Tag Archives: Airbus Defence and Space

German Quadriga

Airbus has signed a contract to deliver 38 new Eurofighter aircraft to the German Air Force. This makes Germany the largest ordering nation in Europe’s biggest defence programme. The order, also known by its project name Quadriga, covers the delivery of 30 single-seater and 8 twin-seater Eurofighters. Three of the aircraft will be equipped with additional test installations as Instrumented Test Aircraft for the further development of the Eurofighter programme.

Eurofighter
Airbus signs contract for 38 Eurofighters with Germany

Dirk Hoke, CEO Airbus Defence and Space, said: «The new Tranche 4 Eurofighter is currently the most modern European-built combat aircraft with a service life well beyond 2060. Its technical capabilities will allow full integration into the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS)».

The renewed order from Germany secures production until 2030 and comes at a strategically important time for the programme. In addition to an expected Eurofighter order from Spain to replace its legacy F-18s, procurement decisions in Switzerland and Finland are imminent in 2021.

The variant offered in Switzerland corresponds to the configuration of the German Quadriga order. The equipment includes the world’s latest electronic radar, future-proof hardware and software and unlimited multi-role capability for engaging air and ground targets.

Eurofighter is Europe’s largest defence programme, in which the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy are involved alongside Germany. In addition to technological capabilities, it secures more than 100,000 jobs in Europe.

OneSat

Airbus Defence and Space has won a contract for a fully reconfigurable telecommunications satellite from Australia’s second largest telecommunications company and leading satellite operator Optus. The satellite will be based on Airbus’ new standard OneSat product line and is Airbus’ first contract from the Australian operator.

Airbus signs contract with Optus for OneSat

Airbus will deliver an end-to-end solution, including design and manufacture of the Optus 11 spacecraft, as well as an advanced digital suite to manage the digital payload and operate the end-to-end satellite resources, providing Optus with a turnkey system and the ability to add hosted payloads such as SBAS.

What sets Optus 11 apart is its ability to adjust its coverage, capacity and frequency, through on board processing and active antennas with beam forming capability. It will deliver power and bandwidth dynamically to strengthen capacity and resilience of Optus fleet and enable Optus to configure and adapt the payload mission to end-user needs, taking advantage of the latest innovations in payload and resource management.

Optus 11 will deliver a combination of broadcast and broadband VHTS missions in Ku band over Australia and New Zealand, to improve Direct to Home broadcasting over the Australasia region, increase reach in the Antarctic and Pacific zones and support growth into mobile markets, helping eliminate connectivity black spots through the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot programme.

Airbus’ Head of Space Systems, Jean-Marc Nasr said: «We are grateful to Optus for their trust in Airbus in a region where we have ambitions to work with local industry to support space technology development in both the civil and defence sectors. OneSat is a truly disruptive product, both from a manufacturing, and operational point of view, and gives customers the flexibility they need to serve their markets. This contract from Australia’s leading satellite operator, Optus, is a ringing endorsement that our R&D strategy in developing innovative products is the right one. OneSat’s high flexibility, very compact design and accelerated production should see the satellite in orbit for Optus in 2023».

Airbus’ ‘ready-made’ OneSat satellite builds on the company’s heritage from its highly reliable Eurostar telecommunications satellites, which have clocked up more than 800 years of successful operation in orbit.

This order further strenghtens Airbus’ leadership in new generation reconfigurable telecommunications satellites and enables Optus with the option to add additional spacecraft in the near future.

The investments made by Airbus and its partners in very innovative OneSat developments are supported by the European Space Agency and national agencies, in particular the UK and French space agencies.

Aerial Tanker

The new capability for Airbus’ C295 to serve as an aerial tanker brings additional flexibility for this tactical airlifter, further increasing its already-proven versatility and opening additional mission opportunities.

Air-to-air refuelling broadens the Airbus C295 tactical airlifter’s operational versatility

Airbus Defence and Space developed a removable Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) kit for the twin-engine aircraft that utilises a 100-foot-long/30.5-meter-long deployable hose with a «basket» at the end – enabling the transfer of fuel to receiver aircraft equipped with a probe. A remote vision system allows crewmembers aboard the Airbus C295 tanker to monitor refuelling operations from the cargo cabin.

Recent flights to test the kit involved an Airbus-owned C295 that refuelled a C295 from the Spanish Air Force, as well as proximity tests with the Airbus C295 and a fast fighter aircraft – a Spanish Air Force F-18 Hornet.

The Airbus C295’s removable refuelling system – which weighs 1,500 kg/3,307 lbs. – consists of up to three additional fuel tanks, an operator’s console, and the hose drum unit.

 

Making the Airbus C295 an even more valuable platform

«Customers are increasingly interested in purchasing not just an aircraft, but a versatile platform that can be used for different missions», explained Martín Espinosa, the Airbus Defence and Space engineering technical manager responsible for the Airbus C295’s aerial refuelling test campaign. «The development of the air-to-air refuelling capabilities of the Airbus C295 forms part of this strategic vision».

The Airbus C295’s aerial refuelling capability would be a highly valuable mission-extender for customers using Airbus C295s. These customers include the armed forces of current and future Airbus C295 operators responsible for civil and military Search and Rescue (SAR) missions.

Additionally, it could serve as a cost-effective platform to train fighter pilots in the skills needed for air-to-air refuelling. «The Airbus C295 tanker kit could facilitate training of fighter pilots for missions involving refuelling, or even for AAR services on a lease-by-the-hour basis at a fraction of the cost of heavier aircraft», explained Luis Díaz-Miguel, the Tactical Airlifters Marketing Manager.

Captain Gabiña, a Spanish Air Force pilot involved in the aerial refuelling tests, gave high marks to the Airbus C295 in its new role as tanker. «The degree of difficulty in flight test is always high since it involves performing manoeuvers that no one has done before. It should be noted that due to the positive behaviour of the aircraft, the operation has been good and straightforward», he said.

Medium airlifter

The Czech Air Force has signed a contract for the acquisition of two additional Airbus C295 medium airlifters. The aircraft, equipped with winglets and ordered in transport configuration, are due to be delivered in the first half of 2021.

Czech Air Force orders two additional Airbus C295 aircraft

The agreement takes the Czech Air Force’s total Airbus C295 fleet up to six aircraft. Together with this agreement, an additional contract was also signed for the upgrade of the four Airbus C295s currently in operation with the Czech Air Force.

Alberto Gutiérrez, Head of Military Aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, said: «We greatly appreciate the confidence shown by the Czech Air Force in the selection of the Airbus C295. This repeat order reinforces its position as the market-leading medium transport and patrol aircraft for operations in all environments».

With this new order the number of global orders for the Airbus C295 rises to 214 aircraft.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

DIMENSIONS
Overall Length 24.50 m/80 feet 3 inch
Overall Height 8.65 m/28 feet 5 inch
Wing Span 25.81 m/84 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 12.70 m/41 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Height 1.90 m/6 feet 3 inch
Cargo Hold Width 2.70 m/8 feet 10 inch
Cargo Hold Volume 64 m3/2,260 feet3
WEIGHTS
Maximum Take Off Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 6,150 kg/13,600 lbs
Maximum Payload 9,250 kg/20,400 lbs
ENGINE (×2)
Pratt & Whitney PW-127G 2,645 shp (up to 2,920 shp with Auxiliary Power Reserve, APR)/1,970 kW
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Operating Altitude 9,100 m/30,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS*) 260 knots/299 mph/480 km/h
RANGE
Range with Maximum Payload (9,250 kg/20,400 lbs) 700 NM/808 miles/1,300 km
Range with 6,000 kg/13,200 lbs Payload 2,000 NM/2,299 miles/3,700 km
Range with 3,000 kg/6,600 lbs Payload 2,500 NM/2,858 miles/4,600 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 2,900 NM/3,355 miles/5,400 km

* The true airspeed (TAS; also KTAS, for Knots True AirSpeed) of an aircraft is the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass in which it is flying

Multi-Role Tanker

Airbus Defence and Space has received a firm order from the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) for a further three A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft.

France orders three more Airbus A330 MRTT tankers
France orders three more Airbus A330 MRTT tankers

The aircraft, known as Phénix in French service, constitute the third and final tranche of the multi-year contract for 12 A330 MRTTs signed by the French Ministry of Defence in 2014.

The first of the fleet was formally handed over in October and the remainder will be delivered by the end of 2023 under an accelerated timescale requested by France.

In French service the A330 MRTT will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and equipped with a combination of the Airbus Refuelling Boom System and underwing hose-and-drogue refuelling pods. The aircraft can be configured in a variety of layouts carrying up to 272 passengers as well as medevac arrangements including the French MORPHEE (MOdule de Réanimation Pour Haute Elongation d’Evacuation, or Resuscitation Module for High Elongation Evacuation) intensive care module carrying up to ten patients as well as 88 passengers.

The combat-proven A330 MRTT has been ordered by 12 nations which have now placed firm orders for 60 aircraft, of which 34 have been delivered.

The attached photo shows the first delivered Phénix.

MALE Program

The first full scale model of the European Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft (MALE RPAS) was unveiled on April 26, 2018 during a ceremony held at the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show, which opened its gates at Schönefeld airport.

Leading aerospace contractors from France, Germany, Italy and Spain unveiled at the Berlin air show a full-scale mockup of the future European MALE drone, emphasizing their commitment to the program (Airbus photo)
Leading aerospace contractors from France, Germany, Italy and Spain unveiled at the Berlin air show a full-scale mockup of the future European MALE drone, emphasizing their commitment to the program (Airbus photo)

The reveal ceremony, led by Dirk Hoke, Airbus Defence and Space Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO and Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Leonardo’s Aircraft Division Managing Director, confirms the commitment of the four European States and Industrial partners to jointly develop a sovereign solution for European Defence and Security.

The unveiling of the full-scale model and the reaffirmed commitment comes after a nearly two-year definition study launched in September 2016 by the four participating nations Germany, France, Italy and Spain and follows the Declaration of Intent to work together on a European MALE unmanned aerial system signed by the countries in May 2015.

«While still a lot of work lies ahead of us, this full-scale model represents a first milestone of what Europe can achieve in a high-technology sector if it bundles its industrial strength and know-how», said Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. «The MALE RPAS will become an integral part in guaranteeing Europe’s sovereignty in the future. This programme is ideally suited to meet urgent capability requirements of Europe’s armed forces. This innovative partnership also eases the countries’ constrained budgetary situation through clever pooling of research and development funds», he added.

«Today’s unveiling reflects our companies’ total dedication to the European Defence and Security sovereignty. Cooperation and high technology legitimate the leadership of the European Industry and guarantee the strategic autonomy of Europe», declared Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. «Innovative programmes through efficient partnerships will serve European competitiveness and will offer new alternatives to the off-the-shelf acquisition of non-European products. Dassault Aviation reaffirms its full support to Airbus Defence and Space as programme leader of the MALE RPAS».

«Unmanned technologies and their applications represent one of the key technological foundations for the future evolution of European Defence Industries», said Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Leonardo’s Aircraft Division Managing Director. «The European MALE RPAS is orientated to foster the development of high technologies and will contribute to sustaining key competencies and jobs within Europe providing Armed Forces with a high performance and sovereign operational system», he added.

Orion programme

Mid-January 2017 Airbus Defence and Space delivered to NASA a propulsion test module for the Orion programme. The Propulsion Qualification Test Model (PQM) will be used to check that the Orion European Service Module (ESM) spacecraft’s propulsion subsystem functions correctly.

Airbus Defence and Space delivers propulsion test module for the Orion programme to NASA
Airbus Defence and Space delivers propulsion test module for the Orion programme to NASA

On behalf of the European Space Agency, Airbus Defence and Space is prime contractor for the ESM, a key element of NASA’s next generation Orion spacecraft.

Although the PQM will never see space, this is an important step in the development of the Orion programme. Complex systems for human spaceflight must first be tested and qualified on Earth before being used as flight hardware in space. The engineers want to determine how the system behaves in different environments, to ensure that it functions properly.

The test module is travelling via Bremerhaven and Houston/USA to its final destination at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) near Las Cruces in New Mexico/USA. Arrival is expected mid-February. The tests will take place later in the year at WSTF for the qualification of Orion ESM’s propulsion subsystem.

First Tactical Airlifter

Airbus Defence and Space has delivered to the German Air Force its first A400M transport aircraft qualified for tactical operations and able to fly in areas subject to military threats.

Germany Receives First Tactical Standard Airbus A400M Airlifter
Germany Receives First Tactical Standard Airbus A400M Airlifter

The aircraft is the sixth A400M in German service and the first with the new capabilities in addition to the world-leading performance of all A400Ms as strategic transports. All aircraft will be retrofitted to the new standard and receive subsequent enhancements as those are certified.

Key aspects of the aircraft’s latest capabilities are improvements in its self-defence systems, ability to air-drop cargo loads, and paratrooping. Additionally, it can operate on unprepared runways, fly as low as 150 feet/45.7 m above the ground, refuel other aircraft as a tanker, and safely take-off and land in extremely high temperatures.

Airbus Defence and Space A400M Programme Manager, Kurt Rossner, said: «The A400M programme has made enormous progress this year in implementing these critical capabilities on the aircraft. In addition to having twice the payload-range of the legacy transports like the C-160 and C-130 that it is replacing, it can now also operate from any runway that those older aircraft could use. There is no other aircraft in the market with the A400M´s combination of tactical and strategic capabilities and it is going to transform Germany’s air mobility force».

The new aircraft is fitted with a Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS) incorporating a Missile Warning System, Radar Warning Receiver, and an Expendables Dispensing System to eject flares and radar-confusing chaff. The DASS for all A400Ms is integrated by Airbus Defence and Space at Ulm.

Military and humanitarian loads of up to 8 tonnes/17,637 lbs each, including for example 24 × 1 tonne/2,205 lbs pallets, are fully certified for air-dropping from the aircraft’s ramp and further loads are being continually qualified in flight test.

Paratroops can be dropped from the ramp or side paratroop doors in sticks of up to 20, and sticks of 30 have already been successfully demonstrated with certification to follow. Flight testing continues to build the numbers next to 40 and then 58 in a single pass.

The A400M is certified to operate from grass runways and has successfully completed testing of operations from gravel and sandy soil with certification in process. Low-level flight in mountainous terrain is cleared down to 150 feet/45.7 m above ground by day and 300 feet/91.4 m by night under the pilot’s manual control. Development of automatic low-level flight is well advanced.

The aircraft is certified to receive fuel in-flight from a tanker, and as a tactical tanker itself to refuel fighters and other large aircraft by day, with night operations demonstrated and close to certification.

In this latest configuration the A400M is certified to operate in temperatures up to 55°C at sea level, ensuring excellent «hot and high» performance at operationally challenging airfields around the world. And it is approved to take-off and fly on only three of its four powerful engines in the event of a mechanical problem or battle damage, adding to its outstanding level of operating autonomy.

 

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
Overall Length 45.10 m/148 feet
Overall Height 14.70 m/48 feet
Wing Span 42.40 m/139 feet
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 17.71 m/58 feet
Cargo Hold Height 3.85-4.00 m/12 feet 7 inch-13 feet
Cargo Hold Width 4.00 m/13 feet
Cargo Hold Volume 340 m3/12,000 feet3
WEIGHTS
Maximum Take Off Weight 141,000 kg/310,850 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 123,000 kg/271,200 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 50,500 kg/111,300 lbs
Maximum Payload 37,000 kg/81,600 lbs
ENGINE (×4)
EuroProp International TP400-D6 11,000 shp/8,200 kW
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Operating Altitude 12,200 m/40,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS) 300 knots/345 mph/555 km/h
Cruise Speed Range 0.68-0.72 M
RANGE
Range with Maximum Payload (37,000 kg/81,600 lbs) 1,780 NM/2,050 miles/3,300 km
Range with 30,000 kg/66,000 lbs Payload 2,450 NM/2,796 miles/4,500 km
Range with 20,000 kg/44,000 lbs Payload 3,450 NM/3,977 miles/6,400 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 4,700 NM/5,406 miles/8,700 km

 

Maiden Flight

The first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter ordered by the Spanish Air Force has made its maiden flight, marking a key milestone towards its delivery. The aircraft, known as MSN44, took off from Seville, Spain where the A400M Final Assembly Line is located at 15:25 local time (GMT+1) on 5 September and landed back on site 3 hours and 45 minutes later.

The first Airbus A400M for the Spanish air force made its maiden flight on September 5 as scheduled. Airbus is committed to delivering it in September (Airbus photo)
The first Airbus A400M for the Spanish air force made its maiden flight on September 5 as scheduled. Airbus is committed to delivering it in September (Airbus photo)

Test-Pilot Nacho Lombo, who captained the flight, said after landing: «As always, the aircraft was a pleasure to fly. I am confident that its unique combination of strategic and tactical capabilities will have a transformational effect on the Spanish Air Force’s air mobility operations as it has done in other countries already». The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in the coming weeks. Photos show MSN44 taking off and during its maiden flight.

 

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
Overall Length 45.10 m/148 feet
Overall Height 14.70 m/48 feet
Wing Span 42.40 m/139 feet
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 17.71 m/58 feet
Cargo Hold Height 3.85-4.00 m/12 feet 7 inch-13 feet
Cargo Hold Width 4.00 m/13 feet
Cargo Hold Volume 340 m3/12,000 feet3
WEIGHTS
Maximum Take Off Weight 141,000 kg/310,850 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 123,000 kg/271,200 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 50,500 kg/111,300 lbs
Maximum Payload 37,000 kg/81,600 lbs
ENGINE (×4)
EuroProp International TP400-D6 11,000 shp/8,200 kW
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Operating Altitude 12,200 m/40,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS) 300 knots/345 mph/555 km/h
Cruise Speed Range 0.68-0.72 M
RANGE
Range with Maximum Payload (37,000 kg/81,600 lbs) 1,780 NM/2,050 miles/3,300 km
Range with 30,000 kg/66,000 lbs Payload 2,450 NM/2,796 miles/4,500 km
Range with 20,000 kg/44,000 lbs Payload 3,450 NM/3,977 miles/6,400 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 4,700 NM/5,406 miles/8,700 km
First Spanish Air Force A400M makes its maiden flight
First Spanish Air Force A400M makes its maiden flight

C295W for Canada

On January 12, 2015, following the submission of their proposal for Canada’s Fixed Wing Search And Rescue (FWSAR) replacement program; Airbus Defence and Space and Provincial Aerospace formally announced the establishment of AirPro SAR Services (AirPro).

Airbus has teamed with Provincial Aerospace under the AirPro banner to jointly offer the C295W turboprop transport for Canada’s long-delayed Fixed-Wing Search And Rescue competition (Airbus photo)
Airbus has teamed with Provincial Aerospace under the AirPro banner to jointly offer the C295W turboprop transport for Canada’s long-delayed Fixed-Wing Search And Rescue competition (Airbus photo)

AirPro is a joint venture that, upon contract award, will be the Canadian In-Service Support (ISS) integrator of the FWSAR C295W fleet for the life of its service in Canada. As the FWSAR ISS integrator, AirPro is a critical component of the companies’ proven, reliable, and low-risk solution. Airbus Defence and Space offers Canada a single point of accountability for the life of the program, combining the deep experience of both partners through AirPro.

«AirPro brings together Provincial Aerospace and Airbus Defence and Space as the Canadian ISS integrator in our proposal for the FWSAR program», said Antonio Rodriguez-Barberan, Senior Vice-President Commercial, Special Projects for Airbus Defence and Space. «Both companies successfully deliver ISS services around the world and we are excited to combine our experience and expertise to bid an optimal solution for Canada. The C295W ISS model is used by more than 20 operators around the world and has a proven track record of maximizing mission success. If the Airbus Defence and Space offer is selected, AirPro will utilize this trusted ISS model and combine it with deep domestic experience to ensure the best and most cost effective solution for Canada throughout the entirety of this program. AirPro brings together two world-class companies for the benefit of Canadian industry».

«AirPro is a joint venture that reflects the Airbus Defence and Space commitment to Canadian Industry», said Provincial Aerospace CEO Brian Chafe. The skills and technology required to service Canadian C295W aircraft will reside in Canada with Canadians who will complete the work required over the lifetime of the FWSAR program. Provincial Aerospace brings significant ISS experience to AirPro and is providing ISS services to similar missionized military and paramilitary aircraft domestically and internationally.

These aircraft have collectively accumulated over 250,000 hours of flying time in challenging operational environments such as Canada’s Maritime and Arctic environments. «The domestic and global ISS experience that we bring to AirPro will ensure that Canada is able to maximize DND’s mission success, ensuring reliable aircraft are ready to help Canadians in need», added Jake Trainor, Chief Operating Officer for Provincial Aerospace.

The C295 is the market leader in its class with more than 165 units sold worldwide to over 20 operators. It serves a broad range of critical and challenging requirements including search and rescue, maritime patrol, and troop transport. In addition to Airbus Defence and Space and Provincial Aerospace, the C295W team includes a number of other leading and export oriented Canadian companies, such as Pratt and Whitney Canada, CAE, and L3 Wescam. The C295W program is immersed in Canadian technology, products, and services.

«The C295W is the best plane for Canada’s needs and is exceeding expectations with air forces around the world», concluded Barberan. «We are excited to have submitted our bid for Canada’s new fleet of Search and Rescue aircraft. AirPro offers Canada and Canadian industry a unique opportunity to capitalize upon the global experience of Airbus Defence and Space and Provincial Aerospace».

 

Specifications

Dimensions
Overall Length 24.50 m/80 feet 3 inch
Overall Height 8.65 m/28 feet 5 inch
Wing Span 25.81 m/84 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 12.70 m/41 feet 8 inch
Cargo Hold Height 1.90 m/6 feet 3 inch
Cargo Hold Width 2.70 m/8 feet 10 inch
Cargo Hold Volume 64 m3/2,260 feet3
Weights
Maximum Take Off Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 23,200 kg/51,000 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 6,150 kg/13,600 lbs
Maximum Payload 9,250 kg/20,400 lbs
Engine (×2)
Pratt & Whitney PW-127G 2,645 shp (up to 2,920 shp with Auxiliary Power Reserve, APR)/1,970 kW
Performance
Maximum Operating Altitude 9,100 m/30,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS*) 260 knots/299 mph/480 km/h
Range
Range with Maximum Payload (9,250 kg/20,400 lbs) 700 NM/1,300 km
Range with 6,000 kg/13,200 lbs Payload 2,000 NM/3,700 km
Range with 3,000 kg/6,600 lbs Payload 2,500 NM/4,600 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 2,900 NM/5,400 km

* The true airspeed (TAS; also KTAS, for Knots True AirSpeed) of an aircraft is the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass in which it is flying