A cutting-edge 3D radar system, capable of detecting objects as small as a tennis ball and travelling at three times the speed of sound more than 15.5 miles/25 km away, has been successfully installed to the Royal Navy’s future aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Known as Artisan 3D the radar system will be used for the first time to deliver air traffic management, providing the aircraft carriers with unparalleled awareness and control of the skies around them. The successful installation of Artisan took place in late September, marking another major milestone in the preparation for sea trials.
The Artisan 3D system designed and developed by BAE Systems, can monitor more than 800 objects simultaneously from 656 feet/200 metres to 124 miles/200 km and cut through radio interference equal to 10,000 mobile phone signals. The radar system has already proven its capability to deliver uncompromising air defence and anti-ship operations on the Type 23 frigate and helicopter carrier.
Les Gregory, Director for Products and Training Services at BAE Systems said: «Artisan is a ground-breaking radar system that delivers real capability to the Royal Navy in its supreme accuracy and uncompromising tracking. In addition, its world-leading electronic protection measure ensures that even the most complex of jammers will not reduce its effectiveness. We have already seen the radar perform excellently on the Type 23 frigates and are proud to be able to bring this advanced technology to the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers utilising its air traffic management capability for the first time».
Rear Admiral Henry Parker, Defence Equipment & Support Director of Ship Acquisition, said: «The addition of such an effective system, which has already proved itself on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Frigates, will provide HMS Queen Elizabeth with first-class radar performance. The construction of the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers has created and sustained thousands of UK jobs and will act as a spearhead for our naval capability for years to come».
The new aircraft carriers will become the flagship of the Royal Navy and demand the very best radar technology to deliver uncompromising carrier strike capability anywhere in the world. The carriers will also be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
BAE Systems designed and developed the Artisan 3D at its sites in Cowes, Chelmsford and Portsmouth and the system is currently in use on the Royal Navy Type 23 frigates. Preparations to install the radar system on to HMS Queen Elizabeth have taken two and a half years with engineers from BAE Systems working closely with the Ministry of Defence. Part of this work included creating a life-sized mock-up of the carriers’ aft island in Cowes, which was used to hone the radar’s interaction with the combat systems on-board the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, to deliver an optimal integrated solution.
Ground breaking radar capability fitted to future Royal Navy flagship
The H160 mock-up is making its British debut today at Helitech, as the program steadily pursues its flight test campaign. The first prototype flights are progressing according to plan and the aircraft has already reached a maximum speed of 175 knots/201 mph/324 km/h and an altitude of 10,000 feet/3,048 meter. As the validation of technical parameters is followed closely, the flight tests also provide a perfect opportunity for the fully integrated ground support teams to optimise maintenance activities.
The second prototype (PT2) is progressing as per plan since its power on in June. As one of the key priorities of the H160’s development program is maturity at entry into service, the Turbomeca Arrano engines will be installed and tested on the dedicated integration installation called the Dynamic Helicopter Zero before the PT2 performs its first flight by the end of this year.
«The flight envelope opening of the H160 is well paced – thanks to the relevance of our investments in new generation test benches», said Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. «We are excited to present the H160 at Helitech and we are in a good position to begin its commercialisation next year, with the end objective of having a fully mature product ready to be delivered in 2018», he added.
A new generation 5.5 to 6-tonne twin-engine helicopter, the H160 will be tailored for a wide range of applications, including oil & gas operations, emergency medical services, public service, and private and business aviation. Placing customer satisfaction at the heart of its design, the program is continually working with customers on mission specific aspects, whether it is on the oil & gas segment or the VIP segment which just saw the launch of the H160 VIP interior design contest. Customers and opinion leaders will be at the heart of the innovative selection process.
As the fighting ships of the Finnish Navy will need to be replaced by more modern vessels in the 2020s Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö gave the Defence Forces a mandate to start the Squadron 2020 project. In line with its programme, the Government will decide on securing the Navy’s capabilities.
The life cycle of six fighting ships will end by mid-2020s; these include four Rauma-class fast attack missile crafts, which were built in the 1990s, and two Hämeenmaa-class minelayers from the early 1990s. The life cycle of the vessels, which are to be decommissioned, cannot be extended in a cost-efficient way.
The main task of the Navy is to secure the maritime connections vital for the Finnish society and therefore the new vessels shall have the capacity to monitor and secure territorial integrity, protect maritime transport and counter naval attacks.
To be able to carry out these tasks, the vessels shall be able to monitor maritime areas above and under the water surface and in the air space and to use weapons to counter potential threats of enemy forces. The exact configuration of the battle system will be decided in the course of the planning process. The plan is to construct four vessels.
While the vessels are designed primarily for the needs of national defence and it is vital that they can operate also in winter conditions, they could also be used for international crisis management. Once the vessels have been completed and taken into use, they will play a central role in maritime defence.
The project-planning phase is estimated to take place in 2015-2018 and the building phase is estimated for 2019-2024. The Squadron 2020 project will be carried out within the financial framework granted through a separate decision. The Defence Forces estimate that to build the necessary capabilities requires a funding of EUR 1.2 billion. The parliament has the budgetary power to decide on the project’s funding.
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) (Ike) accomplished its first arrested landing of an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, October 2. The arrested landing is part of the second phase of at-sea Developmental Testing (DT-II) for the F-35C, which is expected to last two weeks. These test phases ensure aircraft meet specifications and identify mission critical issues sufficiently early in the test phase to deliver fully capable aircraft in time for their scheduled Initial Operating Capability (IOC).
The purpose of DT-II is to test the suitability and integration of the F-35C in an at-sea environment. The F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) will run through a series of tests designed to increase the aircraft’s operability at sea. The Ike crew partnered with the Patuxent River ITF test team to ensure the ship was prepared to receive the aircraft.
«We brought a team from the Eisenhower to Patuxent River about two months ago», said Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 Navy test pilot Lieutenant Commander Daniel Kitts. «We have a steam catapult built into our runway. We took some steps with the crew here to bring them up to speed by training them on the F-35 to get them a little bit more familiar with our aircraft».
The F-35C will perform a variety of operational maneuvers during DT-II while simulating maintenance operations and conducting general maintenance and fit tests for the aircraft and support equipment.
Following the analysis of DT-II test data, the team will conduct a thorough assessment of the F-35C’s performance in the shipboard environment before advising the Navy on any adjustments necessary to ensure the fifth-generation fighter is ready to meet its scheduled IOC in 2018.
«The goal of this test phase is to find out how we can expand the envelope in which this aircraft works in an effective and safe fashion», Kitts said. «We have a huge team working on this, and I know that each time I get in this aircraft it’s the culmination of a lot of people’s hard work».
The F-35C – the U.S. Navy’s and Marine Corps’ Carrier-suitable Variant (CV) – combines unprecedented at-sea stealth with fighter speed and agility, fused targeting, cutting-edge avionics, advanced jamming, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. With a broad wingspan, reinforced landing gear, ruggedized structures and durable coatings, the F-35C will stand up to harsh shipboard conditions. The avionics also equip the pilot with real-time, spherical access to battlespace information and commanders at sea-in the air and on the ground-with an instantaneous, high-fidelity single picture view of ongoing operations.
«The Ike crew is very interested», Kitts said. «The Sailors are really curious about the F-35C and a lot of them have really great questions and we encourage them to ask. These Sailors are who we’re working for to get this aircraft ready to be in the fleet so they can use it».
By 2025, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft. The continued success of F-35 Lightning II shipboard operations aid the development of the Navy’s next generation fighter and reinforce Navy-industry partnership goals to deliver the operational aircraft to the fleet in 2018.
F-35С Lightning II specifications
51.5 feet/15.7 m
14.7 feet/4.48 m
43 feet/13.1 m
668 feet2/62.1 m2
Horizontal tail span
26.3 feet/8.02 m
34,800 lbs/15,785 kg
Internal fuel capacity
19,750 lbs/8,960 kg
18,000 lbs/8,160 kg
70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg
Standard internal weapons load
Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound (907 kg) GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings)
Maximum Power (with afterburner)
43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner)
28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf
220 inch/5.59 m
Propulsion Inlet Diameter
46 inch/1.17 m
Propulsion Maximum Diameter
51 inch/1.30 m
Propulsion Bypass Ratio
Propulsion Overall Pressure Ratio
Speed (full internal weapons load)
Mach 1.6/1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h
Combat radius (internal fuel)
>600 NM/683.5 miles/1,100 km
Range (internal fuel)
>1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km
U.S. Marine Corps
The landing kicks off the Pax River Integrated Test Force’s two-week follow-on sea trial testing aboard the Eisenhower
The India Ministry of Defence has finalized its order with Boeing for production, training and support of Apache and Chinook helicopters that will greatly enhance India’s capabilities across a range of military and humanitarian missions. India will receive 22 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 15 CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. Both are the newest models of those aircraft.
«This is a milestone in Boeing’s expanding commitment to India», said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India. «This acquisition enhances the Indian Air Force’s capabilities and offers us an opportunity to further accelerate ‘Make in India.’ Large sections of the Chinook fuselage are already manufactured in India and discussions are ongoing with our Indian partners to make Apache parts».
The Apache is the world’s leading multi-role attack helicopter. The AH-64E Apache, the most modern variant also flown by the U. S. Army, features enhanced performance, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding.
The CH-47F Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter operated by the U.S. Army and 18 other defense forces. The Chinook has proven its ability to operate in the range of conditions that typify the Indian subcontinent, including delivering heavy payloads to high altitudes.
«These new aircraft will provide world-class capabilities to meet the Indian Air Force’s missions today, tomorrow and well into the future», said David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager, Boeing Vertical Lift division. «This agreement represents another major step forward in our long and successful relationship with India».
India is the 14th nation to select the Apache and the 19th nation to select the Chinook.
«The Apache and Chinook represent the best of high-performing technologies that will modernize India’s defense capabilities», said Dennis Swanson, vice president, Defense, Space & Security in India. «We look forward to delivering the newest Apache and Chinook to our customers and remain focused on delivering on its commitments to the Indian Air Force and India’s Ministry of Defence».
The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the U.S. Army and a growing number of international defense forces. Boeing has delivered more than 2,100 Apaches to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production. The U.S. Army Apache fleet has accumulated (as of Jan 2015) more than 3.9 million flight hours since the first AH-64A was delivered to the U.S. Army in 1984.
58.17 feet/17.73 m
15.24 feet/4.64 m
17.15 feet/5.227 m
Primary Mission Gross Weight
15,075 lbs/6,838 kg
Vertical Rate of Climb
More than 2,000 feet/610 m per minute
Maximum Rate of Climb
More than 2,800 feet/853 m per minute
Maximum Level Flight Speed
More than 150 knots/172.6 mph/279 km/h
The CH-47F Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter for the U.S. Army and international defense forces. It contains a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system, Common Aviation Architecture Cockpit and advanced cargo-handling capabilities that complement the aircraft’s mission performance and handling characteristics.
BAE Systems on September 28 delivered the first production series Archer artillery system to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) during a ceremony at the company’s Karlskoga facility. The Archer system is one of the world’s most advanced artillery systems with high mobility and precision. Archer provides fire support that is powerful and flexible, and features high levels of autonomous operation under protection. It is based on proven subsystems and has an extensive ammunition portfolio.
«BAE Systems and FMV have been working very closely to achieve our high-level requirements for the Archer program. This is an important milestone as we begin the delivery of all systems for our Swedish customer», said Lena Gillström, managing director for Weapon Systems, Sweden at BAE Systems, Inc. « Archer will provide the Swedish armed forces with an advanced artillery system that focuses on the safety of our soldiers».
BAE Systems’ employees and representatives from FMV, the Swedish Armed Forces, and the Ministry of Defence were in attendance as Gillström delivered the first system to Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvst. «Archer is an important part of strengthening the Swedish defense», said Dan Ohlsson, Acting Director General for FMV.
BAE Systems delivered the pre-serial Archer systems to the Swedish government in 2013, which have been in use by the Swedish artillery regiment.
Archer artillery system
Archer is a self-propelled field howitzer that can operate autonomously in tandem with today’s command and control systems. The 155-mm, 52 calibre, long-range weapon features an outstanding tracking capability and an intensive rate of fire, engaging ground and sea targets, both stationary and moving, with high precision.
The projectile magazines handle all types of 155-mm artillery ammo, including advanced sensor-fused and precision-guided munitions. Depending on customer requirements, the charge magazine can be adapted for either conventional bags or modular systems. Fire capabilities include direct fire and Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI).
Precision targeting is achieved using highly integrated components, such as ballistic calculation, in the gun computer system. Firing and operation of the gun computer can both be handled automatically or manually, providing ultimate flexibility.
9.84 feet/3.0 m
11.15 feet/3.4 m
Height with Remotely-Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS)
13.12 feet/4.0 m
34.12 feet/10.4 m
-1° to +70°
-85° to +85°
Rate of fire (burst)
3 rounds/20 sec
Rate of fire (intensive)
21 rounds/3.5 min
Rate of fire (continuous)
54 rounds/35 min
BONUS: Up to 21.75 miles/35 km
HEER 40: Up to 24.85 miles/40 km
EXCALIBUR: Up to 31 miles/50 km
approximately 20 secs
Out of action
approximately 20 secs
Up to 6 rounds
Day and night capability
Grenade launcher or heavy machine gun (optional)
43.5 mph/70 km/h
310.68 miles/500 km
Maximum longitudinal slope
Maximum lateral slope traverse
3.28 feet/1 m
1.31 feet/0.4 m
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) protection
Climate control system
For harsh winter and summer conditions
BAE Systems delivers the first production series Archer artillery system to Sweden. Archer is one of the world’s most advanced artillery systems. It’s highly mobile and precise; provides powerful and flexible fire support; and features high levels of autonomous operation under protection
ThalesRaytheonSystems announced on September 30 that the country of Latvia will procure four Improved Sentinel AN/MPQ-64 F1 air defense radars. The Sentinel procurement, the first of its kind for the Latvian Armed Forces, will complement the country’s existing defense network by detecting, identifying and tracking airborne threats including: fixed and rotary wing aircraft, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Sentinel is a highly mobile and versatile three-dimensional, phased-array radar system that operates in the X-band frequency range. Its capabilities are suited for a wide range of missions including air surveillance, air defense and missile systems coordination, and homeland defense, as well as infrastructure and asset protection. The radar is also the primary sensing component for alerting and cueing of targets for NASAMS (National Advanced Surface to Air Missile Systems).
«Sentinel meets the unique requirements of the Latvia Armed Forces, giving them the ability to more effectively meet today’s ever-evolving threat», said Ross Niebergall, chief executive officer, ThalesRaytheonSystems, LLC, US Operations. «The radar provides accurate, reliable situational awareness that many nations, including the United States, rely on for air defense».
AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved Sentinel
Range Extension Improvement:
Improved target detection at extended ranges – especially Cruise Missiles (CM) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV);
Improved target detection for Rotary Wing (RW) and Fixed Wing (FW) aircraft;
Improved capability to cue targets beyond visual range.
Signal Data Processor:
10 slot VME-64x Rack with slots available for growth;
Multiple On-board computers.
X-Band, single channel;
X-Band, DDS Technology;
Single Master Oscillator upconverted to generate frequency;
X-Band, Multiple TWT;
Digital Interface to the Signal Data Processor;
Improved DC Motor and Controller.
New Operating Modes:
Full Coverage Mode – Surveillance from Horizon (terrain) to ~18 degrees, providing balanced height coverage;
Low Altitude Coverage Mode – Surveillance from Horizon to ~5 degrees, providing focused energy and fast revisit times for low altitude advanced target threats (cruise missiles, UAVs).
The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar said the Government is fully committed to develop a real Blue Water Navy, a Navy that can dominate the Indian Ocean Region, but will be considered friendly by the neighbouring countries. Commissioning INS Kochi (D64) on 30 September 2015, the second ship of the indigenously designed and constructed Project 15A (Kolkata-class) guided missile Destroyers, Shri Parrikar gave two examples to illustrate his point- that of transporting drinking water to Maldives when the latter’s water treatment plant was damaged last year, and the rescue and evacuation of nationals of over 20 countries from war-torn Yemen by the Indian Navy, without any damage to our platforms and personnel. INS Kochi (D64) has been built by the Mazagon Dock Ltd., Mumbai.
Shri Parrikar said there has been a renewed enthusiasm among DPSUs and the Private Sector in the development and production of platforms and systems for the Defence Forces and the government has been consistently trying to indigenise and speed-up timely deliveries. He hoped that the next Destroyer in the series will be put into water by the end of the current financial year. Shri Parrikar said while we have achieved significant indigenisation in «Float» component of warships, we are lacking in the indigenization of the high-end Fight components. To that end, the Government is in the process of putting a policy in place to achieve high amount of self- reliance in the defence industry under the guidance of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Defence Minister said the Government is seized of the Nation’s defence requirements and requisite financial support for the Armed Forces and defence industry will be made available, which includes the modernization and development plans of the Navy. Towards this, the Government shall always remain committed to provide the necessary funds for the future expansion and growth of the Navy.
The commissioning ceremony was attended among others by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral SPS Cheema; and the Chairman and Managing Director of Mazagon Docks Limited, Rear Admiral RK Shrawat (Retired). Speaking on the occasion, Admiral RK Dhowan said that commissioning of INS Kochi is a milestone in the self-reliance programme of the Navy and stated that the indigenisation of platforms, weapons, sensors and equipment, through public as well as private sectors, will continue to remain a focus area of the Indian Navy. He emphasized that the «Roadmap for the Navy’s expansion and growth would continue to remain firmly anchored on Self-reliance and indigenisation». «Induction of INS Kochi, with her multi-dimensional combat capability, adds more teeth to the sword arm of the Indian Navy in discharging her duties of safe-guarding national maritime interests. This further reaffirms our resolve and faith in indigenous ship building and «Make in India» programme», he said.
The Project 15A Destroyers are the follow-on ships of the legendary Project 15 «Delhi» class Destroyers that entered service in the late 1990s. Conceived and designed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, the P15A ships have been christened after major port cities of India; Kolkata, Kochi and Chennai. The Keel of Kochi was laid on 25 October 2005, and launched on 18 September 2009. Kochi is the second of the Kolkata class and is of the most potent amongst the surface combatants that have been constructed in India. It measures 538 feet/164 meters in length and approximately 56 feet/17 meters in width, with a full load displacement of 7,500 tonnes. The ship has a COmbined Gas And Gas (COGAG) propulsion system, comprising four powerful reversible gas turbines; and can attain speeds in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h. The Ship’s electric power is provided by four gas turbine generators and one diesel alternator, which together produce 4.5 Mega-Watts of electrical power. The ship has a complement of 40 officers and 350 sailors.
INS Kochi incorporates new design concepts for stealth and has many firsts to her credit, including a very large component of indigenous combat-suite. The ship is packed with the most sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors including the vertically launched Long Range Surface to Air Missiles (LRSAM) and MF-STAR multi-function active phased array radar, which is fitted only on the Kolkata class of ships. She is equipped with the advanced supersonic and long range BrahMos Surface to Surface Missile – a joint Indo-Russian venture. The 76-mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) and AK 630 CIWS, both manufactured indigenously, can take on air and surface targets. The entire anti-submarine weapon and sensor suite fitted onboard, consisting of Indigenous Rocket Launchers (IRL), Indigenous Twin-tube Torpedo Launchers (ITTL) and a bow-mounted New Generation HUMSA Sonar are fine examples of India’s indigenous efforts in the field of underwater warfare. The sensor suite includes other advanced Surface to Air surveillance radars and an indigenous Electronic Warfare System. A state-of-the-art Combat Management System (CMS- 15A) has been integrated with the onboard weapons and sensors. The ship is equipped to operate two Seaking or Chetak Helicopters.
The Ship can be truly classified as a «Network of Networks» as it is equipped with sophisticated digital networks, such as Asynchronous Transfer Mode based Integrated Ship Data Network (AISDN), Combat Management System (CMS), Automatic Power Management System (APMS) and Auxiliary Control System (ACS). The AISDN is the information highway on which data from all the sensors and weapon ride. The CMS is used to integrate information from other platforms using indigenous data-link system, to provide Maritime Domain Awareness. The intricate power supply management is done using APMS, and remote control and monitoring of machinery is achieved through the ACS.
The unique feature of the ship is the high level of indigenisation achieved with most of the systems onboard sourced from within the country. Some of the other major indigenised systems onboard INS Kochi include the Electronic Warfare Suite, Foldable Hanger Doors, Helo Traversing System and Ship’s Stabilisers. Crew comfort is a significant feature of INS Kochi and has been ensured through ergonomically designed accommodation and galley compartments based on modular concept.
INS Kochi derives her name from the vibrant port city of Kochi. This is a tribute to the city’s distinct maritime character and culture, and symbolises the special bond between the Indian Navy and the city of Kochi. The ship’s crest depicts a sword and a shield together with a Snake Boat riding on the blue and white ocean waves, which symbolise the Malabar region’s rich maritime heritage and martial traditions. The crew of the ship abides by the Sanskrit motto «Jahi Shatrun Mahabaho» which means «Oh mighty armed one… conquer the enemy».
The Commanding Officer, Captain Gurcharan Singh, read out the Commissioning Warrant, prior to the hoisting of «Colours» (the national flag and naval ensign) for the first time onboard the ship. Following her commissioning, INS Kochi will be based at Mumbai, under the operational and administrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
On September 29, a contract on procuring PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers from the German Armed Forces was signed at the Ministry of National Defence. The contract was endorsed by Lithuanian Ministry of Defence Director General for Capabilities and Armaments Colonel Darius Užkuraitis and Head of Armament Department of the Federal Ministry of Defence Wilfried Georg.
Commander of the Logistics Command Colonel Sigitas Mundris signed the contract on behalf of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, the recipient of the equipment. The contract was endorsed in the presence of Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas and Ambassador of Germany in Lithuania HE Jutta Schmitz.
«The changed geopolitical situation and lessons learnt from the conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine have made the Lithuanian Armed Forces prioritize an efficient fire support to maneuver units on the course of its development. Looking for solution, we turned to Germany, our ally, and its understanding and good will has helped us come up with a compromise on the procurement on one of the most modern self-propelled howitzers in the world within a particularly short time. That is a clear demonstration that Germany understands the reasons behind our security concerns and is sending a clear signal that it stands firmly by Lithuania», Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas says.
EUR 58.3 million, to be allotted until 2019, has been appropriated for the artillery enhancement project. EUR 16.2 million will be paid to Germany for 53 pieces of military equipment. The rest of the sum (EUR 42.1 million) will be used for modernisation of the equipment, installation of battlefield management system and communications and control equipment, for adjusting military infrastructure for the new howitzers and for training personnel to operate them.
The Lithuanian Armed Forces will obtain 21 155-mm self-propelled howitzers from the German Armed Forces under the contract. 16 of them will be usable for combat purposes, 2 will be used for training firing and driving skills, and 3 more – for spare parts. The Lithuanian Armed Forces will also receive 26 M577 V2 armoured command vehicles and 6 BPZ2 recovery tanks. All of the procured equipment was formerly used by the German Armed Forces.
Representatives of the German Armed Forces will also instruct Lithuanian soldiers on technical maintenance and servicing and operation of the equipment, and its employment in operations at operational planning level.
The new purchase of the Lithuanian Armed Forces will be used by General Romualdas Giedraitis Artillery Battalion of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf based in Rukla. The Battalion currently operates 105-mm howitzers with effective range of 11 kilometres, while the new PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers will enable it to destroy targets at the range of 40 km.
Lithuanian Armed Forces’ personnel will begin training for using the new purchase by the end of the year. Lithuanian soldiers will attend courses, meet with German experts and learn from their experience at military education institutions of both, Germany and Lithuania.
The first of the howitzers are expected to be brought to Lithuania in 2016, with the rest to come until the deadline of 2019.
3 + 2
Rheinmetall 155-mm/L 52 ordnance (60 rounds)
Rheinmetall MG 3 7,62-mm (1,000 rounds)
30 km with standard 155-mm round;
40 km with assisted projectiles
L 15 A1; M 483 A1 (US); Explosive; Smoke; Illumination; Modulares TreibLadungsSystem (MTLS); Base Bleed/RAP (Rocket Assisted Projectiles); SMArt (SubMunition for Artillery)
60 Projectiles/288 Charges
Rate of fire
3 rounds/10 sec; 8-10 rounds/1 min; 20 rounds/2,5 min
The Boeing and U.S. Air Force team successfully completed the first flight of a KC-46A tanker aircraft on September 25, taking off from Paine Field at 1:24 p.m. (PST) and landing four hours later at Boeing Field in Seattle. This was the first flight of a KC-46A tanker-configured aircraft, following ongoing flights of the program’s first test aircraft, a 767-2C. During the flight, Boeing test pilots performed operational checks on engines, flight controls and environmental systems and took the tanker to a maximum altitude of 35,000 feet/10,668 meter prior to landing.
«This first tanker flight is a key milestone for the program and we’ll now begin free air stability tests and flight controls of the boom and Wing Aerial Refueling Pods (WARPs) before conducting aerial refueling tests where the KC-46 will make contact with other military aircraft down the road», said Colonel Christopher Coombs, U.S. Air Force KC-46 Pegasus System program manager.
«Today’s flight reinforces that we are moving in the right direction and are on track to begin planned Milestone C testing later this year», said Tim Peters, Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tanker vice president and program manager. «This is an aerospace industry first and the culmination of a lot of hard work by the team, including Boeing, our suppliers and the U.S. Air Force».
The Boeing team now will conduct a post-flight inspection and calibrate instrumentation prior to the next series of flights, during which the tanker boom and WARPs systems will be deployed. Before the end of the year, the KC-46 Pegasus will begin conducting aerial refueling flights with a number of U.S. Air Force aircraft. Those flights, along with the mission systems demonstrations and a recently completed ground cargo-handling test, will support the planned Milestone C decision in 2016.
As part of a contract awarded in 2011 to design and develop the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation tanker aircraft, Boeing is building four test aircraft – two are currently configured as 767-2Cs and two KC-46A tankers. The KC-46s will fly as fully equipped tankers through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and military certification process, while the 767-2Cs enter flight test prior to receiving their upgrade to the KC-46A Pegasus configuration and the addition of their aerial refueling systems.
The program’s first test aircraft (EMD-1), a 767-2C, has completed more than 150 flight test hours to date since making its first flight in December 2014.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker Boeing is building for the U.S. Air Force that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients. Overall, Boeing plans to build 179 KC-46 Pegasus aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.
Aerial refueling and airlift
The Boeing Company
2 × Pratt & Whitney 4062
62,000 lbs/275.790 kN/28,123 kgf – Thrust per High-Bypass engine (sea-level standard day)
157 feet, 8 inches/48.1 m
165 feet, 6 inches/50.5 m
52 feet, 10 inches/15.9 m
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)
415,000 lbs/188,240 kg
Maximum Landing Weight
310,000 lbs/140,614 kg
212,299 lbs/96,297 kg
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load
207,672 lbs/94,198 kg
Maximum Cargo Capacity
65,000 lbs/29,484 kg
360 KCAS (Knots Calibrated AirSpeed)/0.86 M/414 mph/667 km/h
43,100 feet/13,137 m
7,299 NM/8,400 miles/13,518 km
18 pallet positions
15 permanent seats for aircrew, including aeromedical evacuation aircrew
58 total (normal operations); up to 114 total (contingency operations)
58 patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory) with the AE Patient Support Pallet configuration; 6 integral litters carried as part of normal aircraft configuration equipment
The thrill has since passed since the first KC-46 Pegasus prototype departed Paine Field nearly a year ago. Now the first fully militarized KC-46A Pegasus, which will be conducting aerial refueling test with F-16,’s over the Puget Sound departs on its first test flight on September 25, 2015