Daily Archives: December 2, 2016

Boeing T-X Nearing First Flight

Boeing T-X Headed Toward First Flight

November 29, 2016
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Boeing-Saab T-X trainer is on track to fly by the end of the year after completing afterburner engine runs last week, Boeing officials said.

Only a few more major tests remain before the plane makes its inaugural flight, said program manager Ted Torgerson during a Nov. 23 interview ahead of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC).

“We are clicking off all of our test points, we have tested around somewhere around nearly 1,200 test points on the jet on ground tests,” he said.

The next test involves putting the plane, engine running, through the motions of a flight — takeoff, climb and landing — with the aircraft tied down to the runway, Torgerson said. The company will also check how the airplane responds to simulated system failures. After that, a Boeing-Saab board will clear the aircraft for flight, and the Federal Aviation Administration will certify it. Finally, the company will conduct low-, medium- and high-speed taxi tests before flying the jet.

“We’re looking to fly soon, before the year is over” Tom Conard, the company’s T-X capture team leader, reiterated during a Tuesday briefing at I/ITSEC. “And as we’re preparing that jet to fly, our flight crews are training in the training system devices to prepare them exactly what they’re going to see in the jet.”

A second Boeing T-X was revealed to the press during a September rollout ceremony shortly before it went through structural proof tests. The company is currently powering all of the systems on the airplane, will fuel the plane in a matter of weeks and plans to move quickly through tests for an early 2017 flight, Togerson said.

The Boeing-Saab team is competing against one other clean-sheet design, manufactured by Northrop Grumman. Two other teams are banking on less risky existing designs. Lockheed Martin has partnered with KAI to offer the T-50A, a version of the Korean company’s T-50 trainer. Raytheon joined with Leonardo and CAE on the T-100, which uses Alenia Aermacchi M-346 as the basis.

If all goes according to schedule, the Boeing-Saab plane will fly around the same time as the US Air Force issues its final request for proposals, which officials have targeted for a December release. The service has already put forward several draft request for proposals, which detail threshold requirements as well as objective requirements that could knock hundreds of millions of dollars off a company’s total evaluated price.

Boeing, for its part, has stressed that its clean-sheet design was tailored specifically for the threshold requirements, and officials have not detailed how close it can get to the objective.

“We’re going to meet all the requirements and growth provisions for the future,” Conard said. “It has no radar, it has no weapons, it is not doing anything except advanced fast jet training.”

Asked whether Boeing plans to incorporate such features for potential opportunities currently under discussion by the Air Force — such as an exercise of light-attack aircraft that could inform a program of record, or a proposal to hire industry to play the aggressor role in training exercises — Conard demurred.

“We’ll look at that after we win T-X,” he said. “We’ve got to win T-X, and then from there we will able to adapt and work in future variants. And I’ll leave it at that.”

Original post defensenews.com


Related post:

Lockheed Martin starts conducting flight operations with its T-50A

KAI to test new trainer jet in US this week

Boeing and Saab Reveal First Two Aircraft for Air Force T-X Competition

Northrop Grumman’s T-X breaks cover

Did Boeing Receive a T-X Prototype From Saab?

What we know about Boeing T-X


Boeing’s clean-sheet T-X trainer is designed to fly like a fighter, with a twin tail configuration similar to the F-35 and F-22 to give the aircraft optimal handling at all speeds. The Boeing T-X uses a single GE F404 afterburning turbofan, the same engine found on the F/A-18, giving the trainer the high G and high angle-of-attack capabilities required to mimic flight in modern fighters.

The aircraft uses some technologies found in the F/A-18 Super Hornet, developed by Boeing, as well as Saab’s Gripen multirole fighter. Boeing has already manufactured one T-X that will fly for the first time before the year is out, and a second aircraft is also near completion, which will begin structural proof tests in the next few days.

Tiered, stadium-style seating provides maximum visibility in the cockpit for instructors and students to practice air traffic maneuvers and combat training. An advanced avionics system and large display screen are included to prepare pilots for the high-tech systems found in fifth-generation fighters like the F-35. The computer systems in the cockpit, as well as ground-based simulators, provide a number of training modules for students and tools for instructors in what Boeing is calling their “classroom in the sky.”

When it comes to trainer aircraft, it is crucial that maintenance operations are as pain-free as possible, so a high wing design was used to provide easy access to the panels on the Boeing T-X. Optimized for Air Force ground equipment, the T-X uses fewer fasteners for the panels and parts from established suppliers to streamline the maintenance needs of the trainer. Source popularmechanics.com

General Electric F404

1_RM12-engineGeneral Electric F404 (built under license by Samsung Techwin) afterburning turbofan

General characteristics

  • Type: Afterburning turbofan
  • Length: 154 in (3,912 mm)
  • Diameter: 35 in (889 mm)
  • Dry weight: 2,282 lb (1,036 kg)


  • Compressor: Axial compressor with 3 fan and 7 compressor stages
  • Bypass ratio: 0.34:1
  • Turbine: 1 low-pressure and 1 high-pressure stage


  • Thrust:

    • 11,000 lbf (48.9 kN) military thrust
    • 17,700 lbf (78.7 kN) with afterburner
  • Overall pressure ratio: 26:1
  • Specific fuel consumption:

    • Military thrust: 0.81 lb/(lbf·h) (82.6 kg/(kN·h))
    • Full afterburner: 1.74 lb/(lbf·h) (177.5 kg/(kN·h))
  • Thrust-to-weight ratio: 7.8:1 (76.0 N/kg)

Technical data 456fis.org


British carriers and fighters in South China Sea after 2020

British fighters to overfly South China Sea; carriers in Pacific after 2020: envoy

Thu Dec 1, 2016 | 7:11pm EST

By David Brunnstrom | WASHINGTON

British fighter planes visiting Japan will fly over the South China Sea and Britain will sail aircraft carriers in the Pacific once they are operational in 2020, given concerns about freedom of navigation there, Britain’s ambassador to the United States said on Thursday.

The envoy, Kim Darroch, told a Washington think tank that British Typhoon aircraft currently deployed on a visit to Japan would fly across disputed parts of the South China Sea to assert international overflight rights, but gave no time frame.

Speaking at an event also attended by Japan’s ambassador to Washington, Darroch said that most future British defense capacity would have to be directed toward the Middle East, but added:

“Certainly, as we bring our two new aircraft carriers onstream in 2020, and as we renew and update our defense forces, they will be seen in the Pacific.

“And we absolutely share the objective of this U.S. administration, and the next one, to protect freedom of navigation and to keep sea routes and air routes open.”

In spite of Britain’s preoccupations in the Middle East, “we will try to play our part” in the Pacific, he said.

Four British fighter planes arrived in Japan in October to take part in exercises with Japanese forces at a time of rising tensions over China’s pursuit of disputed territory in East Asia, including the South and East China Seas.

Japan’s ambassador, Kenichiro Sasae, said the United States, Japan and Britain discussed greater naval cooperation at a meeting at the Pentagon in October and Tokyo welcomed greater British involvement in Asian security.

Darroch said British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump discussed the importance of all NATO members meeting their defense spending commitments in a telephone call this week, their second since Trump’s Nov. 8 election.

Darroch said all NATO states had committed to spending at least 2 percent of GDP on defense, yet only five, including the United States and Britain, were doing so.

“I think the criticism … during this election campaign that a number of NATO countries aren’t doing everything they can … is entirely fair and we will see how the incoming administration wants to take that forward,” he said.

Trump has criticized European NATO members for not meeting their spending commitments and has also called on U.S. Asian allies Japan and South Korea to pay more for their defense or risk the alliances.

Trump has said he plans to build up the U.S. military, and advisers have said he will pursue a policy of “peace through strength” in the Pacific in the face of China’a growing assertiveness.

The advisers say Trump can also be expected to take a more “robust” approach to naval operations to assert navigation rights in the South China Sea, a vital global trade route.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Original post reuters.com


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RAND report: Here

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Indonesia and Russia still in talks over the procurement of up to 10 Su-35S

Indonesia, Russia Locked in ‘Intensive Talks’ Over Su-35 Fighter Jet Deal

So far, Jakarta and Moscow have been unable to come to an agreement over the purchase of up to ten Su-35s.

By Franz-Stefan Gady

December 02, 2016

Indonesia and Russia are holding intensive talks over the procurement of up to 10 Russian-made Su-35S multirole fighter jets for the Indonesia Air Force (TNI-AU), according to a senior Russian government official.

“There are prospects and the talks are very intensive,” the Russian president’s aide in charge of defense and technology cooperation, Vladimir Kozhin, told TASS News Agency on December 1. Kozhin did not divulge any additional details of the ongoing contract negotiations.

For over a year now, Russia has been pushing very hard to sell Indonesia Su-35 (NATO reporting name: Flanker-E) Fourth++ generation, twin-engine, highly maneuverable multirole fighter jets; however, Russia has had limited success so far despite repeated leaks to the media that a deal was imminent.

Last month, an Indonesian defense official said in a phone interview with Reuters that Indonesia is interested in purchasing “nine or ten” Su-35S fighter jets. “We are still negotiating,” he added. “We are still bargaining, ‘how much do you want to sell them for?’”

In addition, a senior manager of Russia’s state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, reiterated that bilateral talks are continuing. “Bilateral talks on the delivery of Su-35 multirole fighters are being conducted very actively,” Sergei Goreslavsky said during the Indo Defense 2016 exhibition on November 2. (See: “Indonesia Still Mulling Su-35 Purchase”).

As I reported previously:

 A joint military-technical cooperation commission began talks in late in November 2015 in Jakarta to discuss details of the contract, including technological transfers. (Indonesian law stipulates that at least 35 percent of the aircraft’s technology needs to be transferred to the country as part of the defense deal.)

Russia and Indonesia failed to sign a contract in early 2016. Among other things, analysts expected the inking of an agreement during the Russia-ASEAN Summit in May, 2016 but no fighter jet deal materialized. (Also, no signed contract emerged during Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu’s visit to Moscow in April, 2016.)

The exact details of the Indonesian-Russian fighter jet deal remain unknown. For example, as I noted elsewhere, there have also been conflicting reports over the total number of aircraft to be purchased:

First, Indonesia considered buying 16 new warplanes. This number went down to 10 as talks progressed. According to press reports, both sided eventually settled on eight, with an option of procuring two additional Su-35s in the future. The contract under negotiation also includes pilot training and knowledge transfers through a military exchange program.

The TNI-AU is currently undergoing a major modernization effort. By 2018, it is expecting to induct ten more F-16A/Bs fighter jets in addition to the 14 currently in service. Indonesia also operates older Russian combat aircraft including 11 Su-30s and five Su-27s. Indonesia’s defense budget has been steadily rising over the past four years.

Original post thediplomat.com


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Lockheed Martin starts conducting flight operations with its T-50A

Lockheed Martin begins T-50A flight operations

 By Ryan Maass   |   Dec. 1, 2016 at 4:02 PM

GREENVILLE, S.C., Dec. 1 (UPI) — Lockheed Martin has begun conducting flight operations with its T-50A training aircraft to test its capabilities.

The operations followed an initial flight test, which took place on Nov. 19, company officials announced in a press release.

The T-50A is the result of a collaboration between Lockheed Martin and Korea Airspace Industries, and is designed to train prospective pilots for more advanced fighters such as the F-22 Raptor and the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II.

For combat training, the training aircraft incorporates air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, an avionics suite with electronic warfare capabilities, and a multi-mode radar. The configuration is based on South Korea’s FA-50.

The aircraft is a follow-up to the legacy T-50, and has accumulated over 100,000 flight hours and trained more than 1,800 pilots.

Original post upi.com


Related post:

KAI to test new trainer jet in US this week

U.S. Air Force T-X Procurement Needs to Focus on Time as well as Cost

Boeing and Saab RevealFirst Two Aircraft for Air Force T-X Competition

Northrop Grumman’s T-Xbreaks cover

‘T-50A’ T-X Demonstrator First Flight – Video

Lockheed Martin flies first T-50A aimed at USAF T-X competition

T-X advanced jet trainer program will be two years late as the USAF decided to delay the release of the request for proposals until late December

As T-X Competition Looms, Air Force Expects Requirements To Hold Steady

It’s Official – Raytheon Glides into T-X Program

Photos and videos from the KAI/LM T-50 T-X launch ceremony

Kai T-50: Details