Cavour Aircraft Carrier

On 22 November 2000, a contract was drawn up between Fincantieri and the Italian Ministry of Naval Defence to supply an aircraft carrier vessel, known as the nuova unita maggiore (NUM) or ‘new major vessel’, to the Italian Navy.

Building work on the new vessel, which was originally to be called the Andrea Doria but has been named the Cavour, began at Fincantieri’s shipyards in Riva Trigoso and Muggiano in July 2001.

The Cavour was launched in July 2004 and began sea trials in 2006. The aircraft carrier was delivered to the Italian Navy in April 2008 and entered service in June 2009. Cavour took part in the Haiti earthquake relief operations in early 2010.

Cavour aircraft carrier design


The ship has a standard displacement at full load of 27,100t, an overall length of 244m and a sustained speed of 27kt. The carrier’s runway is 180m×14m with a 12° ski jump. It can accommodate up to 1,292 people on board, including five flag officers/VIPs, 486 ship’s crew, 211 aircrew, an amphibious command force of 140, San Marco Battalion of 360, and an additional 90 troops.


A strong feature of the ship is its high flexibility in operational terms. It is able to carry out the functions of an aircraft carrier as well as the transport of wheeled and tracked vehicles, for both military and civil missions. The aircraft hangar can accommodate 100 light vehicles or 24 main battle tanks for amphibious missions. The ship can also support four LCVP landing craft. There are two 30t elevators for aircraft and two 15t elevators for armaments.



Aircraft Carrier Cavour Exits Drydock During F-35B Upgrade

November 26, 2019 (Google Translation) – The Cavour aircraft carrier out of the dry dock “Edgardo Ferrati” of the Naval Arsenal of Taranto, after having completed the work of careening began last July 20.

From December 2018 the aircraft carrier of the Navy is continuing the modernization and restructuring works, including the important periodic careening operation in addition to the metallization of the flight deck to contain the thermodynamic impacts of the F 35B aircraft. The work on the hull was carried out by applying a cutting-edge painting cycle in terms of protecting the marine environment.

F-35B: Details

Donato Tornotti

The modernization works will end in the spring of 2020 and were carried out by the personnel of the main national reference industries in the naval field, such as the Fincantieri and the Leonardo, but also thanks to the small-medium enterprise in Taranto, in addition to the workforce competition arsenalizie.

The choice made by the Navy to carry out the transformation works of the Cavour aircraft carrier in the Arsenale of Taranto is an expression of the commitment that the Armed Forces put in support of the city in consideration of the fallout, in economic terms, on the induced territory. Furthermore, thanks to the acquisition of new knowledge, technical, technological and logistic engineering skills, the aim was to enhance the local shipbuilding industry and to face the future needs of the fleet units for the next four years, such as the new Frigates and the new Multipurpose Patrol ‘Height.

The Maritime Military Arsenal is thus confirmed as the most important defense production company, strongly integrated in the productive fabric of the city of the two seas and a driving force for development and growth prospects for national and local industry.

At the end of the maintenance activities, the aircraft carrier Cavour will have to undergo a preparatory training period for the next departure for the United States, where it will conduct some tests with the F 35B aircraft on board.

The ship and its airborne component embarked are specialized capabilities of the Navy , decisive for the security of the country, such as flexible and remotely projectable tools capable of ensuring the defense of national interests “on the sea and from the sea”.

With the entry of new aircraft on the line, the Navy, the US Navy and the British Royal Navy will be the only marinas in the world to have aircraft carriers capable of operating with the F 35 aircraft . Source


Aircraft carrier function

The vessel is equipped with a flight deck suitable both for operations with helicopters and with short launch, vertical take-off fighter planes. It has a hangar / garage of approximately 2,500m² which can also accommodate wheeled and tracked land vehicles.

The Aviation (flickr)

The Aviation (flickr)

The ship can support eight VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft such as AV-8B Harrier or F-35 joint strike fighter VTOL variant, or 12 helicopters, such as the EH101, NH 90 or SH-3D, or a mix of platforms.

Landing operations are supported by the Telephonics AN/SPN-41A radio frequency all-weather instrument approach landing system and the Galileo Avionica SPN-720 advanced precision approach radar and the Thales tactical air navigation (TACAN) system.

Telephonics AN/SPN-41A

The Transmitting Set AN/SPN-41A is an electronic landing aid that provides proper flight path data to an approaching aircraft as the aircraft flies into range of ownship radar landing system or into visual contact with ownship optical landing system. The AN/SPN-41A has two separate transmitters (azimuth and elevation) with individual antennas used for sector scanning. The azimuth transmitter is installed on the ship’s stern at the centerline of, and slightly below the landing deck runway; while the elevation transmitter is located above the flight deck in th e vicinity of the after end of the island to provide the glide slope signal. The AN/SPN-41A uses one-way transmission, ship to air, to a receiver in the aircraft where the angular information is displayed on a cross-pointer indicator. With the vertical needle for azimuth guidance and the horizontal needle for vertical guidance, the aircraft becomes perfectly aligned with the runway centerline, on a standard glide path to the ship’s deck, when both needles are precisely centered. Though not technically a radar system, the AN/SPN-41A operates utilizing pulse mode in the Ku-band. AN/SPN-41 and AN-SPN-41A systems are installed aboard CV, CVN, LHA, and LHD class ships. The AN/ARA-63 aircraft approach control system uses the AN/SPN-41 and the AN/TRN-28 transmitting sets. It provides primary or backup instrument approach capability. Source

Galileo Avionica SPN-720 advanced precision approach radar


SPN-720 Shipborne Precision Approach Radar SPN-720 is a solid-state , Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) naval Precision Approach Radar, recognised as the smallest PAR available on the market

Main Features
  • CV NATOP Mode III landing, manual approach, ICAO compliant during which the radar controller relays continuous updates to the pilot on his position and direction via a secure VHF Channel
  • Frequency agile monopulse tracking with operating range from 60 m up to 12 nautical miles
  • The SPN-720 automatically adjusts the parallax error between the radar location and the landing path and can be operated as a stand-alone system or integrated with the ship Combat Management System
  • Provide simultaneous control of two aircraft. The Man-Machine Interface features two consoles each fitted with a PAR Display and an Air Search Display. The two consoles can operate in master/slave mode or dedicated to the assistance of one of the two simultaneous landing aircraft


Italian MoD

For the purposes of moving aircraft and vehicles embarked, two elevators are installed for aircraft and there are two access ramps to move vehicles from the quayside to the hangar / garage.

The Aviation (flickr)

The Aviation (flickr)


The Aviation (flickr)

Further features of the ship include a hospital facility with three operating rooms, wards for hospitalised patients, X-ray and CT equipment, a dentist’s surgery and a laboratory.

Cavour weapons

C550-Cavour-68 via

The carrier is armed with two Sylver eight-cell vertical launch systems for the Eurosam (jointly owned by MBDA and Thales) SAAM/IT missile system, which fires Aster 15 missiles. The Aster 15 missile has a 13kg warhead and a range of 30km. The missile’s guidance is inertial with data uplink and active radar terminal homing. For increased manoeuvrability in the terminal phase, the missile uses a ‘PIF-PAF’ direct thrust control system with gas jets.

2 x Sylver eight-cell vertical launch systems


Aster 15

The ASTER 15 and ASTER 30 are integrated on the SAAM (ASTER 15), PAAMS (ASTER 15 and ASTER 30) and SAMP/T (ASTER 30) air defense systems. These systems will be employed by the armed forces of France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

The two-stage ASTER missiles are provided with two different solid propellant boosters resulting in the ASTER 15 and the ASTER 30 models. The ‘Pif-Paf’ control system enables the ASTER missile to counter high maneuverable missiles achieving a direct impact (hit-to-kill). The ‘Pif-Paf’ propulsion combines conventional aerodynamic control with control by gas jets acting through the centre of gravity of the missile. Until mid-course the guidance of an ASTER missile is based on the Inertial Navigation System (INS) updated through an uplink, in the terminal phase the guidance is provided by an active Radiofrequency seeker. The final stage of the ASTER missile is a ‘dart’ equipped with the seeker, a sustainer motor, a proximity fuze and a blast fragmentation warhead.

The ASTER 15 is a short range missile intended for self-defense (point defense) purposes against highly maneuverable threats. The ASTER 15 is integrated on the SAAM and beginning in 2006 in the PAAMS system. Source

Primary sensor for the SAAM/IT is the Selex Sistemi Integrati (formerly Alenia Marconi Systems) Empar G-band multi-function phased array radar, which provides simultaneous surveillance, tracking and weapons control. The first ship-launched missile firing of the SAAM/IT system took place in December 2002.

The vessel is equipped with two Oto Melara 76mm super rapid guns and three 25mm anti-aircraft guns.

2 x Oto Melara 76mm super rapid


OtoBreda 76/62SR Super Rapid with DAVIDE/STRALES guidance system

The Oto-Melara / Oto-Breda 76/62SR 76mm (3-inches) 62-caliber Super Rapid gun is a lightweight, automatic loading, rapid fire naval gun system used against shore, sea and air targets.

Manufacturer: 1963-2001 Oto-Melara / 2001- OtoBreda
Produced: Compact: 1963- / Super Rapid: 1988-

Technical data:
Caliber: 3 inches / 76,2 mm
Barrel lenght: 186 inches / 4,72 meters (= 62 caliber)
Weight: 7900kg, empty (Super Rapid)
Shell: 76 x 900 mm / 12,34 kilograms
Elevation: – 15° to + 85°
Traverse: 360°
Rate of fire: Compact: 85 rpm / Super Rapid: selectable from single shot up to 120 rpm
Muzzle Velocity: 925 m/s (1100 m/s – DART)
Magazine: Compact: 80 rounds / SR: 85 rounds
16 kilometers with standard ammunition
20 km with extended range ammunition
up to 40 km with VULCANO ammunition


– Compact
– Super Rapid
– Stealth casing
– DAVIDE/STRALES radio frequency guidance system for DART guided ammunition

– HE (high explosive) – 6,296kg / Range 16km / effective range 8km (4km vs. air targets at elev. 85°)
– MOM (multi-role OTO munition)
– PFF (pre-formed fragmentation) – anti-missile ammunition
– SAPOM (semi-armored piercing OTO munition) – 6,35kg / Range 16km
– SAPOMER (semi-armored piercing OTO munition, extended range) – Range 20km
– DART (driven ammunition reduced time of flight) – sub-calibre guided ammunition against multiple targets
(missiles and maneuvering targets at sea) 4,2kg in barrel / 3,5kg in flight / 660mm lenght / effective range >8km
– VULCANO (76mm unguided and guided extended range ammunition) – under development

Oto-Breda 76/62SR 76mm (3-inches) Source

3 x 25mm anti-aircraft guns


Manufacturer: Oto-Melara (now OtoBreda)
Caliber: 25mm
Weight: 1050 kg without ammunition / 1200 kg ready to fire
Lenght: 3,85 meters
Ready to fire rounds: 252

Ammunition 25x80mm:
– High Explosive Incendiary with Tracer (HEI-T)
– Semi Armor Piercing High Explosive Incendiary with Tracer (SAPHEI-T)
– Armor Piercing Discarding-Sabot (APDS)
– Armor Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot (APFSDS)

Elevation: – 15° / + 50°
Traverse: 315°
Rate of fire: 570 rpm max.
Range: up to 2000 meters

Combat systems



The Aviation (flickr)

The Aviation (flickr)



Selex Sistemi Integrati (formerly AMS) is the integrator for the vessel’s combat system and also supplies systems including RAN 40L 3D D-band long-range radar, RASS RASS 30X/I surface radar, surveillance radar, SIR-R interrogation friend or foe (IFF) system and navigation system. Other members of the combat system team include Elettronica, Galileo Avionica and Oto Melara.


The Aviation (flickr)

The European Multifunction Phased Array Radar (EMPAR) is a rotating passive electronically scanning array (PESA) system that operates in the C-band. The radar provides information regarding the altitude, bearing, and distance of airborne objects within a 150 km radius.[i]With 60 rotations per minute, the radar offers a continuous 360-degree view.[ii] It has simultaneous tracking of up to 300 different targets and, in cooperation with the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) or the Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile System, can engage up to 12 targets at once.[iii] EMPAR can also be integrated with the Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS), providing guidance to Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles which are used for medium- and long-range air defense.[iv]

Quick Facts

Role and Mobility Threat Detection and Tracking; Ship-Mobile
Frequency C-Band
Range 150 km
Air Defense Interceptor Systems Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) and Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile System (SAAM/IT)
Targets Supersonic Aircraft, Supersonic Anti-Ship Missiles, and Cruise Missiles
Status/Exports Operational; Italy, France, Algeria
Producer Selex ES


RAN 40L 3D D-band long-range radar


The RAN-40L alias MM/SPS-798 (MM stands for Marina Militare, a nomenclature for the Italian Navy, similar to the US-Army/Navy’s nomenclature AN/…) is an L-Band 3D Long Range Early Warning Radar with fully solid-state active phased array antenna using monopulse techniques. Radar coverage is obtained by phase-scanning in elevation, while mechanically rotating in azimuth. Source

General data:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 30480 m
Range Max: 398.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.4 km Generation: Early 2000s
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Moving Target Indicator (MTI), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability)
Sensors / EW:
RAN-40S – (Type 1850M VSR, RAT-31DL) Radar
Role: Radar, Air Search, 3D Long-Range
Max Range: 398.2 km


RAN 30X/I surface radar

The RAN-30X surveillance radar represents the state of-the-art of 2D X-Band surveillance radars. It can operate as a primary sensor for combined surface and air surveillance on board patrol vessels or as a specialized anti-sea skimmer sensor on board major Surface Combatant Vessels.

RAN-30X features up to 4 operational roles:
▪ Surface and air surveillance mode (detection and tracking of small air/surface targets)
▪ Navigation and helicopter control (high antenna rotation speed for navigation close to the coastline)
▪ Over-the-horizon (OTH) detection (low antenna rotation speed and long range detection capability)
▪ Anti-sea skimmer missile detection. This mode has an high antenna rotation rate to ensure the detection and tracking of very small targets manoeuvring in clutter environment and featuring very low Radar Cross Section (RCS).

Each mode is designed with a proper set of transmitted waveforms.

The reflector antenna performs two different beams (in linear and circular polarisation) to cope with different applications:
▪ The first beam is a cosecant square one (up to 25°- beam width of elevation coverage) used in
Surveillance and Heli modes
▪ The second beam (providing a higher gain ) is a pencil beam one, applied for anti-missile detection and Over-the-Horizon mode.

The antenna is designed to house the IFF antenna in a back-to-back configuration.

RAN-30X receiver is designed to provide a very high linearity and sophisticated processing. It employs triple conversion with a carrier sample technique. An automatic and adaptive STC algorithm is implemented against the returns from clutters and wide target radar
cross sections. Source


Other systems include the Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS) SNA-2000 mine avoidance sonar, two radar / electro-optic fire control systems and a Galileo Avionica SASS (silent acquisition surveillance system) infrared search and track system.

Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS) SNA-2000 mine avoidance sonar

General data:
Type: Hull Sonar, Active-Only Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 1.1 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 2010s
Sensors / EW:
SNA-2000/I – (Mine Avoidance Element) Hull Sonar, Active-Only
Role: Hull Sonar, Active-Only Mine & Obstacle Avoidance
Max Range: 1.1 km


Galileo Avionica SASS

SASS is a new InfraRed Search and Track (IRST) system developed for the Italian flag ship: the aircraft carrier CAVOUR. SASS has been validated at sea by the Italian Navy and has been selected for the Italian Future European Multi Role Frigates (FREMM).


  • High sensitivity/ high resolution/ dual band IR head
  • Accurate stabilisation against sea motion
  • Long range passive surveillance
  • Automatic target detection and track initialisation
  • Multi-target tracking of air and surface targets
  • Panoramic and blown up images, in two different bands
  • Flexible interface with other on-board systems and with

combat management systems

  • High reliability and easy maintenance on-board.




The carrier is fitted with two 20-barrel Oto Melara / Selex SCLAR-H decoy launchers for 105mm or 118mm multipurpose rockets. SCLAR-H provides fully automatic soft-kill defence against missile threats by confusion of enemy sensors before missile firing; decoying of the missile homing system during its flight and illumination of targets.

2 x 20-barrel Oto Melara / Selex SCLAR-H decoy launchers

Google translated – Use: SCLAR is a multiple rocket launcher system produced by Breda Meccanica Bresciana, generally used by ships to launch fake targets such as flares and chaff. It has a 105 mm caliber, which can be elevated and swiveled, and it can also launch explosive rockets within a 10 km radius. The launcher is designed for the accurate distribution of false targets, thus providing passive defense for the ship against radar and IR search missiles; the typical modes of operation (at various intervals) include: Confusion (dilution); concealment; Distraction; Dump;

Its main features are:
– possibility of loading different types of rockets simultaneously (Chaff, IR, bengal);
– automatic selection of rockets to launch;
– possibility of repeated engagements, due to the availability of a large number of rockets, loaded into individual sealed containers;
– automatic control by the ship’s electronic war suite;
– full coordination with the ship’s active defense systems; – operating capacity in all weather conditions and in NBC condition (automatic operation); Source

Two SLAT torpedo defence systems are installed. SLAT has been developed by EUROSLAT, a consortium consisting of WASS (Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subaqua), DCN and Thales Underwater Systems.

2 x SLAT torpedo defence systems

Electronic countermeasures (ECM) and electronic support measures (ECM) systems have not been specified.

RESM – (Horizon, FREMM) ESM

General data:
Type: ESM Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 926 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 2010s
Sensors / EW:
RESM – (Horizon, FREMM) ESM
Role: ELINT w/ OTH Targeting
Max Range: 926 km


Cavour aircraft carrier propulsion


The Cavour is powered by combined gas turbine and gas (COGAG) propulsion. The four LM2500 gas turbines, developing 22,000kW each, are manufactured by FiatAvio of Turin under a licence agreement from the US company, General Electric (GE). The four turbines drive two gear units which provide 60,000shp each.

Auxiliary power is provided by six Wartsila CW 12V200 generating sets, rated at 2,200kW each. Two shaft generators are rated at 2,200kW each.

The vessel is fitted with two pairs of active stabilising fins and twin rudders and has bow and stern thrusters.


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Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Updated May 09, 2020

H160M Guepard Joint Light Helicopter

The H160M Guepard is a new medium-lift helicopter being developed by Airbus Helicopters for the French Armed Forces, under the Joint Light Helicopter (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger – HIL) programme.

The helicopter is intended for use by the French Army, Navy, and Air Force to perform multiple missions including commando infiltration, air intercept, fire support, and anti-surface warfare.

A scale model of the H160M was on display at the Euronaval 2018 exhibition held in October 2018, while the full-scale model of the H160M Guepard rotorcraft will be exhibited during the Paris Air Show 2019.

Details of the HIL programme

The Airbus H160 was preferred for the HIL programme in 2017 and was originally scheduled to be launched in 2022. The launching of the new helicopter in 2021, ahead of its original schedule, would, however, enable delivery of the first H160Ms to the French Armed Forces from 2026.

Airbus Helicopters

The programme will involve the delivery of a total of 169 helicopters to the three armed forces. The French Army will receive 80 helicopters, while the navy and air force will receive 49 and 40 rotorcraft, respectively.

The H160M helicopter will replace five legacy helicopter types in service with the three military services.

H160M Guepard joint light helicopter design and features

H160M is a military version of the H160 medium-lift utility helicopter, which was first unveiled at the Heli-Expo show held in Orlando, Florida, US, in March 2015. Based on a civil platform, the H160M will ensure simplified maintenance and reduced operating costs than the old-generation of rotorcraft in its class.

The modular design of the H160 also allows for the integration of mission systems to configure the H160M platform for deployment in multiple missions.

The H160M will feature a composite fuselage to achieve weight reductions and fuel savings. It will be equipped with cutting-edge technologies such as Blue Edge five-bladed main rotor, which can reduce the acoustic signature by 50% and increase the lift by 100kg when compared to conventional rotor blades.

Direction générale de l’armement

Direction générale de l’armement

The helicopter will also feature a Spheriflex bearingless main rotor hub, which is designed to minimise weight and optimise damage tolerance. Its main rotor will have a diameter of 13.4m. The tail assembly will include a canted Fenestron anti-torque tail rotor.


H160M’s undercarriage will feature a tricycle-type landing gear with a nose unit and two main units. The nose wheel will be fitted with twin wheels, while the main units will be installed with a single wheel unit each.

The helicopter can be armed with MBDA’s Sea Venom (ANL) anti-ship missiles (ASMs) to perform anti-ship warfare missions. The over-the-horizon missile can engage targets within the range of 20km.

MBDA’s Sea Venom (ANL) anti-ship missiles

IG @fototombuysse Tom Buysse

MBDA is developing Sea Venom/ANL, an helicopter-launched, over-the-horizon anti-ship weapon system, jointly funded by the UK and French Governments. It is the next generation multi-role surface attack weapon.

Capable of defeating the most challenging target set presented by today’s open water and littoral maritime operations, the new weapon features significant advances on both Sea Skua and AS15TT.

The new design will maintain some of the characteristics of Sea Skua and AS15TT and retain compatibility with existing logistic footprints, thereby allowing current users of these systems to upgrade easily.

Sea Venom/ANL offers:

  • Reduced modifications to existing ship storage and handling equipment
  • High helicopter load-out
  • Minimal impact on logistics and through-life costs


FN® M240D


The spade-gripped FN® M240D is the U.S. standard pintle-mounted medium machine gun for naval, vehicle, and combat aircraft applications. An optional egress kit is available consisting of a buttstock, pistol grip trigger assembly and bipod to enable a vehicle’s crew to instantly convert the M240D for ground combat. The M240D’s cold hammer-forged MIL-SPEC barrel has a hard-chromed bore for longer life and improved accuracy. The receiver is solid machined steel and is equipped with a top-mounted MIL-STD-1913 optical rail. The crossbolt safety and curved trigger help enhance operator control. Includes one spare barrel.



  • CALIBER: 7.62x51mm NATO
  • OPERATION: Open-bolt
  • WEIGHT: 22.9 lb.
  • BARREL LENGTH: 21.7″
  • HEIGHT: 9″
  • RATE OF FIRE: 650 – 950 RPM


FN® HMP250/HMP400 Pod

Julien Maire

FN has developed a broad spectrum of machine gun pods designed for rotary-wing and subsonic fixed-wing combat aircraft capable of carrying the FN® M3P .50-caliber machine gun and multiple 2.75″ air-to-ground rockets with the FN® RMP variant. FN Pod Systems provide war fighters with a significant firepower advantage in every operational engagement, which is why they are currently in use by a number of NATO nations on both subsonic fixed and rotary-wing combat aircraft. The HMP250 variant is a slightly smaller version of the HMP400, which has a 400 Rd capacity.

Julien Maire


  • CALIBER: .50
  • MAG CAPACITY: Customer Specified
  • WEIGHT (EMPTY): 194 lb.
  • WEIGHT (LOADED): 257 lb.
  • HEIGHT: 16.1″
  • LENGTH: 71.3″
  • RATE OF FIRE: 950 – 1,100 RPM


  • CALIBER: .50
  • MAG CAPACITY: Customer Specified
  • WEIGHT (EMPTY): 197 lb.
  • WEIGHT (LOADED): 305 lb.
  • HEIGHT: 17.1″
  • LENGTH: 76.4″
  • RATE OF FIRE: 950 – 1,100 RPM


Cockpit and cabin

H160M’s cockpit will accommodate up to two crew members. It will be equipped with the Helionix avionics suite, which integrates up to four multi-functional displays.

Airbus Helicopters and the French defence procurement agency (DGA) have selected the FlytX avionics suite for their future H160M Joint Light Helicopter. Source

FlytX avionics suite

FlytX is based on the Avionics 2020 concept unveiled at the 2013 Paris Air Show and comprises an intuitive touchscreen interface designed by pilots for pilots.


Military helicopters are called on to perform reconnaissance, fire support, surveillance and search-and-rescue missions in increasingly saturated environments. Pilots must be able to observe hostiles, evade obstacles and successfully complete their missions while flying the helicopter and monitoring information from its onboard systems.


Direction générale de l’armement

Fully mission-oriented, the FlytX solution has been developed to enable maximum efficiency. The technology used in FlytX is designed to reduce pilot workload, so that they can focus on their mission objective at every decisive moment. Source

The spacious cabin offers an internal volume of more than 7m³ and can house up to 12 armed personnel.

H160M Guepard joint light helicopter engines

pkllim pkllim @ig – cropped

The H160 Guepard will be powered by two Safran Arrano turboshaft engines supplied by Safran Helicopter Engines. The engine will feature a two-stage centrifugal compressor, a reverse-flow combustion chamber, and a single-stage power turbine. It is expected to deliver a maximum power output of 1,300hp.


The power-plant will reduce fuel consumption by 15% when compared to its counterparts and will also increase the payload-range performance of the H160M. The time between overhauls (TBO) of the Safran Arrano engine is 5,000 hours.


2 x Safran Arrano turboshaft engine (Arrano 1A)


The 1A is the first variant of the Arrano, intended to power Airbus Helicopters’ revolutionary new twin-engine H160. In early 2015, Airbus Helicopters announced its decision to select the Arrano 1A as sole engine on the H160, in part, on its ability to deliver extra power when operating in hot-and-high conditions. The Arrano-powered H160 made its first flight on January 27, 2016. Source


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Visby class corvette

The Visby Class of stealth corvettes were built for the Swedish Navy by the Swedish company Kockums (a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany).

Construction began in 1996 at Kockums’ Kalrskrona yard. The lead ship of the class, Visby (K31), was launched in June 2000 and was delivered to the FMV (the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration) in June 2002 for fitting with weapons and combat systems. The second, HMS Helsingborg (K32), was launched in June 2003 and delivered in April 2006. Harnosand (K33) was launched in December 2004. HMS Visby and Harnosand were officially delivered to the FMV in June 2006.


Visby (K31) – WarshipPorn @reddit

The other hulls are: Nykoping (K34), launched in August 2005 and delivered in September 2006, and Karlstad (K35), launched in August 2006.

Two corvettes, HMS Helsingborg and Harnosand, were delivered to the Swedish Navy in December 2009. The Swedish Navy has cancelled an option on a sixth vessel (Uddevalla K36).

The first four Visby corvettes for the Swedish Navy are for mine countermeasures (MCM) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The last vessel will be primarily for the attack and anti-surface warfare role.

Karlstad (K35) and Nykoping (K34) – prahatravel @flicker

A helicopter, such as the AgustaWestland A109M selected by Sweden, can land, take off, and refuel on the upper deck.


The design of the Visby aims to minimise the optical and infrared signature, above water acoustic and hydroacoustic signature, underwater electrical potential and magnetic signature, pressure signature, radar cross section and actively emitted signals.


The picture is a compilation of several drawings, what FMV calls General Arrangements. It shows the location of most equipment and the different types of space are color-coded according to their function. Performance for most machines is also included and various types of equipment are also color coded. Note that the space marked ELA 3 next to the battle line indicates the computer hall. The space RAH is the radio cabin, which may be called the ship’s most secret, where the cryptos are stored. The space of the signal bridge deck sounds nice, but this is where you put the heavy ball guns. Also note that the flagpole is not stealth and will be taken into sharp position. Upload this image separately so you can have it as a reference. Source translated by google

A stealth corvette of the YS 2000 design has a detection range of 13km in rough seas and 22km in calm sea without jamming. In a jammed environment, the Visby would be detected at a range of 8km in rough sea and 11km in calm sea.


The hull material is a sandwich construction comprising a PVC core with a carbon fibre and vinyl laminate. The material provides high strength and rigidity, low weight, good shock resistance, low radar and magnetic signature.

K33 HMS Haernosand – Arne Lütkenhorst @flickr

Signature reduction measures

The most obvious part here are the radar cross section reduction measures. A lot of thought have gone into this, below you see the back of the 57 mm cannon which has had its shape adapted.

Many less noticeable aspects include the coating of the bridge windows with indium tin oxide and gold which prevents radar returns from objects inside. Hatches and vents are also adapted with things such as a honey comb grid which also prevents returns, while radar absorbent materials have also been added in selected areas. The antennas are retractable into the hull as are the floodlight and fog horn, and even the navigation lights have been adapted to not stand out. They are fitted with quadruple redundant LED lights to avoid giving off a heat signature which brings us to the next point.

The aspect of thermal signature


Great lengths have been taken to prevent the ship from being detectable with thermal imaging. As the largest heat source are the engines and in particularly the gas turbines, the exhaust is water injected which brings down the temperature to just above room temperature before the exhaust exits the hull.


This picture shows the air intake for the low speed diesel machinery, here you can see the radar reflecting honeycomb material (Ra) which the air passes through. After that it enters the filter and then on to the diesels. In case the sea waters splashes the honey comb and causes icing during the winter a pneumatic hatch below (Ö) automatically opens to allow air to continue flowing, this is however not stealthy.

The paint of the ship’s hull has also been specifically developed to reduce the IR signature.

The hull structure

It is in basically a composite design of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) with an exterior carbon fibre laminate, a middle section of divinycell – which is a light weight material – and more carbon fibre on the inside. This material reduces the hull weight significantly, down to about 50% of an equivalent steel hull.


The carbon fibre conducts electricity which is both good and bad. Good in that it provides shielding of radio signals and bad in that it creates galvanic corrosion. Most of the hull is built with vacuum injected laminate and the rest is hand fitted. The ships were built in three sections which were then joined together. The hull has been designed so as to be able to negotiate a mine detonation under the keel without snapping. To aid in damage control and general operations stress load sensors are fitted throughout the hull, these allow the crew to assess the hulls integrity and make decisions based on it. Source

Command and control

The vessel’s CETRIS C3 (command, control and communications) system consists of the Saab Systems 9LV mk3E combat management system, the MAST decision support aid and the integrated communications system.

The 9LV mk3 is based on open system architecture and uses the Windows NT operating system.


The SaabTech CEROS 200 radar and optronic fire control system has been ordered for the Visby and will be fully integrated into the combat management system.



CEROS 200 Fire Control Radar

Saab’s CEROS (Celsius Tech Radar and Optronic Site) 200 is a ship-based search and tracking radar system capable of engaging targets above supersonic speeds. The CEROS employs a variety of sensors such as infrared, electrooptical, televisual, and laser. According to a publication by Saab, CEROS is able to detect sea-skimming missiles via its patented CHASE algorithm. Saab explains that this algorithm mitigates the effect of multiparty wave interference, which is when signals are sent to a receiver by multiple sources. For example, a missile may emit a signal to a receiver, which then sends it to command and control at the same time that a signal directly from the missile reaches command and control. In this instant, the two signals would arrive with different phase shifts — think: a sine wave placed in front of another, so that there’s no exact overlap. This can result in the ghosting effect sometimes observed on television in which images appear to have a shadow duplicate on them. Source

General data:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 30480 m
Range Max: 46.3 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.2 km Generation: Early 1990s
Properties: Moving Target Indicator (MTI), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability)
Sensors / EW:
CEROS 200 Tracker [9LV Mk3E CETRIS] – Radar
Role: Radar, FCR, Weapon Director
Max Range: 46.3 km

K33 HMS Haernosand –

The communications system has a high-capacity digital communications switch, developed by Danish company Maersk Data Defence (formerly Infocom) together with Karlskrona, which interconnects the voice and data communications channels. The system provides internal communications or open conference lines and access to external communications with various radio links and land-based networks.


HMS Visby

Visby vessels were not initially fitted with an air defence missile system, but could later be equipped with one. It has been reported that the Swedish government has selected the Umkhonto surface-to-air missile system, produced by Denel of South Africa. Umkhonto has infrared guidance, range of 12km and ceiling of 10,000m. The system is capable of engaging up to eight targets.

The corvettes are equipped with eight Saab Bofors Dynamics RBS 15 mk2 anti-ship missiles. The RBS 15 mk2 uses active Ku-band radar homing and has a range of more than 200km. The missile has a high subsonic speed, Mach 0.9, and is armed with a 200kg warhead. The missiles will be installed below deck and be fired through special hatches to maintain the vessel’s stealth. The missiles’ exhaust plumes will be managed in separate canals.

RBS 15 mk2 anti-ship missiles



The RBS15 is a long range, sea-skimming, fire and forget, anti-ship missile for use from aircraft, ships and ground vehicles. It features a tactical flexibility trajectory with a large number of waypoints and altitudes to hide the launching location increasing the survivability of the launching platform. It is suitable for blue sea operations and littoral warfare. The missile has two lateral boosters for extended range, without the booster the RBS15 only weighs 630 kg. The RBS15 guidance system consists of a GPS/INS and radar altimeter navigation system and a terminal phase active radar seeker. The RBS15 missiles are countermeasures resistant and several of them can be programmed to reach the target area simultaneously from different directions to better penetrate the ship’s air defenses. Source

K32 HMS Helsingborg –

Anti-submarine warfare

The Visby is equipped with a suite of ASW 127mm rocket-powered grenade launchers, depth charges and torpedoes. There are three fixed 400mm torpedo tubes for Saab Underwater Systems Tp 45 anti-submarine homing torpedoes.

Tp 45 anti-submarine homing torpedoes


Source: Jimmie Adamsson/Försvarsmakten via

The Torped 45 is a lightweight torpedo intended for ASW and surface targets, providing multiple-target active/passive homing combined with wire guidance. It is designed and manufactured by Saab Dynamics. It was designed for the Swedish Navy, based on the experience gathered from the well proven 43-series of torpedoes.

Torpedo 45 can be launched from a variety of platforms including stationary, surface vessels, submarines and helicopters. It was specifically designed to operate against shallow-water targets and surface vessels. It is controlled using wire guidance and has a hydro-acoustic homing system for the final phase. The torpedo has features that are unique for lightweight torpedoes.

  • It combines wire guidance and homing control
  • It can be launched from submarines, surface vessels and helicopters
  • It can be wire-guided from a flying or hovering helicopter (no parachute necessary)
  • Its warhead has a main charge large enough to take out any conventional submarine or seriously damage light surface vessels

In exercise torpedo launches, the warhead is replaced by an exercise head carrying identical homing equipment. Instead of explosives, the exercise head has a tape recorder for logging a number of torpedo functions, communication with fire-control and hit indications. After each run, the recordings are analysed and torpedo and fire-control functions are checked.

The Torped 45 is set to be replaced by the newer Torped 47 in Swedish Service fully 2024. Source

General data:
Type: Torpedo Weight: 320.0 kg
Length: 2.9 m Span: 0.4 m
Diameter: 0.4 Generation: None
Properties: Search Pattern, Bearing-Only Launch (BOL), Re-Attack Capability
Targets: Submarine
Sensors / EW:
Torpedo Seeker – (Tp 45 Passive Anti-Submarine, Small-Caliber) Hull Sonar, Passive-Only
Torpedo Seeker, Passive-Only
Max Range: 1.9 km
Tp 451 – (1997, Tp 43X2) Torpedo
Subsurface Max: 7.4 km.





The Visby is equipped with a Bofors 57mm 70 SAK mkIII general purpose gun. The gun has a fully automatic loading system containing 120 rounds of ready-to-fire ammunition. The gun fires up to 220 rounds a minute to a maximum range of 17,000m.

Bofors 57mm 70 SAK mkIII general purpose gun

K32 HMS Helsingborg – MilitaryPorn

Work on these weapons began in 1962 based largely upon experience gained with the Bofors 57 mm/60. Compared with that weapon, the major improvements of the Mark 1 were a higher rate of fire, the use of new munitions including an improved proximity fuse, water cooling for the gun tubes and a new electro-hydraulic system for rapid training and elevation. The Mark 1 was exported to Malaysia and (the former) Yugoslavia.

K33 HMS Haernosand – Arne Lütkenhorst @flickr

The Mark 2 was a lighter weight mounting and used a new servo system that reduced aiming errors and damping time. The gun barrel for this mounting used a special monobloc steel that eliminated the water jacket Bofors claimed that this gun was dual-purpose in that it was accurate and agile enough to destroy sea-skimmers and that it could put more explosives into a surface target in thirty seconds than any gun smaller than 10 cm (3.9″). In reviewing this weapon, the US Navy concluded that it was heavy when compared to the OTO-Melara 35 mm and 76 mm weapons. About 25 Mark 2 guns were manufactured.

The Mark 3 is the latest version. This mounting uses the same ammunition as the Mark 2 but also can fire “smart” ammunition. The Mark 3 is offered with an optional low radar profile (RCS) mounting which hides the gun barrel when not in use. It is claimed that the Mark 3 has a mean time to repair of 30 minutes and can be installed on ships as small as 150 tons (152 mt). This mounting uses a small radar mounted on the gun barrel to measure muzzle velocity for fire control purposes. The dual-hoist system allows instant switching between ammunition types, but rounds must be removed manually in case of misfire. This mounting can open fire at 45 degrees training and 35 degrees elevation from the stand-by condition in 2.2 seconds. The mounting is normally remotely controlled, but can be used in a gyro-stabilized local control mode.

Bofors was taken over by United Defense, which in turn has been taken over by BAE Systems. Source

Mine countermeasures (MCM)

The Visby carries Saab Bofors Underwater system ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) for mine hunting and the Atlas Elektronik Seafox ROV for mine disposal. The minehunting ROVs are a development of the Double Eagle mkIII.

Atlas Elektronik Seafox ROV


Wikimedia Commons

This fibre-optic guided, one shot mine disposal vehicle is used for semi-autonomous disposal of naval mines and other ordnance found at sea. It is able to automatically relocate previously acquired positions of underwater objects within minutes with the integrated homing sonar.After relocating, these objects can be identified using the onboard CCTV camera and destroyed by the use of a built-in, large caliber shaped charge. The one-way concept significantly reduces the disposal time and extends the operational envelope.


The system has been fully qualified for military purposes and has been introduced in large numbers into various navies. It is deployable from a wide range of carrier platforms, including dedicated MCM vessels, surface combatants, craft of opportunity, rubber boats and helicopters.

The SeaFox system is a mine disposal system based on the most advanced concept using the Expendable Mine Disposal Vehicle principle (EMDV).

Small, unmanned underwater drones are used for direct disposal of historical and most modern mine types; identical, reusable vehicles (without charge) are used for inspection, identification and training purposes.

The system is effective against long and short tethered mines, proud ground mines and floating mines.

The SeaFox system mainly comprises a console, a launcher and the SeaFox vehicles. The system can be delivered as a stand-alone or a fully integrated version.


In case of stand-alone the console contains all electronics, software, displays and operating elements to guide the vehicle automatically or manually towards the target and to relocate, identify and destroy it. In the fully integrated version, a Multi Function Console or any existing console can be used.

The two different vehicles ensure quick disposal of mines during operation with the combat vehicle (SeaFox C) as well as cost-saving identification with the reusable identification version (SeaFox I). Source

The Visby corvettes are fitted with the Hydra multi sonar suite from General Dynamics Canada (formerly Computing Devices Canada), which integrates data from a Hydroscience Technologies passive towed array sonar, C-Tech CVDS-26 dual-frequency active Variable Depth Sonar (VDS), C-Tech CHMS-90 hull-mounted sonar and data from the ROVs.

Hydroscience Technologies passive towed array sonar

The Towed Array Sonar has a length of 1,300 meters and has microphones set at one meter intervals. The Visby Class have an active and a passive component and can be lowered to a depth of 100 meters. It is seen here in its stored position located between and above the water jets. Source

General data:
Type: TASS, Passive-Only Towed Array Sonar System Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 27.8 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 2000s
Sensors / EW:
Hydra TASS – (Visby) TASS, Passive-Only Towed Array Sonar System
Role: TASS, Passive-Only Thin Line Towed Array Sonar System
Max Range: 27.8 km


C-Tech CVDS-26 dual-frequency active Variable Depth Sonar (VDS)

General data:
Type: VDS, Active/Passive Sonar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 27.8 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 2000s
Sensors / EW:
CVDS-26 Hydra – (Visby) VDS, Active/Passive Sonar
Role: VDS, Active/Passive Variable Depth Sonar
Max Range: 27.8 km


C-Tech CHMS-90 hull-mounted sonar

General data:
Type: Hull Sonar, Active-Only Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 1.1 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 2000s
Properties: Classification [Class Info] / Brilliant Weapon [Automatic Target Aquisition], Shallow Water Capable (Full) [Classification Flag Required]
Sensors / EW:
CHMS-90 Hydra – (Visby) Hull Sonar, Active-Only
Role: Hull Sonar, Active-Only Shallow Water High-Definition Mine & Obstacle Avoidance
Max Range: 1.1 km



David Oliver

Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson) Sea Giraffe AMB 3D C-band multi-role radar provides air and surface surveillance and tracking and target indication to weapon systems. It features 3D agile multi-beam technology and can handle multiple threats up to 20,000m (65,000ft) at elevations up to 70°.

Sea Giraffe AMB 3D C-band multi-role radar


Today the Sea Giraffe AMB has the designation AN/SPS 77 V(1) for the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, LCS 2/4 and AN/SPS 77 V(2) for LCS 6 and higher.

Sea Giraffe AMB comprises the following main hardware units:

  • Antenna Unit (AU)
  • Transmitter Unit (TRU)
  • Signal and Data Unit (SDU)
  • Power Distribution System (PDS)

The following extended capabilities for the Sea Giraffe AMB baseline product configuration are available:

  • Stealth Radome
  • 360˚ mortar/rocket detection and alert (C-RAM)
  • Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogator antenna
  • IFF interrogator
  • Improved detection range and redundancy with an additional transmitter unit

The stealth radome is built with Frequency Selective Surfaces (FSS) to minimise the Radar Cross Section (RCS) and infrared signature of the above-deck parts of the Sea Giraffe AMB. The radome is capable of carrying equipment on the top, for example an ESM, ELINT and/or a COMINT. The counter rocket, artillery and mortar alert function detects, tracks and classifies very small ballistic objects in severe clutter. The point of impact, the ballistic trajectory as well as the impact position are calculated. A warning signal of impact position is given well in advance, allowing the ship to perform an evasive manoeuvre in order to avoid being hit.



Radar type Stacked beam 3D radar
Antenna type 3D phased array, digital beam forming
Frequency C (G/H)-band
Elevation coverage > 70 degrees
Rotation rate 60 RPM
Instrumented range 180 km


ECCM (electronic counter countermeasures) capabilities include ultra-low antenna sidelobes and both frequency and code agility. The antenna has a rotation rate of 30rpm for surveillance and 60rpm for air defence.

There is also an I-band surface search and I/J-band fire control radar.


The CS-3701 tactical radar surveillance system (TRSS) from EDO Reconnaissance & Surveillance Systems provides electronic support measures (ESM) and radar warning receiver (RWR) functions.

CS-3701 tactical radar surveillance system (TRSS)

The ES-3701S is a high-performance radar electronic support measures (ESM) system for surface naval applications. The ES-3701S ESM system provides complete radio frequency (RF) coverage with direction finding (DF) from communication through radar bands. The ES-3701S provides situation awareness, targeting, self-protection and surveillance. The system has been interfaced to many combat management systems (CMS) and uses a Windows graphical interface, which can also be run on multifunction consoles.

Precision Radar ESM Capabilities

  • High probability of intercept for instantaneous emitter detection
  • High sensitivity for long-range detection
  • Accurate angle of arrival (AOA) on every pulse
  • Wideband, narrowband and low-band subsystems for comprehensive signal exploitation using advanced sapience emitter processing algorithms
  • High-sensitivity frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar detection and identification (-95dBm)
< 1 second reaction time
Processes 1 MPPS signal environment
20,000 emitter mode library capacity


General data:
Type: ESM Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 926 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 2000s
Sensors / EW:
ES-3701 Seawatch – ESM
Role: ELINT w/ OTH Targeting
Max Range: 926 km


Visby Class vessels are equipped with the MASS (multi-ammunition softkill) decoy system from Rheinmetall Waffe Munition (formerly Buck Neue Technologien) of Germany.

MASS can launch up to 32 omni-spectral projectiles in a time-staggered configuration against anti-ship missiles and guided projectiles. The MASS decoy covers radar, infrared, electro-optic, laser and ultraviolet wavebands.

MASS (multi-ammunition softkill) decoy system


MASS has been designed to provide multi-spectral protection against guided weapons in all relevant wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum (including radar, infrared and electro- optical). Suitable for installation on a wide range of platforms, it can be integrated into an existing command and weapon control system, or operated as a standalone system.

Typically MASS consists of between one and six trainable launchers, each able to fire 32 standard Omni-Trap munitions. Each launcher comes with a control unit and a data interface (Ethernet/ RS422 or other standard interface).

At IDEX the company is showcasing two new options: MASS_OCR with an off-board corner reflector (OCR) payload; and the new standalone MASS Stand Alone with Sensor Suite for smaller units.

The MASS_OCR introduces a new corner reflector countermeasures payload, designed to produce a ship-like radar response, which can be used in either the distraction or seduction modes. Each launcher unit can be configured with two OCR rockets programmed to deploy the corner reflector to a range of between 35m and 850m. The reflector payload itself is suspended beneath a parachute, sustaining the effect for over 60 seconds.

With the MASS Stand Alone with Sensor Suite, Rheinmetall has engineered a self-contained system with its own control unit, power supply and sensor suite (a radar warner and a laser warning system) and typically one or two MASS decoy launchers. Source



The Visby is equipped with a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) turbine arrangement. Four TF 50 A gas turbines from Honeywell and two MTU 16V 2000 N90 diesel motors are connected to two gearboxes which run two Kamewa waterjet propulsors.

K33 HMS Haernosand – Arne Lütkenhorst @flickr

4 x TF 50 A gas turbines

Vericor’s TF50B marine gas turbine is an aeroderivative that powers numerous ships, for example the Visby-class corvettes of the Swedish Navy or mega yachts, such as the Pershing 115. For commercial applications, Vericor has developed the new Integrated Turbine Control Panel which combines the control functions for gas turbine and reduction gearbox, the cockpit interface and the local operating panel into one single unit.


  • Compact, lightweight
  • High operational readiness
  • Operates on LNG, natural gas and / or marine diesel fuel
  • Smallest installed volume / lowest installed weight
  • Modular engine design reduces maintenance cost
  • Simplified installation with cold end drive and cantilever mount
  • Precise digital engine control and monitoring
  • No warm up required / start capability down to -50°C
  • Low vibration and ultra low emission levels
  • Single, twin and tri-pack configurations

The high-speed machinery consists of two pairs of gas turbines (Vericor TF50A, Tr and Tr2) of 4.2 MW each. The exhaust gases blow out through the heat insulated exhaust pipe (Avg) and further back into the vessel. The turbines draw in 30 m³ of air (In) per second. Therefore, they have their own air intakes with radar grilles on the ship’s side. Source translated by google

Technical Data

Power (kW)* 3,800 – 4,200
Weight (lbs/kg)** 1,445/657
Length flange to flange (in/mm) 52/1,321
Height (in/mm) 41/1,046
Width (in/mm) 35/889
Output speed (rpm) 16,000

*Average engine performance at ISO conditions 15 deg. C, no inlet, exhaust or gear losses

**Weight is for gas turbine complete with lube, fuel and control system


2 x MTU 16V 2000 N90 diesel motors


The motors provide a maximum speed of 15kt for long duration and 35kt for short duration. The ship has rudders and bow thrusters for harbour manoeuvring.


Here, the water jet units (VJ) are stowed in a stop position, angled 30 degrees inwards. Each unit weighs 10 tonnes and is made of non-magnetic bronze. What is not done in bronze is instead made in composite material or titanium. The pump housing is specially developed by KaMeWa to be as quiet as possible.

Between the units is a pair of shiny cylinders in stainless (Int). These are the pistons for the interceptor blades. These can be described as two long razor blades that are flush with the transom, approximately 150 mm high and 20 mm thick, and serve as a trim plane. But instead of needing a big blade in the stern, you just put down a small knife. The blades are actively controlled by a gyro system that compensates for rolling, stomping and side winds. The system depresses the blade on the ship’s side that goes into the water, so it is pressed again. The blades can operate at 35 knots and improve both comfort and weapon performance.

The exhaust pipes from the high-speed engines are not visible, because they come out under the “shelf” and point straight down. Between the exhaust pipes is the trailing headphone cover (F-VDS). The big hatch at the top of the picture is the mine hatch, from which you drop mines and sink bombs. The sneak-fit stern lights, the hatch for the snare sonar TAS and a pair of belt throwers are not visible in the picture. Source translated by google

K31 HSwMS Visby – corax71 (flickr)

Technical specifications

Overall length 73 m
Beam 10.4 m
Displacement 640 tonnes (fully equipped)
Draught 2.4 m
Crew 43
Hull material Sandwich construction carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP)
High-speed machinery 4 gas turbines, total rating 16 000 kW
Low-speed machinery 2 diesel engines, total rating 2600 kW
Propulsion 2 waterjet propulsors
Speed >35 knots

Technical data source

Main material source

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Main image K34 HSwMS Nyköping – Tyler Rogoway

Calidus B-250 Light Attack / Trainer Aircraft

Calidus B-250 is a next-generation light attack / trainer aircraft developed by Calidus in collaboration with Brazilian firm Novaer, Rockwell Collins and Pratt & Whitney Canada. It is specifically designed to serve the light combat and training requirements of air forces across the globe.

Calidus unveiled the B-250 aircraft at the Dubai Airshow in November 2017.

The military trainer can support counterinsurgency (COIN) attack missions, reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue (SAR) operations. It can further simulate close air support (CAS), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission environments during combat training activities.

Calidus B-250 development

The B-250 programme was launched in 2015 and its first prototype was developed within a period of 25 months, completing its maiden flight in July 2017. Calidus plans to construct a manufacturing facility in Al Ain City to facilitate the full-scale production of the B-250 aircraft.

The chief designer for the project was Joseph Kovacs, who was also a part of the design team of Embraer Tucano light attack aircraft.

B-250 military trainer design and features

At first glance, the B-250 looks similar to the Super Tucano, which is not surprising given both aircraft were designed by Novaer’s Joseph Kovacs. But, before the B-250’s designer started his work, he was told by Calidus that the aircraft had to be faster – with an air speed up to 300mph flying straight and level – pull between -3/+7G and have the most advanced technologies on board. It should also have a maximum endurance of 12 hours.

Powered by a 1600shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68 engine with a four-blade Hartzell propeller, the aircraft got its speed and more. According to Alkaabi, it can actually reach 380mph during manoeuvres.

Being pressurised to fly up to 30,000ft means it can get to a high enough altitude to avoid most enemy air defences and man-portable air defences (MANPADS).

The cockpit houses two Martin Baker Mk 16 ejection seats, so the pilot’s safety is assured, and a Rockwell Collins civilian Pro Line Fusion avionics system provides a nice look. Source


The aircraft features an all-carbon fibre airframe designed by Novaer. The compact airframe reduces aircraft weight and enhances manoeuvrability while extending service life.

Low-wing configuration of the aircraft enables it to generate more lift and significantly reduce the drag. Safety of the on-board crew is ensured by the optional ballistic protection system.

The under-fuselage integrates a retractable tri-cycle type landing gear with three single wheel units. The reinforced landing gear enables operations from rough airfields and unprepared strips. The aircraft can be mounted with a Wescam MX-15 optronics turret, and seven hard points to carry a range of weapon systems.

L3 Wescam MX-15D EO/IR turret

Multi-Sensor Imaging/Lasing Payload Options

  • Currently supports up to ten sensors simultaneously
  • Superior HD imaging resolution from Electro-Optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) cameras
  • Short-wave IR imaging
  • Laser rangefinder/designator
  • 3 laser illuminator divergence options
  • Multi-spectral imaging blends matched images from multiple sensors, uncovering greater detail in each frame

Latest Enhancements – 2018

  • High sensitivity color spotter
  • HD low-light step-zoom spotter
  • Advanced Video Tracker (AVT)
  • Embedded MTI
  • Pseudo-Color IR
  • Talk to your L3 WESCAM Sales Director regarding availability timeline

Enhanced Local Area Processing (ELAP)

  • Real-time image enhancement for EO day, EO night & IR

Consistent Targeting Accuracy

  • Full-laser stabilization minimizes spot jitter
  • Internal isolator minimizes vibration-induced boresight shifts
  • Operationally-proven precision target designation

High-Performance IMU & MX-GEO Software Suite

  • IMU & MX-GEO work to create accurate target location
  • MX-GEO automatically aligns to the aircraft
  • Robust automatic image focus

Uncompromised Stabilization

  • Four-axis gimbal with internal IMU
  • All payloads are fully-stabilized

MX-Series Commonality

  • Common operator interfaces and Hand Controller Units (HCUs)
  • Simplified interchangeability
  • Efficiencies in support and technology enhancements



The B-250 aircraft 10.88m-long and 3.79m-tall with a wingspan of 12.1m and a distance of 3.1m between the wheels.

Dubai Airshow 2019: UAE-based Calidus secures domestic COIN aircraft order

United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Calidus has secured the first order for its B-250 turboprop aircraft designed for light attack counter-insurgency (COIN).

The order, announced at the Dubai Air Show on 20 November, covers 24 aircraft and associated services for the UAE Air Force and Defence (UAE AF & AD) and is valued at AED2.27 billion (USD620 million). No details pertaining to delivery timelines or in-service dates were disclosed.

First revealed at the same event in 2017, the B-250 is a single-engined, tandem twin-seat aircraft that is being developed in the UAE by Calidus with input from Brazilian company Novaer. Source

Cockpit and avionics of Calidus B-250

The state-of-art, open-architecture cockpit houses two crew members in tandem configuration. It is fitted with two zero-zero ejection seats developed by Martin Baker. The fully pressurised and air-conditioned cockpit integrates an on-board oxygen generating system (OBOGS) to support long-range missions.

Pro Line Fusion for Calidus B-250

Pro Line Fusion

Core features
> Touchscreen multifunction display with key panel and integrated HOTAS
> Night-vision-goggle compatible
> Synthetic Vision System
> Integrated head-up display (HUD) and autopilot
> Single-pilot operation
> Advanced graphical flight planning
> V/UHF communications/navigation
> Dual advanced flight management systems
> Rugged TACAN system
> On-board maintenance system
> Digital head-up display with UFCP
> High-accuracy, embedded GPS/inertial navigation system
> Three-channel distance measuring equipment to support navigation
> Integrated checklist
> Engine indication and crew alerting system
> Military identification, friend or foe (IFF) transponder
> Air data computer

Source Pro Line Fusion

The B-250 military trainer aircraft is equipped with an advanced Rockwell Collins Proline Fusion avionics suite, including large multi-functional display screens, touchscreen technology, a digital head-up display (HUD), and intuitive icons.

The avionics suite gathers information from on-board sensors and offers real-time information about runways, taxiways, complex intersections, and aircraft location. The information will also enhance the situational awareness of the pilots.

It also integrates a fully automatic Multiscan weather radar, which provides information on the weather conditions to the on-board crew.

Martin Baker Mk 16 ejection seats

The JPATS (Joint Primary Aircraft Training System) is designed to train students in basic flying skills and is common to the U.S. Air Force and Navy. Designated the US16LA, this lightweight ejection seat is designed for training aircraft, such as the T-6 Texan II.

It optimises the pilot field of view, improves comfort and pilot efficiency, and provides increased reliability and maintainability. With the Mk16 lightweight low-speed seat, ejection performance is optimised throughout the escape envelope, from zero height at zero velocity in a near level attitude through to 370 knots. It is designed to accommodate a very wide size and weight range.


  • Operating Ceiling: 50 000ft (15,250m)
  • Minimum height/Speed: Zero/zero in near level attitude
  • Crew boarding mass range: 62.3 to 123.0 kg
  • Crew size range: JPATS multi-variate body size cases 1 to 7
  • Maximum Speed for ejection: 370 KIAS (aircraft limit 316 KIAS)
  • Parachute type: GQ Type 5000
  • Parachute deployment: Cartridge initiated
  • Drogue parachute: 5 ft
  • Drogue deployment: Cartridge initiated and deployed
  • Harness type: Torso
  • Ejection seat operation type: Ejection guns and underseat rocket motor
  • Ejection gun: Twin
  • Ejection initiation: Handle on seat bucket initiates gas operated seat firing system
  • Automatic back-up unit: No, manual override
  • Electronic sequencer: No
  • Barostatic time-release unit: Yes + g-restrictor, cartridge initiated
  • Timers: Time delays in sequencing system
  • Seat adjustment: Up/down actuator operated 28 Vdc
  • Arm restraints: No
  • Leg restraints: Yes, two garters
  • Oxygen supply: Bottled emergency oxygen
  • Personal survival pack (PSP): Yes + automatic deployment
  • Aircrew services: Connection to emergency oxygen supply
  • Command ejection: Yes, via Interseat Sequencing System (ISS)
  • Canopy jettison: No
  • Canopy fracturing system: Yes
  • Interseat Sequencing System (ISS): Yes




Jeff Martin

Calidus wants to integrate UAE weapons manufactured by the likes of Barij Dynamics (formerly Tawazun Dynamics) and Emirates Systems and Support Services (ESSS).

The latter is a partnership formed in 2014 between the UAE and South Korea’s LiGNex1. An ESSS spokesman said: “The Koreans can help us to integrate weapons, qualify them and change seekers in them.”

At IDEX 2017, ESSS was exhibiting the likes of the Emirates guided bomb – a Mk80 series unguided bomb with a wing/guidance kit, which turns it into a cruise missile using inertial/GPS navigation. The system has a wireless interface connecting the bomb’s fire control unit to the pilot’s knee-pad unit or mission-planning unit. The big advantage is the wireless communications ensure there is no need for any special modification to the aircraft platform.

This LiGNex1 wing kit is already in service with the Republic of Korea Air Force F-15s and F-16s.

Emirates Guided Bomb (EGB)

Raybolt is a medium-range infantry missile that can be fired from either a man-portable tube or from a vehicle mount. It has top and direct attack modes. The EGB (pictured) is a wing/guidance kit that turns a Mk 80 series unguided bomb into a standoff precision attack weapon that uses inertial/GPS navigation. The system has a wireless interface that connects the bomb’s fire control unit to the pilot’s knee-pad unit or mission-planning unit. Using wireless communications negates the need for any special modification to the aircraft platform. The LIG Nex1 wing kit is already in service with the Republic of Korea Air Force. Source

LIG Nex1

Another weapon the partners are working on is the LOGIR imaging infrared precision rocket, which was seen mounted under the wing of one of the B-250s at the 2017 Dubai Air Show (DAS 17).

Providing ESSS with some opposition is Al Barij Dynamics – a partnership forged in 2012 between South Africa’s Denel Dynamics and Tawazun Dynamics, as Al Barij was formerly called. It manufactures the Al-Tariq family of strap-on bomb kit systems, used on Mk81, and Mk82 bombs. They provide the user with all-weather, day or night operational capabilities, utilising GPS/INS guidance.

The system allows for increased targeting accuracy by using a semi-active laser (SAL) seeker or an imaging infrared (IIR) with complete automatic target recognition (ATR) capability.

At DAS 17, Al Barij showcased its latest product, the P3 precision-guided munition, which also uses the WiFi system.

A low-cost, precision-guided kit designed to improve the range and accuracy of the standard Mk81 and Mk82s, it consists of either an inertial navigation system (INS)/global navigation satellite system (GNSS) guidance option or an INS/GNSS SAL seeker version.

P3 has been integrated on a number of platforms and serial production has already begun in the company’s Abu Dhabi facility.

The weapons won’t just be dedicated to the UAE. According to Calidus, they will also include Chinese, European, Russian and US systems to ensure all markets will be catered for. Source

Al Barij Dynamics precision-guided munition

Barij Dynamics is showing a range of precision-guided air-launched munitions as part of the EDIC display (Stand 05-A05). The enterprise, which is now a joint venture between EDIC and Denel Dynamics, was previously known as Tawazun Dynamics, but changed its name following its switch to EDIC.

The company has created a range of precision munitions that are in service with the UAE Air Force and Air Defence. The first weapon produced by the joint venture was the Al Tariq, based on the Denel Umbani. This is a kit that turns a 125lb Mk 81 or 250lb Mk 82 unguided bomb into a precision weapon with GNSS/ INS (Global Navigation Satellite System/Inertial Navigation System) guidance. Dual-mode guidance systems have been developed with either imaging infrared (with automatic target recognition) or semi-active laser (SAL) seekers combined with the GNSS/INS system. The weapon comes in a standard Al Tariq-S configuration that has a range of around 40km, or the Al Tariq-LR that adds a large fold-out wing kit that extends the range to around 120km.

Barij Dynamics also produces the Sejeel bomb kit that adds GNSS/INS and/or SAL guidance to Mk 81 and Mk 82 bombs. Like Al Tariq, it can be programmed with differing attack profiles, and has off-axis and moving target attack capability. The company has also produced a strap-on kit (pictured) for the larger 2,000lb Mk 84 weapon with GNSS/INS and SAL guidance systems. Source

Engine and performance


B-250 is powered by a Pratt and Whitney PT6A-68 turboprop engine equipped with a multi-stage axial and single-stage centrifugal compressor. Coupled to a single four-bladed propeller, the engine has maximum power production capacity of 1,600shp.

Pratt and Whitney PT6A-68 turboprop


The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 is a turboprop intended for both fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft which has been in service for over 50 years. The PT6 turboshaft family set the standards for helicopter engine reliability, durability and low cost of ownership. So far more than 32,000 engines have been delivered worldwide powering a variety of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.

There are many PT6A engine variants powering fixed-wing turboprop aircraft such as King Air, T-6A Texan II, De Havilland Dash 7, Cessna Caravan, EADS Socata TBMs, etc Source


The power-plant allows the aircraft to fly at a maximum speed of 301k. The aircraft can attain a maximum altitude of 30,000ft (9,000m) within a short span of time. It is designed to carry a maximum payload of 1,796kg and travel up to a maximum range of 4,500km.

The maximum autonomy or the endurance offered by the aircraft is 12 hours.

Calidus B-250 Specifications:

Engine: Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68
Service Ceiling: 30,000 ft
Payload: 1,796 kg
Maximum Level Speed: 557 km/h
Operating Radius: 1,037 km (at 463 km/h) in Attack or 2,185 km (at 519 km/h) in ISR
Maximum Ferry Range: 4,445 km
Maximum Endurance: 12 Hours

Specification source

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Main image Tony Osborne

AVX/L3Harris compound, coaxial helicopter – Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA)

Compound coaxial helicopter (CCH) is a new demonstrator aircraft being developed for the US Army future attack reconnaissance aircraft competitive prototype (FARA CP) programme.

CCH is designed and developed jointly by AVX Aircraft Company and L3 Technologies.

The aircraft is designed as part of the programme, which is set to replace approximately 50% of the AH-64 Apache fleet.


AVX Aircraft and L3 Technologies announced their participation for phase one of the FARA competitive prototype programme in December 2018. The aircraft design was revealed in April 2019.

Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft programme details

The FARA programme is part of the US Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme, which also includes the future unmanned aircraft system, advanced UAS, and future long-range assault aircraft (FLRAA) programmes in addition to the FARA.

The FVL programme aims to produce aircraft with high speed, low radar signature, higher payload capability, greater agility, lethality, and survivability. All the FVL category aircraft will be optionally manned aircraft with modular open system architectures and vertical take-off and landing feature.

Boeing-Sikorsky SB-1 DEFIANT: Details


SB-1 – Lockheed Martin

The FARA programme was initiated in 2018 with a $1.9bn transactional authority prototype solicitation. The US Army shortlisted Boeing, Sikorsky Aircraft, Bell Helicopter Textron, and Karem Aircraft along with AVX Aircraft-L3 Technologies partnership for the FARA phase one competitive prototype programme. The five participants will produce competitive prototypes in accordance with the US Army requirements.

V-280 Valor Helicopter: Details


Sikorsky Aircraft will employ its Sikorsky X2 technology, which was also used for the S-97 Raider aircraft to meet and exceed the requirements of the FARA programme.

Sikorsky S-97 Raider: Details



The US Army will shortlist two prototypes during the second phase of the FARA programme in March 2020 and allocate a fixed funding of $735m between 2020 and 2023. The FARA aircraft production is expected to begin in 2024.

AVX Aircraft

Vision of Capabilities

Building a helicopter able to sustain speeds in excess of 170 knots, achieve an overall combat range greater than 800 kilometers (combat radius of 424 kilometers) and hover with a full combat load under high/hot conditions (altitudes of 6,000 feet and 95 degrees F) are among the many capabilities sought after for the JMR.

Plans for the next-generation aircraft also include having a degree of autonomous flight capability or being “optionally manned,” successful weapons integration and compatibility, a core common architecture in terms of next-generation electronics, sensors and on-board avionics, manned-unmanned teaming ability and shipboard compatibility.

LONG RANGE>Enhanced Self Deployment Capability With Internal, Extended Range Fuel Tanks

“We’re trying to create a vision,” Chase said, referring to the effort to harness technological innovation with a mind to looking beyond current force technology and identifying possible next-generation solutions in a range of areas such as propulsion, airframe materials, rotor systems, engine technology, survivability equipment and Mission Systems, among others. Source

Compound coaxial helicopter design and features

AVX proposal for the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) via

The compound coaxial helicopter design solution is expected to completely meet or at least exceed 70% of the mandatory requirements of the FARA programme. It will meet modular open systems architecture requirements of the US Army, while allowing component reuse and system commonality across fleets.

CCH Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft will be capable of performing modern aerial warfare in challenging, complex, and degraded environments for longer duration while providing economical life-cycle cost. It is capable of hovering out of ground effect (HOGE) and carrying payloads using a sling mount.

Jane’s by IHS Markit

The aircraft will feature a modified tail boom, moderately tapered high wings, coaxial double rotors, high-mounted dual ducted fans on each side, one troop entrance door on each side, and a rear ramp for cargo and troops. The undercarriage will feature a retractable landing gear.


The interior will be designed to accommodate two crew and 14 troops. A dedicated chief gunner seat will be available to perform manual firing.

Defense & Aerospace Report

Compound coaxial helicopter tail boom modification and coaxial rotors

AVX Aircraft’s patented tail boom modification will offer higher speed, endurance, and extended range, while eliminating the need for extra power for the anti-torque used in the conventional tail boom.

The design will feature two ducted fans, which provide forward and reverse thrust leading to higher in-flight speeds with added agility. The ducted fan is considered an effective alternative of the conventional rotor tilt propulsion.


Jane’s by IHS Markit

The Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft’s stability will be ensured by the axial flow ducted fan along with a tail unit integrating vertical and horizontal stabilisers.


The combat reconnaissance helicopter coaxial blades and wings can be folded manually, thus reducing the space requirements and meeting the C-17 loading and the Navy DDG shipboard size limits.


Breaking Defense

Compound coaxial helicopter avionics and systems


Jane’s by IHS Markit


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Defense & Aerospace Report

Defense & Aerospace Report

A fly-by-wire system and advanced cockpit design will assist the pilot and crew to perform missions effectively. The aircraft will incorporate modern open system architecture along with advanced avionics systems.

Breaking Defense

The nose section will feature sensor systems as well as reconnaissance systems such as high-definition gimbal-mounted cameras. Weapon systems can be mounted on either side of the fuselage.

20mm M-197 Gatling Gun?


Breaking Defense

The M-197 20mm Gatling gun is a lightweight, three-barrel version of the M61A1 Gatling gun intended for applications that require a lightweight, highly reliable weapon capable of firing up to 1,500 shots per minute.

The gun is specifically designed for helicopters, light-fixed-wing aircraft and small naval attack vessels. It is adaptable for turret, pod, pintle or internal installations using either linked or linkless ammunition feed systems.

20mm M-197 Specifications


132 pounds (60 kg)

Rate of fire

Up to 1,500 shots per minute


8.0 milliradians diameter,
80 percent circle (M50)

Muzzle velocity

3,380 feet (1,030m) per second

Average recoil force

1,300 pounds (5.8 kN)

Drive system

Hydraulic, electric, pneumatic

Feed system

Linked or linkless

Source GD

AGM-114 Hellfire

Breaking Defense

The AGM-114 Hellfire is a family of 100 lbs class laser guided missiles for use against fixed and moving targets by both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft including UAVs.

In 1974, the development of the Hellfire missile began with the U.S. Army’s requirement for an anti-armor, helicopter launched, air-to-ground missile. On March 31, 1982, Rockwell International (now Boeing) was awarded the contract to produce the AGM-114A (initial model). The first operational missiles were delivered in late 1984 and the following year, the Hellfire missile system entered service.

MODULAR AND OPEN>Weapons bay/cabin (80″ L x 53″ H x 58″ W –

The family of Hellfire missiles includes, but is not limited to, AGM-114 B/K/K2/K2A/M/N/N-5/P/P+/R variants. These variants include shaped charge warheads (B/K/K2/K2A) for use against armored targets and blast fragmentation warheads (M/N) for use against urban structures. The AGM-114N is a thermobaric blast fragmentation warhead that maintains the capability provided by the AGM-114M while adding a unique capability against confined compartmented spaces, a typical target type observed in current combat operations. Other variants include the AGM-114 K2A which has a blast frag sleeve for use against soft-skinned tactical vehicles, the N-5 which provides a trajectory shaping capability to increase endgame lethality against vertical structures, the AGM-114P/P+ variants which include high-altitude launch trajectories for use from fixed-wing aircraft (such as the KC-130J Harvest HAWK), and the R which can be used against all Hellfire targets with a single warhead.


The AGM-114L is a variant designed specifically for use on the AH-64 Apache/Apache Longbow attack helicopter. It uses a millimeter wave (MMW) radar seeker. The L variant has an effective range of 0.5 to 8 km. To date, more than 14,000 AGM-114L missiles have been purchased by the U.S. Army and international customers.

The latest Hellfire variant is the AGM-114R multi–purpose Hellfire II missile, (aka Hellfire Romeo). According to the U.S. Army, the AGM-114R will replace all other Hellfire II missile configurations (K/N/M/P). The AGM-114R consolidates the capabilities of all previous Hellfire missile variants. It is equipped with semi–active laser (SAL) seekers into a single missile capable of defeating a broad range of targets. The AGM-114R can be launched from multiple air, sea and ground platforms, autonomously or with remote designation. From pre-launch to detonation, the AGM-114R employs a range of technological improvements that boost its effectiveness and utility. The AGM-114R features a three–axis inertial measurement unit, which enables properly equipped launch platforms to engage targets to the side and behind without maneuvering into position. The AGM-114R can be launched from higher altitudes than previous variants due to its enhanced guidance system and improved navigation capabilities. A new multi–purpose warhead enables the missile to defeat hard, soft and enclosed targets, which allows pilots to engage many targets with a single Hellfire loadout. The Army is currently only purchasing this variant.

Hellfire missiles are launched from Lockheed Martin/Marvin M299 and M310 missile launchers. Source

General Electric T700 engines


Breaking Defense

AVX has proposed a 230-kt coaxial-rotor compound helicopter with ducted fans for propulsion and small wings to offload the rotors at high speed. The company plans to build a 70%-scale flying demonstrator, sized to use existing General Electric T700 engines. Source

Defense & Aerospace Report

General Electric T700 engines


The General Electric T700 is one of the most successful turboshaft engines ever built. Since the first T700 (the T700-GE-700) entered production in 1978, the engine has accumulated more than 50 million flight operating hours. With an installed inventory of more than 11,000, the General Electric T700 turboshaft and turboprop engines are the most widely used in their class. Also, the General Electric T700 provides great reliability and maintainability. The engine has proven itself in battle, extreme environments, and in commercial service. T700 engines currently power 25 types of civil and military helicopters as well as fixed-wing civil transport aircraft, military transport aircraft, and special-mission aircraft.


The newest T700 engine, the T700-GE-701D, provides the latest technologies for field-proven engines. The T700-701D comes with 1,994 shp and features 6 compressor stages and 4 turbine stages (2HP-2LP). The U.S. Army is currently upgrading its fleet of UH-60A/L Black Hawk helicopters to the UH-60M configuration, which includes upgrading the older T700-GE-700 engines to the more powerful and durable T700-GE-701D configuration. This is done with the use of GE upgrade kits. While maintaining a high commonality with the T700-GE-701C, the T700-GE-701D represents an affordable approach to improve the performance and durability of these engines. The T700-701D will power the newest Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters and Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicoptersSource

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Updated Mar 14, 2020

Pilatus PC-21 Turboprop Trainer Aircraft

Pilatus Aircraft Limited rolled out the PC-21 training aircraft in May 2002. The PC-21 expanded envelope trainer aircraft is designed to fulfil the requirements for basic, advanced and fighter lead-in training for pilots and, if required, weapon systems officers (WSO).

The PC-21 project was launched in November 1998 and the development programme began in January 1999. First flight was in July 2002. The first aircraft has successfully completed over 400 flight hours. The second test aircraft made its maiden flight in June 2004 but, in January 2005, was destroyed in an accident which claimed the life of the pilot. A brief grounding of the first prototype was unconditionally cancelled shortly after.

The first pre production aircraft made its maiden flight in August 2005 and a second joined the flight test programme in 2006.

The PC-21 received certification for VFR (visual flight rules) operation in December 2004 and full certification for IFR (instrument flight rules) in December 2006.

Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft orders and deliveries


In November 2006, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training and Support to operate the RSAF Basic Wings Course and Pilatus supplied 19 PC-21 trainers under the contract. The first six were delivered in April 2008 and the RSAF began flight training with the PC-21 in July 2008.

Annotation 2019-10-09 0911461-1-1

Citation Ten @flicker

In January 2007, Pilatus received an order from the Swiss Air Force for six PC-21 aircraft. All six were delivered in 2008.

Pilatus was awarded an additional CHF30m ($31.87m) contract by the Swiss Air Force in December 2010 for two PC-21 training aircraft. The contract also includes logistics and engineering services and supply of a debriefing system. Deliveries began in 2012.

Under a $494m contract signed in December 2009, the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence will procure 25 PC-21 turboprop aircraft. The contract also includes supply of an integrated ground-based training system and a comprehensive logistics support package. The maiden flight of the first PC-21 to be deployed at the UAE Air Force was completed on 22 November 2010.


Saudi Arabia –

Deliveries of 25 PC-21 equipped with the Pilatus training system to the UAE began in the first quarter of 2011. In May 2012 Saudi Arabia signed a contract with BAE systems to provide supply 55 Pilatus PC-21 aircraft and 22 BAE Systems Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft, which will be used to train pilots to fly Eurofighter Typhoon jets.


PC-21 training turboprop aircraft features

The aircraft combines the procurement and operating costs of current-generation turboprop aircraft with a jet training capability. It has a higher wing loading that is more characteristic of a jet and the engine’s power output is scheduled by using a sophisticated power management system.

Operational conversion unit (OCU) training such as night vision goggles, basic radar interception and the simulated deployment of smart weapons can be transferred to the PC-21. By employing a PC-21 for straight-through training the cost of training a student to ‘wings graduation’ can be significantly reduced, the training time shortened and the student pilot’s advanced training failure rates reduced.

The aircraft is fitted with a fully digital glass cockpit with head-up displays, an up-front control panel (UFPC), hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) control and full sized multi-function displays giving a similar cockpit environment to current generation fighters, such as the AV-8B, F-16, F/A-18 and Gripen.

PC-21 aircraft design


The PC-21 has a high-efficiency, three-spar, swept wing design with hydraulic ailerons supported by spoilers. The leading edges of the wings are of high-impact resistant material. The aircraft incorporates automatic yaw compensation.

The Mecaplex two section acrylic canopy has a thickened bird-strike-resistant front section.



The pressurised tandem cockpit has an automated cockpit conditioning system, an anti-g system, and an on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS). The Martin Baker Mark 16L zero-zero ejection seat has command ejection. The pilots have good all-round view: the front seat pilot has an 11 forward view and the rear pilot a 40 view.



Each cockpit is fitted with three 152mm×203mm (6in×8in) active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCD). The central liquid crystal display is the primary flight display (PFD). The bezel-mounted display buttons and up-front control panel (UFCP) buttons are used to select the navigation, mission, systems and tactical data displayed on the two outer multi-function displays. Two 761mm Meggitt secondary back-up displays alongside the UFCP show the primary flight display, systems and essential engine data. All the PC-21 cockpit displays and lighting systems are night vision NVIS class B compatible.

Mike Luedey

The forward cockpit is fitted with a Flight Visions SparrowHawk head-up display with a FVD-4000 HUD symbol generator and the rear cockpit is equipped with a full colour HUD repeater display showing the view from the HUD camera, overlaid with HUD symbology information.


The front and rear cockpits can be fully decoupled, allowing the instructor access to training modes and sensor data unavailable to the trainee pilot.


Martin Baker Mark 16L zero-zero ejection seat


It optimises the pilot field of view, improves comfort and pilot efficiency, and provides increased reliability and maintainability. With the Mk16 lightweight low-speed seat, ejection performance is optimised throughout the escape envelope, from zero height at zero velocity in a near level attitude through to 370 knots. It is designed to accommodate a very wide size and weight range.


  • Operating Ceiling: 50 000ft (15,250m)
  • Minimum height/Speed: Zero/zero in near level attitude
  • Crew boarding mass range: 62.3 to 123.0 kg
  • Crew size range: JPATS multi-variate body size cases 1 to 7
  • Maximum Speed for ejection: 370 KIAS (aircraft limit 316 KIAS)
  • Parachute type: GQ Type 5000
  • Parachute deployment: Cartridge initiated
  • Drogue parachute: 5 ft
  • Drogue deployment: Cartridge initiated and deployed
  • Harness type: Torso
  • Ejection seat operation type: Ejection guns and underseat rocket motor
  • Ejection gun: Twin
  • Ejection initiation: Handle on seat bucket initiates gas operated seat firing system
  • Automatic back-up unit: No, manual override
  • Electronic sequencer: No
  • Barostatic time-release unit: Yes + g-restrictor, cartridge initiated
  • Timers: Time delays in sequencing system
  • Seat adjustment: Up/down actuator operated 28 Vdc
  • Arm restraints: No
  • Leg restraints: Yes, two garters
  • Oxygen supply: Bottled emergency oxygen
  • Personal survival pack (PSP): Yes + automatic deployment
  • Aircrew services: Connection to emergency oxygen supply
  • Command ejection: Yes, via Interseat Sequencing System (ISS)
  • Canopy jettison: No
  • Canopy fracturing system: Yes
  • Interseat Sequencing System (ISS): Yes


The aircraft’s CMC Electronics FV-4000 mission computer is fitted with 500MHz Power PC G4 processors, each with 512MB memory for real-time, high refresh rate data processing. The open system avionics architecture allows for adaptation and system upgrade.

CMC Electronics FV-4000 mission computer

The FV-4000 features 500 MHz PowerPC G4 processors with up to 512 Mbytes of memory per processor for processing critical data in real time and at a high refresh rate. It has extensive video switching and graphics generation capability and includes an industry leading,14 Gbyte solidstate mass memory card. Its processing is supported by modules which can be added for
high-resolution graphics in the case of multifunction displays or for interfacing to any avionics bus or signal used with either military or civil systems.

The navigation suite includes an integrated laser inertial navigation sensor, a global positioning system and Kalman filter. The systems have ARINC and military-standard 1553B data bus interfaces.


Four under-wing stores pylons and one centreline pylon can be installed.

Mission planning and training

A mission planning system (MPS) allows fast ground-based mission planning. The MPS provides benign handling for early stages of pilot training, while providing higher performance handling characteristics for advanced pilot training. The mission planning data is downloaded into the aircraft via a mission data loader.


The mission data loader is compatible with all the PC-21 ground-based training systems and simulators. The mission data loader is also used for mission recording as the data storage medium. Mission recording is automatic from power-on to engine shutdown to allow complete mission playback after the flight. The system records all the display input data including the full colour head-up display, with event markers if required.


A separate solid-state memory system is used to record the engineering data for the health and usage monitoring system (HUMS).

The up-front panel control (UFPC) allows information to be input into the aircraft’s mission and navigation systems. System operational modes include navigation, air-to-ground and air-to-air weapon aiming and FMS.


Virtual avionics prototyping system (VAPS) was used for the design of the software which allows fast and efficient changes to the avionics as requested by a customer. The VAPS is used in both the aircraft avionics and in the ground-based training systems, ensuring that both function to the same software release standard.


The avionics system can be modified to suit the student pilot’s phase of training. The avionics simulates front-line mission systems, including weapon aiming and the simulated release of weapons even when training rounds are not carried.


The aircraft is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68B turboprop engine rated at 1,200kW (1,600shp) with a Hartzell E8991 KX five-bladed graphite propeller. The engine is fitted with a digital power management system which brings up full power at speeds over 360 km/h and gives the trainer aircraft a jet-like response.


Le Pilatus PC-21 vu sur sa longueur © Radio France – Pierre MARSAT via

PT6A-68B turboprop engine




PC-21 performance


The PC-21 can climb at a rate of 4,250 fpm and its maximum speed is 685 km/h. The aircraft can fly up to an altitude of 7,620m. The range and service ceiling of the PC-21 are 1,297 km and 11,582m respectively.

The low-altitude speed and climb rate for the PC-21 is more characteristic of a jet aircraft than a turboprop. The maximum level speed at low-altitude flight is 590km/h.

The aircraft’s take-off distance is 725m and landing distance, 900m. The aircraft weighs 2,330kg.



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M36 Class Patrol Boats

The M36-class patrol boats have been built by Marsun Company and are intended to serve the maritime patrol requirements of the Royal Thai Navy.

The patrol boat can conduct a range of missions such as marine law enforcement, prevention of onshore or sea infiltrations and protection of shipping and fishing boats.

It is also able to participate in search-and-rescue (SAR) missions and perform security operations for VIPs.

The first three vessels in the class were designated as T111, T112 and T113.


The boats were launched by Marsun in March 2014 and delivered to the Royal Thai Navy later the same year.

Marsun laid the keels for the fourth and fifth M36-class vessels in June 2018 at its shipbuilding facility in Samut Prakan.

The latest vessels are named as T114 and T115 respectively.

M36-class patrol boat design



The M36-class patrol boats feature a mono-hull design with an integrating Aluminium hull and superstructure.

The mono-hull design ensures the vessel’s high-performance and durability and is designed to offer extended service-life, even when operating in harsh weather conditions.







In addition, the vessel offers a clear deck space of 63m² and accommodates a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) at the rear deck area.

The deck has a load capacity of 50t and can house two 20ft containers at the aft.

The boat can accommodate up to 28 crew members and 13 special operation forces.



It has an overall length of 36m, a beam of 7.6m and a draught of 1.7m.

The on-board fuel tank has a maximum fuel-carrying capacity of 34m³, while the vessel’s freshwater storage unit has a capacity of 7.6m³.





Crew 28 persons
Special Operation Force Unit 13 persons



– HF/SSB Frequency Hopping


– VHF/FM (Low Band)

– Marine Radar 25kW

– Marine Radar 12 kW


– Gyro Compass

– Wind Spee and Direction

– Echo Sounder

– Automatic Identification System

– Navtex Reviever

1 x 20 mm./30 mm. Machine Gun
2 x .50 Caliber Machine Guns


Armament aboard M36 class



The forward bow deck is fitted with a single 20mm or 30mm machine gun.

Its duel-fed cannon is assisted by a hydraulic device for rearming process, while two large boxes are stationed near the weapon station to house the cartridges.


MARSUN – GI-2 20 x 139mm Rapid Fire Automatic Cannon

The M36-class vessels also feature two weapon mounts that can hold machine guns, which are able to fire 0.50-calibre (12.7mm) ammunition.



The aft deck is capable of accommodating a pedestal-mounted surface-to-air missile (SAM) system, allowing it to launch weapons such as Mistral SAMs.



Navigation and communications



The M36-class is equipped with navigation systems such as 25kW and 12kW marine radars, a differential global positioning system (DGPS), and direction and wind speed measuring devices.









The vessel also features an echo sounder, automatic identification system (AIS), gyro compass and Navtex receiver.

Its communication equipment includes high-frequency citizen band (HF-CB) radios, global maritime distress and safety systems (GMDSSs), a normal high-frequency single-side band (HF-SSB) and frequency-hopping HF-SSB, as well as very high-frequency (VHF) / HF and low-band VHF frequency modulation (FM) radios.



Propulsion and performance of M36 class patrol boats



The M36 class patrol boats are powered by three Cummins KTA50-M engines, which each have a rated power output of 1,800 brake horsepower (bhp) at 1,900rpm.

The engines drive three fixed-pitch propellers through three shafts.

3 x Cummins KTA50-M engines





Auxiliary power systems on-board the patrol boat include two Cummins generators with a capacity to produce 112kWe of power each, as well as a three-phase AC power supply with a rated voltage of 380V at 50Hz and a single-phase 220V AC electric power supply operating at 50Hz.



The vessel has a maximum speed of more than 27k and is able to travel up to a range of more than 1,200 nautical miles.



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