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Aviation SP’s

An SP Guide Publication

News Flies. We Gather Intelligence. Every Month. From India.

december • 2010

www.spsaviation.net

13th Year of Publication completed

Supersonic Classics RNI NUMBER: DELENG/2008/24199

PAGE 12

 Sarkozy’s

Optimism for India  Regional Aviation Airliners  US Aerospace Majors V  Snapshots 2010  C-17 Globemaster for the IAF


Š 2010 Northrop Grumman Corporation

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Aviation SP’s

Table of Contents

An SP Guide Publication

News Flies. We Gather Intelligence. Every Month. From India.

Photograph: kevin H

Issue 12 • 2010

12

After Concorde, a supersonic civilian airliner is still many years away, but considerable research is being done towards a supersonic business jet (SSBJ)

In short

6

Quote Unquote

Cover Story

First

9

Switching Roles

diplomacy

15

Indo-French Enhanced Bilateral Ties

CiviL

16

Fly Faster than Sound The new supersonic busniess jets will have technologies that can be translanted into larger airlines someday.

Regional Aviation A Booming Market

26 Procurement

 Strengthening Strategic Horizons

30 Interview  ‘IAF is going in for a massive upgradation of its airfield and helipad infrastructure’ 31 Interview

 ‘F/A-18 Super Hornet offers advanced capabilities to IAF’

32 Interview

‘Super Hornet will inject advanced military strength into IAF’

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US Aerospace Majors

SNAPSHOts

22 2010 OEM

28 Interview

 ‘We’re putting entirely new manufacturing lines for the next level of AESA development’

33 Jacqueline Auriol

Aviation SP’s

AN SP GUIDE PUBLICATION

News Flies. We Gather Intelligence. Every Month. From India.

www.spsaviation.net

DECEMBER • 2010

13th Year of Publication completed

Supersonic Classics PAGE 12

RNI NUMBER: DELENG/2008/24199

 Specialised & Amphibious

Hall of fame

military

19 Industry

Industry

34 Special Mission

SP's Aviation cover 12-10.indd 1

Regular Departments

5 10

 Sarkozy’s Optimism for India  Regional Aviation Airliners  US Aerospace Majors V  Snapshots 2010  C-17 Globemaster in the IAF

09/12/10 11:29 AM

Cover Image: The supersonic jets will enable executives to reach distant destinations far faster than speed of sound. Cover Image: Aerion Corporation

37 40

A Word from Editor

NewsWithViews – Paramount Airways to resume operations – Predatory Airfares NewsDigest

LastWord  Let Go

Next Issue: Shape of Future: Concept Planes

Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   1


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Fly Faster than Sound

A

RRIVE BEFORE YOU LEAVE”—a rather intriguing slogan which British Airways used to attract well-heeled passengers during the heyday of Concorde. It meant something. Concorde, the world’s only successful supersonic airliner, needed just three hours 47 minutes to fly more than 4,000 nm from London to Miami with 70 passengers aboard. This was enough to outrace the rotation of the earth, and the travellers reached Miami at a local time earlier than at which their flight had left London. It was a sure-sell proposition for time-strapped business people, even though they had to fork out that much more for a Concorde ticket. But after operating for just three decades over limited routes, the expensive, ageing Concorde fleet was grounded for good in 2003. The last seven years have not seen another civilian supersonic aircraft. Fighter jets routinely exceed Mach 1, even Mach 2, but today’s fastest airliners generally clock no more than Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h), only a little quicker than their counterparts of four decades ago. Business executives, fortunate enough to have flown Concorde, might complain that travel used to be swifter and yearn for the good times to return. Their wish may be granted in the not-too-distant future. A supersonic civilian airliner is still many years away, but considerable research is being done towards a supersonic business jet (SSBJ). Aerion Corporation based in Reno, Nevada, USA, and other companies aim to enable executives to wing their way to distant destinations far faster than the speed of sound (Mach 1.0). And even economy passengers may hope to benefit some day.

G650’s maximum level cruise is a more sedate Mach 0.925. This amounts to a mere Mach .005 faster than the Citation X. Does this matter? It does, if only to wrest the title of the world’s fastest from Cessna. But Cessna has already declared its determination to regain the crown. What limits the quest for ever greater speeds? Is it the socalled sound barrier? An aircraft’s sound radiates outward in all directions as pressure waves transmitted though the air. As the plane approaches the speed of sound it catches up with the sound waves being projected ahead of it, resulting in a build up of pressure in front of the plane, which forms a shockwave. Shockwaves develop even before the instrument in the cockpit registers Mach 1.0. The accompanying compressibility drag requires additional energy to counter, which means more powerful gas-guzzling engines. This reduces fuel efficiency, lowers cost effectiveness and increases the environmental footprint compared to conventional jets. Compressibility drag can be reduced by a variety of design features—including wings of thinner cross section, sharp sweepback, and wing fences to control the spread of shockwaves. But such features for high-speed flight create their own problems, particularly in the subsonic regime. Then there’s the vexatious sonic boom. The Mach cone travels with the aircraft and its trail extends to the earth, where it is perceived as a loud double boom or bang. The boom intensity depends on the weather, refraction from different layers of the atmosphere, and most importantly the size of the aircraft. A supersonic airliner is likely to generate a shockwave strong enough to rattle windows and shake up the faint-hearted. For this reason, Concorde was prohibited from exceeding Mach 1 over land—which proved a major obstacle in its ultimately futile quest for economic viability. TOP CONTENDORS: DASSAULT’S FALCON 7X And Concorde didn’t have the CRUISES AT MACH 0.90 green brigade to contend with. AND GULFSTREAM’S

WORLD’S FASTEST

Perhaps in five to six years from now, business executives might take off from their home base in the morning, hold a business meeting at a distant location in the afternoon, and return home the same evening By Joseph Noronha, Goa

12

SP’S AVIATION

Issue 12 • 2010

After Concorde quit the scene, the title of the world’s fastest civilian aircraft was held by the Citation X. Manufactured by Cessna G650 IS CAPABLE OF NOTCHING A SPEED OF of Wichita, Kansas, USA, the Citation X has THE CHARGE OF THE SSBJS MACH 0.925 IN LEVEL reigned virtually unchallenged as the busiBusiness jet manufacturers like Cessna beFLIGHT ness jet speed king since 1996. It offers a lieve high-speed concerns can be remedied maximum speed of Mach 0.92 and is closely by smaller planes like SSBJs. Typically infollowed by the French Dassault Aviation tended to fly around 10 passengers, SSBJs Falcon 7X at Mach 0.90. Gulfstream Aeroare about the same size as conventional subspace, based in Savannah, Georgia, USA, recently claimed sonic business jets. Companies like Aerion and Supersonic that it’s ultra-long-range G650—scheduled for first delivery Aerospace International (SAI) are attempting to find ways to in 2012—is now the fastest civilian aircraft in the sky with a muffle the sonic boom, and so permit supersonic travel over speed of Mach 0.995 recorded in a shallow dive. Of course, populated areas. A promising avenue of research is discovdiving performance is of little use for business jets, and the ering an aircraft shape that might change the shape of the Issue 12 • 2010

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Aviation SP’s

AN SP GUIDE PUBLICATION

News Flies. We Gather Intelligence. Every Month. From India.

www.spsaviation.net

DECEMBER • 2010

13th Year of Publication completed

Supersonic Classics PAGE 12

 Sarkozy’s Optimism for India

RNI NUMBER: DELENG/2008/24199

 Regional Aviation

SP's Aviation cover 12-10.indd 1

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 US Aerospace

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A Word from Editor

It is not that India’s attraction is just its huge market.There are several strengths and the world leadership has acknowledged these strengths and solidified bilateral relationships.

I

n quick succession, Heads of State of leading powers have visited India and the visits continue. Beginning with the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron; followed by the US President, Barack Obama; and now the French President Nicholas Sarkozy, India has garnered all the attention. Soon the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are expected. Some of these high-level visits captured in visuals (see Pictorial pages) point to one thing—India has truly emerged as a power to reckon with. It is not that India’s attraction is just its huge market. There are several strengths and the world leadership has acknowledged these and solidified bilateral relationships. The visits have firmed up many deals. Air Marshal V.K. Bhatia gives insight into the strategic acquisitions of 10 C-17 Globemaster III heavy airlifters with an option for additional six later. Prior to that, India firmed up with General Electric for F414-GE-400 engine for the Tejas MK II programme. In the interview with Rick McCrary of Boeing, the executive highlights the Super Hornet Block II as the most comprehensive and diversified multi-role capabilities on a single platform. The Super Hornet is in the race for the medium multi-role combat aircraft acquisition of the Indian Air Force. Along with massive equipment modernisation, the IAF is going in for upgradation of airfield and helipad infrastructure, which Air Marshal J.N. Burma has elaborated on. In this issue, John Fagnant, Director of ISR and Targeting Strategy, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, talks about the features of the active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology. The executive forecasts future developments, costs and common radar heritage. In the realm of civil aviation, the traffic movement has been very buoyant. About 45 million domestic passengers flew in 2009 and the target for 2020 is 100 million, mostly driven by the secondary cities, opening up major avenues to regional jet manufacturers. In the article on “A Booming Market”, R. Chandrakanth examines the scope of the low-to-medium density markets in India and how the regional jet manufacturers are positioning themselves. Around the same time, airlines increased domestic airfares by 30 to 40 per cent, inviting the

wrath of the government and also the paying public. Subsequently, there have been fare revisions, but it pointed to the growth momentum in the civil aviation sector. Paramount Airways is resuming operations soon and Air Marshal B.K. Pandey takes us through the troubled airline’s plans. Regional jet players are actively pursuing programmes to gain substantial market access. In the article “Specialised and Amphibious”, Bombardier’s special mission aircraft is the focus. The OEM has designed, built and delivered over 300 special mission aircraft since 1965 when a Learjet 23 flew a tactical training mission for the US Air Force. Today, the Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets and Q-Series turboprop airliners provide a full spectrum of special mission capabilities. On the aspirational side, Joseph Noronha puts us on a supersonic civilian airliner, though it is still many years away, but considerable research is going on. Since the whole idea of air travel is to reach distant destinations without delay, the faster it goes the better. With this Year End Special Issue highlighting key happenings around the year (Snapshots 2010), SP’s Aviation celebrates its 13th anniversary. Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!

Jayant Baranwal

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   5


Q

Unquote uote

in short

The modern army is a knowledge-based force and application of science and Information Technology has become an integral part of defence preparedness and warfare…In today’s knowledge-centric era, every soldier should be technology efficient, a requirement that highlights the need for better training for increased efficiency. —The President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil In my discussions with the US President, we have decided to accelerate the deepening of our ties and to work as equal partners in a strategic relationship that will positively and decisively influence world peace, stability and progress. — Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh

The just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate. That is why I can say today — in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member. —President of the US Barack Obama

I’m making for a stronger, wider, deeper relationship between India and Britain. I have come to your country in a spirit of humility. I know that Britain cannot rely on sentiment and shared history for a place in India’s future. Your country has the whole world beating a path to its door. But I believe Britain should be India’s partner of choice in the years ahead. —Prime Minister of Britain David Cameron India is probably far greater and stronger than even it probably realises. We need to beat terrorism and insurgencies, notably in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, major sources of instability. —President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy

6    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

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mission-critical advantages

Whatever the mission

for more than 40 years, some 300 bombardier special mission aircraft have been selected by countries around the globe to fulfill a wide spectrum of missions ranging from government vip transportation, through search and rescue, to c4isr. today, we continue to meet the critical needs of governments, armed forces and commercial operators with high performance global, challenger and learjet series jets and dash-8/Q-series turboprops. we meet your needs. we deliver.

For more inFormation : w w w.specialmission.bombardier.com bombardier, learjet, challenger, global, global express, dash 8, Q-series and other bombardier aircraft model names are registered and/or unregistered trademark (s) of bombardier inc. or its subsidiaries. global express picture: copyright Š 2006 raytheon company. all rights reserved. raytheon company is the mission systems integrator for astor.


in short Of late, extraordinary and unprecedented cyber crimes have taken place across the globe, exposing gaping holes in cyber security systems. A few recent cases are reminders of our own vulnerabilities. — Defence Minister A.K. Antony

India will be among the fastest growing markets. The aviation scenario in India encompassed growth of airlines; expanding airports; MRO operations; training etc and the pie was getting larger. —Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel

We have relied on the public sector in the past but increasingly we want to leverage the capabilities of the private sector. —Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju

I would like to assure my countrymen of the readiness and commitment of the Indian Air Force in national security and defence of the country. IAF has always measured up to the expectations of the nation, and will continue to do so in the future. As Air Warriors, let us re-dedicate ourselves to the service of the nation and renew our pledge to do our sovereign duty–with honour and pride and indeed touch the sky with glory. —Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, Chief of the Air Staff The Indian Navy continues to sharpen its capabilities through regular fleet exercises, both within the Navy, as well as with our major international partners. Suffice it to say, that our powder is dry and we stand ready to combat any mala fide activity intended to harm our national integrity and interests. —Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of Naval Staff

The fast-changing nature of conflict and emerging technologies require constant reappraisal and improvement. The indian Army is fully prepared to meet the variety of security challenges confronting our country. —General V.K. Singh, Chief of Army Staff ­—Compiled by Sucheta Das Mohapatra 8    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

www.spsaviation.net


First

F

Final AW159 Lynx Wildcat test aircraft made its maiden flight

Photograph: AgustaWestland

Switching Roles T he third and final AgustaWestland AW159 test aircraft has successfully completed its maiden flight on November 19 at the company’s Yeovil facility in the UK. During its maiden flight, a range of general handling checks were completed. The aircraft, designated TI3, is the third of three test aircraft that will complete a 600 hour integrated flight test programme. This first flight comes a few weeks after the second AW159, designated TI2, which first flew in mid-October. All the three aircraft flew together for the first time on the same day. Aircraft TI1 continues to perform air vehicle and flight envelope testing while TI2 is undertaking the flight testing of the aircraft’s core and mission avionics systems, the systems and software having already been developed and tested on AgustaWestland’s full systems integration rig (FSIR). TI3’s main task includes undertaking load survey trials and naval development, including ship helicopter operating limit trials. AgustaWestland has now also established a new AW159 production facility at its Yeovil plant that introduces a pulse line production system to bring significant efficiencies to the final assembly process. The first production airframe was delivered to AgustaWestland by GKN Aerospace on schedule in July 2010. The first flight of the third AW159, known as Lynx Wildcat in UK military service marks another major milestone in the

development of the new six-tonne multi-role military helicopter, 62 of which have been ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence. The first aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2011. The aircraft will be fully operational with the Army in 2014 and the Royal Navy in 2015. The British Army’s AW159 Lynx Wildcat will perform a wide range of tasks on the battlefield including reconnaissance, command and control, transportation of troops and material, and the provision of force protection. The Royal Navy variant will provide an agile maritime capability providing anti-surface warfare capability and force protection and will operate in support of amphibious operations and be an important element in defending ships against surface threats. There will be a high degree of commonality between the Army and Royal Navy helicopters that will mean that an aircraft can switch roles easily, principally through the changing of role equipment. The AW159 programme for the UK MoD continues to be on time and on budget and was the first major project to be awarded under the Strategic Partnering Arrangement signed by the UK Ministry of Defence and AgustaWestland in June 2006.  SP —SP’s Aviation News Desk E-mail your comments to: letters@spsaviation.net Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   9


NewsWithViews

Paramount Airways to resume operations

Months after its operations were crippled by a legal dispute with aircraft lessors, Chennai-based carrier Paramount Airways will again take to the skies after a government panel cleared its proposal to buy 14 planes and lease six more. At a meeting, the Aircraft Acquisition Committee of the Civil Aviation Ministry cleared a proposal of the airline to acquire eight Airbus A320 and six Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft and wet lease six others. The Committee gives clearances to airlines’ proposal for import of aircraft after considering a variety of issues, including availability of slots at airports where they want to operate.

VIEWS

Photograph: embraer

T

he chennai-based private airline Paramount Airways with a unique all-business class model was launched in 2005 with two 75-seat Embraer ERJ 170 aircraft soon after the boom in the airline industry in India began. The fleet strength was ultimately enhanced to five aircraft. Paramount Airways was the only carrier in India to operate the Embraer Regional Jets. Initially, the airline was operated at the national level connecting Kochi with Delhi. However, the concept proved unsustainable and soon the airline withdrew into a regional frame providing connectivity amongst cities in South India with flight timings to suit the convenience of the business traveller. With a fare structure pitched between those of the low cost and full service carriers, the airline recorded consistently high load factors and captured 27 per cent of the market share in the southern region. Operating 56 flights a day and virtually as a regional airline, Paramount Airways was reputed for its ontime performance. By the end of last year, the airline had got entangled into a legal dispute over alleged default in payment with two leasing firms, the UK-based GE Capital Aviation Service Ltd and Celestial Aviation Trading. After a prolonged legal battle both in the UK and India, between the airline and the leasing companies, three of the Embraer Jets were grounded as these were deregistered by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). As the strength of aircraft in the Paramount fleet dropped below the minimum requirement to hold five aircraft, it led to suspension by DGCA of their licence as a scheduled operator. The dream of the airline to emerge as the leading full service carrier in the country with a unique business model lay shattered, but only for a while. Consequent to a stay order by the Madras High Court on suspension of licence, the DGCA is required to revoke the suspension order. Paramount Airways is therefore all set to make waves

10    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

again, this time with a completely new fleet of 12 Airbus A320 and eight Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft. The airline has government sanction to import 20 aircraft. Planned to be inducted in a phased manner, using aircraft on wet lease from a Turkish carrier initially, the airline plans to immediately restore scheduled services to all 17 destinations that it was serving before it ran into trouble. The mix of aircraft in the proposed acquisition plan is indicative of the restructured operational priorities. The focus of the airline is to operate countrywide on a hub-and-spoke concept to derive the maximum advantage through connectivity to the emerging tier II and tier III cities. The larger capacity A320 would operate on trunk routes and the Q400 providing feeder service region wise. As the industry is now on a healthy growth trajectory and fares having increased by about 15 per cent over the last one year, viability of the Paramount business model is not in doubt. It is also working on plans to undertake international flights as five years have gone by since its launch. However, as the airline was practically inoperative for a few months since suspension of licence even though not of their own accord, international operations may have to wait, as technically the airline does not meet with the eligibility criteria of “continuous operations for five years”. But the most interesting aspect of the legal battle engaged in by Paramount Airlines has been the manner in which the Madras High Court dealt with the petition by the airline. The court opined that “the statutory authorities such as the DGCA should be pragmatic. It should not force impracticable orders on airlines such as the petitioner”. The need of the hour for the DGCA is to emerge as a facilitator. Till this happens, real growth in the civil aviation industry will continue to be a distant dream.  SP —Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey www.spsaviation.net


NewsWithViews

Predatory airfares

Domestic airlines, including the low-cost carriers, arbitrarily increased airfares by 30-40 per cent, post-Diwali, attracting the ire of both the consumers and the Civil Aviation Ministry. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) sought explanations from the airlines and subsequently issued a circular that the airlines publish on their websites or newspapers, the maximum airfare that the airline was likely to charge. The airlines also submitted to the DGCA a proposal on the fare bandwidth based on four distance slabs. The DGCA is to make its decision on the proposal public. Meanwhile, the airlines have announced 20-25 per cent cut in fares.

VIEWS

Photograph: anoop kamath

P

ost-Diwali and with the onset of the holiday season, a round-trip economy ticket for Delhi-Mumbai on Jet Airways was priced at `35,999, while lowcost carriers SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir were asking for up to Rs 20,000 with booking done a day in advance. The hike was 30-40 per cent on major domestic routes. Passengers cried foul. The airlines remained defiant even as the Civil Aviation Ministry “tried” to rein in the airlines. Egged by media reports, the Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel decried the airfares and cautioned, “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has special powers which can certainly be invoked if the airlines do not act responsibly in the days to come.” Defending the action, Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya said, “There has been no unjust increase in airfares. Bandwidth pricing is followed across the world and we too are following that. After all, airlines are commercial commodities.” The airlines maintain that the government cannot regulate the tariff as per the aircraft rules. At best, the DGCA can seek an explanation, but there is no provision of penalty or punishment. The CEO of GoAir Kaushik Khona said any regulation of fares would be a throwback to regulatory regime, which is “not acceptable”. The spat continues. Meanwhile, the DGCA, which sought replies from the airlines, has come out with a circular asking the airlines to furnish a copy of the route-wise tariff across its network in various fare categories on the first day of every calendar month. Any significant Low cost and noticeable change carrier proposed slabS in the established tariff • <750 km `10,499 already filed, should be • 750-1000 km `14,499 reported to the DGCA • 1000-1400 km `16,999 within 24 hours of ef• >1400 km `21,999 fecting such changes.

Airlines are now required to publish the fare bandwidth on its website or in newspapers. The low cost airlines proposed highest airfares based on four distance slabs—`10,499 for less than 750 km; `14,499 for slab 750-1,000 km; `16,999 for slab 1,000-1,400 km and `21,999 for slab beyond 1,400 km. With full-service carriers like Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Air India, the increase ranged from a minimum of `14.097 to a maximum of `30,811 on Delhi-Chennai sector and the fares ranged between `22,000 and `40,000 for long distances. At the time of writing, the DGCA was studying the proposals and had lined up a meeting with the airlines. In the last few months, airfares are headed north, mainly because of increase in demand and capacity constraints, affected further by grounding of six aircraft of Kingfisher Airlines and also of Paramount Airways. The load factors for October 2010 indicate impressive performances with Kingfisher topping with 87 per cent and at the bottom was Air India with 70 per cent. “We will not let the airlines take advantage of a situation where there is more demand than supply,” Praful Patel rebuffed. While the regulator and airlines are sorting out the issue, the passenger feels cheated. “This is daylight robbery,” remarked frequent traveller Suresh Sundaram. “We are extremely cost sensitive consumers as a culture,” said Samyukth Sridharan, SpiceJet’s chief commercial officer. “People view aviation as efficient, point-to-point on-time travel.” The irony of all this is that India constitutes primarily a low-cost air travel market and that over 70 per cent of passenger movement in 2009 was on low-cost airlines. The trend being such that airlines have to be cautious in their airfare hikes, not to drive away the burgeoning middle class from travelling by air. The aam admi may not understand airline economics, buoyant as ever due to air turbine fuel and other costs, but sure he sees red when fares just hit the skies.  SP —R. Chandrakanth Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   11


Civil    Business Jets

c o v e r

s t o r y

AERION SSBJ: fitted with Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 turbofans, AERion is planning 8-passenger jet with a maximum cruise speed of Mach 1.6

Photographs: aerion, gulfstream, Mega wallpapers & abhishek / sp guide pubns

Fly Faster than Sound Perhaps in five to six years from now, business executives might take off from their home base in the morning, hold a business meeting at a distant location in the afternoon, and return home the same evening By Joseph Noronha, Goa

12    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

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Civil    Business Jets

rrive before you leave”—a rather intriguing slogan which British Airways used to attract well-heeled passengers during the heyday of Concorde. It meant something. Concorde, the world’s only successful supersonic airliner, needed just three hours 47 minutes to fly more than 4,000 nm from London to Miami with 70 passengers aboard. This was enough to outrace the rotation of the earth, and the travellers reached Miami at a local time earlier than at which their flight had left London. It was a suresell proposition for time-strapped business people, even though they had to fork out that much more for a Concorde ticket. “

But after operating for just three decades over limited routes, the expensive, ageing Concorde fleet was grounded for good in 2003. The last seven years have not seen another civilian supersonic aircraft. Fighter jets routinely exceed Mach 1, even Mach 2, but today’s fastest airliners generally clock no more than Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h), only a little quicker than their counterparts of four decades ago. Business executives, fortunate enough to have flown Concorde, might complain that travel used to be swifter and yearn for the good times to return. Their wish may be granted in the not-too-distant future. A supersonic civilian airliner is still many years away, but considerable research is being done towards a supersonic business jet (SSBJ). Aerion Corporation based in Reno, Nevada, USA, and other companies aim to enable executives to wing their way to distant destinations far faster than the speed of sound (Mach 1.0). And even economy passengers may hope to benefit some day. World’s Fastest

recently claimed that it’s ultra-long-range G650—scheduled for first delivery in 2012—is now the fastest civilian aircraft in the sky with a speed of Mach 0.995 recorded in a shallow dive. Of course, diving performance is of little use for business jets, and the G650’s maximum level cruise is a more sedate Mach 0.925. This amounts to a mere Mach .005 faster than the Citation X. Does this matter? It does, if only to wrest the title of the world’s fastest from Cessna. But Cessna has already declared its determination to regain the crown. What limits the quest for ever greater speeds? Is it the socalled sound barrier? An aircraft’s sound radiates outward in all directions as pressure waves transmitted though the air. As the plane approaches the speed of sound it catches up with the sound waves being projected ahead of it, resulting in a build up of pressure in front of the plane, which forms a shockwave. Shockwaves develop even before the instrument in the cockpit registers Mach 1.0. The accompanying compressibility drag requires additional energy to counter, which means more powerful gas-guzzling engines. This reduces fuel efficiency, lowers cost effectiveness and increases the environmental footprint compared to conventional jets. Compressibility drag can be reduced by a variety of design features—including wings of thinner cross section, sharp sweepback, and wing fences to control the spread of shockwaves. But such features for high-speed flight create their own problems, particularly in the subsonic regime. Then there’s the vexatious sonic boom. The Mach cone travels with the aircraft and its trail extends to the earth, where it is perceived as a loud double boom or bang. The boom intensity depends on the weather, refraction from different layers of the atmosphere, and most importantly the size of the aircraft. A supersonic airliner is likely to generate a shockwave strong enough to top contenders: Dassault’s falcon 7x rattle windows and shake up cruises at mach 0.90 the faint-hearted. For this reaand gulfstream’s son, Concorde was prohibited from exceedg650 is capable of notching up a speed ing Mach 1 over land—which proved a major of mach 0.925 in obstacle in its ultimately futile quest for ecolevel flight nomic viability. And Concorde didn’t have the green brigade to contend with.

After Concorde quit the scene, the title of the world’s fastest civilian aircraft was held by the Citation X. Manufactured by Cessna of Wichita, Kansas, USA, the Citation X has reigned virtually unchallenged as the business jet speed king since 1996. It offers a maximum speed of Mach 0.92 and is closely followed by the French Dassault Aviation Falcon 7X at Mach 0.90. Gulfstream Aerospace, based in Savannah, Georgia, USA,

The Charge of the SSBJs

Business jet manufacturers like Cessna believe high-speed concerns can be remedied by smaller planes like SSBJs. Typically intended to fly around 10 passengers, SSBJs are about the same size as conventional subsonic business jets. Companies like Aerion and Supersonic Aerospace International (SAI) are Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   13


Civil    Business Jets attempting to find ways to muffle 500 in 15 years. “First to market the sonic boom, and so permit has a clear advantage,” asserts supersonic travel over populated Aerion. The main problem now areas. A promising avenue of reis for the company to convince search is discovering an aircraft an OEM to take on such a comshape that might change the plex and financially risky projshape of the pressure wave such ect. It hopes to do a deal before that some of the sounds effecthe end of the year. tively cancel each other and the Russia’s Tupolev is reportsonic boom might virtually disedly developing a hybrid of the appear by the time it reaches the TU144, called the TU444 charground. Boeing and Lockheed ger. This aircraft is designed Martin prefer to place engines to carry 6-10 passengers over the russian ssbj: on top of the wings rather than 4,000 nm at Mach 2.0. There TU444 charger is below (as Concorde had) so that are also unverified claims that designed to carry the wings and fuselage can prevent part of the the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) 6-10 passengers over 4,000 nm at Mach 2.0 shockwaves due to the engines from travelling in Zhukovsky, near Moscow, has developed a towards the earth. “Quiet Spike” is a research supersonic executive concept aircraft to reprogramme, between Gulfstream and NASA’s duce sonic boom levels to 65 decibels, possibly Dryden Flight Research Centre, to investigate facilitating overland flights. The Dassault-led the suppression of sonic booms. Gulfstream is also reportedly high-speed aircraft project, which pools the efforts of 37 orinvestigating low boom designs. The company seeks to damp- ganisations in 13 countries, is also working towards a Mach en the sound signature of an aircraft in supersonic flight so 1.8 aircraft, with space for up to 16 passengers. that it does not exceed a perceived noise level of 70 decibels Meanwhile, SAI is pursuing the Quiet Supersonic Transwhile cruising at a speed of Mach 1.7 over land. Flying super- port (QSST), intended to carry 12 passengers over 4,000 nm sonic over land is banned in many countries including the US at speeds between Mach 1.6 to Mach 1.8. The remarkable and Europe and it is not clear if regulators would allow even aspect of this design is its aerodynamically shaped sonic “quiet” supersonic flights over their territory. boom—claimed to be 1/100th of the boom generated by Rather than seeking regulatory relief, Aerion proposes to Concorde. Sadly, there appears to be no prospect of an early operate at near Mach 1 over land, accelerating to Mach 1.5 start to construction of a prototype and the project is posover the ocean and remote areas where permitted. The key sibly at a dead end. technology in Aerion’s SSBJ design is laminar flow—a feature that dramatically reduces compressibility drag, allowing Business takes the lead the aircraft to operate at costs competitive with conventional Since the whole idea of air travel is to reach distant destibusiness jets. Powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney JT8D- nations without delay, the faster it goes the better. Taking 219 turbofans, it uses a gradient recovery type design for its the argument to its logical conclusion, the return of civilian inlet, which creates a shockwave normal to the throat of the supersonic flight is only a question of time. Business execuinlet for decelerating the airflow to subsonic speeds. Aerion tives will probably be the main patrons. In addition, small plans an eight-passenger jet with a maximum cruise speed of groups of high-value passengers (such as heads of state or Mach 1.6, thus avoiding the heat-related complexities that ac- wealthy individuals) may find supersonic jets attractive. companied Concorde’s sustained Mach 2 cruise. The Aerion This can open up a lucrative new market worldwide. Aerion and other SSBJs will primarily be used for sinSSBJ could have a range gle-day business trips across distances of up to 4,000 km. of more than 4,200 nm About 90 per cent of commercial routes in vogue do not at Mach 1.5 and about exceed this distance. Perhaps in five to six years from now, 4,600 nm at Mach 0.96. business executives might take off from their home base Aerion expects proin the morning, hold a business meeting at a distant locaduction of its $80 miltion in the afternoon, and return home the same evening. lion (`360 crore) SSBJ SSBJs will probably be able to operate even from 1,200-meto begin by 2016 and 50 tre runways, which can be found at just about any city or orders have already been large town nowadays. This is an added advantage. placed—each backed by Though swift travel makes good business sense, sua $2,50,000 (`1.13 crore) personic flight presents a host of technological challenges. deposit. Buyers reportHowever, most issues have been conquered in various ways edly include at least five by researchers and aircraft manufacturers. Beyond the Indian companies as well business opportunities presented by low boom supersonic as a sheik in the UAE flight, there’s the hope that the new SSBJs will develop cutwho has signed the first ting edge technologies that can someday be translated into letter of intent. The comlarger airliners. This might hasten the return of supersonic pany sees a market for commercial travel. After all, “time is money” strikes a chord about 300 SSBJs in 10 with businesspeople as well as common travellers.  SP years and a total fleet of

Though swift travel makes good business sense, supersonic flight presents a host of technological challenges

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Diplomacy   indo-french

Enhanced

Bilateral Ties French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s India visit helped strengthen Indo-French relationship on nuclear, defence, economic and strategic cooperation

Photographs: Pib & Iaf

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ndia is probably far greater and stronger than even it probably realises,” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy during his four-day-long visit to India and added that he expected the rupee to emerge one day as a world currency. The big powers seem to have well understood that a strategic partnership with India is mutually beneficial and doing business with the world’s second largest emerging economy would be immensely valuable. “India is, first and foremost, a major political partner and an indispensable power without which we cannot rise to the major challenges the world faces,” said Sarkozy. The French President’s India tour was his first to a G-20 state since France took over the Presidency of the group. It came after US President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent visit. The French President’s trip will soon be followed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit as well. France, which is a world leader in civilian nuclear technology exports, has always supported India's right to nuclear power. The French head of the state’s India visit further solidified the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Several agreements in the civil nuclear power sector including a framework agreement to construct two civil nuclear plants in Jaitapur, Maharashtra costing €7 billion (`41,600 crore) were signed. Plans to come up with four nuclear power plants, all by French nuclear giant Areva, at a total cost of $25 billion (`1,12,500 crore) are also afoot. Sarkozy, who lobbied on behalf of French companies multi billion-dollar Indian contracts for fighter jets and nuclear technology, was accompanied by a high-powered delegation of seven ministers and 70 Chief Executive Officers, including the heads of aircraft-makers Dassault Aviation and EADS, and the state-controlled nuclear group Areva. Both countries signed a €2 billion (`11,800 crore) deal for joint missile development. In the civil aviation sector, Airbus Industrie signed

separate deals to lease A330 aircraft to Jet Airways and Air India, at a total cost of €2.8 billion (`16,600 crore). “Discussions concerning the upgradation of Mirage 2000 aircraft are expected to be finalised soon,” stated a joint statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Sarkozy in New Delhi. The deal will cost the Indian Government €1.5 billion (`8,900 crore). The two countries welcomed efforts for joint programmes in defence industry, which would include joint research and development and transfer of Mirage 2000 technology. As a first step, the two countries expect to soon launch the short range surface-to-air missile and Kaveri (aircraft engine) programmes. “We deeply appreciate France’s willingness to supply us advanced defence technologies in a way that contributes to the modernisation of our own defence industry,” Singh said at a joint press conference with Sarkozy. The `9,640 crore upgrade programme for 51 Mirage 2000 fighter jets in the IAF fleet includes the plan for advanced multimode pulse doppler radar and fire-and-forget missiles, to be executed by French companies Dassault and Thales along with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The IAF currently operates three squadrons of Mirage 2000s and the upgrade programme will enable the aircraft to perform effectively due to greater fuel and weapon-delivery capacities. India and France have also decided to co-develop the SR-SAM missile under an agreement between the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and French missile manufacturer MBDA. Like Obama, Sarkozy also voiced his support for India for the much coveted permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. His trip ended in Mumbai to pay tributes to the martyrs of 26/11 terror strike. France even joined India in pressing Pakistan to actively prosecute the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attacks expeditiously, as Sarkozy urged Islamabad to live in peace with India.  SP —Sucheta Das Mohapatra Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   15


Photographs: embraer, Adrian Pingstone, atr aircraft, wikipedia, bombardier & Abhishek / Sp guide pubns

Civil    Regional Aviation

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Booming Market

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India’s growth will be low-cost fare driven, at present contributing over 70 per cent of the passenger traffic

t a recent seminar sity markets (Tier II and III destinations), By R. Chandrakanth on “India: An Emerging thus throwing open enormous business Aviation Hub” in New Delopportunities for regional jets. About 17 hi, figures were bandied million passengers were from 24 city pairs about how India was at the across seven major metro cities (Tier I). threshold of an aviation The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation boom that would be spurred by Tier II predicts that domestic traffic will grow and III cities. In simple terms, this translates into infrastruc- at 25 per cent to 30 per cent a year until 2010 and interture development at smaller airports and increased move- national traffic will grow by 15 per cent. Keeping pace with ment of passengers/cargo between destinations beyond the passenger growth, Indian carriers have 480 aircraft on ormajor trunk routes, to touch 100 million passengers by 2020. der for delivery by 2012, which compares with a fleet size of India’s growth will be low-cost fare driven, at present con- 310 aircraft operating in the country today. And if we go by tributing over 70 per cent of the passenger traffic. In 2009, of the prophecy of the Minister of Civil Aviation, Praful Patel, the 44 million passengers on domestic routes about 27 million India will require about 5,000 aircraft if 10 per cent of the passengers (over 60 per cent) were on the low-to-medium den- population begins to fly. At present, the number of air travel-

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Civil    Regional Aviation lers is less than 2 per cent of the population. The penetration worth $400 million (`1,800 crore). The deliveries are exof civil aviation in India is among the lowest, with the coun- pected to commence by mid-2011. The airline has options of try having a ratio of 2.89 million passengers per aircraft buying 15 more of the aircraft. Troubled airline, Paramount Airways, has also placed orders for eight Q400. compared with 0.05 million in the US. Forecast International in its report on “The Market for There indeed is potential and a growing appetite from Regional Transport Aircraft” airline operators in India to projects that 4,016 regional connect routes previously conaircraft, valued at some $123 sidered unviable. This transforbillion (`5,51,400 crore), will be mation has come about as reproduced from 2010 through gional jets have positioned the 2019. The forecast includes economic viability of operating both regional jets and regional jets with capacities ranging turboprops, with jets accountfrom 70 to 150. There is a growing for about 64 per cent of the ing mix of aircraft capacities as total. The report indicates that airlines discover that there are Bombardier, Embraer and ATR over 200 routes having low-towill be the leaders among remedium density traffic which gional aircraft manufacturers need to be tapped. Operating during the 10-year forecast penarrow-body aircraft on lowriod. Bombardier’s product line to-medium density routes have includes both jet-powered and largely been unviable, leading turboprop-powered aircraft, to closure of some destinations. while Embraer currently speAs per Ministry of Civil Aviation, cialises in jets and ATR build there are 62 regional aircraft turboprops exclusively. with scheduled operators and this number could go up as and Bombardier’s forecast when the new players take off. Trung Ngo, Vice President, The ones who got permisAsia-Pacific Sales, Bombardier sion to start operations include Commercial Aircraft forecast Star Aviation, Zav Airways, that from a small 20-149 seat King Airways, and Premier Airfleet base of 120 units, India’s ways. Though Chennai-based fleet will grow to 650 units by Star Aviation was expected 2029. JetLite operates six Bomto start operations this year, bardier’s CL-600 aircraft with it has been stalled. Star Avia50 seater capacity. India is pretion was planning to start with dicted to take 600 deliveries, 3 Embraer 72-seater aircraft representing 36 per cent of total and have a 10-aircraft fleet, all deliveries within the Asia-Pacifto connect secondary cities. So ic region. The 60-99 scheduled also a Surat-based full-service seats grew 45 per cent in 2009 carrier, Luan Airways, is exfrom a small base in 2008. In pected to go operational soon. total, Asia-Pacific including InMeanwhile, Gurgaon-based dia will yield 1,640 deliveries of MDLR Airlines that halted its 20-149 seat aircraft. About 43 operations last year is planper cent of deliveries (700) will ning to make a comeback. The be 60-99 seat aircraft and 920 regional carrier has sought units or 56 per cent will be 100approval of Directorate Genmarket scorchers: 149 seat aircraft. eral of Civil Aviation (DGCA) (opposite page) EMBRAER The top end of the reto import two BAE Avro RJs to 190; (top to bottom) bombardier CL-600; ATR gional aircraft market is seeing an influx of restart regional services in northern states. 72-500 and antonov new models. Bombardier is developing the an-148 aircraft Pan-India connectivity CSeries, a new family of 100-145 seat air“Connectivity has to be pan-national,” decraft that transcends the boundary between clared Samyukth Sridharan, Chief Commerthe regional jet market and the large airlincial Officer of no-frills airline SpiceJet. “We do not need a T3 er market. The CSeries competes against large regional jets which is a Taj Mahal. We are looking at efficient infrastruc- from Embraer and others, and also against narrow body ture built at the right cost in Tier II and III cities.” While the airliners such as the Airbus A319 and the Boeing 737-700. Airports Authority of India is in the process of expanding the airport infrastructure, SpiceJet is buying 15 Bombardier ATR in lead NextGen Q400 turboprop aircraft (seating capacity of 68-78), Besides Bombardier, ATR, a joint venture between Alenia Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   17


Civil    Regional Aviation Alex Glock, Vice President-Airline Market, Embraer Asia Pacific

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here are two E-Jets in India currently; these are E175s with Paramount Airways. Embraer recognises that the Indian commercial aviation market is one of the most exciting in the world with significant domestic passenger demand remaining to be tapped by local airlines. As these carriers continue to adapt to dynamic market conditions and increasingly free market disciplines —in practical terms by offering more innovative and customer-focused innovations—domestic and regional passengers will continue to respond in-kind thereby sustaining some of the highest traffic growth rates in the world. To date, secondary (Category II and

III) routes have yet to fully benefit from airline industry liberalisation. Indeed, they will drive Indian domestic aviation market growth in the coming decade. The deployment of 70 to 120-seat jets offers local communities throughout India a new and viable tool to become more fully integrated into the national (and also international) aviation system. As the Indian aviation market matures the variety of aircraft capacities and mission profiles will inevitably reflect the unique demand characteristics and the diverse demographic conditions of individual Indian states and the dozens of local communities in each, all of which hope to improve their air service options. Towards this end, Embraer expects a demand for over 50 new aircraft in the 70- to 120-seat category during the next 10 years  •

Aeronautica and EADS, which has 48 aircraft plying with in the market above 125 seats, taking on Bombardier’s CSeries. scheduled operators here, is betting big on India. The aircraft A number of companies are looking to break into the remanufacturer is forecasting a market for 300 units in the long gional aircraft market, and are developing new aircraft that run. By 2011, ATR is expected to deliver 50 ATR 72-500 air- compete for sales in the top segment of the market. These craft. The present operators are Kingfisher Airlines, Air India include the Chinese firm Comac with its ARJ21 regional jet, and Jet Airways. “India will become the country where the the Japanese company Mitsubishi with the Mitsubishi Remaximum number of ATR aircraft will fly in gional Jet (MRJ), and the Russian firm Sukthe world soon. 65 per cent of our orders are hoi Civil Aircraft with the Superjet 100. from Asia. Though there is a crisis affecting Considering the huge market opportunithe order books of aircraft manufacturers ties that exist, even Russian manufacturer is likely entrants: sukhoi superjet 100; globally, we expect to meet our delivery tarlooking at entering the Indian market with spicejet has already gets,” David Vargas, spokesperson of ATR has the Antonov An-148 short-haul passenger placed an order for been quoted. aircraft. However, within Rus15 bombardier Q400 sia, some operators have comNextGen turnoprop airliners Embraer’s positioning plained about the “frequent Brazilian regional jet manufacbreak down” of the aircraft turer, Embraer is positioning itand the manufacturewr Unitself with its E-Jets in the Indian ed Aircraft Corporation has market, though at present it planned to additionally invest has only two aircraft with Par$232 million (`1,044 crore) amount Airways. The southin the development of the based airline’s fleet size was reAn-148. Russians have plans duced from five to two as it had to garner about 10 per cent issues related to payments with market share for 61-99 seat Lessors. Like any other aircraft aircraft in 2010-28. And there manufacturer, Embraer is in are rumblings in the Indian discussion with airlines as they aviation industry on develophave started to keenly look at ing its own regional aircraft. tapping the secondary markets. According to reports, the Embraer is well-positioned `3,000-4,000 crore project in the 70-125 seat market with has been set in motion by the its E-Jets series regional jets, Defence Research and Develand has been pondering future opment Organisation (DRDO) development strategy. Among with the National Aerospace the options being considered Laboratories (NAL) as the by the Brazilian company are a nodal agency for the design re-engining of the E-Jets family of the aircraft and HAL proand/or a larger, all-new aircraft ducing it. The pie indeed is family. The latter would compete really huge.  SP 18    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

www.spsaviation.net


Military   Industry By Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey, Bengaluru

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ne of the world’s best known multi-industry companies, Textron Incorporated was founded in 1923 and had its origins in the textile industry dealing with cotton and synthetic yarn. And this is where it got its name. But over the years it has developed into a diversified business model serving a wide global customer base. Today, it is acknowledged as a highly successful enterprise recognised for its network of powerful brands, world-class processes and talented workforce. The company has over 37,000 employees in more than 25 countries and a revenue of $14.7 billion (`65,520 crore) as recorded in 2008. With its headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, Textron is

Photographs: usaf, bell helicopter, cessna & Abhishek / Sp guide pubns

Aerospace ranked 220 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies in the US and is strategically positioned to provide integrated product solutions and services to the customers worldwide. Textron has a number of subsidiaries and operating divisions that deal in unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armoured vehicles, surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision guided and smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems and life cycle support. In 1960, Textron purchased Bell Aerospace which comprised three divisions of Bell Aircraft Corporation including its helicopter division which was the only division producing complete aircraft. The helicopter division was renamed by Textron as Bell Helicopter Company. In a few years with the success of the UH-1 during the Vietnam War, it had established itself as the largest division of the parent company. In January 1976, Textron renamed the company Bell Helicopter Textron, a name that it has today. Since its inception, this company has

Majors

Since decades companies in the US have led the way for a broad spectrum of innovative aerospace and defence products and services. Browse through the fifth part of the article to know about Textron Incorporated, the world’s best known multi-industry company. Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   19


Military   Industry produced rotary wing machines in large numbers for both military and civil application. In February 1985, Textron acquired Avco Corporation of Connecticut, a conglomerate of almost equal size with pre-acquisition revenue of $2.9 billion (`13,050 crore) doubling the size of the company practically overnight. In the early 1990s, Textron acquired Cessna Aircraft Company, a global leader in light and medium-sized commercial business jets and piston engine general aviation aircraft. With this acquisition, Cessna balanced Bell’s predominantly defence related business. Textron continued to make acquisitions to strengthen its strategic portfolio and five of the new acquisitions were grouped as Textron Systems Corporation.

mated aerospace test and maintenance equipment, armament systems, logistics, engineering, supply chain and operational support services. AAI’s high-technology, total-value solutions help customers evolve mission profiles including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Lycoming Engines

Lycoming Engines specialises in the engineering, manufacturing, servicing and support of piston aircraft engines for more than half of the world’s fixed-wing piston aircraft fleet including helicopters as well as special mission aircraft for the military. Also known for world-class customer service, the company maintains a global sales, service and technical support network.

Textron Systems Corporation

Textron Systems Corporation, a business division under Textron Incorporated, is an aerospace and defence development and manufacturing firm with its headquarters in Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA. With around 6,000 employees, it controls five operating units including AAI Corporation, Lycom-

toP-notch: (earlier page) bell V-22 osprey

Overwatch

Overwatch provides integrated intelligence software solutions and services as well as satellite communications systems for the US and international defence and intelligence agencies. Overwatch’s multi-source intelligence and geo-

ing Engines, Overwatch, Textron is a result of bell helicopter and boeing Defence Systems and Textron collaboration; (top) Marine & Land Systems. Providbell 206 is an outcome ing innovative solutions to the of bell helicopter’s association with defence, homeland security and agustaWestland and, the aerospace industry for over cessna’s leading five decades, Textron Systems business jet brand citation series reported annual sales of nearly $2 billion (`9,000 crore) in 2009. The five divisions under Textron Systems Corporation and the two aerospace majors Bell Helicopter and Cessna Aircraft Company are as follows:

spatial analysis solutions deliver fast and comprehensive situational understanding for warfighters and analysts. Its pre-packaged or custom-designed geospatial and multi-intelligence solutions are used by more than 25,000 US Department of Defense and intelligence community analysts.

AAI Corporation

Textron Marine & Land Systems

AAI has delivered a broad spectrum of innovative aerospace and defence products and services for nearly 60 years. Its products and services include unmanned aircraft and ground control technologies, training and simulation systems, auto20    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

Textron Defense Systems

Textron Defense Systems is a provider of ‘smart’ weapons, airborne and ground-based sensors and surveillance systems, protection systems for the defence, aerospace and homeland security communities. The company delivers an array of technologies that provide confidence to war fighters, enabling them to accomplish the missions safely, decisively and effectively. Textron Marine & Land Systems designs and manufactures advanced marine craft, surface-effect ships, armoured combat vehicles, turrets and related subsystems. It delivers superior, high-performance products including mobile, survivable, www.spsaviation.net


Military   Industry

lethal and flexible land and sea-based platforms. Given its record of quality and on-time delivery, customers are assured of receiving the best platforms for their military, expeditionary and search-and-rescue missions. Bell Helicopter

Founded in 1935, as Bell Aircraft Corporation, the Texasbased company renamed as Bell Helicopter Textron is a subsidiary of Textron Incorporated. It is a leader in vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for commercial and military applications and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt-rotor aircraft. There are about 13,000 Bell Helicopter aircraft flying in more than 120 countries. In fact, one-third of the rotary wing operating fleet in the world carry the Bell Helicopter name. Bell also provides training and support services worldwide. Initially, Bell Aircraft Corporation was focused on designing and building of fighter aircraft. Their first fighters were the XFM 1 Airacuda, a twin-engine fighter and the P-39 Airacobra. The P-59 Airacomet, the first American jet fighter and the P-63 Kingcobra, the successor to the P-39 and the Bell X-1 were also designed and manufactured by Bell. The company ventured into rotary wing regime in 1941 with the Bell 30 as their first full-size helicopter which undertook its maiden flight on December 29, 1942. The Bell 47 became the first helicopter rated by a civil aviation authority in the world as a resounding civilian and military success. Bell has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to customers around the world. Bell Helicopter has a close association and partnership with AgustaWestland producing successful models such as the Bell 47 and the Bell 206. Apart from a large number of rotary wing models, Bell Helicopter is credited with developing jointly with Boeing an unconventional machine—the tilt-rotor aircraft. Designated as the V-22 Osprey is a medium lift, multi-mission, vertical/short takeoff and landing aircraft that combines the attributes of a conventional rotary wing machine and a fixed wing aircraft with twice the speed, three times the payload and five times the range of traditional helicopters. With its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, Bell Helicopter has additional plants in Amarillo, Texas and Mirabel, Canada. The company maintains key logistics supply and service centres in Europe, Canada, Singapore, as well as in the US.

Cessna Aircraft Company

from cessna’s stable: light aircraft skycatcher is latest offering and the company’s widely produced model cessna 172

Cessna Aircraft Company is the world’s leading manufacturer of general aviation aircraft in three categories—Citation business jets, Caravan single-engine utility turboprops and Cessna single engine piston aircraft. The Company’s history goes back to June 1911, when Clyde Cessna, a farmer in Kansas, USA, built a wood-and-fabric plane and became the first person to build and fly an aircraft between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. In 1924, Clyde moved to Wichita and established a company named Travel Air to manufacture biplanes in partnership. In 1927, Clyde left Travel Air and set up the Cessna Aircraft Company to build monoplanes, the first of which flew on August 13, 1927. During the mid- to late 1930s, Cessna developed and produced the single engine Airmaster and the twin-engine T-50 light aircraft. A decade after World War II, Cessna designed and manufactured the 170, which along with later models such as the 172 became the most widely produced light aircraft in history. This model is still under production and till date nearly 45,000 of these machines have been delivered globally. By 1972, Cessna became the leading manufacturer in the world of the light aircraft segment. Between 1977 and 1985, Cessna produced the 152, delivering over 7,500 aircraft. Its latest product in the light aircraft segment is the Cessna 162, Skycatcher. Although unveiled in 2007, the aircraft is still under development and its delivery schedule has been delayed further by a few months owing to design issues. After being a part of General Dynamics for seven years, Cessna was acquired by Textron in 1992. Since its start in 1927, the company has delivered more than 1,92,000 aircraft. The strength of the company, however, lies in its business jet segment. Cessna business jets are registered in more than 90 countries and represent the largest business jet fleet in the world. In the mid-size jet category, Cessna has produced the Citation Columbus, Citation X, Citation XLS and Citation Sovereign. Amongst the light jets are the Citation CJ1, CJ2, CJ3, CJ4, Citation Bravo & Citation Encore. Recently, Cessna has brought out the Mustang in the very light jet class.  SP (Concluded) Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   21


Snapshots   2010

Photographs: Pib, drdo, hal & Abhishek / Sp guide pubns

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4 freeze frames 2010 1.  The state-of-the-art integrated terminal, t3, of the indira gandhi international airport in new delhi was inaugurated by prime minister dr manmohan singh on july 3, 2010. chairperson of upa sonia gandhi, minister for civil aviation, praful patel and chief minister of delhi, sheila dikshit are also seen along with dr singh. 2.  the first fly-by-wire, naval version of the light combat aircraft (LCA) tejas rolled out on july 6, marking a milestone achievement in the development programme undertaken by hal and ada. 3. the first prototype of the five-tonne class light combat helicopter (lch), designed and developed by hal was unveiled on may 23 at hal’s bengaluru airport. 4. India’s ambitious unmanned aerial vehicle programme received a major boost when the second flight of the Rustom-1 technology demonstrator UAV was conducted successfully in hosur, Tamil Nadu, on October 8, 2010.

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snapshots   2010

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6 5. Defence Minister A.K. Antony having a feel of the cockpit of a basic trainer aircraft at the Korean Aerospace Industries complex, at Sacheon, south korea, on September 4, 2010. 6.  The Members of IAF women mountaineering team for Mount Kamet, at the flag off ceremony, in New Delhi on April 15, 2010. 7. IAF conferred a honorary rank of Group Captain on Sachin tendulkar in recognition of his achievements as an Indian and a cricketer on september 3, 2010. 8. afnet, which would provide networkcentric combat capabilities to iaf was launched in the presence of Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju, Communications and Information Technology Minister A. Raja, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, CAS Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik and Minister of State for communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot on september 14 in new delhi.

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snapshots   2010

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visiting dignitaries 1.  President of Republic of Korea Lee Myung-Bak, and Kim Yoon-Ok, with President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil and the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh at the ceremonial reception, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on January 25, 2010. 2.  Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh meets Prime Minister of United Kingdom David Cameron, in New Delhi on July 29, 2010. during his tw0-day visit cameron clinched a deal with india worth $1.1 billion (`4,950 crore) for BAE Hawk trainer aircraft. 3.  us president barack obama visited india from november 6 to 9. obama announced US support to India’s bid for permanent seat in the UN Security Council and offered to play “any role” in reducing Indo-Pak tensions. india and us also signed deals worth $10 billion (`45,000 crore). 4.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy came on a four-day visit to india in december with a delegation of six ministers and 70 chief executives, including the bosses of aircraft and defence groups Dassault Aviation and aircraft maker EADS. France and india have signed a €2 billion (`11,800 crore) deal for joint missile development and another agreement to refit India’s Mirage fighter jet fleet at a cost of €1.5 billion (`8,900 crore). In the civil aviation sector, Airbus Industrie signed separate deals to lease A330 aircraft to Jet Airways and Air India, at a total cost of €2.8 billion (`16,600 crore).

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snapshots   2010

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fantastic displays 1. an array of aircraft on display at this year’s ebace convention which was held at palexpo centre at geneva airport (may4-6) 2.  The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk on display at the singapore airshow organised from february 2-7. 3.  crew and management of indigo receiving their 25th airbus 320 aircraft at the india aviation 2010 hosted in hyderabad from march 3-7. 4.  a formation of Northrop F-5E Tiger II (Patrouille Suisse) of Swiss Air Force at ila berlin, june 8-13. 5. the french naval aviation centenary aviation air show in june witnessed a marvelous display of air power by more than 100 aircraft and helicopters. 6. a400m (grizzly), manufactured by airbus military, during an impressive flying display at the farnborough airshow 2010 in july. 7. the static display of 93 aircraft at dekalb-peachtree airport, atlanta, was part of the national business aviation association’s convention (october 19-21).

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Military   Procurement

Strengthening

Strategic Horizons

The acquisition of C-17s along with the impending induction of C-130Js from Lockheed Martin would greatly enhance the ‘single-wave’ capability of the IAF for airborne operations

Photograph: usaf

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resident Obama’s earwith an option for six more at a later By Air Marshal (Retd) ly November visit to New date. It may be recalled that initiated in V.K. Bhatia Delhi provided the ultimate 2005, India and the United States had fiDiwali gift for the Indian Air nally signed a landmark civilian nuclear Force (IAF). First was the deal deal in 2008, which facilitated further to go ahead with the General enhancement of cooperation in the deElectric F414-GE-400 engine for the Tejas fence sector with the entry of US comMK II programme. Equally important was panies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing the firming up of the deal to acquire 10 into India’s lucrative defence market. C-17 Globemaster III heavy airlifters with an option for ad- While the two companies are already in the race for India’s ditional six later, if required. That the IAF was in urgent need 126-aircraft medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) of building up on its much eroded capability in this particular programme, Lockheed Martin has already bagged the order area was anything but a safely guarded secret. Its present fleet for the supply of six C-130J Super Hercules, the induction of of 14 or so IL-76 heavy airlifters has been plagued with poor which would commence into the IAF in early 2011. On the serviceability due to perennial problems of spares and main- other hand, Boeing has the Indian Navy order for the supply tenance support including delays in overhauls which have to of eight P-8I Poseidon multi-role maritime patrol aircraft. be conducted abroad in the absence of these facilities in India. Both are looking forward to repeat orders for their aircraft The situation has been so grim that at times the IAF is unable from the IAF and Indian Navy, respectively. to field more than a couple of these airplanes for operational From the very inception to the signing of the agreement, tasks. Apart from resulting in serious erosion in its heavy-lift it could perhaps be one of the fastest defence deals as far as capability, the IAF has been often subjected to undesirable the IAF is concerned. It was in June 2009, the IAF selected embarrassment at the highest level. the C-17 to fulfill its very heavy lift transport aircraft (VHETThe crying need for the IAF to spruce up its strategic AC) requirement. Six months later, in January 2010, the heavy-lift capability and ever-growing strategic partnership US government received a request from India for 10 C-17s with the US including enhanced defence relations seemed through its foreign military sales (FMS) programme, which to have fused together for the two countries to get into talks was approved by the US Congress in June with the signfor India to acquire 10 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft ing of the agreement being timed to coincide with President

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Military   Procurement Obama’s November visit. While there appears to be some anomaly in the financial size of the deal different sources quoting either $5.8 billion (`26,100 crore) or $4.1 billion (`18,450 crore), it is bound to be resolved soon between the two sides through official dialogue during the final price negotiation and the firm order is likely to be placed by early 2011. The IAF could get its first Globemaster by 2013-14. For Boeing, the deal could prove to be Godsend as till very recently it was considering closure of the C-17 assembly line for want of new orders. The USAF for which the aircraft was primarily designed and developed had at one time decided to cap their procurement at 190 aircraft even though interested parties in the US Congress wanted to continue with the production for some more time. Boeing had at one stage asked its subcontractors to stop making components, which they were supplying to the C-17 plant for the final assembly of the aircraft. However, C-17’s utilisation in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan has been so outstanding that the USAF reversed its earlier stance by ordering additional 15 aircraft last year citing ‘excessive combat use’ of its C-17 fleet. Even UK, which is an active partner of the US-led coalition forces for global war on terror (GWOT), has been so impressed with the C-17 operations that it has decided to expand its fleet to eight aircraft. The new developments have meant that the C-17 production would continue ensuring— as President Obama stated during the ‘agreement signing ceremony’ in Delhi—more than the 20,000 US jobs. Acquisition of the gigantic C-17 Globemaster III by the IAF signals a quantum jump in realising its dream of acquiring the necessary strategic reach in tune with India’s aim to have swift power projection capabilities; with the region spanning from the Persian Gulf to Malacca Strait being seen

C-17 Globemaster III General Characteristics & Performance Details General characteristics

• Crew: 3: 2 pilots, 1 loadmaster • Capacity: – 134 troops with palletized seats or – 102 troops with standard centreline seats or – 36 litter and 54 ambulatory patients or • Cargo: Battle tanks, armoured fighting vehicles, helicopters, et al. • Payload: 77,519 kg of cargo • Length: 53 m • Wingspan: 51.75 m • Height: 16.8 m • Wing area: 353 m² • Empty weight: 1,28,100 kg • Max takeoff weight: 2,65,350 kg • Powerplant: 4× Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofans, 40,440 lbf (180 kN) each • Fuel capacity: 35,546 US gal (134,556 L)

Performance

• Cruise speed: Mach 0.76 (830 km/h) • Range: 4,482 km • Service ceiling: 13,716 m • Takeoff run at MTOW: 7,600 ft (2,316 m) • Landing distance: 3,500 ft (1,060 m)

as the country’s primary area of geostrategic interest. Much more capable than the existing strategic airlifter of the IAF, C-17 can carry a max payload of 77 tonnes compared to the IL-76’s 45-tonne capability (see Box). It is much easier to operate with a small crew of two pilots and a loadmaster despite its massive size owing to its advanced power-assisted systems. An IL-76, on the other hand, carries a mandatory crew of six plus a gunner in the tail. Powered by four Pratt & Whitney turbofans, each producing a massive 40,000 lb+ (180kN) static thrust, a fully loaded C-17 can take-off from a 7,600 ft runway and land at forward airfields with landing strips measuring as little as 3,600 ft in length. The massive and sturdy, easy to fly, long-haul aircraft has been delivering cargo in every worldwide operation since the 1990s, carrying all types of loads under varied weather and operational conditions. In addition, its ability to refuel in mid-air gives it a unique global-reach capability. Little wonder, when IAF Chief P.V. Naik gushingly remarked, “We did a comprehensive evaluation of all such available aircraft in the world. The C-17 best meets our requirements.” Reiterating Boeing’s commitment, Dr Vivek Lall, Boeing’s Vice President, Defense Space and Security, stated, “India will receive the most advanced version of the C-17 available, which will include the latest upgrades and capability.” Naik, in his comments added, “After we have evaluated the performance of the 10 C-17s, we will take a decision on whether to order another six.” In real term operational capabilities, what does it mean for the IAF? With the receipt of 10 C-17s or possibly 16, the IAF will be able give a real boost in all areas of transport support operations such as inter-theatre movement of men and material and para-dropping, ‘Special Forces’, out of area and even disaster relief operations. For example, at present, to para-drop a battalion group of airborne/special forces with their combat equipment, it takes up to five Il-76 and 12 An-32 aircraft, which for a night drop could take as much as an hour to complete, necessitating sanitisation of an air corridor longer than 200 km—a daunting task indeed. The same task could easily be accomplished by five to six C-17s flying in close proximity to each other (loose formation)—thanks to standard onboard station keeping equipment (SKE)—in a flat five minute period or so. The US demonstrated the capability when during ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ on March 26, 2003, 15 USAF C-17s participated as the main stay in the biggest combat airdrop since the US invasion of Panama in December 1989. The night-time airdrop of 1,000 paratroopers and combat equipment over Bashur in Iraq opened up the northern front to combat operations and constituted the largest formation airdrop carried out by the United States since World War II. The acquisition of C-17s along with the impending induction of C-130Js from Lockheed Martin would also greatly enhance the ‘single-wave’ capability of the IAF for airborne operations. This would also help in quick reinforcements to be dispatched in an inter-theatre scenario. For example, once the IAF gets the ‘Globemasters’, it would greatly help India’s armed forces in effectively facing threats and challenges in the northern and eastern sectors. It has been best summarised by Wang Mingzhi, a military strategist at the PLA Air Force Command College who said, “The arms sales will improve the ties between Washington and New Delhi, and, intentionally or not, will have the effect of containing China’s influence in the region.”  SP Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   27


OEM   Interview

We’re putting entirely new manufacturing lines for the next level of AESA development

Photograph: Northrop Grumman

In an interview with John Fagnant, Director of ISR and Targeting Strategy at the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems sector, SP’s Aviation discovered the historical and cultural qualities that have made the company a leader in Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology. In part I of the interview published in SP’s Aviation November 2010 issue, we had explored the differences between one AESA and another. Fagnant spoke how Northrop Grumman has developed a culture of AESA with years of experience in pursuing generational shifts in software and hardware architecture. In part II, Fagnant discusses on future developments, costs, and common radar heritage. SP’s Aviation (SP’s): Can you tell us more about future developments? John Fagnant (Fagnant): Our AESAs aren’t just radars. This is a big difference between Northrop Grumman AESA and the others available in the market. Our ability to exploit this expansion in operational bandwidth in any manner the customer chooses means we can do radar, communications, jamming, passive detection, or electronic support—all within the bandwidth our system exploits. This is the next step we’ve been taking with our AESA architecture. If you walk down to our manufacturing floor today, you can see a lot of new tooling coming in associated with the ramp up of the F-35 programme, but you are also going to see a lot of new tooling associated with that next generation of AESA technology as it applies to other sensors and platforms. We’re putting entirely new manufacturing lines 28    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

there to construct the new pieces of hardware architecture that we’ll need for the next level of AESA development that our customers are going to take advantage of—whether for airborne, land, maritime or space applications. The next generation of architecture is going to have fewer parts, which means less cost for the customer. With time, a much simpler AESA architecture means a much simpler manufacturing process that leads to less time on the assembly line—and cost efficiency back to the customer. SP’s: AESA development is very expensive. What is Northrop Grumman doing about costs? Fagnant: Back then, our mindset wasn’t to build one thing and say, “We’re just going to add this and add that.” The customers’ concern for diminishing manufacturing capabilities, and expenses associated with hardware changeovers, was a big deal to us. What we learned from the www.spsaviation.net


OEM   Interview

Our AESAs aren’t just radars. This is a big difference between Northrop Grumman AESA and the others available in the market —says John Fagnant, Director of ISR and Targeting Strategy

F-22 experience was, “let’s continue that generational cycle.” Let’s make one major investment at a time to create a generational architecture of hardware and software modes that our entire customer base can take advantage of so that they’re not all paying the non-recurring costs associated with successive singular programmes. We are seeing important engineering and manufacturing efficiencies that translate into time and costs efficiencies for our customers. This generational architecture just doesn’t reside in one or two airborne types of AESAs. You can see it in our ground-based, maritime, and high/low altitude aircraft. As we move forward into future AESAs, you actually get to see examples of where our AESAs are better because of all these cultural factors at play. In our experience with customers, we tend to ask whether the customer is thinking about a certain threat. But we can then say that the customer doesn’t have to invest now. We have something that will work for you that’s ready to roll. This is an advantage cultivated across our entire product base and it’s a direct result of this generational approach with software and hardware. SP’s: Can you give us examples of Northrop Grumman AESA programmes that share a common AESA heritage? Fagnant: We’ve been able to demonstrate the same sorts of capabilities on just about any platform you would want. Creating platform-agnostic capability with our AESAs is a customer’s need. We never start solving a customer’s sensor needs by saying, “Okay, let’s start from scratch

on a new AESA system.” Depending on the performance requirement and timeframe, we usually refer back to a previous architecture or generation of AESAs, already in progress. With the budget constraints we’re seeing right now, the answer to almost every customer requirement is, “What do we have on the shelf right now?” As I mentioned before, it’s Northrop Grumman’s generational approach to open systems architecture that makes our sensors very agnostic. Regardless of the platform, the modes and hardware play well with each other. While there’s always fine tuning required for each system or customer, the value proposition is significant when you consider the non-recurring expenses (NRE) associated with AESA. For example, we’ve offered the APG-81, originally designed for the F-35, as a possible option for the B1and B-52 bomber platforms. We’ve even offered other fighter AESAs as options, which dramatically emphasises the point that our solutions are indeed platform agnostic. The last B-52 was built in 1964, and we’re confident we can put the world’s most advanced AESA on it. Being able to retrofit an aircraft that old with an AESA like the APG-81 is really a credit to how agnostic we believe the modes, software and hardware interfaces really are. The scalable approach ultimately reduces the NRE impact for the customer. We know that the APG-81, APG-80, and APG-77 have a lot in common. And we’ve taken it to other domains. The ground/air task oriented radar (G/ATOR) we are producing for the US Marine Corps has a lot of APG-81 in it. Even though it operates in a different bandwidth, there’s a lot going on in the back end and that’s APG-81.  SP Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   29


Military   Interview

IAF is going in for a massive upgradation of its airfield and helipad infrastructure Air Marshal J.N. Burma is the Air Officer-in-

Charge Administration,Air Headquarters. In an interview with SP’s Aviation, he spoke about the role of the administrative support services in the IAF modernisation drive.

Photograph: iaf

SP’s Aviation (SP’s): How has the third pillar, as the administrative support services are popularly called, contributed towards IAF’s modernisation drive? Air Marshal J.N. Burma (AOA): The Indian Air Force (IAF) is in the midst of a revolutionary modernisation process aiming to transform itself from a predominantly tactical air force to an aerospace force with strategic capability geared towards protecting our areas of interest from the Hormuz Strait to Malacca Strait and beyond. However, for optimum utilisation of these weapon systems, the IAF needs modern infrastructure. This is where the third pillar plays a vital role. From new Sukhoi-30MKI bases at Tezpur, Chabua (Assam), Halwara (Punjab) and Jodhpur (Rajasthan) to one for Tejas fighters in Sulur (Tamil Nadu), IAF is going in for a massive upgradation of its airfield and helipad infrastructure across the country. A new air base at Phalodi in Rajasthan was inaugurated by the CAS on April 6, 2010. A significant component of this modernisation drive is the soon to be launched modernisation of airfield infrastructure (MAFI) programme, under which 30 of IAF’s 51 operational airbases will be upgraded over the next few years. The contribution of the third pillar can also be gauged from the fact that in the last five years, the annual budget allocation for works services has increased from `300 crore to more than `1,000 crore. In addition, several major infrastructure projects have been undertaken as special projects as modernisation of airfields and advanced landing grounds (ALGs) in the J&K sector and in the Northeast. SP’s: What are the resources available and what additional steps are being taken to modernise the security infrastructure at the IAF installations? AOA: Adequate IAF police force, Defence Security Corps (DSC) personnel and trained Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) are available at IAF bases which have been physically secured by security walls with concertina coils, etc. The security 30    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

equipment currently available at bases include wireless communication networks, hand-held/door-frame metal detectors, under-vehicle inspection mirrors, X-ray baggage machines, patrolling vehicles, search lights, bulletproof vests/patkas and suitable weapons, etc. Access control systems have been installed at a large number of bases. Plans are afoot to issue all personnel biometric-based access control cards for identification, ensuring restricted access to sensitive locations. Night vision devices have been supplied to sensitive bases. Interactive firearms training simulators have been procured to enhance weapon handling skills of air warriors. In addition, smart power fences and armoured vehicles are being installed/inducted into strategically important bases. A pilot project as a part of the Total Security Solution Programme is likely to be launched shortly. Integration of CCTV-based surveillance, physical access control system including boom barriers, automated tyre killers and bollards, electronic access control systems, perimeter protection systems incorporating intrusion detection capability, under vehicle surveillances systems and low-cost mini-UAVs for perimeter surveillance are also being examined for induction into the IAF. SP’s: Any major initiatives taken to improve the quality of life of the air warriors? AOA: Several measures have been instituted in the last few years to ensure a better quality of life for our air warriors. One of the most ambitious projects undertaken is the married accommodation project, which envisages construction of 100 per cent married accommodation for our air warriors. At least 6,930 dwelling units have already been constructed and taken over. Approximately, another 8,000 units are to be completed by 2013.  SP To read the complete interview log on to: www.spsaviation.net/interviews www.spsaviation.net


military   Interview

F/A-18 Super Hornet offers advanced capabilities to IAF On his return journey from Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Amberley Air Base in Queensland,Australia, Rick McCrary of Boeing had an exclusive tête-àtête with SP’s Aviation team on the virtues of the latest model of the F/A-18/F Super Hornet Block II

Photograph: Abhishek / Sp guide pubns

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xtolling the Block II—currently equipping the US Navy and the twin-seat version of which has been supplied to the RAAF— Rick McCrary emphasised that the latest model of the Super Hornet which has also been offered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) as part of the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition is a state-of-the-aircraft in the real and complete sense. Contrary to misguided belief in some quarters, the Super Hornet is vastly different from the Legacy Hornet from which it is derived; bridging a number of fighter generations and truly earning the sobriquet of a 21st century fighter—running neck-on-neck with the modern, so-called fifth generation fighters such as the F-22 Raptor or the upcoming F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter. Compared with its predecessor — the legacy Hornet— the Super Hornet is 20 per cent larger, 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) heavier empty, and a massive 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) heavier at maximum weight. It carries 33 per cent more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 41per cent and endurance by 50 per cent over the legacy Hornet. The aircraft has undergone major changes in the airframe design. The forward fuselage, while retaining largely the same shape as the earlier Hornets, was completely redesigned internally for the Block II. That structure, now designated as the Integrated Fore Body has new material composition and internal structure including accommodation for the fibre optic network and enhanced liquid cooling to match the powerful industry leading APG-79 active electronically scanned array radar. The fuselage has been stretched by almost three feet to make room for fuel and future avionics upgrades and the wing area has been increased by 25 per cent. Its new power plant F414-GE-400 has been developed by General Electric from the Hornet’s F404 and has 35 per cent greater thrust. The Super Hornet has improved ‘Bringback’ capability which means that owing to its much greater maximum landing weight limits, it can bring back 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) or more of unspent fuel and

munitions while returning from a mission rather than having to indulge in wasteful dumping. Other differences include two extra wing hard points for payload (for a total of 11) with significant increase to carry external loads. Among the most significant aerodynamic changes is the enlarged leading edge extensions (LEX) which provides carefree handling for pilots during combat manoeuvring. Commenting on the IAF’s requirement of MMRCA, McCrary stated that out of all the competitors, the Super Hornet Block II is without doubt the only aircraft which can provide the most comprehensive and diversified multi-role capabilities on a single platform. The Super Hornet’s multi-role capabilities include air defence and suppression/destruction of enemy air defences (SEAD/DEAD), all-weather, day/night air reconnaissance and non-traditional ISR, precision strike, anti-surface maritime warfare, electronic attack and even tactical air refuelling in the ‘Buddy’ mode—indeed a ‘true blood’ multi-role capability. But when questioned about the prickly issues—end user monitoring agreement (EUMA) and more importantly, communication and information security memorandum of agreement (CISMOA) which the US government insists India should sign before it can kick-start the transfer of key defence equipment sold to it and India’s reluctance to do so—and their possible impact on the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet sale to the IAF, Rick McCrary chose to opt out stating that he could not possibly comment as these were inter-governmental issues. He did, however, say that Boeing is committed to offering a fully compliant and capable MMRCA with or without the agreements—as they are doing with P-8I and will do with C-17.  SP To read the complete interview log on to: www.spsaviation.net/interviews For more information and video, visit: www.spsaviation.net Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   31


Military   Interview

Super Hornet will inject advanced military strength into IAF The increasing bilateral relationship between India and the US over the last few years has contributed to the opening up of the defence market. Dr Vivek Lall, Vice President, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, India, in an exclusive interview with SP’s Aviation spoke about Boeing’s partnership with numerous SMEs in India. SP’s Aviation (SP’s): Boeing has made some inroads into India’s defence acquisition market. What is the strategy? Dr Vivek Lall (Lall): Boeing’s presence in India dates back six decades with close ties in commercial aviation shaping the partnership with the country. Opportunities for the defence side of our business opened up more recently. Our approach to India, irrespective of platform sales, has always been to partner with the country for the long-term and contribute to the development of the country’s aerospace industry.

Photograph: Abhishek / Sp guide pubns

SP’s: What would you attribute the growth of this spending and how has the perception changed towards American companies doing business in India? Lall: India’s intent to modernise its defence equipment and invest in homeland security and border protection are drivers of this spend. Further, the DPP and offset regime has put India on the right path to develop a robust and thriving indigenous aerospace and defence industry. This is a very progressive move by the Ministry of Defence. The increasing bilateral relationship over the last few years between the United States and India has also contributed to the opening up of the defence market and the US President’s visit to India has solidified the foundation of the association between the two countries. SP’s: The F/A-18 Super Hornet is pitted against five other competitors in the MMRCA competition. How well positioned is the Super Hornet in the competition? Lall: We offered a fully compliant solution and demonstrated everything that we intended to about the Super Hornet’s formidable capabilities as a combat-proven strike fighter. We believe the Super Hornet will inject advanced military strength into the Indian Air Force and complement its air superiority capabilities with precision strike. The Block II Super Hornet is the most advanced multirole fighter available for export in the world and always receiving upgrades that will keep it relevant against current and future threats. SP’s: Given the offset obligations that will accrue from the sale of military equipment to India, what steps has Boeing taken in this regard? Lall: Boeing has demonstrated a 100 per cent success rate in meeting offset requirements around the world and is offering India the expertise and knowledge that has been gained from 32    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

these projects. Currently, Boeing has more than 60 active industrial programmes worth more than $18 billion (`81,200 crore) in 24 countries around the world. Boeing has also completed programmes totaling more than $41 billion (`1,85,000 crore) in nearly 40 countries over the past 30 years, with a 100 per cent success rate in meeting offset requirements. In India, Boeing is partnering with numerous small and medium enterprises in India, both directly and through its extensive network of suppliers. For example, Boeing and its F/A-18 Super Hornet Industry Supplier Team have signed MoUs with 38 companies in India in support of the MMRCA campaign. Coupled with other Boeing programmes, the MMRCA offset programme would lead to the creation of a world-class advanced production system for India’s future combat aircraft; and provide the basis for significant export potential. SP’s: Can you give us an indication of how the procurement of the C-17 Globemasters is progressing? Lall: We welcome President Obama’s announcement that preliminary agreement has been reached to purchase 10 C-17s and look forward to the letter of agreement (LoA) being signed soon. With the C-17, IAF will enjoy proven operational performance and versatility, along with unequaled reliability in worldwide operations. India will be well-positioned to rapidly respond to strategic and tactical needs in-country, around the region and the world. SP’s: How did the Apache and Chinook perform in the attack and transport helicopters trials held this year.? Lall: The unique capabilities of the Apache and Chinook make them both a good fit for India’s attack helicopter and transport needs. The Apache Longbow is a combat proven, force multiplier that will offer the Indian Air Force the latest Block III ­capability. It also has defined technology road map to ensure operational relevance to meet the changing and diverse threats across the full spectrum of conflict.The Chinook as a heavy lift helicopter that has unsurpassed ability to deliver heavy payloads in extreme conditions and to high altitudes, and is eminently suitable for operations in the high Himalayas.  SP To read the complete interview log on to: www.spsaviation.net/interviews www.spsaviation.net


Hall of Fame

J

acqueline Auriol was France’s most famous woman aviator and one of the world’s leading military test pilots of the 1950s and 1960s. The daughter of a wealthy shipbuilder, she was born Jacqueline MarieThérèse Suzanne Douet on November 5, 1917, in Challans, a small town in France. In 1938, she married Paul Auriol, son of Vincent Auriol who later became President of France from 1947 to 1954. When World War II broke out, Jacqueline refused to leave, but lived in hiding, assisting the French Resistance, and evading Gestapo agents. “I began to realise that I loved danger,” she later recalled. After the war, Jacqueline took up flying, obtaining her first pilot’s certificate in 1948. One day, she went to meet a famous instructor, Raymond Guillaume, to learn aerobatics. He was sceptical about whether this society lady would be able to withstand harsh aerial manoeuvring. In order to test her, he went far beyond the 10 minutes required for this type of evaluation and flew for an hour through various manoeuvres, including inverted flight. From the corner of his eye he watched her reactions. She smiled back and seemed happy and said she was feeling wonderful. So he continued to train her and became her friend and mentor, imbuing her with a passion for aerobatics. By 1949, she was the only woman in France able to perform aerobatics and the public flocked to see her in action. She took part in a competition flight between Algiers and Dakar and then in July 1949, demonstrated her skills at the Paris Air Show. A few days later, Auriol was sitting next to the pilot in a twinengine hydroplane, when it crashed into the river Seine. Apart from other injuries, her face was severely hurt, with a torn nose and fractured jaw. Yet, her first question while being rushed to the hospital was, “Will it be long before I can fly again?” The press lamented that the most glamorous woman in Paris would be permanently disfigured. But Jacqueline was determined that this would not

happen. Over the next two years, she underwent 22 operations to rebuild her face. Did the experience put her off flying? She once said, “In the case of pilots, it is a little touch of madness that drives us to go beyond all known bounds.” It merely strengthened her resolve to achieve greatness in the air. Between her last two operations in the USA, she earned her helicopter quali-

JACQUELINE AURIOL (1917 - 2000)

During her 20 years of distinguished service to aviation, she totalled 5,000 hours of flight, including 2,000 test flights and trials on more than 140 aeroplanes and helicopters of all types

fication in just four weeks. In 1950, she gained her military licence and qualified at the Flight Test Centre at Bretigny, France, as one of the world’s first women test pilots. On May 11, 1951, attaining a speed of 508.8 mph in a British Vampire jet, Auriol established a new women’s speed record, besting the earlier mark set by Jacqueline Cochran. This triggered a friendly rival-

ry between the two Jacquelines, and they went on to swap the women’s world speed record for over a decade. Jacqueline Auriol beat her own record on December 21, 1952, in a Sud-Est Mistral. But she had to settle for being only the second woman to break the sound barrier, on August 3, 1953, months after Jacqueline Cochran. She reclaimed the speed title from Cochran on May 31, 1955, this time in a Mystére IV N. On June 22, 1962, Jacqueline Auriol set another world speed record at Istres, France. After weeks of preparation, she took off in a Dassault Mirage IIIC. Her first attempt failed, but by late that afternoon she was again airborne. Flying at 37,000 feet, Auriol covered over 63 miles in three minutes and 23 seconds, at an average speed of 1149.65 mph. She exceeded Jacqueline Cochran’s record by a comfortable margin and simultaneously broke the men’s record set in 1959. The title of world’s fastest woman returned to Auriol for the last time on June 14, 1963, in a Dassault Mirage IIIR at 1,266 mph. Later, Jacqueline was one of the first pilots to fly the Concorde supersonic passenger aircraft. She was awarded the Harmon Trophy as the world’s most outstanding aviatrix for the years 1951, 1952, 1955 and 1956. During her 20 years of distinguished service to aviation, she totalled 5,000 hours of flight, including 2,000 test flights and trials on more than 140 aeroplanes and helicopters of all types. She was intimately involved with some of the most famous products of the French aviation industry, among them the Mystère II and IV, Super-Mystère B-2, Mirage III, Vautour, Breguet Alizé, Gerfaut II and Caravelle II. Jacqueline Auriol passed away on February 11, 2000, at the age of 82. President Jacques Chirac, paid tribute to her thus, “For decades, this great lady embodied courage and modernity for the French. Her name will forever be associated with heroic aviation history and with aeronautical research.”  SP —Group Captain (Retd) Joseph Noronha, Goa Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   33


Military      Special industry SpecialMission Mission

bombardier global 5000: four of these jets will be operated by german ministry of defence’s special mission wing for vip transport

Specialised &

Amphibious

Bombardier continues to improve upon existing and high performing ISR aircraft solutions by evaluating the upgrades to current systems as required by specific missions

Photographs: bombardier, raytheon & usaf

B

ombardier has continues to develop new specialBy Our Special Correspondent the longest ised aircraft solutions to maintain track record and its market leading status. the widest range of Airborne C4ISR experience of any Any mission requiring surveilspecial mission aircraft provider. The company’s rich heritage of developing lance, monitoring, intelligence gathering, airborne coordiaircraft for governments, armed forces and specialised nation or simply national presence comes under command, commercial operators stretches back more than 40 years control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR). Bombardier aircraft are and tens of thousands of flight hours. Bombardier has designed, built and delivered well over already well established in these roles, particularly in the 300 special mission aircraft for customers worldwide since increasingly sophisticated air-to-ground surveillance enviJanuary 1965, when a Learjet 23 flew a tactical training mis- ronment, including overland and maritime domains. The ASTOR programme for Britain’s Royal Air Force sion for the US Air Force. Today, the Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets and Q-Series turboprop airliners provide (RAF) underlines the credentials of the Global Express as a a full spectrum of special mission capabilities that can meet superior C4ISR platform for air-to-ground surveillance. As part of a team led by Raytheon Systems, Bombardier almost any current requirement. With the largest fleet of special mission aircraft in corporate aviation, each member of won the UK’s ASTOR competition, supplying five Global ExBombardier’s comprehensive business jet and regional air- press aircraft for the programme. Bombardier was responcraft family is firmly established in-service with specialised sible for all simulation and modeling of the airframe modimission operators. For future mission concepts, Bombardier fications as well as a 300-hour flight test programme. The 34    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

www.spsaviation.net


industry    Special Mission ASTOR platform—known as the Sentinel R.Mk—is equipped with a Raytheon dual-mode SAR/MTI radar, mission management systems, MILSATCOM, and the latest in communications and data link equipment. The Sentinel R.Mk 1 is the only dedicated NATO C4ISR aircraft in operation outside the United States. The success of the ASTOR programme has led to the Global Express being considered as a candidate platform for other C4ISR requirements worldwide. Key customer nations for Bombardier’s surveillance and patrol aircraft include the United Kingdom (Global Express), Korea (Challenger 604), Australia (Q-Series), Denmark (Challenger 604), Sweden (Q-Series), Iceland (Q-Series), and the US (Q-Series). The US Department of Homeland Security has acquired Q200 aircraft for the counter-narcotics/border surveillance missions. Aircrew Training

Bombardier aircraft are currently deployed for training, evaluation and mission readiness procedures with a host of government and military operators. Specialised functions extend beyond training for aircrews (pilots, navigators, etc.) to include threat simulation, electronic warfare and airborne target presentations to train air defense systems operators on land, at sea and in the air. Some well-established operators include L-3 Flight International (US), Phoenix Air (US), SAAB-Nyge Aero (Sweden), Pel-Air Aviation (Australia) and the United Arab Emirates Navy. Bombardier’s experience and comprehensive product line makes it a strong contender for future military flight crew training requirements around the world.

on special missions: bombardier’s 415 amphibious aircraft; global express a superior platform for c4isr; Learjet 35A (C-21A) which can undertake operational support airlift missions

Executive Transport and Logistic Support

Bombardier aircraft transport high priority passengers and essential cargo for air forces worldwide. The United States Air Force alone has an extensive fleet of Learjet 35A (C-21A) aircraft that undertake operational support airlift missions around the clock and across the globe. Other nations that call on Bombardier aircraft for head of state, ministerial, government and senior military transportation include Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Malaysia, and the US Coast Guard. As more nations become integrated with long-standing allied organisations, they turn to Bombardier aircraft as a reliable and highly supportable means of transportation. Four Global 5000 jets will be operated by the German Ministry of Defence’s Special Mission Wing for VIP transport and medical evacuation (MedEvac) flights. Maritime Patrol, Search and Rescue, Disaster Response

Government organisations around the world consistently turn to Bombardier platforms to meet their unique requirements. The flexibility, endurance, range and payload of Bombardier aircraft make them highly suitable for maritime patrol and search and rescue. Government agencies that have trusted the Bombardier Q-Series aircraft family with the task of maritime patrol include Coast Watch (Australia), Swedish Coast Guard, Icelandic Coast Guard, Japan Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard. Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   35


industry    Special Mission INDUSTry 

for special tasks: artist rendition of a q400 multi-mission aircraft

The Q400 aircraft is ideally suited for maritime patrol missions, given its extensive cabin volume, 360 knot cruise speed and large payload capability. Bombardier aircraft also undertake life-saving missions for a range of operators, including air forces and agencies in Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and the US. Bombardier aircraft can operate not only in the traditional seagoing search and rescue (SAR) role, but also in providing capability to civil authorities in disaster relief scenarios. Several aircraft/capabilities options are available to support rescue, recovery and restoration work following hurricanes, flooding or other natural disasters including Bombardier’s 415 amphibious aircraft. Bombardier aircraft already have a long history of air ambulance and MedEvac flying. The Challenger 604 has emerged as a preferred aircraft for air ambulance missions. REGA, Swiss Air-Ambulance Ltd has been operating a fleet of three Bombardier Challenger 604 aircraft for air ambulance operations since 2003. Based in Zurich, the aircraft are equipped with two intensive care stations and the latest specialist life support equipment. As well, the Government of Quebec operates two Challenger 601 aircraft. Most recently, Bombardier has sold Learjet 60 XR MedEvac aircraft into Saudi Arabia. Flight Testing, Airways Calibration, Research & Development

Bombardier aircraft are in use for airborne test and trials work with several aerospace corporations and other centres 36    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

of excellence for technology development. The United States Federal Aviation Administration (USFAA) operates a Global 5000 as an airborne research laboratory for testing a variety of state-of-the-art equipment related to communications and navigation systems. Other customers include industry leaders such as NASA and Northrop Grumman. The USFAA operates an all-Bombardier fleet led by four Challenger aircraft (a Challenger 604 and three Challenger 601-3R jets) and six Learjet 60 aircraft. As a joint organisation with the United States Air Force (USAF) Combat Flight Inspection detachment, the FAA Challenger aircraft have supported allied nations in certifying airfields for military operations from Kabul to Baghdad to Uzebekistan. Additionally, another world-renowned civil aviation organisation, Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), operates two Global Express ultra-long range jets and one Q-Series airliner for flight inspection missions. Future Concepts

Bombardier continues to expand the capability range of its aircraft to undertake new and emerging specialised missions. Bombardier continues to improve upon its existing and high performing ISR aircraft solutions by evaluating the upgrades to current systems as required by specific missions. An example includes programmes such as the Q-Series maritime patrol aircraft where Bombardier has supported airframe, avionics, and mission system improvements solely for the benefit of special mission customers.  SP www.spsaviation.net


Digest

news

Military Asia-Pacific LCA successfully test fires R-73 missiles India’s indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas has successfully completed air-to-air close combat missile firing tests ahead of its clearance for induction into the IAF. The tests for firing of R-73 missiles took place at the INS Hansa naval air base in Goa on November 30. “One of the main objectives of the current phase of flight trials was clearing the firing envelope of air-to-air close combat missile from the Tejas,” a DRDO statement said. The R-73 missile, which is the chosen air-to-air close combat missile for supersonic Tejas, is integrated with the on-board digital stores management system (SMS) and open architecture mission and display computer. Saab receives FMV Gripen order for Thailand Defence and security company Saab has received an order from FMV (Swedish Defence Material Administration) for six Gripen aircraft intended for the Royal Thai Air Force. The order is worth approximately 2,2 billion SEK. The six Gripen aircraft are of the single-seat C version and the project duration is between 2010 -2013. They are part of an intergovernmental business transaction where FMV, as representative of the Government of Sweden, sells an integrated air-defence system based on products manufactured by Saab, including Gripen. UK supports Eurofighter Typhoon campaign in India

On November 23, UK’s Secretary of State for Defence Dr Liam Fox visited the Eurofighter Typhoon Office in New Delhi and met high-level

Boeing starts work on first P-8I for Indian Navy

T

he Boeing team has begun fabrication work of the first part for the Indian Navy’s first longrange maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft in Wichita. The P-8I, based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, is a variant of the P-8A Poseidon being developed by Boeing for the US Navy. Employees at Spirit AeroSystems—where all Boeing Next-Generation 737 fuselages, nacelles and pylons are designed and built— cut the P-8I’s first part, a bonded aluminum panel that later will be installed on the fuselage’s upper lobe to support an antenna. The panel and other fuselage components will come together on the Spirit’s existing Next-Generation 737 production line. Leland Wight, Boeing P-8I Programme Manager said, “We’re on schedule and the Indian Navy is looking forward to receiving its first plane,” he added. The Spirit will ship the P-8I fuselage to a Boeing Commercial Airplanes facility in Renton, Washington, in mid-2011 for final assembly. Following this, Boeing Defense, Space & Security employees will install mission systems and complete testing prior to delivery to India. “P-8I fuselage sections are designed and built using the same processes we use on the commercial 737,” said Mike King, Spirit AeroSystems Fuselage Segment Senior Vice President and General Manager. “We have built seven P-8A fuselages to date and continue to increase efficiency as we move forward,” he added. Boeing will deliver the first of eight P-8I aircraft to India within 48 months of the original contract signing, which took place in January 2009. India is the first international customer for the P-8. The P-8I will provide India with speed, reliability, persistence and room for growth to satisfy the country’s maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare requirements now and well into the future. The aircraft features open system architecture, advanced sensor and display technologies, and a worldwide base of suppliers, parts and support equipment.  •

company officials. Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of Cassidian Air Systems (new name of EADS Defence & Security) and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eurofighter GmbH, briefed Dr Liam Fox on the current status of the Eurofighter Typhoon campaign to win India’s tender for 126 medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA). Super Tucano for Indonesian Air Force Embraer has won a competition held by the Indonesian Ministry of Defense to supply eight Super Tucano light attack turboprops for the Indonesian Air Force. The deal includes ground support stations and an integrated logistics package, and represents the debut of the Super Tucano in the Asia-Pacific region. Deliveries will begin in 2012. The Super Tucano has been chosen to replace a fleet of OV-10 Broncos,

due to its flexibility to perform a broad range of missions, including light attack, surveillance, air-to-air interception, and counter insurgency. Equipped for military missions and designed to operate from unpaved runways, the Super Tucano’s weaponry capacity comes with a wide variety of external options, including conventional and laser-guided bombs, air-to-air missiles, and others. The aircraft is also equipped with electro-optical/ infrared (EO/IR) sensors, including laser designator, and secure radios with datalink communications. Republic of Korea selects C-130J Super Hercules Lockheed Martin has signed a contract with the Republic of Korea (ROK) to provide the nation four C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. South Korea’s new Super Hercules will be the longer fuselage or

QuickRoundUp Afghanistan • Edinburgh is a small forward operating base, which lies surrounded by mountains and conflict in the northern region of Helmand province. Seven marines and 14 civilian contractors work around the clock keeping eyes in the sky known as the X-200 ScanEagle, which provides over watch for ground forces. The ScanEagle is a highly effective UAV, which can stay airborne for more than half a day and is almost completely silent. Airbus • Airbus’ A320 aircraft family, which is recognised worldwide as the benchmark single-aisle jetliner product line, will be even more fuelefficient and eco-friendly with the new engine option now being offered to customers. Designated the A320neo, this option provides the minimum change with maximum benefit for the best-selling A319, A320 and A321 through the availability of two new jet engine choices—CFM International’s LEAP-X and the PW1100G PurePower from Pratt & Whitney. BAE Systems • BAE Systems has been awarded a £20m contract for the upgradation of Italian Air Force Tornados which will give the aircraft extra capability. Work will begin next year on the midlife upgrade of the electronic combat/ reconnaissance and interdictor/strike aircraft variants and is expected to be completed in 2015. BAE Systems involvement in the midlife upgrade includes the design, development and manufacture of kits for 25 aircraft and provide support to Alenia. Boeing • Boeing and Copa Airlines have announced an order for 22 NextGeneration 737-800s at a signing ceremony at the US Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. for approximately $1.7 billion (`7,600 crore) at list prices. Operating out of the “Hub of the Americas” in Panama City, Copa provides service to 46 destinations in 24 countries. General Atomics • General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., Poway, Calif., has

Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   37


Digest

news

Appointments Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin has appointed Brad Hicks to join its mission systems and sensors (MS2) business. Hicks will serve as Vice President of radar programmes under MS2’s radar systems line of business. Boeing Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney has announced that the Boeing Board of Directors has elected Ronald A. Williams as a new Director, effective immediately. Raytheon Raytheon Company has appointed Daniel J. Crowley as President of Raytheon network centric systems (NCS). Crowley succeeds Colin J.R. Schottlaender, NCS President since August 2002, who will retire from Raytheon on December 31. Finmeccanica Finmeccanica has announced the following management changes at Selex Galileo. Steve Mogford will take up the role of CEO of United Utilities PLC, Fabrizio Giulianini will take over as the new CEO of Selex Galileo with effect from January 1, 2011, Norman Bone, at present UK Chief Business Officer and Group Operations Director, will be appointed Managing Director of Selex Galileo Ltd, and will report to Giulianini.

Indian integrated life support technology for Tejas

An integrated life support system (ILSS) for fighter aircraft is a state-of-the-art technology that enables a fighter pilot to venture to the limits of the aircraft capability in terms of flight altitudes and G-forces. This technology had hitherto been the hallmarks of the few highly advanced countries. Now Defence Bioengineering and Electro medical Laboratory (DEBEL) Bangalore, under DRDO, has taken a lead in this technology that to start with will go into Tejas aircraft. Mission accomplishment

Thales

Thales has announcedd the appointment of Victor Chavez as UK Chief Executive Officer, with effect from January 1, 2011. Victor has been Deputy CEO of Thales UK since October 2008. Alex Dorrian, currently CEO of Thales UK and Executive Vice President (EVP) of Thales SA, will be Chairman of Thales UK Plc as part of his role as EVP of Thales SA. Lord Freeman, currently Chairman of Thales UK Plc, will remain a Director of the Thales SA Board and the Chairman of Thales UK Advisory Board. Saab Heino Lundgren has been appointed as the new CEO for Saab in Denmark from December 1. He will continue as CFO for Saab in Denmark in parallel.

‘stretched’ combat delivery variant. Deliveries will be in 2014 and the contract also contains a two-year support programme including aircrew and maintenance training. Korea joins 14 other nations that have selected the C-130J. Tejas LSP-5 first flight

Tejas, India’s light combat aircraft (LCA), in its march towards operational status, achieved an important

milestone on November 19 when the fifth limited series production (LSP-5) aircraft made historic first flight. LSP5 aircraft is the first LCA in the operational configuration for the Indian Air Force. The flight was uneventful and all systems functioned normally, clearing all the test points. This is the culmination of the efforts of all the stakeholders’ viz Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Indian Air Force, Defence Research and Development Organisation labs, defence public sector undertakings, CEMILAC, DGAQA, and Aeronautical Development Agency. This has been a great team effort to get the final standard aircraft on the flight line.

38    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

QuickRoundUp been awarded a $18 million (`80 crore) contract modification which will provide for contractor logistics support for the Italian Air Force MQ-9 Reaper programme including all logistics necessary to support the Italian Air Force main operating base and possibly a forward operating base. IAE International • IAE International Aero Engines AG has announced that BOC Aviation (wholly-owned by Bank of China) has signed an exclusive agreement for the firm order of V2500 engines to power 25 A320 family aircraft newly ordered from Airbus. The 25 new aircraft are due for delivery from 2012 onwards. IAE is a multinational aero engine consortium whose shareholders comprise of Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Japanese Aero Engines Corporation and MTU Aero Engines. L-3 Communications

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is adopting a multi-pronged strategy to combat ozone depletion including limiting the use of Halon to mission critical uses, tighter control laws and incorporating accountability towards phase-out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) said Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik while delivering the inaugural address at the recent two-day International Workshop on ‘Benefits of ODS Phase-out in Defence Forces’ organised by Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS). While highlighting initiatives taken by the IAF, and encouraging alternatives, the Air Chief clarified, “Mission accomplishment remains paramount for the armed forces. Substituting an ODS would only be done, if it doesn’t impinge on operational effectiveness of the system in question.” For new weapon systems in the pipeline, inclusion of a clause in RFPs for provision of alternatives is being considered.

• L-3 Communications has announced that its link simulation and training division has been awarded a $24.1 million (`108 crore) contract from the US Navy to provide the Kuwait Air Force (KAF) with two F/A-18C tactical operational flight trainers and associated training equipment. The training system is being sold to the KAF through the FMS programme. Lockheed Martin • The cost of the joint strike fighter, the US fighter jet which is to replace the ageing Dutch fleet of F-16s, will be €1.4 billion higher than the original estimate. This is an increase of 20 per cemt over the amount of €6.2 billion which the government initially expected would buy 85 JSF planes. Rolls Royce • Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, will provide Trent 700 engines for six Hawaiian Airlines’ Airbus A330 aircraft, in a contract worth $420 million (`1,882 crore) at list prices. The order includes a TotalCare long-term services agreement. Hawaiian Airlines already has ten Trent 700-powered A330s in service or on order and today’s order is incremental. www.spsaviation.net


Digest

news

Show Calendar 12–14 December ATC Global Middle East 2010 Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi, UAE www.atcglobalme.com 15–16 December Energising Indian Aerospace Industry DRDO Bhawan, New Delhi, India www.ciidefence.com 24–26 January 2011 Airport Security Asia 2011 Hong Kong SkyCity Marriot Hotel, Hong Kong www.airportsecurityasia.com 1–2 February 2011 MRO Middle East 2011 Airport Expo Dubai, UAE www.aviationweek.com/ events/current/mme/index.htm 9–13 February 2011 Aero India, 2011 Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru, India www.aeroindia.in/Main.aspx 21–23 February 2011 Indian Business Aviation Expo (IBAE) Hotel Shangri-La, New Delhi, India www.miuevents.com/ibae2011 28 February–2 March 2011 MEXICAN BUSINESS AVIATION EXHIBITION/ HELIMEX Toluca Airport, Toluca, Mexico www.mbaeexpo.com Cobham selected for BAE Systems Hawk trainer Cobham will supply weapons carriage and release equipment for the Indian Air Force Hawk advanced jet trainer programme, under an £18m contract with Hawk manufacturer BAE Systems. Cobham’s mission equipment strategic business unit will deliver significant quantities of light duty ejector release units and carrier bomb light stores (CBLS) training aids to BAE Systems between 2012 and 2014. Both of these systems are integrated onto a variety of platforms around the world and are already in ser-

vice with the Indian Air Force following its first purchase of Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers from BAE Systems in 2004. Cobham’s contract award follows India’s purchase of 57 BAE Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft (AJT) in July 2010, to be built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd in India. Forty aircraft have been assigned to the Indian Air Force and the remaining 17 will be operated by the Indian Navy.

Americas US Army unit flies new unmanned aircraft in Iraq

An Army unit deployed to Camp Taji, Iraq, is shaping the future of the Army’s unmanned aircraft systems programme with a handful of its newest aircraft, the MQ-1C Gray Eagle. The unit, known as Quick Reaction Capability 1-Replacement 1, deployed in June to use the Gray Eagle in combat before the Army fields the aircraft to all of its aviation brigades in the next few years. It is one of two deployed Army units currently flying the Gray Eagle, and it is the only one using it in Iraq. The Gray Eagle is an extended-range, multipurpose unmanned aircraft designed primarily to provide ground commanders a set of “eyes in the sky.”

Civil Aviation Asia-Pacific Embraer delivers first Phenom 100 Executive Jet Embraer delivered the first Phenom 100 entry level jet to India’s Invision Air Services Pvt Ltd, a Mumbai-based ondemand air charter company. The aircraft is the first of 18 Phenom 100s that Invision Air ordered three years ago, along with two Embraer Phenom 300 jets.“With the delivery of our first Phenom

100 jet, we look forward to establishing a branded charter service beyond anything India has seen before,” said Vinit Phatak, Managing Director of Invision Air. “The coming of this jet to India via Invision Air truly marks a milestone in the local general aviation industry. Indian customers will, for the first time, have access to a safe twin-jet experience at a price point between two-and-a half to three time’s full-fare business class rates for up to 200 destinations across the country. This will allow our target customers—corporate executives, investors, celebrities, and high-end tourists— to travel quickly, efficiently and comfortably to Tier II and Tier III cities, which we believe will help fuel the much anticipated economic growth in rural India.”

QuickRoundUp Royal Air Force • Since October last year, RAF Tornado GR4 squadrons have been flying over the landscape of Afghanistan providing support to troops on the ground. But it is not just awesome firepower that these fast jets can deliver. The Tornado GR4 is providing support to ground forces when they come under attack and its sophisticated intelligence and surveillance capabilities are playing a key role by searching for IEDs. Russia

Industry

• In a contract signed with Eurocopter, Gazpromavia selected the Arrius 2B2 engine to power their eight EC 135T2i helicopters. These aircraft will be operated in challenging weather conditions throughout Russia. The Turbomeca fleet in Russia comprises currently 75 Arrius and Arriel engines installed in 49 helicopters for civil operators, based mainly in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg.

Americas

Telephonics Corporation

Phantom Ray completes low-speed taxi tests The Boeing Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system successfully completed lowspeed taxi tests on November 18 at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. The tests were the first for the Phantom Ray following its rollout ceremony in May. Boeing now will prepare Phantom Ray to travel to Edwards Air Force Base, California, on top of one of NASA’s modified Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft. At Edwards, Phantom Ray will undergo high-speed taxi tests before making its first flight. The flight-test programme will last approximately six months.

• Telephonics Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffon Corporation, has announced that its Radar Systems Division has received a contract from The Boeing Company to supply APS-143C(V)3 Multi-Mode Radar (MMR) for India’s P-8I aircraft. The contract includes systems to support [eight] P-8I Aft Radar installations integration and support services.

Space Europe 3 Russian satellites crashed in the Pacific Ocean On December 5, Russia failed to send three Glonass navigation satellites into orbit after they were launched by a rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome, space industry sources told Russian news agencies. •

USAF • Blue Knight 2010, an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) demonstration was carried out at the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) and Creech and Nellis Air Force Bases for two weeks to evaluate the US manned and unmanned joint force capabilities against airborne UAS, in a one-on-one capacity. Blue Knight 2010’s goals were to provide results to operators and develop joint tactics, techniques and procedures. US • The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified US Congress of a possible foreign military sale to the Government of Japan for installation and checkout of mission equipment for AWACS aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.

Issue 12 • 2010    SP’S AVIATION   39


Word

Last

Let

Go

What Air India needs is professional management and not mere administration by the bureaucracy. The remedy is privatisation, and the sooner the better.

Photograph: Abhishek / Sp guide pubns

T

he National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) was established three years ago to oversee the merger of Air India and the national domestic carrier, Indian. Since October 26 this year, rather thankfully, the company has shed its rather pedestrian designation and the merged company has been renamed as Air India. Certainly, a more dignified and inspiring identity! However, the prevailing woes of the erstwhile NACIL are indeed overwhelming and cannot be just wished away or concealed under the new mantle. Air India and Indian were merged in March 2007 to improve the financial state of the two companies through the integration and more efficient utilisation of resources with the two entities. However, even after three-and-a-half years and expenditure of hundreds of crores of rupees, the process of merger does not appear to have made much headway. From reports in the media it appears that at present the national carrier is seemingly in difficult financial state to put it mildly. Air India’s total debt burden stands at over `40,000 crore. Much of it is related to the acquisition cost of the fleet of 111 aircraft which has been ordered and several of which have been delivered. Over the next decade, this involves an annual commitment of around `3,600 crore towards repayment of capital and `2,400 crore towards interest. Over the last four years, the airline has incurred losses amounting to `14,000 crore. During the last financial year, the airline had received an equity infusion of `800 crore from the government as a part of `2,000 crore bailout plan. Infusion of the balance of `1,200 crore was deferred to 2010 and was linked to a restructuring plan of which Air India has apparently nothing to show as yet. There is also discreet silence on the subject on the part of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. A reluctant Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs may have no option but to accord approval, al40    SP’S AVIATION    Issue 12 • 2010

beit with some debate and possibly delay. However, given the overall financial state of the airline, in the assessment of the Board, the Airline is badly in need of a one-time infusion of `10,000 crore primarily to clear mounting dues and not piecemeal equity infusion. Ever since May 2009, when Arvind Jadhav assumed charge as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), the airline is believed to have been embarked on a financial turnaround plan to enhance revenue and cut losses. However, despite his respectable credentials and brilliant track record, the new CMD has evidently not so far been able to get his act together. And the Ministry of Civil Aviation has not been of much help either even though there has been continuity in leadership of the Ministry between UPA-I and UPA-II. During the financial year 2009-10, Air India posted a net loss of `5,551 crore despite the surge in demand for air travel during this period which the private carriers have successfully exploited to their advantage. Air India, on the other hand, has been plagued by management-union conflicts, pilots strike, a major air disaster at Mangalore and the Terminal 3 fiasco at Delhi airport that continues to linger. There have also been reports of crisis of confidence between the independent members of the Board and the CMD believed to be triggered by alleged irregularity in appointments in the top echelons of the organisation. While the crisis over the appointment of the Chief Operations Officer for Air India Express appears to have been diffused for the time being, the management does not appear to be unduly concerned about the precarious financial state of the airline. Expenditure on five-star hotel accommodation for Delhi-based pilots handling managerial responsibilities in Mumbai and on an expensive bungalow in Delhi are a burden which the cash-strapped airline can ill afford. Some of the senior appointments in the recent past with salaries ranging from `1.2 crore to `3.1 crore along with lavish perks, are not only dichotomous but bordering the obscene. There is little doubt that the so-called restructuring plan, if at all there is one, is not working and the airline will in all probability continue to slide deeper into the red with consequent burden on the exchequer. What Air India needs is professional management and not mere administration by the bureaucracy. The obvious remedy is privatisation, and the sooner the better.  SP — Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey www.spsaviation.net



SP's Aviation December 2010