Friday, March 6, 2015

Tamir Eshel

1156 POSTS 21 COMMENTS

The Air Force command said the elimination of 18 A-10s from the current force will not impact planned A-10 deployments through the end of fiscal year 2018. Converting aircraft to BAI status will free up experienced maintainers so they can be integrated into the F-35 Lightning II program.

An aerial shot taken by Glenn Watson of Mach Point One Aviation Photography during the Heritage Flight Certification Course over Davis Monthan . Photo: Glenn Watson

A P-47 Thunderbolt, two P-51 Mustangs and F-16 Fighting Falcon fly in formation during the 2015 Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 28, 2015. USAF photo by Chris Massey
A P-47 Thunderbolt, two P-51 Mustangs and F-16 Fighting Falcon fly in formation during the 2015 Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 28, 2015. USAF photo by Chris Massey

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (D-M) is known mainly for its role as the boneyard for combat and civil aircraft that reach the end of their service life. New arrivals expected here soon are 18 A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support aircraft, to be removed from active units and placed here in ‘Backup-Aircraft Inventory’ (BAI) status with the possibility to convert another 18 at a later date in fiscal year 2015. The A-10s will join thousands of other aircraft parked here, slowly disintegrating into scrap under the desert sun.

But for some there is resurrection. One of the lucky ones was B-52 Stratofortress called ‘Ghost Rider’ took to the sky after spending seven years in the boneyard. Tail number 61-1007′ Ghost Rider’ was not the average ‘guest’ at D-M. It was maintained at 1000-type storage, which is the most preserved level of aircraft storage. In late 2014, seven years after arriving at D-M, this bomber was chosen to rejoin the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC).

“It was chosen after thorough inspections and extensive engineering analysis,” said Capt. Chuck McLeod, the B-52 System Project Office team lead. Although well preserved, the blazing hot Arizona sun took its toll on the dormant aircraft bleaching sections of its exposed aluminum skin almost white, and causing the tires and major fuel lines to dry rot.

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A B-52H Stratofortress takes off after being taken out of long term storage Feb. 13, 2015, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The aircraft was decommissioned in 2008 and has spent the last seven years sitting in the “Boneyard,” but was selected to be returned to active status and will eventually rejoin the B-52 fleet. The B-52 was flown by the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group. (USAF photo by Master Sgt. Greg Steele)

Through the return to flight process technicians at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group replaced fuel bladders and lines were replaced, and by the end of January the crew successfully ran of all eight engines.

“I’ve been flying the B-52s since the 80s and it surprised me that after almost seven years… she cranked up just fine and we had no issues with the flight control systems.”said the pilot Col. Keith Schultz, 307th Operations Group commander and the most experienced B-52 pilot still flying in the Air Force.

The "Ghost Rider" is prepared for an early morning taxi test on Feb. 12, 2015, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The B-52H Stratofortress was decommissioned in 2008 and has been sitting in the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group's "Boneyard,” but is being restored to join the active fleet of B-52s. (USAF photo by Master Sgt. Greg Steele)
The “Ghost Rider” is prepared for an early morning taxi test on Feb. 12, 2015, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The B-52H Stratofortress was decommissioned in 2008 and has been sitting in the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group’s “Boneyard,” but is being restored to join the active fleet of B-52s. (USAF photo by Master Sgt. Greg Steele)
An aerial shot taken by Glenn Watson of Mach Point One Aviation Photography during the Heritage Flight Certification Course over Davis Monthan . Photo: Glenn Watson
An aerial shot taken by Glenn Watson of Mach Point One Aviation Photography during the Heritage Flight Certification Course over Davis Monthan Photo: Glenn Watson
Two F-86 Sabres and an F-22 Raptor fly in formation during the 2015 Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 27, 2015. (USAF photo by Chris Massey)
Two F-86 Sabres and an F-22 Raptor fly in formation during the 2015 Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Feb. 27, 2015. (USAF photo by Chris Massey)

Another recent celebration at D-M was the Heritage Flight Training Certification Course (HFTCC), held Feb. 27 – March 1. HFTCC provided an opportunity to see WWII, Korea and Vietnam veteran planes flying with the latest air force jets. This annual aerial demonstration training event has been held at D-M since 2001, providing civilian and military pilots the opportunity to practice flying in formation for the upcoming air show season.

The aircraft that participated in this year’s HFTCC were the historic P-51 Mustang, P-40 Warhawk, P-38 Lightning, P-47 Thunderbolt and the F-86 Sabre. Air Combat Command aircraft included the F-22 Raptor and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Established in 1997, the HFTCC features aerial demonstrations from historical and modern fighter aircraft which will fly in formation together during air shows across the country.

Check more excellent photos and live reports on D-M facebook page.

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Sitting in a wheelchair with images of airplanes on his shirt and a U.S. Army Air Corps hat on his head, 92-year-old retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel was reunited with the P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course here Feb. 28. Hertel flew the legendary Thunderbolt while stationed on Iwo Jima, Japan, during World War II. He had not seen the aircraft since retiring from the military in the 1960’s. The log book presented to him showed Hertel’s flights over Iwo Jima, during World War II. The P-47 pilots ended WWII with 3,752 air-to-air kills while flying more than 423,000 sorties. (Photo: USAF by Senior Airman Jensen Stidham)

 

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Developed in partnership with Finmeccanica-Selex ES, the P.1HH HammerHead UAS is currently going through a comprehensive development and certification flight test campaign, conducted at the Trapani Birgi Italian Air Force base. The maiden flight was completed last December at Trapani Birgi.

The aerodynamic configuration of the P.1HH Hammerhead unmanned aircraft has a new, extended span main wing, an autonomous flight control and modular mission payloads, adapted for specific mission profiles. Photo: Piaggio.

The Italian Air Force will be the launch customer of the P.1HH HammerHead Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The manufacturer, Piaggio Aerospace will deliver three UAS systems – 6 air vehicles and 3 ground control stations – complete with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) configuration to the Italian Air Force in early 2016.

“We are truly delighted about this decision. It confirms the strong partnership we have with the Italian Air Force and showcases the P.1HH as one of the most advanced systems to enter the market.” Carlo Logli, CEO of Piaggio Aerospace said. “We have very concrete reasons to believe that P.1HH will become the first European state-of-the-art MALE UAS, uniquely suited to perform a wide range of surveillance and security missions at the highest technological level”, Logli added. Piaggio Aerospace announced today at the IDEX defense expo in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of the Italian Air Force Chief, Lt. Gen. Pasuquale Preziosa.

The P.1HH HammerHead is a derivative of the Piaggio Aerospace P.180 twin turboprop aircraft, designed with a variety of operational capabilities that can be tailored to specific customer requirements, enabling the UAS to perform a wide range of ISR missions. The P.180 has a proven service record of over 20 years and more than 800,000 flight hours, providing a proven, reliable platform for the new UAV derivative.

Developed in partnership with Finmeccanica-Selex ES, the P.1HH HammerHead UAS is currently going through a comprehensive development and certification flight test campaign, conducted at the Trapani Birgi Italian Air Force base. The maiden flight was completed last December at Trapani Birgi.

Project Pilot Sergio Paloni, who led the flight crew said, “We are very pleased with the result of the maiden flight. The aerial vehicle was seamlessly operated remotely with no experienced flaws. We were also able to gather significant data which will enable us to forge ahead with our ambitious development roadmap”.

This achievement came after the completion of the P.1HH UAS demo program and represents the starting point of a comprehensive development and certification flight test campaign. It will enable Piaggio Aerospace to soon deliver to the market one of the most advanced MALE UAS.

The Prototype 001 is representative of the final aerodynamic configuration of the aircraft including the new, extended span main wing and the control systems on board. During the first flight, the Prototype 001 performed a shakedown flight over the Mediterranean Sea at a significant range of speed and altitude. The main flight objective was to conduct a first check of all the essential functions of the Air Vehicle and Ground Segment. The aerial vehicle management and control system, data link and ground control station are developed in partnership with Finmeccanica – Selex ES.

The Prototype 001 is representative of the final aerodynamic configuration of the aircraft including the new, extended span main wing and the control systems on board. During the first flight, the Prototype 001 performed a shakedown flight over the Mediterranean Sea at a significant range of speed and altitude. Photo: Piaggio
The Prototype 001 is representative of the final aerodynamic configuration of the aircraft including the new, extended span main wing and the control systems on board. During the first flight, the Prototype 001 performed a shakedown flight over the Mediterranean Sea at a significant range of speed and altitude. Photo: Piaggio

For the I-Derby RAFAEL utilized a new, Software Defined Active Radar seeker, based on combat-proven seeker developed by RAFAEL for the Tamir missile, used with the company's Iron Dome counter Rocket, Artillery and Missile (C-RAM) system.

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For the I-Derby RAFAEL utilized a new, Software Defined Active Radar seeker, based on combat-proven seeker developed by RAFAEL. Derby (left) and Python V (right) are fielded by a number of air forces, equipping combat aircraft and surface-to-air missile systems – the Spyder. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

RAFAEL is unveiling at Aero India 2015 a new version of the Derby missile. Designated I-Derby, the new missile is equipped with a new seeker, employing an advanced Software Defined Radar (SDR) based on combat proven technology derived from the Tamir interceptor, the interceptor used in RAFAEL’s Iron Dome system.

RAFAEL is unveiling at Aero India 2015 a new version of the Derby missile, a first step in a major revamp of the Israeli medium range BVR missile that has been in service since the mid 1990s.

India is already operating hundreds of Derby missiles with its Spyder Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missiles (QRSAM) and Sea Harrier fleet. Given their improved capabilities advanced versions of the Derby are also likely to be considered to equip the Indian Air Force Tejas LCA and improved Su-30MKI.

Rafael developed the Derby missile in the late 1980s as ‘Beyond Visual Range’ missile. Initially developed as an air/air missile, Derby proved as a highly capable weapon for medium and short range engagements as well, offering an alternative guidance technique to traditional heat seeking or imaging infra-red. In the mid 2000s Derby become part of the Spyder Short Range Air Defense System (SHORAD). The missiles have been fielded by a number of air forces, including India, Brazil, Singapore and Chile.

The Derby is equipped with an active radar seeker to provide the missile a ‘fire and forget’ engagement capability, beyond visual range and under all weather conditions. The new version modernizes one of the weapon’s key elements – the active radar seeker – which represents 1990s technology. For the I-Derby RAFAEL utilized a new, Software Defined Active Radar seeker, based on combat-proven seeker developed by RAFAEL for the Tamir missile, used with the company’s Iron Dome counter Rocket, Artillery and Missile (C-RAM) system.

Using an active radar for target seeking, the missiles enables multi-shot engagement from surface or air-launched platforms. With this sensor and its signal processing algorithms the missile enables look-down/shoot-down capability, and advanced operating modes, adding to the ‘fire and forget’. Further improvements are enabled for the missile’s ECCM capability, tailoring the weapon’s behaviour to the customer’s operational requirements.

The new version retains the same dimensions and maintains the kinematic performance of the original missile, while offering improved capabilities and flexibility to implement new operating modes, rendered by the new seeker.

“The Indian move from buying military hardware abroad (BUY) to producing such systems in country (MAKE) is an important development for RAFAEL, as it enables us to exploit one of our major advantages as a developer – our ability to cooperate, transfer know how and support local production

V. Adm(Ret) Yedidia ‘Didi’ Yaari, President and CEO of RAFAEL

Israel’s defense technology group RAFAEL, known for the development of the Iron Dome Counter Rocket and Missile and Trophy active protection systems is back at Aero India with new surprises – this time, its about C-DOME, a compact yet highly capable naval air defense system, superior versions of the Litening targeting pods and Reccelite reconnaissance systems, as well as advanced communications, command and control that have recently selected for the Indian Air Force future information system.

RAFAEL unveiled at Aero-India 2015 the C-DOME, a naval air defense system integrating a modified version of Iron Dome's  Tamir interceptor with vertical launchers fitting Barak 1 canisters. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
RAFAEL unveiled at Aero-India 2015 the C-DOME, a naval air defense system integrating a modified version of Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor with vertical launchers fitting Barak 1 canisters. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

Through 2014 Rafael Advanced Defense Systems completed a major structural reorganization that established three divisions – Land and Naval Systems Division, Air and C4ISR Systems Division and Air Dominance Division. “The new formation reflects RAFAEL’s new business focus to best respond to opportunities and needs of its customers and partners.” Yedidia ‘Didi’ Yaari, President and CEO of RAFAEL told Defense-Update, “I expect these changes to continue our growth in the traditional areas of operation as well as in the new cyber domain.”

RAFAEL has recently won a major order to supply thousands of SPIKE missiles to the Indian Army. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
RAFAEL has recently won a major order to supply thousands of SPIKE missiles to the Indian Army. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

“India remains a strategic partner for our operation and a major target for our marketing activities, we are offering here many of our top capabilities.” Yaari stated, “The Indian move from buying military hardware abroad (BUY) to producing such systems in country (MAKE) is an important development for RAFAEL, as it enables us to exploit one of our major advantages as a developer – our ability to cooperate, transfer know how and support local production.“ Yaari explained.

Yesterday RAFAEL and the Indian Kalyani Group announced the formation of a Joint Venture Company in India based on the new ownership model (51:49). “We see Kalyani Group as an ideal partner for expanding our business opportunities in India. We have supported and will continue to support the Indian Ministry of Defense in gaining technological superiority to technological excellence.” Yaari commented.

RAFAEL's BNET was selected as the future airborne radio for the Indian Air Force. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
RAFAEL’s BNET was selected as the future airborne radio for the Indian Air Force. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

Inherent in RAFAEL’s corporate cultural, these attributes have helped us to establish over 100 successful partnerships in Israel and with foreign governments and defense companies around the globe. “These partnerships leverage RAFAEL’s unique technological edge and proven systems, into defense solutions used successfully around the world.” Yaari added.

“One of our strengths in becoming an attractive partner, is our ability to meet technology transfer, local production and offset requirements” said Yaari. “Although we have yet to finalized the Spike contract, this important win for RAFAEL is a testament of our ability to meet those requirements and we are excited and honored by the Indian decision to equip its military with our missiles.” These missiles are currently produced in a number of countries and, according to Yaari, RAFAEL is currently establishing the infrastructure for industrial cooperation that will enable technology transfer to locally produce the Spike missiles in India. “We consider the Indian industry as a true partner in this field, as in areas related to other RAFAEL activities in India, and are confident that this partnership will be introduce an important added value, particularly to the customer and end user.” Yaari added.

The new policy is not about saving on imports, but increasing the domestic market capability to support defense – by boosting investment, expanding manufacturing, support enterprise, raise the technology level and increase economic growth in India.

Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

“Over the last eight months we have worked hard to create that environment for you” India’s Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi said at the inauguration ceremony of Aero India 2015.

The new policy is not about saving on imports, but increasing the domestic market capability to support defense – by boosting investment, expanding manufacturing, support enterprise, raise the technology level and increase economic growth in India.

“In India, the defense industry in the government sector alone employs nearly 200,000 workers and thousands of engineers and scientists.” Modi said, adding that they produce an output of nearly 7 billion dollars annually. It also supports a very large pool of small and medium enterprises. “We speak in terms of national capacity, not public sector or private sector” he added.

Nevertheless, India’s defense industry in private sector is still small, it already employs thousands of people; the role of the private sector in defense is expanding, even for major platforms, but the majority of defense procurements (60%) are imported. “We are spending tens of billions of dollars on acquisitions from abroad.” Modi noted.

“We speak in terms of national capacity, not public sector or private sector”

“There are studies that show that even a 20 to 25% reduction in imports could directly create an additional 100,000 to 120,000 highly skilled jobs in India.” Modi argued, “If we could raise the percentage of domestic procurement from 40% to 70% in the next five years, we would double the output in our defense industry.” He added, “Imagine the impact in terms of jobs created directly and in the related manufacturing and services sector!”

Part of the new policy is easing the rules of foreign investments and joint ventures. “We have permitted investments up to 24% by Foreign Institutional Investments. And, there is no longer a need to have a single Indian investor with at least a 51% stake. Industrial licensing requirements have been eliminated for a number of items. Where it is needed, the process has been simplified.”

The Indian Kalyani Group and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd of Israel announced today the formation of a Joint Venture Company in India based on the new ownership model (51:49).

“We are in step with ‘Make in India’ campaign.” said Amit Kalyani, Executive Director, “The Government had recently increased the FDI cap in defense to 49%, and we hope that our proposed partnership with Rafael will be among the first few ventures under the new FDI limits.”

The initiative will enable the development and production of high-end technology systems within the country. This will include a wide range of technologies and systems, like Missile Technology, Remote Weapon Systems and Advanced Armor Solutions.

“Kalyani Group has been at the forefront in initializing the ‘Make in India’ campaign.” Baba Kalyani, Chairman & MD, said, “As part of this campaign we aim to develop and produce high end technology systems and expand the Defense Industry Base in our country. We believe in the vision of ‘Make in India’ and our proposed Joint Venture with Rafael is a step in this direction.”

“We see Kalyani Group as an ideal partner for expanding our business opportunities in India. We have supported and will continue to support the Indian Ministry of Defense in gaining technological superiority to technological excellence.” Vice Admiral (Retd), Yadida Yaari, CEO, Rafael said.

Another aspect of the Indian policy is the offsets system. According to Modi, “Offsets are a crucial instrument to develop and upgrade our defense industry. We have introduced significant reforms in our offsets policy. I am acutely aware that it still needs a lot of improvements. We will pursue them in consultation with domestic industry and our foreign partners.” Modi noted.

Modi emphasized offsets policy not as a means to export low-end products, but to acquire state-of-the art technology and skills in core areas of priority. New business awarded by the Boeing Company is examples of this new trend.

The company has recently awarded Bharat Forge contracts for titanium forging, for the supply of wing components for Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAX production lines. These multi-year contracts are part of the company’s strategy to expand global forging capacity to improve cost and reduce waste.

Bharat Forge will produce the parts at its facilities in Pune and Baramati delivering first examples in the first quarter of 2016. The titanium parts will be heat-treated, shaped in a forging press, and machined by Bharat Forge before being shipped to Boeing Portland for finish machining into components.

The contract reinforces the Boeing supply chain strategy to expand our forging supply base through partnering with high performance companies like Bharat Forge. Boeing currently has forging contracts with suppliers in Asia, Europe, Russia, and North America and will continue to add new sources of forgings around the world.

“In a competitive world where our customers are increasingly demanding more for less, this delivery is a milestone that demonstrates the capability we are scaling-up with our supply-chain partners, right here in India,” said Prat Kumar president for Boeing India.

Under a second contract with Boeing, Dynamatic Technologies has delivered the first set of aft pylon and cargo ramp assemblies for Boeing’s CH-47F Chinook helicopter.

“Our defense industry will succeed more if we can transform the manufacturing sector in India”

“We set up a new assembly line with Dynamatic Technologies soon after the Prime Minister formally launched the ‘Make in India’ program in September 2014. Going forward, our participation will continue to accelerate with support from government and our industry partners,” Kumar added.

Dynamatic’s relationship with Boeing began in 2010 with the award of a contract to supply mission and power equipment cabinets for the P-8I maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft. In 2013, Boeing placed its first H-47 Chinook helicopter contract in India with Dynamatic for aft-pylon and cargo ramp assemblies.

A third contract announced this week highlights how defense import can help increasing employment in India. It is a five-year contract worth US$28.5 million awarded by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to BAE Systems, for Ground Support Equipment, Spares, Support and Training for the Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainer. The Hawk Mk132 is produced under license in India, by and the support package will enable HAL to establish a Repair & Overhaul facility for the aircraft in advance of a major servicing milestone anticipated in 2016, securing employment stability at HAL’s facilities in Bangalore.

Government’s support for research and development is essential for defense sector. And, it should also be accompanied by a degree of assurance on purchase.

Another focal point in the new policy is the support for innovation, research and development. “We are introducing a scheme to provide up to 80% of funding from the Government for development of a prototype in India. And, we are also launching a Technology Development Fund.” Modi announced. “We must develop a financing system suited to the special needs of this industry. It is a market where buyers are mainly governments, the capital investments are large and the risks are high” he added. “Our defense industry will succeed more if we can transform the manufacturing sector in India.” Modi concluded.

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Elbit Systems CEO: “We expect this market to open for more competition and are positioning here the Hermes 900 and Hermes 450, as well as mini and small UAS.” Under its HALBIT - JV company with HAL the company is also proposing to establish a training and simulation center in India, similar to the facility the company operates for the Israel Air Force.

Bezhalel 'Butzi' Machlis, President & CEO, Elbit Systems
Bezhalel ‘Butzi’ Machlis, President & CEO, Elbit Systems

Israel’s leading defense company, Elbit Systems’ is witnessing the rebound in demand for advanced systems from defense and homeland security throughout Asia, particularly in India, a trend that would benefit the company in the long term.

In the short term, the company has to overcome quite a few obstacles, among them, is penetrating the Indian unmanned systems market. While the company’s Hermes 900 has won eight sales worldwide since its introduction in 2009, it hasn’t been successful selling UAVs to India.

cooperation is part of Elbit Systems’ DNA

“India has an increasing demand for unmanned systems.” Bezhalel ‘Butzi’ Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems told Defense-Update. “We expect this market to open for more competition and are positioning here the Hermes 900 and Hermes 450, as well as mini and small UAS of the Skylark family. The versatility of those systems is highly suitable for a wide range of applications, carrying EO, SAR, maritime surveillance, electronic intelligence payloads and more.” Machlis noted, “Our unique position is in providing a full solution, integrating the platform, sensors and ground-based functions into a robust, highly integrated solution.”

Enhanced virtual training can be performed on a real training mission or in a simulator, using Elbit Systems' EVA Enhanced Virtual Avionics (EVA) and TARCO helmet moutred display sight. Photo: Elbit Systems
Enhanced training can be performed on a real training mission or in a simulator, using Elbit Systems’ EVA Embedded Virtual Avionics (EVA) and TARGO helmet mounted display sight. Photo: Elbit Systems

Another growth area for Elbit in India is training and simulation. “We identified pilot and aircrew training as one of the growth areas for the company.” Through the years Elbit Systems developed a wide range of training systems, including range-less air-combat instrumentation (ACMI), virtual avionics, and flight and mission simulators for aircrews of manned aircraft and helicopters, as well as operators of unmanned systems” Said Machlis. The company also established and is maintaining comprehensive training centers for the Israel Air Force, and is currently offering similar facilities in India, under HALBIT – a joint venture company established with HAL.

“We expect the Indian UAV market to open for more competition”

At Aero India Elbit Systems is highlighting the SkyBreaker, a networked multi-cockpit, Mission Training Center (MTC) that supports different aircraft types, by presenting aircrews with high-fidelity, simulator-based training. providing realistic, simulated battlefield training using all aircraft systems and mission scenarios to enhance all levels of pilot training. Other solutions offered by Elbit Systems include Embedded Virtual Avionics, providing on-board system functionality simulation on trainer aircraft and EHUD ACMI system, as part of its offering for the Indian air force, navy and army aviation.

 

Elbit is offering a range of  guided weapons, from the SPAR kit for 80mm laser guided rockets to the Lizard laser/GPS guidance kit for aerial bombs. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
Elbit is offering a range of guided weapons, from the STAR kit for 80mm laser guided rockets to the Lizard laser/GPS guidance kit for aerial bombs. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

Responding to the customers’ call of ‘doing more with less’, Elbit Systems is growing its activity in the outsourcing of non-critical services. As defense forces are ‘privatising’ logistical, training and support activities to industry partners providing such services in a more affordable, Elbit Systems has developed efficient ways to introduce its services this area. “We have recently won major contracts with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), for the maintenance of F-16 avionics, and electro-optic systems; we provide full service support for the Israel Air Force flight training fleet, supporting the fleet of training helicopters, T-6B, M346 and Grob 120, aircraft which we actually own, offering flying hours on those trainers to the IAF.” Machlis noted. Under a similar program Elbit Systems also manages and operates the Israeli firefighting squadron, providing a lifesaving emergency response service covering the entire country.

The company is also won an IAF contract to establish and operate a ‘SkyBreaker’ based simulation center providing realistic training for IAF fighter pilots. “Few companies in the world are capable of integrating such expertise and offer it under one roof to the customer” Machlis claims.

Addressing the growing challenges of insurgency and terrorism, Elbit Systems is expanding its offering of homeland security, counter terror and law enforcement applications. These systems range from the MUSIC Directional Infra-Red CounterMeasures (DIRCM), addressing the growing threat of Man Portable Anti-Aircraft Missiles (MANPADS). MUSIC has been supplied to customers worldwide, including installations on VIP helicopters (AW101) and military platforms such as the Italian Air Force C-130J, C-27J, and AW101 CSAR helicopters and German A400 and Brazilian C390.

MUSIC - directional IR countermeasure system has been integrated in a number of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
MUSIC – directional IR countermeasure system has been integrated in a number of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

Further enhancing aircraft self-protection from advanced threats, the company also offers the compact, highly integrated ECM systems as well as the ‘IR-CENTRIC’ defensive EO/IR suite protecting system for combat aircraft and helicopters from enemy fire and missile attack. “Our Wise Intelligence Technology (WIT) is another solution, providing all source intelligence system, it has been expanded to provide solutions for military and counter terror, homeland security and law enforcement applications.” Machlis added.

Elbit Systems continues to lead in providing solutions to operational challenges, in defense, homeland security and cyber domains. In the past year Elbit Systems had quite a few achievements in this area. Among the most recent achievements were major orders for observation towers guarding the US border with Mexico and an order for a comprehensive HLS system from a country in Latin America.

“The Indian customers are very demanding, but they know what they want and appreciate technology” Machlis concluded. “We have partnerships with a number of companies, including Hindustan Aircraft, Bharat Electronics and Bharat Forge. The Indian market is growing and opening for cooperation – cooperation is part of Elbit Systems’ DNA. We understand this market and appreciate the changes. We expect the new policies to help expand those partnerships”.

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Elbit Systems’ booth at Aero India 2015.

 

In the next three days we will publish interviews with Israel's top defense industry executives, highlight new opportunities discussed with India and feature some of the topics and new products on display here at Aero India. 

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Another Mega Deal on the way – India is set to order two additional PHALCON AEW&C aircraft from IAI, along with four aerostat-borne radars, as part of a $1.5 billion buy. Photo: Rami Mizrachi

Shadowed by the huge growth in defense acquisitions from the US, Israel remains one of the fastest growing defense suppliers in India, a position that is particularly impressive given the fact that Israel is not selling India the main platforms, but the systems and subsystems that are critical for their operational success.

While India is relying on the US for its transport planes, helicopters and maritime surveillance, and Russia providing the combat aircraft, armored vehicles and naval vessels and submarines, Israel has been providing systems that empower those platforms. Among the systems Israel has provided India since 2004 were advanced airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) systems integrated into Russian hmodified IL-76MD transport planes. India is interested in acquiring two additional Phalcon AEW&C and four EL/M-2083 aerostat borne radars, in a deal worth almost $1.5 billion.

This deal is one of the topics discussed during the visit of Israel’s defense minister Lt. General (ret) Moshe Yaalon in India this week. Past Indian procurements in Israel also included air defense systems and electronic warfare systems installed on Russian and Indian naval ships, targeting pods carried by most of the Indian front line fighter jets, avionics and weaponry adapted to existing fighter jets, extending the operational capabilities of the country’s aging fleets of Sea Harrier and Jaguar and Mi-24 attack helicopters, as well as modern electronic systems upgrading hundreds of Indian T-72 Main Battle Tanks. Other systems provided by Israel were not easily available elsewhere – including aerial refueling systems, anti-ballistic-missile radars and aerostats, designed to provide ad-hoc aerial surveillance of specific areas.

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Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India visiting IAI booth at the Israeli National Pavilion at Aero India 2015. Photo: IAI

“In the military field, Israel and India share common threats. The technological cooperation between the two countries significantly benefits both countries,” Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Mishel Ben Baruch, Director of Israel’s defense export directorate ‘SIBAT’ said, “this cooperation enables us to better counter these threats – with Israel ready to share its experience and operationally-proven, cutting-edge technologies with India”.

Although India recognized Israel in 1950, it remained politically ‘non-aligned’, until the early 1990s, when the two countries forged closer defense relations. It was only in the late ‘90s when the Indian-Israeli relations reached their full scope. In the 2000s India became the largest customer for Israel’s defense exports. Although the pace of new business slowed down in recent years, the volume of deals, and ongoing cooperation programs maintained the Israeli momentum in India.

Initially ‘testing the friendship’, India has acquired limed numbers of systems, such as ground surveillance radars, with Israel’s defense leaders IAI, Elbit Systems and IMI paving the roads into the Indian market. The turning point was the Kargil War of 1999, a conflict that broke out between India and Pakistan, both were already nuclear powers at the time. During the conflict that lasted about two months Israel supported India sending ammunition, and unmanned aerial systems (UAVs). The Indians appreciated the Israeli effort and have expanded defense relations with the Jewish state ever since, despite criticism from left wing and Muslim opposition.

Last year Indo-Israeli relations boosted even further, with the election of the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), lead by Narendra Modi as prime minister. Members of the new government, especially Modi, have expressed their support for Israel in the past and in the short term since their election have opened several ‘bottlenecks’ that plagued defense business with Israel for years. These included two contracts worth over $600 million, the order of 262 Barak I naval air defense missiles long required for the Indian Navy. With delivery scheduled for December 2015, 14 ships that presently lack missile systems will be outfitted with the Barak-1. The procurement of those missiles was delayed for years by an investigation of corruption that was proven groundless by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). However, it took the Indians almost a year to clear the Barak deal.

The second major announcement was the Indian decision to acquire more than 8,000 Spike multi-purpose missiles, to be used as a replacement for the aging Milan. Although the Spike was selected as the only missile fulfilling the Indian requirements, final decision had been stuck since 2010, as the US proposed the Javelin under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Government-to-Government. This effort delayed the Indian decision for four years, but the Indian stand did not change. The Indians favored the Israeli missile over the US Javelin, primarily due to the potential of local production and technology transfer, a factor that was a major focus for Indian decision makers in their acquisition decisions from the western world.

Israel and India are enhancing their cooperation on counterterrorism. The Mumbai attack, and growing threats of jihadist terrorist movements and radical movements originating in the Middle East are spreading to Asia and India, with its large Moslem population could benefit from such intelligence cooperation. Part of this effort has been ongoing for years, equipping Indian special-forces and counter terrorism units with Israeli weapons such as Tavor Assault Rifles, Negev and B-300 rocket launchers.

Cybersecurity has recently become a major field of cooperation, as the two countries are tightening their cooperation in this field. These activities are aimed primarily at government establishments and corporations, Israel has already implemented such defensive measures and a linkage between the two countries could benefit India, providing early warning and higher security levels. Israel could benefit from deployment of security measures on a larger scale, contributing to better coverage of potential threats.

Israel is attentive and open to India’s priority on technology transfer. In fact, this attitude was reflected with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that expressed Israel’s readiness and willingness “to discuss transfer and development of technologies with India.” He further added that, “Israeli industries, including the defense industries, could ‘make in India,’ and thereby reduce costs of manufacturing products and systems developed by Israel.”

Israeli companies were also invited to provide and help integrate weapons, avionics and sensors for a number of jet fighters, helicopters, armored fighting vehicles, naval vessels and submarines. Among the systems included were are air/air missiles, helmet mounted sights, radars, precision guided weapons and targeting pods, digital displays and avionic modules for modernized ‘Glass Cockpits’, advanced electronic warfare systems, communications and more. A number of Israeli developed ammunition types were also ordered, some specially developed for the Indian market, supporting the Russian made tank guns and artillery rockets.

The Indian Navy has also taken the Barak I missile defense system, electronic support measures (ESM) and electronic warfare (EW) for naval vessels, and satellite communications terminals supporting Indian naval vessels.

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India has always marked cutting edge technologies as its main goal. India has unique, operational needs and we are committed to harness our best minds and technologies towards achieving the challenges set by India.

Joseph Weiss, President & CEO, IAI
Joseph Weiss, President & CEO, IAI

As Israel’s largest aerospace and defense enterprise, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is positioned as a leading player in the global defense, security, and commercial aerospace market. “The fusion between our military and commercial activities is one of the things that sets us apart from the competition, and I believe that the balance between these two fields will become more efficient in the future”. Joseph Weiss, President and CEO of IAI told Defense-Update.

“The Israeli market provides an excellent testing ground for the complex, cutting edge applications IAI develops” Weiss said. “Our customers and partners know that these operational solutions, developed for our own forces are critical for our national security; many of them are combat proven by the IDF. This gives us a clear advantage.” IAI unveiled its latest special mission maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) based on Bombardier Global 5000 just before Aero-India 2015. “Our new business-jet based MPA, in concert with UAS and shore-based systems will provide unmatched maritime domain superiority.”

In 5-6 years 20% of IAI sales will come from land-and maritime-related activities

“We are investing significant resources in research and development, particularly in areas we see as the company’s future growth engines. We place a strong emphasis on unmanned aerial systems, missile defense systems and intelligence systems as well as cyber security, robotics, and air-defense.” According to Weiss, IAI is constantly expanding its infrastructure and modes of operation to match the growing competition in global markets, strengthening its position in non-aerospace markets. In 5-6 years IAI expects to establish land-and maritime-related activities and represent around 20 percent of the company’s total sales.
In recent years the Asia-Pacific Aerospace & Defense market has experienced a period of strong growth. On the backdrop of declining defense budgets in Europe and North America, Asia-Pacific is becoming the world’s largest growth market for aerospace and defense systems.

As Israel’s largest defense exporter, IAI has been growing its business in Asia and particularly in India and is expected to continue expanding its activities here. Among the systems recently transferred or currently underway to India are Barak 8 that was co-developed with India, as part of the LRSAM naval air defense and MRSAM land-based air defense systems; the PHALCON Airborne Early Warning aircraft is now operational, as a large numbers of Heron unmanned aircraft systems and various types of radars.

IAI considers some of these local activities as ‘growth engines’ for the future, in particular, the unmanned systems, special mission aircraft and air defense. In addition, IAI is ready and prepared for broad industrial collaborations and cooperation in response to new Indian requirements. “I believe that partnering with defense companies abroad is a good way to maximize business potential, to enter new markets and to increase our operations in existing ones.” Weiss stated.

IAI already has various collaborations with different partners and organizations in India, mainly, in the air-defense and radar systems. The company is acting to expand its collaborations with government and private owned companies in India. Just before Aero India 2015 IAI and Alpha Design Technologies have signed a teaming agreement for the local production of IAI’s mini-UAVs in India. The purpose of this JV is to better position IAI’s mini-UAVs to potential customers in India, including security agencies, coast guards, defense organizations and border security forces.

“Technology transfer allows IAI to get acquainted and team up with new foreign companies”

“Mergers and acquisitions are important to us because, in the current climate, countries want to retain work in their domestic market, and therefore we should be able to function locally in the target market. IAI also sees offset as an enabler for success in international markets. Not only are offset obligations expected to reduce arms acquisition costs, they are also expected to stimulate economic development and employment within purchasing countries” Weiss said.

Technology transfer has also been an issue with previous Indian procurement deals. According to Weiss, IAI transfers technology within the boundaries of the appropriate licenses, as part of these offset programs. “Technology transfer allows IAI to get acquainted and team up with new foreign companies as partners on some occasions and as sub-contractors in others. Some of those new relationships grow into sustainable relationships independent of the original offset program”.

“The rules of operation in India are very clear, unique and organized, and place an emphasis on offset commitments. IAI respects these rules and operates by them. We do hope that some of the restrictions will be eased for the benefit of the entire industries and customers. “

“India’s technological and operational requirements are highly advanced. India has always marked cutting edge technologies as its main goal. In addition, India has unique, operational needs and we are committed to harness our best minds and technologies towards achieving the challenges set by India.” Weiss concluded.

IAI display at Aero India 2015 highlights the company's broad product line of UAVs, Radars and Missiles. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update.
IAI display at Aero India 2015 highlights the company’s broad product line of UAVs, Radars and Missiles. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update.

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The flight tests that took place at the White Sands Missile Test Range, were the final flight events required prior to Milestone C and the start of Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

Raytheon Company and the U.S. Air Force completed two successful Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II) all-up round live fire test flights that demonstrated the weapon’s ability to detect, track and destroy moving targets. The flight tests that took place at the White Sands Missile Test Range, were the final flight events required prior to Milestone C and the start of Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

In September ’14 the weapons scored three direct hits against stationary and moving targets, using SDB II’s Guided Test Vehicle (GTV). In the recent flights live warheads replaced the GTV  telemetry payloads, proving the weapon’s end-to-end tactical configuration that will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force and Navy. Raytheon is planning to continue to execute GTV and live fire flight tests in the coming months, as the program enters LRIP.

An all-weather weapon that continues to provide precision even in limited visibility scenarios, SDB II can fly over 45 miles to meet its target, allowing the warfighter to maintain a secure distance from the threat. Photo: Raytheon
An all-weather weapon that continues to provide precision even in limited visibility scenarios, SDB II can fly over 45 miles to meet its target, allowing the warfighter to maintain a secure distance from the threat. An F-15E as seen in this photo can carry up to 28  SDB IIs, individually guided to hit pinpoint targets at ranges up to 45 nautical miles. Photo: Raytheon

“These tests showcased the weapon’s new multi-effects warhead that provides SDB II with the capability to destroy targets while reducing collateral damage,” said John O’Brien, Raytheon SDB II program director. “Working closely with our U.S. Air Force customer, Raytheon is delivering this game-changing solution that fills a critical capability gap for U.S. warfighters.”

The F35 can carry two SDB II racks in each of its two weapons bays, for a total of 16 SDB II load, in addition to two AMRAAM air/air missiles.
The F35 can carry two SDB II racks in each of its two weapons bays, for a total of 16 SDB II load, in addition to two AMRAAM air/air missiles.

SDB II (also designated GBU-53) employs an advanced tri-mode seeker comprising an uncooled, imaging infrared (IIR), semi-active laser and Millimeter wave Radar. These three modes enable the weapon to seek and destroy stationary or moving targets, even in adverse weather conditions from standoff ranges. The highly accurate SDB II offers warfighters the flexibility to change targets after release through a secure datalink that passes in-flight updates to the weapon.

The weapon can strike targets from a range of 45 nautical miles, with a dynamic warhead that can destroy both soft and armored targets, while keeping collateral damage to a minimum through a small explosive footprint.

The Department of Defense has validated SDB II as a weapon that meets a critical warfighter need and has invested more than $700 million in the SDB II program. The U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force have begun SDB II integration activities on the F-35, F/A-18E/F and F-16 aircrafts.

Raytheon, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force have begun Small Diameter Bomb II integration activities on the F-35, F/A-18E/F and F-16 aircrafts.
Raytheon, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force have begun Small Diameter Bomb II integration activities on the F-35, F/A-18E/F and F-16 aircrafts. Photo: Raytheon

 

The MMP is designed to replace the Milan missiles in service with the French Army. MBDA is set to supply 400 launchers and 2,850 MMP missiles to the army as part of a contract awarded by the DGA in December 2013. First deliveries are expected in 2017.

the Multi Purpose Combat Vehicle - MPCV modified to carry MMP missiles and Mistrals
the Multi Purpose Combat Vehicle – MPCV modified to carry MMP missiles and Mistrals

MBDA continued the firing test campaign of the new MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée – Medium range missile). Last week the company conducted two successful flights against steel plate targets located at intermediate range of more than four kilometers from the firing post.

The first test engaged a target using ‘lock on after launch’ mode, engaging a target that was hidden from view at launch. The second test held on 12th February, 2015 engaged the target at a similar range, using ‘fire and forget’ mode (lock on before launch) using the missile seeker’s colour TV channel channel.

Both tests took place at the French Procurement Agency (DGA) Techniques Terrestres site in Bourges central France. “All aspects of the test, covering launch, flight trajectory and target impact, took place optimally and fully conformed to the simulations of MBDA’s project teams.” MBDA’s communique said.

With this firing, another element in the analysis of MMP’s deployment envelope has been accomplished, the major part of which has already been completed. The main features that have been demonstrated in flight to date involve firing at long and intermediate ranges and using two types of missile trajectory (high and intermediate), seeker guidance via both the visible TV and un-cooled infrared channels, target lock on before and after launch, the latter thanks to the fibre-optic data-link.

The MMP is designed to replace the Milan missiles in service with the French Army. MBDA is set to supply 400 launchers and 2,850 MMP missiles to the army as part of a contract awarded by the DGA in December 2013. First deliveries are expected in 2017.

MMP undergoing wind tunnel testing during the missile's development
MMP undergoing wind tunnel testing during the missile’s development

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