Month: April 2011

Pakistan Test Flight Of New Raad Air Launched Cruise Missile

Defense, Featured, Headline
Pakistan national defense establishment celebrated yesterday the successful flight test of a new Air Launched Cruise Missile designated Raad/Hatf-VIII. The Raad that was a launched from a Pakistan Air Force Mirage III delivers precision strikes capabilities at ranges of 215 miles (350 km) with an estimated 9 ft (3 m) target accuracy probability (Circular Error Probability -CEP) carrying both conventional or nuclear warhead. This weapon complements stand-off missile launch capability within the Pakistani Air Force arsenal on the Mirage III/V platform aircraft and also presumably on the newer JF-17 and even Block 52 F-16s fighters. Video footage of the launch depicts a PAF Mirage Iii releasing the 15 ft (5 m) long weapon slung underneath its fuselage. The indigenous weapon subsequentl...

Israel To Field More Iron Dome Missile Interceptor Batteries On $205 million from US

Defense, Featured, Headline, Systems
Recent signing of the 2011 US budget is bringing relief to Israeli defense planners, executing US Congress Act HR 5327 that apportions $205 million for Israel to continue funding its Iron Dome Missile Interceptor System. In the words of US legislators, HR 5327 aims to assist the government of Israel for “procurement, maintenance, and sustainment of the Iron Dome Short Range Artillery Rocket Defense System with purpose of intercepting short range rockets, missiles, and mortars launched against Israel”. This budget appropriation package from the United States will allow procurement of an additional four Iron Dome batteries that will augment the two batteries deployed since March and early April to defend Beersheba and Ashkelon from Hamas launched rockets and mortars. A third battery is n

Boeing 787 Pilots Training Programs: Flight Simulators

Featured, Headline, Systems
With delivery of the first Boeing 787-8 aircraft scheduled for the third quarter 2011, Boeing Training & Flight Services is consolidating its global pilot training program around 5 campus housing various simulators and computer based training equipment. The program encompasses 20 certifications covered by several nations aviation regulatory bodies; Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) where 5 Boeing global training campus are located Seattle, Singapore, Tokyo, London Gatwick and Shanghai which only qualified last month. For instance All Nippon Airways, the launch customer for the Boeing 787 has se...

All Nippon Airways Strengthening Partnerships; New Code Sharing Agreement with SAS

Airlines, Analysis, Featured
Beginning May 23rd, 2011, Japan carrier ANA and Scandinavian Airline Systems will begin honoring their new code-sharing agreement. The agreement is articulated to permit ANA domestic flights operated out of Tokyo Haneda Airport towards Sapporo, Osaka and Fukoka to receive an SAS additional flight designation SK. Reciprocally SAS flights linking Copenhagen to Tokyo will be conducted with the additional ANA flight designation NH. The agreement plans to introduce at a later date deeper code sharing with more SAS-operated flights receiving ANA's NH call designation. The SAS flights that will be involved are the Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm flights to Frankfurt and London along with the Oslo and Stockholm flights to Munich. The code sharing agreements allow both airlines to profit by v...

Air China Launching New Services To Milan And Athens

Airlines, Featured
Air China is announcing the introduction of two new destinations in its western Europe network. A new Beijing-Milan route will begin service on June 15th, 2011. The three times weekly direct flights will be operated by an Airbus 330 on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday using flights number CA949 and CA950. The airline is pointing out the new route offers a greatly reduced travel time than previously required when connecting via Shanghai where a direct flight to Milan had existed since May 2008. The Milan flight is being introduced in addition to a new Athens route. Beginning May 11th, 2011, the airline will serve Athens (Greece) as a continuation of the twice weekly Beijing-Munich flight, also an Airbus 330 operating as flights CA961 and CA962. These flights operate Wednesday and Satur...

AWACS Upgrades Part II: RSIP, Block 40/45 and ScanEagle UAV

Defense, Featured, Headline, Systems
    PART II THE FLEET UPGRADES This is a follow up to our April 11th 2011 introductory part which described the AWACS AN/APY-1/-2 main radar tactical modes and hardware as well as supporting processing equipment aboard the aircraft. Systems upgrades implemented in an effort to meet evolving 21st century battlefield challenges involve; increasing the main radar ability to detect smaller radar cross section, stealthier aerial threats (cruise missiles, stealth combat aircraft and drones), improving precision navigation while complying with current air traffic regulations, improving secure tactical communications, better identification of radar emitting sources (Electronic Support Measures ESM), increasing crew effectiveness and also improving connectivity in the era of network ...

CENTCOM Deploys MQ8B Fire Scout UAV

Defense, Featured, Headline, Systems
Naval Air System Command announced April 20th 2011 deployment of 3 MQ-8B Fire Scout Unmanned Air Vehicle with US Central Command (CENTCOM) overseeing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The MQ-8B Fire Scout is Vertical take-off and landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle VTUAV built by Northrop Grumman. The Fire Scout autonomous aircraft is derived from a civilian light utility helicopter Schweizer S-333 (Schweizer Aircraft is a Sikorsky Helicopter subsidiary) to provide enhanced battlefield surveillance and situational awareness. The deployment was articulated around airlifting more than 90,000 lbs of equipment, notably 3 MQ-8B aircraft loaded onto a Boeing C-17 military transport that flew out April 13th 2011 along with 2 Ground Control Stations GCS embarked on a C-5 Galaxy transpo...
Air France Now Flying 60 Boeing 777 With 5 Different Configurations. Analysis

Air France Now Flying 60 Boeing 777 With 5 Different Configurations. Analysis

Airlines, Analysis, Featured, Headline
On Monday April 18th 2011 Air France announced that it was introducing a 60th Boeing 777 into its long haul fleet. This latest addition of a brand new Boeing 777-328ER brings the airline's -300ER fleet to 35 aircraft that operate alongside 25 Boeing 777-200ER. It may come as a surprise to realize that these 60 Boeing 777s share among themselves no less than five different cabin configurations; three different cabin configurations are observed throughout the 777-300ER fleet and another two throughout the 777-200ER model. The different cabin products offered on board these aircraft help better understand how Air France differentiated cabin products have creating niche markets within its fleet. We will gain insight on key trends that are also likely to impact the airline near-future marketin...

China Flies J-20 Stealth Fighter Prototype Again; Pictures And Intelligence Review

Defense, Featured, Headline, Systems
The Chinese Chengdu J-20 stealth aircraft took to the sky a second time this past weekend from an airfield in Chengdu. What appears to be a second test flight (after the initial January 11th 18-minutes flight) also coincided with the 60 years anniversary of China's aviation industry. The 85 minutes flight took place in front of crowds of people allowing more photographic images of the aircraft to emerge. The plane stealthy look is undisputed although it appears remarkably bigger (probably as long as 75 feet) than the US F-22. Experts now concede that it is a an actual prototype of a fifth generation fighter aircraft and not a technology demonstrator. Here are some of our observations. American 'Heritage' The Chinese have learned very well their lessons on American Stealth technology from t...

American Airlines 1st Quarter Results, Additional Boeing 777-300ER Orders

Corporate News, Featured
The airline announced April 20th 2011 its first quarter results marked by modest improvements over last year's first quarter. The $436 million quarterly net loss compared favorably to last year first quarter loss of $505 million. This latest result is taking place in a high fuel price environment which is negatively impacting a noticeable global recovery industry-wide. The airline encountered a 24% increase in fuel price that translated to a $351 million surcharge for the quarter alone. In an effort to address soaring fuel prices and aggressively control costs the airline is proceeding with the retirement of 25 older MD-80s. The resulting decrease in capacity is in keeping with the 0.5% fall in domestic market capacity observed compared to last year. The planned introduction of 2 ...