Monday, May 4, 2015

Aircraft

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Qatar has agreed to buy 24 Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighter jets in a deal worth 6.3 billion euros ($7 billion). France will start delivering Rafale fighter jets to Qatar from mid-2018 at the rate of 11 per year. The new order increases Dassault's Rafale export backlog to 84.

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France has performed the first launch and flight test of the 'Meteor' beyond visual range air-to-air missile from a Rafale combat jet. The missile is expected to be fielded in 2018 with the first batch of upgraded Rafale F3-R, which will also be fitted with RBE2 AESA radar and advanced Infrared Search Track system, enabling long-range engagement of hostile targets.

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Selex ES to supply 60 InfraRed Search and Track (IRST) Skyward for Saab's Gripen E. With the recent contract, added to AESA radar and IFF systems, Finmeccanica– Selex ES already provides about 30 percent of the Swedish next-generation fighter's electronics.

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LAAD 2014 Defense-Update: Following the Memorandum of Understanding announced on 11 July 2014, Saab and Embraer have signed today an agreement for the joint management of the F-X2 Project for the Brazilian Air Force. The sale of 36 Gripen NG aircraft to Brazil under a contract worth US$ 4.55 Billion provides for a complete, ‘turnkey weapon system’, with comprehensive logistic support that includes training, spare parts, support, planning and maintenance.

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India is doubling the number of Rafale jet fighters it intends to buy from France, increasing the quantity of aircraft built in France from 18 to 36. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and French president Francois Hollande have reached the agreement during their summit meeting today in Paris. The procurement will be part of a government-to-government (G2G) deal worth $7.5 billion.

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What seems to be the final stage of negotiation between India and France over the procurement of 126 Rafale fighter jets is turning into a circus, where New Delhi is walking on a tightrope, between approving the deal with dramatic cost increase (compared to the original budget) or ditching the plan, risking further delays in the IAF modernization.

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Dassault Aviation and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be ‘joint prime contractors’ to manufacture 118 Rafale fighters in India clearing the way as to who will assume responsibility for timely delivery and quality of the aircraft. The decision was described by Dassault chief executive Eric Trappier as a ‘new development’, implying that it may have been arrived at during the last few days or weeks.

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The Secretary of Defense has authorized the Air Force to place up to a total of 36 A-10 aircraft into BAI status. Although Congress has authorized 36 of the A-10 aircraft to be put into BAI status, the Air Force has elected for the time being to place fewer in BAI status.

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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.

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