Monthly Archives: December 2018

Diamond DART-450 / TA-20 Trainer

The DART-450 (Diamond Aircraft Reconnaissance Trainer), being developed by Austrian-based Diamond Aircraft Industries, is the world’s first all-carbon fibre, tandem twin-seat civil and military trainer.

The design of DART-450 was unveiled at the Aero Friedrichshafen 2015. The first DART-450 prototype aircraft made its first flight in May 2016. The successful flight test paved the way for the certification process, scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.

Maiden flight of the Diamond Aircraft DART-450

On May 17, 2016 the turbine powered DART-450 took off for its first flight.

The DART-450 (Diamond Aircraft Reconnaissance Trainer) is the world’s first all-carbon fiber tandem, 2-seat aerobati civilian and military trainer with sidestick control and ejection seats.

The +7/-4G aerobatic airplane has a maximum take-off power of 500 hp, is equipped with the Ivchenko-Progress / Motor Sich AI-450S turboprop engine, a 5-blade MT propeller, and a GARMIN avionic system. Maximum endurance of the DART is 8 hours plus reserve.

Within the first 60 minutes of flight time, speeds between 60 – 200 knots IAS have been tested at various altitudes. Expected top speed is 250 knots TAS.

“Company Chief Test Pilot Ingmar Mayerbuch and Flight Test Engineer Thomas Wimmer have been so excited about the first results that certification and serial production is green-lighted”, said Christian Dries, CEO Diamond Aircraft.

Diamond Aircraft Chief Designer Clemens Knappert: “We achieved our target from the first drawings to the first flight in one year. I’m already excited about what comes next.” Source

The aircraft will be displayed at the Farnborough International Airshow to be held in July 2016 and is expected to enter service in 2017.

The aircraft is primarily intended for pilot training, acrobatics and reconnaissance missions. It is expected to offer low-cost competition to existing trainer aircraft in its class.


Diamond Aircraft’s DART-450 made its public debut this week at the U.K.’s Farnborough International Airshow. The single-engine turboprop first flew in May at Diamond’s facility in Austria, less than a year after initial design work began. Like Diamond’s other aircraft, such as the DA42, the DART (Diamond Aircraft Reconnaissance Trainer) will offer versatility, with potential uses including training and surveillance operations, and efficiency with a fuel burn of about 90 liters (24 gallons) per hour.

The airplane is built from carbon fiber in a low-wing, tandem two-seat configuration. It is fully aerobatic up to +7/-4Gs and has maximum takeoff power of 495 horsepower with a Ukrainian Ivchenko-Progress Motor Sich AI-450S turboprop and a five-blade MT propeller. It’s also equipped with ejection seats, Garmin avionics and a fuselage that is ready-to-mount for a retractable surveillance camera and other equipment. Diamond first announced the new model at the 2014 show, saying it planned to fly a prototype at this year’s event. Source

Diamond Aircraft is at Dubai with its Dart-450


The Dart 450 single-engined turboprops on display in the company’s static exhibit are the first of two examples built so far, with chief executive Christian Dries expecting a third to make its debut flight before the end of the year. The lead pair are powered by the Ivchenko-Progress/Motor Sich AI-450S engine while the latest aircraft will use a GE Aviation engine with a 550hp (410kW) output.

The Austrian airframer will deliver its first Dart 450 to an undisclosed buyer shortly in a non-certificated kit version, and plans to hand over the first fully certificated aircraft in 2018.

The tandem-seat aircraft is developed as a civilian and military trainer, and with an endurance of up to 8.5h, Dries also sees a role for the Dart 450 in the surveillance and reconnaissance markets. “We have had so much interest in this product,” he says. “We expect it to be Diamond’s most successful model ever.”

Production of about 50 aircraft a year is planned at the airframer’s Weiner Neustadt facility. Source


Diamond Aircraft

Diamond Aircraft chief executive officer Christian Dries told AIN earlier this year that the Dart-450 will be priced well below $3 million and have an operating cost of less than $500 per hour. He said that the company had already gained one firm order for the aircraft. Source

Chinese Company Buys Rest Of Diamond: Here


Austrian-based Diamond Aircraft Group has been acquired by the Chinese company that purchased Diamond’s North American operations last year. Almost a year to the day that Wanfeng Aviation Industry Co. Ltd. bought Diamond’s London, Ontario, plant, the Chinese firm bought the Austrian holdings of sole shareholder Christian Dries, who founded Diamond 25 years ago. Wanfeng said in a joint announcement it intends to increase production and sales, expand distribution and support networks and keep designing new aircraft.

Diamond DART-450/TA-20 single-engined turboprop trainer

Chinese internet image

China has flown the Diamond DART-450/TA-20 single-engined turboprop trainer aircraft: Here

Die TA-20 fliegt seit November 2018 (Foto: Hermes-sys)


China has flown a new military trainer aircraft derived from the Diamond DART-450 single-engined turboprop, state media disclosed in late 2018.

The flight of the tandem two-seat trainer developed by China Electronics Technology Corporation (CETC) Wuhu Diamond Aircraft Manufacturing Company, was reported to have taken place at the company’s facility in Jiangsu Province on 6 November.

Smart-210 Integrated Avionics System for TA-20

The image of the SMART-210 integrated avionics system simulator provided by Hermès official website shows that it uses a single large touch-screen display similar to the F-35. The rear seat of the instructor is equipped with a head-up display that monitors the student’s status. –

Smart-210 Integrated Avionics System adopts redundancy framework and has extremely high security; it is strictly developed and manufactured according to military standards to ensure reliability in harsh environments. The standard package includes functional modules, such as DU, HUD, DIU, COMM, NAV (VOR, ADF, ILS), XPDR, VMS, INS/GNSS, ADS-B, HOTAS, FDR, etc. It can be freely combined according to user needs and budget.  Under government permission, it can provide: fire control system, photoelectric pod, DataLink, autopilot, radar pod, weapons rack and other military modules. It also has night vision compatibility. The avionics system can be widely used in the development of new aircraft models and the transformation of active aircraft, including various types of agitation, jet trainers, and light military and civilian aircraft.


(1) Display control function: PFD function with synthetic vision function, customizable mobile map, HUD and backup instrument functions;

(2) Communication navigation function: provision of navigation information, e.g. VHF voice communication, GPS navigation, air data navigation, attitude, ILS, VOR, DME, RA, etc.;

(3) Sensor surveillance alarm: XPNDR function, TAWS function, RWR function, RADAR function, EVS function, FLIR function, IFF function;

(4) Data conversion: data format conversion of A429, RS422, RS232 and Ethernet data to realize the data interaction between different data interface devices;

(5) Automatic flight servo control: autopilot control function;

(6) Control panel : frequency tuning, mode control and status indication functions of communication navigation, etc.;

(7) Audio panel : control of audio information and volume adjustment of communication system and navigation system, etc.

(8) Weapon system: reserved interface, scalability of fire control system and load management functions.

DU-XV-210 Integrated Display Control Unit (DU)

DU-XV-210 Integrated Display Control Unit (DU)
Main functions Primary Flight Display Unit (PFD)

1) Attitude Director Indicator (ADI)

2) Barometric Altitude Indicator (ALT)

3) Air Speed Indicator (ASP)

4) Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI)

5) Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI)

6) Course Deviation Indicator (CDI)

7) Heading & Glide Slope Indicator (LOV&GS)

8) Synthetic Vision System (SVS)

9) 3D Terrain Awareness Warning System (3D-TAWS)

Multi-function display unit (MFD)

1) Electronic checklist

2) Engine parameter display

3) Flight plan management

4) Flight map (departure/approach, airspace, aeronautical chart, etc.)

5) Unit alarm

6) One-key toggle display (Six-Pack)

Tuning control panel (TCP)

1) Display of current frequency and status

2) Radio frequency tuning

3) Standby frequency activation

4) Mode control

Standard Minimum Performance Standard for Airborne Multipurpose Electronic Displays (SEA AS8034)

General Requirements for Ergonomic Design of Military Visual Displays (GJB 1062A-2008)

General Specification for Military Rugged Liquid Crystal Display (SJ 20987-2008)

HUD-XV-210 Head-Up Display Unit (HUD)

HUD-XV-210 Head-Up Display Unit (HUD)
Main functions Speed indicator (indicated airspeed, true airspeed, Mach number, ground speed, target speed, vertical speed);

Altitude indicator (barometric altitude, radar altitude, target altitude);

Attitude indicator (course angle, angle of pitch, roll range, angle of attack, angle of sideslip, track, FPV speed vector);

Warning information (resistance to scratch tail, recovery from abnormal attitude, avoidance of conflict);

Approach gliding indicator (glide path deviation indicator, orientation deviation indicator);

Mode control and switching;

Front camera function;

Video output function for record.

Standard Minimum Performance Standard for Airborne Head Up Display (HUD) (SAE AS 8055-1999)

Airborne Equipment- Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures (RTCA/DO-160G)

DIU-XV-210 Data Interface Unit (DIU)

DIU-XV-210 Data Interface Unit (DIU)
Main functions 20-channel ARINC429 signal processing capacity;

10-channel Ethernet signal processing capacity;

20-channel RS422/RS232 signal processing capacity;

20-channel I/O signal processing capacity;

10-channel analog signal processing capacity;

5-channel CAN signal processing capacity;

Standard Airborne Equipment- Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures (RTCA/DO-160G)

CNS-DF-210 Integrated Radio System (CNS)

CNS-DF-210 Integrated Radio System (CNS)
Main functions VHF two-way voice communication function;

VHF emergency communication function;

ILS navigation function (LOC, GS, MB);

VOR navigation function;

ADF navigation function;

DME navigation function;

RA altitude measurement function;

ATC response function (mode S);

Support ADS-B OUT broadcasting function;

ACP audio processing and control function;

Alarm audio presentation function.

Standard Minimum Performance Standard for VOR Radio Receiving Equipment with Working Range of 108~117.95MHz (DO-196);

Minimum Performance Standard for ILS Course Beacon Receiving Equipment with Working Range of 108~112MHz (DO-195);

Minimum Performance Standard for ILS Gliding Receiving Equipment with Working Range of 328.6~335.4MHz (DO-192);

Minimum Performance Standard for Airborne Automatic Orientation Equipment (DO-179);

Minimum Performance Standard for VHF Radio Communication Transmitting Equipment with Working Range of 117.975~137.00MHz (DO-186B);

Minimum Performance Standard for Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System/Mode Selection (ATCRBS/Mode S) Airborne Equipment (DO-181D);

Minimum Performance Standard for Audio Selection Panel and Amplifier (DO-170);

Minimum Performance Standard for Beacon Receiving Equipment (DO-143);

Minimum Working Performance Standard for Radio Altitude Measurement Equipment (DO-103);

Minimum Working Performance Standard for Radio Distance Measurement Equipment (DO-189);

Airborne Equipment- Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures (RTCA/DO-160G)

INS-DF-210 Integrated Navigation System (INS/GNSS)

INS-DF-210 Integrated Navigation System (INS/GNSS)
Main functions Attitude heading measurement: angle of pitch, roll angle, heading, angular rate, acceleration, speed, position;

Satellite positioning measurement: UTC, position, speed;

Dual redundancy architecture.

Standard Minimum Performance Standard for Tilt Pitch Instrument (SAE AS8001)

Minimum Performance Standard for Gyro Stability Magnetic Heading Device (SAE AS8031A)

Minimum Performance Standard for Turn & Sideslip Indicator (SAE AS8004)

Airborne Equipment- Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures (RTCA/DO-160G)

ADS-DF-210 Air Data System (ADS)

ADS-DF-210 Air Data System (ADS)
Main functions Dual redundancy architecture;

Air data measurement: indicated airspeed, true airspeed, total pressure/static pressure, total temperature/static temperature, angle of attack, angle of sideslip, Mach number, barometric altitude, vertical speed;

Airspeed head of air data system with pilot’s manual heating function.

Standard Airborne Equipment- Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures (RTCA/DO-160G)

FDR-DF-210 Flight Data Records & Cockpit Video Monitor System (FDR&VMS)

FDR-DF-210 Flight Data Records & Cockpit Video Monitor System (FDR&VMS)
Main Functions Toggle switch is provided to realize the toggle display of head-up display system images and front cockpit pilot’s operation images;

Operation interface of display brightness control is provided to realize the display brightness control, and support manual and automatic brightness control;

The avionics system data received are recorded and stored;

Mass memory can realize the quick plug for the convenience of quickly accessing recorded data.

Standard Minimum Performance Standard for Air Data Computer (SAE AS8002a)

Airborne Equipment- Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures (RTCA/DO-160G)


DA62 MPP Special Mission Aircraft: Details

DART-450 low-wing monoplane design


Diamond Aircraft

The DART-450 trainer incorporates a low-wing monoplane design. The under fuselage is fitted with retractable tricycle landing gear.


Le train principal robuste, avec une distance d’atterrissage de l’ordre de 400 mètres, Diamond à imaginé le DART-450 pour être opérable depuis n’importe quelle piste même non préparée © Fabrice Morlon /

The aircraft has a provision to carry an electro-optical / infrared (EO / IR) sensor gimbal that can retract into the underbody. It has a wingspan of 10m, maximum take-off weight of 1,700kg and empty weight of 1,050kg.


En mode « reconnaissance » le DaRT-450 emporte une caméra de 15 pouces qui est opérée depuis la place arrière © Fabrice Morlon /

Cockpit and avionics

The DART-450 trainer accommodates two crew members in tandem configuration. The bubble glass canopy on the cockpit offers improved visibility and access for crew.

The cockpit is also installed with Garmin avionics suite, which includes high-resolution, primary flight displays (PFDs) and multi-functional displays (MFDs).


L’avion, configurable en deux versions (voltige ou reconnaissance) peut être équipé également de trois avioniques différentes, de pods et caméras, en fonction de la mission attribuée © Fabrice Morlon /

The cockpit is equipped with side-stick control and ejection seats. The side-stick will initially be mated to conventionally boosted flight controls, before being integrated into a fly-by-wire system when designed.

Buyers will be offered a Garmin G3000-equipped cockpit as standard, or can select a system from other suppliers, including Esterline, Dries says. The Dart features a sidestick controller, while customers have the option to select Martin-Baker Mk16 ejection seats or a pneumatic escape system from Zvezda. Source

Garmin G3000-equipped cockpit as standard

Garmin 3000 cockpit on Dart 550 – Diamond Aircraft

Martin-Baker Mk16 ejection seats


Avec une cabine spacieuse à la fois en largeur et en hauteur, le poste de pilotage est confortable et ergonomique © Fabrice Morlon /


  • 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


DART-450 turboprop engine


Diamond Aircraft

The aircraft is equipped with a single AI-450SD turboprop engine produced by Ivchenko Progress / Motor Sich. The engine drives a five-bladed MT propeller and offers a maximum take-off power of 400hp to 495hp. The emergency power rating of the engine is 495hp.

The AI-450S is a variant of the AI-450 engine and measures 1,108mm-long, 575mm-wide and 702mm-high. The engine has a dry weight of 130kg and is intended to offer 20% lower fuel burn than similar type of engines in its class.

The engine features a two-rotor design including rotors’ core and free turbine with output shaft, and is equipped with a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system. The aircraft has a fuel tank capacity of 450l and is expected to offer a fuel consumption of 90l/h. The operating cost of the aircraft is expected to be $500 an hour.

Ivchenko-Progress Motor Sich AI-450S turboprop

The family of turboprop engines AI-450С/СD/СР is designed for the use on multipurpose general aviation aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. Installed on the DA50-JP7, DART-450 (Austria)

Emergency rating (S/L static; ISA +5°С)
Рower, hp 495
Takeoff (SLS, ISA +15 °C)
Power, hp 400…495
Specific fuel consumption, kg/hp/h 0.28
Maximum cruise (H=3,000m, V=250 km/h)
Power, hp 280
Specific fuel consumption, kg/hp/h 0.28
Dimensions, mm 1,108 х 575 х 702
Weight, dry kg 130

Engine data

GE H-75? (Third aircraft)

The GE H-Series is a family of turboprop engines o ering a customized range of ratings and performance for commuters, personal and agricultural aircrafts and aerobatic trainers.

The engine is a two-shaft, reverse ow design featuring an axial-centrifugal compressor, an annular combustor with slinger ring fuel distributor and a single high pressure turbine stage. The slinger ring combustor architecture simpli es maintenance and eliminates the need for recurrent fuel nozzle inspections. The propulsion section is powered by a single-stage turbine driving a two-stage planetary gearbox.

GE H-Series is available with either hydromechanical control or rst-in-class Electronic Engine and Propeller Control (EEPC). The EEPC system reduces pilot workload by simplifying engine operation with a single lever power control.

GE H-Series aerobatic engine is equipped with EEPC, multi attitude lubrication system and strengthened structure for high g-force aerobatic maneuvers.

Source GE

DART-450 performance

Diamond Aircraft

The DART-450 aircraft has a stall speed of 111km/h (60kt), while the projected maximum true air speed (TAS) is 463km/h (250kt). It can reach a maximum distance of 2,296km (1,240nmi).

The maximum rate of climb of the aircraft exceeds 15m/s, while the maximum endurance is eight hours plus reserve capacity.

The aircraft has a maximum operational altitude of 7,000m and requires a take-off distance of 600m and landing roll of 400m. Its aerobatic design allows for manoeuvring between the g-limits of 7g and -5g.

Diamond Aircraft


Diamond Aircraft

Main material source

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Updated Jun 21, 2019

Boeing-Sikorsky SB-1 DEFIANT

SB>1 DEFIANT is a modern, fully-integrated vertical lift aircraft being developed by Boeing and Sikorsky for the US Army’s joint multi-role (JMR) technology demonstration of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme.

The aircraft will meet the attack and assault needs of the US Army, along with the long-range transportation, infiltration and resupply needs of the US Marine Corps.

The Sikorsky X2-coaxial Advancing Blade Concept (ABC) was originally proven on the S-69/XH-59, own between 1973 and 1981. It demonstrated 263 kt (487 km/hr) in a shallow dive. (US Army photo)

SB>1 DEFIANT will be capable of performing tight assault formations, close proximity landing, unique hovering, high-speed and low-speed flights due to its large angular rates and precision attitude control capabilities.

Sikorsky S-100 registration confirmed as SB-1 Defiant

The news of the registration — for N-number N100FV, serial number 0001 — was first reported by Helihub. A spokesperson for Sikorsky parent company Lockheed Martin confirmed to Vertical that the registration is for the compound helicopter that Sikorsky and Boeing are developing for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) program, a precursor to the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program that aims to modernize the Army’s rotorcraft fleet.

“Yes, the registry application for S-100 is referring to the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant,” the spokesperson said. “Our team is following the FAA’s process for how they formally designate experimental aircraft; however, we will continue to use SB>1 Defiant when describing our aircraft asset.” Source


Lockheed Martin


V-280 Valor Helicopter: Details

S-97 Raider: Details

SB>1 DEFIANT design and features

The next-generation aircraft will meet the future demands of the military, offering an optimal combination of speed, lift and range, with better agility and greater manoeuvrability. It will be built with 85% commonality between attack and assault aircraft.

The fuselage of Defiant will be made of composite materials for achieving superior strength and weight reductions. It will integrate a retractable type landing gear for less drag during flight.

SB>1 DEFIANT will be equipped with X2 rigid co-axial rotor system technology, which was tested aboard the X2 and S-97 Raider aircraft. Each rotor of the twin co-axial rotor system will revolve in opposite direction and will reduce the net torque of the other rotor in real-time.

Twin rigid co-axial counter-rotating main rotors / Mike H

Its rotor blades will be made from composite material, which will reduce vibrations and minimise wear of the components, while providing greater life and reduced maintenance costs. The aircraft will also be equipped with the active vibrator control technology to dampen the vibrations from the rotors and deliver smooth lift and manoeuvrability.

The rear fuselage will integrate a pusher propulsor with the clutch, enabling the aircraft to attain approximately twice the speed of a conventional rotorcraft. The pusher configuration will also allow the aircraft to cover longer distances during the long-range missions, while advanced drive system will ensure minimal transmission losses.

The manually foldable blades will reduce the space requirements during parking, picketing, and transport. The aircraft will fit in the footprint of a folded AH-1 when folded for shipboard stowage.



SB>1 DEFIANT will feature a rotorcraft equipped with a fly-by-wire system, which can control the rotors, pusher propulsor, rudders, and elevators. Each rotor blade actuator will be connected to the fly-by-wire technology to avoid any potential mechanical losses.

The active rudder and elevator controls can change the flight path of the aircraft with greater agility and ease. The aircraft will also have options to employ weapons during all modes of flight.

Cabin details of SB>1 DEFIANT

SB>1 DEFIANT can accommodate 12 fully combat-equipped troops and four crew members. It will also offer sufficient space for medical evacuation (MEDIVAC) operations.

SB>1 DEFIANT performance

The aircraft will be capable of flying at a maximum speed of 250ktas (463km/h) and hover out of ground effect (HOGE) at an altitude of 6,000ft.

It will have greater expeditionary range and endurance and will have the capability to carry heavier payloads compared to the present generation rotorcraft.

The forward thrust offered by the pusher propulsor will enable the aircraft to rapidly displace itself from the flight path in high-threat environments.

The SB-1 will initially be powered by a pair of Honeywell T-55 engines but will later be upgraded to the winner of the Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) competition. The aircraft is expected to have a cruising speed of 250 knots.  Source

The Transmission System Test Bed will run in 2016 at West Palm Beach. (Sikorsky graphic)

Sikorsky Defiant chief engineer Steve Weiner observed, “The basic features of X2 technology continue to be the same — fly-by-wire, active vibration control, integrated propeller, high lift-to-drag rotor, increased operational envelope, low pilot workload. All those features have been incorporated into De ant, just like previous X2 designs. To date, the De ant has all the performance with a lower weight empty fraction than previous X2 designs.”

Weiner expected the Defiant weight fraction would approach that of the Black Hawk and added, “We’re coming in where we expected to be when we first proposed these demonstrator aircraft. ”The SB>1 benefits from composite lessons learned in the CH- 53K and other structures programs. “The Defiant airframe combines a primarily composite structure with metallic components in an engineered structure that minimizes weight. This general construction is similar to the Raider, but the different requirements for De ant result in a different structure. There are also payload differences.”

Defiant leverages work done on the X2 and Raider rotor systems. “Overall rotor performance, from both figure-of-merit and lift-to-drag ratio is as good or better than Raider,” summarized Shidler. “The Defiant blades are similar to those on Raider as far as general planform and airfoil choice. However, the De ant rotor diameter is larger due to greater payload requirements, and some of the performance goals of De ant are different than Raider, requiring other minor differences. De ant also includes manual blade fold, which is not a feature of the current Raider design. The incorporation of the fold feature, in combination with a different hub to blade interface has resulted in a different airfoil distribution than Raider.”

Lockheed Martin

Deviant blades approximate those of the UH-60M in size and those of the Raider in design. Weiner summarized, “As the basic requirements change, things like chord and diameter will change. They’re certainly not identical, but they’re not very far o either.”

The XH-59A exercised differential pitch on its coaxial rotors to make snap turns, and coaxial rotors lowered disk loading to reduce turn radius dynamically. The X2, Raider and Deviant all share an auxiliary tail thruster integrated with the main rotors via fly-by-wire flight controls to provide forward and reverse thrust as needed. Source

2 x Honeywell T-55 engines

The T55-714A features a seven-stage axial compressor, a two-stage free power turbine, a two-stage gas producer turbine, centrifugal compressor, and a reverse-flow atomizing combustor. All models can be configured with a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system. / Mike H

Upgrade kits are currently available from Honeywell for the T55 Family of engines. These will update the engine with latest technology standards. Compared to older T55 engines, the T55-714A upgrade provides a 22% power increase, a 7% improvement in fuel efficiency and a significant enhancement of reliability and maintainability. Altogether, the upgrade results in a 25% reduction in operation and support costs. Also, the time between engine overhauls will increase to 3,000 hours. The goal is to go to on-condition maintenance in the future.

Honeywell‘s next generation T55-L-71X engines will offer the flexibility of even more power with improved SFC.

Manufacturer: Honeywell International, Inc.
(originally produced by Lycoming Engines – Textron)
Power: Continous: 4,168 shp; Max: 4,867 shp
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 9.32
Compressor: Axial flow/centrifugal
Compressor Stages: 7-stage axial/1-stage centrifugal
Turbine: 2 HP + 2 PT
Engine Control: FADEC
Length: 47.1 in (1.2 m)
Diameter: 24.3 in (61.6 cm)
Dry Weight: 830 lbs (376 kg)
Platforms: CH-47 Chinook; MH-47 Special Forces Chinook
Price/Unit Cost: $1.06 million (in 2016)
Introduced: 1950s (first T55 model)
First Run: 1950s (first T55 model)
First Flight: September 21, 1961


Main material source

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Updated Sep 12, 2021

NPa 500-BR Offshore Patrol Vessel

NPa 500-BR offshore patrol vessel is being developed by the Empresa Gerencial de Projetos Navais (EMGEPRON) in partnership with Centro de Projetos de Navios (CPN), primarily for the Brazilian Navy.

The Ministry of Defense of Brazil placed a contract with EMGEPRON and CPN to design and develop a new patrol vessel in April 2015. The preliminary design was completed in October 2016 and the design concept was launched during the LAAD Defense and Security exhibition held in Brazil in April 2017.

EMGEPRON announced plans to export the NPa 500-BR ship to international markets such as Africa, South America, and Asia in August 2017. A model of the patrol vessel was exhibited at the Rio International Defense Exhibition 2018 (RIDEX 2018), which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2018.

A tender for the construction of the vessel is expected to be issued in 2018.

The patrol boat is designed to perform multiple missions, including patrolling, surveillance, combat, military aid, search-and-rescue (SAR), and prevention of marine pollution in exclusive economic zones (EEZ).

It is also used to counter drug trafficking, smuggling and illegal fishing in EEZs.

NPa 500-BR offshore patrol vessel design and features

The NPa 500-BR patrol vessel will have a steel hull, while its superstructure will be built using aluminium. It will have a length of 57.2m, a beam of 8.76m and a maximum draught of 2.58m.

With a loaded displacement of 592t, the ship can carry up to 43 crew members.

The ship’s navigation bridge will be outfitted with SICONTA tactical control system to perform threat evaluation, weapon management, target tracking, electronic warfare control, and analysis of sensor data.

SICONTA tactical control system

Tactical and weapons control system that can be installed in aircrafts, ships and submarines.

Main characteristics:
– Manual and automatic targets tracking;
– Electronic warfare control; and
– Threat evaluation and targets designation.

Interface with:
– Surveillance, navigation and fire control radars;
– IFF;
– CME;
– Sonars; and
– Missiles.


Up to two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) can be carried at the ship’s stern to conduct patrol and transportation duties at sea. The launch and recovery of RHIBs will be performed using a crane.

The patrol vessel can also be equipped with SICAV damage monitoring and control system as well as a propulsion monitoring system.

SICAV damage monitoring and control system

SICAV controls and indicates, in real time, the presence of smoke, temperature and flooding.

Main Features:
– Touch screen workstation;
– Ethernet network connection;
– VMIC architecture VME Standard; and
– QNX operational system.


NPa 500-BR armament

The patrol boat can be armed with a remotely operated 40mm L/70 automatic anti-aircraft gun for engaging high-speed enemy aircraft flying at low altitudes. Mounted in the bow section, the gun will offer a rate of fire of 240 rounds per minute.

40mm L/70 automatic anti-aircraft gun

The low weight and compact Bofors 40 Mk4 gun system with its high rate of fire and ability to switch between optimized ammunition types – including the intelligent 40mm 3P all-target ammunition – provides high survivability and tactical freedom at all levels of conflict.


An Oerlikon 20mm GAM-B01 machine gun will be installed amidships on both port and starboard sides to offer protection against aircraft.

Oerlikon 20mm GAM-B01 machine gun

Caliber: 20 mm
Barrel lenght: 1400 mm (55.1 inches)

Cartridge: 20×128 mm
Lenght of complete round: 20,3 cm (8 inches)

Rate of fire: 900-1000 rpm
Muzzle velocity: 1050 m/s (3440 ft/s)
Maximal range: effective surface 2000 m (2200 yards) / effective – aircraft 1500 m (1650 yards) / maximum 6800 m (7450 yards)
Feed system: 200 rounds on belt


The patrol vessel can be optionally armed with a SIMBAD-RC remotely controlled anti-air self-defence system to provide self-protection for the ship. Located amidships, the lightweight twin launcher can deploy MISTRAL surface-to-air missiles, which will be effective against threats, including combat aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and unmanned aircraft.

SIMBAD-RC remotely controlled anti-air self-defence system

SIMBAD-RC is a short-range, anti-air self defence system deploying two fire-and-forget MISTRAL missiles. It has been designed to provide a primary self defence capability on all warships or to complement the main air defences of first rank warships.

Featuring an automatic launcher remotely controlled from an interior terminal, SIMBAD-RC is ideally suited for ships with low crew numbers and for modern ship design requirements, particularly those relating to stealth and very fast craft concepts.

SIMBAD-RC provides an extremely effective defence capability against all threats including anti-ship missiles, combat aircraft, UAVs, helicopters, as well as small surface threats such as those presented by FIACs.

Depending on ship size and/or crew requirements, SIMBAD-RC offers a range of turret/SMU-RC configurations and system integration schemes. Being entirely operated by one interior-located operator, the SIMBAD-RC system offers high avaibility in all weather and sea conditions. Source 

Mistral surfrace to air missile


Type Surface to air missile
Diameter 93 mm body, 0.2 m wingspan
Length 1.86 m
Weight 19 kg
Guidance Infra-red passive homing
Warhead HE-Frag, 3 kg with 1 kg HE, impact and active laser proximity fuze
Propulsion Single-stage solid propellant rocket motor plus ejection motor
Speed Mach 2.5
Range 0.3 to 5 km effective
Altitude 5 m to 3 km
Engagement envelope ?
Remarks Container is 2 m and 24 kg


A CORCED gyro-stabilised lightweight weapon station, capable of mounting 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns, can be fitted optionally for additional protection.

CORCED gyro-stabilised lightweight weapon station

CORCED is a gyro-stabilized lightweight weapon station, designed to be installed on the deck of the ship. This system allows remote operation of a machine gun in a turret with traverse and elevation movement, performing, remotely, aiming and firing of the gun using a console. The system can be used in patrol missions, recognition, engaging surface targets or low altitude air targets.

  • Optronic integrated system
  • Internal balistic computer
  • Stabilized in pitch, roll and training
  • Integrated “auto tracker”
  • Firing and reset control
  • Remote and manual operation mode
  • Fully compliant with MIL-STD standards

Type of machine guns

BRW M2 12,7mm or FN MAG 7,62mm

Ammunition capacity

300 (12,7mm), 460 (7,62mm)

Optical sensors

Daytime camera (zoom > 23x) Thermal (optional)

Angular velocity

Trail: >51°/s
Elevation: >51°/s

Angular movement

Trail: 360°
Elevation: -10° a 45°

Total Weight Tower

Tower: 170 kg
Console: 45 kg

Accuracy of stabilization

Erro < 1mrad (peak)

Supply voltage

115 VAC, 24 VDC

Current consumption

60 A (24VDC)

Maximum distance between the tower and the console:

Up to 30 m

External dimensions of the tower (mm)

1.096×1.243×650 (LxWxH)


Navigation and communications

The NPa 500-BR patrol boat can be fitted with optical-electrical sight, comprising TV and infrared cameras, to provide observation, surveillance, target identification and tracking, as well as fire control. The device also integrates a laser rangefinder to identify and designate targets.

A communications antenna to be mounted on top of the navigation bridge will be equipped with 3D surface search and navigational radars for navigation and surface surveillance.

An optional long-range acoustic device (LRAD) can be installed for long-range communications and electronic warfare suite for radio jamming capability.

Propulsion and performance of NPa 500-BR patrol boat

The patrol vessel will feature combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system, consisting of two V16, four-stroke-cycle Caterpillar 3516C marine diesel engines. The power generating capacity of the engine will be between 1,230bkW and 2,525bkW. The ship will also feature a 200kW bow thruster.

2 x Caterpillar 3516C marine diesel engines

The 3516C propulsion engine is available with a wide range of ratings that meet IMO II regulations without any additional aftertreatment. These engines provide efficient operation with electronic governing, cold mode start strategy, and programmable low idle to minimize fuel consumption. The 3516C engine also incorporates a closed crankcase ventilation system to lower emissions.


200kW bow thruster

It will offer a maximum speed of 20kt and can travel up to a distance of 2,800nm at a speed of 13kt. The autonomy of the NPa 500-BR patrol vessel will be 20 days.

Main material source

Image are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Independence-Class Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV)

The Independence-class littoral mission vessels (LMVs) are being built by Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) Benoi shipyard, for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). Eight LMVs are scheduled to replace the ageing Fearless-class patrol vessels of the RSN by 2020.

The LMVs can be primarily used in coastal security, maritime patrol and surveillance missions, as well as in secondary roles, including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and search-and-rescue (SAR).

Littoral mission vessel development

The LMV is a joint development between ST Marine and Saab Kockums. The Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) is responsible for the overall project management and systems integration for the LMV programme.

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ST Marine, a division of Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering), received a contract from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) to design and build eight LMVs for the RSN in January 2013.

The keel for the first vessel in class, RSS Independence, was laid down in September 2014. The vessel was launched in July 2015 and handed over to the RSN in May 2016. It was commissioned in May 2017.

The keel for the second LMV, RSS Sovereignty, was laid in May 2015 and the vessel was launched in April 2016. The launching ceremony of the third LMV, RSS Unity, was held in October 2016. Both RSS Sovereignty and RSS Unity were commissioned by RSN in November 2017.

The fourth vessel, RSS Justice, was launched in March 2017 and delivered in October 2017. The fifth and sixth LMVs, RSS Indomitable and RSS Fortitude were launched in September 2017 and March 2018 respectively. The keels for the seventh and eighth LMVs were laid in October 2017 and April 2018 respectively. All the vessels are scheduled to be operational by 2020.

Ships in class


LMV design and features


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The innovative design of the LMV enables the operation of the large-sized vessel with a small crew size. The ship incorporates a modular mission concept, which allows the integration of a range of mission modules to meet the mission-specific requirements.


The versatile vessel can be rapidly configured to carry rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), boarding teams and a helicopter to conduct maritime security operations.

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The configuration of the medical modules allows the vessel to support humanitarian aid and disaster relief, as well as SAR missions. The ships can also carry unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for conducting surveillance and mine countermeasure missions.


The Independence LMV has a length of 80m, beam of 12m, draught of 3m, and displacement of 1,250t. It complements a standard crew of 23.

Weapon systems aboard Independence-class

The LMVs are equipped with both lethal and non-lethal weapons, including MBDA MICA anti-air missile system, Oto Melara 76mm main gun, Rafael 25mm Typhoon gun, Oto Melara 12.7mm Hitrole gun and long-range acoustics device (LRAD). The vertical-launched (VL) MICA multi-mission missile system protects the ship from aircraft and incoming missiles.

1 x Oto Melara 76mm main gun
Gun Characteristics
DESIGNATION Italy: 76 mm/62 (3″) Compact and SR
USN: 76 mm/62 (3″) Mark 75

  • USN: Oliver Hazard Perry class
  • Used by fifty nations

Super Rapid:

  • Italy: Animoso and Audace
  • Royal Netherlands Navy: M-class frigates
  • Danish: Standard Flex 300
  • Singapore: 62 m attack craft
  • Canada: Tribal class
DATE OF DESIGN Compact: About 1963
Super Rapid: N/A

  • First introduced in 1964
  • USN Mark 75 Introduction: 1971

Super Rapid: About 1988

GUN WEIGHT (TUBE AND LINER) 1,686 lbs. (765 kg)
BORE LENGTH 186 in (4.724 m)
RIFLING LENGTH 158 in (4.012 m)
TWIST Uniform RH 1 in 30
RATE OF FIRE Compact and Mark 75: 80 – 85 rounds per minute (in automatic mode)
Compact with retrofit kit: 100 rounds per minute
SR: 120 rounds per minute (139 achieved on trials)


1 x Rafael 25mm Typhoon gun

Typhoon is a family of lightweight, stabilized, remote controlled weapon systems for a full range of weapons, including:

  • Battle proven
  • Highly accurate in day and night operations
  • Lightweight
  • No deck penetration is required
  • Simple operation with high reliability
  • Cost effective
  • Modular design enable future upgrades

Toplite, highly stabilized, multi-role, multi-sensor optronic payload, is a day/night observation and targeting, configured for naval, air and ground surveillance and targeting systems.

Toplite provides the services required for precision guidance for guided weapons, day or night and under adverse weather conditions. Toplite enables observation, target detection, recognition and identification by the use of various sensors including FLIR, CCD and laser rangefinder. Toplite features both manual and automatic target tracking. The system includes the following sub-systems:

  • FLIR: 3rd GEN (3-5micron) or 8-12micron TDi
  • CCD camera B/W or color
  • Eye safe laser rangefinder
  • Laser designator (optional)
  • Advanced correlation tracker


2 x Oto Melara 12.7mm Hitrole gun

The HITROLE®- G is a modern, fully stabilized, electrically operated and remotely controlled naval weapon system that can be fitted with a range of single or multi barrels cannons, well suited for policing operations and countering asymmetric threats.

An “on mount” high capacity ammunition storage (400 rounds 12,7mm), plus additional ammunition depots under the mount, guarantee the necessary operative flexibility and autonomy for close-in protection against sea-based threats and air targets. Source

12 × MICA VL MBDA MICA anti-air missile system

The VL MICA system deploys the unique MICA missile, which is the only missile in the world equipped with two, interoperable, state-of-the-art seekers (Imaging IR or active RF), providing superior features to counter all types of threat (anti-ship missiles, aircraft, helicopter, PGMs, smart-bombs, etc.)

VL MICA offers a very high single-shot kill probability and simultaneous multiple-shot capability (autonomous guidance, extremely high firing rate).

Operated from the ship combat system using existing air defence sensors, VL MICA has no need for a dedicated fire control system.

The missile is stored and vertically launched from its individual storage container (no need for a VLS) providing 360° engagement coverage. Several ship programmes have been carried out that have demonstrated how the modularity and compact nature of VL MICA facilitate the system’s installation on a wide range of warships, both new-build and


In addition to VL MICA’s many operational advantages, low maintenance, reduced manpower requirements and very long service life are key features.

  • All weather
  • Vertical launch (360° coverage)
  • Simultaneous multi-target, high rate of fire
  • Active RF and Imagery IR seekers
  • Outstanding defence capability against saturating anti-ship attacks
  • Light, modular and compact


 Long-Range Acoustic Device LRAD 1000RX

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  1. Remotely control all functions through TCP/IP connection
  2. Remotely respond to threats from a safe location
  3. Low power requirements
  4. All-weather use
  5. Fixed infrastructure
  6. Easy to use – Increased coverage with single operator
  7. Increased security coverage
  8. Improved operational efficiency
  9. Increased response capabilities
  10. Safer alternative to non-lethal deterrent measures
  1. Highly intelligible communication up to 3,000 meters
  2. Safely communicates beyond standoff distances
  3. Clear, long range, directional communication
  4. When integrated with radar, creates a fully functional, automated perimeter presence


Sagem received a contract from the DSTA of Singapore in May 2013 to supply a new gun fire control system (GFCS) for eight LMVs.

The new centralised GFCS at the vessel’s control centre is interfaced with main and secondary guns, radar, optoelectronics and navigation systems. The system’s open architecture allows integration with the combat management system and support future upgrades.

Sagem gun fire control system (GFCS)

Sagem (Safran) has signed a contract with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) of Singapore to develop and produce a new Gun Fire-Control System (GFCS) for eight Littoral Mission Vessels ordered by the Republic of Singapore Navy.

Sagem’s new GFCS is a centralized system located at the ship’s operations center that integrates several functions: main and secondary guns, radar, optronics and navigation systems. Capable of operating from several multifunction consoles concurrently, Sagem’s GFCS will also be interfaced with the combat management system. It’s open architecture not only allows for easy integration but also ensures flexibility and scalability for future upgrades and enhancement. Source

Sensors and radars


The Thales NS100 three-dimensional surveillance radar and Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye navigation radar on-board the vessel allows the detection of surface targets in the jam-packed environment.

Thales NS100 three-dimensional surveillance radar

The NS100 surveillance task is enhanced with new multi-mission capabilities such as swarm defence, anti-piracy, UAV control and weapon support for active missiles. These different types of targets put different requirements on the radar; fighter jets require long range, high diving missiles require elevation coverage, sea skimmers require fast reaction time, hovering helicopters require spectral information, UAVs are small and slow and require a good clutter suppression, etc.

The NS100 detects this wide variety of targets in one single mode as one can never be certain of the type of threat encountered. This can be realised by introducing full digital beam-forming with Dual Axis Multi-beam processing and fully exploiting the AESA capability of forward and backward scanning.

Multi-sensor integrated solution
Besides the IFF interrogator antenna, the NS100 is designed to integrate a Scout Mk3 FMCW antenna, an IR-camera and AIS and ADS-B antennas and receiver. This multi-sensor integrated solution allows for a single mount position of multiple sensors and creates a higher level of integration on board the ship.  Positioning all sensors on one platform at the best topside position optimizes the overall field of view and the sensor performance. Also issues concerning footprint and interference are solved by the multi-sensor integrated solution.

Highly scalable requirement driven performance
The performance of the NS100 can be scaled by adding transmit elements to meet the diverse requirements and operational needs of navies around the world. The same basic radar can be optimised for different ship classes, leading to fleet-wise logistic advantages. Furthermore, the flexible radar architecture enables through-life introduction of new capabilities thereby future proofing the radar. Source

Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye navigation radar

Solid state radar ensures extremely high reliability and low through life cost:

  • No magnetron – minimal routine maintenance requirements
  • No fault-finding training required
  • Line replaceable unit – does not require radar trained technician to replace
  • Low Mean Time To Repair (MTTR)
  • Upmast transceiver solution – no waveguide to compromise citadel integrity – easy to retrofit – reduced signal loss.
Operating Frequency 9.2 – 9.5 GHz 2.9 – 3.1 GHz
Frequency Diversity (FD) Optional No
Frequency Channels Non FD 12 / FD 10 8
Peak Power Up to 300W Up to 200W
Average RF Power 39W 20W
Output Power Transistor Type GaN LDMOS
Duty Ratio Up to 13% Up to 10%
Pulse Compression Ratio Up to 1000:1 Up to 1000:1
Signal Processor Doppler Processing Doppler Processing
Clutter Discrimination Up to 16 filters Up to 32 filters
Clutter Suppression Automatic Automatic
Minimum Range ≤40m ≤40m
Instrumented Ranges 24nm and 48nm 24nm and 48nm
PRF 2300Hz 2300Hz
1180Hz 1180Hz
Pulse Lengths 0.1μS – 100μS 0.1μS – 100μS
Reliability Up to 150,000 hrs MTBF Up to 150,000 hrs MTBF
Power Modes High and low power modes High and low power modes
Antenna (standard) 2.5m low profile 3.9m low profile
Horizontal ≤0.95° – 3dB ≤2.0° – 3dB
Vertical -26° -26°
Polarisation Horizontal Horizontal
Antenna Gain >31dB 28dB
Upmast System Weight (inc. standard antenna) <75kg <108kg
Colour Light Grey – RAL7001 Light Grey – RAL7001


STELOP 360° panoramic day and night camera


  • Clear day and night vision with ability to see through all weather conditions and smoke
  • SMART automatic accurate target acquisition, tracking, pointing and sharing
  • Stabilised operations on the move
  • Integration with radar and sensors
  • Guns and other non-lethal weapons target alignment


  • Micro-TM – For target search, acquisition, tracking and real-time alignment of weapon
  • V180 – For shipboard 360 degrees staring perimeter day and night visual camera
  • 360 Manager – For shipboard bridge to have integrated complete application video management, analytics and user interface (GUI)



The Independence-class LMVs are powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system integrating two MTU 20V 4000 M93L diesel engines. Each engine develops a maximum power output of 4,300kW (5,770shp). The propulsion ensures high-manoeuvrability in confined and congested littoral waters.

2 x MTU 20V 4000 M93L diesel engines


The LMV has a speed in excess of 27k and range of 3,500nmi. The maximum endurance of the ship will be 14 days.


Main material source

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated