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Author: Subject: Maritime Patrol Aircraft part 2
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[*] posted on 9-7-2019 at 08:33 PM


French Navy’s Albatros surveillance jet set for 2023 debut

Henri-Pierre Grolleau, Brest - Jane's Navy International

08 July 2019


The Falcon 50Mi variant of the Falcon business jet. Source: Henri-Pierre Grolleau

The French Navy is planning to recapitalise its maritime surveillance force with the introduction of the Dassault Aviation Albatros - a customised Falcon 2000LXS business jet - under the AVion de Surveillance et d'Intervention MARitime (AVSIMAR) programme.

Albatros deliveries to the French Navy are planned to start in 2023, while phase out of the legacy Falcon 200 Gardian aircraft is due to begin the following year.

The Aéronautique Navale currently has three different Falcon business jet variants in service, comprising the Falcon 10MER, Falcon 200 Gardian, and Falcon 50Mi/Ms. These aircraft have an average age of 38 years.

The service's six Falcon 10MERs have recently been upgraded and will remain in service with Escadrille 57S at Landivisiau for the foreseeable future in the training and VIP transport roles.

Meanwhile, the four Falcon 50Ms (Maritime surveillance) aircraft are currently being modified with a hatch that will allow them to drop marine markers and survival rafts, bringing them to a configuration close to that of the four Falcon 50Mi (Maritime intervention) variants.

Although not fully identical to the first four Falcon 50s, they will also receive the designation Mi as a result, with all eight aircraft to remain in service with Flottille 24F at Lann-Bihoué. All eight aircraft are due to be fitted with the Safran Euroflir 410 forward looking infrared (FLIR) turret that will replace the outdated Chlio FLIR. The Euroflir 410 will also equip the future Albatros.

According to Rear Admiral Guillaume Goutay, the Commander of the French Naval Aviation, the new Albatros will be very close in configuration to the Falcon 2000LXS aircraft that were recently ordered by the Japanese Coast Guard. "The delivery of the first Albatros will allow us to test all its systems, including its radar, its FLIR turret, its radios, and its satcom," he told Jane's .

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[*] posted on 17-7-2019 at 10:24 AM


Re-introduced Hellenic Air Force P-3Bs fly with mixed Greek-US crews

Mike Green, Elefsis - Jane's Defence Weekly

16 July 2019

The P-3B Orion maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), recently re-introduced into Hellenic Air Force (HAF) service after being withdrawn in 2009, has been flying with mixed Greek-US crews.

The HAF's 353 Maritime Patrol Squadron (MPS) was reformed as part of 112 Wing at Elefsis Air Base in June, with the first operational flight by an upgraded Greek Orion taking place on 27 June, with a mixed HAF, Hellenic Navy (HN), and US Navy (USN) crew on board.

The crew of the Orion, a former US Navy MPA, was made up of two pilots and a navigator from the HAF, an HN tactical co-ordinator, and two USN flight engineers.

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[*] posted on 7-8-2019 at 09:27 AM


Images confirm Y-8Q MPAs in service with China’s Northern Theatre Command

Andreas Rupprecht, Mainz - Jane's Defence Weekly

06 August 2019

Photographs have recently emerged in Chinese online forums confirming that the Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation Y-8Q (also known as GX6 or KQ-200) maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) is in service with Northern Theatre Command of the Chinese military, having already been deployed with the Eastern and Southern Theatre Commands.

At least two photographs have emerged of Y-8Qs bearing four-digit serial numbers adhering to the format 9xx1, indicating that the platforms are also being operated by the 2nd Naval Aviation Division (6th Regiment) of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) within the Northern Theatre Command. The first time Y-8Qs were observed in satellite imagery at the corresponding base at Dalian Tuchengzi was in June 2018.

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[*] posted on 16-8-2019 at 07:51 PM


Boeing upgrades New Zealand P-3K2 ASW capability

16 August, 2019 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Greg Waldron Singapore

Boeing has upgraded six Lockheed Martin P-3K2 Orions operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) to improve their capability in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission.

The $22 million project saw upgrades and modifications to both mission systems and aircraft components, the addition of improved simulation for training purposes, and support.

“Boeing’s low-risk, affordable and platform-agnostic solution utilises deployed sonobuoys to detect the type and location of submarines and sends information back to the acoustics operator,” says the company.


Wellington's P-3s are over half a century old
Boeing

“The upgrade also includes an onboard training system that simulates deploying buoys and receiving underwater acoustic data to ensure acoustics operators experience real-world mission scenarios.”

It adds that the system can be installed on other ASW aircraft in service globally.

The RNZAF is due to replace its Orions with four P-8A Poseidons, a type derived from the 737 airliner, with deliveries to begin in 2023.

Boeing adds that the Orion upgrade will allow crews to more easily transition to the new type.

Cirium Fleets Analyzer shows that the RNZAF’s six Orions have an average age of 52.6 years.
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[*] posted on 29-8-2019 at 09:42 AM


Russia Plans to Create New Anti-Submarine Aircraft to Replace the Tu-142 and IL-38

(Source: Interfax; published Aug 26, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)


Russia has asked its aerospace industry to submit proposals for the replacement of the two aircraft that make up its ASW and maritime patrol fleet: the Tu-142 and the IL-38, code-named May by NATO, seen here in its latest IL-38N version. (RUS Mod photo)

MOSCOW --- The Russian Ministry of Defense turned to the developers for proposals on creating a new anti-submarine aircraft to replace the Tu-142 and IL-38, Denis Manturov, the head of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, told Interfax.

"The Ministry of Defense recently set the task for developers to prepare proposals for the creation of a new patrol aircraft based on existing models. This year, I believe, a fundamental choice will be made," Manturov said.

He noted that the issue of deep modernization of long-range Tu-142 anti-submarine aircraft is also being studied.

In December 2018, the head of the naval aviation of the Russian Navy Igor Kozhin spoke about plans from 2021 to 2030 to begin mass production of a promising aviation patrol complex.

Earlier, he stated that the new development will replace all patrol aircraft available in the marine aviation park (Tu-142 and Il-38 - IF). “It is about creating and putting into operation a new unified platform. This is a modern machine that will surpass foreign analogues in many issues,” said Kozhin.

Ilyushin previously informed Interfax of ongoing work on projects for a new anti-submarine aircraft, which in the future could replace the IL-38.

"Currently, the possibility of creating an anti-submarine aircraft on the platform of existing IL-type aircraft is being investigated on an initiative basis. The topic of developing a completely new type of aircraft is also being worked out," the company said.

It was also reported that the twin-engine turboprop IL-114-300, which can be equipped with the Novella complex like the IL-38N, is considered as a platform for a new generation of anti-submarine aircraft.

Whether such work is being carried out at Tupolev is currently unknown.

Tu-142 is a long-range anti-submarine aircraft / marine patrol aircraft developed by Tupolev Design Bureau and is code-named Bear-F by NATO. The practical range of the Tu-142 is 12550 km, combat radius of action is 6400 km. The aircraft can monitor the enemy’s submarine or destroy it with aircraft torpedoes or anti-submarine missiles on board.

IL-38 - anti-submarine aircraft, created on the basis of IL-18. It is intended for independent or joint search and destruction of submarines, marine reconnaissance and search and rescue operations with anti-submarine ships. Flight range - 6500 km, combat radius - 2200 km, combat load - up to 8400 kg of anti-submarine bombs, torpedoes, naval mines.

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[*] posted on 14-9-2019 at 03:08 PM


Norway Aviators Complete Poseidon Training, Led by US Navy Patrol Squadron

(Source: US Navy; issued Sept 12, 2019)

JACKSONVILLE, Florida --- Aircrew from the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) graduated from Patrol Squadron (VP) Thirty’s Category 2 school Sept. 11, becoming the first crew to transition from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A Poseidon.

VP-30’s Foreign Military Sales Division facilitated the course with RNoAF’s No. 333 Squadron, which started in early March.

“There is a need for close alliances and an importance for great power rivalry,” Col. Haavard Klevberg, Norway's air and defense cooperation attache, said at the training graduation.

“By continuing close operations with the U.S. with ASW and maritime surveillance, the 333 Squadron considerably and substantially contributes to maintain close partnerships between Norway and the United States,” Klevberg said.

The VP-30 commanding cfficer agreed. “Whether it be through NATO, our through the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, or simply through humanitarian assistance, the United States and Norway have always had a special bond," said Capt. Thomas Grady. "And that bond becomes even stronger today, as we celebrate the graduation of the first Norwegian P-8A class.”

The RNoAF Squadron’s previous P-3C experience and maritime background ensured the crew hit the ground running in the course and will aid in a seamless transition of the P-8A for future Norway and allied operations.

Some RNoAF crewmembers will go to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, to support testing and development of future P-8A technologies. Others will remain at VP-30 to go through the Instructor Under-Training syllabus, to qualify as instructors for the Norwegian P-8A force.

The Norwegian military plans to take delivery of the P-8A aircraft in 2021-23. The RNoAF transition will continue as 10 more aircrews are slated to arrive at VP-30 for training in the future.

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[*] posted on 2-10-2019 at 09:33 AM


Argentina buys P-3C Orions

Santiago Rivas, Buenis Aires - Jane's Defence Weekly

01 October 2019

Argentina has procured four Lockheed P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft to replace earlier P-3B models, the country's defence minister announced on 27 September.

Speaking at the "Intereses Argentinos en el Atlántico Sudoccidental" (Argentine Interests on the South Western Atlantic) conference, Oscar Aguad said the four aircraft had been purchased from the US government.

The intention is to replace the six P-3B Orions Argentina received between 1997 and 1999, of which none are operational. As the P-3Bs required major structural refurbishment, it was decided that the best course of action was to replace them with newer aircraft recently retired by the US Navy (USN).

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[*] posted on 10-10-2019 at 04:05 PM


P-8A Gets New Tool, Extended Search and Rescue Capability

(Source: US Naval Air Systems Command; issued Oct 08, 2019)

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. --- Flying at a maximum speed of about 565 mph, at about 41,000 feet, the U.S. Navy’s P-8A Poseidon already covers an operational area of about 1,200 nautical miles during a four-hour on-station period. Now, add air-to-air refueling for extended range and endurance and an advanced search and rescue kit and officials say the P-8A is postured to respond to humanitarian missions around the globe.

“The UNIPAC III Search and Rescue (SAR) kit is designed to substantially increase survivor assistance,” said Squadron Leader Nathan Mula, an Australian P-8A Flight Test Tactical officer stationed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River (PAX) in Maryland. Mula is part of the cooperative program at the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Office (PMA-290). “The kit increases the survivor assistance capability of the P-8A from 16 to 100 people in a single sortie.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[*] posted on 10-10-2019 at 08:16 PM


RAAF funds work to beef up P-8A SAR capability

10 October, 2019 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Greg Waldron Singapore

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is funding a project to expand the search and rescue (SAR) capability of the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft.

The work is taking place NAS Patuxent River and has seen P-8As deploy the UNIPAC III SAR kit, according to a NAVAIR statement.

The kit allows a single P-8A to drop rescue supplies capable of assisting 100 survivors in a single sortie, up from 16 with the UNIPAC II kit.


An RAAF P-8A
Commonwealth of Australia

“The test program is a perfect example of the benefits reaped when two international partners join as part of a cooperative partnership,” says RAAF squadron leader Nathan Mula.

“Not only does the RAAF take a large step toward a major capability milestone, but the U.S. Navy receives the developmental and operational test experience and results.”

In the last 12 months, work with the UNIPAC-III has involved static ejection, safe separation and other integration work pending certification. The RAAF will undertake additional testing in Australia later this year, and the US Navy will evaluate the SAR kit for its own use.

The P-8A can deploy life support kits from its weapons bay.
The RAAF operates nine P-8As and will have its full complement of 12 examples by 2022.
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[*] posted on 11-10-2019 at 01:32 PM


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

(Source: Leonardo; issued Oct. 09, 2019)


The Italian government has ordered three additional ATR-72MP maritime patrol aircraft from Leonardo at a cost of €150 million. They will be operated by the Guardia di Finanza for border protection and Search And Rescue. (Leonardo photo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[*] posted on 25-10-2019 at 09:47 AM


Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, Welcomes the Delivery of the First Two Modernized Atlantic 2 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

(Source: French Ministry of the Armed Forces; issued Oct. 24, 2019)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

PARIS --- The crew of the first refitted Atlantic 2 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (ATL2) today presented the new capabilities of the aircraft to the Minister of the Armed Forces during a 2-hour flight.

The Directorate General of Armament (DGA) this summer authorized the transfer of the first two ATL2 upgraded to the new Standard 6 to the naval base of Lann-Bihoué (Morbihan). This transfer marks the end of the development trials of the ATL2 modernization program.

In particular, to cope with the rise of the underwater threat in our areas of interest, the 2019-2025 military programming law extended the renovation program to 18 ATL2s compared to 15 as initially planned. The 18 refurbished aircraft will be delivered to the French Navy by 2024.

The ATL2 is a maritime patrol aircraft with a very large radius of action, primarily for the control of the air-sea environment through anti-submarine warfare and against surface ships, from the littoral zone to the open sea.

They can also provide support to air-land operations through their ability to conduct intelligence actions and ground strikes. The Navy currently operates 22 ATL2s, all based in Lann-Bihoué.

The ATL2 fleet modernization contract was awarded in late 2013 by the DGA, contracting authority to the manufacturers Dassault Aviation and Thales. It provides these aircraft with the equipment required to carry out their operational missions until they are withdrawn from service, scheduled for after 2030.

The upgrade to Standard 6 are carried out in parallel by Dassault Aviation (six upgrades, in addition to producing the prototype aircraft) and the Aeronautical Industry Service (SIAé) of the Ministry of the Armed Forces (11 work areas).

Beyond the treatment of obsolescence of an aircraft designed in the 1980s, the modernization focuses on the replacement of some equipment with state-of-the-art digital equipment: tactical computer, electro-optical sensors and acoustic systems, operator consoles and radar. In particular, the new Searchmaster radar benefits from the active antenna technology developed by Thales for the Rafale. Naval Group is also involved with the data processing software, as well as the SIAé for the modernization of the operator consoles.

The prototype and the first series aircraft arrived at Lann-Bihoué on July 18 and August 27 respectively in their final software version, have been thoroughly tested by an integrated team comprising the DGA Center of Expertise and Testing Flight Tests, the Navy’s naval aviation practical evaluation and reception service (CEPA / 10S) and Dassault Aviation.

The operational experimentation of the Navy, begun in Istres in parallel with the final test phases, continues in Lorient during the last contractual verifications carried out by the DGA for qualification. It aims to develop the tactics to best use the new capabilities of the aircraft.

The operational start-up of Standard 6 is scheduled for the end of 2021, after crew training, the conversion of a first batch of aircraft, and the delivery of the simulator on land for next-generation tactical training (SIMTAC NG). in progress under the leadership of the DGA.

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[*] posted on 14-11-2019 at 08:52 AM


Japan to outfit Kawasaki P-1 MPAs with AI technology

Kosuke Takahashi, Tokyo - Jane's Defence Weekly

13 November 2019

Japan plans to equip an undisclosed number of its Kawasaki P-1 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) with artificial intelligence (AI) to boost the platform’s intelligence gathering capabilities, an official at the Ministry of Defense’s Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) told Jane’s on 13 November.


Japan is planning to outfit an undisclosed number of its Kawasaki P-1 MPAs with AI, according to ATLA. (JMSDF)

The AI technology is expected to help the P-1s, which are operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations in a more effective way, the official said.

The ATLA aims to apply the technology to radar target recognition, which uses inverse synthetic-aperture radar (ISAR) image data in the sea and synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) image data on the ground, according to a document obtained by Jane’s.

The technology is also expected to enhance the platform’s wide-area persistent surveillance capabilities, according to the document.

Machine learning technology, which uses previously acquired data, is also set to enhance the platform’s ability to identify a vessel from images that are difficult for the human eye to decipher.

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