It remains a DCP plan to acquire 10 aircraft for the battlefield airlifter role. C-295 and C-27J have been short-listed but there are rumours this project is going to be cancelled or deferred due to the Government's stupid desire to pad out it's pork barrel fund (sorry, it's surplus...). The longer RAAF continues without a direct replacement the easier it will be that hey, perhaps we can do without a Caribou replacement in RAAF?
Then the role could perhaps filter down to Army with possible enhancements to the size of the Chinook and "maybe" MRH-90 fleets.
Lockheed's C-130XJ muscles in on Embraer's turf
By: Dave Majumdar Washington DC
6 hours ago
Lockheed Martin promoted its reduced-cost C-130XJ variant of the venerable Hercules tactical transport at FIDAE.
The US company's move might be seen as a direct challenge to Embraer. The Brazilian manufacturer has said previously that it is negotiating with Chile to sell the nation's air force six KC-390 jet-powered airlifters that it is developing.
In August 2010, the two South American states signed a declaration of intent that would see Chile's Enaer participate in the development of the KC-390.
Lockheed however, while not overtly stating it is targeting Chile's business, says that it has had numerous inquires from South American nations for the C-130XJ. The aircraft is anywhere from 10% to 15% cheaper than the standard C-130J produced for the US Air Force.
"We've tried to tailor the XJ so that it can have a lower price point and still give them the capabilities that they need," says Lockheed's Jim Grant, who oversees the C-130XJ effort.
Embraer Emphasizes Collaboration On KC-390
By Michael Mecham
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
April 23 , 2012
Michael Mecham/Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil
The Brazilian air force's requirement that KC-390 tanker/transports serve civil and military markets is underscoring prime contractor Embraer's approach to the airplane's product strategy.
Embraer is emphasizing the use of proven systems and components, many adapted from its own commercial programs, in keeping with the service's goal that the tanker will have broad appeal as a lower-cost competitor to the Lockheed Martin C-130J. It is slightly larger than the venerable U.S. transport, with a top payload capacity of 23 tons over a 1,400-nm range, and will feature such cockpit features as dual head-up displays and sidestick controllers.
The Brazilian air force (FAB) has ordered 28 of the twin-engine transports and identified a requirement for 10 more in the long term. In addition, Embraer has gathered declarations of intent-to-order for an additional 32: two for the Czech Republic and six for Portugal—both NATO members—plus six for Argentina, six for Chile and 12 for Colombia.
First flight is set for 2014. In keeping with the 2009 contract it signed with the FAB, Embraer will seek civilian certification from the FAA first, in 2015, and then move on to military certification a year later. The same approach was followed for the Tucano/Super Tucano advanced trainer/light attack aircraft, notes Paulo Gastao Silva, Embraer vice president and KC-390 program manager. Military certification is more easily accomplished after an aircraft has passed through the hands of civil regulators.
With a wingspan of 115 ft., length of 111 ft. and maximum takeoff weight of 178,574 lb., the KC-390 is Embraer's most ambitious military aircraft project.
“This is Brazil's biggest military program and biggest aircraft program ever,” says Silva, whose KC-390 project office became a separate business unit within Embraer in January 2010 because of the tanker's importance. The KC-390 will permit the FAB to expand its transport fleet and replace its 22 C-130Hs, two of which are operated as KC-130s.
Embraer is aiming the KC-390 at the medium-lift military transport market, for which the company sees a requirement for 728 replacements over the next 10 years, according to a 2011 company study. Many of those are C-130s.
“We decided to limit the initial forecast to 10 years and to reassess it after getting the first market feedback once we start promoting and selling the airplane,” says Silva.
The manufacturer's market studies show that stretching the fuselage to provide room for a side cargo door could add another 200-250 potential sales.
The program has emerged from its initial definition phase, and agreements have been reached on supplier interfaces, says Silva. The company expects to freeze the definition by year-end.
“It's the first time Embraer called in suppliers to help with the [aircraft's] conception,” says Kenzo Takatori of Akaer Engineering in Sao Jose dos Campos. Akaer has provided engineering for numerous Embraer programs during the past 20 years. Once the definition is complete, Takatori expects Akaer's designers to work from Embraer's campus here on its fuselage, wing and landing-gear-door engineering.
The majority of Embraer's contractor support is coming from outside Brazil, but not all of it. For example, the airplane's mission computer will be produced by the Aeroelectronica-Embraer joint venture AEL Sistemas that it formed with Elbit for the Super Tucano.
Still, Embraer is reducing its program risk as much as possible by assembling a supply team with wide experience and proven equipment, particularly from civil programs. Prominent in this strategy is its choice of powerplants, the V2500-E5 from International Aero Engines.
In the cockpit, Embraer selected Rockwell Collins's Pro Line Fusion flight deck and mission systems avionics, which it already is employing on the Legacy 450/500. The installation includes twin head-up displays from Elbit.
Rockwell Collins Vice President Thierry Tosi says Brazil is one of his company's key priorities among emerging markets. Rockwell Collins do Brazil, which has been established near Embraer, is adding engineers to support its commercial and military programs, particularly the KC-390. The company plans to use third parties in Brazil to build the transport's displays and control panels.
Goodrich will design and build the primary flight-control system in the U.S., and BAE Systems will supply the flight-control electronics and active sidestick controllers. BAE will work from its Rochester, England, facility.
Embraer will integrate the mission systems and avionics and develop mission software, drawing on experience it gained on similar work for the FAB's F-5 fighter modernization program and a revamp of A-4s for the Brazilian navy.
Hamilton Sundstrand is providing the auxiliary power unit and electric power-generating system from the U.S.
Risk-sharing partners with specialized skills and track records with Embraer have been chosen to broaden the KC-390's overseas customer base:
•Portugal Engineering Manufacturing (OGMA) will build composite landing-gear sponsons, doors and elevators. The company, in which Embraer holds a 65% stake, also will make composite parts, while Embraer will produce aluminum parts.
•Aero Vodochody of the Czech Republic, which produces door assemblies for the Embraer 170/190, will design and build the KC-390's fixed leading edge and provide other packages, including the cargo ramp, crew doors, emergency doors and hatches. All are metallic. Embraer will make the Segment 2 aft fuselage behind the ramp that joins with the empennage. It will also build center fuselage sections fore and aft of the wing, and the rear door to the center fuselage.
•Argentina's FAdeA (Fabrica Argentina de Aviones) is to manufacture the tail cone, cargo ramp door, spoilers and nose-wheel landing-gear door from composites at its Cordoba factory. The government-owned FAdeA was formerly managed by Lockheed Martin when it was building the Pampa jet trainer, but has more recently returned to being a government-managed enterprise as it emphasizes maintenance and overhaul services.
“So this puts FAdeA back into the aerostructures business,” Silva says. “I think it will be a good partnership.”
The tail cone is metallic and composite; the cargo doors are all metallic. FAdeA also will produce a flap fairing, the electronics rack and composite nose-wheel landing-gear doors.
Three nonrisk-sharing partners have been named. Brazil's Aceturri will provide the wing-to-fuselage fairing. LMI Aerospace, headquartered in St. Charles, Mo., will provide metallic slats. Spain's Aernnova, a longtime Embraer supplier that has a plant in Sao Jose, will produce composite flaps, ailerons and the rudder. Aceturri and LMI are new suppliers. All of their operations will be collocated in the KC-390 factory in Sao Jose.
Additionally, ELEB, a wholly owned Embraer subsidiary, will design and produce the landing gear, and DRS Defense Solutions of Rockville, Md., will build the cargo handling and delivery system. Numerous other specialty contractors are involved with the -390, including Cobham for refueling receiver probes and Safran's Hispano-Suiza for electric power distribution.
The KC-390 represents a further evolution in Embraer's relationship both with risk-sharing partners and suppliers. With the ERJ 145 program, the company had six partners and hundreds of suppliers, Silva recalls. By the time it reached the E-Jet series, its involvement with risk-sharing was more intense— there are 15 partners— but its supplier count had been winnowed to 20.
Oman orders C295s for airlift, maritime patrol duties
By: Craig Hoyle London
5 hours ago
Airbus Military has received a new order to supply eight C295 medium transport and maritime patrol aircraft to the Royal Air Force of Oman.
Signed on 19 May, the deal will include the production of five aircraft dedicated as transports and three to be configured as maritime patrol assets, Airbus Military says. Deliveries will commence from the company’s San Pablo final assembly line in Seville, Spain in 2013.
The C295 transports will serve as replacements for Oman’s aged fleet of five Shorts Skyvan 3Ms, which Flightglobal’s MiliCAS database records as having been delivered between 1970 and 1975. The maritime patrol aircraft will provide a new capability to patrol territorial waters and counter piracy, illegal immigration and smuggling, the company says.
© Mark Mansfield/Airbus Military
A contract value has not been disclosed, but Airbus Military confirms that its contract also includes the first sale of a palletised pollution control system which will be used to deploy dispersants in response to oil spills. The equipment can be carried by a C295 transport without the need to perform any structural modifications.
The deal also has increased Airbus Military’s order intake for light and medium transports to 24 aircraft so far this year, with contracts also having been signed with nations including Indonesia. This contrasts with a record low of five units sold in 2011.
Further sales are also anticipated this year, says Antonio Rodriguez Barberan, senior vice-president commercial, who cites a possible contract with Cameroon as one example. “I think we are in a position to recover from the market slump of last year,” Barberan says, predicting that the company’s order total for this year could reach around 30 aircraft. “We are selling the planes in emerging markets, which is where we were betting on.”
Meanwhile, Barberan reveals that Airbus Military has held preliminary discussions with three nations over a proposed airborne early warning and control system version of the C295. He declines to name the prospective customers for the tactical system, which is being offered in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta Systems subsidiary.
AFSOC MC-130J crews start training in new full-motion sims
By: Dave Majumdar Washington DC
13 hours ago
The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) aircrews have started training on full-motion simulators for the MC-130J version of the Lockheed Martin Hercules tactical transport aircraft at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.
The USAF recently started receiving the new MC-130Js for which the USAF must start training new crews. Lockheed delivered the courseware and curriculum for the new aircraft to Air Education and Training Command (AETC) in February, says Vic Torla, the company's director for the aircrew training and rehearsal support (ATARS) programme.
At the same time, Lockheed delivered the first MC-130J weapons system trainer (WST), which is analogous to a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Level-D full-motion simulator, to the desert base. But unlike a civilian simulator, the military device can replicate sensors systems, electronic warfare systems, weapons, and night vision goggle environments. It also replicates enemy threats which the aircraft might face in combat. The simulators can also be networked with multiple aircrews and simulated aircraft flying in the same virtual environment across multiple bases.
USAF combat system operators (CSO) started their transition course to the MC-130J in March. Meanwhile, Air Combat Command's CSOs, who will fly the HC-130J variant, started to train in April. Pilots and loadmasters started their training syllabus on 1 May. The two aircraft, which are very similar, use the same simulators.
The training course is split with 80% of the course completed in classrooms or a simulator. The remaining 20% is flown in a real aircraft. Because the fidelity of the new devices is so high, in the future, simulator training could be expanded to encompass more of the syllabus, Torla says.
Regular C-130J crews complete the overwhelming majority of their training syllabus on a simulator with the exception of their "check ride", which is flown on a real aircraft. "AFSOC is not jumping right to that level of simulator dependency, and certainly in the mission level training requirement there is a greater demand to fly in the actual aircraft. But we certainly feel confident that the ability to expand upon what is traditionally accomplished in the aircraft versus the simulator," Torla says. "That will be expanded for the J environment."
Because operating a simulator is much more cost effective than flying a real aircraft, operational units will eventually offload as much of their training as possible onto simulators, Torla says. More and more training will migrate onto simulators as the USAF becomes more confident in using the machines.
Already, AFSOC was the first USAF command to receive lower-fidelity reconfigurable procedural trainers called the multi-function training aid (MFTA). The devices enable crews to complete more of their routine training without resorting to more costly methods.
Lockheed is on contract to deliver 20 new WST simulators to four additional AFSOC and ACC sites including Hurlburt Field AFB, Florida, Cannon AFB, New Mexico, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, and Moody AFB in Georgia.
In future the full-motion simulator could be used to train aircrews for the new AC-130J programme which the USAF and Lockheed are working on, Torla says.
HAL Signs Contract for Developing Multirole Transport Aircraft for India
(Source: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd; issued May 29, 2012)
Artist’s impression of the latest India-Russia aerospace project, the MTA twin-engined jet transport to be developed by HAL and Ilyushin. (UAC imagery)
Make-jobs programme to no great benefit of the Russians apart from politically.....the export possibilities are minimal when compared to the few (5 or 6?) years start the Embraer KC-390 will have........
BANGALORE --- Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., the aerospace major in the country, has reached another major milestone when it signed the tripartite General Contract with United Aircraft Corporation -Transport Aircraft (UAC-TA), the Russian partner & their JV-Multirole Transport Aircraft Ltd. (MTAL) for the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) project on Monday, 28th May, 2012.
HAL has been manufacturing transport aircraft at TAD, Kanpur namely Avros HS-748 and Dornier Do-228.
A total of 89 Avros has been manufactured with first delivery in April 1964 and 89th aircraft delivery in September 1984. HAL has also carried out a number of upgrades and customization of these aircraft. HAL is maintaining the fleet.
HAL has manufactured 116 Dorniers till date with first delivery in 1984 and the 116th in March 2012 and the same are being maintained by Kanpur division. Two Do-228 maritime aircraft have been exported to Mauritius. HAL has taken up manufacturing of structural assemblies of Do-228 for Ruag Aerospace, Germany and has supplied eight sets so far. Export of one Do-228 to Seychelles is under progress.
HAL will carry out design & development of its workshare of Multirole Transport Aircraft at Aircraft R&D (ARDC) Centre at Bangalore while its Transport Aircraft Division (TAD) at Kanpur will manufacture the prototypes, and subsequently the serial production will be at Kanpur where dedicated facilities are being set up.
HAL’s other R&D Centres and manufacturing divisions will share development of systems and LRUs and manufacture of components, sub-assemblies and composite structure. HAL will showcase its expertise in design of aircraft as well as systems, manufacturing & flight testing while jointly working with the Russian team in Moscow as well as in India.
Indian and Russian governments had earlier signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement for joint design, development & production of MTA on 50:50 sharing basis and had decided to form a JV between HAL, UAC-TA & Rosoboronexport to execute the project.
The primary objective is to achieve self-reliance in design &development and production of aircrafts of this size and also to manage the programme with international collaboration and large number of global suppliers.
The aircraft will be designed for the roles of cargo/troop transportation; para-drop /air drop of supplies including Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System (LAPES) and is to be co-developed by HAL and UAC & Rosoboronexport of Russia through a Joint Venture Company (JVC).
HAL & UAC-TA has proposed to design, develop and produce Multirole Transport Aircraft in the 15-20 tone class, jointly by Indian and Russian agencies to meet the requirement of 100 aircraft for the Russian Air Force, 45 aircraft to the IAF and 60 for the third countries. Total requirement for the present is 205.
The MTA project preliminary design will start immediately on signing the follow up contract on preliminary design on which tripartite discussions have been concluded. (ends)
UAC-Transport Aircraft, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Multirole Transport Aircraft Ltd (MTAL) Sign Contract On Designing of Multimodal Transport Aircraft
(Source: JSC UAC-Transport Aircraft; issued May 28, 2012)
BANGALORE, India --- Today, JSC “UAC-Transport Aircraft”, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Multirole Transport Aircraft Ltd (MTAL) have concluded a General contract at HAL’s headquarters.
The contract was signed by MTA Program Director Alexey Boykov, HAL Design Director Shri T SuvarnaRaju and MTAL General Director N.C. Agarwal.
As of today, JSC “UAC-Transport Aircraft” has completed preparation of IT and PLM infrastructure necessary to start work of a joint group on preliminary design.
I wish the Indians good luck with this program but I suspect that it could end up being the airlift version of Tejas which in some ways made more sense to me if they were after self relience. The russians are only interested in the money. If they really need to waste money maybe they could join our future submarine project. Buying into a more developed project makes more sense to me as TOT is not such a big deal as it is with fighters and if they were making eg.the Brasilian bird they could have a fair bit of self reliance but it will be hard to have somthing completely of their own until they start making engines for them.
Originally Posted by buglerbilly
Lockheed offers high local content Super Hercules to SAAF
Written by Guy Martin Wednesday, 30 May 2012 16:46
Lockheed Martin is offering its C-130XJ ‘Expandable’ Super Hercules with maximum local content to the South African Air Force (SAAF) to meet its transport and maritime patrol requirements and will bring out an aircraft to Africa Aerospace and Defence in September.
Lockheed Martin is making the Air Force aware of its C-130XJ, a base model J variant with J model performance but lower acquisition cost due to less equipment. Plessas said customers did not need all the equipment US Air Force J model Hercules have, hence the creation of the C-130XJ, which can be modified with equipment as and when necessary. As the C-130XJ is slightly lighter than the standard model, it can carry slightly more payload. The XJ is aimed at the export market and, if bought by South Africa, would probably have a significant amount of locally developed and installed equipment.
Dennys S Plessas, Vice President Business Development Initiatives at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said he thought South Africa would be most interested a C-130XJ with a maximum amount of local content. He said this would create an “African configuration” which could be promoted to other African countries. Plessas said that countries are free to put their own equipment on the C-130, such as India, which added an electro-optical turret and its own communications avionics.
Plessas, briefing journalists in Pretoria today, said that Lockheed has been talking to Armscor and the Air Force and making it aware of the C-130J’s capabilities. “The J or the XJ is the answer,” to South Africa’s requirements, Plessas said, as it can carry 95% of South Africa’s mission equipment.
He added that the C-130J could provide 90% of the SAAF’s airlift capability (including cargo transport, peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, medevac, search and rescue etc). It could also meet 100% of the SAAF’s maritime/border patrol requirements and 100% of its tanking needs, as the KC-130J has successfully refuelled Gripen fighters.
The SAAF’s eight C-130BZs are projected to keep flying until 2020, up from the earlier date of 2015, but the Air Force has yet to issue a request for information (RFI) or request for proposals (RFP) for replacements. Lockheed Martin pointed out that the SAAF’s Boeing 707 tankers had been retired in 2007 and that its C-47TP aircraft are 1940s vintage.
Until the cancellation of the A400M, the SAAF envisaged a transport trinity with the A400M as the heavy/strategic transport, a C130-type aircraft as a medium airlifter and a third type as a light utility aircraft. The Air Force is currently seeking maritime patrol and transport aircraft as part of Project Saucepan, with Airbus Military showcasing its C295 for this requirement – the company last month flew the aircraft to South Africa as part of an Africa demonstration tour.
Lockheed Martin emphasised the importance of maintenance and through life support and said that if South Africa was to acquire the C-130J, more than 50% of maintenance and support infrastructure is already in place as the SAAF flies the C-130BZ while Denel has the only certified C-130 maintenance centre in Africa.
Lockheed noted that the C-130J was suited to the South African National Defence Force’s long, hot and high missions. These encompass maritime patrol, peacekeeping, humanitarian relief and border patrol, amongst others. There is an increasingly large focus on peacekeeping operations (South Africa has 2 400 personnel deployed) and maritime patrol (Operation Copper is combating pirates off the east coast). Another possibility could be aerial refuelling, as the C-130J can refuel a Gripen in flight.
With regard to the rest of Africa, Plessas said that there was a lot of appetite but little funding for the C-130J on the continent, although North African countries had an appetite and some funding. Tunisia in 2010 bought two C-130Js and will receive its first aircraft next year, and its second in 2014. Egypt has issued a letter of request for the C-130J while there is also interest from Libya. Meanwhile, Algeria is refurbishing five C-130s and Nigeria is refurbishing some of its C-130s as well.
Plessas said the C-130J was a proven aircraft that caters well to growing demand for air mobility. He said that air forces around the world are struggling to acquire new air mobility capabilities in the face of budget cuts. “Air Forces today have to do more with less and need the flexibility and adaptability of a multipurpose aircraft.” Lockheed claims that due to its roll on/off mission payloads and flexibility the C-130J is right for air forces that cannot afford dedicated aircraft for each role, such as maritime patrol, transport, firefighting etc.
To date, 2 403 C-130s of all model shave been delivered to 73 countries around the world, including 248 C-130Js, of 320 J models on order. The C-130J fleet has exceeded 845 000 flying hours, with more than half of that made up by non-US operators.
Plessas admitted that the C-130J was more expensive than twin engined aircraft like the C-295 and C-27J but said that based on the aircraft’s tasks, it is the more cost effective solution. He also praised the C-130J’s maintenance and operating requirements, saying the aircraft only requires 1.07 maintenance man hours per flight hour and that aircraft deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq had recorded a 95.8% mission reliability rate, 89.3% operational readiness rate and had a 1.8 hour meantime to repair rate.
Russia to Buy 60 An-70 Propfans
(Source: RIA Novosti; published May 31, 2012)
As part of the upgrade of its military transport fleet, Russia plans to introduce 60 Antonov An-70 transports by 2020, according to RIA Novosti, as well as modernized Il-76s and An-124s.(photo by V. Karnozov)
MOSCOW --- Russia's Military Transport Aviation (VTA) is to receive 60 Antonov An-70 propfan tactical transport aircraft by 2020, the service's commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Kachalkin said on Thursday.
"From 2014, we will start to get the Ilyushin Il-76-MD90A (Il-476) and also the modernized Il-76MD. We are also counting on getting the new An-70," he said.
The VTA will also take delivery of 25 Antonov An-124 super-heavy transport aircraft of various modifications by 2020, he said.
Russian military transport aviation does not intend to buy any foreign-made aircraft, he added."Purchases of foreign equipment do not interest us, as Russian equipment meets our requirements," he said.
The Ukrainian-designed An-70, which is being built together with Russia, has had a long-running and troubled gestation, with one prototype crashing in the 1990s in a collision and a second crashing in 2001 in a take-off accident in Omsk. The aircraft also had a history of snags with its propfan engines.
Russia pulled out of the project in 2006, with Russia Air Force commander Vladimir Mikhailov stating it did not need the aircraft and would prefer the modernized Il-76, but it later rejoined the program.
Expanded Missions Eyed For Small Transports
By Robert Wall
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
May 28 , 2012
Why battle in one market when you can do so in many? That approach seems to be underpinning moves by Airbus Military and Alenia Aermacchi to take the rivalry between their C295 and C-27J, respectively, into new segments.
With the C-27J having recently bested the C295 for the military transport role in Australia, the two are set to battle in Canada for a search-and-rescue contract.
Next month, Alenia is slated to complete the first test-firing of its AC-27J gunship concept with an eye on sales in the U.S. and Europe.
Airbus Military has its own ambitions to add weapons capability to the C295. An AC295 concept would build on the work Alliant Techsystems has done for the Jordanian air force on an AN235 gunship. “We are in discussion with ATK and other providers” for both permanent and roll-on/roll-off capabilities,” says Gustavo Garcia Miranda, Airbus Military's vice president for market development. Discussions with potential customers have already started.
In addition to a gunship concept, Airbus Military is planning to add a missile-firing capability for the maritime patrol version of the airlifter. Flight trials are to start in the third quarter of this year to fit MBDA's Marte missile on the aircraft. The C295 currently can employ the Mk.36 torpedo.
An initial captive-carry test campaign is slated to start in July, with separation tests due in September and missile firings in October or November, says Miguel Angel Morell, Airbus Military senior vice president and head of engineering.
For many of the special mission applications, Airbus Military also is developing a winglet upgrade to the C295 that would add ceiling, payload capacity or on-station time. The winglet design “is already done,” with parts to come together by year-end for the start of flight testing in early 2013, Morell notes.
The winglet concept was first developed for the airborne early warning (AEW) version. Flight trials of a demonstration AEW version took place last year; Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta radar unit would provide the sensor. There are three potential buyers, so far.
But now the company sees broader applications. The winglets could add up to 800 kg (1,800 lb.) of additional payload capacity. Both forward and retrofit options are being considered.
The company also is working on certifying new engine settings that should improve hot-and-high performance, as well. The change, developed with turboprop-provider Pratt & Whitney, should add 1,700 kg of payload capacity at 25,000-ft. cruise. And it will see operators use the PW127 set at takeoff/go-around during climb (rather than maximum climb) with initial cruise power set at “max. climb” rather than “max. cruise.” Maintenance costs should not be affected, Morell says.
Other features in development include the development of a head-up display (HUD).
Flight testing of the HUD is scheduled to begin in mid-2013. The application is particularly attractive because of the difficult operating conditions for C295 users, Morell notes. Enhanced-vision-system capability is part of the development effort.
The company also is exploring a potential firefighting application to determine if it can find a way to improve current operations for instance by enabling night-time operations.
In addition, flight trials of an onboard inert gas-generating system to reduce fire risk are set for the fourth quarter of this year. Ground tests already have taken place.
Some of the upgrades are already making their way into the hands of users. As part of the recent deal to sell eight C295s to Oman—five airlifters and three maritime patrol aircraft—the country is acquiring a spraying capability to disperse oil spills. Deliveries are scheduled to start next year.
Along with the aircraft, the country will purchase EADS's third-generation Fully Integrated Tactical System, the workstations for maritime patrol operators. The upgrade features touchscreens and enhanced communications connectivity.