Su-35S Gets Ready for the Paris Air Show in France

su35s

Training flights of the Su-35S take place these days at the Zhukovsky airfield at the M. M. Gromov Flight Research Institute in preparation for participation in the le Bourget-2013 International Air Show.

The Honored test pilot of the Russian Federation, the Hero of Russia Sergey Bogdan works on two sets of aerobatics – for normal and complex weather conditions.

Participants and visitors of the largest exhibition of the world aircraft industry achievements will be able to watch such a complex and spectacular flight figures as spatial barrels, somersaults, a flat spin, and, of course, the famous “Pugachev’s Cobra”.

Next week, upon completion of test flights, the aircraft will fly to France to continue getting ready for the flight program of the air show.

The newest multirole Su-35S fighter will be presented for the first time in a foreign air show. Its premiere flight program was held at the MAKS-2009 air show in Russia.

Su-35S is a deeply modernized super-maneuverable multirole fighter of the “4++” generation. The applied technologies of the 5th generation provide for the superiority of Su-35S aircraft over similar class fighters.

The aircraft has a much better flight characteristics compared with standing analog fighters and more perfect on-board avionics. Aircraft characteristics exceed all European tactical fighters of the 4th and “4+” generation like Rafale and Eurofighter 2000, as well as upgraded American fighters such as F-15, F-16 and F-18. Su-35S can also successfully counter the 5th generation fighters – F-35 and F-22A.

This aircraft, in particular, is the fastest (2,400 km/h at an altitude of 11 km) fighter, it has a higher thrust, it also has an almost two-fold benefit to the modern French (Rafale) and Swedish (Gripen) fighters in the flight range (without suspension tanks – 3600 km). The Gripen NG aircraft, for example, has only one engine, so it has a smaller combat survivability and reliability. The American F/A-18 fighter is inferior to the Russian Su-35S in the flight altitude.

Taiwan renews arms sales call amid US-China summit

Taiwan renews arms sales call amid US-China summit
Taiwan urged the United States Sunday to continue arming it with defensive weapons as it kept a wary eye on the first summit between US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

During the meeting in California, the Chinese side had asked the US to end its arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing sees as part of its territory.

“We urge the United States to continue selling defensive weapons to the Republic of China (Taiwan) according to the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances the United States promised to Taiwan,” Taiwan’s defence ministry spokesman David Lo told reporters.

Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. But it has continued to arm the island in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act approved by Congress the same year.

In 1982 the Reagan administration orally delivered “Six Assurances” to Taipei, promising not to set a date to end arms sales to Taiwan, nor to hold prior consultations with China on such sales.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry has set up a group to monitor Xi’s visit to the United States, officials said.

Ties across the Taiwan Straits have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan’s China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power in 2008. He was re-elected in January 2012.

But Beijing has still refused to renounce the possible use of force to reunify with Taiwan, even though the island has ruled itself since the end of a civil war on the mainland in 1949.

Taiwan has continued to seek advanced weapons, largely from the United States.

Sikorsky to Build CH-53K Operational Test Helicopters for US Navy

Sikorsky to Build CH-53K Operational Test Helicopters for US Navy
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has received a $435 million U.S. Navy contract to build four production-representative CH-53K heavy lift helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps. Designated as System Demonstration Test Articles (SDTA), the four aircraft will enable the Marines to conduct operational evaluation of the new helicopter system in support of Initial Operational Capability in 2019.

“The four SDTA aircraft are based on the configuration of the fourth and final flight test aircraft currently being assembled on the prototype production line,” said Dr. Michael Torok, Sikorsky’s CH-53K Program Vice President. “We truly appreciate the high level of confidence the Navy and Marine Corps have shown to the CH-53K team as we move forward with this important next phase of the program.”

The Navy has included the SDTA helicopters as an additional line item under the existing $3.5 billion System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract initially awarded to Sikorsky in April 2006. The contract schedule requires that Sikorsky deliver the first SDTA aircraft in 39 months, and the fourth by the end of March 2017, when the Marines will begin operational evaluation. The contract’s cost-plus-incentive fee arrangement incentivizes Sikorsky to deliver early. Sikorsky will perform final assembly of the SDTA aircraft at the company’s Florida Assembly and Flight Operations facility in West Palm Beach.

To date, Sikorsky has delivered two of the seven SDD CH-53K aircraft – the Ground Test Vehicle and the Static Test Article – into the test program, and is finalizing assembly of the four flight test aircraft and the Fatigue Test Article. First flight of a CH-53K prototype aircraft is expected in late 2014.

Once the SDTA aircraft enter operational evaluation in 2017, the Marine Corps will verify the CH-53K helicopter’s capability to carry 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under “high hot” ambient conditions, nearly tripling the external load carrying capacity of the current CH-53E Super Stallion™ helicopter.

Technology enablers for increased lift include three 7,500-shaft-horsepower GE38-1B engines; a split torque transmission design that more efficiently distributes engine power to the main rotors; fourth-generation composite rotor blades for enhanced lift; and a composite airframe structure for reduced weight.

“The SDTA contract represents an exciting and significant milestone in our program,” said Col. Robert Pridgen, the Heavy Lift Helicopters program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command. “We are well on our way to making the CH-53K a reality for our Marines and our Naval fleet. The capability this aircraft brings, in every clime and place, is critical to sustaining the future missions of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force. The future of heavy lift is bright.”

Per the current program of record, the Navy intends to order an additional 196 CH-53K aircraft as part of a separate production contract to stand up eight operational squadrons and one training squadron to support the Marine Corps’ operational requirements. Eventual production quantities would be determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition priorities.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

F-35A Completes 1st In-Flight Missile Launch

F-35A Completes 1st In-Flight Missile Launch

An F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft completed the first in-flight missile launch of an AIM-120 over the Point Mugu Sea Test Range, June 5.

It was the first launch where the F-35 and AIM-120 demonstrated a successful launch-to-eject communications sequence and fired the rocket motor after launch — paving the way for targeted launches in support of the Block 2B fleet release capability later this year.

The Air Force F-35A variant has seen significant development in training and operations recently including the beginning of pilot training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., the delivery of the first operational test aircraft to Edwards and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., the first operational aerial refueling and the completion of high angle of attack testing.

“It’s a testament to the entire military-industry test team,” said Lt. Col. George “Boxer” Schwartz, F-35 Integrated Test Force director, who also piloted the flight. “They’ve worked thousands and thousands of hours to get to the point where we are today. It’s fantastic to see that it’s all paid off. We’re rolling into a lot of additional weapons work in the coming months to put that expanded capability on the aircraft.”

The F-35A 5th Generation fighter is designed to carry a payload of up to 18,000 pounds using 10 weapon stations. The F-35A features four internal weapon stations located in two weapon bays to maximize stealth capability. The CTOL aircraft can also utilize an additional three external weapon stations per wing if required.

The U.S. Air Force has established an F-35A initial operating capability target date of December 2016. By this date, the Air Force will have fielded an operational squadron with at least 12 aircraft along with Airmen trained and equipped to conduct basic close air support, interdiction and limited suppression, and destruction of enemy air defense operations in a contested environment.

Moving into the active phase of weapons test is another large step toward delivering Block 2B software capability that will enable initial combat deployment.

“We’ve spent years working on the design of the aircraft, and many months ensuring that weapons could be contained within the aircraft and dropped as designed,” said Charlie Wagner, F-35 weapons director. “This event is the result of tremendous effort and collaboration in the F-35 Enterprise, and marks a turning point in F-35 capabilities; the AIM-120 launch is one small but critical increment toward proving combat capability,”

The 5th generation F-35 Lightning II combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for other countries.

New Laser Range Finders for Apache Helicopter

New Laser Range Finders for Apache Helicopter

Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) Laser Range Finder Designator (LRFD) to the U.S. Army for the AH-64D/E Apache helicopter.

“The new laser is the first component to be fielded in the Modernized Day Sensor Assembly,” said Lt. Col. Steve Van Riper, U.S. Army product manager of Apache Sensors. “The U.S. Army looks forward to a lasting relationship with the Lockheed Martin and Selex team; we anticipate continued success as we quickly ramp-up to our planned production rate and begin fielding.”

The modernized LRFD is the first phase of upgrades for the M-DSA program. The modernized LRFD mitigates obsolescence and provides enhanced performance to the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) system. The modernized LRFD is also the chief targeting aid for the Apache, establishing the range to target for accurate weapon aiming.

The M-DSA second phase upgrades bring color to the Apache cockpit display, improving situational awareness and communication with ground troops.

“This milestone represents a highly successful team effort that provides significant benefit to the Apache pilot through system reliability, maintainability and performance,” said Matt Hoffman, director of M-TADS/PNVS programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “With more than 685 modernized LRFD kits on contract, this milestone signifies Lockheed Martin’s ability to deliver on its commitment to supporting the soldier.”

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control is a 2012 recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for performance excellence. The Malcolm Baldrige Award represents the highest honor that can be awarded to American companies for achievement in leadership, strategic planning, customer relations, measurement, analysis, workforce excellence, operations and business results.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 118,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.

Exelis to Provide US Navy Aircraft with Advanced Electronic Countermeasures

 

Exelis to Provide US Navy Aircraft with Advanced Electronic Countermeasures

ITT Exelis has been awarded a contract valued at more than $125 million by Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Md., to deliver the latest variant of the AN/ALQ-214 airborne jammer.

The AN/ALQ-214 is a subsystem of the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) suite. Under this contract, Exelis will engage in the second full-rate production lot of the new AN/ALQ-214 (V)4/5 system.

The AN/ALQ-214(V)4/5 combines sensitive digital receivers and active countermeasures to protect aircraft from radio frequency (RF) threats such as air defense radars and guided missiles. The new variant of the ALQ-214 system will be used on both the Department of the Navy F/A-18 C/D Hornet and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet aircraft. The previous variant is utilized on the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet aircraft only.

“The enhanced ALQ-214 ensures warfighters are equipped with the most advanced electronic self-protection system,” said Joe Rambala, vice president and general manager of the Exelis integrated electronic warfare systems business. “Our new system is not only designed to address current and future RF threats, but it also extends this level of protection to additional platforms, allowing more pilots to complete their missions safely.”

Deployed with the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, existing legacy AN/ALQ-214 IDECM systems will continue to provide detect-and-defeat protection against RF threats well into the future. Exelis will produce the AN/ALQ-214(V)4/5 at its facility in Clifton, N.J., with system deliveries under this contract planned through 2015.

Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense, information and technical services company that leverages a 50-year legacy of deep customer knowledge and technical expertise to deliver affordable, mission-critical solutions for global customers. Headquartered in McLean, Va., the company employs about 19,900 people and generated 2012 sales of $5.5 billion.

Iranian Army preparing for 3 wargames, says Commander

Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said his forces will stage three sets of drills this year.

Pourdastan voiced pleasure in the results of the assessments made over the recent Beitol-Moghaddas 25 Wargames in the Central Isfahan province, saying that the exercises succeeded in achieving all its desired objectives.

“The Ground Force programs for the year 1392 (March 2013-March 2014) also includes more wargames, including the drills of the armored units in Southeastern Iran, followed by infantry drills in the Western parts of the country and tank-patterns exercises,” he said.

“Alongside these drills, we aim to reinvigorate the training of our forces and meantime enhance the operational capacities of the Ground Force for confronting threats in asymmetric battles,” added the Ground Force commander.

The Iranian Ground Force conducted Beit ol-Moqaddas 25 in the general zone of Isfahan from May 20 to 24 in a bid to boost its units’ military preparedness and exercise different asymmetric tactics.

Lieutenant Commander of Ground Force for Training General Hossein Shokouhi told FNA at the time that different army units, including air force, airborne, infantry, armored, cavalry, artillery, air-defense, drone, communications and logistical units participated in the wargames.

Shokouhi further noted that during the drills, the Iranian army tested its latest home-made weapons and equipment, including the newly unveiled Shaher sniper rifle, Neinava tactical vehicle, optimized Scorpion tanks, anti-chopper launchers, Fadak wireless radio and Akhgar machinegun.

The commander also said that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and aircrafts were used in the exercises for reconnaissance and aerial imaging operations.

Iran’s Army and IRGC hold regular wargames to practice combat tactics and also test new home-made military tools, equipment and weapons in action.

Iranian officials and commanders have repeatedly underlined that all military exercises and trainings of the Iranian Armed Forces are merely meant to serve deterrent purposes.

“When the enemy observes that our Armed Forces are constantly in wargame zones and their fingers are kept on the trigger, it will not dare to invade the Islamic Iran’s borders,” Pourdastan said in January, underlining the significance of military trainings for boosting the country’s deterrent power.

As regards the Iranian Armed Forces’ military exercises, Pourdastan described wargames as “very important” to the Iranian military, and said drills have provided the Iranian military forces, including the Army Ground Force, with an opportunity to test its achievements and remove deficiencies for future missions.