Friday, February 27, 2015

Aircraft

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72 aircraft on display here at Aero India 2015 are demonstrating the scope and size this airshow has achieved in its 10th edition. Quite a few of these aircraft are made in India, among them the Indian Tejas (Light Combat Aircraft - LCA), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH Dhruv) – all were developed and manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL).

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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.

The Indian Air Force is planning to field over 270 Su-30MKI fighters in 14 squadrons. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update

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IRKUT Corporation of Russia will complete deliveries of Su-30MKI aircraft kits to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) this year. By that time, IRKUT Corporation will have successfully delivered 222 aircraft kits for assembly at (HAL) Nashik plant

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Dassault Aviation confirmed today the Arab Republic of Egypt’s decision to equip its air force with the Rafale fighter jet. "This decision is a continuation of our cooperation that dates back to the 1970s, and has seen the Mirage 5, the Alpha Jet and the Mirage 2000 fly in the colors of Egypt." Dassault commented. The Egyptian decision marks the second international selection of the French fighter, following the Indian selection of Rafale in 2012.

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Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is introducing a new maritime surveillance, and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft at Aero India 2015. The platform is based on a specially modified Bombardier Global 5000 business jet, configured with the new generation ELI-3360 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) system.

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DARPA is seeking to develop new ways to launch and deploy small satellites in orbit. One of the concepts being explored by the agency is the Air Launched Assist Space Access (ALASA), seeking to reduce cost, time and weather constraints for launching small satellites from an aircraft.

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Embraer today successfully performed the first flight of the new military transport and aerial refueling jet, the KC-390.

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Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) are conducting extensive testing toward the program's main milestone - declaring Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VFMA-121) at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma - the first Marine Corps F-35 unit 'operational ready' by the end of July 2015. Although only the USMC unit flying F-35B is due for this clearance, some of the testings are done on the Air Force's F-35A and Navy F-35Cs, since many of elements of the different variants, particularly the software versions - are identical. This procedure was recently highlighted by the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E) in his annual report.

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The Colombian Air Force (FAC) has reportedly grounded its entire fleet of Kfir C-10 jet fighters following a crash of one of the aircraft. According to Colombian sources, the J79-GE J1EQD engines powering the Kfir are believed to have caused four accidents involving the Kfir TC12/C10, in a series of accidents that claimed the life of one pilot.

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The Japan Ministry of Defense has selected the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, both produced by Northrop Grumman. According to the Japanese multi-year defense plan, the four E-2D will replace the E-2Cs currently operational, providing aerial surveillance for the Japanese military.

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