British AJAX

General Dynamics UK has unveiled on September 15, the turreted AJAX prototype platform at DSEI 2015. The platform, the flagship variant of the AJAX programme, is the second prototype to be unveiled by General Dynamics UK, and the first to feature the Lockheed Martin UK-developed turret, which is designed to meet the needs of the modern British soldier.

AJAX, the new name for the British Army’s Scout SV reconnaissance vehicle, was unveiled at the DSEI show in London fitted with its new Lockheed Martin 40-mm turret (GD UK image)
AJAX, the new name for the British Army’s Scout SV reconnaissance vehicle, was unveiled at the DSEI show in London fitted with its new Lockheed Martin 40-mm turret (GD UK image)

The AJAX platform will be the «eyes and ears» of the British Army on the battlefields of the future. It will be effective in the most difficult terrains around the world, providing all-weather Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities.

Commenting on the unveiling of the AJAX platform, MoD Armoured Vehicles Head of Programmes, Major General Talbot-Rice, said: «We are committed to supplying the Armed Forces with the very best equipment possible and are delivering on this by supplying the AJAX platform which will become their first fully digitised armoured fighting vehicle».

The AJAX platform is one of six variants to be delivered to the British Army by General Dynamics UK from 2017 through 2024. It represents the future of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) for the British Army, providing best-in-class protection and survivability, reliability and mobility and advanced ISTAR capabilities.

AJAX has been designed and developed at General Dynamics UK’s AFV design and engineering centre in Oakdale, South Wales. The company’s employees include highly-skilled engineers who are delivering the family of best-in-class platforms.

Kevin Connell, vice president of General Dynamics Land Systems – UK, said: «We are delighted to unveil the AJAX prototype, which is another significant step in the on schedule delivery of a family of best-in-class platforms to the British Army. Working together with our industry partners, customer and end-user, we will deliver into service a platform that will enable the British Army to gather the information they need, when they need it, on the battlefields of the future».

The range of AJAX variants will allow the British Army to conduct sustained, expeditionary, full-spectrum and network-enabled operations with a reduced logistics footprint. It can operate in combined-arms and multinational situations across a wide-range of future operating environments. The first British Army squadron will be equipped by mid-2019 to allow conversion to begin with a brigade ready to deploy from the end of 2020.

General Dynamics demonstrates Armoured Fighting Vehicle capability at DSEI 2015
General Dynamics demonstrates Armoured Fighting Vehicle capability at DSEI 2015

First steel cut

The construction phase for the Swedish Navy’s A26 next-generation submarine has officially begun. On 4 September 2015 at the Saab Kockums shipyard in Karlskrona, the first steel for the new vessel was cut. This is a key milestone for the world’s most modern submarine programme.

Defence and security company Saab has begun construction of the world’s most modern submarine programme, the A26
Defence and security company Saab has begun construction of the world’s most modern submarine programme, the A26

The A26 is a next-generation submarine with the ability to perform in all oceans and across a broad spectrum of conflict environments. Along with its traditional load of mines and torpedoes, the submarine can be equipped with missiles. Perhaps the most unique A26 design feature is its Multi Mission Portal, for the launch and retrieval of diverse mission payloads such as manned and unmanned vehicles. The A26 submarine will be a strong intelligence-gathering platform within the wider defense network.

«We have left the design phase behind and begun construction of the A26, a pillar of Sweden’s future naval defence. The A26 is a new standard bearer; a step forward in the Swedish tradition of modular design and building, it ensures maximum operational effectiveness with a lower lifecycle cost. With the A26 you can always adapt the submarine to the mission in hand. Now that production has started it is a clear signal to other potential customers around the world that Saab is ready to deliver to them as well», says Gunnar Wieslander, head of Saab’s business unit Saab Kockums.

On 30 June 2015, Saab signed contracts with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration to construct, verify and deliver two new Type A26 submarines to a total order value of SEK7.6 billion. The first delivery will be 2022.

A26 submarine for the Swedish Navy is the world’s most modern submarine programme. The submarines will be powered by conventional diesel-electric propulsion machinery and equipped with the Kockums Stirling AIP (Air-Independent Propulsion) system. The Stirling system makes the A26 very stealthy and difficult to detect. The A26 boosts all the traditional operational capabilities of a submarine and is also a strong intelligence-gathering platform within the wider defence network. Its proven modular design ensures availability, with efficient through-life upgrades and adaptations, and low life cycle costs.

On Friday 4 September 2015 the first steel was cut for the first submarine’s hull
On Friday 4 September 2015 the first steel was cut for the first submarine’s hull

 

This week we started on the construction of the world’s most modern submarine programme. Congratulations to everyone involved in helping us deliver the next generation submarines to the Swedish Navy

 

Maritime Indirect Fires

BAE Systems on September 15, 2015 confirmed its selection as preferred bidder by the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD) to provide the gun system, known as the Maritime Indirect Fires System (MIFS), for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. This follows the MOD’s £859 million Demonstration Phase contract for the Type 26 program that was awarded to BAE Systems earlier this year.

Maritime Indirect Fires System (MIFS) Mark-45 Mod 4
Maritime Indirect Fires System (MIFS) Mark-45 Mod 4

Subject to contract award, BAE Systems will provide the MIFS Integrated Gunnery System (IGS), which includes the 5-inch/127-mm, 62-caliber Mark-45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System, along with an automated Ammunition Handling System, Gun Fire Control System, and qualified ammunition.

«The Mark-45 is at the center of our MIFS solution and will provide the Royal Navy with a low-risk, low-cost, and highly effective automatic weapon system», said Joe Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems. «It combines the benefits of a mature, reliable, and proven system with the capacity to deliver the full range of ammunition available today and in development».

BAE Systems has begun work in support of the overall Type 26 development design effort and, earlier this year, participated in Mark-45 technical briefings between the U.S. Navy and Royal Navy on board the USS Winston Churchill in Portsmouth, U.K. The event gave members of the Royal Navy the opportunity to further experience the gun system’s features and capabilities.

The world-leading Mark-45 is in service with the U.S. Navy and 10 other allied nations. More than 240 Mark-45 guns have been delivered into service globally, benefiting engineering and manufacturing capabilities around the world.

With business and service teams in the United States and the United Kingdom, BAE Systems brings unrivalled skills and experience to the Type 26 Global Combat Ship.

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will replace the capability of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates with a multi-mission warship capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group. Designed with an acoustically quiet hull, the ship is being designed to be supportable and upgradeable as new technology develops to ensure that it remains relevant to the future demands of the maritime environment.

Type 26 Global Combat Ship, Design concept only
Type 26 Global Combat Ship, Design concept only

 


BAE Systems has revealed the latest images of the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship, which will replace the Type 23 frigate as the workhorse of the Fleet

 

 

Munro in Dry Dock

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division launched the U.S. Coast Guard’s newest National Security Cutter (NSC), Munro (WMSL-755), on September 12, 2015. Munro is the company’s sixth NSC and is expected to deliver by the end of next year.

The National Security Cutter Munro (WMSL-755) sits in the floating dry dock at Ingalls Shipbuilding prior to its launch on Saturday (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
The National Security Cutter Munro (WMSL-755) sits in the floating dry dock at Ingalls Shipbuilding prior to its launch on Saturday (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

«The National Security Cutter program is in a very mature state», said Derek Murphy, Ingalls’ NSC program manager. «NSC 6 is the most complete ship at launch, and we accomplished this a week earlier than scheduled. Our shipbuilders continue to improve the learning curve, and the National Security Cutter program illustrates the cost savings and first-time quality that comes from serial production. Our learning curve is the best it has been on this program, and we look forward to continuing this trend on future Coast Guard ships».

Munro was translated via Ingalls’ rail car system to the floating dry dock one week prior to launch. The dock was moved away from the pier and then flooded to float the ship. With the assistance of tugs, Munro came off the dock on September 12 morning.

«All of the folks working the translation and launch worked diligently to ensure the process was done in the most efficient manner possible, and that’s exactly what happened», said Jason Frioux, Ingalls’ NSC 6 program integration manager. «Now our NSC 6 team will continue this effort so this ship will be ready for sea trials and delivery next year. Everything we are doing on a day-to-day basis matters because we want to ensure the men and women of the Coast Guard will have a safe and quality ship to support their homeland security missions».

Ingalls has delivered the first five NSCs and has three more under construction, including Munro. The seventh ship, Kimball (WMSL-756), is scheduled for delivery in 2018. The eighth NSC, Midgett (WMSL-757), will start fabrication in November.

Munro is named to honor Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro, the Coast Guard’s sole recipient of the Medal of Honor. He was mortally wounded on September 27, 1942, while evacuating a detachment of Marines on Guadalcanal.

Legend-class NSCs are the flagships of the Coast Guard’s cutter fleet. Designed to replace the 378‐foot/115-meter Hamilton-class high-endurance cutters that entered service in the 1960s, they are 418 feet/127 m long with a 54-foot/16-meter beam and displace 4,500 tons with a full load. They have a top speed of 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h, a range of 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 110.

NSCs are capable of meeting all maritime security mission needs required of the high-endurance cutter. They include an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of manned and unmanned rotary wing aircraft.

The Legend class is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard, with robust capabilities for maritime homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions. NSCs play an important role enhancing the Coast Guard’s operational readiness, capacity and effectiveness at a time when the demand for their services has never been greater.

The fifth U.S. Coast Guard NSC, James (WMSL 754), has successfully completed acceptance trials in early May 2015. The Ingalls-built NSC spent two full days in the Gulf of Mexico proving the ship’s systems (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)
The fifth U.S. Coast Guard NSC, James (WMSL 754), has successfully completed acceptance trials in early May 2015. The Ingalls-built NSC spent two full days in the Gulf of Mexico proving the ship’s systems (Photo by Lance Davis/HII)

 

Facts

Displacement 4,500 long tons
Length 418 feet/127 m
Beam 54 feet/16 m
Speed 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range 12,000 NM/13,809 miles/22,224 km
Endurance 60 days
Crew 120
Equipped with Mk-110 57-mm turret mounted gun
6 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber machine guns
3D air search radar
2 level 1, class 1 aircraft hangers
A stern launch ramp for mission boats

 

Ship list

USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750)

USCGC Waesche (WMSL-751)

USCGC Stratton (WMSL-752)

USCGC Hamilton (WMSL-753)

USCGC James (WMSL-754)

USCGC Munro (WMSL-755)

USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756)

USCGC Midgett (WMSL-757)

 

Munro was translated via Ingalls’ rail car system to the floating dry dock one week prior to launch. The dock was moved away from the pier and then flooded to float the ship

Land 400 Phase 2

BAE Systems has offered a highly protected armoured vehicle integrated with a combat proven turret as the solution that will best meet the Australian Army’s mounted combat reconnaissance requirements. As prime contractor, the Company has teamed with Patria to offer the AMV35 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) under Phase 2 of the Land 400 Program.

Patria AMV provides the ideal Military-Off-The-Shelf (MOTS) option
Patria AMV provides the ideal Military-Off-The-Shelf (MOTS) option

The solution combines Patria’s Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) and BAE Systems Hägglunds’ E35 turret system. Both are qualified and in service with NATO nations.

The Patria AMV has been selected by seven nations with more than 1,400 contracted vehicles. The platform has attained a strong combat reputation, chiefly based on the strength of its operational performance with the Polish Army in Afghanistan.

The BAE Systems-Hägglunds manned turret system is fitted to the successful CV90 family of Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) operated by seven nations. It has been used on UN and NATO missions across the globe, including Afghanistan. The unique features of the E35 turret provide the AMV35 with real battlefield advantage for Australian soldiers through game-changing levels of accuracy and weight of fire.

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Glynn Phillips said: «The AMV35 is an outstanding combat reconnaissance platform that integrates BAE Systems-Hägglunds’ E35 turret onto a modern, agile, highly protected Patria Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV), both of which have attained a fearsome reputation based on their operational performance in Afghanistan. It represents a low risk and affordable step change in protection, mobility and firepower for the Australian Army in any future operations. We look forward to being the given the chance to demonstrate the exceptional capabilities of this armoured vehicle system».

If selected, the BAE Systems/Patria team will manufacture and support the AMV35 in Australia, securing and retaining in-country capability, and contributing significantly to the Australian economy throughout the expected 30+ year life of the vehicles.

The BAE Systems-led team is committed to ensuring a high level of Australian content and industry capability development. The decision to manufacture the vehicle in Australia assures that there will be opportunities for involvement and content for Australian suppliers.

 

Kuwaiti Typhoon

The Eurofighter Consortium on September 11 welcomes the State of Kuwait as a new member of the Eurofighter community. The Eurofighter confirmed the agreement between Italy and Kuwait for the supply of 28 Eurofighter Typhoons.

A computer-generated image showing a Eurofighter Typhoon in Kuwaiti markings (Eurofighter image)
A computer-generated image showing a Eurofighter Typhoon in Kuwaiti markings (Eurofighter image)

This new international success follows an order from the Sultanate of Oman for 12 aircraft in December 2012 and it is a further evidence of growing interest in the Eurofighter Typhoon across the globe and in the Gulf Region in particular with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman who have already ordered this combat aircraft.

On behalf of the consortium and its Eurofighter Partner Companies (EPC) the CEO of Eurofighter, Alberto Gutierrez, said: «This new agreement is the confirmation of the superiority of the Eurofighter over its competitors and will provide a great opportunity for further Eurofighter orders. We are delighted to welcome Kuwait as the newest member of our Eurofighter Typhoon family. The Eurofighter is already proven and trusted by six nations to perform in all operational environments».

With Kuwait, the Eurofighter Typhoon confirms its role as Europe’s largest military collaborative programme with a total of 599 aircraft committed. It provides leading-edge technologies and strengthens Europe’s defence industry in international competition. More than 100,000 jobs in 400 supplier companies are involved in this four-nation programme and deliver significant contributions.

Since entry into service of the first Eurofighter Typhoon at the end of 2003, 444 aircraft have been delivered to six nations: Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia. In December 2012, Oman became the seventh customer and ordered a total of twelve aircraft. Eurofighter Typhoon is currently in service at 22 operational units and up to now, the whole fleet has completed more than 300,000 flying hours worldwide.

Eurofighter Typhoon provides a diverse range of options for all Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface operations
Eurofighter Typhoon provides a diverse range of options for all Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface operations

 

General characteristics

DIMENSIONS
Wingspan 35 feet 11 inch/10.95 m
Length overall 52 feet 4 inch/15.96 m
Height 17 feet 4 inch/5.28 m
Wing Area 551.1 feet2/51.2 m2
MASS
Basic Mass Empty 24,250 lbs/11,000 kg
Maximum Take-Off >51,809 lbs/23,500 kg
Maximum External Load >16,535 lbs/7,500 kg
DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
Single seat twin-engine, with a two-seat variant
Weapon Carriage 13 Hardpoints
G’ limits +9/-3 ‘g’
Engines Two Eurojet EJ200 reheated turbofans
Maximum dry thrust class 13,500 lbs/6,124 kgf/60 kN
Maximum reheat thrust class 20,000 lbs/9,072 kgf/90 kN
GENERAL PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS
Ceiling >55,000 feet/16,764 m
Brakes off to 35,000 feet(10,668 m)/Mach 1.5 <2.5 minutes
Brakes off to lift off <8 seconds
At low level, 200 knots/230 mph/370 km/h to Mach 1.0 in 30 seconds
Maximum Speed Mach 2.0
Operational Runway Length <2,297 feet/700 m
MATERIALS
Carbon Fibre Composites (CFC) 70%
Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) 12%
Aluminium Alloy, Titanium Alloy 15%
Acrylic (Röhm 249) 3%
OPERATORS
United Kingdom 232 Aircraft
Germany 180 Aircraft
Italy 121 Aircraft
Spain 87 Aircraft
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 72 Aircraft
Austria 15 Aircraft
Sultanate of Oman 12 Aircraft
Kuwait 28 Aircraft
Total 747 Aircraft
Modifications boost agility and weapons-carrying capability
Modifications boost agility and weapons-carrying capability

Targeting System

On September 10, Lockheed Martin introduced Advanced EOTS, an evolutionary electro-optical targeting system, which is available for the F-35’s Block 4 development. Designed to replace EOTS, the F-35’s current electro-optical targeting system, Advanced EOTS incorporates a wide range of enhancements and upgrades, including short-wave infrared, high-definition television, an infrared marker and improved image detector resolution. These enhancements increase F-35 pilots’ recognition and detection ranges, enabling greater overall targeting performance.

The F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
The F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

«In today’s environment, threats to our warfighters continue to evolve», said Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control/SOF CLSS at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «With significant capability and performance enhancements, Advanced EOTS ensures that F-35 pilots can stay ahead of these threats, detecting targets faster and at greater distances while remaining unseen».

Due to its similarity in shape and size to EOTS, Advanced EOTS can be installed with minimal changes to the F-35’s interface. It will be housed behind the same low-drag window, maintaining the F-35’s stealthy profile. Advanced EOTS production will be completed on the current EOTS line.

Advanced EOTS and EOTS are the first sensors to combine Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Infrared Search and Track (IRST) functionality to provide precise air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting capability. Advanced EOTS was developed jointly through significant Lockheed Martin and supplier investment, with team members drawing on proven experience in electro-optical sensor design and manufacturing.

Lockheed Martin announced delivery of the 100th Electro-Optical Targeting System for the F-35 Lightning II in July 2013 (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
Lockheed Martin announced delivery of the 100th Electro-Optical Targeting System for the F-35 Lightning II in July 2013 (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

 

F-35 Lightning II EOTS

Through EOTS, pilots have access to high-resolution imagery, automatic tracking, IRST, laser designation and range finding, and laser spot tracking at greatly increased standoff ranges. Integrated into the F-35 Lightning II’s fuselage with a durable sapphire window, the low-drag, stealthy EOTS is linked to the aircraft’s central computer through a high-speed fiber-optic interface.

EOTS combines advanced sensor technology, a low-profile sapphire window design and advanced algorithms to provide long-range target recognition, identification and tracking. In the IRST mode, EOTS locates and tracks multiple airborne threats at extended ranges, ensuring high lethality and survivability.

EOTS incorporates proven technology and advances in optics, stabilization and processing. Its modular design and ease of repair make it simple to support and ensure two-level maintenance.

An F-35 Lightning II employed a Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II laser-guided weapon against a fixed ground tank test target October 29. The F-35's Electro-Optical Targeting System enabled the pilot to identify, track, designate and deliver the GBU-12 on target (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
An F-35 Lightning II employed a Guided Bomb Unit-12 (GBU-12) Paveway II laser-guided weapon against a fixed ground tank test target October 29. The F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System enabled the pilot to identify, track, designate and deliver the GBU-12 on target (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

 

Features

  • Rugged, low-profile, faceted window for supersonic, low-observable performance
  • Compact single aperture design
  • Lightweight (<200 lbs/90.7 kg), including window assembly
  • Advanced sensor technology
  • Air-to-surface/air-to-air FLIR tracker and air-to-air IRST modes
  • Modular design for two-level maintenance to reduce life cycle cost
  • Automatic boresight and aircraft alignment
  • Tactical and eye-safe diode-pumped laser
  • Laser spot tracker
  • Passive and active ranging
  • Highly accurate geo-coordinate generation to meet precision strike requirements
The F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System supports all F-35 variants, including the F-35B pictured above (Photo by Lockheed Martin)
The F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System supports all F-35 variants, including the F-35B pictured above (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

First All-Electric

The world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite, built by Boeing for Bermuda-based ABS, is now operational after an on-orbit handover on August 31. The ABS-3A, a 702SP (small platform) satellite, expands ABS’ communications services in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

An artists' rendering of ABS-3A on-orbit and operating in space (Boeing photo)
An artists’ rendering of ABS-3A on-orbit and operating in space (Boeing photo)

«The operational ABS-3A satellite and ABS-2A, launching in early 2016, will further strengthen and solidify our global expansion and offer flexible capacity to our growing fleet», said Tom Choi, CEO of ABS. «We believe Boeing’s innovative portfolio can help us to affordably grow now and in the future».

The ABS-3A spacecraft was the world’s first all-electric propulsion satellite to be built and launched – part of a stacked pair launched in March with a 702SP satellite built for Eutelsat, based in Paris. The spacecraft’s all-electric xenon-ion propulsion system contains a sufficient quantity of the inert, non-hazardous element xenon to extend the satellite’s operations beyond the expected spacecraft design life of 15 years.

«With a successful launch, testing and execution of orbit operations, we were able to deliver the first 702SP to ABS about one month earlier than planned», said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. «The 702SP product line was designed to bring the latest technology into the hands of customers seeking adaptable and affordable solutions. In addition, the 702SP’s patented dual-launch capability helps customers share launch costs, which can significantly lower overall expenses for a satellite owner».

Boeing is under contract to build a second 702SP satellite for ABS, designated ABS-2A, which will be delivered and launched early next year.

 

Ahead of Schedule

Boeing delivered the seventh CH-47F Chinook to the Australian Army on budget August 10th, three weeks ahead of schedule, supporting modernization of Australia’s cargo helicopter fleet and eventually replacing the Commonwealth’s six older CH-47D Chinooks. The seven advanced Chinooks were ordered as part of a U.S. Government Foreign Military Sales agreement with Australia in 2012.

Boeing Service Engineering teams prepped and loaded the CH-47F into a C-5 Galaxy transport at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, for delivery to Townsville, Queensland Australia (Boeing photo)
Boeing Service Engineering teams prepped and loaded the CH-47F into a C-5 Galaxy transport at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, for delivery to Townsville, Queensland Australia (Boeing photo)

«Boeing is committed to meeting our customers’ needs anywhere in the world with the right capability, delivered on time and cost», said Steve Parker, vice president, Cargo Helicopters and H-47 program manager. «These early deliveries demonstrate that commitment».

Australia has one of the most advanced and highly capable Chinook fleets in the world. Major developments on the CH-47F include a digital cockpit, an advanced communications system and new avionics. Those allow the Australian Army to operate more effectively with U.S. and international forces through the easy exchange of digital maps that facilitate coordinated responses for military and humanitarian missions. The Australian Chinook configuration also includes a new rotor brake that enables shipboard operations by actively stopping the rotor blades rather than allowing the blades to naturally «spin down» once the engine is turned off after landing.

«Our CH-47D Chinooks have been real workhorses for Australia, both here and on operations overseas, and our new CH-47F Chinooks are set to be even more dependable, affordable and capable assets», said Rear Admiral Tony Dalton of Australia’s Department of Defence. «We are very pleased with how Boeing and the United States Army have worked together to deliver this important capability to Australia ahead of schedule and on budget».

The Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, 16th Aviation Brigade, operates the Chinooks from their home base in northern Queensland, Australia. Boeing Defence Australia will provide on-site operational maintenance support for the CH-47F aircraft, having supported the CH-47D since 2010.

Australia’s partnership with Boeing began nearly 90 years ago. Today, the country is building one of the world’s newest and most technologically advanced armed forces with a range of Boeing platforms and services including the Chinook, EA-18G Growler, P-8A Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, F/A-18 Super Hornet, E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control System, C-17 Globemaster III and training and logistics solutions.

Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015 (Boeing photo)
Boeing has delivered the first two of seven CH-47F Chinooks to the Australian Army at a ceremony in Queensland. The remaining aircraft will be delivered throughout 2015 (Boeing photo)

 

Technical Specifications

Rotor Diameter 18.29 m/60 feet
Length with Rotors Operating 30.14 m/98 feet, 10.7 inch
Fuselage 15.46 m/50 feet, 9 inch
Height 5.68 m/18 feet, 7.8 inch
Fuselage Width 3.78 m/12 feet, 5 inch
Fuel Capacity 20,411 kg/45,000 lbs
Maximum Gross Takeoff 36,700 kg/81,000 lbs
Maximum Gross Weight 22,680 kg/50,000 lbs
Useful Load 10,886 kg/24,000 lbs
Maximum Speed 170 KTAS/196 mph/302 km/h
Cruise Speed 157 KTAS/181 mph/291 km/h
Service Ceiling 6,096 m/20,000 feet
Mission Radius 200 NM/370.4 km
The Chinook is a true multi-role, vertical-lift platform. Its primary mission is transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel
The Chinook is a true multi-role, vertical-lift platform. Its primary mission is transport of troops, artillery, equipment, and fuel

Hot and high trials

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) successfully carried out the hot and the high-altitude trials of indigenously designed, developed attack chopper Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) at Leh recently. «These seasonal trials – including cold weather trials carried out at Leh during February this year – have been completed as part of the certification process. The flight trials at Leh have established hover performance and low speed handling characteristics of the helicopter under extreme weather conditions at different altitudes (10,499 feet/3,200 to 15,748 feet/4,800 m). During the trials, the helicopter and systems performed satisfactorily. LCH also has proven its capability to land and take off at Forward Landing Base in Siachen. LCH is the first attack helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen», says Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL.

Hot and high-altitude trials of indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Helicopter carried out at Leh recently
Hot and high-altitude trials of indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Helicopter carried out at Leh recently

The trials were carried out on the third prototype of LCH (TD3) at Leh at the temperatures ranging from 13 to 27 degree centigrade with the participation of user pilots from Air Force, Army and representatives from CEMILAC and DGAQA. Various tests included assessment and validation of flight envelope in «Hot-and-High» conditions, culminating in landing at forward bases at geographic elevations of 13,600 feet/4,145 m to 15,800 feet/4,816 m. These landings and take-offs were demonstrated with reasonable amount of weapon load and fuel.

The upper reaches of the Indus river and its tributaries, Nubra and Shyok are home to the mighty Ladakh and Eastern Karakorum Ranges, with multiple lofty peaks over 25,000 feet/7,620 m and an average ridgeline elevation of 20,000 feet/6,096 m. It is also home to the largest glaciated area outside the Polar Regions and is sometimes called the «Third Pole». The Siachen is the largest glacier here and is central to this region. The area experiences a period of summer during July-August in which temperatures soar to 30 degrees above standard atmosphere conditions. This mix of extreme altitudes and relatively high temperatures («Hot-and-High») saps helicopter performance and as such, a few types of helicopters are able to operate effectively all year around.

With the extensive trials carried out on three prototypes at Bengaluru, sea level at Chennai in November 2013, cold weather at Leh during January/February 2015, hot weather at Jodhpur in July 2015 and hot and high altitude trials at a few days ago at Leh, the performance and handling qualities of the helicopter have been established for basic configuration (with Electro-Optical (EO) Pod, Rocket launchers, Turret Gun and Air-to-Air missile launchers). The system functionalities have been assessed and found satisfactory during the trials and long-duration ferry across India. Further development activities are under progress and the weapon firing trials are planned during in the middle of 2016.

The advantage of indigenous development of helicopters such as ALH, LCH and LUH at HAL is that the users’ requirement are well captured right from early design stage and are fine-tuned as the project progresses with the involvement of users so that the product complies to the stringent operational requirements at high altitudes (Himalayan and North Eastern terrains).

Light Combat Helicopter was proposed to meet IAF’s requirement of a dedicated light helicopter for combat operations
Light Combat Helicopter was proposed to meet IAF’s requirement of a dedicated light helicopter for combat operations

 

The major features of LCH are:

  • Glass Cockpit;
  • Crash worthy under floor structure;
  • Crash worthy fixed tricycle type with tail wheel landing gear;
  • Canted flat panels for low Radar Cross Section;
  • Integrated Dynamic System;
  • Hinge less Main Rotor/Bearing less Tail Rotor;
  • Anti-Resonance isolation system;
  • Integrated Avionics and Display System (IADS)
  • IR Suppressor;
  • 20-mm Gun, Rocket & Missiles.

 

Technical Parameters

Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 12,125 lbs/5,500 kg
Maximum speed 143 knots/165 mph/265 km/h
Range 297 NM/342 miles/550 km
Service Ceiling 21,325.5 feet/6,500 m
Climb rate 16 feet/c/5 m/s
Power Plant SHAKTI engine (2 no.)
Power 895 kW/1,200 hp
LCH with a narrow fuselage will have pilot and co-pilot/gunner in tandem configuration incorporating a number of stealth features, Armour protection, Night attack capability and crash worthy landing gear for better survivability
LCH with a narrow fuselage will have pilot and co-pilot/gunner in tandem configuration incorporating a number of stealth features, Armour protection, Night attack capability and crash worthy landing gear for better survivability