Northrop Grumman Corporation, in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, has successfully completed a series of demonstration flights of its Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) installed in an F-16 fighter aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base,Calif.Â The demonstration was in support of a U.S. Air Force F-16Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) feasibility study.
"Almost two years ago Northrop Grumman said that air forces of the future will necessarily gravitate toward using AESA technology “especially through scalableretrofit technology. Our team has worked diligently to make thatpossible and today we've made it a reality. This officially marks thefirst time a retrofit AESA has ever flown in a legacy F-16," saidArlene Camp, director of Advanced F-16 Radar Programs at NorthropGrumman's Electronic Systems sector.
"This demonstration validated our goal of developing an AESA that can be easily installed on the flight lineand integrated with existing power and cooling provisions of currentlyfielded F-16s," Camp added. "With regard to installed performance,SABR's air-to-air and air-to-ground detection and tracking andSynthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mapping performance met or exceeded ourpredictions."
SABR is an affordable and scalable AESA radar designed for retrofit in current F-16s and other legacy fighter, attack, and trainingaircraft. Compared to mechanically-scanned array radars, SABR willprovide the increased performance, multi-functionality, and greaterreliability inherent in AESA radars. In terms of combat capability,SABR provides improved situational awareness, greater detection,high-resolution SAR maps, interleaved air-to-air and air-to-surfacemode operations, and an all-environment precision strike capability.
Northrop Grumman has been the sole provider of radars for the F-16and for over 30 years has continually improved the F-16 radar'sperformance and reliability. More than 5,000 F-16 radars have beenproduced for the U.S. Air Force and 24 nations worldwide.
Because of this extensive foundation and rich F-16 heritage andplatform intimacy, Northrop Grumman is the first to design, develop,integrate, test and successfully demonstrate retrofit AESA capabilityin flight on a legacy F-16. SABR is part of Northrop Grumman's robustproduct family of multi-function sensors and capabilities.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security companywhose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, andsolutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuildingand technical services to government and commercial customersworldwide.
The system’s expanded capabilities were recently demonstrated in amajor coalition exercise in Korea. Its aircrews received their sixthconsecutive battle management award. “These are significant examples ofthe system’s battle management capabilities, and illustrates itsability to adapt to the needs of the warfighter,” said Dale Burton,vice president for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance andBattle Management Command and Control.
The versatility of the system to support more conventionaloperations was demonstrated during Ulchi Freedom Guardian 09 (UFG).This annual event is the world's largest annual computerized commandand control exercise. Retired Brig. Gen Barry Barksdale, Senior AirController for UFG, cited the Joint STARS input and crew role insuccess of the battle management exercise.
“If the opposing forces moved 100 tanks out of an undergroundfacility, it would be immediately apparent to a fighter equipped with apod that flew overhead or perhaps just a visual pickup,” GeneralBarksdale said. “In the simulation, only the Predator or the E-8C JointSTARS can provide this input in near-real time, and the Predatorrequires something to provide the cueing to narrow the look area.”
Bringing their “real world” expertise to the exercise, Barksdalenoted issues the Joint STARS crew tackled “ran the gamut from the moreobvious marshalling of air assets against emerging mobile forces,time-sensitive targeting, airspace deconfliction, targeting priorities,changing weather conditions, and countless others too numerous todetail.”
The recent award of the Air ForceAssociation’s Air Battle Management Crew of the Year to a Joint STARSteam brings to light some of their daily contributions. Each year,Joint STARS crews are considered against other systems for the awardbased on their battle management contribution to the USAF and airpower. This year’s award was the sixth in a row for a Joint STARS crewand the ninth since the award’s inception in 1998.
The 2009 winning crew from the 116th Air Control Wing was recognizedfor accomplishments including exposing weapon smuggling routes,providing overwatch for convoys and ground units and alerting them ofinsurgent advancement, relaying targets to fighters, identifyinghideouts, locating individuals planting improvised explosive device and providing target information to fighter aircraft.
Joint STARS powerful radar can track enemy combatants in all weatherconditions, day or night. Often referred to as “911 in the Sky,” theE-8C has the capability to correlate information from a wide variety ofsensors and sources to provide unprecedented situational awareness tothe combat elements on the ground.
It provides a top-down look that can track insurgents in flat areasfound in Iraq, as well as looking down in the sides of mountains andinto the valleys of Afghanistan. The ability to simultaneously trackvehicles as well as other emerging target categories in multiple areasof interest, over large areas, makes the Joint STARS system uniqueamong Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance assets.
“Yet, with all of its technological capabilities, the real warfighter value comes from the onboard Air Force and Armyoperations and intelligence specialists providing real-time battlemanagement support,” said Brig. Gen Tom Moore, commander of the 116thAir Control Wing at Robins AFB, Ga. “Our crews are trained to evaluateGround Moving Target Indicator information to identify vehicle oremerging target threats for U.S. and allied troops. They are invaluableto the entire process.”
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the E-8C Joint STARSdevelopment and whole-life support programs. The Joint STARS program ismanaged by the 751st Electronic Support Group at Hanscom Air ForceBase, Mass. All 17 combat-configured Joint STARS aircraft are assignedto the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th ACW, a “total-force blendedwing,” comprising active-duty Air Force, Army and Air National Guardpersonnel.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technologycompany whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products,and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace andshipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide
|Berlin. The USD 10 billion competition for 126 Medium Multi role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) was electrifying the Berlin Air Show, which otherwise marked its 100th anniversary with much fanfare and enthusiasm.|
|The Germans are credited with many of the aerospace innovations, including the jet engines, but it is the economy which defines a country’s strength now and Germany and its partners in aerospace need global orders. New Delhi is high on their radar, thanks to the fact that India is going to buy 126 medium, multi role aircraft for the first time in a quarter century to replace its very, very old Mig 21s, and eventually the French Mirage 2000 and Mig 29s, the latter also of Soviet vintage.|
Germans are spearheading the four-nation campaign to sell their Eurofighter to India. The aircraft was regarded as much higher in cost, compared to the US Lockheed Martin F 16 Super Viper IN and Boeing F/A 18 Super Hornet as well as the Swedish Gripen and Russian Mig 35.
The incidental reduction in prices has reinvigorated Eurofighter officials.
Said Bernhard Gerwert, Board Chairman of Eurofighter GmbH and an old India hand: We have now more than 50 per cent chance of winning the MMRCA contract as against 10 per cent when we launched the Eurofighter campaign in India in 2007.” He reminded that the four Eurofighter partner nations, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain, had already declared their intent to transfer technology to India to make “India a fifth partner.”
Germans also see an opportunity to sell the A400M military transporter built by Airbus Military to India, which has to phase out its nearly 20 IL 76 and 100 AN 12 aircraft in about 10 years. India is buying 10 C 17 Globemaster-III from the US and there is also a plan to build some 50 smaller Military Transport Aircraft (MTA) with Russia. But given the strategic importance that India is acquiring, it would be a matter of time when the IAF considers the A400M.
The aircraft would be smaller than the C 17 but bigger than both the C130J Hercules – which India has already bought – and the MTA.
The German Chief of Air Force, Lt Gen Aarne Kreuzinger-Janik, told visiting Indian journalists that the Eurofighter Typhoon was “the best of its class.” He described it as a good and stable platform that never had an accident, pointing out that the German Air Force had recently used the Typhoon for air patrolling in Estonia, the baltic country that shares border with Russia.
He said although the Eurofighter was a relatively new machine, its upgradation plans were already under way.
Some upgrades had been decided keeping in mind the operational experience in Afghanistan. Besides equipping it with close air support systems, it is being fitted with laser-designation pods and new communication suites to talk to ground personnel to avoid friendly fire casualties.
The newer Tranche-3 version of the aircraft would be fitted with the Active Electronically Scanned Radar (AESA) radar, something that the IAF mandates for selection.
Industry sources said that although the Eurofighter did not have the AESA yet, its “working lab model” had been displayed to the IAF team which had visited Germany for some of the tests.
It may be recalled that in Berlin Air Show 2008, India was the partner country and both Defence Minister A K Antony and the IAF Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal F H Major, were present. India Startegic had then brought out a Special Report on the event which was formally released by these two dignitaries at the venue.
Berlin is a beautiful, historic city without the Wall that once divided the East and West. It has broad avenues, and in the 19th century, there was an attempt to rival the Parisian Champs Elysees as a fashion street on Kurfürstendamm boulevard.
But Germans have best excelled in engineering. Be it the land, air and sea systems they developed in the last century and now, or the Mercedes, BMW and Audi cars. It is still fun to watch the good old flying machines.
The weather on the opening day, June 8, was nice and the sky was a perfect stage for Airbus Military to showcase the A400M that made a public debut less than six months after its maiden flight. Flown by Airbus Military Chief Test Pilot Ed Strongman, the aircraft showed its easy handling characteristics.
The vintage aircraft and their flying display was eye candy. Only some of those machines are flying history, and among them was the World War-II famous Messerschmitt Me 109 fighter, flown by pilot Klaus Plasa. If one has watched the World War great films, like the Blue Max and Battle of Britain, the legendary dogfights between Me 109 and Royal Air Force Spitfires would vividly come alive. There was also the world’s first jet engine fighter, a restored Messerschmitt Me-262, which memorably enthralled and inspired the spectators.
Countries that made debut at the air show included Australia, Finland, Mexico, Monaco, Sweden, Singapore, Turkey and Tunisia while USA made its largest presence with approximately 90 military aircrew and support members from its bases in Europe making it to the show.
The American contingent displayed the B-52 Stratofortess, B-1B Lancer, Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster-III, Lockheed Martin’s C-5B Galaxy and C130 J Hercules, and KC135- Stratotanker.
According to reliable sources quoted by India Strategic defencemagazine, the validation trials of the aircraft were complete and thatone United States Air Force (USAF) C-17 which had come to India in thisregard last month had met the IAF specifications. The aircraft wastested in short and high altitude runways.
As India is buying the aircraft from the US government under itsForeign Military Sales (FMS) programme, the US Department of Defense(DOD) and USAF are leading the discussions from the supplier side andthe Indian Ministry of Defence and the IAF are negotiating from thebuyer side.
DOD has set the maximum price at $5.8 billion for the aircraft andvarious systems but the actual price would depend upon what equipmentand onboard options the IAF finally selects.
The US government will issue a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) after thesediscussions are finalized, indicating the equipment, services, andlifecycle support and their costs. There would be a 3.8 per centadministrative fee that the US government now charges on all FMS deals.(This fee varies periodically between 2.5 to 5 per cent).
India Strategic quoted Boeing's Vice President for Global MobilitySystems Tommy Dunehew, who was here recently, as saying that Boeing hasoffered assured maintenance and supply of spares for the lifetime ofthe aircraft - say 40 years - and serviceability.
The aircraft is manufactured by Boeing at its Los Angeles facility.
According to an official Boeing statement, the latest large T-tailedC-17 Globemaster-III, which India is seeking, can carry a maximumpayload of 74,797 kilograms for 2,400 nautical miles without refuelingand 45,495 kilograms for 4,000 nautical miles without refueling.
The aircraft can also be refueled midair to extend its range to carryequipment and humanitarian aid across international distances.
The statement said that the C-17 can operate from "a small, austereairfield in 3,000 feet or less" with full payload. "The C-17 isequipped with an externally blown flap system that allows a steep,low-speed final approach and low-landing speeds for routine short-fieldlandings."
Boeing has delivered 199 C-17s to the USAF. There are 19 C-17 aircraft with other international customers.
India-USbegin price negotiations on Boeing C-17 airlifter-Airlines /Aviation-Transportation-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times