June 17, 2009, Paris -– The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] will dedicate funding to further development of the F-15 Silent Eagle program, with the goal of a flight demonstration in the third quarter of 2010. The announcement came at the Paris Air Show following meetings with potential customers and reaffirmed a commitment to the prototype program made by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems President and CEO Jim Albaugh at the air show on June 14.
The F-15 Silent Eagle, which Boeing launched in March, advances the most modern variants of the F-15 multi-role strike fighter with enhanced survivability. Features include a digital electronic warfare suite coupled to an Advanced Electronically Scanned Array radar for enhanced situational awareness, aerodynamic improvements and cost-effective radar cross-section reduction technologies.
“We know from talking with current international F-15 operators that they are very interested in the capabilities of the Silent Eagle,” said Albaugh. “Making this commitment to get the program through to a flight demonstration will ultimately help international customers understand how this aircraft meets their need for a flexible, long-range, large-payload, high-speed, multi-role strike fighter with reduced observability.”
Boeing will conduct further trade studies to allow new F-15 technologies to be brought to market. In addition, Boeing will continue discussions with a number of international aerospace companies about potential co-development opportunities.
Mi-28. (Foto: RIA Novosti)
June 15, 2009, Moscow -- A Turkish military delegation has come to Russia to discuss the possible acquisition of Mi-28 attack helicopters. This is not the first time the two countries have discussed cooperation.
In the 1970s and the early 1980s, Turkey bought 32 used AH-1P/S Cobra attack helicopters in the United States and later upgraded them to the AH-1F specifications. The Turkish army still has 23 AH-1P/S Cobras. However, Turkish military authorities started thinking about replacing them in the mid-1990s.
During the subsequent tender they considered several models of combat helicopter, including the Ka-50-2 Erdogan, a version of the Russian Ka-50 Black Shark developed by Russia and Israel for Turkey. Unlike the Ka-50 where the pilots sit side-by-side, the seats in the Erdogan are placed in tandem as in the U.S. Cobra chopper.
However, Turkey did not choose the Kamov helicopter for political reasons, such as growing U.S. influence in Turkey and, conversely, the lack of Russian influence. Also, Russia could not then guarantee the timely production of the required number of new helicopters or post-sale service. Lastly, the Ka-50 was not mass-produced even for the Russian army at that time.
An updated Cobra with new weapons and equipment was the most probable winner in the Turkish tender, but the contract was eventually awarded to a European producer, the Anglo-Italian AgustaWestland, which proudly proclaims to be "a total rotorcraft capability provider."
AgustaWestland, announced as the winning bidder in March 2007, pledged to assemble 50 T129 prototypes in Turkey. However, the first T129 will be rolled out only in 2015, whereas Turkey needs choppers now to fight Kurdish militants.
The purchase of seven used AH-1W SuperCobras in 2008 has not solved the problem either. Turkey needs modern attack helicopters to fill the gap until 2015 and for several more years while its pilots learn to fly the T129 choppers.
As a result, Turkey has decided to purchase Russian machines. It has opted for the Mi-28N Night Hunter, which, unlike the Ka-50, has been mass-produced since the 1990s and is supplied to the Russian Armed Forces.
Turkey may buy between 12 and 32 helicopters within two or three years. It is unclear if it wants the choppers with or without top-mounted radar, which is an extremely expensive option.
The Turkish military had once considered buying the Mi-24 Crocodile, which has several common structural elements with the Mi-28. The Mi-17 multirole helicopter is currently used in Turkey for military, police and civilian purposes.
Significantly, the Mil helicopters have for years been used in similar terrain in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East. Moreover, Russia's influence and relations with Turkey have grown dramatically and many contradictions in bilateral ties have been smoothed over since the 1990s.
Therefore, Turkey could buy the Mi-28, whose track record over the past 20 years and the initial results of its combat use show that this highly versatile helicopter could remain on combat duty even after T129 assembly start-up in Turkey.
And the final touch: the protection and combat payload specifications of the T129 are below those of the Mi-28.
June 15, 2009 Saudi Arabia has received the first two of up to 72 Eurofighter TYPHOON combat aircraft, Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed Friday. In presence of Saudi Assistant Defence and Aviation Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan, Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz and Britain's armed forces minister Bill Rammell the first TYPHOON’s had been handed over on Thursday in a ceremony at manufacturer BAE Systems' Warton site in northwest England. The entire contract for the Eurofighter as the Tornado F3s and Boeing F-15s replacement, including also armaments and maintenance service is estimated to be worth $32.9 billion.
The deal was first announced in August 2006, but then fell into doubt due to a British investigation into massive corruption allegations in earlier arms deals between Saudi Arabia and BAE Systems that implicated senior officials of both countries.
Under the original deal, BAE is to deliver 24 Typhoons completely built to the Saudis, and another 48 are to be assembled inside Saudi Arabia as the country seeks to build up its own aeronautic industry capabilities.
"The Royal Saudi Air Force is getting a fantastic aircraft," Rammell was quoted as saying by AFP. He said that the industrial benefits of the project are also substantial for both nations and will help to sustain several thousand, skilled jobs in the UK and Saudi Arabia over the next 10 years.
Prince Khaled, who also commands the RSAF, said the new aircraft were "not to threaten anyone but to protect and secure the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the coming decades," Saudi state news agency SPA reported.
With this order, Saudi Arabia is the first country outside Europe to have the Typhoon, an aircraft built by Alenia Finmeccanica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland and managed by Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH. In Europe Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Austria ordered this aircraft which is participating in several tenders around the globe including Switzrland, Brazil, India and Japan.
June 14, 2009, Jakarta -- The Indonesian contingent (Garuda XX-F) in the UN peace-keeping mission in Congo is supporting the world organization`s efforts in dealing with the Uganda-based militant rebel group LRA (Lord Resistance Army) in eastern Congo.
"Yes, as part of the UN mission, we support efforts to achieve peace there," Major Czi Sugeng Haryadi Yogopranowo, commander of the Garuda XX-F Contingent Task Force, said as quoted by Captain Leo Sugandi, a spokesman of the Indonesian Garuda Contingent (Konga) XX-F/MONUC.
The UN troops have conducted consolidation to unite moves in response to the actions of LRA members in Congo which shares a border with Sudan, in Africa, Leo Sugandi said in his e-mailed message to ANTARA.
Earlier this week, the United Nations (UN)`s Contingent Owned Equipment (COE) Inspection Team checked the weaponry and equipment readiness of the Indonesian Military (TNI) contingent in Congo, Capt. Leo Sugandi said.
The inspection was done by the COE Inspection Team of the Ituri Brigade headed by Crecencio Agunda and James Foday Maada Boima, according to Leo Sugandi.
With the checking, it is expected that the equipment would meet UN standards and could be used in accordance with its function so that the UN mission in Congo would be successful.
The main facilities and equipment of the Indonesian contingent (Garuda XX-F contingent) included a first level hospital, an ambulance, a personnel transport car, a cargo truck, a mobile workshop, a fuel oil tank, a water tank truck, a prime mover and its trailer, a bulldozer, an air compressor trailer, a crane, a bucket loader, a grader, a roller, a dump truck, a backhoe loader, a concrete mixer, a forklift, a water purification machine, a generator and a cold storage.
Other supporting facilities included cooking and dining utensils, communications tools, office equipment, building toolkits, bomb defuse equipment, tents, night and day binoculars and compasses.