Tag Archives: Advanced

Taiwan Set to Purchase Advanced Trainers In 2017

By on Monday, October 27th, 2014

Taiwan is planning to purchase advanced trainers to replace its aging fleet of F-5E/F jet fighters and AT-3 jet trainers, Defense Minister Yen Ming said Thursday.

The plans to procure advanced trainers are expected to be included in the Ministry of National Defense budget for 2017, Yen said while fielding questions from Legislator Lin Yu-fang of the ruling Kuomintang before the Legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

Yen also confirmed that the trainers will be multi-functional — meaning that they can be used for routine flight training missions but will also be capable of use in combat missions in time of war.

Currently in Taiwan, fighter pilots have to complete their training in the T-34 trainer, the AT-3 trainer and the F-5E/F jet fighter before they can receive training in the second-generation F-16 A/B, the Mirage 2000-5 or the Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF), the Air Force said.

After Taiwan acquires the advanced trainers, fighter pilot training will involve the T-34 trainer, the newly acquired trainers and finally, the second-generation jet fighters, the Air Force said.

Yen’s remarks came two days after the pilot of an AT-3 jet trainer, Lt. Col. Chuang Pei-yuan, was killed after his aircraft apparently collided with another AT-3 trainer during a routine aerobatic training mission and crashed in a field in Zihguan District in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan.

The planes belonging to the Air Force Academy in Kaohsiung were trainers used by the Air Force’s Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team and were on routine training when the collision occurred, the Air Force said Tuesday.

As the ministry is planning to further cut the size of the military, Lin had asked whether the Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team will be disbanded.

In response, Yen said the aerobatics team will remain, but the military will review the necessity of retaining some of the maneuvers performed by the team that involve higher risk and pose greater threats to pilot safety.

The exact cause of the deadly crash is still under investigation.

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Royal Air Force Now Flying Their Most Advanced Fighter Jets Ever

By on Monday, October 20th, 2014

The Royal Air Force’s (RAF) most advanced fighters ever are now in operational service following the largest ever fighter upgrade programme delivered by BAE Systems.

Known as Phase 1 Enhancements (P1E), the upgrade package delivers a range of enhancements to the Typhoon aircraft. Developed by BAE Systems working together with its Eurofighter Partner companies, the RAF and UK Ministry of Defence, (MOD), the capabilities introduced have been developed on the back of operations in Libya, and cement Typhoon’s place as a world class multi-role fighter.

The aircraft upgrades include enhanced computing power, weapons systems integration advancements and improved sensor suites making Typhoon even more potent whether tasked with air-to-air work, air-to-surface or a combination of both during a single mission. The P1E enhancements package delivers much more flexibility in mission planning. It allows a single pilot, in a single aircraft to simultaneously attack six different targets in one pass.

Royal Air Force Now Flying Their Most Advanced Fighter Jets EverDivided into two elements, Phase 1 Enhancements (a) and Phase 1Enhancements (b), the latter takes the multi-role concept to a new level. Typhoon Requirements Manager, Wing Commander Stephen Williams said: “P1Eb allows Typhoon to begin realising its air-to-surface capability while also delivering in the air-to-air arena. Our ability to switch between air-to-air and air-to-surface modes is a big step, providing great flexibility for our pilots on Operations. This is a key step to delivering capability for the UK’s Interim Force 15.”

The PE1b package also brings upgrades for the aircraft’s Defensive Aids Sub System and the latest interoperability updates for the Multifunction Information and Distribution Systems, which together ensure the Typhoon remains one of the most effective aircraft in the skies.

Testing of the P1E package was conducted through a combined industry and MOD team. Martin Taylor, Director for Combat Air at BAE Systems said: “P1E is a massive leap forward in capability and by working jointly as one team, we’ve ensured that there are no surprises when it enters service. We have delivered a capability with all the necessary training and support to make sure it is ready and usable from day one.”

The first 17 P1E standard aircraft are now in service with the RAF with a further 18 to be delivered by 1st April 2015.

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Lockheed Demonstrate 2nd Series of Advanced Autonomous Convoy Ops

The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and Lockheed Martin successfully completed new tests validating the ability of driverless military-truck convoys to operate successfully and safely in a variety of environments.

The second series of demonstrations of the Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS) Capabilities Advancement Demonstration (CAD-2) tests were conducted at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina.

In the CAD-2 demonstration, AMAS completed a series of fully autonomous convoy tests involving a completely unmanned leader vehicle followed by a convoy of up to six additional follower vehicles (also fully autonomous) operating at speeds as high as 40 mph. The tests doubled the length and speed of convoys previously demonstrated under the program.

Vehicles used in the CAD-2 demonstration included one Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) truck, one Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) vehicle, two Palletized Load System trucks, two M915 Line-Haul Tractors and one Heavy Equipment Transport.

“I would describe these tests as a successful demonstration of the maturing capabilities of AMAS technology,” said David Simon, AMAS program manager for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

“We will conduct further safety testing within the next month, and the program will execute a six-week Operational Demonstration in the July-August timeframe, during which time Soldiers and Marines will assess the system benefits in realistic convoy operations.”

Earlier this year at Fort Hood, Texas, AMAS completed the first CAD series of tests, simulating driverless tactical vehicles navigating hazards and obstacles such as road intersections, oncoming traffic, stalled and passing vehicles, pedestrians and traffic circles in both urban and rural test areas.

The AMAS hardware and software are designed to automate the driving task on current tactical vehicles. The Unmanned Mission Module part of AMAS, which includes a high-performance LIDAR sensor, and additional algorithms, is installed as a kit and can be used on virtually any military vehicle.

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Russian Proton rocket carrying advanced satellite crashes

By on Friday, May 16th, 2014

A Russian Proton rocket with an advanced satellite on board crashed outside of Kazakhstan’s territory after lift-off, RIA Novosti cited a source as saying.

There are so far no reports of damage or casualties.

The rocket could have crashed over the Altai Mountains or the Pacific Ocean, a source told RIA Novosti.

All other launches of Proton-type rockets will be halted at Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan until the reason for the crash is determined, a source told RIA Novosti.

There was an emergency engines shutdown on the 540th second following the launch, the Russian Federal Space Agency said, as quoted by Itar-Tass.

The Proton-M rocket, carrying an advanced Express-AM4R satellite, was launched on schedule from Baikonur on Friday. The Express-AM4R would have been Russia’s most advanced and powerful satellite.

The spacecraft weighed 5.8 metric tons and had 63 transponders providing X-band, C-band, S-band, L-band, Ku-band, and Ka-band capacity along with 10 antennas installed.

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Jordan Buys US Navy’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System

By on Monday, May 5th, 2014

The U.S. Navy signed an agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan April 14 for the first international sale of the Department’s Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS).

The initial Foreign Military Sale (FMS) includes procurement of the weapons as well as logistics and engineering support for integration on the Jordanian CN-235 gunship.

“We look forward to delivering this combat-proven weapon system to the Jordanian Armed Forces,” said Capt. Al Mousseau, Direct and Time Sensitive Strike program manager (PMA-242) at Patuxent River. “International sales offer the opportunity to enhance combat capability for partner nations and are an effective means to support the U.S. industrial base.”

APKWS modifies unguided 2.75-inch rockets with a semi-active laser guidance section to transform the rockets currently used in the Jordanian fleet into low-cost, precision guided munitions.

Currently employed from U.S. Navy MH-60 Seahawk and Marine Corps UH/AH-1 Light Attack helicopters, APKWS has been successfully demonstrated from a variety of fixed wing platforms capable of firing the weapon in comparable flight regimes.

The Navy and industry partner BAE Systems plan to deliver APKWS to the Jordanian Kingdom in 2016.

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Latest Norwegian CV90 Is Most Advanced Yet

The first vehicle in a major upgrade of Norway’s CV9030 armored vehicle fleet was handed over to our customer yesterday by Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, President of BAE Systems Hägglunds AB.

The new vehicle fleet has significantly enhanced protection, survivability, situational awareness and interoperability, incorporating lessons learned from Norwegian, Swedish and Danish operations in Afghanistan with CV90. The vehicles will run on the latest rubber tracks, combat-proven by Norwegian forces in Afghanistan.

The CV90 Norway project will deliver a fully-digitized flexible fleet of 74 infantry fighting, 21 reconnaissance, 15 command, 16 engineering, 16 multi-role and two driver training vehicles. The multi-role vehicles can fulfill different functions, including mortar carrier and logistics roles. Deliveries of the production vehicles start in January 2015 and continue to 2017.

The roll-out of this pre-series infantry fighting vehicle was attended by Öystein Bö, Secretary of State Norway and Carl von der Esch, State Secretary for Sweden.

Highly cost-effective Norwegian upgrade program

Norway’s existing 103 CV90s, delivered from the mid-1990s, represented the first export contract for CV90. In June 2012 we received a $750m (£0.5 bn) contract from the Norwegian Government to upgrade the fleet.

As part of this program, we are also building more than a hundred all-new vehicle chassis to take Norway’s CV90 fleet to 144 vehicles in five different configurations, including a variant equipped with a sensor suite for improved surveillance capability.

Tommy said: “The complex but highly cost-effective Norwegian upgrade program is running on time and to budget. Norway’s vehicles will be the most advanced CV90s yet ¬and benefit from more than four million engineering hours.

“This is excellent news, not just for Norway, but for all current and prospective CV90 customers. That’s because our continuous development work on a wide range of existing variants helps ensure that we can keep all users’ vehicles at the forefront of technology at the lowest possible cost and risk.”

World’s most advanced armored combat vehicle

Colonel Ragnar Wennevik, program director for the Norwegian Armed Forces commented: “With the new CV90, we are buying the world’s most advanced armored combat vehicle family. Already proven in combat, we are now taking it to the next generation with state-of-the-art survivability, lethality, digitization and mobility.”

Norwegian industry is playing a major role. One partner is Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, which leads a team of Thales Norway and Vinghøg. The Kongsberg team is responsible for the integrated data and information system, including integration of weapon systems, sensors, communication and security systems. The Kongsberg Protector remote weapon station will be fitted to all variants of the vehicle.

Joint Nordic armed forces training

The Swedish-built CV90 has been selected by the Nordic nations Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, plus Switzerland and The Netherlands. The first CV90 was delivered to Sweden in 1993 and the Norwegian program takes the number of vehicles ordered to more than 1200.

In January, Sweden announced that it would refurbish its fleet of CV90s in a program which could last up to ten years. The latest Armadillo variant is also a candidate for a Danish requirement for more than 200 armored personnel carriers. This Danish requirement covers six variants: Infantry, Command Post, Repair, Ambulance, Mortar and Engineer.

“CV90’s use by the Nordic nations means it is ideal for supporting cooperation between their armed forces,” says Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, President BAE Systems Hägglunds AB.

“Operationally, for example, there is potential for joint Nordic armed forces training on the vehicle. Our customers already collaborate on CV90 vehicle developments such as the rubber band tracks successfully trialed in Afghanistan, and there could be pooling between CV90 customers for future vehicle support arrangements.”

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Scalable Agile Beam Radar Brings Advanced Capabilities to Global F-16 Fleets

By on Friday, February 21st, 2014

Northrop Grumman Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) will help bring advanced capabilities to existing global F-16 fleets, keeping them formidable beyond 2025, according to the head of the company’s Combat Avionics Systems business unit.

Northrop Grumman Vice President Jeff Leavitt provided a detailed SABR update to reporters in a briefing at the Singapore Air Show. This included the radar’s development progress, along with information about successful flight demonstrations and the upgraded capabilities SABR brings to the F-16.

Northrop Grumman was chosen by prime contractor Lockheed Martin as the radar provider for the U.S. Air Force and Taiwan F-16 radar modernization and upgrade programs, which aim to keep the F-16 viable in future threat environments and to improve system reliability, maintainability and affordability.

Since the SABR active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar was selected for the U.S. Air Force and Taiwan modernization and upgrade programs this past July, the system has completed three major development and design reviews. Several engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) systems are now in production, with the first to be delivered to Lockheed Martin before the end of 2014.

“We will deliver EMD units this year and the assets we deliver are anticipated to be identical to the production deliveries we will be making for Taiwan,” said Leavitt.

SABR features Big Synthetic Aperture Radar (Big SAR), which allows for broad area all-environment precision mapping and location, and improved situational awareness. Air-to-air and air-to-surface modes have substantially increased ranges and can be operated simultaneously, resulting in improved situational awareness and survivability.

“We are providing SABR with robust electronic protection, including proven software directly reused from the F-35′s AN/APG-81,” said Leavitt. “We have over seven decades of experience in RF systems. We have applied that deep understanding of EP to SABR, increasing survivability in dense RF environments against present and future threats.”

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