Paris Air Show Briefs
Force Magazine - National Security and Aerospace Newsmagazine
Paris Air Show Briefs
Thales and Reliance Defence to Form Joint Venture

Thales and Reliance Defence to Form Joint Venture

Thales and Reliance Defence Limited will form an Indian Joint Venture (JV) with the proposed shareholding of 49 per cent and 51 per cent respectively.

Leveraging Thales offset commitment as part of Rafale Contract, the JV is to develop Indian capabilities to integrate and maintain Radar and Electronic Warfare sensors. The JV will develop skills and activity in the Special Economic Zone of Mihan-Nagpur together with an Indian supply chain for the manufacturing of microwave technologies and high performance airborne electronics.

Set up with a long-term strategy to serve the Indian needs, this partnership between Thales and Reliance Defence Limited will strengthen Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ vision.

Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO, Thales, said: “We are delighted to seal this strategic collaboration with Reliance Defence Limited. This JV resonates with our strategy to strengthen our industrial footprint in the country by building collaborations with the Indian industry. It reaffirms our commitment to India, and our active contribution to ‘Make in India’.

Anil Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Group said: “The strategic partnership with global leader Thales is another major milestone in our march towards best in the class manufacturing at support facilities for military hardware in India. Reliance is committed to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives of the government and will continue to remain in the forefront, partnering with the best in the world.”

General Atomics’ President Praises FAA Committee

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) formed the Controlled Airspace Advisory Rulemaking Committee and Type Certification Projects. They have done so to work better with the industry and improve certification standards. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) President David R. Alexander said that “GA-ASI applauds the FAA’s effort to work with industry. GA-ASI is working collaboratively across the aviation community to address the challenges of airspace integration in the areas of airworthiness, technology, regulations, and procedures. We think that international harmonisation is critical to industry growth. In the near future, UAVs will be able to fly without special clearance.”

He added, “To answer the UAV issue of ‘see and be seen,’ GA-ASI recently has been working with the FAA, NASA, and Honeywell to perform flight tests of an airborne Detect and Avoid (DAA) system on NASA’s Ikhana, which contributed to the recently published RTCA DO-365 and DO-366 technical standards for DAA and a GA-ASI-developed Due Regard Airborne Radar. We understand aviation is global and we have ambitions of operating all over the world, so GA-ASI is an active contributor to the US delegation to the ICAO RPA panel. It is essential that industry, FAA, civil aviation, regulators, and export policy work together going forward and we predict that by 2027, UAVs ‘file and fly’ will be commonplace,” he concluded.

The panel discussion was held in the GIFAS (Groupement des industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales) International Chalet at the Paris Air Show and focused on ‘technology at the service of (drones) regulation’. All approaches were illustrated by coordinated presentations from aviation authorities and industries, showing how collaboration between regulators and industry could lead to balanced regulations, protecting both the growth of the drone industry and the safety of people in the air and on the ground.

Elbit Systems & Mahindra Aerostructures to Collaborate
Elbit Systems & Mahindra Aerostructures to Collaborate

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the production of aerostructures parts and assemblies was signed at the Paris Air Show between Elbit Systems–Cyclone of Israel and Mahindra Aerostructures of India.

Under this arrangement, Cyclone will source content for their existing work packages from Mahindra, and the two companies will also team up on new work opportunities, leveraging each other’s strengths, capacities and capabilities.

Mahindra currently operates a large aerostructures manufacturing facility near Bengaluru. The plant produces parts for its global customer base, which includes reputed original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1s, and is also exporting primary structural assemblies for the Mahindra Airvan 8 aircraft.

Cyclone, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd., serves as Elbit Systems’ design and manufacturing centre for composite and metal structural aircraft assemblies and parts for leading aerospace companies and OEMs.

S. P. Shukla, Chairman, Mahindra Aerospace and Group President-Aerospace & Defence, Mahindra Group, observed that “both entities are part of large business houses with diversified yet complementary interests in aerospace and defence. With this first step of collaboration, we expect to offer robust and cost-effective options for global customers, and also address the ‘Make in India’ initiatives of the Indian government.”

“Mahindra Aerospace has always believed in the power of collaboration within the industry to provide our customers with best-cost solutions that creatively combine our capabilities and technical strengths,” said Arvind Mehra, Executive Director & CEO of Mahindra Aerospace (parent company of Mahindra Aerostructures).

“Cyclone and Mahindra have a lot to offer to each other, and we are bullish on the potential of our journey together,” he added. Yoram Shmuely, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Aerospace Division, Elbit Systems, said: “We are focused on satisfying our customers, and we strongly believe that this cooperation will provide solutions of optimal affordability”.

“Cyclone has worked continuously to expand its footprint in new markets to meet its growth goals. The agreement with Mahindra is a step forward in that direction, and we are eager to build upon this partnership to provide more value to our combined customer-base. With this collaboration, we anticipate expanding our activity in India,” explained David Vidan, General Manager of Elbit Systems-Cyclone.

Industry Urges Cooperation Between France and India in Aerospace


FICCI and GIFAS organised ‘France Makes with India – Session on Forging Alliances in Defence and Aerospace’ at the Paris Air Show with the support of the Embassy of India, Paris.

The inaugural session was addressed by Rajiv Nayan Choubey, secretary, ministry of civil aviation, government of India. He highlighted the huge opportunity that India offers in the civil aviation sector. He further shared that India is the third largest domestic, and the fastest growing, market in terms of passengers. He highlighted the initiatives of his ministry of converting 400 unused airstrips built during World War II to usable airports, thus promoting regional connectivity. He further emphasised that to facilitate passenger traffic at these remote sites, the government of India is assisting by keeping low air fares through viability gap funding.

Surina Rajan, additional secretary (DP), Department of Defence Production (DDP), ministry of defence, India, in her address shared the policy reforms in the recent past by the DDP in providing a level-playing field to the private sector in terms of taxation and exchange rate variation. She highlighted the details of recently announced Strategic Partnership (SP) model and urged the French OEMs to take the opportunity of participating in the four identified sectors currently on offer.

Manish Prabhat, deputy chief of mission, Embassy of India, France, elucidated the historical relationship between India and France in strategic areas like space, defence and civil nuclear. He was very optimistic of deeper engagement of B2B interactions in the strategic sectors, thereby taking this relationship to higher levels.

In his address General De GARiDEL, Director Asia Pacific, Ministry of Armies, DGA, France, highlighted the current engagement of French majors like DCNS with MDL and the purchase of Rafale aircrafts by the Indian Air Force (IAF) as major successes in this area.

The speakers emphasised on the synergies and nurturing the ecosystem for the integration of SMEs in the global supply chain of OEMs. Without any facilitating ecosystem, no major system integrator will succeed.

MBDA Presents Real Time Data Exchange Based NCES for Ground Based Air Defence


MBDA presents Network-Centric Engagement Solutions (NCES), a new network-centric ground-based air defence architecture based on the latest real-time data exchange protocols. Currently, undergoing integration tests with a view to delivery to a military customer in the near future, NCES breaks with previous air defence organisations.

“In this approach, sensor resources are networked to develop the best air traffic situation, while ground-to-air resources – whether very short-, short-, or medium-range firing units; or ground-to-air coordination and engagement centres – are also networked to obtain a more effective defence solution. These architectures can be implemented at local level and all the way through to national territory defence. MBDA can provide all the capabilities, sensors, means of communication, coordination centres, firing units, and can also set up a means of engagement architecture to interface with a pre-existing defence structure,” explained Franck Seuzaret, Head of Battlefield and Air Defence Systems.

Compared to conventional air defence architectures - which are very hierarchical - networking different resources deliver considerable operational flexibility and very high resilience. With NCES, the organisation of ground-based air defence ceases to be constrained by the notion of a battery structured around an organic radar and C2 system. The effectors or launcher systems are acquired by the engagement network immediately on being connected. Similarly, the sensors enhance the air traffic situation as each is added to the network. If a command and control centre is lost, the missile and sensor equipment attached to it are dynamically taken on board by another command and control centre via the network, with no loss of firepower.”

This makes the NCES architecture suitable for a wide diversity of organisations, from mobile batteries up to territorial defence systems. It can also easily integrate existing ground-based air defence systems, by means of a gateway converting the data normally exchanged by the battery with the ground-to-air defence tiers above or below it.

“MBDA is a global leader in ground-based air defence, a sector in which the group has sold over 4,000 missiles and 500 firing units to 23 clients across the world since the company was created in 2001. MBDA has a diversified offer for each layer of ground-based air defence, from very short range to extended air defence systems. The thorough knowledge acquired over all this time of the different organisational choices of the armed forces, and of the technologies implemented to ensure interception has allowed MBDA to develop for NCES a sustainable architecture capable of integrating future systems and technologies,” said Antoine Bouvier, CEO of MBDA.

Pratt & Whitney’s F119 Powers F-22 Raptor to 500,000 Engine Flight Hours

F-22 Raptor

Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp., on June 20 announced that its F119 engine, which powers Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor, has surpassed 500,000 engine flight hours. This marks a major milestone for the world’s first fifth-generation engine and the predecessor to the F-35 Lightning II’s propulsion system, the F135.

“The F119 programme’s achievement of exceeding 500,000 engine flight hours powering the F-22 Raptor is a testament to the Pratt & Whitney team and our proven fifth generation engine technology,” said Amanda Glode, F119 Program Director, Pratt & Whitney. “We look forward to continuing to support our US Air Force customer and the F-22 fleet for many more years and milestones ahead.”

While the final production F119 engine was delivered in January 2013, Pratt & Whitney anticipates a 30- to 40-year sustainment period to keep the F-22 Raptor flying.

Two F119 engines power the F-22 Raptor, delivering unparalleled aircraft manoeuvrability and operational capability. The F119 features a combination of stealth technologies and a unique thrust-vectoring nozzle that allows unprecedented speed, agility, precision and situational awareness. Additionally, the F-22’s ability to operate at supersonic speeds without afterburner, known as super cruising, gives the aircraft exceptional combat performance without compromising mission range.

“As the only propulsion system provider for fifth generation fighter aircraft to the US military, we have the unparalleled design, development, production and sustainment experience for today’s combat aircraft and beyond,” added Glode.

There are nearly 200 F119-powered F-22 Raptors currently in service with the US Air Force. Since entering operation in December 2005, the F119 propulsion system has demonstrated an exceptional track record in terms of safety, reliability and performance over the course of more than 200,000 flights.

The F119 shares similar core components with the F135 engine, the only engine powering the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II. The common technology derived from the F119 continues to offer a significant advantage to the F135 with respect to maturity and single engine safety.

Thales and Inmarsat Announce Successful Conclusion of Tests on Thales’ System 21 Satcom Ground Network Solution

Global Xpress In May 2017, Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and Thales, the leading supplier of ground secure satellite communication solutions, executed a series of tests that successfully demonstrated communications using Thales’ System 21 on Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) high-capacity steerable antennas. These tests illustrate the ability of Thales’s System 21 modem to support resilient, protected and secure, high-data-rate connectivity for mission-critical military and government users.

Thales is a world leader in providing armed forces and security services with ground technology for secure satellite communications (SATCOM). Inmarsat provides global SATCOM solutions utilised extensively by military and civil government users around the world. This combined heritage in serving global government users assures that the capability can be rolled out quickly, with very low technical risk, and the flexibility to meet operational needs.

“Highly protected and resilient satellite connectivity is key for armed forces and governments today,” said Jean-Claude Schmitt, Vice President in charge of Thales’s network and infrastructure systems business. “The combination of Thales and Inmarsat solutions is an effective response to the growing number and severity of attacks on satellite communications.”

Peter Dingley, Vice President, Future Government Technologies, Inmarsat Global Government, said, “Security and resilience are critically important to the government sector and Inmarsat is encouraged by the recent test results achieved with Thales’ System 21 across our Inmarsat-5 satellite. For two independent solutions to achieve such interoperability and positive results in such a short period of time is testament to the innovative excellence of both Thales and Inmarsat. We look forward to including this solution in our suite of government services.”

The tests demonstrated excellent performance of the Thales’ System 21 satcom ground network solution, featuring special military modes to enhance resilience and protection utilising the Inmarsat-5 high-capacity steerable beam assigned to the tests. Data rates over 34Mbps were delivered between a 1.5m maritime (SURFSAT-L) and 0.75m airborne (LISA) terminals. This configuration is representative of a typical deployed mobile task force.

The conclusive test campaign was completed in a very short space of time. The conformity to international military standards ensured that the Thales network and Inmarsat’s satellite service could interoperate without any modifications, despite neither system having been designed to support the other.

Nexter Presents Caesar 6x6 and Caesar 8x8


Nexter, part of the KNDS Group and the only French land defence system manufacturer and integrator, main manufacturer of weapon systems for air, land and naval components, and the third munitions manufacturer in Europe, presented the Caesar 6x6 at the Airbus stand and the Caesar 8x8 at the Nexter stand at the show.

A pioneer in its category, this howitzer equipped with a Caesar artillery system, is the result of Nexter’s exceptional know-how in the artillery field. Currently deployed in Iraq, the Caesar has participated in almost all recent overseas operations of the French Army during which its great precision has been fully demonstrated. It also equips the land forces of four other countries, including Indonesia, who renewed its trust in the Nexter Group this year, and Denmark will soon be on board as well.

A 155 mm/ 52 calibre artillery system mounted on a standard truck, the Caesar provides exceptional firepower and is easy to move and deploy in the theatre of operations thanks to its excellent tactical, operational and strategic mobility, it can drive on difficult terrain or on the road (including very winding roads) and can be transported by train, landing vessel, or Lockheed Martin’s C-130 or Airbus A400M aircrafts. The Caesar is a system with exceptional fire power and precision.

Gilles Sarreau, Director of Systems and Programs for the Nexter Group, confirmed that the “air portability of the Caesar in the A400M is an additional advantage. It is complimentary to all the qualities of our artillery systems, used every day by the land forces equipped.” The joint demonstration of the Caesar and the A400M at the Airbus prove the complementarity of the two systems for the benefit of the forces who will be using them in various theatres.

Pratt & Whitney Receives ETOPS Certification for Airbus A320neo’s PurePower Engine


Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM engine has been granted 180-minute Extended Range Operations (ETOPS) eligibility by the European Aviation Safety Agency. The US Federal Aviation Administration had approved ETOPs for the engine in December 2016. The ETOPS certification sets the maximum allowed amount of single-engine flying time that an aircraft can be from the nearest suitable airport. The PW1100G-JM engine powers the A320neo.

“This is a significant milestone for both the Pratt & Whitney team and the PurePower engine family. This 180 minute ETOPs classification is the maximum required in its class,” said Chris Calio, president, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines.

Safran’s Ardiden 3G Engine Obtains EASA Type Certification

Safrans Ardiden 3G Engine

Safran Helicopter Engines has received EASA engine type certification for its Ardiden 3G engine, which powers Russian Helicopters’ Ka-62. The helicopter made its official maiden flight on 25 May 2017. Since its first ground test, the Ardiden 3 maturation and certification campaign has accumulated more than 8,500 hours of test. Thanks to this extensive test phase, the Ardiden 3G will demonstrate a high level of maturity at entry into service.

Unveiled in 2010, the Ardiden 3 engine family is the only new-generation 1,700 to 2,000 shaft horse-power engine range designed for the six to nine-tonne helicopter. In 2011 the 3G variant was selected by Russian Helicopters to power the Ka-62. Another variant, the 3C/ WZ16, has also been selected by Chinese manufacturer Avicopter to power its AC352 which made its first flight in December 2016.

“This is a very significant event for the Ka-62 and it is the result of intensive work of the Safran Helicopter Engines team. EASA certification gives us an opportunity to accelerate the certification of Ka-62 according to international standards and to bring it to the foreign market. Concerning the Russian market, we suppose that in the near future Safran’s engine will be also approved in accordance with the requirements of Federal Air Transport Agency”, said Andrey Boginsky, Russian Helicopters CEO.

Bruno Even, Safran Helicopter Engines CEO said, “this first certification is a major milestone in the Ardiden 3 programme. The engine is also performing extremely well and represents a major step for the Ka-62 flight test programme. We are fully committed to support Russian Helicopters as it approaches entry into service.”

Ardiden 3 engines represent a very effective combination of new and mature technologies, combining exceptional performance with low operating and maintenance costs, with a Time Between Overhaul (TBO) of 5,000 hours at entry-into-service. Ardiden 3 engines also deliver at least 10 per cent better fuel consumption over engines operating in the same power range.

Airbus Launches New Open Aviation Data Platform ‘Skywise’


Airbus has launched a new aviation data platform in collaboration with Palantir Technologies – pioneers in big-data integration and advanced analytics. Skywise aims to become the single platform of reference used by all major aviation players to improve their operational performance and business results and to support their own digital transformation. Skywise is already improving industrial operations performance throughout Airbus’ industrial footprint and allows now to deliver enhanced aircraft and equipment designs, better service and support offerings based on deeper in-service data insights.

Skywise will provide all users with one single access point to their enriched data by bringing together to aviation data from multiple sources across the industry into one secure cloud-based platform. These airline sources include work orders; spares consumption; components data; aircraft/ fleet configuration; on-board sensor data; and flight schedules. Additional data sources which are traditionally shared with Airbus and hosted only on isolated servers will also be integrated into the platform to help operators conduct their own analyses and make decisions based on the full scope of their available data. These shared sources include operational interruption history; parts replacements; post-flight reports; pilot reports; aircraft condition monitoring reports; complete on-board aircraft data; technical documentation; technical requests and service bulletins (SBs).

Skywise will help airlines to support and shape their business models by improving fleet operational reliability through predictive and preventive maintenance; operational efficiency for legacy fleets; rapid root-cause analyses of in-service issues and optimising each aircraft’s performance through flight operations data analytics

Marc Fontaine, the Airbus Digital Transformation Officer, said, “Together with Palantir, we are already realising major business value from data previously hidden within our own operations. Now, with Skywise we are taking this relationship to the next level by offering its advantages to the aviation industry. We’ve seen its power in our own operations, and Airbus is convinced of its huge potential to bring value to our customers and industry partners, as the new ‘beating heart of aviation’.”

Dr Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir Technologies, said, “Our relationship began with a focus on Airbus-internal operations – manufacturing, engineering, services – and we’re expanding now to bring this same analytical acumen directly to airlines. The potential for collaboration between the world's top engineering firm, Airbus, its airline customers, and Palantir’s software is unprecedented.”

Rockwell Collins to Supply Avionics for General Atomics’ MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA

SkyGuardian RPA

Rockwell Collins avionics have been selected for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ (GA-ASI) MQ-9B SkyGuardian. Rockwell Collins will support GA-ASI to efficiently upgrade the proven Predator B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) system to simplify civil airspace access.

GA-ASI has selected the capabilities of the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system for this unmanned aerial system (UAS) ground control station to support customers and missions that require operations in civil airspace. The solution will feature interactive touch-control displays and a proven Flight Management System to support Instrument Flight Rules flight in today’s airspace. The intuitive operator interface and interactive touchscreen map will minimize the workload of the UAS operators while allowing them to access civil airspace features integrated with the graphical presentation of the existing ground control station.

“Our Pro Line Fusion avionics bring a proven, civil-certified pedigree from manned aviation to unmanned systems. The flexibility of the system enables its application for UAS,” said Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager, Airborne Solutions, for Government Systems at Rockwell Collins. “This programme with GA-ASI will help pave the way and set the standards for UAS platforms accessing controlled civil airspace.”

Rockwell Collins is focused on the development of technologies for safe and routine operation of UAS in civil airspace. The MQ-9B SkyGuardian is the first RPA system of its kind designed to be compliant with international airworthiness standards, according to General Atomics. deliveries of the MQ-9B Protector to the United Kingdom Royal Air Force are expected to begin in 2019.

Safran Signs New Production Contract for Strix Sights on Tiger Helicopters

Safran Signs New Production Contract for Strix Sights on Tiger Helicopters

Safran Electronics & Defence has signed a contract with the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) to supply 18 more Strix optronic sights for the Tiger helicopter programme in France. This latest tranche is part of France’s revised 2014–19 defence spending plan, which calls for a homogenous fleet of 67 Tiger HAD (multi-role attack) helicopters.

Strix is a major part of the Tiger HAD’s weapon system and plays a crucial role in all missions, from reconnaissance to escort, protection, fire support and attack.

Developed and produced by Safran, the Strix sight for the Tiger HAD is a gyrostabilised optronic system comprising a thermal imager, daylight camera and laser designator. It provides highly effective day/ night support for all weapons on the Tiger HAD, including Hellfire laser-guided missiles, rockets accurate to within a meter and the Spike missiles.

Production of this new tranche of Strix sights will involve several Safran entities through 2020 and beyond. Through-life support for these sights is covered by a comprehensive multiyear contract awarded by OCCAR to Safran in late 2016 for all sights on the Tiger helicopters deployed by Germany, Spain and France.

Strix has been used daily by Tiger crews at the French army’s ALAT light aviation unit since 2009 for combat deployments from land bases and the French navy’s BPC-type force projection and command vessels in some of the most hostile theatres.

Working with other Safran companies, Safran Electronics & Defence is a long-standing partner to Airbus Helicopters for new and retrofit programmes across its entire range of military and civil helicopters. It supplies a broad array of systems and equipment, including gyrostabilised optronic systems, inertial navigation systems, mission planning systems, flight controls and processors.

BIRD Aerosystems Demonstrate Unique Special Mission AISO Solution

BIRD Aerosystems Demonstrate Unique Special Mission AISO Solution

BIRD Aerosystems, in cooperation with Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, display a unique surveillance special mission concept at the show in Textron’s static display. The concept transforms the class-leading Cessna Citation CJ4 platform into a sophisticated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) special mission aircraft with BIRD’s field-proven Airborne Surveillance, Intelligence and Observation (ASIO) solution.

BIRD Aerosystems' ASIO solution is a complete end-to-end airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) system. ASIO provides decision makers and field commanders with accurate, real-time terrestrial and maritime information. Integrated with BIRD’s unique Mission Management System and using the latest surveillance and monitoring sensors, the ASIO solution has become one of the most affordable, reliable and capable Special Mission Aircraft Solutions available today. BIRD’s ASIO solution can be installed on a wide range of aircraft and is a complete yet highly customisable airborne operational system.

Ronen Factor, BIRD Aerosystems’ Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder said, “Equipped with the ASIO solution, the Citation CJ4 jet is ideal for special surveillance missions, and allows its users to enjoy extraordinary capabilities as it is able to carry multiple sensor configurations that support diverse operational missions. BIRD’s ASIO solution ensures that the entire operating team has an accurate, unified and comprehensive situational overview as well as all the information they need in order to make decisions in real time.”

GKN and Boeing Sign Contract for Completion of 737 Boeing Business Jet for Dutch Government

GKN and Boeing Sign Contract for Completion of 737 Boeing Business Jet for Dutch Government

GKN’s Fokker business and Boeing Business Jets have on June 21 signed a contract for the design and completion of the interior of a new Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) for the Dutch government. The aircraft will be used to transport government officials and the Dutch Royal family. The 737BBJ is the successor to the Fokker 70 PH-KBX of the Dutch government that has been in service for more than 20 years.

Under the contract Fokker Techniek in Woensdrecht will design and complete the aircraft’s interior. The 737 Boeing Business Jet will be configured for 24 passengers, split into two cabins (12 VIP, 12 staff) and include a crew rest area and bathroom. The interior will include the latest SatCom technologies. Boeing and Fokker Techniek have closely collaborated on the offer for the delivery of the new Government aircraft. Both companies have worked together before on conversion and completion projects for Boeing Business Jets. Interior design activities will start immediately, and the completed aircraft will be delivered to the Dutch Government in 2019.

“We are very pleased that GKN has been selected to complete the Dutch Head-of-State 737 Boeing Business Jet,” said Greg Laxton, President, Boeing Business Jets. “We are confident that the customer will be thrilled with the completed product and enjoy the BBJ’s range, cabin space and unmatched airplane performance.”

Hans Büthker CEO of Fokker said, “We are truly honoured to be selected by Boeing Business Jets to design and complete the interior of the new 737 BBJ for the Netherlands. Fokker Techniek employees are very proud to be involved again in the aircraft for the Dutch Government. We look forward to extending our longstanding relationship with Boeing Business Jets during this prestigious project.”

Global Services Market Set to Double Over the Next Two Decades

Global Services Market Set to Double Over the Next Two Decades

The world’s passenger aircraft fleet above 100 seats is set to more than double in the next 20 years to over 40,000 aircraft as traffic is set to grow at 4.4 per cent per year, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2017-2036. This forecast predicts that over the next 20 years the total industry aftermarket services spend will reach around USD 3.2 trillion. The services market is mainly driven by MRO, which for aircraft above 100 seats will represent 1.85 trillion over the next 20 years. Training, cabin and systems upgrades are also major contributors to the overall services market.

On an annual basis, Airbus predicts that the MRO spend will grow from USD 60 billion to over USD 120 billion per year; for this segment, there will be a necessity to manage mixed-fleet with ageing aircraft and new technologically advanced aircraft. In addition, the development of low cost carriers (LCCs) will further drive outsourcing strategies to allow airlines focusing on their core business of transporting their passengers. Asia Pacific will see the largest growth in MRO demand over the period.

Over one million pilots and technicians to be trained over the next 20 years, according to the forecast. Airbus has already tripled the number of its global training locations in the last three years and will continue to grow to propose tailor-made solutions to customers, right on their ‘doorstep’ while integrating latest technologies and web-based solutions.

Airbus projects that over the next 20 years the upgrade market will be worth USD 180 billion, driven in part by high competition between airlines who value the ‘passenger experience’ as a differentiator (comfort, connectivity etc.), as well as systems upgrades. Notably, 38 per cent of this market will be Asia Pacific.

Airbus Recognises Rockwell Collins as Top Performer for Avionics Support

Airbus Recognises Rockwell Collins as Top Performer for Avionics Support

Rockwell Collins on June 21 was named by Airbus as one of the top performing suppliers in support of Airbus and its customer airlines. The company received an Excellent In-Service Performance award and was honoured at a special ceremony at the show.

Out of the 41 suppliers rated in the supplier furnished equipment category, Rockwell Collins came in second after Airbus Avionics. The award followed Airbus’ supplier support rating process, which drew in-service feedback on product, service, support and cost from more than 150 Airbus customers worldwide.

“Our team has worked hard to understand what it takes to create a winning relationship with Airbus and their airline customers so they can feel confident in our systems on a daily basis,” said Scott Gunnufson, vice president of Sales, Marketing and Customer Support, Commercial Systems for Rockwell Collins. “We are honoured to once again be recognised by Airbus. The award is a testament to the great work carried out by our dedicated customer support team as well as all our employees around the world.”

This marks the 10th year in a row that Rockwell Collins has been in the top five suppliers as recognised by Airbus.

Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 Completes Successful Qualification Flights on French Navy’s BPC Dixmude

Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 Completes Successful Qualification Flights on French Navy’s BPC Dixmude

Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) once again convinced with its outstanding maritime capability when successfully completing qualification flights for the French Navy from May 29 –June 3.

The flight trials were performed from the deck of the Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement (BPC) Dixmude, the newest of the French Navy’s three Mistral class amphibious assault ships. The French fleet is currently undergoing a modernisation process within which Schiebel participates in flight trials in order to confirm the Ship Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOL) and to qualify the CAMCOPTER S-100’s integration onto the BPC.

During the flight demonstrations in the Western Mediterranean the CAMCOPTER S-100 conducted around 30 take-offs and landings within a total of 15 flight hours during day and night. A L3 Wescam’s MX-10 was used to transmit daylight and infrared data. Throughout the trials the system was operated independently by the French Navy CEPA/ 10s crew.

As in previous deployments for the French customer, here again Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 - with its small footprint and exceptional capability - successfully proved to be a highly valuable asset for demanding maritime operations.

VietJet Air and Safran Sign SFCO2 Service Agreement

Safran has added a new customer, VietJet Air, Vietnam’s leading private airline, for its SFCO2 fuel efficiency solution. The SFCO2 service contract spans five years, starting in 2017, and covers the entire fleet of the Ho Chi Minh City-based airline. It will help VietJet Air improve its operational efficiency by reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The agreement provides for operational recommendations from Safran’s SFCO2 teams, along with a special SFCO2 web application that enables the airline to track its progress and potential savings.

The SFCO2 solution combines the expertise of Safran Aircraft Engines, one of the world’s leading aero-engine manufacturers, with the long-standing experience of Safran Electronics and Defence in flight data analysis.

“We are very confident that Safran’s SFCO2 service will enable us to meet our fuel consumption efficiency objectives, so that we can combine economic and environmental friendly performance,” said Dinh Viet Phuong, Vietjet Vice President.

“We are proud of winning this contract to support VietJet Air’s day-to-day performance and dynamic growth over the next five years,” said François Planaud, Vice President Services & MRO. “Our selection by VietJet air confirms the effectiveness of our SFCO2 service and provides further recognition of our global expertise in fuel efficiency solutions.”

Fuel is the largest expense for airlines, representing 25 to 30 per cent of their direct operating costs. By analysing both operational and maintenance aspects, Safran’s SFCO2 service develops procedures and recommendations to address airlines’ need for greater fuel efficiency.

With this comprehensive solution, airlines can reduce their fuel consumption up to five per cent. For a fleet of 20 single-aisle jets, for instance, flying an average of 3,500 hours/ year, that would equal annual savings of USD 5 million, and avoid releasing 26,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

Alstom and Safran Sign Technological Cooperation Agreement

Alstom and Safran signed a technological cooperation agreement on June 22, the initial aim of which is to pool the two companies’ skills and expertise in electric propulsion. This collaboration in the field of R&D brings together two high-tech companies, leaders in distinct markets: mobility for Alstom, and Aeronautics, Space and Defence for Safran.

To begin with, the agreement will focus on two main themes components and technologies for electric propulsion equipment, and electric and hybrid propulsion systems as a whole for aircraft and public transport vehicles, allowing French industry to position itself at the highest possible international level in this domain.

The joint research programme will involve research institutes and universities as well as innovative SMEs. Collaborative projects initiated under the cooperation should see the light of day by 2020.

Stellwagen Orders Twelve Airbus C295 Transport Aircraft

Stellwagen Orders Twelve Airbus C295 Transport Aircraft

Aviation financier and lessor Stellwagen, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Acasta Enterprises Inc. (‘Acasta’) a Canadian public company (AEF), has signed a firm order for 12 Airbus C295 medium transport aircraft in the first sale to a leasing company achieved by Airbus Defence and Space.

The agreement, which includes options for a further 12 aircraft, positions Stellwagen to address civil markets including the humanitarian sector, freight operators in austere environments, and government agencies such as search and rescue services.

The C295 is a nine-tonne capacity, ramp-equipped, medium transport and mission aircraft in-service with 28 operators in 25 countries. The agreement takes firm orders for the type to 198 and the options would take the figure past 200, reconfirming its position as the market leader. Geoff Beattie, Chairman of Acasta, said, “This game changing agreement with Airbus for the unique C295 will transform Stellwagen, it also validates its business plan, demonstrates continued industry innovation and leadership and positions the Group to further develop the commercial market.”

Stellwagen Chief Executive Officer, Douglas Brennan said, “The C295 is a remarkably capable and versatile aircraft. We have intensively studied the potential for its use in all civilian and humanitarian operations and we look forward to working with Airbus and operators throughout the world.”

Airbus Defence and Space Head of Marketing and Sales, Bernhard Brenner, commented, “This is a genuinely exciting agreement with Stellwagen which can open up new opportunities for the C295, create a new business model, and play a key role as our partner in reinforcing the aircraft’s market position.”

European Industries and Universities Sign MoU on Education Partnership Agreement

On June 22, a group of major European space manufacturing industries and universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on an education partnership agreement aiming - through their joint and coordinated efforts - at organising for multi-nationality teams of top-level students a structured transition between their educational path and their entry in the industry world. This is intended to take place by means of dedicated projects to be developed by teams of students coming from universities in different countries and working on industry’s selected priorities, teams being selected by industry via competition.

This initiative, aiming at educating more specifically students by means of a longer industrial project phase has been given the name of ‘Advanced Student Team Research in space Industry (ASTRI)”, and is intended to materialise into ad hoc specific agreements involving at a time at least one industry and a team of at least five students coming from universities in at least three different countries.

Each ASTRI programme is intended to devote globally 18 months to carry out a project in industry with a first phase lasting six months that could be part of the thesis final project to accomplish a standard master, while a second phase, lasting the remaining twelve months, would have to be carried out at the premises of one of the industrial parties.

The MoU enters into force today, and will remain valid for four years. It will be implemented via a first cycle of projects from early 2018 to mid-2019, with the corresponding diplomas, namely ‘First Distinguished Certificate of Excellence’, being delivered in mid-2019. The MoU is intended to open to new Parties (industry and/ or universities) at the end of each academic cycle.

Safran Acquires Helicopter Flight Data Management Specialist ‘ISEI’

Safran Electronics & Defence has purchased the French company ISEI, specialised in flight data acquisition systems and associated services for helicopters and light airplanes.

The agreement for the sale was signed on June 22, by Jean-Claude Marcellet, President of ISEI, and Martin Sion, Chief Executive Officer of Safran Electronics & Defence.

With this acquisition, ISEI’s systems will be added to the Cassiopée product range from Safran Electronics & Defence, designed to enhance operational efficiency for airlines and other operators.

ISEI’s systems are proven in operation and certified. They are used to collect and record flight data (including engine and airframe readings, vibration measurements, etc.), then transmit this data to processing stations via satellite links, or via ground WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G networks.

These systems are an integral part of today’s revolution in in-flight connectivity and data management, and will help increase the accuracy of engine and airframe tracking, thus improving flight safety and reducing operating costs.

Following the signature of this agreement, Florence Minisclou, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Safran Electronics & Defence’s Avionics Division, said, “Through this acquisition we will leverage the expertise offered by an innovative and agile French company, led by a skilled team. They are specialised in the design of electronic equipment for light aircraft, and they are very familiar with the requirements of helicopter operators. This acquisition reflects our strategy of controlling the entire data management cycle, from acquisition and transmission, to services based on data from aircraft and their critical systems. It also strengthens the Data Management Solutions & Services Business Unit, part of our Avionics Division, so we can better meet the expectations of our customers for data management services.”

Based in Aix-en-Provence in southern France, ISEI has installed nearly 500 systems at more than 50 operators.

The acquisition of ISEI will bolster Safran Electronics & Defence’s position in the market for aircraft condition monitoring and flight data monitoring services. The company’s Cassiopée service, used to enhance flight safety, risk management, maintenance and flight operations, is already used by nearly 200 airlines.

Thales Alenia Space Develops New Products Within the Scope of ESA’s ARTES Project

Thales Alenia Space has signed its first contract with OHB to provide new-generation electronic equipment, made in Belgium, for the Electra platform.

Developed in a public-private partnership (PPP) by the operator SES, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German space agency DLR, Electra is a generic geostationary platform with all-electric propulsion. It will have a payload capacity of 300 kilograms, with up to 3 kW of power, and offers a design life of up to 15 years.

These products are developed in Belgium by Thales Alenia Space, within the scope of ESA’s ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) project. They meet the requirements of all-electric versions of new-generation European geostationary satellite platforms, designed to address operator expectations for competitiveness, flexibility and multi-launcher compatibility.

“Thales Alenia Space, which counts on its subsidiaries to expand its market reach and enhance its technical content through various centres of expertise, already develops most of the electronics for the Spacebus Neo platform in Belgium,” said Emmanuel Terrasse, Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space’s Belgian unit. “Today, OHB is entrusting us with this responsibility. Thanks to productive teamwork, our new products will deliver unprecedented performance, competitiveness, flexibility and lightness. They also reflect the contribution of Belgium’s delegation to ESA programmes. In fact, it’s thanks to Belgium’s long-term investment in telecommunications that we have built up expertise in space electronics that is unrivalled in Europe.”

The new products developed under ARTES program by Thales Alenia Space through the ARTES program consists PCU NG, a new-generation Power Conditioning Unit, the satellite’s electrical core, which handles the conversion and management of electrical power from the solar panels, as well as battery charge and discharge management (23 kW).

A DCU (Drive Control Unit), a modular device that controls the antenna and solar array steering motors and PPU Mk3 (Power Processing Unit). Newly qualified, this unit is compatible with all plasma (electric) thrusters now available on the market (5 kW). The PPU Mk3 controls the thrusters used for orbital positioning and station keeping on the new generation of all-electric telecom satellites.

AirAsia Order Fourteen Additional A320ceo

AirAsia has signed an agreement with Airbus to order an additional 14 A320ceo aircraft to meet higher than expected near-term growth on the carrier’s regional network. The contract, which is subject to AirAsia board approval, was announced on June 22.

The announcement will see the total number of A320 Family aircraft ordered by AirAsia rise to 592, reaffirming its position as the largest airline customer for the Airbus single aisle product line. To date, 171 A320ceo and eight A320neo have already been delivered to the airline and are flying with its units in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “Demand is very strong in AirAsia’s traditional countries, but now we have Indonesia, Philippines and India doing extremely well. The robust demand has led us to expand our fleet, and Airbus has been a great partner in finding us slots. We still need to find more aircraft to expand our regional reach and are actively sourcing from the leasing market. The competitive environment is at its best, coupled with a stable oil price. With the lowest cost in the world, AirAsia is back on aggressive growth."

“We are pleased to announce our latest agreement from AirAsia,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “We are proud that the A320 Family has played an important role in the success of AirAsia, providing the efficiency and reliability needed for the airline to keep its costs as low as possible. We look forward to working with AirAsia as it continues on its exciting journey, enabling more people to fly, more often, and at affordable cost.”

Elbit Systems to Supply DIRCM for A VIP Gulfstream G650 aircraft

Elbit Systems Ltd. announced on June 21 that it was awarded more than USD 20 million contract by an African-based customer to equip a VIP Gulfstream G650 aircraft with J-MUSIC Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) systems that include Elbit Systems’ advanced Infrared based Passive Airborne Warning System (IR PAWS). The contract will be performed over a one-year period.

Having accumulated more than 30,000 hours of operation, Elbit Systems’ MUSIC family of DIRCM systems is in use by many customers worldwide on a wide range of small, medium and large aircraft platforms.

“Being selected to install J-MUSIC on a VIP Gulfstream 650 aircraft is another vote of confidence and an indication of the strong demand for our high quality, high reliability DIRCM systems”, said Elad Aharonson, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR Division. “We are proud to add Gulfstream to the growing range of aircraft platforms that are protected against IR-seeking weapons by our MUSIC systems. Given the constantly growing MANPADS threat for aviation, we are confident that more customers will follow in choosing our thoroughly tested and qualified DIRCM solutions”.

Elbit Systems Introduces SkyStriker

At the Paris Air Show Elbit Systems launched SkyStriker - a remotely operated electro-optical, precise guided Loitering Munition(LM) designed to seek, locate and engage various targets for the tactical level corps. The new platform is based on Elbit Systems’ vast experience providing precise long-range tactical solutions.

SkyStriker is able to locate, acquire and strike operator-marked targets enabling high-precision performance. The system’s electric propulsion provides a low acoustic signature and enables covert low altitude operations. Due to its flight speed capability, it can reach a distance of 10 km within minutes. Upon reaching the target area, it can loiter and pursue the target for up to two hours.

SkyStriker offers quick deployment and ease of operation in the field, provides forces with the ability to observe and identify an enemy target before delivering a rapid precision airstrike. Its remote operation capability reduces operators’ exposure to detection or enemy fire while guiding the LM to its target. In addition to high accuracy, long range and a significant loitering time, the SkyStriker can carry up to 10 kg of munitions. The system also provides significant flexibility such as the ability to choose any target, to engage at any direction and in various angles (shallow to steep) while significantly decreasing costs. Moreover, SkyStriker enables the operator to abort a strike up to two seconds to impact, to re-engage and in case of lack of authorised targets to order a safe return home.

Elad Aharonson General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR Division said, “SkyStriker is a force multiplier for the units in the field allowing them to perform precise missions without putting them in harm’s way.”


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