Category Archives: Aerial Warfare

BAE Systems to Develop Advanced Decoy Countermeasures to Protect Aircraft from Future Threats

BAE Systems to Develop Advanced Decoy Countermeasures to Protect Aircraft from Future Threats

BAE Systems announced a $36.7 million contract from the U.S. Navy to develop and demonstrate a next-generation, dual band Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD) to protect aircraft and pilots from advanced threats.

BAE Systems’ FOTDs are radio-frequency countermeasure systems that provide robust self-protection capabilities for any aircraft, including fighters, bombers, and transports. The company’s Dual Band Decoy development work is intended to expand the capabilities of its combat-proven AN/ALE-55 FOTD.

“Our towed decoys enable pilots to execute missions in highly contested airspace,” said Tom McCarthy, Dual Band Decoy Program Director at BAE Systems. “ALE-55 FOTD is a reliable, high-powered jamming system with years of mission success on the F/A-18E/F and extensive flight-testing on a variety of aircraft. Under this new Dual Band Decoy contract, our focus will be building upon the ALE-55’s proven performance in order to defeat the threats of tomorrow.”

The primary role of the decoy is to protect the warfighter by luring threat missiles away from the aircraft. The decoy also combines techniques that disrupt adversaries’ radar, preventing missile launch from occurring. Much like the ALE-55 FOTD, the Dual Band Decoy will interface with onboard electronic warfare (EW) equipment, but it can also operate independently, enhancing its effectiveness against current and future threats.

BAE Systems recently celebrated the production of its 3,000th ALE-55 FOTD unit – a milestone that builds on the company’s leadership and technical strength in EW. The Dual Band Decoy engineering work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Nashua, New Hampshire and will leverage the company’s existing technologies and expertise.

BAE Systems to Develop Advanced Decoy Countermeasures to Protect Aircraft from Future Threats

BAE Systems to Develop Advanced Decoy Countermeasures to Protect Aircraft from Future Threats

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Airbus A400M completes paratrooper simultaneous dispatch

Airbus A400M completes paratrooper simultaneous dispatch

Getafe, 07 October 2019 – The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has completed the certification flight test for the simultaneous dispatch of 80 (40+40) equipped paratroopers from both side doors on a single pass. Tests were performed in coordination with the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) together with French and Belgian Armed Forces. The flight test campaign, performed in the Ger Azet drop zone in southern France during daylight, also successfully completed the certification flight test to support the deployment of 58 paratroopers from one side door, the A400M’s maximum dispatch capacity from a single door.

Airbus A400M completes paratrooper simultaneous dispatch

Airbus A400M completes paratrooper simultaneous dispatch


These major milestones conclude the certification test phase of the paratroop dispatch capability of the A400M, pending on the completion of certification activities in the first half of 2020, and paving the way for the simultaneous deployment of up to 116 paratroopers and the certification for mixed operations. After 9 flights and 564 jumps, the completion of the test campaign concludes a very complex exercise built together with the A400M Customer Nations around the confidence in the aircraft and the highest safety requirements. The picture above highlights the successful dispatch of 80 paratroopers, to date the largest simultaneous deployment from an A400M on a single pass.
Airbus A400M completes paratrooper simultaneous dispatch

Airbus A400M completes paratrooper simultaneous dispatch


Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018 it generated revenues of € 64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

Saab and Boeing Conduct Successful Test Firing of Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb

Saab and Boeing Conduct Successful Test Firing of Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb

Saab has together with Boeing conducted a successful long-range test firing of the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) in Norway. The test firing took place at the Andøya Test Center in Andenes, Norway, September 26, 2019. The objective of the test firing was to hit a predetermined target in the sea, 130 km away from the launcher. The launcher used in the test firing was a custom made, fully autonomous, 20 foot container.

“In collaboration with Boeing, we have developed a highly competent system that offers high precision at long range. We see a lot of potential in the GLSDB, since it provides armed forces around the world with a long range artillery capability, which there is a great demand for”, says Görgen Johansson, Head of Saab business area Dynamics.

Saab and Boeing Conduct Successful Test Firing of Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb

Saab and Boeing Conduct Successful Test Firing of Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb


GLSDB is a partnership between Saab and Boeing. The GLSDB system stands out with its high accuracy over long ranges, and has the ability to fly complex trajectories and manoeuvres to strike targets that cannot be reached by conventional direct and indirect fire weapons. It is launcher independent, which means that it can be fired from a containerised solution, as well as any launcher capable of using the M26 launch pod container e.g. HIMARS, M270 and ChunMoo. The containerised solution can also be used onboard ships, providing GLSDB with the ability be fired from both land and sea assets.

“Boeing and Saab bring together deep knowledge of precision weapon systems and the ability to rapidly integrate and test solutions,” said Cindy Gruensfelder, vice president, Boeing Weapons. “Combining our companies’ expertise, experience and resources have resulted in an advanced, cost efficient, supportable global rocket artillery solution that brings warfighters the level of capability needed to combat current and future threats in a joint force environment.” 

GLSDB gives land and naval forces a mobile, organic capability to hit targets that were previously out of their reach. This is achieved by taking advantage of the Small Diameter Bomb’s inherent manoeuvrability and accuracy. GLSDB is the ultimate long-range solution, combining affordability and performance, and meets the evolving needs of armed forces today and tomorrow.

Saab and Boeing Conduct Successful Test Firing of Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb

Saab and Boeing Conduct Successful Test Firing of Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb

Sikorsky Introduces RAIDER X™, A NextGen Light-Attack Reconnaissance Helicopter Based On Its Proven X2 Technology

Sikorsky Introduces RAIDER X™, A NextGen Light-Attack Reconnaissance Helicopter Based On Its Proven X2 Technology

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company (NYSE: LMT), today introduced RAIDER X™, its concept for an agile, lethal and survivable compound coaxial helicopter, specifically designed for securing vertical lift dominance against evolving peer and near-peer threats on the future battlefield. Through the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program, RAIDER X is the out-front platform in the Service’s revolutionary approach for rapid development and delivery of game changing technology and warfighter capabilities, equipped for the most demanding and contested environments. RAIDER X enables the reach, protection and lethality required to remain victorious in future conflicts.
“RAIDER X converges everything we’ve learned in years of developing, testing and refining X2 Technology and delivers warfighters a dominant, survivable and intelligent system that will excel in tomorrow’s battlespace where aviation overmatch is critical,” said Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems. “The X2 Technology family of aircraft is a low-risk solution and is scalable based on our customers’ requirements.”

RAIDER X draws on Lockheed Martin’s broad expertise in developing innovative systems using the latest digital design and manufacturing techniques. Sikorsky’s RAIDER X prototype offers:

  • Exceptional Performance: The X2 rigid rotor provides increased performance including; highly responsive maneuverability, enhanced low-speed hover, off-axis hover, and level acceleration and braking. These attributes make us unbeatable at the X.
  • Agile, Digital Design: State-of-the-art digital design and manufacturing is already in use on other Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky production programs such as CH-53K, CH-148 and F-35, and will enable the Army to not only lower the acquisition cost, but enable rapid, affordable upgrades to stay ahead of the evolving threat.
  • Adaptability: Modern open systems architecture (MOSA)-based avionics and mission systems, offering “plug-and-play” options for computing, sensors, survivability and weapons, benefiting lethality and survivability, operational mission tailoring and competitive acquisitions.
  • Sustainable/Maintenance: Designed to decrease aircraft operating costs by utilizing new technologies to shift from routine maintenance and inspections to self-monitoring and condition-based maintenance, which will increase aircraft availability, reduce sustainment footprint forward and enable flexible maintenance operating periods.
    Growth/Mission Flexibility: Focused on the future and ever evolving threat capabilities, X2 compound coaxial technology provides unmatched potential and growth margin for increased speed, combat radius and payload. This potential and growth margin further enables operational mission flexibility which includes a broader range of aircraft configurations and loadouts to accommodate specific mission requirements.
    The nationwide supply team that Sikorsky has comprised to build RAIDER X will join company leaders today to introduce RAIDER X during the annual conference of the Association of the United States Army in Washington, D.C.

“RAIDER X is the culmination of decades of development, and a testament to our innovation and passion for solving our customers’ needs,” said Sikorsky President Dan Schultz. “By leveraging the strength of the entire Lockheed Martin Corporation, we will deliver the only solution that gives the U.S. Army the superiority needed to meet its mission requirements.”

Sikorsky Introduces RAIDER X™, A NextGen Light-Attack Reconnaissance Helicopter Based On Its Proven X2 Technology

Sikorsky Introduces RAIDER X™, A NextGen Light-Attack Reconnaissance Helicopter Based On Its Proven X2 Technology


Proven X2 Technology: Scalable, Sustainable, Affordable
With RAIDER X, Sikorsky introduces the latest design in its X2 family of aircraft. To date, X2 aircraft have achieved/demonstrated:

  • Speeds in excess of 250 knots
  • High altitude operations in excess of 9,000 feet
  • Low-speed and high-speed maneuver envelopes out to 60+ degrees angle of bank
  • ADS-33B (Aeronautical Design Standard) Level 1 handling qualities with multiple pilots
  • Flight controls optimization and vibration mitigation
    “The power of X2 is game changing. It combines the best elements of low-speed helicopter performance with the cruise performance of an airplane,” said Sikorsky experimental test pilot Bill Fell, a retired Army pilot who has flown nearly every RAIDER test flight. “Every flight we take in our S-97 RAIDER today reduces risk and optimizes our FARA prototype, RAIDER X.”
    The development of X2 Technology and the RAIDER program has been funded entirely by significant investments by Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin and industry partners.

Italy Orders Three Additional ATR-42MP Patrol Aircraft

Leonardo has signed a contract with Guardia di Finanza valued at over 150 million euros for the supply of three ATR 72MPs and related technical-logistic support services. This contract completes the acquisition of four aircraft, the first order was placed in July 2018, awarded under a European tender. The first aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2019, with the remaining three units expected to be supplied by 2022.

Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, said: “We are proud that Guardia di Finanza has chosen to rely once again on our ATR 72MP, an aircraft which fully represents Leonardo’s technological capabilities in terms of design and integration of platforms and systems at the highest levels.”

Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Aircraft Division MD at Leonardo, said: “The ATR 72MP combines reliability, low operating costs, all the advantages of the ATR 72-600 regional passenger transport aircraft together with a state-of-the-art mission system.”

Contract Valued at Over 150 Million Euros with Guardia di Finanza for the Supply of Three ATR 72MPs and Logistic Support Services

Contract Valued at Over 150 Million Euros with Guardia di Finanza for the Supply of Three ATR 72MPs and Logistic Support Services


The ATR 72MP will be integrated into the aeronautical capabilities of Guardia di Finanza, in the context of the multiple roles assigned to the Corps by the current regulatory framework. The Guardia di Finanza is the only law enforcement agency with general jurisdiction capable of exercising incisive and constant supervisory activities along the entire national coastal development and in international waters, carried out also due to the advanced technological equipment installed on its own aircraft.

Specific latest-generation capabilities embedded for the first time into the ATR 72MP will be useful to support dedicated surveillance activities entrusted to the Guardia di Finanza.

The ATR 72MP will operate in air-sea patrol and search missions, using on-board sensors to identify, even discreetly, sensitive objects, monitor their behavior, acquire evidence, and lead the intervention of naval units and land patrols.

The ATR 72MP – already in service with the Italian Armed Forces in a military version called P-72A – is equipped with the modular Leonardo ATOS (Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance) mission system. The ATOS manages the wide range of sensors of the aircraft, combining the information received in an overall tactical situation and presenting the results to the operators of the mission system in the most suitable format, providing an excellent and constantly updated scenario.

Thanks to its commercial derivation, the ATR 72MP delivers its crew levels of ergonomics that increase its efficiency and effectiveness during maritime patrol, search and identification missions, SAR (search and rescue) missions, counter drug trafficking, piracy, smuggling and preventing any illegal action across the territorial waters, which can typically last more than 8 hours.

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter

Airbus Helicopters has delivered its 1,000th Super Puma helicopter: a twin-engine multi-role H215 assembled in Marignane, France, and handed over to the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei) to support the German Havarie Command, which manages maritime emergencies off of Germany’s coast. This delivery completes the German Federal Police’s order for four H215s, the first three of which were delivered in December 2018, and increases the German Federal Police’s Super Puma fleet to 23, including 19 AS332 L1s, making the police force one of the largest operators of Super Pumas in the world today.

“The Super Puma family of civil and military helicopters has consistently performed well thanks to its ability to appeal to many different mission segments, whether you’re fighting fires, building power lines, transporting troops, or saving lives in extreme environments,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “Thanks to our close partnerships with long-standing customers like the German Federal Police, who we are honoured will operate our 1000th Super Puma, we are able to continuously improve so that this important product continues to meet the evolving market needs for decades to come.”

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter


Today, the Super Puma is operated by nearly 100 customers in 59 countries representing all regions of the world. The Super Puma family is composed of the H215 and H225 for the civil market, produced by Airbus Helicopters for law enforcement, aerial work, search and rescue, offshore transport and governmental missions, and appreciated for their versatility and ability to operate in extreme environmental conditions. In the military sector, Airbus Helicopters offers the H215M and H225M for search and rescue, troop transport, special ops and utility missions, among others.

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018, it generated revenues of €64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter

Airbus delivers 1,000th Super Puma helicopter


Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018, it generated revenues of €64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

P-8A gets new tool, extended search and rescue capability

P-8A gets new tool, extended search and rescue capability

Flying at a maximum speed of about 565 mph, at about 41,000 feet, the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon already covers an operational area of about 1,200 nautical miles during a four-hour on-station period. Now, add air-to-air refueling for extended range and endurance and an advanced search and rescue kit and officials say the P-8A is postured to respond to humanitarian missions around the globe. “The UNIPAC III Search and Rescue (SAR) kit is designed to substantially increase survivor assistance,” said Squadron Leader Nathan Mula, an Australian P-8A Flight Test Tactical officer stationed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River (PAX) in Maryland. Mula is part of the cooperative program at the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Office (PMA-290). “The kit increases the survivor assistance capability of the P-8A from 16 to 100 people in a single sortie.”

The testing, which is performed at PAX, but funded by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) ensures those rescued are found and sustained with food, water and communications for an extended time. “The test program is a perfect example of the benefits reaped when two international partners join as part of a cooperative partnership,” Mula said. “Not only does the RAAF take a large step toward a major capability milestone, but the U.S. Navy receives the developmental and operational test experience and results.”

“By leveraging the developmental experience, both countries are able to increase their capability to provide assistance to survivors in the oceans around the world,” he said.

Operated by U.S Navy, Australia and India, the P-8 is performing maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations around the globe. Additionally, the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea have ordered the aircraft with deliveries expected through the middle of the next decade.

The aircraft has proven valuable at search and rescue in addition to its core capabilities in maritime patrol, reconnaissance, intelligence and surveillance.

Some missions supported by the P-8A include operations to find the downed Malaysian airliner in 2014; and the rescue of castaways in 2016 when their large “Help” sign constructed from palm leaves stood out against the sands on Fanadik Island. In 2018, three fishermen were rescued in the South Pacific by a U.S. Navy Squadron with the help of UNIPAC-II SAR kit, the predecessor to the UNIPAC-III, which was the first time the U.S. Navy employed the system.

During testing there were both ground and flight tests, which included static ejection, safe separation and integration programs to certify the UNIPAC-III the Search and Rescue. During this test, testers evaluate the SAR kit [includes raft, food rations and drinking water], is studied approximately five miles off the coast of the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. (U.S. Navy photo/ Released)

During testing there were both ground and flight tests, which included static ejection, safe separation and integration programs to certify the UNIPAC-III the Search and Rescue. During this test, testers evaluate the SAR kit [includes raft, food rations and drinking water], is studied approximately five miles off the coast of the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. (U.S. Navy photo/ Released)


“Over the past year, we’ve performed numerous ground and flight tests, including static ejection, safe separation and integration programs to certify the UNIPAC-III,” said Katie Giewont, a P-8A Air Vehicle Stores Compatibility flight test engineer.

“It’s rewarding knowing we are providing the RAAF with the capability to rescue 100 survivors from a single P-8A. It’s incredible,” she said.

“The RAAF will perform additional operational testing in Australia later in the year, said RAAF Squadron Leader Lee McDowall. “It means a lot to us for the U.S. Navy to trust our specialists to perform the testing to their same standard.”

The RAAF monitors a region spanning from the Indian Ocean across to the Pacific and down to Antarctica, which equals approximately 10 percent of the earth’s entire surface, McDowall said.“We have an excellent working relationship as integrated members of the program office and as cooperative partners in the P-8A acquisition process,” he said.

The U.S. Navy will evaluate the UNIPAC-III for its own fleet, and will use outcomes from the RAAF’s operational tests to consider the potential introduction of the capability.

“There’s no other rescue capability like it in the world,” McDowall said