10 Dec 15. China continues to depend on Ukrainian aero engines. Recent discussions with Ukrainian technicians indicate that China’s aero-engine industry continues to depend on Ukrainian technology almost as much as it does on Russian propulsion systems. Impressions of the state of China’s aero-engine programmes among staff of the Ivchenko-Progress design bureau in Zaporozhye, southeastern Ukraine, are that Chinese efforts remain stymied by technological bottlenecks, despite public announcements and displays of “indigenous” engine designs. In November 2012 the Gas Turbine Establishment (GTE) of China’s state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) displayed its Minshan engine design at the Zhuhai-based Air Show China. AVIC and China Aerotechnology Import-Export Corporation (CATIC) officials held a press briefing in which they declared that this engine would be used in later models of the Hongdu Aviation L-15 jet trainer. Currently the aircraft is powered by a non-afterburning version of the AI-222-25 jet engine designed at the Ivchenko bureau and produced at the Motor Sich plant in Zaporozhye.
The combined enterprises of the Ivchenko-Progress design bureau represent one of the largest surviving aero-engine enterprises from the Soviet period. Ivchenko officials have told IHS Jane’s that due to several factors, including the advantages of being co-located, “these two companies represent what might be the only Soviet-era enterprise capable of designing and building a jet engine from scratch in a more or less standalone capacity.”
The officials point out that comparable Russian enterprises, such as the Salyut plant in Moscow, are today only able to contemplate development of a next-generation engine in co-operation with other aero-engine enterprises. In the case of the Russian plan for the development of a fifth-generation fighter engine, Salyut has entered into a co-operative alliance with its main adversary: the Saturn-Lyulka production association. The new engine would replace the Saturn bureau’s 117S engine that is currently installed in both the Sukhoi Su-35 and the T-50 Perspective Frontline Fighter (PFI) demonstrator aircraft. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
09 Dec 15. US approves F-35 offset technology transfer to South Korea. The US government has approved the export of technologies to South Korea to support its development of the Korean Fighter Experimental (KFX) 4.5-generation fighter aircraft. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said on 9 December that approvals for 21 technology suites have been granted by the United States following negotiations that continued through November. The technologies form a central part of the defence offset programme attached to Lockheed Martin’s sale of F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft to the Republic of Korea Air Force. Seoul agreed to purchase 40 F-35s in September 2014 for around USD7bn.
The technologies to be transferred under offset linked to the F-35 purchase will be channeled into the KFX programme. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
10 Dec 15. Ghana To Acquire 4 Additional Super Tucanos. The Ghanaian Air Force says it will expand in 2016 with the acquisition of four more Super Tucano A-29 turboprop, multirole light attack and trainer aircraft.
Addressing guests at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Number 4 Squadron, which is the vanguard of the air command, at the main Air Force Base in Accra last week, Ghanaian Air Force Chief of Air Staff Air Vice Marshal Michael Samson-Oje said they are on the verge of concluding pre-delivery negotiations with Brazilian aerospace company Embraer Defense.
If confirmed, the new deal will increase Ghana’s 2015 Super Tucano A-29 acquisitions to nine as it follows a pre-existing contract for the supply of five A-29s, which was confirmed by both parties during the Paris Air Show in June. The contract also covered the provision of logistical support and training in A-29 operational systems for