Any country around the world will have the objective to cut costs. Even China will go this way and especially when it comes to military expenditures. So what if a company was coming inti the market with a low cost fighter jet, but that still would work like a superbly expensive fighter jet.Which would you take ? In an age of budget-busting weapons programs and tighter defense purse strings, Textron is betting it can sell a cut-rate military jet assembled in part from off-the-shelf components. That would dramatically reduce costs. And Textron know their stuff as they build aircrafts. Indeed, Textron, the world’s largest maker of business aircraft, developed the new Scorpion jet with its partner AirLand Enterprises LLC in less than two years—a turbocharged time frame for a military plane. It borrowed technology developed for its high-end Cessna Citation corporate jets, and it added components like ejector seats from suppliers’ catalogues rather than custom designing them. Textron used its own funds—analysts estimate it spent hundreds of millions of dollars—without a contract, which is rare in an industry where companies generally secure government backing and clear design specifications before starting projects. Some prospective suppliers had so little faith in the project that they declined to take part. But Textron Chief Executive Scott Donnelly says he’s confident a global market exists for small, cheap-to-run jets able to carry out intelligence, security and reconnaissance work for the military as well as functions like patrolling borders and tracking drug smugglers. The jets can also carry weapons under their wings. Textron estimates the size of the global market at more than 2,000 planes and says the company could start to deliver them in 2015 if it wins an order this year. The Scorpion is priced below $20 million, and aims to have lower operating costs than those of pricier jets flying similar missions. That sandwiches it between slower turboprops such as Embraer SA EMBR3.BR +0.31% ‘s $11 million Super Tucano—a big seller to nations in Africa and Latin America—or advanced supersonic combat fighter jets like Saab’s $43 million Gripen, and offerings from Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co. and others costing $50 million or more. Experts on military aircraft are divided on the Scorpion’s prospects. The 2,000-aircraft estimate “is ambitious but reasonable,” says Kristin White, a senior associate at Avascent, a defense-industry consulting firm. “The competition is going to be tough, but [air forces] will have to take a look” because of the price and capabilities.
As the business of selling jet fighters keeps on, some countries fair better than others. Recently, France got disappointed by Brazil as the deal to purchase the Rafale came to a halt. Now, the Russians are feeling a bit happy as Indonesia announces they are ready to purchase the Su-35 to replace its fleet of F-5. According to a report in Indonesia’s official newspaper, ANTARA, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro discussed the plan to replace the F-5 Tigers in a meeting with Indonesian Military Commander General Moeldoko and Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff Marshall Ida Bagus Putu Dunia on Tuesday. The report went on to summarize General Moeldoko as saying that possible candidates include Russian Sukhoi Su-35, the American F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the Swedish Fighter SAAB JAS 39 Gripen. He noted that the Indonesian Air Force has already conducted a study on each of the jets.
The report itself, however, singled out the Su-35 multirole fighter specifically. The Russian newspaper RIA Novosti ran a story highlighting Purnomo’s comments. The RIA Novosti report also noted that Indonesia has already purchased five Su-27SKM and 11 Su-30MK2 fighter jets from Russia over the last decade, and is currently considering buying Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines from Moscow. In late 2012, Russia’s Vnesheconombank (VEB) agreed to provide Indonesia with nearly $400 million over the next seven years to purchase Russian aircraft. According to Sukhoi, the maker of the Su-35, the fighter is a “4++ generation aircraft employing technologies of the fifth generation” that make it superior to other 4th generation fighters on the market or under development. The company has been aggressively pushing exports of the Su-35 to a number of countries including China, which has long been in negotiations with Russia over purchasing the fighter jet. Last July the deputy head of Russia’s defense export company, Rosoboronexport, said that Russia and China will sign a deal on the Su-35 sometime this year.
We love jet fighters, we fly them, and one of the greatest of all time is the F-35. Implemented with all forces, stealthy and truly able, the F-35 is one of those aircraft any pilot would dream of flying. However, a new report tends to demonstrate that the F-35 has a few problems, 719 to be precise… A recent report from the Pentagon’s internal watchdog reveals that the next gen fighter jet is plagued with hundreds of issues. The Defense Department’s Inspector General conducted a series of quality assurance assessments that found the Joint Program Office and Defense Contract Management Agency performed “inadequate oversight,” failing to adhere to widely adopted quality management protocols while losing control of contractors that have already sunk an estimated$400 billion taxpayer dollars into what is the most expensive weapons system ever developed by the U.S. government. The IG’s 126-page report concluded that prime contractor Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, L-3 Display Systems, Honeywell Aerospace and United Technologies Corporation “did not follow disciplined AS9100 Quality Management System practices,” citing 363 findings, which documented 719 issues that could “adversely affect aircraft performance, reliability, maintainability, and ultimately cost.”
Among the numerous oversight shortcomings, the IG found that JPO failed to:
• Ensure that Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors were applying rigor to design, manufacturing, and quality assurance processes.
• Flow down critical safety item requirements.
• Ensure that Lockheed Martin flowed down quality assurance and technical requirements to subcontractors.
• Establish an effective quality assurance organization.
• Ensure that the Defense Contract Management Agency perform adequate quality assurance oversight.
• In addition, the Defense Contract Management Agency did not sufficiently perform Government quality assurance oversight of F-35 contractors.
The F-35 is going to be the real backbone of the US Defense in the near future. This is the most expensive weapons program, and there is a reason for this. The F-35 is key for the US to remain ahead of adversaries, in the sky, but also in the technological race. Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Defense, Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said air superiority is critical to the nation’s security and how the U.S. military plans to fight. “The air superiority this nation has enjoyed for 60 years is not an accident and gaining and maintaining it is not easy,” Welsh said. “It requires trained proficient and ready Airmen and it requires credible, capable and technologically superior aircraft. I believe the F-35 is essential to ensuring we can provide that air superiority in the future.” The F-35 is an unprecedented fifth generation fighter combining stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully integrated sensors and network enabled operations, and state-of-the-art avionics. However, design issues and production costs have put the F-35 program in real jeopardy. Welsh said America needs the F-35 to stay a step ahead and to “make sure the future fight is an away game and to minimize our risk to our ground forces when conflict inevitably does occur.” “The F-35 is the only real, viable option to form the backbone of our future fighter fleet,” he said. “The F-35 remains the best platform to address the proliferation of highly capable integrated air defenses and new air-to-air threats.” One thing is sure, the F-35 is a real beauty.
This year’s Paris Air Show should be good, with many innovations being unveiled, especially by aircraft makers and systems designers. But most of all, what makes the success of the Bourget Air Show for the general public is the aerial display. And this year, the Su-35 should have a great role in satisfying the crowds. Training flights of the Su-35S take place these days at the Zhukovsky airfield at the M. M. Gromov Flight Research Institute in preparation for participation in the le Bourget-2013 International Air Show. The Honored test pilot of the Russian Federation, the Hero of Russia Sergey Bogdan works on two sets of aerobatics – for normal and complex weather conditions. Participants and visitors of the largest exhibition of the world aircraft industry achievements will be able to watch such a complex and spectacular flight figures as spatial barrels, somersaults, a flat spin, and, of course, the famous “Pugachev’s Cobra”. Next week, upon completion of test flights, the aircraft will fly to France to continue getting ready for the flight program of the air show. The newest multirole Su-35S fighter will be presented for the first time in a foreign air show. Its premiere flight program was held at the MAKS-2009 air show in Russia. Su-35S is a deeply modernized super-maneuverable multirole fighter of the “4++” generation. The applied technologies of the 5th generation provide for the superiority of Su-35S aircraft over similar class fighters. The aircraft has a much better flight characteristics compared with standing analog fighters and more perfect on-board avionics. Aircraft characteristics exceed all European tactical fighters of the 4th and “4+” generation like Rafale and Eurofighter 2000, as well as upgraded American fighters such as F-15, F-16 and F-18. Su-35S can also successfully counter the 5th generation fighters – F-35 and F-22A. This aircraft, in particular, is the fastest (2,400 km/h at an altitude of 11 km) fighter, it has a higher thrust, it also has an almost two-fold benefit to the modern French (Rafale) and Swedish (Gripen) fighters in the flight range (without suspension tanks – 3600 km). The Gripen NG aircraft, for example, has only one engine, so it has a smaller combat survivability and reliability. The American F/A-18 fighter is inferior to the Russian Su-35S in the flight altitude. So the show should be exciting for everyone to admire such a jet fighter. Get more info about the show >> http://www.salon-du-bourget.fr/
France could produce the Rafale jet fighter in Malaysia. At a time when things are not going smoothly in France with lots of talk and noise about relocation, industries and competition, France has started discussing producing and manufacturing the Rafale fighter plane in Malaysia.This could be of course, if Malaysia was to purchase the Rafale. Malaysia is looking to buy 18 combat fighters to replace its ageing Russian Mig-29s, with the Eurofighter, Boeing’s F-18 and Saab’s Gripen also in the running. The multi-role Rafale, which entered service in the French military in 2001, can carry out air-ground or air-sea attacks, reconnaissance, aerial interception or nuclear strike missions. France is keen to make its first foreign sale of the Rafale, which has struggled to find buyers, to support a project that has cost tens of billions of euros. India has selected the Rafale, with most of the 126 fighter jets they plan to buy expected to be built there if the final contract is signed this year as hoped. Malaysia is keen for its local companies to be involved in the manufacturing, and Dassault said the company has spent considerable effort in lining up local suppliers should the Rafale be selected.
China unveiled its latest jet fighter, the J-31 Falcon Eagle which looks remarkably like earlier models of a twin-engine variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. We would not think for minute that China would copy… This is the second fighter unveiled to the public, after the J-20 Black Eagle stealth fighter, built by Chengdu Aircraft. “ The design is stunningly like the F-35. Reports of Chinese industrial espionage related to the JSF give this aircraft added interest. Built by Shenyang Aircraft, little is known of the Falcon Eagle’s true capabilities beyond analysis of the photos.
“The rear section of the Chinese aircraft, however, shows little LO [low observable] design, though this may reflect its developmental nature,” Barrie said. “Signature management is also about a great deal more than basic shaping, with materials technology and emission control in terms of radio frequency and infrared also significant. The extent or limit to which China has developed already the requisite technologies to address these areas remains an area of conjecture.” Chinese-language media outlets indicate the fighter might serve on China’s future aircraft carrier fleet. China has one carrier-borne fighter in development, the Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark.
India is getting ready for a fighter, after announcing purchases of trainer jet fighters, the confirmation of the ability to export the Sukhoi T-50, now India announces the purchase of more jet fighters from Russia. Russia and India have signed a $1.5-billion contract on the supplies of 29 more MiG-29K carrier-based fighter jets to New Delhi, the head of the Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG said on Friday. “An agreement on supplying an additional set of MiG-29K fighter jets has been signed, the start of supplies is scheduled for 2012,” Mikhail Pogosyan said. The deal was signed during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi. Pogosyan said Russia should fulfill the previous contract on supplies of single-seat MiG-29K fighters to India by 2010. Russia and India signed a contract stipulating the supply of 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs to India in January 2004. The contract is part of a $1.5 billion deal to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, currently being retrofitted in Russia for the Indian navy. India’s first MiG-29Ks and MiG-29KUBs officially entered service earlier this year. Analysts believe that India will remain the main purchaser of Russian-made combat aircraft for the next 15 years under existing and future contracts, as the country desperately needs to upgrade its fighter fleet, which includes Su-30MKI and MiG-29 fighters, but mainly consists of obsolete Soviet MiG-21 models. Funny enough, this purchase of MiG comes at a time when the Russian army has announced that MiG is losing money. So it’s good timing, and reinforces the appetite of India for jet fighters.
The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 is a jet fighter trainer developed by a joint venture company between Yakovklev and Aermacchi. The project began in 1993 when Aermacchi signed a joint venture with Yakovlev who developed the training aircraft of the Russian army in 1991. The result of this cooperation as the MB-339 but soon differences between manufacturers made itself felt, and in the end each aircraft developed in his corner. Aermacchi retained the rights to sell the aircraft for the world, except Russia and other partners of Russia.
Version M-346 is a modified and improved version of the original jet fighter. The prototype flew June 7, 2003 and the flight demonstration was made at the Paris Air Show in 2005. The M-346 is a training aircraft which allows pilots to test their skills and in particular to its top speed as the aircraft can reach Mach 1.15. The plane does not use afterburner, which also helps reduce operational costs. The plane is designed on a “fly by wire” technique with a fairly advanced avionics for aircraft training, which also allows him to take angles up to 40 degrees. The Aermacchi M-346 aircraft is now the training aircraft of Italian fighter pilots. The export success is relative with countries like Dubai, Israel who have demonstrated an interest in the aircraft.