Category Archives: Aerial Warfare

Brazilian Air Force tests Embraer KC-390 at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

Brazilian Air Force tests Embraer KC-390 at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

The U.S. Army has announced that the Brazil Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira, FAB) conducting airdrop testing certification of its new Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft at at the Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in southwestern Arizona, U.S. approximately 70 customers from Brazil, which include maintainers, test pilots, and engineers at YPG supported Embraer in the air delivery testing for the aircraft. It was a certification process which included conducting several tests to certify the air delivery system. The Brazilian Air Force set the requirements and YPG supported Embraer in conducting every critical test. YPG’s role for this project was to rig all the payloads, pack parachutes, collect instrumentation data, photographs, video, and coordinate range support. It was a certification process which included conducting several tests to certify the system.

Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft

Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft


The Embraer KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft under development by Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer, able to perform aerial refuelling and to transport cargo and troops. It is the heaviest aircraft that the company has made to date, and will be able to transport up to 26 tonnes (29 tons) of cargo, including wheeled armoured fighting vehicles. It is powered by two IAE V2500-E5 turbofans generating 139.4 kN(31,330 lbf) thrust each. The plane has been in development since 2009 and is scheduled for introduction into the Brazilian Air Force in 2019, but before that happens, the KC-390 must be certified. After 1,900 flight hours in testing, the KC-390 received Brazilian civil type certification on 23 October 2018; the first production aircraft is to be delivered to the Brazilian air force in the first half 2019 and should obtain military certification by the end of 2019. The third aircraft (PT-ZNG), originally slated for the first delivery, has been redirected to complete certification.
Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft

Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft


Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) is a United States Army proving ground and one of the largest military installations in the world. It is a subordinate command of the Army Test and Evaluation Command.Located in southwestern La Paz County and western Yuma County in southwestern Arizona, U.S., about 30 miles (48 km) north-east of the city of Yuma, it encompasses 1,307.8 square miles (3,387.2 km²) in the northwestern Sonoran Desert.
The Yuma Proving Ground is the U.S.Army’s premier test center for air delivery testing. Roberto Becker, is the chief flight test engineer for Embraer, where he has worked for 30 years. While this is not his first time at YPG, it’s the first time he’s come here for this test. After the test, he is confident about the aircraft’s capabilities. “The airplane is fantastic,” he said. “The airplane is working perfectly, no malfunctions, the system is operating very well.” Becker explains that the aircraft has undergone basic certification and now YPG is supporting military mission certification. He’s been pleased with the process. “The YPG staff is really professional and they know what they are doing.”

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Naval Air Systems Command Awards Kratos a $25.4 Million Contract for the BQM-177A Aerial Target

Naval Air Systems Command Awards Kratos a $25.4 Million Contract for the BQM-177A Aerial Target

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading National Security Solutions provider and industry leading provider of high performance jet powered unmanned aerial target and tactical drone systems, announced today that Kratos has received a $25,413,946 contract for Lot 3 of Low Rate Initial Production for the BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT) from the US Navy as reflected in the US Navy’s May 28, 2019 announcement: “Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc., Sacramento, California, is awarded a $25,413,946 firm-fixed-price contract to procure 34 low-rate initial production Lot 3 BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Targets and technical data. Work will be performed in Sacramento, California, and is expected to be completed March 2021. Fiscal 2019 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $25,413,946 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-1024).”

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)


Steve Fendley, Kratos Unmanned Systems Division President, commented, “This LRIP III award following the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) achievement announced earlier this year, represents the final milestone prior to the expected Full Rate Production start for Kratos’ BQM-177A SSAT. Once in full rate production, these programs have historically been decades long both in operations and production. The recapitalization of strategic weapon systems by the U.S. and its allies to address peer-level threats is driving the need for new and additional threat representative target drones to exercise our forces and defensive systems. We are proud to be the sole source provider well into the future for this crucial high performance system that emulates anti-ship cruise missiles for the US Navy and our allies.”
Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)


The BQM-177A is the US Navy’s next-generation Sub-Sonic Aerial Target (SSAT). While it provides formidable threat emulation for air-to-air engagements, the BQM-177A’s aerodynamic design and unmatched performance capabilities make it the world’s best choice for highly-dynamic, high-subsonic, sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile threat emulation. Capable of speeds in excess of 0.95 Mach and a sea-skimming altitude as low as 10 feet, the BQM-177A has no equal when it comes to delivering realistic anti-ship missile threat emulation. This highly-versatile aerial target supports a variety of mission requirements by carrying a wide array of internal and external payloads including proximity scoring, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), passive and active RF augmentation, electronic counter-measures, infrared (IR) augmentation (plume pods), chaff and flare dispensers, and towed targets.
Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)


Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) develops and fields transformative, affordable technology, platforms and systems for United States National Security related customers, allies and commercial enterprises. Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology for these industries are rapidly brought to market through proven commercial and venture capital backed approaches, including proactive research and streamlined development processes. Kratos specializes in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, hypersonic systems, training, combat systems and next generation turbo jet and turbo fan engine development. For more information go to http://www.KratosDefense.com

Slovakia to agree MiG-29 service contract with Russia

Slovakia to agree MiG-29 service contract with Russia

Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini will sign a contract worth 100 million euros ($112mln) with Russian Aircraft Corporation (RSK MiG) for servicing the country’s MiG-29 fighters for the next four to five years, during a press conference following a meeting with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in Moscow. The agreement will be in effect before the delivery of 14 US F-16V Block 70/72 multirole combat aircraft valued at EUR1.6 billion by the end of 2023. The Slovak Air Force currently holds 10 MiG-29A/-29UB combat aircraft. Slovakia’s contract with Russia for the maintenance of 12 MiG-29s is valid until the fall of 2019. Slovakia pays Russia 30 million euros annually for the repair of fighters.

Slovakia to agree MiG-29 service contract with Russia

Slovakia to agree MiG-29 service contract with Russia

Qatar receives its first five Dassault Rafale fighters

Qatar receives its first five Dassault Rafale fighters

The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) received its first batch of Dassault Rafale fighters on 5 June, the Qatar Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced. The first five of 36 aircraft ordered for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) were received by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, during a ceremony at the newly completed Dukhan Airbase on the western coast of the Middle East peninsula. The first Rafale had been symbolically delivered in February, but the aircraft remained in France for training of Qatar pilots. The country also has the option to buy another 36 fighters.Qatar has invested in expanding its military after the boycott led by Saudi Arabia and followed by its allies United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain in June of 2017. Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of supporting Iran and the Islamist movement, which was denied by the Arab emirate.

Qatar receives its first five Dassault Rafale fighters

Qatar receives its first five Dassault Rafale fighters


The arrival of the first Rafales at Dukhan Airbase marks a key milestone in a major military aviation capitalisation process for Qatar that has recently seen it order a large number of varied fixed- and rotary-winged combat and support aircraft. Dassault fighter Jet is one of several aircraft purchased to strengthen the country’s air force following the embargo of other Arab countries. In addition to the Dassault fighter jets, Qatar ordered 36 Boeing F-15QA (Qatar Advanced)-variant Eagles (with a requirement for 36 more), 24 Eurofighter Typhoons, six BAE Systems Hawks, 48 Boeing AH-64E Apaches, 28 NHIndustries NH90s, four Boeing C-17 Globemaster IIIs, and four Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules. Prior to the embargo, Qatar was one of the least armed countries in the region. The country’s air force had 13 Mirage 2000-5 fighters plus some Alpha Jet and PC-21 trainers – France supplied 15 Mirage F1 before that, but the fighters were sold to Spain.
Qatar receives its first five Dassault Rafale fighters

Qatar receives its first five Dassault Rafale fighters


The Dassault Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. The fully versatile Rafale is able to carry out all combat aviation missions: air superiority and air defense, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence. The Dassault Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006. With more than 30,000 flight hours in operations, it has proven its worth in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria. The Rafale was ordered by Egypt, Qatar and India. With over 10,000 military and civil aircraft delivered in more than 90 countries over the last century, Dassault Aviation has built up expertise recognized worldwide in the design, development, sale and support of all types of aircraft, ranging from the Rafale fighter, to the high-end Falcon family of business jets and military drones.

USAF B-52 Stratofortress tests Quickstrike-ER naval mine

USAF B-52 Stratofortress tests Quickstrike-ER naval mine

A B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the USAF’s 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., conducts an operational demonstration of the Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), May 30, 2019. PMRF is the world’s largest instrumented, multi-dimensional testing and training missile range. A B-52 bomber from the 49th Test Squadron carried out the exercise and released four inert QS64-ER 2000lb mine shapes on a remote shallow water location of the PMRF. This is the final and largest demonstration of the project and is part of a two-year joint effort to develop, test, and operationally demonstrate QS-ER. USINDOPACOM initiated the project as part of ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance military readiness throughout the joint forces in the Indo-Pacific region.

USAF B-52 Stratofortress tests Quickstrike-ER naval mine

USAF B-52 Stratofortress tests Quickstrike-ER naval mine


Quickstrike 64-ER (QS-ER) is an air-laid mine equipped with a 2000 lb MK64 Quickstrike naval mine. The Quickstrike is a Mark 80-series general purpose bomb with the fuze replaced with a target detection device (TDD) to detonate it when a ship passes within lethal range, a safe/arm device in the nose, and a parachute-retarder tailkit in the back. The Naval mine project is part of a two-year joint effort to develop, test and operationally demonstrate the capabilities of the QS64-ER that combines Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) technology and an additional wing kit and battery section with existing mine components. This allows it to be delivered long range and high altitude, which significantly reduces risk to the aircraft.
The Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project drops towards the Pacific Ocean from a B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., during an operational demonstration May 30. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Holly L. Herline)

The Quickstrike-ER (QS-ER) Naval mine project drops towards the Pacific Ocean from a B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., during an operational demonstration May 30. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Holly L. Herline)


The U.S. Air Force performed the first-ever drop of a precision guided aerial mine, consisting of a Quickstrike mine equipped with a JDAM kit on 23 September 2014. The Quickstrike-J precision maritime mine is a JDAM-equipped 1,000 lb or 2,000 lb version, while the GBU-62B(V-1)/B Quickstrike-ER standoff, precision maritime mine is a 500 lb or 2,000 lb gliding version based on the JDAM-ER, which has a range of 40 nmi (46 mi; 74 km) when launched from 35,000 ft (11,000 m). This aerial maritime mine is compatible, interoperable, and can be employed by virtually any JDAM enabled aircraft, including foreign partners. Current mine technology, while effective, has been largely unchanged since World War II. These innovations and capabilities in the QS-ER project will allow our forces to generate more effective minefields from longer ranges and more rapidly than ever before.

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology

A technology kit developed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company was used for the first time to operate a Black Hawk helicopter with full-authority, fly-by-wire flight controls. The May 29 flight marked the official start to the flight test program for the soon-to-be optionally piloted aircraft. Follow-on flight testing aims to include envelope expansion throughout the summer leading to fully autonomous flight (zero pilots) in 2020. This is the first full authority fly-by-wire retrofit kit developed by Sikorsky that has completely removed mechanical flight controls from the aircraft.

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology


Through DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program, Sikorsky is developing an OPV approach it describes as pilot directed autonomy to give operators the confidence to fly aircraft safely, reliably and affordably in optimally piloted modes enabling flight with two, one or zero crew. The program aims to improve operator decision aiding for manned operations while also enabling both unmanned and reduced crew operations. Sikorsky has been demonstrating its MATRIX™ Technology on a modified S-76B™ called the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA). The aircraft, which has been in test since 2013, has more than 300 hours of autonomous flight.
Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology

Sikorsky flies Black Hawk with newest Fly-By-Wire Technology


Sikorsky announced in March that its S-92® helicopter fleet update will include the introduction of phase one MATRIX Technology that will bring advanced computing power to the platform. This foundation enables adoption of autonomous landing technology. Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) utilizes MATRIX™ Technology which enables users of military and commercial helicopters, and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, to safely, reliably and affordably operate as autonomously or optionally piloted aircraft. MATRIX™ technology combines software and hardware components, enabling autonomous, reliable mission execution in obstacle-rich environments. This creates a safer flying experience overall.

Northrop Grumman Delivers First IBCS Mobile Command Center

Northrop Grumman Delivers First IBCS Mobile Command Center

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered to the U.S. Army the first production-representative engagement operations center (EOC) for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS). The delivered IBCS EOC has completed all functional configuration audits for major configuration items and system verification review, and is representative of the production configuration for hardware and software that will undergo qualification testing before IOT&E. Northrop Grumman is on pace to deliver 11 EOCs and 18 IFCN relays for the IBCS program by the end of the year.

Northrop Grumman Corporation Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System

Northrop Grumman Corporation Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System


“This milestone is testament of the significant progress toward operational capability that will make pivotal differences to warfighters, commanders and acquisition officials,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. “We will be delivering more EOCs as well as IBCS integrated fire control network (IFCN) relays in the near future. These articles will be used for initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E), which informs future production decisions.” “Northrop Grumman will continue to closely collaborate with our customer and user communities to realize the groundbreaking vision of IBCS and its transformative impact on the air and missile defense mission,” said Verwiel.
Northrop Grumman Corporation Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System

Northrop Grumman Corporation Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System


IBCS is a paradigm shift for IAMD by replacing legacy stove-piped systems with a next-generation, net-centric approach to better address an evolving array of threats. The system integrates disparate radars and weapons to construct a far more effective IAMD enterprise. IBCS delivers a single integrated air picture with unprecedented accuracy as well as broader surveillance and protection areas. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS allows incorporation of current and future sensors and effectors and enables interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system. IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.