Daily Archives: February 1, 2017

Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) contracts FMV for support of Gripen aircraft

FMV receives orders on support from the Royal Thai Air Force

FMV has received an order from the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) on support for the Gripen aircraft previously acquired from FMV.

The order includes maintenance and spares supply but also technical support and publication updates and more. It is a three-year order, for the years 2017-2019.

– It feels very good that we have managed to achieve a longer contract with RTAF said Martin Mann, FMV’s project manager for the Gripen Thailand. Previously, we had a one-year orders and a further order gives FMV better anticipation and opportunities for planning.

The 12 Gripenflyplanen ordered by the FMV of the two contracts, 2008 and 2011. These were delivered in two batches, in 2011 and 2013, and the subsequent supply contract delivered last in 2016.

– The new support order marks a successful transition from the delivery phase to the operational phase in Thailand, says Martin.

FMV Gripen aircraft in addition also supplying combat control and two Saab 340 AEW airborne reconnaissance radar, and a transport aircraft Saab 340B to RTAF and in December, FMV also an order for support for AEW aircraft’s unique components. The order, however, is a year old.

– While this is very encouraging and we continue to work on a longer-term solution, even for AEW systems in Thailand, says Martin.

Order totals are covered by commercial confidentiality.

Published: 2017-01-13 13:06. Updated: 2017-01-13 13:18. Responsible:  Henrik Hedberg

Original post fmv.se

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Related post:

RTAF awaits cause of Gripen crash from Sweden and still considering adding another 6 Gripen

Royal Thai Air Force Gripen cockpit voice recorder retrieved

RTAF Gripen crashes at Children’s day air show Southern Thailand

Puwanai Pasakul

RTAF Gripen Take off @ Chiang Mai

Russia and India are close to signing Su-30 Combat Jet Support agreement

Russia and India Negotiating Su-30 Combat Jet Support Deal

by Reuben F. Johnson  – January 25, 2017, 7:31 AM

Russia and India are close to signing a long-term support agreement for the fleet of Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF). It includes an improved schedule for the delivery of spares from Russia, local manufacturing of some spares and the creation of logistics hub for the aircraft at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) production facility in Bangalore. India has contracted for the delivery of more than 300 of these aircraft.

The Su-30MKI is a specialized variant of the Su-30MK-model series and was developed and built at the Irkut factory in Russia. It features several modifications that differentiate it from the original Su-30 design. These include a set of canard foreplanes and a thrust vector control (TVC) module coupled to the aircraft’s fly-by-wire flight control system; the N011M passive electronically scanning array (PESA) radar set produced by the NIIP design bureau in Moscow; and a mix of Israeli, French and Indian-produced avionics.

It is this unique configuration of this aircraft, which is different from the other Su-30MK variants sold for export, that complicates the logistics chain for this aircraft, say Russian aerospace specialists familiar with the program. Indian officials had previously expressed dissatisfaction with the declining availability rates for the Su-30MKI, but have seen improvements in those numbers recently.

“Sukhoi availability, which had slipped to 46 percent, is today above 63 percent,” said the Indian defense minister, Manohar Parrikar, in a statement to Indian news outlets. “Our status with Russia is much better than two years back. We have signed many of the support contracts this year. Very few are left.  We are working on long-term arrangements, including manufacturing some of the [Su-30MKI] spares in India. Earlier, there were some problems due to the need to change their [Russian] laws.”

However, placement of a logistics center for the Su-30MKI at Bangalore in southern India is a curious choice, said one Russian aerospace export specialist, “given that the Su-30MKIs are license-assembled at the HAL facility in Nasik and not in Bangalore.” Nasik is almost 700 miles north of Bangalore. But those familiar with the condition of the various HAL facilities located in India argue that Bangalore would be more accessible than Nasik and is also the premier high-technology hub of the Indian economy. Creation of a support facility for the Su-30MKI in Bangalore “would be not unlike the approach of Russian industry of having initial, new-production aircraft manufactured in one location and using a second location for the overhaul and modernization of the same model of aircraft,” the Russian specialist said.

Some 75 percent of the operational combat aircraft in the IAF inventory are of Russian design. In addition to the Su-30MKI these include the Mikoyan MiG-21, MiG-27, and MiG-29. India had been attempting to diversify its supplier base with the Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft Program (MMRCA) that was to have procured roughly 200 new aircraft of western design for the IAF. Thus far, only 36 Dassault Rafale aircraft have been ordered with a 150-plus requirement remaining to be addressed.

Original post: ainonline.com

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“Sukhoi availability, which had slipped to 46 percent, is today above 63 percent,” said the Indian defense minister, Manohar Parrikar, in a statement to Indian news outlets. “Our status with Russia is much better than two years back. We have signed many of the support contracts this year. Very few are left.  We are working on long-term arrangements, including manufacturing some of the [Su-30MKI] spares in India. Earlier, there were some problems due to the need to change their [Russian] laws.”

Related post:

India released detailed RFI for procurement of 57 Multi-Role Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF)

Russia offering MiG-35 fighter jet to India

India considering an additional 36 Dassault Rafales

India wants firm commitment whether the agreement will allow commercial production and exports of FGFA Project

India and Russia in discussion to set up local manufacturing of spare parts

India start bids to select a foreign single-engine fighter

India needs 200 medium-weight fighters in the next 5 to 10 years

Su-30MKI: Details

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Turkey launches $500 million upgrade program for 200 German- and US-made battle tanks

Turkey Launches $500 Million Tank-Upgrade Contest

By: Burak Ege Bekdil, January 31, 2017

ANKARA—The Turkish government has officially launched a competition for the upgrade of a batch of 200 German- and US-made battle tanks in the army’s inventory, a contract that analysts estimate to be worth roughly $500 million.

Five Turkish companies placed their upgrade bids on Jan. 23. The local bidders are: military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s biggest defense company; missile-maker Roketsan; and armored vehicles manufacturers BMC, Otokar and FNSS. Aselsan and Roketsan are state-controlled companies; BMC, Otokar and FNSS are privately owned.

Some industry sources were surprised by bids from a military electronics specialist and a missile maker. “Normally these companies should have been subsystem producers,” said one source.

The upgrade program will be administered by Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM). It will involve modernization work on 40 M60A3, 40 Leopard II A4 and 120 M60T tanks.

In the mid-2000s, under a 2002 contract, Israel Military Industries had upgraded a batch of 169 M60s now designated in the Turkish inventory as M60Ts. The official contract price for the deal was $688 million but the actual figure went beyond that.

A procurement official familiar with the new program said that the backbone of the upgrade program would be armor improvements and installing “active protection systems” on the bodies.

The program comes with a “priority” tag after several Turkish battle tanks have been hit by Islamist radicals during the Turkish military’s incursion into Syria. “Improvements are required for better protection against anti-tank weapons,” said one military officer.

Although the upgrade program is structured as a local contest most business in the contract may involve foreign suppliers, industry sources say. “This program is based mainly on advanced technology for protection systems and better armor, which are typically foreign technology,” said one source.

The Turkish government retains the right to split the program. It can award different tank upgrade work to different contenders. SSM is expected to conclude the bidding this year.

Original post: defensenews.com

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Seeing the Turkish Leos and M60T being easily being blown up and coupled with the blocked tech transfer for the Atlay I think it’s a wise choice……

Related post:

Delays hit Turkey’s Altay MBT project as Austria block technology transfer

Turkey Mulling Upgrade to Leopard 2s, M60s – Upgrade details

Another Turkish M60T(Sabra Mk.II) destroyed near Tall Hawa village with ATGM

Two Turkish M60T(Sabra Mk.II) tanks knocked out by an ATGM IS team

ISIS missile allegedly hits Turkish tank near Mosul (VIDEO)

Turkish tank survives Kornet missile strike

M-60T1_Sabra

India released detailed RFI for procurement of 57 Multi-Role Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF)

Indian Navy Releases RFI for New Carrier-borne Fighter

by Neelam Mathews

– January 31, 2017, 6:30 AM

The Indian Navy has released a detailed Request for Information for procurement of 57 Multi-Role Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF). The move follows the navy’s rejection of the naval version of the indigenous HAL Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for its planned IAC-2 (Indian Aircraft Carrier) that is designed for catapult launch and arrested recovery, and the existing IAC-1, which has a ski-ramp for launch. The Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet would appear to be the leading contender, with the Dassault Rafale M another possibility.

The RFI states that the MRCBF should be a day and night capable, all-weather multi-role combat aircraft that can be used for air defense; air-to-surface operations; buddy refueling; reconnaissance; and electronic warfare missions. The life-cycle cost of the aircraft (post warranty) is an important consideration, with two depot-level repair facilities. India wants the transfer of critical technology and the participation in that process by Indian second-tier suppliers and those who can contribute to the supply chain.

The deadline for responses to the RFI is May 17. The Request for Proposal will be released once the RFI is reviewed. The deliveries of the aircraft should start within three years of signing the contract, and be completed within a further period of three years.

While Russian MiG-29Ks have been procured for the current Indian aircraft carrier Vikramaditya (formerly the Russian carrier Admiral Gorshkov) and for the first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1) under construction, there have been serviceability issues, a senior naval official told AIN. “At any point in time, there are at least eight aircraft on ground [AOG],” he added. He also mentioned concerns that the type is underpowered.

The RFI states the chosen aircraft must be flying from carriers in the country of origin. That seems to limit the choice to the twin-engine Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and the Dassault Rafale M. However, unlike the Super Hornet, the Rafale M does not have folding wings, except at the tip—an essential for India, said the official. “Also, the cost of the Boeing aircraft is likely to be cheaper,” he added.

In the case of two-seat aircraft, the RFI inquires if the aircraft has the capability to operate from both STOBAR (Short Take-off But Arrested Recovery) and CATOBAR (Catapult Take-off But Arrested Recovery) aircraft carriers without any modifications. “This will enable the navy to use the aircraft on both the catapult and ski-jump aircraft carriers,” said the navy official.  While the Super Hornet has been tested for operation from a ski-jump ramp, it is not clear if the Rafale M has done the same.

Meanwhile the Indian Navy has been in discussions with the U.S. on a buy of four Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye Advanced Early Warning (AEW) aircraft for the 65,000-metric-ton planned IAC-2., which will be named INS Vishal. A shore-based version of the E-2D is being considered by the India-U.S. Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology of the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). With the USS Ford being inducted in March, the DTTI meeting scheduled for March may be shifted to May, AIN has learned.

Original post: ainonline.com

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The RFI states that the MRCBF should be a day and night capable, all-weather multi-role combat aircraft that can be used for air defense; air-to-surface operations; buddy refueling; reconnaissance; and electronic warfare missions. The life-cycle cost of the aircraft (post warranty) is an important consideration, with two depot-level repair facilities. India wants the transfer of critical technology and the participation in that process by Indian second-tier suppliers and those who can contribute to the supply chain.

The RFI states the chosen aircraft must be flying from carriers in the country of origin. That seems to limit the choice to the twin-engine Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and the Dassault Rafale M. However, unlike the Super Hornet, the Rafale M does not have folding wings, except at the tip—an essential for India, said the official. “Also, the cost of the Boeing aircraft is likely to be cheaper,” he added.

In the case of two-seat aircraft, the RFI inquires if the aircraft has the capability to operate from both STOBAR (Short Take-off But Arrested Recovery) and CATOBAR (Catapult Take-off But Arrested Recovery) aircraft carriers without any modifications.

Flight Cost Per Hour

per-hour-rafale

Source: aviatia.net

Related post:

Indian navy shopping for new carrier-borne fighters

India considering an additional 36 Dassault Rafales

India wants firm commitment whether the agreement will allow commercial production and exports of FGFA Project

India and Russia in discussion to set up local manufacturing of spare parts

India start bids to select a foreign single-engine fighter

India needs 200 medium-weight fighters in the next 5 to 10 years

Saab will make India net exporter of fighter jet if it wins single-engined jet contract

Boeing wants to build Super Hornets in India. Should St. Louis worry?

Dassault Rafale: Details

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F-18 Super Hornet: Details

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Super Hornet Stopgap for Canada could cost $5 billion to $7 billion over the lifetime of the aircraft

EXCLUSIVE

Stopgap Super Hornet purchase could have $5B to $7B price tag

Canada aims to begin receiving U.S.-made fighter jets by 2019

By Murray Brewster, CBC News Posted: Jan 31, 2017 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 31, 2017 7:50 AM ET

The Trudeau government has begun talks with Washington about the sole-source purchase of up to 18 Super Hornet jet fighters.

The measure, intended as a stopgap solution to ease pressure on the air force’s aging fleet of CF-18s, could cost taxpayers between $5 billion and $7 billion over the lifetime of the aircraft, according to data circulating within the Department of National Defence and shared with CBC News by sources who insisted upon anonymity.

The figures are only preliminary, but they are backed up by U.S. congressional budget information.

CBC News was granted rare, extraordinary access to officials and facilities belonging to Boeing, the U.S. manufacturer of the Super Hornet, and to the U.S. navy’s principal air base where the fighters operate and train. During that visit, Boeing officials confirmed Canada has begun talks with the Pentagon to buy the planes.

The decision to buy 18 warplanes in a sole-source deal, originally announced last fall, is meant to address what the Liberal government describes as an urgent “capability gap.”

But it also lands Canada squarely in the middle of the Trump administration’s showdown over the future of the Super Hornet’s rival, the oft-maligned F-35.

1st delivery by 2019?

There are questions about what kind of deal Canada will get on the Super Hornets, especially with the new U.S. administration.

A final agreement, which requires congressional approval, will take about a year to negotiate, but CBC News has learned the Liberal government has already signalled it would like to see the first aircraft arrive in 2019, which would coincide with the next election.

A Boeing official, when asked, confirmed both the timeline and anticipated delivery date, and said the company is currently waiting for formal, written notice — known as a letter of request — from the Canadian government, which will be submitted to the U.S. Pentagon within the next few weeks.

Dan Gillian, Boeing’s vice-president of the F-18 programs, said the company is looking at how production of Canadian jets can be slotted alongside existing orders from the U.S. navy and Kuwait. Boeing currently produces two Super Hornets a month.

“We think we can build all of those airplanes in time to meet the customer demands,” said Gillan. “We may have to increase production rate, but that is very doable.”

U.S. navy costs a benchmark

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government promised in the last election not to buy Lockheed Martin’s F-35 when it came time to replace Canada’s entire 1980s-vintage CF-18 fleet.

The Liberals said they would buy a cheaper alternative and plow the savings back into rebuilding the navy, but Trudeau has since said the F-35 stealth fighter will not be excluded from an open competition for replacement jets.

Federal officials, including the head of the Royal Canadian Air Force, have taken pains to describe the process with Boeing as tentative and exploratory.

But Canadian military planners visited the company’s St. Louis, Mo., engineering facility two weeks ago to scope out the customized features they want in the fighter.

That, along with a series of other factors, will determine how much Canada pays for what the Liberals insist is an “interim” solution to the problem of not having enough jet fighters to meet all of the country’s military commitments.

A cost breakdown of the Super Hornets is provided in U.S. Department of Defence estimates:

  • The base price for a Super Hornet, according to U.S. Department of Defence 2015 budget estimates, was $85 million ($65 million US) per aircraft.
  • On top of that, there is what’s known as government-furnished equipment, which can be anything from engines to radar and other electronics, depending on what the air force says it needs. That could add $26.2 million ($20 million US) per fighter — although those fees can sometimes be negotiated.
  • Washington also levies what is known as a foreign military sales charge of about 3.5 per cent, but other costs for research and development could boost U.S. service charges to as high 11 per cent, according to Pentagon records.

“What an airplane costs depends upon configuration, timing of deliveries and quantities. The U.S. government documents are a good reflection,” said Boeing’s Gillian.

That all means the final cost of each individual Super Hornet could range from $115 million ($88 million US) to $123 million ($94 million US), bringing a total purchase price of between $1.9 billion ($1.5 billion US) and $2.1 billion ($1.6 billion US) for 18 jets.

But the Liberal government would also have to negotiate an in-service support contract and consider buying training simulators, which can add billions.

When those costs are added in, the total price tag for the “interim” Super Hornet solution could run between $5 billion and $7 billion over the life of the planes.

Economic benefits

If the Liberal government buys the planes entirely through a foreign military sales deal, it means Boeing will not automatically be required to provide what are called industrial offsets — essentially, guaranteed work for Canadian companies.

“It gets tricky,” said Dave Perry, an analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. The Liberals would have to negotiate benefits separately under such a deal, he said.

“It doesn’t mean you can’t get an economic offset, it just a little murkier.”

But late Monday, Boeing officials said the company was prepared to deliver an offset equal to the purchase price the U.S. navy pays, roughly $85 million ($65 million US) per aircraft.

The Trump factor

U.S. President Donald Trump has also added an unexpected wrinkle to the Liberal government’s plan.

Prior to taking office, Trump tweeted that he’d asked Boeing to “price out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet” to the F-35 in response to rising costs in the stealth fighter program.

Lockheed Martin said last week it was confident it would soon get the price of an F-35 down to $111 million ($85 million US) per plane. Canada would not have to pay the foreign military sales charge because it has already contributed toward the development of the project.

Much of the public debate in Canada has revolved around the enormous cost of the F-35. In fact, the Liberal government’s distaste for the stealth fighter was formed partly by the former Conservative government’s refusal to be more transparent about the price tag.

Perry said it would be ironic if Trump succeeded in quickly driving down the cost to the point where both fighters were competitively priced.

“If Trump is able to gets some extra savings out of Lockheed … my guess is you’re looking at a 10 per cent cost difference [between the Super Hornet and the F-35],” he said.

Original post cbc.ca

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That all means the final cost of each individual Super Hornet could range from $115 million ($88 million US) to $123 million ($94 million US), bringing a total purchase price of between $1.9 billion ($1.5 billion US) and $2.1 billion ($1.6 billion US) for 18 jets.

Prior to taking office, Trump tweeted that he’d asked Boeing to “price out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet” to the F-35 in response to rising costs in the stealth fighter program.

Lockheed Martin said last week it was confident it would soon get the price of an F-35 down to $111 million ($85 million US) per plane. Canada would not have to pay the foreign military sales charge because it has already contributed toward the development of the project.

Cost figures are always something of a mystery to me…..

Recently the US sold the F18E/F at $252.5 million per unit including weapons to Kuwait. Here

Related post:

Canada CF-18 Fighter Replacement

You can’treplace the F-35 with an F-18 any more than you can replace an aircraft carrierwith a cruise ship

Sales OutlookBrightens For Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet Fighter

AmericanGripen: The Solution To The F-35 Nightmare

First it was Trudeau, now it is Trump – Lockheed Martin has its hands full on the F-35 front

F-35 still an option– Canada

CF-18 Hornet: Details

F/A-18E/F Super Hornet: Details

Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer starts Sea Acceptance Trials

The Hobart, a first-of-class destroyer for the Royal Australian Navy, has begun sea acceptance trials.

By Richard Tomkins   |           Jan. 30, 2017 at 11:33 AM

Jan. 30 (UPI) — Australia’s first future Air Warfare Destroyer is starting sea acceptance trials to test its mission systems, including platform and combat systems.

The Hobart, built by the Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance, completed builder sea trials last September that included evaluation of its hull, propulsion and navigation systems.

“These trials are the culmination of all of the preceding design, production, activation, integration and test activities conducted on Hobart to date,” AWD Program Manager Commodore Craig Bourke said.

“Sea Acceptance Trials are a significant milestone for the Project as it is the first time that the AWD will be tested as a complete Mission System.”

The AWD Alliance is comprised of the Australian government, shipbuilder ASC and Raytheon Australia. The alliance is building three of the 482-foot-long vessels.

During its latest trials, Hobart will work closely with a range of fighter aircraft, surface ships and helicopters, as well as with civilian platforms, in a range of simulated scenarios.

The alliance expects to deliver the ship to the Royal Australian Navy in the middle of this year.

Original post: upi.com

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Related post:

Royal Australian Navy 2nd Hobart-class AWD “Brisbane” Launched

Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer: Details

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