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31 Mar 14. In a bid to boost its aerial surveillance, India will buy six aircraft that can be used for supporting its indigenous Airborne Warning and Control System (Awacs).
“A tender has been floated to global vendors for the supply of suitable aircraft with necessary structural modifications, power and endurance adaptations and equipment installation or installation provisions for the Awacs,” says an official at the defense ministry.
Though the type of aircraft hasn’t been specified, India is looking at acquiring a platform that can support an Awacs antenna dome, which is about 10 meters in diameter. The aircraft also should have provisions for the installation of all external and internal elements of the mission systems, the official adds. Only original aircraft manufacturers are qualified to submit the bids. Also, “the vendors should be willing to support the product for a period not less than 30 years from the date of acceptance of the aircraft,” he says. The vendor is also expected to support the Indian air force (IAF) in the installation of the mission systems. In March 2013, Defense Minister A.K. Antony said the indigenous development of Awacs was envisioned to be completed in 84 months. The program started in late 2013 and is expected to be completed by around 2020, assuming there are no delays. IAF currently operates three Awacs platforms: Ilyushin IL-76s upgraded with Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Phalcon Awacs radar and mission control systems, with a platform designation of A-50EI. The modified IL-76s already serves in Russia as the A-50 Awacs. India has already activated a follow-on order for two additional A-50EIs from IAI. According to the defense ministry official, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which is developing the radars and sensors, is looking at either the Boeing-767 or Airbus A330 as the new platform. However, vendors such as Ilyushin, Antonov, Sukhoi, Bombardier and Saab could also be in the running.
(Source: Aviation Week)
02 Apr 14. Rockwell Collins has entered into a long-term agreement with Northrop Grumman Corporation to expand manufacturing of the optical assemblies for the Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS) on the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft. Rockwell Collins is qualifying its facility in Melbourne, Australia, to produce these assemblies. This is in addition to manufacturing that is already occurring at the company’s facility in Carlsbad, Calif. The establishment of this capability is a significant achievement for Rockwell Collins in Australia and Australian industry. The contracted activity represents a challenging manufacturing task in support of the F-35 program and positions the company’s Melbourne facility for future electro-optical production and sustainment programs. The DAS is a multifunction infrared system that provides passive, spherical battlespace awareness for F-35 pilots by simultaneously detecting and tracking aircraft and missiles in every direction, as well as providing visual imagery for day/night navigation and targeting purposes. DAS imagery projected onto the pilot’s helmet-mounted display provides the capability to look at targets and terrain through the floor and wings of the aircraft. The DAS works in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and other onboard systems to give pilots an unprecedented degree of situational awareness.
01 Apr 14. General Dynamics Global Imaging Technologies has introduced Cineflex ULTRA, a compact gyro-stabilized camera system that can be customized with high-definition 4K and 6K cameras, as well as the longest lens available. The ULTRA incorporates the recently launched geo-pointing option, GEO+, which enables video overlays, system and lens metadata and geo-pointing advanced fil