All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

Armoured Vehicles

The French Army is scheduled to receive the first three of 95 up-armoured VBCI (Véhicule Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie) 8×8 armoured vehicles next month, said Victor Barreira, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter. The vehicles will be 29-tonne VCI (Véhicule de Combat d’Infanterie) Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) variants modified to a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 32 tonnes with improved protection against improvised explosive devices.

Armed with a 25-mm 25M811 automatic cannon
Armed with a 25-mm 25M811 automatic cannon

A contract for the development of the VCI configuration was awarded in December 2010 by the French Direction Générale de l´Armement (DGA) arms procurement agency to the vehicle’s manufacturers, Nexter Systems and Renault Trucks Defense, with contracts for the modification placed in June 2013 for a first batch of 48 vehicles and in September 2014 for another batch of 47 vehicles. Qualification of the prototype by the DGA was declared on 24 September 2014. Deliveries will be completed in June 2017, although further VCIs are expected to be modified.

The order for 630 VBCIs originally purchased to replace the French Army’s AMX-10P tracked vehicles was recently completed with delivery of the last vehicle on 13 March. The programme was concluded with delivery of the last of 520 VCI variants; 110 VPC (Véhicule Poste de Commandement) command post variants were inducted up to mid-2013. The first VBCI was delivered in 2008.

The VCI variant (which itself comes in two configurations: the Rang infantry-carrying version and the Eryx anti-armour missile version) features Nexter Systems’ Tarask turret armed with a 25-mm 25M811 automatic cannon, while the VPC variant is fitted out with the Airbus DS SIR (Système d’Information Régimentaire) information system and FN Herstal ARROWS 300 (Advanced Reconnaissance & Remotely Operated Weapon System) remote weapon station.

VBCI has an unrivalled overall survivability: ballistic, mines and IED protection, «Soft Kill» systems
VBCI has an unrivalled overall survivability: ballistic, mines and IED protection, «Soft Kill» systems

The VBCIs are also being fitted with an integration kit to work with the Sagem FELIN (Fantassin à Équipement et Liaisons Intégrés) soldier system, with work scheduled to be complete by late 2015.

As part of the French Army’s SCORPION (Synergie du COntact Renforcé par la Polyvalence et l’InfovalorisatiON) modernisation programme, a mid-life update of the VBCI is expected in due course with the aim of improving the vehicle’s existing functions, integrating new functions and new technologies, and managing any potential future obsolescence issues.

Current plans include integrating an anti-tank missile capability into the Tarask turret, along with adding the SICS (Système d’Information et de Combat SCORPION) information system, CONTACT (COmmunications Numérisées TACtiques et de ThéâtrE) tactical communications system, enhanced optronics, vetronics, and new ammunition.

From high-intensity combat missions to peacekeeping operations, the VBCI keeps an entire infantry section safe. VCBI is «Combat Proven» and is currently deployed in operation. VBCI represents the best balanced solution between protection, firepower, mobility and payload. VBCI has an unrivalled overall survivability: ballistic, mines and IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) protection, «Soft Kill» systems. It is fitted with CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) equipment. In the IFV variant, VBCI is equipped with medium caliber turrets: 20-mm RWS (Remote Weapon Station), 25-mm, 30-mm, 40-mm. With its mobility performance, its exceptional manoeuvrability and its high firepower, the VBCI is remarkably efficient in combat. VBCI is in service with the French Army.

SICS (Système d'Information et de Combat SCORPION) information system, CONTACT (COmmunications Numérisées TACtiques et de ThéâtrE) tactical communications system
SICS (Système d’Information et de Combat SCORPION) information system, CONTACT (COmmunications Numérisées TACtiques et de ThéâtrE) tactical communications system

 

Specifications

Length <8 m/<26.2 feet
Width <3 m/<9.8 feet
Height <2.5 m/<8.2 feet
Gross Vehicle Weight 32 tons
Empty Weight 19 tons
Payload 13 tons
Engine Intercooler diesel engine 6 cylinders in line
Maximum power 405 kW/550 hp
Max torque 2,450 Nm
Gearbox ZF 7HP902, fully automatic, 7 forward and 2 reverse gear
Drop box Mechanical with 3 shafts
Transfer box Mechanical with 2 shafts
Axles (×4) Interwheel differential lock, Longitudinal clutching (6×8 – 8×8)
Wheels (×8) Independent wheels, Wheel reducer, Tyres 395/90 R22 or 1400 R20, Run flat device
Suspensions Mixed oleo pneumatic, Double wishbones independent suspensions, Combined hydro-pneumatic spring and shock absorber
Brakes Full air, with 2 independent lines (EBS), Anti-lock Braking system (ABS), 8 pneumatic disc brakes, Parking brake and emergency brake, Central tires inflation system (CTIS)
Steering Hydraulic power assistance featuring 2 circuits and 2 pumps, Additional steering system (ASS)
Multiplexed electronic network Based on civilian components, Compliant with EMC Standards, CAN BUS system
Centralized dashboard Alerts management, Diagnostic system
Carrying capacity Up to 14 pax
Maximum speed >62 mph/100 km/h
Maximum range 900 km/559 miles
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Step 0.7 m/2.3 feet
Trench 2 m/6.5 feet
Fording 1.7 m/5.5 feet

 

Renault Trucks Defense 8×8 driveline is designed for combat vehicles up to 32 tonnes (GVW, Gross Vehicle Weight). This high mobility solution is «Combat Proven» with the French VBCI Infantry Combat Vehicle

 

SOCOM buggy

According to Joe Gould, DefenseNews correspondent, US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is making a sole-source purchase of 2,050 light tactical All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) from Polaris Industries, according to a Monday announcement.

Polaris, whose core business is recreational vehicles, has several ATVs modified for military operations
Polaris, whose core business is recreational vehicles, has several ATVs modified for military operations

The contract, to be awarded in June, includes 1,750 of the Medina, Minnesota-based company’s four-seat MRZR-4 and 300 of its two-seat MRZR-2.

SOCOM indicated it selected the vehicles because they can be transported inside the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, Boeing MH-47 special operations helicopter and Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low, and that they can be dropped from the air.

The contract supersedes a five-year blanket purchase agreement SOCOM and Polaris signed in 2013, which had an estimated value of $9.5 million per year.

Polaris, whose core business is recreational vehicles, has several ATVs modified for military operations. It unveiled its first purpose-built military vehicle last year, the DAGOR, which can transport a nine-person infantry squad or carry 3,250 pounds of payload.

The contract supersedes a five-year blanket purchase agreement SOCOM and Polaris signed in 2013
The contract supersedes a five-year blanket purchase agreement SOCOM and Polaris signed in 2013

 

Specifications

MRZR-2 MRZR-4
Engine Type Polaris ProStar 900 4-Stroke DOHC Twin Cylinder Polaris ProStar 900 4-Stroke DOHC Twin Cylinder
Displacement 875cc 875cc
Fuel System Electronic Fuel Injection Electronic Fuel Injection
Horsepower 88 hp 88 hp
Top Speed 60 mph/96 km/h 60 mph/96 km/h
Transmission/Final Drive Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT): P/R/N/L/H Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT): P/R/N/L/H
Drive System On-demand True All-Wheel Drive (AWD) On-demand True All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
Engine Braking System/ Active Descent Control Standard/Standard Standard/Standard
Front Suspension Dual A-Arm with 12.5 inch/ 31.75 cm travel Dual A-Arm with 12.5 inch/ 31.75 cm travel
Rear Suspension Trailing Arm with 12.5 inch/ 31.75 cm travel Trailing Arm with 12.5 inch/ 31.75 cm travel
Shocks Fox Podium X 2.5 (comp adjust/res.) Fox Podium X 2.5 (comp adjust/res.)
Front/Rear Brakes 4-Wh eel Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Front and Single-Bore Rear Calipers 4-Wh eel Hydraulic Disc with Dual-Bore Front and Single-Bore Rear Calipers
Parking Brake Park in Transmission Park in Transmission
Front Tires MOAPA AT/26 × 9-14 DWT MOAPA AT/26 × 9-14 DWT
Rear Tires MOAPA AT/26 × 9-14 DWT MOAPA AT/26 × 9-14 DWT
Wheels Bead lock Bead lock
Wheelbase 81.4 inch/206.8 cm 107.4 inch/272.8 cm
Dry Weight 1,611 lbs/730.7 kg 1,912 lbs/867.3 kg
Overall Vehicle Size (L × W × H) 115.4 × 60 × 73.6 inch/293.1 × 152.4 × 187 cm 141.5 × 60 × 73.8 inch/359.4 × 152.4 × 187.5 cm
Height w/Collapsed Roll Cage 60 inch/152.4 cm 60 inch/152.4 cm
Ground Clearance 11.2 inch/28.4 cm 11.2 inch/28.4 cm
Fuel Capacity 7.25 GAL/27.4 L 7.25 GAL/27.4 L
Bed Box Dimensions (L × W × H) 33.75 × 45.75 × 20.5 inch/ 85.73 × 116.2 × 52.1 cm 33.75 × 45.75 × 20.5 inch/ 85.73 × 116.2 × 52.1 cm
Front/Rear Rack or Box Capacity 500 lbs/226.8 kg 500 lbs/226.8 kg
Payload Capacity 1,000 lbs/453.6 kg 1,000 lbs/453.6 kg
Passengers 2 (4 with optional rearward facing seats) 4 (6 with optional rearward facing seats)
Litter Capacity 1 2
Hitch Towing Rating 1,500 lbs/680.4 kg 1,500 lbs/680.4 kg
Hitch/Type Standard/2″ Receiver Standard/2″ Receiver
Seating Modular seating with optional rearward facing seats Modular seating with optional rearward facing seats
Seatbelts Four-point harnesses with quick release latch Four-point harnesses with quick release latch
Keyless Ignition Standard Standard
Tilt Steer Wheel/Passenger Grab Bar Standard Standard
Aircraft Tie-downs Front and rear of vehicle Front and rear of vehicle
Cargo System Polaris Metal Racks with Quick Rail System Polaris Metal Racks with Quick Rail System
Winch Polaris 3,500 lbs winch Polaris 3,500 lbs winch
Lighting White LED (High/Low), blackout drive and OEM IR Light wire harness White LED (High/Low), blackout drive and OEM IR Light wire harness
Electronic Power Steering Standard Standard
Color Military Tan Military Tan
Instrumentation Digital Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Tripmeter, Hour Meter, Clock, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Hi-Temp/Low-Batt Lights, DC Outlets (2) Digital Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Tripmeter, Hour Meter, Clock, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Hi-Temp/Low-Batt Lights, DC Outlets (3)

 

Light Tactical All-Terrain Vehicles

King Stallion

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., recently hosted more than two dozen guests, including delegates from NATO’s Joint Capability Group Vertical Lift (JCGVL), for an up close look at the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. The group toured Sikorsky’s Florida Assembly & Flight Operations Center where they were able to walk along the production lines for both the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter and Black Hawk H-60M aircraft.

The NATO group was able to see the CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle (GTV), a prototype tethered to the ground
The NATO group was able to see the CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle (GTV), a prototype tethered to the ground

The delegates also had the opportunity to visit Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center (DFC), site of full system testing of the heavy lift helicopter. The NATO group was able to see the CH-53K Ground Test Vehicle (GTV), a prototype tethered to the ground. The delegation was also able to view the CH-53K Engineering Development Model 1 (EDM 1), one of four flight test aircraft.

The visit wrapped up with delegates getting a chance to see the first of two prototypes of the S-97 Raider helicopter, developed by Sikorsky to demonstrate the military application of Sikorsky’s X2 Technology. A second Raider prototype will serve as a demonstrator aircraft, offering key customers an opportunity to experience the capabilities of X2 Technology first hand. The Raider helicopter is a rigid coaxial rotor prototype aircraft ideally suited for armed reconnaissance and a wide range of special operations missions. The coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and pusher propeller provide cruise speeds beyond 220 knots/253 mph/407 km/h, more than double the speed of conventional helicopters in this size class.

The visit to Sikorsky was part of the delegation’s semi-annual meeting taking place in West Palm Beach, Florida.

«We are delighted that our honored NATO guests can be here in West Palm Beach to experience, first-hand, our energy and enthusiasm for our CH-53K aircraft», said Mike Torok, Sikorsky’s CH-53K Program Vice President. «The CH-53K King Stallion is destined to fulfill a significant role in the international heavy lift arena for decades to come».

NATO Committee Chairman Hans-Peter Mueller said the visit provided an opportunity to see the CH-53K helicopter in full scale and appreciate its capabilities. «We thank Sikorsky for its hospitality. The delegates enjoyed the informative tour and recognize the value of spending time with the designers and engineers building this heavy lift helicopter», said Mueller.

Sikorsky leads an industry team developing the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps. The aircraft’s 88,000-pound/39,916 kg maximum gross weight is designed to triple the external load carrying capacity of the CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft to more than 27,000 pounds/12,247 kg over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles/204 km under «high hot» ambient conditions.

U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Hank Vanderborght, H-53 Program Manager at the Naval Air Systems Command, said the CH-53K helicopter program will expand the fleet’s ability to move more material and more rapidly using proven and mature technologies. «Our allies will benefit from the U.S. Marine Corps investment in this next generation heavy lift platform», said Col. Vanderborght. «The CH-53K represents not just the continuation of heavy lift capability but a transformation of what we can do to ensure the Marine Corps remains the most ready force».

Sikorsky continues to conduct tests on four flight test aircraft at its facilities in West Palm Beach and Stratford, Connecticut.

The delegation was also able to view the CH-53K Engineering Development Model 1 (EDM 1), one of four flight test aircraft
The delegation was also able to view the CH-53K Engineering Development Model 1 (EDM 1), one of four flight test aircraft

 

Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion

The CH-53K model will be the world’s premier heavy lift helicopter, leveraging the lessons learned over 50 years of manufacturing and operational success with Sikorsky CH-53A/D/E predecessors. Built to thrive in the modern battlefield, the extremely capable CH-53K aircraft will be intelligent, reliable, low maintenance and survivable across the full spectrum of operating conditions for which it was designed. Expeditionary in nature, the CH-53K aircraft will be fully shipboard compatible and capable of operating from austere and remote forward operating bases. The CH-53K helicopter is the Marine Corps’ critical land and sea based logistics connector.

Sikorsky Tests CH-53K Helicopter for Airframe Structural Strength
Sikorsky Tests CH-53K Helicopter for Airframe Structural Strength

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

Sikorsky powered ‘on’ the three GE 7,500 shaft horsepower class engines of the first CH-53K heavy lift helicopter prototype, and spun the rotor head without rotor blades
Sikorsky powered ‘on’ the three GE 7,500 shaft horsepower class engines of the first CH-53K heavy lift helicopter prototype, and spun the rotor head without rotor blades

 

Airframe

  • New build hybrid composite airframe structure – provides lighter weight and lower vibration throughout aircraft life
  • Improved hydraulics
  • Large composite sponsons
  • Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IVHMS)
  • Advanced drive system
  • Improved fuel system with refueling probe
  • Enhanced ballistic protection
  • Crashworthy retracting landing gear
  • Single, dual and triple cargo hook with 3 times the lift capability of the CH-53E to 110 NM/204 km (in hot/high conditions)
  • Advanced light weight armor to protect passengers and crew
  • Crashworthy troop seats
  • Integrated Mobile Aircrew Restraint System (IMARS)
  • Integral cargo handling system with rated capacity for two 463L pallets
  • Self-defense weapons

 

Avionics and Flight Controls

  • Rockwell Collins Avionics Management System
  • Fly-by-wire flight controls
  • Pilot/co-pilot/crew chief/4th crew
  • FLIR with helmet-mounted navigational displays
  • Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE)

 

Powerplant and fuel system

  • Three T408-GE-400 engines with less fuel consumption, more power and fewer parts than its predecessor, the T64
  • Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) with pneumatic start
  • Integral EAPPS – Engine Air Particle Protection System

 

Rotor and drive system

  • 4th Generation Composite main rotor blades with advanced airfoils
  • New tail rotor head and blades
  • Elastomeric main rotor head
  • Automatic blade fold
  • Advanced drive system with a split torque design main gearbox

 

Electrical

  • Improved electrical systems
The USMC is planning for eight active CH-53K squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron
The USMC is planning for eight active CH-53K squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron

Birth of KANT

Germany and France are going to develop the Main Battle Tank of the XXI century. According to DefenseNews, French Nexter Group and German family-controlled Krauss Maffei-Wegmann are on track to forge a cross-border link up in the land weapons sector this year. The French state-owned company said: «On July 1, 2014, the shareholders of the two French and German companies signed a memorandum of understanding for an equally owned alliance. This project is progressing and should produce concrete results in 2015».

The Leopard 2A7+ was developed and qualified for the new tasks of the German Armed Forces. The system components, optimized to protect the crew, prove their worth, currently being in use in Afghanistan with NATO's Partner Canada
The Leopard 2A7+ was developed and qualified for the new tasks of the German Armed Forces. The system components, optimized to protect the crew, prove their worth, currently being in use in Afghanistan with NATO’s Partner Canada

On the business front, the Direction Générale de l’Armement (Defence Procurement Agency, DGA) has awarded a contract worth some €330 million ($349.4 million) to Nexter Systems to upgrade 200 Leclerc tanks and 18 tank recovery vehicles with delivery from 2020, the procurement office said in a statement March 12.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has written into his 2015 agenda an agreement for the joint venture deal in July or August, an announcement which caught some in industry by surprise. The proposed joint holding company is named KMW and Nexter Together, or KANT. The Bode family controls KMW through the Wegmann firm.

An accord in the summer, however, seems unlikely as there is a political drag effect due to Nexter’s privatization being caught up in an attempt to liberalize the ailing French economy. There is no problem on the industrial front as Nexter and KMW opened up their books for due diligence and that detailed examination of their businesses will lead to a valuation of the two companies. That scrutiny is going ahead smoothly even if the conclusion might miss the April 1 deadline, an industry source said. The due diligence allows the two shareholders to negotiate the valuation and whether amounts must be paid to bring each side to the 50:50 share in the holding company, noted Pierre Tran, DefenseNews reporter.

The joint holding company will take charge of commercial and product launch strategy, while industrial production will stay with the operating companies and under domestic management
The joint holding company will take charge of commercial and product launch strategy, while industrial production will stay with the operating companies and under domestic management

On the political front, France must privatize Nexter to allow the company to form the planned joint holding company with KMW. However, that will likely take longer than expected as the privatization has been written into a wide-ranging draft legislation proposed by Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker who seeks to inject more competition into the domestic economy. The proposed Macron law has run into strong political resistance from both the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire conservative party and left wing of the Socialist Party. That will likely delay the joint venture agreement to the autumn, the source said.

KMW Chairman Frank Haun on January 14 told the French National Assembly defense committee the alliance would work over the next five years developing a tank – whether it be called Leopard 3, Leleo or Leoclerc – and the new heavy armored vehicle could be delivered 2025-2030 to replace the Leclerc and Leopard 2.

The Russians are working hard on tank development, and Nexter and KMW could exchange their «very interesting» technology to build replacements for the Leclerc and Leopard, Frank Haun said. Fully automated artillery, smart munitions and laser weapons are among the new weapons on which the KANT alliance would work, he added.

Nexter Chairman Philippe Burtin told the committee the SCORPION (Synergie du COntact Renforcé par la Polyvalence et l’InfovalorisatiON) Army modernization program will generate an average annual €200 million of work. The companies will have five years to see if the alliance works and if not, they can back out, Macron said.

The contract to upgrade the Leclerc tank was signed March 5
The contract to upgrade the Leclerc tank was signed March 5

Christening of John

The USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) was christened at Ingalls Shipbuilding on Saturday, March 21. The vessel is named after the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat from the 12th district, who was the longest-serving congressman in Pennsylvania history. His daughter, Donna Murtha, sponsored the ship and performed the traditional breaking of a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship’s bow.

For safety reasons, the bottle of sparkling wine is encased in sheetmetal in the Ingalls shops and wrapped by a shipbuilder in decorative ribbons of red, white and blue
For safety reasons, the bottle of sparkling wine is encased in sheetmetal in the Ingalls shops and wrapped by a shipbuilder in decorative ribbons of red, white and blue

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, was the featured speaker at the ceremony. «Jack Murtha poured everything – everything he was, everything he had – into the service of our country and the lives of the American people», she said of her colleague, who represented Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District for 36 years until his death in 2010. «To watch Chairman Murtha legislate was to see a master at work, but more indicative of his character was to watch him communicate with our men and women in uniform, whether on the battlefield or at their bedside. He knew how serious a responsibility it is to send our men and women into harm’s way, and he was unwavering in his conviction that we must honor their sacrifice not only with our words but our deeds. Like its namesake, the John P. Murtha will provide our servicemen and women the means to enter the battle and to make their way back home», Pelosi continued. «Congratulations to Ingalls Shipbuilding and all of the hard-working men and women who have put their skill and determination into this ship and this special day».

Murtha’s daughter, Donna S. Murtha, is the ship sponsor. At the culmination of the ceremony, she smashed a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow of the ship, officially christening LPD 26 as the John P. Murtha. «May God bless this ship and all who sail in her», she said.

HII President and CEO Mike Petters also spoke at the ceremony. «Ingalls is building each ship better than the last, and the team’s performance – and the performance of the delivered LPDs – has strengthened the nation’s confidence in the LPD program», he said. «This was most recently demonstrated by the Navy’s request and the Congressional investment in the 12th San Antonio-class warship – and the Navy’s selection of this proven hull-form for its new LX(R) class of amphibious ships. Ingalls is making a difference».

«The ship we christen today honors Congressman John P. Murtha, who proudly served his country as both a Marine and a statesman for almost 40 years», said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. «I can’t imagine a more fitting namesake to represent the marvel of American technology, craftsmanship and strength that is LPD-26. Ingalls shipbuilders know that quality matters. We build our warships as though our own sons and daughters will take them into harm’s way – because they may. And because we owe our warfighters our very best. Our shipbuilders put their hearts and souls into every ship we build – as we have for generations. LPD-26 is no exception. Murtha was the most complete and lowest-cost LPD when she was launched, with many key systems finished months ahead of our historical best. So I’m extremely proud of our LPD-26 shipbuilders».

«Deep in the hull or on scaffolding hundreds of feet in the air – in the Deep South heat – these Mississippians are welding, painting and assembling the living quarters, galley, hospital and the command centers for those who serve», said Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. «You can see their commitment to a job well done – because they know the invaluable role they play in America’s national security».

Ingalls Shipbuilding Christens Amphibious Transport Dock John P. Murtha
Ingalls Shipbuilding Christens Amphibious Transport Dock John P. Murtha

 

John P. Murtha (LPD-26)

The amphibious transport dock ship John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is the tenth ship in the San Antonio Class. LPD-26 is named in honor of Congressman John P. Murtha, who represented Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District for 36 years – from 1974 until his death in 2010. In addition to his tenured history in the House of Representatives, Murtha was also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and Reserves. He served a distinguished 37 years, receiving the Bronze Star with Combat «V», two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry for his service in the Vietnam War. He retired as a colonel in 1990.

Amphibious transport dock ships (LPD) are warships that embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions. LPDs are used to transport and land Marines, their equipment and supplies by embarked Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) or conventional landing craft (Landing Craft Utility, LCU) and Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles (EFV) or Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft (MV-22). These ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups.

Collectively, the San Antonio LPD-17 class ships will functionally replace more than 41 amphibious ships (LPD-4, LSD-36, LKA-113 and LST-1179 classes of amphibious ships) providing the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps with modern, seabased platforms that are networked, survivable, and built to operate with 21st century transformational platforms, such as the MV-22 Osprey aircraft, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), and future means by which Marines are delivered ashore.

A contract for final design and construction of San Antonio (LPD-17), the lead ship in the class, was awarded in December 1996; actual construction commenced in June 2000. USS San Antonio was delivered to the Navy in July 2005. LPDs 18-25 have also been delivered to the U.S. Navy. New York (LPD-21) is the first of three LPD 17-class ships built in honor of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The ships bow stem was constructed using 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center. The Navy named the 8th and 9th ships of the class – Arlington and Somerset – in honor of the victims of the attacks on the Pentagon and United Flight 93, respectively. Materials from those sites were also incorporated into Arlington and Somerset.

LPDs 26-27 are currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) on the Gulf Coast, and will deliver over the next few years. The keel of LPD-27 was laid in August 2013, LPD-26 was launched in October 2014. In fiscal year 2015, the purchase of long lead-time materials for LPD-28 was approved.

John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is the tenth ship in the San Antonio Class
John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is the tenth ship in the San Antonio Class

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries
Displacement Approximately 24,900 long tons/25,300 metric tons full load
Length 208.5 m/684 feet overall
Beam 31.9 m/105 feet extreme
Draft 7 m/23 feet
Propulsion 4 sequentially turbocharged marine Colt-Pielstick Diesels, 2 shafts, 41,600 shaft horsepower/31,021 kW
Speed In excess of 22 knots/25 mph/41 km/h
Crew 374 Sailors (28 officers, 346 enlisted Sailors) and 3 Marines
Embarked Marine Expeditionary Force of 699 (66 officers, 633 enlisted), surge capacity to 800
Armament 2 × Bushmaster II 30-mm Close in Guns, fore and aft
2 × Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launchers for air defense, fore and aft
10 × 12.7-mm .50 calibre machine guns
Aircraft Launch or land two CH53E Super Stallion helicopters or
Two MV-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft or
Up to four CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters, AH-1 or UH-1 helicopters
Landing/Attack Craft Two LCACs or one LCU
14 EFV/AAV
Ships USS San Antonio (LPD-17)
USS New Orleans (LPD-18)
USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19)
USS Green Bay (LPD-20)
USS New York (LPD-21)
USS San Diego (LPD-22)
USS Anchorage (LPD-23)
USS Arlington (LPD-24)
USS Somerset (LPD-25)
USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26)
USS Portland (LPD-27)
(LPD-28)

 

Ingalls Shipbuilding Launches John P. Murtha (LPD-26) on October 30, 2014

 

NATO Standards

UkrOboronProm is ready to upgrade about 300 tanks T-72, which are now in army reserve, to meet NATO standards. According to UkrOboronProm Deputy Director General of Operations Yurii Pashchenko, modernized units can solve some crucial problems of Ukrainian army.

The concern is willing to modernize the old Ukrainian T-72 tanks and upgrade them up to the PT-91 Twardy standard
The concern is willing to modernize the old Ukrainian T-72 tanks and upgrade them up to the PT-91 Twardy standard

During round table «Problems of Ukraine’s military-industrial complex reforming», Yurii Pashchenko mentioned that modernized, in accordance with international standards, military equipment will help to further strengthen Ukrainian army, which needs fast and efficient rearming today.

«Tank T-72 is not in service of Ukrainian Army: There are almost 300 of these tanks in Ukraine and we suggested to Ministry of Defence to upgrade them up to tanks PT-91 – Polish main battle tanks – to meet NATO standards», – stressed Yurii Pashchenko. He also noted that Polish side gave Ukrainian military a chance to test PT-91 samples in their proving ground.

According to Defence24.com (Poland), Ukrainian Armed Forces fighting in Donbass use mostly the T-64B tanks, some of which have been modernized up to the T-64BM standard. It was in February this year, when information has been released that training of the reserve forces in the Kharkov area would involve both the T-64B, as well as the T-72 tanks. According to the earlier reports, plans had been made to deliver some T-72 tanks to the units of the National Guard.

The T-72B tanks are being widely used by the pro-Russian forces. The rebels also use the T-72B3 variant which is the latest derivative of that tank, utilized by the Russian military.

T-72AG upgraded tank (Manufacturer: State Enterprise «Kyiv armored plant») is combat tracked vehicle, which has powerful rocket-artillery armaments, reliable armored protection and high maneuverability. It is intended for resolving of wide scope of tasks and is capable to engage tanks and other armored objects of enemy, manpower, anti-tank and artillery means etc.

Almost 300 T-72 tanks are being stored within the Ukrainian territory, however they are currently not being actively used by the Army
Almost 300 T-72 tanks are being stored within the Ukrainian territory, however they are currently not being actively used by the Army

 

Main Specifications T-72AG

Weight of tank with combat unit 44 t
Crew 3
Specific power 19.53 hp/t
Specific pressure 0.877 kgf/cm2
Movement speed:
maximum on highway 60 km/h/37 mph
average on dirt road 30-40 km/h/19-25 mph
Cruising range:
on highway 700 km/435 miles
on dirt road 460-650 km/286-404 miles
Engine:
mark V-84-1
power 840 hp/626 kW
Armament
Gun:
mark 2А46М, with thermal cover
caliber 125-mm/4.92 inch
guided missile 9М119
firing range from 100 to 5,000 m/from 328 to 16,404 feet
Maximum firing range:
with APT and  APIT projectiles 4,000 m/13,123 feet
with HEI and FT projectiles 4,000 m/13,123 feet
with HE projectiles 5,000 m/16,404 feet
Coaxial machinegun with grenade:
mark PKT
caliber 12.7-mm/0.50 inch
Anti-aircraft gun:
mark NSV-12,7
caliber 12.7-mm/0.50 inch
Guided armament system 9К119 «Refleks»
Effective firing range from 100 to 5,000 m/from 328 to 16,404 feet
Rate of fire of the system 3 rounds per min
Sighting system 1А43, composed of:
sight range-finder 1G46
scope of measuring of range finder 400-5,000 m/1,312-16,404 feet
Ballistic computer 1V517M
Commander’s sighting complex PNK-4S «Agat», composed of:
sight TKN-4S
Aiming range:
day 4,000 m/13,123 feet
night 800 m/2,625 feet
Night sighting complex ТО1-КО1 «Buran», composed of:
sight TPN-4
sighting range 1,400 m/4,593 feet
Fire control system:
mark ZPU 1ETs29 «Irtysh»
type stabilized in vertical and horizontal planes
Automatic loader:
type electro-mechanical
capacity 22 rounds
loading time 8 sec
Armament stabilizer:
mark 2E42
type biplanar
In-built ERA system
Communication means, composed of:
radio station R-173
radio receiver R-173P
tank intercom system R-174
Polish side gave Ukrainian military a chance to test PT-91 samples in their proving ground
Polish side gave Ukrainian military a chance to test PT-91 samples in their proving ground

American Scout

MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI) announced the MD 530G Scout Attack Helicopter at the 2015 Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition at the Mashuri International Exhibition Centre, 17-21 March 2015. The MD 530G has been conceived from the start as a purpose-built gunship that is based on the combat-proven OH-6A airframe.

The MD 530G Scout Attack helicopter is a fully integrated gunship with a highly capable, customizable mission equipment package
The MD 530G Scout Attack helicopter is a fully integrated gunship with a highly capable, customizable mission equipment package

«MD Helicopters has delivered the safest, most reliable rotorcraft to global civil, military and paramilitary customers for more than five decades», says Craig Kitchen, Chief Commercial Officer for MD Helicopters. «We are excited for our first appearance at Langkawi, and the opportunity to introduce the region’s commercial, government, military and maritime defence delegations to MD’s fleet of armed single-engine 500-Series helicopters».

MD Helicopters will welcome LIMA 2015 attendees at a 2,700 square meter chalet that will highlight the company’s scout attack helicopter capabilities and the contributions of the industry-leading organizations whose technologies, systems and products played an integral role in bringing the MD 530G to market.

«As the mid-range model in our scout attack family», Kitchen continues, «the MD 530G is a hot and high performer capable of delivering both suppressive fire and precision strike capabilities in support of a range of mission profiles. With integrated on-board systems that include the MOOG Stores Management System, forward looking infrared sensors from L3-Wescam and an advanced communications suite from Harris, this proven platform delivers comprehensive battlefield command and control coordination».

The Moog Third Generation Weapon Stores Management System (SMS) provides the aviator with best-in-class weapons management on the MD 530G Armed Scout/Attack platform
The Moog Third Generation Weapon Stores Management System (SMS) provides the aviator with best-in-class weapons management on the MD 530G Armed Scout/Attack platform

The complete range of MD Scout Attack Helicopters delivers superior hot-high performance along with proven lethality in a range of air-to-ground support and close-air-combat scenarios by integrating the best in advanced avionics, communications and weapons management systems, a choice of multistation weapons platforms, and customizable armaments that include:

  • the Dillon Aero M134 Machine Gun;
  • the 12.7-mm .50 caliber FN Herstal Heavy Machine Gun Pod (HMP) and Rocket Machine Gun Pod (RMP);
  • Raytheon’s laser-guided TALON 2.75 inch/70-mm rockets and Griffin Missile System;
  • Lockheed Martin’s anti-armor Hellfire Missiles.
The MX-10D EO/IR sensor
The MX-10D EO/IR sensor

The MD 530G on display at LIMA will feature the 650 shp/485 kW Rolls Royce 250-C30 engine, longer main-rotor blades, high-capacity landing gear, the Moog Stores Management System (SMS), Harris Corporation’s RF-7850A-UA tactical radio, the Mace Aviation Extended Range Weapons Wing (ER2W), FN Herstal Machine Gun Pods and Rocket Machine Pods, Dillon Aero M134D-H Mini-Gun, the L-3 Wescam MX-10, and M260 rocket pod with TALON 2.75 inch/70-mm laser-guided rockets.

Powered by the Rolls-Royce 250-C30 turbine engine, the aircraft has a top cruising speed of 110 knots/127 mph/204 km/h indicated air-speed and can carry a useful load of 1,900 lbs/862 kg over a range of 280 NM/519 km.

«With global threat levels on the rise, our ability to respond to the emergent requirements of the United States and our Allies is more important than ever before», Kitchen concludes. «MD Helicopters has a capability unmatched by other OEMs in our space to deliver purpose-built solutions faster and with more reliability for virtually any mission requirement».

General characteristics
General characteristics

 

Technical Specifications

Length:                                                               32.14 feet/9.40 m

Rotor diameter:                                             27.50 feet/8.38 m

Height:                                                                 8.65 feet/2.64 m

Powerplant:              1 × Allison 250-C30 Turboshaft, 650 shp/485 kW

Max Cruise Speed:                                        110 knots/127 mph/204 km/h

Max Permitted Speed:                                152 knots/175 mph/282 km/h

Range:                                                                   230 NM/265 miles/426 km

Endurance w/aux fuel tank:                     2.5 hours

The gun is accurate up to 1,850 meters and remains effective up to 3,000 meters. Its high rate of fire - up to 1,100 rounds per minute - provides lethal fire concentration
The gun is accurate up to 1,850 meters and remains effective up to 3,000 meters. Its high rate of fire – up to 1,100 rounds per minute – provides lethal fire concentration

Empty Weight:                                                 1,850 lbs/839 kg

Useful Load:                                                       1,900 lbs/862 kg

Maximum Internal Gross Weight:        3,350 lbs/1,520 kg

Maximum Takeoff Gross Weight:         3,750 lbs/1,701 kg

 

 

 

 

COBRA attack

At this year’s IDEX Exhibition, RUAG Defence, the leading Swiss technology group and partner for international armed forces, proudly launches its latest innovation the 120-mm Mortar System COBRA. Cobras possess agility, precision and effectiveness and this is reflected in RUAG’s 120-mm Mortar System through latest technologies, maximum flexibility and operation simplicity.

Electrical drives make the system highly accurate, while ballistic computing enables MRSI firing (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact)
Electrical drives make the system highly accurate, while ballistic computing enables MRSI firing (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact)

RUAG has drawn on over 40 years of experience and innovation in artillery to design the COBRA. The COBRA is a modular system configured to suit individual requirements and comes equipped with a semi-automatic loader system. The loading machine secures quick and safe loading in any situation and in the most extreme weather conditions day and night.

The RUAG COBRA Mortar System features fully electronic drives, allowing enhanced shoot-and-scoot capabilities (alternatively, fire-and-displace or fire-and-move) with consistent reliability and maximum accuracy over its effective range of 9 km/5.6 miles. Thanks to its innovative and compact design, the COBRA can easily be integrated into any light-weight tracked or wheeled vehicle platform.

The RUAG COBRA Mortar System incorporates RUAG’s ballistic computing allowing automatic gun laying and Multi-Round Single Impact (MRSI) capabilities. The system is designed to fire any standard 120-mm ammunition including latest generation smart ammunition.

The COBRA is available with a complete suite of quality training solutions and logistic services based on RUAG’s all-round approach to artillery.

COBRA protects users against incorrect operation or double loading when operating at night or in extreme weather
COBRA protects users against incorrect operation or double loading when operating at night or in extreme weather

 

Technology facts

Range:                                 7 to 9 km/4.3 to 5.6 miles

Caliber:                               120 mm

Barrel length:                  1,600 mm/63 inch – 2,000 mm/79 inch

Ammunition:                   1,200 mm/47 inch

Weight:

1,200 kg/2,646 lbs (without loading machine)

1,350 kg/2,976 lbs (with loading machine)

Recoil Force:                   30 tonnes/30 milliseconds

Shoot of first round:   <60 seconds

Scoot from firing:         immediate

The compact design keeps things simple for users and allows easy integration into a wide variety of vehicle types
The compact design keeps things simple for users and allows easy integration into a wide variety of vehicle types

 

http://www.ruag-cobra-mortar-system.com/

The 120-mm RUAG COBRA Mortar System

 

Stealth Submarine

17 March 2015, the Swedish Minister of Defence, Peter Hultqvist, announced that the Swedish government intends to give a mandate to the Armed Forces to order the Saab two submarines of the next generation, A26, of a total amount of $931,146/SEK 8.2 billion.

New Generation Submarine A26 (Artist Impression)
New Generation Submarine A26 (Artist Impression)

Saab Group has not received any order on production of the new submarine but Saab Kockums – a shipyard in Malmö, Sweden, owned by the Swedish defence company Saab Group – looks forward to the discussions, which will lead to an agreement and order for A26. This will be a part of an earlier signed Letter of Intent.

Saab and FMV (Försvarets MaterielVerk, The Swedish Defence Material Administration) signed a Letter of Intent in June 2014 regarding the Swedish Armed Forces’ underwater capability for the period 2015-2024. The Letter of Intent comprises support, development, design and production of submarines and other underwater systems, corresponding to potential orders of approximately $1,271,809/SEK 11.2 billion, provided that necessary decisions are made.

Innovations contributing to greater freedom of action by the Kockums A26 submarine include optimized GHOST (Genuine HOlistic STealth) for virtual invisibility, high invulnerability to underwater explosions, and excellent hydrodynamic properties that allow exceptional manoeuvrability
Innovations contributing to greater freedom of action by the Kockums A26 submarine include optimized GHOST (Genuine HOlistic STealth) for virtual invisibility, high invulnerability to underwater explosions, and excellent hydrodynamic properties that allow exceptional manoeuvrability

 

Kockums A26

Saab’s Kockums A26 uses the latest stealth technology and advanced network-centric communication to allow submarines to integrate their communications with those of other defence forces and civilian agencies. Operational flexibility, together with a comprehensive weapons suite, enables it to carry out a wide variety of missions.

In today’s ever-changing naval environment, Saab keeps ahead by developing the best technology crucial to crisis response, deterrence, peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations. The Kockums A26 combines ocean-going seaworthiness with regard to rough seas, long distances and Littoral Supremacy – making it the world’s most effective Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) submarine.

The Kockums A26 is an effective addition to any modern naval force that can effectively carry out national defence tasks, intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance, offensive operations, anti-submarine warfare, mine-laying and special operations.

The powerful Kockums A26 submarine is designed for the following missions:

  • Maritime security operations, including detecting and responding appropriately against illegal activities;
  • Intelligence operations, covert in hostile areas, including acoustic, visual, electronic and communication intelligence, which may entail deployment of unmanned maritime vehicles;
  • Covert mine countermeasure operations, including mine searching and clearance using unmanned underwater vehicles;
  • Special operations by carrying, deploying and retrieving special forces along with equipment and underwater vehicles;
  • Anti-submarine warfare by searching, locating and classifying approaching and attacking submarines, and by countering other submarines;
  • Anti-surface warfare where both internal sensor data and/or external target information is used;
  • Mine-laying in covert mode;
  • Underwater work such as manipulating, deploying, retrieving or destroying underwater objects and installations
Unmanned Underwater Vehicles, including Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles, can also be deployed through the portal
Unmanned Underwater Vehicles, including Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles, can also be deployed through the portal

 

The Multimission Portal for diverse missions

A key unique feature of the Kockums A26 submarine is the Multimission Portal designed to launch and retrieve diverse mission payloads, including those for special operations. The portal is arranged between the 530 mm/20.87 inch weapon tubes and has a length of 6 m and diameter of 1.5 m/5 feet in which up to 8 divers can sit ready for a mission in the sea.

At the end of the Multimission Portal is an ocean interface through which both divers and equipment used in various missions, including Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) and Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles (ROVs), pass while the submarine is hovering or lying on the sea bottom. Mine countermeasures can also be launched through the portal. Built-In-Breathing System (BIBS) connections are present for use by divers, if necessary, while waiting to leave the Multimission Portal.

The flexibility of design enables the Multimission Portal to be prepared for future payloads of unconventional shape and size such as different types of non-specified UUVs, sensor devices or other bottom-laying devices. Support systems for the portal include those for pressurisation and decompression of the portal, supervision and communication.

The combat system of the Kockums A26 submarine is managed from a Saab Combat Management System (CMS) specially developed for this submarine
The combat system of the Kockums A26 submarine is managed from a Saab Combat Management System (CMS) specially developed for this submarine

 

Technical Specifications

Length ~62 m/203.4 feet
Draught surfaced ~6 m/19.7 feet
Displacement ~1800 tonnes (surfaced)
Max diving depth >200 m/656.2 feet
Standard complement 26 persons
Weapon tubes 4
Weapons 530 mm/20.87 inch torpedoes
400 mm/15.75 inch torpedoes
Mines
Heavy weapons >15
Multimission Portal Length >6 m/20 feet
Multimission Portal Diameter >1.5 m/5 feet
UUV capacity Launch and recovery through the Multimission Portal
Countermeasures Inboard/outboard countermeasures launchers
Operating sea water temperature From -2 to +32 ºC
Operating sea water density 1003-1032 kg/m3
Propulsion AIP (Stirling) and diesel-electric, single-shaft
Mission endurance >45 days
Max AIP speed >6 knots/6.9mph/11.1 km/h (submerged)
Max snorting speed >12 knots/13.8 mph/22.2 km/h (continuous)
AIP endurance >18 days (at patrol speed)

 

Light Armed Helicopter

Airbus Helicopters will join with Korea Aerospace Industries in developing two 5-ton class rotorcraft that meet South Korea’s requirements for its next-generation Light Civil Helicopter (LCH) and Light Armed Helicopter (LAH). As the LCH and LAH competition winner, Airbus Helicopters will continue its highly successful relationship with Korea Aerospace Industries, including the joint program that developed Korea’s Surion twin-engine utility helicopter.

Airbus Helicopters’ Dauphin family rotorcraft – on which the LAH and LCH are based – have been delivered to more than 60 customers, with over 1,000 of these helicopters logging nearly five million flight hours in service
Airbus Helicopters’ Dauphin family rotorcraft – on which the LAH and LCH are based – have been delivered to more than 60 customers, with over 1,000 of these helicopters logging nearly five million flight hours in service

«We would like to express our deep gratitude to Korea Aerospace Industries and the South Korean government for entrusting us with this major helicopter program», said Airbus Helicopters President Guillaume Faury. «We are committing our full support in ensuring the LCH and LAH projects will be completed on time, on cost and to specification».

Both the LCH and LAH aircrafts will be based on Airbus Helicopters’ H155 (formerly known as the EC155) – the latest evolution of its best-selling Dauphin family, which includes the Panther military and parapublic variants that have demonstrated their capabilities in operation around the world. As part of the new commitment, Airbus Helicopters will transfer the company’s technical know-how – as already demonstrated in the Surion program – to ensure Korea is able to develop its newest indigenous products, which will become leading next-generation light rotorcraft in the 5 metric ton weight category.

«The LCH and LAH programs will build on our collaboration with Korea Aerospace Industries on the Surion, which has become a reference in successful rotorcraft collaboration. By continuing our relationship, we will significantly reduce the risks of these two new development programs, while meeting all of the mission requirements», added Faury. The LCH version is expected to enter service in 2020 while the service introduction of the LAH is targeted for 2022.

Norbert Ducrot, Airbus Helicopters’ Head of North Asia, expressed confidence of the program’s success, which will see parallel development of both the civilian and military versions. «Not only do we have a strong partnership with Korea Aerospace Industries, we have also a proven track record of continued civil and military developments on which the two partners will capitalize for these two programs», he stated.

The H155 features the same digital four-axis autopilot that Republic of Korea pilots have come to appreciate when flying the Surion, and ensures outstanding hover performance in extreme conditions, along with highly accurate settings for altitude, speed and heading
The H155 features the same digital four-axis autopilot that Republic of Korea pilots have come to appreciate when flying the Surion, and ensures outstanding hover performance in extreme conditions, along with highly accurate settings for altitude, speed and heading

 

Airbus H155

Maximum Takeoff Weight:     4,920 kg/10,846 lbs

Useful load:                                       2,301 kg/5,073 lbs

Capacity:                                            2 pilots + 13 passengers

Maximum cargo sling load:      1,600 kg/3,527 lbs

Engine:               2 Turbomeca Arriel 2C2, turboshaft engines, FADEC*

Maximum emergency power (OEI**) :  785 kW/1,053 shp

Fast cruise speed:                          278 km/h/173 mph/150 knots

Range:                                                  905 km/489 NM

Endurance:                                        4 h 42 min

* Full Authority Digital Electronic Control

** One Engine Inoperative

Airbus H155's cockpit
Airbus H155’s cockpit