March 31, 2012

Indian Air Force to get first off its 10 Boeing C17 Globemaster III in June 2013

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will get the delivery of its first Boeing C17 Globemaster III airlifter in June next year and the rest nine will join the force by August 2014.

“The test flight of the first C17 for India will begin in January. The certification will be done by May and the delivery will start in June. The training of IAF representatives will begin from May this year,” said Patrick Druez, business development (mobility) at Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

In June 2011, the Indian government approved the purchase of 10 C17s, amounting to $4.8 billion. The C17s will replace the IAF’s 17 Il-76 transports, which are only able to carry around 50,000 kg, compared to C17’s 74, 000 kg.

Being able to operate from short, mud-paved landing strips, such as those on India’s borders, the C17 can lift 75-tonne payloads to anywhere in China, Central Asia, the Gulf countries and much of Southeast Asia, without refuelling. Capable of carrying 188 passengers, or 102 fully-kitted paratroopers, the C17 can also transport a battle-loaded Arjun or T-90 tank, or a Chinook helicopter with its rotors dismantled. The IAF is in the process of upgrading its transport fleet, and recently took delivery of six Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules, to be used for special operations. It is also developing a medium transport with Russia and seeking new tanker aircraft.

The delivery of Boeing P8I, long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft, is also set to happen by the end of this year. The aircraft completed its first flight in September 2011, and is set to be delivered by December.

To upgrade military equipment, India plans to spend $100 billion over the next decade. One of India’s most ambitious projects is its joint development of a stealth fighter with Russia, based on the Sukhoi T-50. India will start taking delivery of 250 aircraft by 2015.

March 28, 2012

Pix : Oshkosh Light Combat Tactical All Terrain Vehicle

March 17, 2012

Germany Boosts Multirole Capability of Shrinking Tornado Fleet

BONN — The German Air Force is pushing ahead with an upgrade of its Panavia Tornadoes even though a plan to nearly halve the fleet is being significantly speeded up.
The company leading the upgrade effort, EADS’s defense and security subsidiary, Cassidian, said its first production aircraft with the new capability standard ASSTA 3.0 (Avionics System Software Tornado Ada) performed its maiden flight from its Manching site last month.

If the testing runs as scheduled, delivery of the first upgraded Tornado to the German Air Force is planned for mid-2012, said Germany’s biggest defense contractor. The Air Force expects the outfitting of all planes to be finished by mid-2015.
The testing milestone comes in the wake of the country’s military restructuring effort, which includes a cut in the number of Tornado fighter jets from 185 to 85 planes. That process has been sped up and is supposed to be finished by the end of this year.

The remaining aircraft get the technical upgrade, which could keep them multirole combat-ready beyond 2025.
ASSTA 3.0 includes the integration of NATO’s Multifunctional Information Distribution System, (MIDS) Link 16 communication standard, as well as outfitting them with a new radio and a digital video and data recorder.

Besides their improved communication with NATO installations and aircraft, the upgraded Tornadoes will also be able to deliver Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions (LJDAM), which can be guided to its target by satellite navigation or laser designator. Currently, German Tornadoes are only able to deliver the laser-guided GBU-24 Paveway II, and in the future the laser- or GPS-guided GBU-54 LJDAM.
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