Tag Archives: Airbus

First flight
with weapon system

At the end of August, the H145M performed its first flight with a complete HForce weapon system in Donauwörth. Thanks to this modular weapon system designed by Airbus, the H145M can be equipped with all kind of guided and ballistic armaments such as missiles and laser guided rockets, guns, machine guns and rockets. The qualification of HForce for use on the H145M is planned for 2018.

H145M completes first flight with HForce weapon system
H145M completes first flight with HForce weapon system

«The next steps prior to qualification include a firing campaign, testing the whole fire mission spectrum through guns, cannons and rockets in Hungary as well as tests on the laser-guided rockets in Sweden before the end of the year», said Jean-Luc André, HForce Program Manager at Airbus Helicopters. «As the launch customer for the H145M with the HForce weapon system, the Republic of Serbia has ordered nine H145M aircraft, including four attack helicopters equipped with HForce», he added.

HForce is a comprehensive, modular and cost-efficient weapon system that can be used on any military version of Airbus’ civil helicopter range (H125M, H145M and H225M). The flexible weapon management system enables armies around the world to complement their fleets with specialised versions of light attack helicopters.

The H145M is the military version of the tried-and-tested, twin-engine H145 civil helicopter that was first delivered in 2014. The entire H145 fleet has now clocked up more than 60,000 flight hours. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes/8,157 lbs, the agile light attack H145M, which perfectly matches the needs of Special Forces, can be used for a wide range of tasks, including armed reconnaissance, ground fire support, escort, tactical transport, MEDEVAC and CASEVAC. Customers for the H145M include the German Armed Forces – which in June received their 15th H145M LUH SOF helicopter on time and on budget – as well as the Republic of Serbia and the Kingdom of Thailand.

 

Characteristics

DIMENSIONS
Length (rotor rotating) 44.72 feet/13.63 m
Fuselage length 38.35 feet/11.69 m
Height 13.12 feet/4 m
Main rotor diameter 36.09 feet/11 m
Width (blades folded) 8.89 feet/2.71 m
CAPABILITIES
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 8,157 lbs/3,700 kg
Useful Load 3,900 lbs/1,769 kg
Sling load 3,307 lbs/1,500 kg
Maximum seating 1/2 pilots + 10/9 troops
ENGINE
2 × Turbomeca ARRIEL 2E turboshaft engines
Maximum Continuous Power (MCP) 2×771 shp/2×575 kW
Take-Off Power (TOP) 2×894 shp/2×667 kW
2 min One Engine Inoperative (OEI) 1×1,038 shp/1×775 kW
30 sec OEI-power 1×1,072 shp/1×800 kW
PERFORMANCE AT MTOW
Speed (Vne – never exceed speed) 135 knots/155 mph/250 km/h
Fast Cruise speed (Vh – maximum speed) 132 knots/152 mph/244 km/h
Maximum range 357 NM/411 miles/662 km
Hover ceiling OGE (TOP), ISA 8,858 feet/2,700 m

 

Inmarsat 6’s Reflectors

Astro Aerospace, a Northrop Grumman Corporation business, completed a successful Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the nine-meter L-band reflectors for two Airbus Inmarsat-6 series satellites.

Northrop Grumman’s Astro Aerospace Completes Preliminary Design Review for Inmarsat 6’s L-band Reflectors
Northrop Grumman’s Astro Aerospace Completes Preliminary Design Review for Inmarsat 6’s L-band Reflectors

The success of the PDR is a significant milestone for the Inmarsat-6 program. With the preliminary design of the L-band reflectors now set, Astro Aerospace will continue maturing the design in preparation for the Critical Design Review (CDR) later this year.

«We are proud to support Airbus Defence and Space and the Inmarsat program», said John A. Alvarez, general manager, Astro Aerospace. «Astro Aerospace’s unique AstroMesh technology is particularly well suited for Inmarsat-6’s L-band capacity, which is significantly greater than the capacity of previous satellites and capable of supporting a new generation of more advanced L-band services. AstroMesh deployable mesh reflectors are made of the lightest and stiffest materials available, making them well suited for such missions. I also want to thank the combined Astro-Airbus-Inmarsat team that worked tirelessly to ensure a successful PDR».

Astro Aerospace (www.northropgrumman.com/astro) is the leading pioneer of space deployable technology and structures that have enabled critical complex missions to Earth’s orbit, Mars and beyond. Astro Aerospace’s hardware is characterized by its light weight structural design and robust deployment kinematics. Since 1958, Astro Aerospace has successfully deployed technology on hundreds of space flights with a 100 percent success rate, a testament to Northrop Grumman’s commitment to reliability, quality and affordability.

Contract negotiations

It said in the Defense-aerospace.com that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to begin contract negotiations for acquiring 56 Airbus C-295 transport aircraft as replacements for its ageing Avro HS-748 aircraft.

After several years of hesitation about how to replace its Avro HS-748 turboprop transports, the Chief of Staff of the Indian Air Force said negotiations will shortly be opened with Airbus to buy at least 60 C-295s (Airbus photo)
After several years of hesitation about how to replace its Avro HS-748 turboprop transports, the Chief of Staff of the Indian Air Force said negotiations will shortly be opened with Airbus to buy at least 60 C-295s (Airbus photo)

According to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, due attention is being paid to all assets of IAF, fighters and transporters included, and that «contract negotiations for 56 C-295 aircraft to replace the ageing Avro fleet are likely to commence shortly».

Separately, official sources indicated that the Border Security Force (BSF) is also looking at four C-295s for movement of its troopers within the country.

That takes the projected number to 60, but as the aircraft will be made in India by the Tata Group, their number should go up eventually, keeping in mind the regional connectivity plans of the Civil Aviation Ministry, particularly in India’s northern Himalayan cities.

Airbus officials have also said they are looking at a sizeable share of the Indian civil aviation market, pointing out that the C-295 is already operational in 19 countries.

The air chief’s statement is significant as it clearly indicates that the process of acquiring the C-295s is now on a firm track.

The aircraft is to be made in India by the Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) in partnership with Airbus, and as per their announcement in 2014, once a contract is awarded, Airbus Defence and Space will supply the first 16 aircraft in «fly-away» condition from its own final assembly line in Spain and the subsequent 40 aircraft will be manufactured and assembled by TASL.

The arrangement will include undertaking structural assembly, final aircraft assembly, systems integration and testing, and management of the indigenous supply chain.

Asked how the IAF was overcoming many challenges in the transport domain, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that IAF will also induct another six Lockheed Martin C-130J Special Operations aircraft within the first half of 2017 while one more Boeing C-17 Globemaster III strategic lift aircraft is being acquired to take their number to 11. Ten C-17s are already operational with the IAF.

It may be recalled that IAF has already inducted the first lot of six C-130Js. One of them, however, had crashed and a case has now been made for its replacement.

About the AN-32 aircraft, which is the workhorse of the IAF and has been under upgrades, he said that their first lot is due for «phase out in 2023-24 and a suitable replacement will be considered at an appropriate time».

The IAF had acquired more than 100 AN 32s beginning mid-1980s from the Soviet Union, and these are being upgraded by Ukraine, which is now an independent state after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

About the Medium Transport Aircraft (MTA) that was proposed (in 2007) to be designed and built in collaboration with Russia, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that «the agreement with Russia for MTA could not mature as their proposal did not meet some of the Air Staff Qualitative requirements (ASRs)».

A400M to Spain

The Spanish Air Force has taken delivery of its first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter – the most advanced aircraft to have been produced in Spain and one which will transform the nation’s air mobility fleet.

Airbus Defence and Space delivers first A400M to Spain
Airbus Defence and Space delivers first A400M to Spain

Today’s contractual handover of the first of 27 aircraft that it has ordered makes Spain the sixth nation to put the A400M into service.

Representatives of the Spanish Air Force and Ministry of Defence formally accepted the aircraft, known as MSN44, from Airbus Defence and Space in a brief ceremony at the A400M Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Seville.

Airbus Defence and Space Head of Military Aircraft, Fernando Alonso, said: «Today is truly a special day for all of us who have been involved with the A400M programme over the years – but particularly for the Seville workforce that has worked so hard to make the aircraft a reality. Every delivery to every customer is of huge importance to us, but being able to hand over the first aircraft to Spain from our final assembly line in Seville is a source of particular pride. I would like to thank all our employees, as well as Organisation conjointe de coopération en matière d’armement (OCCAR) and our Spanish customer for achieving this milestone».

In Spanish service the A400M will replace the ageing C-130 aircraft type, carrying about twice the load over the same distance, or the same load twice as far. In addition, it can serve as a tactical air-to-air tanker for other transport aircraft, including other A400Ms.

Uniquely it is able both to cruise at jet-like speeds and altitudes over intercontinental ranges due to its four extremely powerful engines and advanced aerodynamic design, as well as to operate repeatedly from short and unprepared airstrips close to the scene of military action or humanitarian crisis.

Under an agreement signed in September, 14 aircraft will be delivered at a steady pace between now and 2022, and the remaining 13 are scheduled for delivery from 2025 onwards.

The Spanish A400M fleet will be based at Zaragoza in North East Spain and will represent the heavylift element of a transport force that includes the medium C295 and CN235, and light C212 aircraft – all produced by Airbus Defence and Space. MSN44 will fly to Zaragoza in the coming days.

Altogether more than 1600 employees from Airbus Defence and Space work in Spain for the A400m program, including 1100 working directly at the Seville FAL and nearby Tablada Factory. To date eight nations have ordered 174 aircraft of which 34 have now been delivered.

Aircraft leaves final assembly line at Seville to serve at Zaragoza base

 

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
A400M
A400M

C295W in La Paz

An Airbus C295W aircraft belonging to the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) and operated by a mixed crew from Airbus Defence and Space and SEMAR has carried out demonstration flights in El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia, one of the airports with the most extreme hot and high conditions in the world.

The Airbus Military C295W is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter
The Airbus Military C295W is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter

The C295W, which landed at El Alto International Airport, more than 13,123 feet/4,000 m above sea level, on Tuesday, November 17, has also performed flights to the Cochabamba base and the unprepared runway of San Borja.

The new C295W version is equipped with winglets, which allow transport of more payload over larger distances in hot and high conditions and result in fuel savings of around 4%.

«The highly successful demonstration by the C295W in Bolivia this week underlines again its excellent performance in hot and high conditions, which is key for several countries in the Region. It demonstrates once more the C295W’s status as the most efficient aircraft in its category», said Christophe Roux, Head of Airbus Defence and Space in Latin America.

The aircraft’s tour of the region will include stops in several countries of the Region before returning to Mexico in early December.

The C295’s Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) capability combined with a strong landing gear enable it to operate in the most austere locations with the worst conditions for take-off and landings
The C295’s Short Take-Off & Landing (STOL) capability combined with a strong landing gear enable it to operate in the most austere locations with the worst conditions for take-off and landings

 

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

The C295W is based on the earlier CN235, but with many component upgrades
The C295W is based on the earlier CN235, but with many component upgrades

Eurofighter Enhanced

Airbus Defence and Space has successfully completed flight-testing of a package of aerodynamic upgrades to the Eurofighter Typhoon swing-role fighter that promises to enhance further the aircraft’s agility and weapons-carrying ability. The Aerodynamic Modification Kit (AMK) is part of a wider Eurofighter Enhanced Maneuverability (EFEM) programme with the potential to help ensure the type is continuing superiority for many years to come.

Flight-test of Eurofighter Aerodynamic Upgrades Completed
Flight-test of Eurofighter Aerodynamic Upgrades Completed

It entails primarily the addition of fuselage strakes and leading-edge root extensions, which increase the maximum lift created by the wing by 25% – resulting in an increased turn rate, tighter turning radius, and improved nose-pointing ability at low speed – all critical fighter capabilities in air-to-air combat.

The introduction of the AMK will not only enhance the Eurofighter’s current capability as a swing-role fighter-bomber, but will provide additional growth potential, enabling easier integration of future air-to-surface configurations and much more flexible applications, vastly enhancing the aircraft’s mission effectiveness in the air-to-surface role.

The Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS), which constitutes the Electronic Warfare suite, monitors and responds to the outside world
The Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS), which constitutes the Electronic Warfare suite, monitors and responds to the outside world

Eurofighter Project Pilot Germany Raffaele Beltrame said: «This programme has been a tremendous success with very impressive results – in some areas even better than we expected. We saw angle of attack values around 45% greater than on the standard aircraft, and roll rates up to 100% higher, all leading to increased agility. The handling qualities appeared to be markedly improved, providing more maneuverability, agility and precision while performing tasks representative of in-service operations. In addition, it is extremely interesting to consider the potential benefits in the air-to-surface configuration thanks to the increased variety and flexibility of stores that can be carried. It is right to say that the EFEM/AMK work has allowed us to discover a new aircraft with much higher performance and greater potential to meet the challenges of the years ahead».

The flight trials followed some five years of studies. Eurofighter test pilots, joined in the latter stages by operational pilots from Germany, Italy and the UK, completed 36 sorties from Manching, Germany on the IPA7 Instrumented Production Aircraft.

Modifications boost agility and weapons-carrying capability
Modifications boost agility and weapons-carrying capability

 

Eurojet EJ200

The EJ200 has been designed with inherent growth potential up to 15%. Enhancements in the compression system and latest innovations in core engine technology could deliver up to 30% increased power. This performance improvement may also be traded for life cycle cost improvements, maintaining current thrust levels. This flexibility is enabled by the advanced Digital Engine Control and Monitoring Unit (DECMU), fully exploiting the advantages of the enhanced engine in line with operational requirements.

Eurofighter Typhoon is equipped with two Eurojet EJ200 engines to increase safety in peacetime and redundancy in war
Eurofighter Typhoon is equipped with two Eurojet EJ200 engines to increase safety in peacetime and redundancy in war
Thrust / Weight ratio ~10:1
Overall pressure ratio 26:1
Bypass ratio 0.4
Overall length 157 inch/4 m
Inlet diameter 29 inch/0.74 m
Digital Engine Control and Monitoring Unit (DECMU)
Each aspect of the Eurofighter Typhoon is designed to provide a balanced contribution to the overall effectiveness of the weapon system
Each aspect of the Eurofighter Typhoon is designed to provide a balanced contribution to the overall effectiveness of the weapon system

 

General characteristics

DIMENSIONS
Wingspan 35 feet 11 inch/10.95 m
Length overall 52 feet 4 inch/15.96 m
Height 17 feet 4 inch/5.28 m
Wing Area 551.1 feet2/51.2 m2
MASS
Basic Mass Empty 24,250 lbs/11,000 kg
Maximum Take-Off >51,809 lbs/23,500 kg
Maximum External Load >16,535 lbs/7,500 kg
DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
Single seat twin-engine, with a two-seat variant
Weapon Carriage 13 Hardpoints
G’ limits +9/-3 ‘g’
Engines Two Eurojet EJ200 reheated turbofans
Maximum dry thrust class 13,500 lbs/6,124 kgf/60 kN
Maximum reheat thrust class 20,000 lbs/9,072 kgf/90 kN
GENERAL PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS
Ceiling >55,000 feet/16,764 m
Brakes off to 35,000 feet(10,668 m)/Mach 1.5 <2.5 minutes
Brakes off to lift off <8 seconds
At low level, 200 knots/230 mph/370 km/h to Mach 1.0 in 30 seconds
Maximum Speed Mach 2.0
Operational Runway Length <2,297 feet/700 m
MATERIALS
Carbon Fibre Composites (CFC) 70%
Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) 12%
Aluminium Alloy, Titanium Alloy 15%
Acrylic (Röhm 249) 3%
OPERATORS
United Kingdom 232 Aircraft
Germany 180 Aircraft
Italy 121 Aircraft
Spain 87 Aircraft
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 72 Aircraft
Austria 15 Aircraft
Sultanate of Oman 12 Aircraft
Total 719 Aircraft
Eurofighter Typhoon provides a diverse range of options for all Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface operations
Eurofighter Typhoon provides a diverse range of options for all Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface operations

Big Three

It is said in The Aerospace Daily & Defense Report that Airbus and Boeing are jointly attempting to unseat Lockheed Martin from South Korea’s KF-X indigenous fighter program, offering stealth know-how from Europe that could not be supplied from U.S. sources.

F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in flight over mountains, snow. In route to India Aero Show.
F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in flight over mountains, snow. In route to India Aero Show.

With Korean Airlines as the local partner, the pair are likely to be proposing the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as a base design for the KF-X. The defense ministry’s procurement office, the Defense Acquisition Program Agency (DAPA), issued a request for proposals for KF-X development on December 23, 2014.

The Boeing-Airbus KF-X proposal should be an economical alternative to a fighter design of the defense ministry’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) that Korea Aerospace Industries has been expected to build with technical assistance from Lockheed Martin.

According to DefenseNews.com, Seoul aims to produce 120 KF-X jets between 2023 and 2030. The state-funded ADD has long studied a twin-engine concept, either of the C103 design that looks somewhat like the F-35 or the C203 design following the European approach and using forward canards in a stealth-shaped airframe. Both of the twin-engine platforms would be powered by two 18,000-pound (80 kN/8,165 kgf) engines, ADD officials said.

The Agency for Defense Development has long studied a twin-engine concept, either of the C103 design that looks somewhat like the F-35
The Agency for Defense Development has long studied a twin-engine concept, either of the C103 design that looks somewhat like the F-35

Korea Aerospace Industries, on the other hand, prefers a single-engine concept, dubbed C501, which is to be built based on the FA-50, a light attack aircraft version of the T-50 supersonic trainer jet co-produced by Lockheed Martin. The C501 aircraft, powered by a 29,000-pound (129 kN/13,154 kgf) engine, is designed to be fitted with a limited low-observable configuration and advanced avionics.

The U.S. limits the technology that its companies can transfer abroad. Thus, South Korea lacks technology in many fields, such as active, electronically scanning radar. Nevertheless, Airbus, as an airframe company, is probably involved in the Boeing bid as a supplier of stealth know-how that the U.S. company is not authorized to provide.

A budget of 8.6991 trillion won ($7.9171 billion) approved by the finance ministry this month must be intended to pay for development of the ADD KF-X. However, parliament has not yet authorized that spending or the launch of full-scale development, nor can it do so before it votes on the government’s 2016 budget next December.

Korea Aerospace Industries, on the other hand, prefers a single-engine concept, dubbed C501, which is to be built based on the FA-50, a light attack aircraft version of the T-50 supersonic trainer jet co-produced by Lockheed Martin
Korea Aerospace Industries, on the other hand, prefers a single-engine concept, dubbed C501, which is to be built based on the FA-50, a light attack aircraft version of the T-50 supersonic trainer jet co-produced by Lockheed Martin

In the meantime, KAL (Korean Air Lines) looks likely to submit the cheaper alternative, based on the Super Hornet, to DAPA in response to its request for proposals.

Industry officials previously told Aviation Week that Boeing was proposing the Advanced Super Hornet, an update of the F/A-18E/F with a weapons pod and conformal tanks. Other industry officials said Boeing was working with Korean Airlines. Now different officials say that Airbus is also on the team.

This is not the first time that Boeing has offered non-U.S. technology to South Korea. When proposing an advanced F-15 version called the Silent Eagle for the separate F-X Phase 3 fighter program, Boeing suggested technology transfer from Israel Aerospace Industries, an industry official says. Lockheed Martin won F-X Phase 3 with the F-35 and in return is supposed to back KF-X development.

Boeing suggested F-15 Silent Eagle for the separate F-X Phase 3 fighter program
Boeing suggested F-15 Silent Eagle for the separate F-X Phase 3 fighter program