.
“We want to build an aircraft that pilots know is responsive, safe, reliable, efficient and above all fun and straight forward to fly. Captain Dietrich will help us achieve these goals and more. We are excited to add his extensive skills and enthusiasm to our team,” commented Dr Reza Mia.
“I’m aware there are many eVTOL projects in development, but I wanted to work with the dynamic Pegasus team. The concept is brilliant, the team is solid, and I believe it will make a dramatic difference to the way executives and high-net-worth individuals think about flight in the future. There is also huge potential in the oil and gas platform, (OGP) sector. Being involved with the Pegasus project allows me to use all my accumulated experience on one of the most exciting new and innovative aircraft programmes on the market, it’s a superb opportunity,” added Captain Dietrich.
Construction of a full-scale VTOL demonstrator to show in Europe in 2020 has already begun and a series of investor evenings in South Africa starts this month. The MoU with the Callen-Lenz Group and the appointment of Captain Dietrich will ensure Pegasus development continues on the right trajectory.
01 Sep 19. Meggitt to Add 83 Jobs, Substantially Increase Carbon Brake Manufacturing Capacity in Danville. Meggitt PLC, an international company specializing in high-performance components and sub-systems for the aerospace, defense and selected energy markets, plans to significantly increase its commercial and military aircraft carbon brake manufacturing capacity in Boyle County, creating up to 83 full-time jobs with a nearly $82.7m investment, Gov. Matt Bevin announced today.
“Meggitt has played a significant role in the economy of the Boyle County community since locating there 13 years ago,” Gov. Bevin said. “Currently employing more than 200 people, the company continues its strong upward trajectory within the commonwealth’s booming aerospace industry. We thank Meggitt for its commitment to Kentucky, and we look forward to many more years of continued growth.”
The project will allow the company to fulfill increasing orders following recent contract awards for braking systems. The facility already provides braking components for a number of customer programs, including the Airbus A220 and A321, as well as for Embraer, Gulfstream, Dassault and Bombardier. The new facility also will serve as an MRO hub to meet rising demand for aircraft maintenance. The 95,000-square-foot expansion would include new carbon furnaces plus ancillary equipment, as well as upgrades to existing machinery.
“Our order book has grown substantially in recent years and we are also witnessing a significant increase in carbon brake demand. It is a trend that is set to continue and this investment is an essential part of our future strategy,” said Brian Bondarenko, president of Meggitt Braking Systems. “Investing in Danville is a natural choice for us. We have been operating here for over 14 years and we continue to increase capacity. Danville gives us ready access to a rich talent pool and skilled employees, through this investment we hope to increase our workforce over time.”
Sen. Rick Girdler, of Somerset, expressed gratitude to everyone involved with making the project possible.
“I want to congratulate Meggitt for this major investment affording them 83 new jobs,” Sen. Girdler said. “Thank you to all those involved for prioritizing continued expansion, growth and job creation here in the Danville community.”
Rep. Daniel Elliott, of Danville, thanked the company for the job creation and continued growth.
“This announcement is very exciting news for our local economy, as Meggitt’s expansion will add to their already strong presence in Boyle County,” Rep. Elliott said. “As Kentucky’s number one export, the aerospace industry continues to thrive and employ more of our citizens, including right here in Danville. I want to thank Meggitt for their investment and confidence in our community and workforce, and look forward to seeing their creation of 83 new, quality jobs.”
Danville Mayor Mike Perros said the company has been the ideal corporate partner.
“The greatest compliment that an existing industry can pay to its home community is to reinvest. Meggitt has done so time and again,” Mayor Perros said. “We appreciate the continued confidence that Meggitt has expressed in Danville with this major expansion. Our community stands ready to support Meggitt, its management and its employees as it grows with us.”
Boyle County Judge-Executive Howard P. Hunt III said the company is a shining example of the type of success aerospace companies can have in Kentucky.
“Meggitt’s rate of growth in Boyle County since 2006 has been remarkable. The company’s increased operations have put our community at the forefront of Kentucky’s aerospace industry,” Judge-Executive Hunt said. “We welcome this significant new phase of Meggitt’s expansion in our community. Aviation is a critical aspect of Boyle County’s economy, and Meggitt’s investment demonstrates that our community is the right location for aerospace businesses to take flight.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $1.4m in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $82.68m and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 83 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 15 years paying an average hourly wage of $18 including benefits across those jobs
- By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Meggitt for up to $350,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, Meggitt can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
05 Sep 19. Chris Edwards has been appointed as acting Managing Director at Lockheed Martin’s Ampthill facility succeeding Alan Lines. A Lockheed Martin spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Alan Lines has moved on from Lockheed Martin to seek new opportunities and challenges. With effect from September 2nd, Chris Edwards is the acting Managing Director of our Ampthill business.”
05 Sep 19. Ultra announces that Ami Sharma will step down from the Board and as Group Finance Director with effect from 1st December 2019 and will leave the Group on 31st December 2019. Ultra is pleased to announce that Jos Sclater will join the Group and be appointed to the Board as Group Finance Director on 9th December 2019. Ami will have spent approximately ten years at Ultra, four of which as Group Finance Director. He has made a substantial and valuable contribution to the Group’s operational and strategic performance during this time. With the Group now entering a new phase of development and strategic evolution, Ami has decided the time is right for him to step down. Jos is currently CFO of Castrol Lubricants, part of BP Group. Prior to joining BP Group, Jos was the CFO of GKN before its acquisition by Melrose. Jos has 20 years’ experience in industrial and engineering multi-national companies. He has held senior financial, strategic, operational, risk and legal roles in ICI, Akzo Nobel and GKN, both in the UK and in Asia Pacific. Jos has extensive experience in finance, strategic planning, transformation, M&A and driving operational and commercial performance.