Monthly Archives: January 2016

KJ2000 AWACS Aircraft – Chinese PLAAF

The KongJing-2000 (KJ-2000) is the first airborne warning and control system (AWACS) in service with the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), with four examples commissioned between 2006~07.

The aircraft was based on the airframe of the Russian-made A-50/IL-76MD, but outfitted with an Chinese indigenous electronically steered phased-array (ESA) radar developed by Nanjing Research Institute of Electronic Technology (also known as 14 Institute). Xi’an Aircraft Corporation (XAC) was responsible for converting existing IL-76MD transport jets for the AWACS role.

A-50I Phalcon Programme

The KJ-2000 was a direct result of the failed A-50I Phalcon Programme. China started a three-way talk with Israel and Russia in 1994 for a possible purchase of advanced AWACS aircraft.

Beriev A-50/A-100 (AEW&C): Details

a2Beriev A-50

Under the proposal, Russia would provide four Beriev A-50 Mainstay airframes, which were to be fitted with the Phalcon airborne early warning (AEW) radar and other C3I system developed by Israeli Aircraft Industries Ltd (IAI). In May 1997, China, Israel, and Russia reached an agreement to supply one such AWACS aircraft under the designation A-50I for $250 million, with the option of three more for a total cost of $1 billion. In October 1999, Russia delivered the first A-50 aircraft to Israel for the installation of the Phalcon AEW radar system.

a-50i1China salvaged this A-50I prototype from Israel via Russia in 2002 the Phalcon system removed – Image:

By May 2000, Israel had nearly completed the system installation. However, the Phalcon deal became an increasingly controversial issue between the United States and Israel. In 2000, the Clinton Administration voiced stronger objections to the sale and urged Israel to cancel the sale of the Phalcon, saying it is a system comparable to the U.S. AWACS and could collect intelligence and guide aircraft from 250 miles away. After some intensive talks, the Israeli government finally cancelled the deal with China in July 2000.

The fallout of the Phalcon deal was a major blow for China’s military modernisation programme. China reacted to the setback by starting a domestic programme to develop its own airborne early warning radar and relevant C3I systems. The Israeli-made Phalcon radar and other onboard electronic systems were retrieved from the unfinished A-50I, and the airframe was handed to China via Russia in 2002. Modifications on the airframe began in late 2002 to install the Chinese-made airborne radar system at XAC. A total of four planes were produced, with one based on the A-50I airframe (which can be identified by its nose-mounted aerial refuelling probe), and other three being converted using existing IL-76MD transports in service with the PLAAF. The conversation work was carried out by the XAC.

The AWACS aircraft designated KJ-2000 made its first flight in November 2003. Following some extensive flight testing at China Flight Test Establishment (CFTE) in Yanliang, Shaanxi Province and radar system testing at an airbase near Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, the aircraft entered operational service between 2006~07. A total of four examples (30071, 30072, 30073, and 30074) are being operated by the PLAAF 26th Air Division based in the eastern Zhejiang province near the Taiwan Strait.


The KJ-2000 has five flight crew and possibly 10~15 mission crew. The aircraft carries out patrol missions at an altitude of 5,000~10,000m. The maximum flight range of the aircraft is 5,000km and the flight endurance is 7 hours 40 minutes. At a range of 2,000km, the aircraft can remain on patrol for up to 1 hour 25 minutes.

The A-50 airframe, developed and manufactured by the Beriev Aircraft Research and Engineering Complex Joint Stock Company based at Taganrog in the Rostov Region of Russia, was derived from the Ilyushin IL-76 jet transport aircraft, distinguished by the large, non-rotate radome containing the phased-array radar antenna; the solid nose replacing the original ‘glass-in’ nose, and a large number of electronic system antennas on the front section of the fuselage.


The primary radar system housed in the radome is an three-sided electronically steered phased-array (ESA) developed by Nanjing-based 14 institute. Unlike the Russian A-50 or U.S. E-3, which rotate their rotodomes to give a 360 degree coverage, the KJ-2000’s radar antenna does not rotate. Instead, three ESA antenna modules are placed in a triangular configuration inside the round radome to provide a 360 degree coverage.

The Chinese-made radar system could be similar in design to the IAI Phalcon, but may not be as capable as the latter. The Phalcon system could track up to 60~100 targets at the same time and guide a dozen fighters in all-weather, day and night operations. Source


Assessing the Tikhomirov NIIP L-Band Active Electronically Steered Array | Air Power Australia: Here

“….Chinese KJ-2000 and KJ-200 AEW&C/AWACS radars, all operate in the L-band….

Why has the L-band been so popular? With operating wavelengths of the order of 6 to 12 inches, it permits good long range search performance with modestly sized antennas, while providing excellent weather penetration, and reasonably well behaved ground clutter environments compared to shorter wavelength bands. In airborne radar applications, L-band offers an additional economy, as a single L-band design can combine conventional primary radar functions with secondary IFF/SSR functions, thus saving considerable antenna and transmitter/receiver hardware weight, cooling and volume. The latter are alone sufficient reasons to employ this otherwise heavily congested band.

Another less frequently discussed consideration is that L-band frequencies typically sit below the design operating frequencies of stealth shaping features in many fighter aircraft and UAV designs. Shaping features such as engine inlet edges, exhaust nozzles, and other details become ineffective at controlled scattering once their size is comparable to that of the impinging radar waves. This problem is exacerbated by the skin effect in resistive and magnetic materials, which at these wavelengths often results in penetration depths incompatible with thin coatings or shallow structures.

It was therefore not surprising that during the 2000/2001 Australian media debate over the Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft, US participants were quick to vocally argue the ‘counter-stealth’ capability of the Wedgetail’s L-band AESA radar design.” Source


E-7A Wedgetail: Details

Soloviev D-30 KP turbofan

4 × Soloviev D-30 KP turbofan, 117,68 kN (26,500 lbf) each


ENGINE D-30КU-154 D-30КU-2 D-30КP-2
Thrust at APR*, kgf  –
Take-off thrust, kgf 10 500 11 000 12 000
Specific fuel consumption at take-off, kg/(kgf∙hr) 0.498 0.498 0.510
Specific fuel consumption at cruise, kg/(kgf∙hr)** 0.715 0.685 0.705
Bypass ratio  2.50 2.31 2.24
Dimensions (L x D), m  5.698 x 1.560 5.698 x 1.560 5.448 x 1.560

* – automatic power reserve
** – (H=11 000 m, M=0.8)



Limited performance parameters of KJ-2000 have been published as follows:

  • Max speed (km/hr): 850
  • Max range (km): 5500
  • Max endurance (hr): 12
  • Take-off weight (t): 175
  • Range against fighter sized targets (km): 470
  • Range against ballistic missiles (km): 1200
  • Max # of target that can be tracked simultaneously: 100



Updated Jan 22, 2018


Taifun-M Armored reconnaissance vehicle – Russia

The Taifun-M is a new Russian armored reconnaissance vehicle. It was developed specially for the Russian strategic missile forces. Development commenced in 2007. In Russia the Taifun-M is designated as anti-diversion vehicle. It is a new class of vehicles. The Taifun-M is intended to escort mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles in order to prevent enemy ambushes. It can also protect silo-based ICBM launch sites. This reconnaissance vehicle can spot approaching enemy troops. It entered service with the Russian Army in 2013. First vehicle was delivered during the same year.


   The new vehicle is based on on BTR-82 armored personnel carrier. The original Taifun was under developed since late 1990s. It was planned to be based on the BTR-80 APC. However it never appeared due to prolonged development.

BTR-82A: Details

   This reconnaissance vehicle is armed only with remotely-controlled 7.62-mm machine gun. There are some firing ports with associated periscopes provided for the crew to fire their individual weapons.

Remotely-controlled 7.62-mm machine gun


   Vehicle is fitted with a mast-mounted radar, FLIR and optical sensors. Some sources report that it can spot enemy vehicles at a range of 6 km and enemy troops at a range of 3 km. Reconnaissance equipment can be controlled by commander or operator.


The Taifun-M also carries a small unmanned aerial vehicle. In traveling order unmanned aerial vehicle is stored inside the box on top of the roof. It is used to monitor large areas.

Unmanned aerial vehicle stored inside the box on top of the roof


Vehicle is also fitted with a portable mine detector. Furthermore the Taifun-M is equipped with a system, that suppresses radio-controlled explosive devices.

NR-900 EK designed for detection of mines and explosive device with electronic fuses (activation system) concealed on the ground surface, slightly in the ground (snow), under the road pavement and within various facilities.

NR-900 EK


NR-900 EK Detects:

  • communicational transmitters & receivers as well as alarm and remote control system facilities;
  • electronic and electromechanical timers;
  • acoustic, magnetic, optoelectronic sensors and midget TV cameras;
  • built-in metal-ware as well as hidden machinery and appliances;
  • domestic electronic units and alpine skiing in snow traps.


NR-900 EK application possibilities:

  • roads, terrain and objects inspection for mines, improvised explosive devices (IED) and other explosive appliances with electronic components;
  • searching for hidden caches with weapons, ammunition, explosive devices and communication facilities;
  • questioned items investigation, searching for subversive and terrorist devices and arrangements.

Main features:

  • extended detection range;
  • electronic facilities localization in any operational mode: active, ‘stand-by’ or even switched off installed behind walls, fences, etc.
  • equipment design allows its usage in tactical airborne missions;
  • efficient use in search/reconnaissance missions;
  • high searching rate;
  • safe to handle, user-friendly design;
  • extended continuous operational time without battery replacement;
  • long-term operation facility in field conditions. (

Technical Specifications:

Probing signal type pulse
Receiver 2-channel (2nd and 3rd harmonics)
Output power 0,15 / 200 W (average / peak)
User interface LED display
Audio output headphones
Power supply Ni-Cad battery, 6V/7Ah
Start-up time no more than 5 min
Continous operation time
(normal enviroment condition)
not less than 8 h
Operation temperature -30ºC…+50ºC
Weight (ready for operation/in standard packing) 5.1kg/12.0kg

   This armored reconnaissance vehicle has a welded steel armor hull. Front arc provides protection against 12.7-mm armor-piercing rounds. All-round protection is against 7.62-mm rounds. Interior is lined with Kevlar anti-spall liner. Vehicle has a double hull for improved protection against landmines. It is fitted with automatic fire suppression and NBC protection systems.


   Vehicle has a crew of about four men, including commander, driver, gunner and unmanned aerial vehicle operator. It seems that vehicle can carry three more scouts. Soldiers enter and leave the vehicle via side doors or roof hatches.


This reconnaissance vehicle is powered by KamAZ 740.14-300 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 300 hp. It is a commercially available truck engine. Engine is located at the rear.

Vehicle also has auxiliary power unit, which powers all systems and charges the batteries, when the main engine is turned off. Vehicle is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. The Taifun-M is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by a waterjet.


Source: the net

Updated Dec 20, 2016

Brahmos Missile Small-Size Version can be Launched from Submarine Torpedo Tubes

A small version of the Russian-Indian cruise missile Brahmos can be launched from submarine torpedo tubes, CEO of the Machine-Building Scientific and Production Association Alexander Leonov said on Friday. The Machine-Building Scientific and Production Association is taking part in developing the Brahmos missile.

A small version of the Russian-Indian cruise missile Brahmos can be launched from submarine torpedo tubes, CEO of the Machine-Building Scientific and Production Association Alexander Leonov said on Friday. The Machine-Building Scientific and Production Association is taking part in developing the Brahmos missile. Scale model of Brahmos launched from a submarine VLS at INDODEFENCE 2012

“Unlike the Brahmos missile, its version is a little smaller and can be located in a torpedo tube,” the CEO said. According to Leonov, an aircraft version of the Brahmos missile is also being developed, which will allow Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets making up the mainstay of India’s Air Force to carry more cruise missiles.

As of today, a Su-30MKI fighter jet can be armed with only one Brahmos missile. Leonov confirmed the information that future Indian-made submarines would be armed with Brahmos cruise missiles. “The Indian Defense Ministry is planning to provide future submarines with Brahmos missiles,” the CEO said.

Read rest of article: HERE


March 2013

India on Wednesday became the first country in the world to fire a supersonic cruise missile vertically from an underwater platform. The submarine-launched version of BrahMos was successfully test-fired for first time from an underwater platform off the Visakhapatnam coast. Source

Maiden Launch Of Submarine-Launched BrahMos-1 Supersonic MRCM
BrahMos Aerospace, the India-Russia JV operational since February 1998, created history when the submarine-launched version of the BrahMos-1 vertically-launched supersonic multi-role cruise missile was successfully test-fired at 1410 hours on March 20, 2013  from a submerged, stabilised and stationary platform (the same that was used for test-firing the B-O5/K-15 SLBM on January 27, 2013) in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Visakhapatnam.
The missile took off vertically from its submerged cannister and attained its full range of 290km. Following a pre-programmed flight trajectory, the missile emerged from underwater and took a vectored turn towards the designated target. All the shore-based and shipborne telemetry and tracking stations confirmed the pin-point accuracy of the mission. This was reportedly the first time that any supersonic multi-role cruise missile had been launched vertically from a submerged, stabilised and stationary platform. When vertically installed in vertical cannisters within the pressure-hull of a nuclear-powered SSGN, the BrahMos-1 increases the ‘offensive power’ of the SSGN without compromising on the SSGN’s ‘defensive power’ as the torpedo tubes can be fully utilised for engaging in undersea warfare while operating in the self-seeking hunter-killer mode.



Air Force One

Air Force One is the designation of any airplane that serves the President of the United States government. The same planes are used by the vice-president but are called Air Force Two when he is aboard. The presidential fleet consists of two customized Boeing 747-200B aircraft (military designation VC-25A) called SAM 28000 and 29000.

The name Air Force One was established after an incident in 1953, when Eastern Airlines flight 8610 crossed paths with the president’s plane, then called Air Force 8610, although the Air Force One name was not made official until 1962.

Technical information from I Love Air Force One.

Special Air Mission 28000 and 29000

In 1990, the two Boeing 747 (VC-25A) aircraft used today were delivered (having been ordered by Ronald Reagan). The same livery was used, but the interiors were selected by Mrs. Reagan.

A new Air Force One is scheduled to go into service in 2017. The likely candidates are a Boeing 747-8 and a Boeing 787.

Air Force OneAir Force OneAir Force Oneair-force-one-28000-main1Air Force OneAir Force OneVC-25A staff room, looking back down corridor outside conference room (White House)Air Force OneVC-25A senior staff room (White House)Air Force OneVC-25A corridor outside conference room (White House)Air Force OneVC-25A president’s office (White House)



The tail cone of Air Force One bristles with defensive systems at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., in June 2012. Photo and annotations by John GourleyMulti-purpose conformal antennas are almost flush against the fuselage side of this VC-25A presidential aircraft at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., in June 2012. Photo and annotations by John Gourley

Not new to the VC-25A:

  • About five AN/ALQ-204 Matador infrared (IR) countermeasures devices are located at the tail and behind the four engines, Previously used on the VC-137C (Boeing 707-320B) presidential aircraft and on airliners and executive aircraft, the device emits pulsed IR signals to foil attacks by heat-seeking missiles.

AN/ALQ-204 Matador infrared (IR) countermeasure

af1-ircm-08.jpg1635e351cff0f0e301fecd4365fc3442 (1).jpg

Thought to be new or recent additions to the VC-25A:

  • An AN/AAR-54(V) missile launch warning receiver located at the tail is intended to report and track missile threats by zeroing in on their ultraviolet exhaust signature. The receiver is also in use on special-operations warplanes like the MC-130H Combat Talon II.

AN/AAR-54(V) missile launch warning receiver


  • The AN/AAQ-24 Nemesis Directional Infra-Red Counter Measures (DIRCM) system, which can be directed by the AAR-54, fires pulsating flashes of IR energy that confuse a missile’s guidance system.

AN/AAQ-24 Nemesis Directional Infra-Red Counter Measures (DIRCM) system


  • Conformal antennas: the VC-25As have been retrofitted with multi-purpose conformal antennas adaptable to satellite communications systems and other purposes. They resemble Band-Aids or patches but are, in fact, antennas that appear to have no effect on the aerodynamic performance of the 747.


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The New Air Force One – 747-800

The 747-8 will be the Air Force One replacement to carry around the U.S. President – Image: Jon Ostrower

Source Boeing

The 747-800 That May Become Air Force One: Here


The USAF has a deal in the works to turn a pair of Boeing 747 jetliners abandoned by a bankrupt Russian airline into the next presidential transport. Here’s what they look like.

Under pressure from President Donald Trump to cut the costof the next Air Force Ones, the U.S. Air Force is finalizing a deal with Boeing to purchase two undelivered 747s in storage in the Mojave desert.

White House cut in-flight refueling on next Air Force One: Here


It was a White House decision to cut in-flight refueling on the next Air Force One, a decision that might be challenged by Congress, according to an exchange Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

The revelation came during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, who was nominated to serve another term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Air Force announced in August that it would purchase two existing Boeing 747s to replace the two aging VC-25A aircraft that serve as Air Force One now. The aircraft will be modified with military communications systems and self-defense capabilities.

At the time, the Air Force said it would not require that the aircraft have in-flight refueling capabilities. The modifications are expected to be completed around 2024.

Updated Sep 27, 2017

BAE to support construction of second Thai patrol vessel

By Ryan Maass   |   Jan. 29, 2016 at 11:46 AM

BAE Systems’ Offshore Patrol Vessel is equipped with a surveillance radar and a 30mm small caliber gun system. BAE is to support Bangkok Dock in the construction of its second 90-meter vessel for the Royal Thai Navy. Photo by BAE Systems

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) — BAE Systems to assist Bangkok Dock in the construction of its second 90-meter Offshore Patrol Vessel for the Royal Thai Navy.

Under the contract, the company will provide engineering support and advice during the construction process. BAE Systems Naval Ships commercial director Nigel Stewart says the contract helps strengthen the relationship between the company and Thailand’s navy.

“This contract to support delivery of a second Offshore Patrol Vessel to the Royal Thai Navy is a clear endorsement of our versatile Offshore Patrol Vessel design,” Stewart said in a statement. “With three of these ships already in service in Brazil and a further three Offshore Patrol Vessels under construction for the UK Royal Navy, our design continues to attract significant interest internationally.”

The Royal Thai Navy received its first 90-meter patrol vessel from Bangkok Dock in 2013. The vessel, called HTMS KRABI, is a variant of the baseline BAE Systems design, and has completed roughly 1,000 days at sea with the navy.

BAE Systems has a technology transfer agreement with Bangkok Dock, an industrial partner based the country. Under that agreement, BAE Systems provides the design for the vessel and additional engineering and technological support.

The vessel is equipped with an air surveillance radar to track low-flying aircraft and assist in anti-smuggling operations. The boat is also armed with a 30mm small caliber gun and port-mounted 25mm guns, allowing personnel to engage fast inshore attack craft.

Copyright © 2016 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Read original article: HERE


Thales reveals configuration of the RTN’s new OPV and proposed Pattani-class upgraded plan.

Royal Thai Navy is on the preparation process of building its new OPV, the second of the Krabi class, and they still choosing Thales Nederland as lead system and combat system integrator. The second ship will have a higher capability. Thales also proposed the upgrade plan for the Pattani-class that, if implemented, will bring the capability to the standard of what it is on Krabi class.

TACTICOS still a combat suite for the yet-to-be name OPV. 4 MOC Mk.3 console station will be installed along with two large collaboration wall displaying the situation picture. The air-surface surveillance radar will be the rotating 2D dual C/X-band TWT Variant radar along with rotating 2D X-band FMCW LPI solid-state Scout surface-helicopter control radar. Mk X(A) TSB2525 and STIR 1.2 EO Mk 2 is the main fire control. R-ESM capability rely on Vigile Mk 2. L3 Wescam MX-10MS optronic surveillance system and Terma SKWS C-Guard, X-Band and S-Band Sperry Marine Vision Master radar, Furuno ARPA radar will also be installed.

The ADS-B and AIS are also believed to be install on board.

Main gun will be Oto Melara 76/62 compact stealth shield and two MSI-DSL/ATK 30 mm DS30MR Mk.44. There are also an preparation for the anti-ship missile to be installed. RTN is looking at the RGM-84D Harpoon, but if there is any export ban RTN will shift to C-802A instead. But believe that the Harpoon deal, if it is exist, will go through consider United States just approve the additional sale of RIM-162B ESSM to the RTN. The two Terma DL-12T will make this ship the first RTN ship that capable of avoiding the anti-ship attack.

Thales also providing the FICS integrated communication system and FOCON IP phone. Network centric mission will go through Thales Link Y Mk.2 that enable the ship to share information with allied force. Thales also integrating the Link RTN developed by Avia Satcom/Rohde & Schwarz. SATCOM will be using Cobham Sailor and underwater communication will be using Ocean Technology Systems Aquacom to communicate with diver. The LRAD also be installed for law enforcement mission.

Imtech Marine UniMACS 3000 series integrated bridge system will handle all bridge word. TACAN will be also installed.’s opinion is this the indication that the new OPV will have an on-board 7 tons helicopter. 

RTN spokesperson give some more detail about the second OPV project.

Aside from the BAE Systems’ enhanced design, the ship has helipad capable to accommodate the 11.5-ton helicopter or S-70B in RTN. RGM-84 Harpoon will be installed on board the ship and most of electronic systems are from Thales.

The project value is 5,482,930,000 Baht in which 2,832,930,000 Baht is the construction cost and another 2,650,000,000 Baht is for the weapon systems procurement. The timeframe will be from 2016-2018. (posted February 29, 2016)

Another plan that Thales proposed to RTN is the Pattani-class OPV upgrade plan. Over specification will be On 17 September, Royal Thai Navy signed the contract with Bangkok Dock and Italthai Marine for drawing, materials, and associated equipment and services to be used in the construction of its new offshore patrol vessel (OPV)

????????????????????????????????????HTMS Krabi

Royal Thai Navy is looking to build its next OPV based on the modified BAE River-class OPV. The first ship – HTMS Krabi – already enter into service several years ago and rumors said that Royal Thai Navy will modified the second ship further, including adding the helicopter deck.

The ship will be built at Mahidol dockyard. Overall project value is believe to be around 2850 mil Baht or 80 Mil USD.

Also, Royal Thai Navy signed contract with Italthai Marine to construct its new tug boat.

Source: TAF

OPV Krabi Batch 2 Update: Details

Royal Thai Navy in Sydney for International Fleet Review Sydney 2013 (Thai only)

Bahrain planning to upgrade fleet with advanced F-16s



Bahrain planning to upgrade fleet with advanced F-16s

The Kingdom of Bahrain is planning  to launch a major programme to modernise its Lockheed Martin F-16s and acquire an additional batch in an advanced V-model configuration.

Facing increased operational demand due to its involvement in the coalition campaign against Islamic State militants in the Middle East, the Royal Bahraini Air Force is looking to boost capabilities, says Rick Groesch, regional vice-president, Middle East for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

“They are thinking about upgrading their airplanes. We have been in discussion for a while,” Groesch told Flightglobal during the Bahrain International Airshow. Modernising Bahrain’s in-service fleet to the F-16V standard would include the integration of an active electronically-scanned array sensor, already identified as Northrop Grumman’s scalable agile beam radar. With the US government, the progamme would also add precision-guided weapons, such as from Boeing’s joint direct attack munition series, and Lockheed’s Sniper targeting pod.

In parallel with the upgrade, the service could also acquire “17 or 18” new-build F-16Vs, Groesch says. These would differ through the installation of conformal fuel tanks, which he notes would enable the assets to operate with more weapons beneath the wing, in place of 370gal fuel tanks.

Confirming Bahrain has asked for pricing, availability and schedule data about a potential deal via the Foreign Military Sales framework, Groesch says: “In early February, we will start to discuss the request with the US government. Bahrain has seen the need to get this going, due to the operational tempo now.”

Groesch says the lead aircraft involved in an upgrade would undergo modification and flight test in Bahrain with Lockheed, and subsequent examples would receive the enhancements with the assistance of the nation’s air force. Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyser database records the Royal Bahraini Air Force’s inventory as including 16 F-16Cs and four D-model trainers, after a single-seat example was destroyed in a non-fatal accident in Saudi Arabia. If concluded, the deal with Bahrain would enable Lockheed to extend production of the F-16 beyond 2017.

“We’re talking to several other customers at the moment,” about possible upgrades or purchases says Groesch, who identifies Jordan as having a near-term requirement to modernise its inventory. Two years ago, details emerged of a possible deal to supply the UAE with additional F-16s in an upgraded Block 60 configuration, along with a modernisation activity for its current examples. A deal has yet to be signed, but Groesch confirms: “We’re still talking to them about that.”Separately, Bahrain has yet to confirm an intention to replace its remaining 12 Northrop F-5E/Fs. With the Eurofighter Typhoon considered a leading contender for such a requirement, campaign lead BAE Systems exhibited a fullscale replica and had a simulator on show at the 21-23 January event, staged at Sakhir air base.


Original article: Here



F-16V cockpitThis mockup of the F-16V cockpit shows the large center pedestal display (CPD) that is being provided by Elbit Systems of America. 

Elbit Systems of America provided more detail on the center pedestal display (CPD) that it is providing to Lockheed Martin for the F-16V upgrade. Along with a new AESA radar, the CPD is a key element of the upgrade, which is proceeding for 150 Taiwanese F-16A/Bs, while the U.S. Air Force struggles to fund the improvements for its own fleet.

The CPD replaces old electro-mechanical instruments, improving the presentation of data and reducing pilot workload, according to Elbit. It also provides a high-resolution display for sensor imagery and for tactical situational awareness, and provides emergency backup to flight instruments if the air data computer should fail. Elbit embedded the air data module into the CPD, allowing it to connect with the existing infrastructure of the F-16. (

Northrop Grumman APG-83 radar

Northrop Grumman's Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) Wins USAF's F-16 AESA Radar Contract (1)

Unlike traditional mechanically scanned radars, SABR’s electronic scanning eliminates the need for moving parts. The single, consolidated line-replaceable unit contains the receiver, exciter, and process functions. Solid-state electronics foster three- to five-times greater reliability versus current fire-control radar systems. Electronically scanned beams accelerate area searches, resulting in earlier and longer range target detections and tracking. This also ensures rapid target updates and enables interleaved mode operations for greater mission effectiveness, situational awareness, and survivability.

SABR utilizes a larger-area, high-definition, synthetic aperture radar capability named “BIG SAR.” This alternative mode provides pilots with detailed target areas and digital map displays that can be precisely tailored. This, too, enables greater situational awareness, as well as more flexibility and quicker all-weather targeting.

The U.S. May Build 500 Jets Before Finding Out If the F-35 Works

Tests of how Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 will perform in combat won’t begin until at least August 2018, a year later than planned, and more than 500 of the fighter jets may be built before the assessment is complete, according to the Pentagon’s test office.

“These aircraft will require a still-to-be-determined list of modifications” to be fully capable, Michel Gilmore, the U.S. Defense Department’s top weapons tester, said in his annual report on major programs. “However, these modifications may be unaffordable for the services as they consider the cost of upgrading these early lots of aircraft while the program continues to increase production rates in a fiscally constrained environment.”

The Defense Department plans a fleet of 2,443 F-35s for the U.S., plus hundreds more to be purchased by allies, including the U.K., Italy, Australia and Japan. The costliest U.S. weapons program, at a projected $391 billion, the F-35 is being produced even as it’s still being developed, a strategy a top Pentagon official once called “acquisition malpractice.”

Despite the plane’s many problems, “F-35 production rates have been allowed to steadily increase to large rates,” Gilmore said in his annual report to congressional defense committees.

Buying More

The Pentagon wants to increase the number of F-35s purchased for the U.S. to 92 annually by 2020 from 38 last year. The number jumps to 120 a year when foreign sales are included. For this year, Congress added 11 aircraft to the 57 requested.

Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed’s chairman and chief executive officer, told analysts on a Jan. 26 earnings call that the company expects to increase F-35 deliveries to about 100 in 2018 from 45 last year.

Gilmore said the delay in testing stems from flaws in the “3F” software that gives the F-35 its full combat capability. Testing of the software isn’t likely to be completed until at least January 2018, or 15 months behind the October 2016 date set when the program was reorganized in 2012, he said. The F-35 is a flying computer, with more than 8 million lines of software code.


Read rest of article: HERE


See details of F35