Dassault Aviation is honored by Qatar’s decision to acquire 24 Rafale aircraft to equip its Air Force. The contract between the State of Qatar and Dassault Aviation is to be signed on Monday, May 4 in Doha in the presence of Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic. Following on from the Mirage F1, the Alpha Jet and the Mirage 2000, the Rafale is set to extend the historic partnership between Qatar, France and Dassault Aviation.
«This new success for the French team demonstrates the Rafale’s operational qualities and confirms the confidence that countries, that are already users of the Mirage 2000, have in our company», said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
Dassault Aviation, its partners Thales and Safran, and the 500 companies associated with the Rafale programme, are delighted at the announcement of this new contract, constituting further proof of their competitiveness and their industrial and technological know-how.
Specifications and performance data
Wingspan: 10.90 m/35.76 feet
Length: 15.30 m/50.19 feet
Height: 5.30 m/17.38 feet
Overall empty weight: 10,000 kg/22,000 lbs class
Maximum take-off weight: 24,500 kg/54,000 lbs
Fuel (internal): 4,700 kg/10,300 lbs
Fuel (external): up to 6,700 kg/14,700 lbs
External load: 9,500 kg/21,000 lbs
Heavy – wet: 5
Maximum thrust: 2×7.5 tons
Limit load factors: -3.2 g/+9 g
Maximum speed (Low altitude): M = 1.1/750 knots/863 mph/ 1389 km/h
Maximum speed (High altitude): M = 1.8/1,032 knots/1,187 mph/ 1,911 km/h
Approach speed: less than 120 knots/138 mph/222 km/h
Landing ground run: 1,500 feet/450 m without drag-chute
Dangerous frontline operations call for a safe and efficient method to locate and evacuate wounded personnel. To address this critical need and help save lives, Lockheed Martin, Kaman Aerospace, and Neya Systems demonstrated the first ever collaborative unmanned air and ground casualty evacuation using the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Control Segment (UCS) Architecture and K-MAX cargo helicopter on March 26, 2015.
During the demonstration, a distress call led ground operators to send an unmanned ground vehicle to assess the area and injured party. The ground operators used control stations that communicated with one another using the UAS Control Segment Architecture. Upon successful identification, the ground operators requested airlift by unmanned K-MAX of one individual who was injured. From the ground, the K-MAX operators used a tablet to determine the precise location and a safe landing area to provide assistance to the team. The injured team member was strapped into a seat on the side of the unmanned K-MAX, which then flew that individual to safety.
«This application of the unmanned K-MAX enables day or night transport of wounded personnel to safety without endangering additional lives», said Jay McConville, director of business development for Unmanned Integrated Solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. «Since the K-MAX returned from a nearly three-year deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps, we’ve seen benefits of and extended our open system design incorporating the UCS Architecture, which allows rapid integration of new applications across industry to increase the safety of operations, such as casualty evacuation, where lives are at stake».
«Neya is continuing to develop advanced technologies for human robot interfaces for complex platforms and multi-robot missions», said Dr. Parag Batavia, president of Neya. «Our and Lockheed Martin’s use of the Unmanned Aircraft System Control Segment Architecture greatly sped up integration of our respective technologies, resulting in a comprehensive capability that can be ultimately transitioned to the warfighter very efficiently».
While deployed with the U.S. Marine Corps from 2011 to 2014, unmanned K-MAX successfully conducted resupply operations, delivering more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo during more than 1,900 missions. Manufactured by Kaman and outfitted with an advanced mission suite by Lockheed Martin, unmanned K-MAX is engineered with a twin-rotor design that maximizes lift capability in the most challenging environments, from the mountainous Alps to the Persian Gulf. Its advanced autonomy allows unmanned K-MAX to work day and night, in all-weather, even when manned assets are unable to fly. Lockheed Martin continues to extend and mature the K-MAX helicopter’s onboard technology and autonomy for defense operations, as well as demonstrate its use for civil and commercial applications.
With five decades of experience in unmanned and robotic systems for air, land and sea, Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems are engineered to help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges today and in the future.
Kaman Aerospace is a division Kaman Corporation, which was founded in 1945 by aviation pioneer Charles H. Kaman. Neya Systems, LLC is a small business unmanned systems company in Wexford, Pennsylvania. Founded in 2009, Neya focuses on developing interoperable solutions to the world’s hardest robotics problems.
K-MAX Unmanned Aerial System
Lockheed Martin Corporation and Kaman Aerospace Corporation have successfully transformed Kaman’s proven K-MAX power lift helicopter into an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) capable of autonomous or remote controlled cargo delivery. Its mission: battlefield cargo resupply for the U.S. military.
The K-MAX UAS is a transformational technology for a fast-moving battlefield that will enable Marines to deliver supplies either day or night to precise locations without risk of losing life in the process. The aircraft can fly at higher altitudes with a larger payload than any other rotary wing UAS. With its four-hook carousel, the K-MAX UAS can also deliver more cargo to more locations in one flight
The team has flown the K-MAX UAS more than 750 hours in autonomous mode since joining forces in 2007. The rugged system can lift and deliver a full 6,000 lbs/2,722 kg of cargo at sea level and more than 4,000 pounds/1,814 kg at 15,000 feet/4,572 m density altitude.
The K-MAX continues to exceed expectations as an unmanned platform. The aircraft has met all unmanned milestones to date and continues to excel in the commercial logging and firefighting industries. The aircraft will remain optionally piloted for ease of National Airspace Operations, occasional manned mission flexibility, ferry flights, rapid integration of new mission equipment, and allow rapid return-to-service activities.
The manned version of the K-MAX is used for repetitive lift operations by commercial operators for the construction and logging industries. To date, the fleet has accumulated more than 255,000 flight hours since 1994.
Weights and Measurements
Max gross weight (with external load)
12,000 lbs/5,443 kg
Max take-off weight
7,000 lbs/3,175 kg
5,145 lbs/2,334 kg
6,855 lbs/3,109 kg
Cargo hook capacity
6,000 lbs/2,722 kg
Lift Performance – ISA (International Standard Atmosphere) +15°C (59°F)
6,000 lbs/2,722 kg
5,000 feet/1,524 m
5,663 lbs/2,574 kg
10,000 feet/3,048 m
5,163 lbs/2,347 kg
15,000 feet/4,572 m
4,313 lbs/1,960 kg
Hover Performance – 4,000 feet/1,219 m, 35°C (95°F)
The rugged K-MAX multi-mission helicopter that Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace have transformed into an Unmanned Aerial Truck proves why it is the best for unmanned battlefield cargo resupply missions
In January, 2010, the Unmanned K-MAX helicopter demonstrated autonomous and remote control flight over both line-of-sight and satellite-based beyond line-of-sight data link
The frigate Carabiniere (F593) was delivered on April 28, 2015 at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard. It is the fourth vessel of the FREMM program – Multi Mission European Frigates – commissioned to Fincantieri within the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri and 49% Finmeccanica) is the prime contractor for Italy in the FREMM program, which envisions the building of 10 units, all already ordered.
The ship has been named Carabiniere (F593) to celebrate in 2014, year of the launching, the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Carabinieri Force. Carabiniere (F593) is the fourth FREMM unit which Fincantieri builds and delivers to the Italian Navy completed with a combat system (the third with the ASW – Anti Submarine Warfare configuration), that is the ability of silent navigation speed in significant anti-submarine hunting.
144 meters long and a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes, the FREMM frigates represent technological excellence: designed to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h and to provide accommodation for 200 people (crew and staff), these vessels are able to always guarantee a high degree of flexibility and to operate in a wide range of scenarios and tactical situations.
The program faces the fleet renewal need of the Italian Navy’s units of the class frigates Lupo (disarment completed in 2003) and Maestrale (close in reaching its operational life limit). It is coordinated by OCCAR (l’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement).
These units significantly contribute to the tasks assigned to the Italian Navy, being able to operate in various sectors: anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-naval warfare, fire support from the sea as well as an organic helicopter component embarked. The FREMM units are set to become the backbone of the Italian Navy of the next decades.
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), and Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) are collaborating to host a Hall thruster experiment onboard the X-37B flight vehicle (Boeing). The experiment will be hosted on Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) mission 4, the fourth flight of the X-37B reusable space plane.
The first three OTV flights have accumulated a total of 1,367 days of on-orbit experimentation prior to successful landings and recoveries at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation, and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies, and it is administered by RCO.
The Hall thruster that will fly on the X-37B experiment is a modified version of the units that have propelled SMC’s first three Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications spacecraft. A Hall thruster is a type of electric propulsion device that produces thrust by ionizing and accelerating a noble gas, usually xenon. While producing comparatively low thrust relative to conventional rocket engines, Hall thrusters provide significantly greater specific impulse, or fuel economy. This results in increased payload carrying capacity and a greater number of on-orbit maneuvers for a spacecraft using Hall thrusters rather than traditional rocket engines.
This experiment will enable in-space characterization of Hall thruster design modifications that are intended to improve performance relative to the state-of-the-art units onboard AEHF. The experiment will include collection of telemetry from the Hall thruster operating in the space environment as well as measurement of the thrust imparted on the vehicle. The resulting data will be used to validate and improve Hall thruster and environmental modeling capabilities, which enhance the ability to extrapolate ground test results to actual on-orbit performance. The on-orbit test plans are being developed by AFRL and administered by RCO.
The experiment has garnered strong support from AFRL senior leadership. «Space is so vitally important to everything we do», said Major General Tom Masiello, AFRL commander. «Secure comms, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), missile warning, weather prediction, precision navigation and timing all rely on it, and the domain is increasingly contested. A more efficient on-orbit thruster capability is huge. Less fuel burn lowers the cost to get up there, plus it enhances spacecraft operational flexibility, survivability and longevity».
Dr. Greg Spanjers, the AFRL Space Capability Lead and Chief Scientist of the Space Vehicles Directorate, added, «AFRL is proud to be able to contribute to this research teamed with our partners at SMC, RCO, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Aerojet Rocketdyne. It was great to see our Government-Contractor team identify an opportunity and then quickly respond to implement a solution that will offer future Air Force spacecraft even greater capabilities».
It is said in The Press Trust of India that Defence PSU (Public Sector Undertakings) Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd has bagged its biggest order of building three advanced stealth frigates for Rs 20,000 crore (approximately $3.14 billion) from the Indian Navy (IN).
«This is the highest-ever order which Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has got. This shows how much trust the government and the Navy has on us. It is a big shot in the arm for us», GRSE’s Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral A K Verma told reporters. Under the Project P-17A, Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, will make four stealth frigates while the Kolkata shipyard will make three such frigates, all of which will be of the same design.
«Frigates are one-man army which can attack under water, surface level and also at air. It can also carry helicopters and has detection abilities as well. It will become the most potent weapon of the Indian Navy», Verma said. Once the final design is ready, the construction at GRSE will begin after three years and the first ship will be ready by 2023. «The rest will come at one-year intervals and within ten years all the ships would be ready. We would be working in close collaboration with both the Indian Navy as well as MDL», the official said.
Commodore Ratnakar Ghosh, Director (shipbuilding), GRSE, also noted, they are building a new modernised integrated modular construction unit, which would be used for manufacturing the frigates. «It is because of the modular construction that we can bring down the time of construction to five years. Traditional shipbuilding method takes much more time», Commodore Ratnakar Ghosh said.
GRSE already has Goliath cranes and workshops with sliding roofs from where 200-tonne blocks can be lifted out. The ship will have a displacement of 6,000 tonnes.
The most iconic section of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier is setting sail on April 24, 2015 from Glasgow on its first sea voyage to Rosyth. Upper Block 07 is where HMS Prince of Wales (R09) will be commanded atop the flight deck and is known as the «Forward Island». As the main hub of the ship, it contains the bridge and approximately 100 vital mission systems compartments.
Mick Ord, Managing Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «This Forward Island is a remarkable feat of engineering designed to command one of the UK’s largest ever warships for more than half a century to come so the last Commanding Officer who will take the helm is not even born yet. I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in building and delivering this iconic aircraft carrier section ahead of schedule and to an incredibly high standard».
The tug delivering the Forward Island will blast its horn passing Ferguson Marine Engineering in Greenock as a final farewell to Glasgow and a salute to BAE Systems’ fellow shipbuilders along the Clyde. Due to stormy weather expected around the north coast of Scotland, the Forward Island will travel around the south coast of the UK on a nine-day voyage before entering the Firth of Forth.
Construction of the Forward Island began in December 2013. It left its dock hall in Govan for the first time last weekend before being driven onto a barge using a single remote control and 144 wheels beneath it.
The Queen Elizabeth Class are the first aircraft carriers to use an innovative twin island design. The second «Aft Island» operates as an airport control tower to co-ordinate aircraft movements, but both islands are designed with the ability to incorporate the other’s role in an emergency, thus increasing the survivability of the ship.
The Forward Island has deck-to-deck windows, which are up to two metres tall to ensure a level of visibility far beyond previous aircraft carriers and are designed to withstand a significant impact, such as a helicopter’s spinning rotor blade.
The 65,000 tonne Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will be the centre piece of the UK’s military capability.
Weapons and sensors
Mission systems complex
Artisan 3D medium range radar
S1850m long-range radar
Highly mechanised weapon handling system
Phalanx automated close-in weapons systems
30-mm guns & mini guns to counter seaborne threats
Capacity to accommodate up to 40 aircraft
280-m flight deck, capable of landing Chinook and Merlin helicopters
Hangar, capable of accommodating and maintaining fixed and rotary wing aircraft
Aircraft lifts (forward and aft)
2 × Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines (36 MW/48,000 hp)
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) and the U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated fully Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) with the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft on April 22, 2015, marking the first time in history that an unmanned aircraft has refueled in-flight.
This is another historic aviation milestone for the X-47B, which in 2013 became the first unmanned aircraft to autonomously launch from and recover aboard an aircraft carrier. In combination, these landmark demonstrations constitute a major step forward in autonomy that has application in both manned and unmanned aircraft. Autonomous launch, recovery and refueling have the potential for reducing operational costs in the future.
«AAR testing with the X-47B helps solidify the concept that future unmanned aircraft can perform standard missions like aerial refueling and operate seamlessly with manned aircraft as part of the Carrier Air Wing», said Captain Beau Duarte, the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager.
During the probe and drogue (or «Navy-style») AAR demonstration, the X-47B performed a close formation flight rendezvous with an Omega K-707 tanker. Upon clearance from the tanker crew, the X-47B maneuvered into position behind the K-707 and successfully engaged the drogue. On completion of the refueling, the X-47B autonomously disengaged the drogue and maneuvered away from the tanker before returning to base.
«We are very pleased with the outcome of this first round of probe and drogue flights with the X-47B», said Pablo Gonzalez, UCAS-D program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. «The AAR system and X-47B both performed as expected. While we would certainly benefit from additional probe and drogue flight testing, we have reached a tipping point at which AAR is now feasible».
Northrop Grumman began developing AAR technology for both Navy and Air Force application nearly a decade ago, pioneering a «hybrid» approach that integrates both GPS and infrared imaging to enhance navigational precision and hedge against GPS disruption. Initial UCAS-D flight-testing began in 2012 using a manned Learjet as a surrogate for the X-47B. These successful proof-of-concept flights demonstrated the overall feasibility of the X-47B AAR system and helped refine its navigation, command and control, and infrared sensor processing components.
Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s UCAS-D prime contractor. The UCAS-D industry team includes Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, GKN Aerospace, Eaton, General Electric, UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell, Honeywell, Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace, Sargent Aerospace & Defense, and Rockwell Collins.
38.2 feet/11.6 m
62.1 feet/18.9 m
30.9 feet/9.4 m
10.4 feet/3.2 m
13.9 feet/4.2 m
Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220U
Max Gross Take-Off Weight (MGTOW)
44,000 lbs/19,958 kg
Twin Internal Weapons Bay
4,500 lbs/2,041 kg
>40,000 feet/12,192 m
>2,100 NM/3,889 km
X-47B First to Complete Autonomous Aerial Refueling
The British Army’s Warrior armoured vehicle has demonstrated its firepower and fighting capability during successful firing trials in Scotland. Pictures and video released by Lockheed Martin UK show the Warrior vehicle’s new turret and cannon successfully firing against targets while on the move.
These are the latest trials that Lockheed Martin UK are undertaking as part of the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme to upgrade the Army’s fleet of 380 Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs). Senior members of the Army and potential international customers were invited to the Ministry of Defence’s ranges in Kirkudbright to see the Warrior IFV in action and get an update on the progression of the programme.
Modified, designed and installed by engineers at Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill site in Bedfordshire, the infrastructure of the Warrior vehicle will be significantly improved, including fitting the new turret with the ultra-modern CT40 weapon system, an updated environmental control system to improve crew comfort, better all-round awareness cameras and driver’s night vision, along with a modular protection fitting system to the chassis to enable quick change of armour for specific threats.
Alan Lines, Vice President and Managing Director, Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill site said: «These successful trials demonstrate both the accuracy and lethality of the new generation Warrior IFV, which has been designed and manufactured in the UK. This is the latest in a number of trials that have increased confidence in these modifications. We remain on track for critical design review later this year where the maturity of our design and technical effort will take place».
The Warrior IFV has the speed and performance to keep up with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) over the most difficult terrain, and the firepower and armour to support infantry in the assault. The Warrior family of seven variants of armoured vehicles, which entered service in 1988, has been highly successful for armoured infantry battlegroups in the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo and Iraq.
They provide excellent mobility, lethality and survivability for the infantry and have enabled key elements from the Royal Artillery and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to operate effectively within the battlegroup. A highly successful armoured fighting vehicle, Warrior can be fitted with enhanced armour and is continuously being updated – the battlegroup thermal imager was fitted to increase its night-fighting capability.
Warrior variants include artillery Observation Post Vehicle (OPV), Command Post Vehicle (CPV), and a REME recovery and repair vehicle. All variants are equipped with a 7.62-mm chain gun. Both chain gun and CT40 cannon have an anti-helicopter capability.
The 40 CTAS cannon is the next generation weapon of choice for medium calibre systems within Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) and Infantry Fighting Vehicles. It provides with firepower superior to any other Medium-Calibre.
The suite of ammunition developed in association with the weapon is designed to give increased effect against armoured vehicles including some Main Battle Tanks, defeat of reinforce concrete, buildings, and soft targets.
The 40 CTAS can incorporate unlimited natures of ammunition within the same ammunition handling system, which gives the end user the capability to quickly engage threats across the modern battlefield spectrum including those within urban environments through selection of the most pertinent nature of ammunition.
40-mm Cased Telescoped Armament System
Novel rotating breech mechanism
Up to 200 rounds per minute rate of fire, single shot, burst and continuous
Ability to fire over a wide range of elevation (-10° to +75°)
Ammunition Natures (GPR-AB-T, GPR-PD-T, APFSDS-T, TP-T and TPRR-T)
Ammunition Handling System (AHS) automatically handling the ammunition to be fed into the cannon
The currently available ammunition types are:
GPR-AB-T (General Purpose Round – Air-Burst – Tracer) programmable round to neutralize dismounted infantry and soft targets
GPR-PD-T (GPR – Point Detonation – Tracer) to breach or defeat reinforced concrete walls
APFSDS-T (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot – Tracer) able to penetrate 140-mm of RHA (frontal arc of some first generation МВТ and all IFVs)
TP-T (Target Practice – Tracer) and TPRR-T (Target Practice Reduced Range – Tracer)
Airbus Helicopters and its partner Heli Invest Services welcome the decision of the Polish Ministry of Defence to pre-select the H225M Caracal from Airbus Helicopters. According Polish Ministry of National Defense, after verification of the operational needs of the Armed Forces, and in particular taking into account the possibility of further use of the Mi-17 helicopters no in service over the next decade, it was decided to buy 50, instead of the 70 it originally planned. The deal is estimated to be worth $3 billion.
In recent years, Poland has proven its technological and industrial capacity with a highly skilled workforce and impressive resources. The country has become an established and internationally recognised industry leader, supplying parts for the full range of Airbus aircraft. Airbus Group’s sourcing from Poland amounts to around €191 million, including aerostructures, systems and services, and the Company employs a local workforce of 850 highly skilled employees.
Poland is among the few countries continuously maintaining and reinforcing its military power. It has a vibrant economy, a growing GDP and stable political system, as well as engineering expertise supported by long-term investment plans.
Airbus Helicopters’ H225M (former EC725) Caracal project has the potential to significantly accelerate the integration of the country’s aerospace and defence industry in Airbus Group’s value chain. Together with substantial research and technology development investments, transfer of technology and engineering capabilities, this project is aimed at laying the basis for a joint and mutually beneficial future.
In this context of Poland’s multirole military helicopter acquisition, the Polish Ministry of Defence has already pre-selected the H225M Caracal. Airbus Helicopters and its partner Heli Invest Services are now preparing for the next steps of the tender process.
Airbus Group’s ambition is to partner Poland and have the country play a much bigger role in Europe’s defence industry. The Group aims to widen its industrial presence in the country, going far beyond low-cost or mono-product partnerships by further opening its Divisions in a structured and lasting relationship.
Designed for the most demanding missions, the H225M’s reliability and durability have been demonstrated in combat conditions and crisis areas that include Lebanon, Afghanistan and Mali, while also supporting NATO-led operations in Libya. As the latest member of Airbus Helicopters’ military Super Puma/Cougar family, this 11-metric-ton helicopter, previously named the EC725, is ready for multiple missions.
As a true multi-role platform, the H225M enables military forces to deploy wherever and whenever needed. Operating both from ships and land, this helicopter has an all-weather capability – including flight in icing conditions – supported by state-of-the-art night vision goggle compatibility.
The helicopter’s outstanding 700 nautical mile range is extended with air-to-air refueling, which can be performed while in forward flight and during hover.
Powered by two latest-generation engines, the H225M’s five-blade rotor provides an exceptionally low vibration level, and the modular design of rotor mechanical assemblies allows for easier maintenance.
The H225M is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and communication systems that reduce crew workload while enhancing mission capability and safety. Airbus Helicopters has incorporated significant advances in terms of man-machine interface, ensuring the most important information arrives to the pilot for the most effective decision-making process.
The flight crew has at their fingertips all navigation and piloting data from the electronic flight instruments in the glass cockpit, including dual-channel full-authority digital engine control for the H225M’s two Turbomeca turboshaft engines.
Airbus Helicopters’ renowned 4-axis, dual-duplex autopilot provides outstanding precision and stability and enables flight in search and rescue patterns as well as automatic approaches in Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) procedures.
Unrivalled redundancy is provided in key onboard systems to maintain full functionality, including the dual-duplex Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), dual-engine Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) with backup; five LCD electronic flight instruments; and two Vehicle Monitoring Displays, among other features.
Using the proven military heritage of Airbus Helicopters’ Puma and Super Puma rotorcraft, the H225M was conceived with survivability in mind. Its airframe has reinforced structural main frames and is equipped with high energy-absorbing landing gear, along with self-sealing and crashworthy fuel tanks.
Cockpit protection is provided by armored and energy-absorbing crew seats, while the cabin can be equipped with armor plating in the floors and walls or fitted with armor-plated carpets. The rotor blades’ multi-box construction enhances their resistance to bullet impacts.
Contributing to the H225M’s survivability is a radar-warning receiver, missile approach warning system, and chaff/flare dispensers. The engine exhausts can be fitted with infrared suppressors, with protection against sand and ice provided by inlet design and with installable filters.
The H225M carries a strong «punch» when called on, ready for everything from front-line missions to critical logistics support. Qualified armament includes a 7.62-mm machine gun in the forward cabin windows; along with 180-round 20-mm gun pods and 19-tube 2.75-inch/70-mm rocket launchers.
Included in the mission avionics are a flight management system with Doppler, GPS satellite navigation and SAR (Search And Rescue) modes; a digital moving map; a personal locator system; a loud speaker and a searchlight, among others.
From home base to the most remote locations, Airbus Helicopters conceived the H225M with maintainability in mind.
The Turbomeca Makila 2A1 turboshaft engines are of modular design for easy maintenance, and Airbus Helicopters’ Spheriflex fiberglass main rotor head is easy to adjust. The airframe includes a built-in step to access the engines.
Overall maintenance information is provided through the integrated HUMS (Health Usage Monitoring System).
2 pilots + 1 chief of stick + 28 seats
2 pilots + 8 to 12 passengers
2 pilots + up to 11 stretchers + 4 seats
4,750 kg/10,472 lbs
16.79 m/55.08 feet
3.96 m/13 feet
4.60 m/15.09 feet
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
11,000 kg/24,251 lbs
MTOW in external load configuration
11,200 kg/24,690 lbs
5,715 kg/12,600 lbs
5,285 kg/11,651 lbs
Maximum cargo-sling load
4,750 kg/10,472 lbs
Standard fuel capacity
2,247 kg/4,954 lbs
ENGINES 2 TURBOMECA MAKILA 2A1
Take-off power per engine
1,567 kW/2,101 shp
PERFORMANCE AT MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT, ISA*, SL**
Maximum speed (Vne***)
324 km/h/175 knots
Fast cruise speed (at MCP****)
262 km/h/142 knots
Rate of climb
5.4 m/s/1,064 feet/min
Service ceiling (Vz = 0.508 m/s = 100 feet/min)
3,968 m/13,019 feet
Hover ceiling OGE***** at ISA*, MTOW, take-off power
792 m/2,600 feet
Maximum range without reserve at Economical Cruise Speed
The First ship of Project – 15B, Guided Missile Destroyer, christened «Visakhapatnam» was launched on 20 Apr 15 at a magnificent ceremony at Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. The ship was launched from Slip Way No. 2 in MDL. The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral RK Dhowan, was the Chief Guest for the occasion. In keeping with the nautical traditions, the ship was launched by Smt Minu Dhowan, wife of The Chief of the Naval Staff. After an invocation to the Gods was recited, she broke a coconut on ship’s bow, named the ship and wished the ship and «crew to be», good luck.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest, Admiral RK Dhowan lauded the contributions made by MDL in meeting the growing requirements of the Navy. He also commended the efforts put in by Director General Naval Design (DGND) and his team in the design of the state of the art warships. He was also appreciative of the role played by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the industry for relentlessly contributing towards achieving Indian Navy’s dream of transforming itself from a «Buyers Navy» to a «Builders Navy».
The four ships of Project 15B ships being built at MDL, Mumbai have been designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design, Delhi and bear testimony to the acclaimed legacy of Naval designers. With a displacement of 7300 tons, each ship will be spanning 163 meters/535 feet in length and 17.4 meters/57 feet at the beam and will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speed in excess of 30 knots/34 mph/55 km/h. The Project 15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and maneuverability. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. These ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multiple role helicopters.
These ships are also packed with an array of state of the art weapons and sensors, including vertically launched missile system for long distance engagement of shore and sea-based targets. With significant indigenous content, these ships are a true hallmark of self-reliance attained by India in warship design and shipbuilding.
According to Rahul Bedi, Jane’s Navy International correspondent, Vishakhapatnam would be commissioned in July 2018 and delivery of the three follow-on platforms at two year intervals will be completed by 2024 at an overall cost of INR293.40 billion ($4.89 billion).
The IN officials claims that over 65% of the 164 m-long Vishakhapatnam is indigenously sourced, including its DMR249 A steel and 11 of its weapon and associated sensor systems. Its imported components include four Ukrainian-built Zorya-Mashproekt DT-59 gas turbines.
Vishakhapatnam would be fitted with the IAI-Elta-designed EL/M-2248 Multi-Function Surveillance Threat Alert Radar (MF-STAR) to provide guidance to 32 Barak-8/NG air-defence missiles, which have a 70 km/43.5 miles range. IN officials claim that MF-STAR is capable of simultaneously tracking multiple seaborne targets up to a distance of 25 km/15.5 miles and fighter aircraft up to 250 km/155 miles away.
Vishakhapatnam’s principal weapon will be eight BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles. The ship’s anti-submarine warfare capability includes twin-tube launchers and RBU-6000 SMERCH-2 rocket launchers built by private defence contractor Larsen & Toubro (L&T). Other armaments include a licence-built 76-mm OTO Melara Super Rapid Gun, and a 127-mm main gun, which is still under negotiation.