Tag Archives: Aircraft

Defence Chief: NATO Has Committed Four to Five Times More Aircraft to the Baltics

The Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, General Jarmo Lindberg, has taken note that activity levels on the Baltic Sea have increased of late. He says the Baltic Sea is now the scene of more military exercises, as well as more air and sea traffic.

“There has been more of everything,” Lindberg said during his Tuesday morning radio interview. “Russia has been more active and our statistics indicate an increase in volume. The same holds true for NATO,” he said.

The NATO military alliance has enhanced its air patrols of the Baltics manifold, he explained.

“Earlier there were just a few aircraft and now there are four or five times that amount. All of this cumulates into an expanded operating field in the Baltic Sea area.”

Back in April, the news agency Reuters estimated that NATO had tripled its number of fighter planes in the Baltic airspace.

Lindberg on Aranda: No need for investigation

Based on the information available, Lindberg believes there is no need for further study of the disruption targeting the research vessel Aranda.

This weekend it was revealed that the Russian Navy had twice interfered with the work of the Aranda in international waters east of Gotland, Sweden, once in early August and again in early September. Lindberg stressed in his radio interview that the Defence Forces will not assume any kind of role in the matter.

“The Aranda is a civilian ship that was sailing on international waters. We will conduct no analysis of the events.”

Some suspect that Russia was testing its submarines in the area during the incidents and requested the Aranda change course as a precautionary measure. Were the Russians following normal procedure, if this was the case?

“If so, yes,” answered the Commander.

“There are Baltic Sea basins in that area, making it an ideal location for testing submarines. In this scenario, if a submarine had to rise to the surface quickly, then of course they would want to make sure that no ships were on the surface at that time.”

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Russia to Develop New AEW Aircraft

By on Friday, October 10th, 2014

The new Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A military cargo plane just entering series production in Ulyanovsk has completed its maiden flight. It will become the platform for a future long-range radar detection and control prototype plane, A-100. Concern Vega, which is part of the United Instrument Corporation, has developed a state-of-the-art radar system for the new plane.

The aircraft was airborne for 4 hours 20 minutes, during which the crew performed as many tests as possible to verify the overall handling of the new cargo jet. The new aircraft was tested for in-flight controllability and stability, the performance of engines, onboard systems and equipment. The crew had no negative comments about the aircraft, which was captained by Distinguished Test Pilot of Russia Vladimir Irinarkhov during the maiden flight, the United Aircraft Corporation reports.

The cargo jet has been built at Aviastar-JV and will be transferred to the G.M. Beriev Aviation R&D and Production Complex in Taganrog for fitting out and conversion to prototype of A-100, a future long-range radar detection and control aircraft. This new-generation specialty aircraft will be a replacement for the A-50 currently in service, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reports.

The new A-100, equipped with powerful panoramic surveillance radars and state-of-the-art computers will be capable of scanning the airspace for hundreds of kilometers in every direction, identifying targets and sending complete targeting data to anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems enabling them to shoot down the targets.
New-generation aircraft with these capabilities can be used as airborne command posts making it easier to control air, ground and naval groups and task forces.

Concern Vega has developed Premier, a state-of-the-art panoramic radar system for the new plane. The new radar system comprises a rotating antenna capable of active electronic vertical scanning and mechanical bearing scanning. The radar antenna makes one revolution every five seconds.

The new version of Ilyushin Il-76 is currently in production in several different variants in Ulyanovsk. The demand for Il-76s has never been stronger, according to Sergey Sergeev, the CEO of Ilyushin Designer Bureau. The Russian Defense Ministry has ordered 39 airframes in the largest order ever for the Russian aviation industry. Other ministries and agencies also have very strong interest in the aircraft: for example, the Russian Ministry for Emergencies and Disaster Response has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to acquire six Il-76 airframes. The Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Police Ministry have also confirmed their interest.

Design and organization of Russian series production of the new Ilyushin Il-76 MD-90A heavy military cargo jet started in 2007. It was developed to specifications of the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry and of the key customer – the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Sergey Artyukhov, Deputy CEO of OJSC IL for Program Management, has noted that the maiden flight of the new Il-76 MD-90A is one of the major landmark events in the company history. More than 10 airframes of the new jet constructed for different purposes are currently in the various stages of readiness in the company’s production and assembly facilities.

Il-76 MD-90A is a significant upgrade on the well-received Ilyushin Il-76 MD. The new aircraft’s payload has been increased to 60 metric tons, while fuel consumption has been reduced.

The improved performance and payload have been achieved by upgrading the wing, avionics, the undercarriage and other aircraft systems as well as by installing the more fuel-efficient and quieter fourth-generation PS-90A-76 engines to replace the older D-30KP-2 engines.

The new engines meet all the ICAO latest stringent requirements, enabling the Russian military cargo aircraft to fly over all European countries.

The new aircraft is equipped with the latest navigation complex, avionics, an automated control system, communications equipment and a glass cockpit which meet all the current and proposed international requirements for aircraft avionics.

With more than 1,000 Il-76s of different variants manufactured to date, this is the most mass-produced military cargo jet in the world.

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Russia Plans to Supply India with A-50 Aircraft

By on Friday, August 29th, 2014

Russia and India plan on signing a contract to supply India with A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft, Beriev Aircraft Company General Director-General Designer Igor Garivadsky told journalists Tuesday.

“We plan on signing a deal with the Republic of India to deliver the A-50 aircraft,” Garivadsky said.

The A-50 aircraft are intended to detect, track and determine the origin of air and surface targets, as well as conduct surveillance, command, control and communications functions for command posts of automatic control systems, and give guidance in hitting air and surface targets.

The planes have a maximum take-off weight of 190,000 kilograms (419,000 lbs) and can fly for four hours straight without refueling, carrying up to five flight crew members.

Earlier, it was reported that Indian troops had arrived in the Russian city of Lipetsk to participate in the Aviaindra 2014 joint air force exercise, which is to take place from August 25 to September 5.

According to Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Col. Igor Klimov, officially the drills are to start on August 29, but prior to that the Indian pilots will be able to see the areas of the forthcoming flights and test their piloting skills on modern simulators in the Lipetsk State Aviation Center. The anti-aircraft personnel will have the chance to familiarize themselves with anti-aircraft missile systems at the air force training center in Gatchina, Leningrad Region.

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Engineers Develop Smart Skins for Aircraft

Work is underway at BAE Systems to give aircraft human-like ‘skin’, enabling the detection of injury or damage and the ability to ‘feel’ the world around them.

Engineers at our Advanced Technology Centre are investigating a ‘smart skin’ concept which could be embedded with tens of thousands of micro-sensors. When applied to an aircraft, this will enable it to sense wind speed, temperature, physical strain and movement, far more accurately than current sensor technology allows.

The revolutionary ‘smart skin’ concept will enable aircraft to continually monitor their health, reporting back on potential problems before they become significant. This would reduce the need for regular check-ups on the ground and parts could be replaced in a timely manner, increasing the efficiency of aircraft maintenance, the availability of the plane and improving safety.

These tiny sensors or ‘motes’ can be as small as grains of rice and even as small as dust particles at less than 1mm squared. Collectively, the sensors would have their own power source and when paired with the appropriate software, be able to communicate in much the same way that human skin sends signals to the brain. The sensors are so small that we are exploring the possibility of retrofitting them to existing aircraft and even spraying them on like paint.

Leading the research and development is Senior Research Scientist Lydia Hyde whose ‘eureka’ moment came when she was doing her washing and observed that her tumble dryer uses a sensor to prevent it from overheating.

Lydia said: “Observing how a simple sensor can be used to stop a domestic appliance overheating, got me thinking about how this could be applied to my work and how we could replace bulky, expensive sensors with cheap, miniature, multi-functional ones. This in turn led to the idea that aircraft, or indeed cars and ships, could be covered by thousands of these motes creating a ‘smart skin’ that can sense the world around them and monitor their condition by detecting stress, heat or damage. The idea is to make platforms ‘feel’ using a skin of sensors in the same way humans or animals do.

“By combining the outputs of thousands of sensors with big data analysis, the technology has the potential to be a game-changer for the UK industry. In the future we could see more robust defence platforms that are capable of more complex missions whilst reducing the need for routine maintenance checks. There are also wider civilian applications for the concept which we are exploring.”

This research is part of a range of new systems we are investigating under a major programme exploring next-generation technology for air platforms.

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Indonesia`s Aviation Manufacturer Secures Orders to Build 100 N219 Aircraft

14 Agustus 2014

N-219 light lift aircraft (photo : Inilah)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Indonesian aviation manufacturing company PT DI has received orders for the production of 100 N219 aircraft, Research and Technology Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta stated.

“PT DI in cooperation with LAPAN is building N219s. Four aircraft of that type will be assembled and completed by April 2015,” the minister noted here on Tuesday.

PT DI is manufacturing the aircraft in cooperation with other agencies apart from the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (LAPAN).

Besides LAPAN, the Indonesian aircraft manufacturer has also involved the Ministry of Research and Technology, the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), and the Ministry of Industry.

So far, PT DI has received orders for the construction of 100 N219 aircraft from a national airline, he reported.

For the construction of the N219 aircraft, PT DI created airplane mock-ups, prepared material, and the required specifications to make flight engineering models and simulators.

LAPAN has the task of working on the design and development of the N219 aircraft. 

A total of 28 researchers had worked with the Indonesian airplane industry, which was launched on March 12, 2014, especially in the fields of avionics, electronics, propulsion, engineering, flight simulators, aerodynamics, and structural analysis, according to information from PT DI. 

In this project, BPPT had conducted assessment of the aircrafts aerodynamics and structure.

The Ministry of Industry has developed the support industries and has created industrial clusters for the production of the N219 aircraft.

The N219 aircraft were designed by Indonesians and were developed with about 60 percent indigenous technology, Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat earlier stated.


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Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy

By on Monday, August 4th, 2014

Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) have become increasingly prevalent in and important to U.S. military operations. Initially serving only as reconnaissance or intelligence platforms, they now carry out such other missions as attacking enemy forces.

The swift expansion in their numbers and in the demand for their employment has, however, significantly increased demands on logistics and training systems. The challenge is not simply training system operators but also training operational forces and their commanders to integrate the systems into combat operations. Much of that aspect of training has thus far happened as units employ the systems in actual operations — essentially, on-the-job training.

UAS training, particularly for the employment of UASs, now needs to be integrated more formally and cost-effectively into service and joint training programs. This report develops a general concept for training military forces in employment of UASs and a framework for addressing the training requirements and discusses the limits of existing infrastructure in supporting UAS training.

Interoperability among services is another issue, because services have thus far mainly developed training suitable for their own needs. But the services have established a set of multiservice tactics, techniques, and procedures for UASs, which should facilitate interoperability training.

At present, units are not always ready for joint training, so the focus should be on improving training at the unit level in the employment of UAS capabilities, with the overall guiding principle being to “train as we fight.”

Key Findings in the Report

Each Service Needs to Resolve its Own Training Problems First

  • At this time, DoD should encourage each service to solve its own UAS training problems, incorporating the agreed multiservice tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Services Need to Address Qualification Levels

  • Army trainers have indicated that Army units are better at maintaining operator qualification for Shadows than for Ravens. Nevertheless, some units have trouble maintaining high qualification rates — some units have arrived at the NTC with one-half or fewer of their operators qualified.

Range and Beddown Space is an Issue

  • DoD should support current and future programs to develop more ranges and beddown and support facilities similar to those in the Army’s current programs.
  • As multiservice training in the employment of UAS capabilities becomes more of a priority, the Air Force’s current basing and beddown posture will become a problem. The Air Force could consider the location of Army training bases when choosing where to base its UAS fleet. Another possibility is deploying Air Force UASs and their supporting ground and launch-and-recovery elements to Army and Marine Corps training centers — essentially, the approach used now to deploy UASs for operations in theater.

Simulators Should Not Be a Priority at this Time

  • Given current budget limitations, the current state of UAS simulator technology, the importance of fully developing the opportunities for live training, and the relatively low cost of such training, diverting funds to a research and development program to develop combat simulators would seem to be unwise at this time.


  • Promulgate a training strategy focused on preparing operational forces to capitalize on UAS capabilities, built on a foundation of home station training as a prerequisite for multiservice interoperability training at the major maneuver training centers.
  • Support the services in building out the training infrastructure at home station.
  • Undertake a full cost and effectiveness analysis before proceeding on any investment for new UAS simulators.

Building Toward an Unmanned Aircraft System Training Strategy (47 downloads)

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China’s aircraft carrier puts naval ambitions on show

At a northern quayside China’s first aircraft carrier dwarfs nearby vessels, its take-off ramp rising higher than the top deck of the cruise ship at the next berth, symbolizing the country’s naval ambitions.

Dalian, where the Liaoning was refitted and undergoes regular maintenance, looks out over the Bohai strait, gateway to the Yellow Sea, and beyond it, Japan and the Pacific Ocean.

Beijing proclaims that China’s rise is entirely peaceful and it has no interest in hegemony, but analysts say its goal is to surpass the naval capability of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and ultimately rival the US Navy, masters of the Pacific.

That will require a number of aircraft carrier battle groups, developed over decades and costing billions of dollars.

The 300-metre (1,000-foot) Liaoning — a Soviet-era vessel Beijing bought from Ukraine — was commissioned in September 2012, and officers have acknowledged that it is not yet ready for combat, with naval fighter pilots taking years to train.

But it is only the first Chinese vessel of its type. Analysts say future carriers will be entirely Chinese-made and ultimately nuclear-powered, vastly extending their range.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is already the world’s largest standing military, and when Chinese President Xi Jinping went on board the Liaoning last year he spoke of building “a powerful people’s navy”.

Xi has made a point of visiting several military bases since taking office and has said that “being able to fight and win battles is the essence of strengthening the military”.

Naval presence
Beijing recognizes the “symbolic significance of carrier power in generating global standing”, said James Hardy and Lee Willett of the British military publisher Jane’s.

In the medium to long term, they said, China will need “an expanding presence around the world” to secure its interests in resources, markets and shipping routes. “A widespread naval presence thus will be required.”

Earlier this year reports in state-run media quoted Wang Min, the Communist Party chief of Liaoning province, as saying a second vessel was already under construction in Dalian and two more were in the pipeline.

The PLA clouds its activities in secrecy, and the military zones at the tip of the Lushunkou peninsula in the city — known as Port Arthur during its time as a Russian, then Japanese colony — are forbidden to outsiders.

Rick Fisher, senior analyst at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said two rival shipyards produced modules for the next carrier last year, one a “slice” of hull and the other a bow.

Chinese dream
China has long proclaimed itself as rising peacefully and insists that its military expansion is purely to defend itself.

Washington has 10 aircraft carriers at its disposal, soon to rise to 11 when the USS Gerald R Ford enters service.

For its part Tokyo — which since its World War II defeat has been constitutionally barred from having a military, and instead maintains a “Self-Defense Force” — will soon have a helicopter carrier of its own, which could potentially be adapted to carry vertical take-off fighter jets.

But in recent months Beijing has asserted itself ever more aggressively in maritime territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and several southeast Asian nations in the South China Sea, raising fears of clashes.

It has four ships taking part in the US-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) joint exercises off Hawaii, which analysts have touted as a step towards improving military ties, and visiting US Admiral Jonathan Greenert was given a tour of the Liaoning earlier this month.

But Beijing also sent a surveillance ship to spy on the RIMPAC drills, according to US reports citing the US Navy.

China’s “behavior in its near seas and its territorial claims suggest that it is going to robustly defend its ‘core interests’”, said the Jane’s specialists.

“As a wide spectrum blue water force, you can say that China is closing the gap on Japan in most areas and outpacing it in others,” they added.

“The PLA has substantial offensive capabilities in the form of ballistic and cruise missiles, fast jets, bombers, amphibious forces, heavy armor, destroyers, frigates and so on, so the idea that it is armed just for self-defence doesn’t really wash.”

By 2030 China could have four or possibly five aircraft carriers in service, including the Liaoning, says Fisher, and could ultimately decide to build as many as 10.

It will be the culmination of decades of ambition, he said, describing Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders’ denunciations of the US and Soviet Union for their “imperialist” military capabilities in the 1950s and 60s as “a reflection of their intense envy”.

“Mao always wanted to have a superpower level of global influence but was also quite happy to condemn those who had it, when he did not,” he said.

“All of Mao’s successors have worked to fulfill a dream of future Chinese strategic dominance.”

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