X3 concept – experimental compound helicopter

The Eurocopter X3 concept is a High-speed long-range Hybrid Helicopter (H3 concept) which flies up to 220 knots or 410 km/h. Special thanks to Xavier – http://passiondesavions.blogspot.com webmaster – who stumbled upon this French-subtitled video:

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RAFALE, GRIPEN, TYPHOON for Swiss AF – Purchase postponed!

Dassault RAFALE fighter aircraft aerobatics
RAFALE - Photo © Xavier Cotton - http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

08/26/2010 Article adapted from AVIANEWS

As far as the Swiss Air Force is concerned, there has been two options so far – the choice of new fighter aircraft or postponement thereof, the second alternative has been chosen. You will find hereafter the Avianews webmaster’s analysis:

This is the Swiss Federal Council Message:

« However, given the current state of federal finances and priorities taken as a whole, the time of acquisition is postponed to no later than 2015. The Federal Council decided on the proposal of DDPS (Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports) to postpone the replacement of 54 obsolete combat aircraft F-5 Tiger Air Force. The Head of the DDPS, Ueli Maurer held a news conference on the postponement which is expected to last at most until 2015. The Federal Department of Finance and the DDPS together confirm by the end of 2011 the conditions for an acquisition during the second half of the decade.  »

The reasons for non selection:

First, this is an organizational problem from the financial organization of Armée XXI. Remember, the people had voted for the new military organization with a comfortable 70% « yes »! id est a military downsized with a budget of only 4.3 billion Swiss Francs now. However, the parliament has never put forward this budget that painfully reaches 3.6 billion. The Swiss People is reportedly disappointed by such loss of income, and deception as well.

No F-5 replacement:

Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 on apron
Typhoon FGR4 - Photo © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

Replacing the F-5 is out of the question anymore but to get prepared for the next generation of F/A-18 from 2025. Consequently, there is more urgency to acquire a large number of aircraft as a whole block but split into several ones.

Consequences:

The losers in this case are the Swiss industry and jobs. Indeed, if the cost of a fighter plane is expensive, the returns on partnerships to « Offsets » were significantly higher and would have revitalized both the Swiss manufacturing industry and employment.

Competitors:

The three companies will meet in a few years for a new offer and therefore cannot comment on this « no choice »!

Dassault must be disappointed for they would certainly have won the contract with his Rafale. The version of the Rafale-04T was proposed with more powerful engines, the wiring for the METEOR missile, the new targeting pod Damocles XF and the brand new IDM (Improved Data Modem).

It bodes well for Saab because they now may complete the Swedish version of the Gripen E / F (NG), whose development is not completed yet and find a buyer with the Swedish Air Force (SwAF). Indeed, it must order the Gripen E / F by 2015.

EADS Eurofighter will be able to finalize its AESA E-scan radar and they are likely to reduce maintenance costs of the aircraft as promised this summer to the Switzerland Economy Minister Doris Leuthard at the ILA Berlin Airshow.

… To be continued …

Photos © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

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RAFALE or EUROFIGHTER to become next Indian Air Force fighter jet according to Indian media – Russian and US media deny

Rafale fighter aircraft aerobatics at La Ferté Allais airshow in 2010
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

Amazing rumours have spread for a couple of days regarding the MMRCA (Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) or the MRCA Tender which is an ongoing competition to supply the Indian Air Force with 126 Multi-Role Combat Aircraft maybe up to 189 fighter jets.

The Indians have considered 6 bidders so far:

Typhoon (European Eurofighter Consortium)
Rafale (French Dassault)
MiG-35 Fulcrum-F (Russian UAC subsidiary RSK-MiG)
Gripen NG/IN or JAS 39 (Swedish Saab)
Super Hornet F/A-18 E/F (US Boeing)
F-16IN Fighting Falcon (US Lockheed Martin)

As you can watch the video below, two fighter aircraft have been quoted as finalists for the last stage: The EUROFIGHTER-Typhoon and the RAFALE.

However, American and Russian media deem that such statement cannot be true. Official results should be announced soon. Well, wait and see…

Photo above: RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 – © Xavier Cotton PASSION pour l’AVIATION

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Airbus A400M – First flight completed – Dec 11, 2009

This morning Airbus Military’s all-new A400M took off for its maiden flight from Seville Airport in Spain. The first entirely new airlifter of the 21st Century took to the air from runway 09 at 10:15 local time (09:15 UTC).

At the controls was Chief Test Pilot Military, Edward Strongman, 60, with Experimental Test Pilot Ignacio “Nacho » Lombo, 43, in the right-hand seat. Four engineers are also on the aircraft: Senior Flight Test Engineer Jean-Philippe Cottet, 43, who has responsibility for the powerplants; Senior Flight Test Engineer Eric Isorce, 52, with responsibility for systems and performance; Senior Flight Test Engineer Didier Ronceray, 54, with responsibility for the handling qualities of the aircraft; and Test Flight Engineer Gerard Leskerpit, 50.

READ FULL ARTICLE on here: >>>>>

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AVORD AIR BASE: First upgraded EMB 121 Xingu aircraft for the French military makes its maiden flight

You can read the article at this address:

EADS Socata last month announced the first flight of an avionics-upgraded Embraer EMB 121 Xingu of the French Military Air Transport Flight School, based in Avord.

The 1-hour, 15-minute flight validated the system improvements implemented during a 15-month intensive avionics modernization program led by EADS Socata for the French armed forces in-service Xingu fleet.

This avionics upgrade provides the twin-engine Xingu training/transport aircraft with a glass cockpit environment that meets today’s air traffic environment. Its configuration is built around two Sagem Avionics 10-inch ICDS-10 displays for primary flight information and one ICDS-10 multifunction display for engine instrumentation.

Completing the new avionics suite are the Garmin GNS 430 navigation/communications system, a Garmin SL30 communication and navigation set with 8.33 kHz spacing, and a Garmin GTX 330D Mode S transponder with antenna diversity.

The improvement package also will include mission preparation software.

EADS Socata’s flight test program with the upgraded EMB 121 will last three months, and is to involve the rework of a second Xingu from the French Navy to complete the contract’s first installment. A successful conclusion of this work will lead to the start-up of a second contract phase – scheduled through several additional installments, with the supply of avionics kits for retrofit of the French Armed Forces – remaining 39 EMB 121 Xingus.

In service since 1982 with the French Air Force and the French Navy, the EMB 121 Xingu is operated by the Military Air Transport school based in Avord to train transport and patrol aircraft crews from France and certain participating countries. They serve also as liaison aircraft within the French Navy.

« This maiden flight successfully concludes the first installment of this major avionics retrofit program, » stated Raphaël Maître, EADS Socata’s Vice President of Customer Service. « It highlights our know-how in this field, and underscores our ability to offer military customers high-quality service in accordance with program specifications and budgetary envelope. »

Special thanks to FRONTIER INDIA DEFENCE & STRATEGIC NEWS

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