Navy, News aircraft model, airplane model, desktop model, K707, K707 tanker, kc-135, learjet, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, Northrop Grumman, plane model, scale model, U.S. Navy, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model, X-47, X-47B, X-47B unmanned aircraft
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy have successfully completed a series of flight tests to demonstrate technology that could help extend the operating range and flight duration of future carrier-based unmanned systems.
The flight tests, completed Jan. 21 in St. Augustine, Fla., proved the functionality of the hardware and software that will enable the X-47B unmanned aircraft to demonstrate autonomous aerial refueling (AAR) in 2014, Northrop Grumman said. The AAR activity is part of the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s UCAS-D prime contractor.
“These tests are a critical step toward proving that the X-47B can perform autonomous aerial refueling using either the Navy’s probe-and-drogue refueling technique or the U.S. Air Force’s boom/receptacle approach,” said Carl Johnson, vice president and UCAS-D program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “Future unmanned systems will need to use both refueling techniques if they plan to conduct longer range surveillance or strike missions from the carrier.”
The AAR tests were conducted by a Northrop Grumman/Navy team using Calspan Corp.’s (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) Variable Stability Learjet as the X-47B surrogate aircraft, and a K707 tanker provided by Omega Air Refueling (Alexandria, Va.). The tests included simulated flight demonstrations of both boom/receptacle and probe-and-drogue aerial refueling techniques. No fuel was exchanged between the aircraft during the test events, however.
The Learjet surrogate was equipped with real or functional equivalents of the navigation systems, flight control processor and vision system that the X-47B will use to conduct refueling operations. The aircraft contained no refueling receptacle or refueling probe. The K707, which is nearly identical in size and shape to an Air Force KC-135, was equipped with a Navy style refueling drogue only.
For each simulated refueling event, the Learjet/X-47B surrogate was piloted to a rendezvous position approximately one nautical mile from the tanker. Then the pilot transferred control of the aircraft to the X-47B‘s autonomous flight control processor, which controlled the Learjet during the test event.
During a typical refueling event, the tanker operator or a mission operator on the ground commanded the Learjet to fly, in sequence, to each of the major positions associated with aerial refueling: (1) the pre-tanking observation point off one wing of the tanker; (2) the refueling contact position behind the tanker; and (3) the post-tanking “reform” position off the other wing of the tanker.
The UCAS-D program plans to demonstrate in 2013 the ability of the tailless, autonomous, low-observable relevant X-47B demonstrator to safely operate from a Navy aircraft carrier, including launch, recovery, bolter and wave-off performance, followed by the autonomous aerial refueling in 2014. The program also plans to mature technologies required for potential future Navy unmanned air system programs.
Navy, News aircraft carrier, aircraft model, airplane model, amphibious ships, desktop model, LHA amphibious ship, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, Pentagon, plane model, scale model, SSBN(X), U.S. Navy, USN, Virginia-class submarines, Virginia-class subs, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
The U.S. Navy will keep its aircraft carrier fleet at the now-magical number, 11, while other ships are being slipped or cut over the next five years — even those the Pentagon says it needs and wants to protect — according to a preview of the upcoming fiscal 2013 budget request detailed Jan. 26 by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The plan scuttles months-long speculation that the Pentagon would delay or cancel some carrier programs and reduce the fleet size.
A secure and upgraded 11-carrier fleet — and accompanying big-deck amphibious ships — is needed to meet the Obama administration’s new strategic guidance for “confronting aggression” and projecting power, Panetta says.
With the 2013 request, the Pentagon also aims to increase cruise-missile capacity for future Virginia-class submarines, design a conventional and prompt-strike option for subs, and upgrade ship-borne radars.
Navy officials and defense analysts have been calling for some time to augment the firepower of the Virginia-class subs. At the same, though, the Pentagon plans to slip one of the Virginias beyond the five-year procurement time frame.
The Defense Department also wants to delay the new Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine class replacement, SSBN(X), by two years, a move the Pentagon says can be made “without undermining our partnership with the U.K.”
In addition, the Pentagon wants to slip one large-deck LHA amphibious ship by one year, reduce Joint High Speed Vessels by eight ships over the next five years and cut the planned Littoral Combat Ship buy by two ships over that same time.
Planned for early retirements are six cruisers that do not have ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability and a seventh cruiser that has BMD upgrades but would be too costly to repair.
Two smaller amphibious ships are slated for early retirement as well, and their replacements would be slipped outside the five-year procurement plan.
The Pentagon says it also plans to reduce spending and accept “some risk in deployable regional missile defense” and “increase reliance on allies and partners in the future.”
This suggests the Navy may consider throttling back on some of its Aegis-equipped vessel plans and start investing in more Aegis Ashore platforms.
News Air Force, aircraft model, aircraft models, f-16, f-16 model plane, F-35, F-35 fighter plane, f-35 joint strike fighter, f-35 jsf, F-35 Lockheed, F-35 model plane, F-35 program, F/A-18, Lockheed F-35, Lockheed model plane, military aircraft, militray aircraft models, model airplane, South Carolina air base, South Carolina f-35
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was billed to be one of the most high-tech military aircraft. However, it also comes with a hefty price tag, which is something that the budget of the military can hardly afford.
The highly advanced fifth-generational aircraft had been conceived since 1990′s during the post-cold war. The F-35 JFS was envisioned to have evading radar system while having the ability to fly at supersonic speed. It is supposed to serve three branches of the U.S. military namely the Air Force, the Navy and the Marine Corps. Each service also wants its own customized model of the aircraft.
The aircraft was supposed to be built in rush, but production snags and flight-test problems that resulted to years of cost overruns lands the F-35 project to the chopping block of the Pentagon. This issue is vital for South Carolina where the three bases – Lower Richland, Sumter and Beaufort - that was assigned to receive the fighter jets are located. The F-35 will replace the aging aircraft on the bases like the F/A-18 and F-16. When the F-35 arrives in these bases, it will have the most modern aircraft in the service which will guarantee its continued operation and it can generate jobs for the locals. But if the project would not push through, the bases might close down and lead to unemployment.
Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the F-35 JSF program would not be terminated outright. However, his deputy is less optimistic about the future of the fighter jets.
Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, News aircraft model, airplane model, c-130, C-27, C-5A Galaxy, desktop model, F-35, f-35 joint strike fighter, f-35 jsf, f35, f35 jsf, Humvee, Joint Strike Fighter, KC-46, KC46, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, plane model, RQ-4N, scale model, U-2, U-2 spy plane, U2 spy plane, Virginia-class, Virginia-class boats, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
To avoid creating a hollow force, the Defense Department is not going to protect force structure at the expense of needed training and gear, top Pentagon officials said Thursday.
“The military will be smaller and leaner, but it will be agile, flexible, ready and technologically advanced; it will be cutting edge,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon as he unveiled more details ahead of the fiscal 2013 budget proposal.
Panetta addressed the media along with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs chairman. Together, they unveiled some of the details from the Pentagon’s new five-year spending plan. The full 2013 budget release is planned for Feb. 13, when President Obama sends his budget request to Congress.
DoD’s plans revealed no sacrificial lambs: all three variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter are safe; the Navy will maintain 11 aircraft carriers; and the Army’s major vehicle programs are intact.
Instead, to reduce projected spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years, the Pentagon is eliminating what it describes as “poorly performing programs,” while slowing down the production of others. Panetta also said DoD has identified an additional $60 billion in efficiencies.
The first tranche of the spending cuts — $259 billion — will come over the next five years.
These targets conform to the initial spending caps outlined in the Budget Control Act Congress passed by Congress in August.
However, they do not take into account the possibility of sequestration, which would initiate an additional $500 billion cut beginning in January 2013 if Congress does not find an alternative way to reduce the country’s deficit.
Panetta said he hopes that when members of Congress sees what it takes to make this first round of cuts, they will be convinced they need to act in order to avoid sequestration.
Vice Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, who appeared with Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter after Panetta and Dempsey spoke, said DoD had arrived at its budget in a “very healthy way,” crafting strategy before making spending choices.
“Sequestration would reverse that,” he said.
DoD leaders also emphasized that the spending plan should be viewed as a complete package and that changes in one area could adversely affect others.
There is little room for modification to this plan while maintaining the quality of the force and providing troops with the capabilities they need, Panetta said.
In a message most likely for lawmakers, Carter said, “It is a carefully balanced package and therefore can’t be changed or modified piece by piece.”
The five-year plan reflects the new strategic guidance, released Jan. 5, by shifting focus toward the Asia-Pacific region, while maintaining influence in the Middle East.
In 2013, the Pentagon is requesting $525 billion for its base budget, with an additional $88.4 billion for overseas contingency operations. It projects the Defense Department will need $567 billion for its base budget in 2017.
The 2013 base budget represents the first budget to decline in nominal terms since 1998, down from 2012’s $531 billion.
The topline number is directly shaped by the Budget Control Act’s cap on security spending, which is set at $686 billion for 2013. That has to cover funding for the Defense Department as well as the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Veterans Affairs Department.
Panetta reminded reporters that it was a bipartisan Congress that mandated these defense cuts.
The budget document describes the investment choices as “hard but manageable” and places the budget in a historical context, saying that after every major conflict, the U.S. has experienced “significant budget drawdowns.”
The description of reductions, however, had little impact on stock prices, as Wall Street met the news calmly. Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics all saw their stock prices decline by less than 1 percent, while Lockheed Martin and Raytheon saw increases of less than 1 percent. Market analysts had predicted that stock pricing had already assumed significant defense cuts.
FORCE SIZE REDUCTIONS
With the end of war in Iraq and the beginning of a troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, there will be further reductions to the ground forces.
Panetta announced the Army will be reduced from 547,000 active-duty soldiers to 490,000, while the Marine Corps will be cut to 182,000.
“I’m confident 490,000 is the right number for 2017,” Dempsey said, reminding reporters that this was the number for active duty soldiers and does not include the National Guard and Reserve.
However, “it might not be the right number for 2020,” he added.
The Army also plans to remove at least eight brigade combat teams from its existing force structure.
“Even with these reductions, the Army and Marine Corps will be larger than they were in 2001,” according to the document titled “Defense Budget Priorities and Choices,” which outlines the investment decisions discussed by Panetta and Dempsey.
These reductions in force size do require a corresponding reduction in the military’s facilities resources.
Therefore, the president will request that Congress authorize use of the Base Realignment and Closure process with a goal of identifying savings “that can be reinvested in higher priorities as soon as possible.”
“The best approach to reducing that infrastructure politically on Capitol Hill is to work it through the BRAC process,” Panetta said.
The Pentagon did not tie any savings to potential base closures, because those require congressional authorization.
“If we tied savings to it before Congress authorized it, and they didn’t authorize it, it would undermine our whole budget,” Panetta said.
As for overseas basing, the Pentagon says the Army and Marine Corps will sustain force structure in the Pacific, while “maintaining persistent presence” in the Middle East.
MILITARY SERVICE PLANS
The Pentagon has budgeted to forward station littoral combat ships in Singapore and patrol craft in Bahrain.
It has also provided funding for a new “afloat forward staging base that can be dedicated to support missions in areas where ground-based access is not available, such as counter-mine operations.”
The Army will reduce its current footprint in Europe by two heavy brigades, while establishing and maintaining a new rotational presence in Europe.
With the Defense Department shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific region, the Air Force will maintain the current strategic bomber fleet and will also fund a new bomber program, according to the document.
By doing so, the Pentagon has decided to protect all three legs of the nuclear triad. However, the Navy will have to delay its Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine replacement by two years.
Carter described the submarine’s original schedule as “aggressive, bordering on optimistic.”
The Navy and Marines will also retain their air-power assets, with the sea services retaining all 11 aircraft carriers, 10 carrier air wings, and all of the amphibious assault ships.
All three F-35 Joint Strike Fighter variants are safe, but the Pentagon has decided to slow down procurement to allow for more testing.
Panetta said the Air Force would also continue with its plans to purchase next generation KC-46 tanker aircraft.
DoD will also invest in new air-to-air missiles, new radars for tactical aircraft and ships, more electronic warfare and communications capabilities.
The Navy will build a new “prompt strike option” from submarines and will add cruise missile capacity to its Virginia-class boats.
The Air Force will lose six tactical fighter squadrons and a training squadron, while the Navy loses seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers, one of which has missile defense capability, but which needs a lot of repairs, the budget document says.
One big-deck amphibious ship and a submarine will be delayed. Two smaller amphibious dock landing ships will be decommissioned and their replacements delayed.
The Navy also loses eight joint high speed vessels and two littoral combat ships.
The Air Force is losing the Block 30 version of the Global Hawk, but other variants, namely the Navy’s RQ-4N and Air Force’s Block 40, are safe.
Carter explained that the Block 30 version was supposed to replace Lockheed Martin’s U-2 spy plane but it priced itself out of the niche for taking pictures in the air, Carter said.
“That’s a disappointment for us, but that’s the fate of things that become too expensive in a resource-constrained environment,” he added.
Air mobility takes a hit with 27 C-5A Galaxy airlifters being retired along with 65 older C-130s. The entire C-27 fleet of 38 cargo aircraft is also being scrapped by the Air Force.
However, there will also be investment in advance unmanned aircraft, and the Air Force will gain the capability to operate 65 Predator/Reaper patrols and surge to 85 when needed. Today, the Air Force can fly 61 orbits continuously.
For the Army, the Pentagon has curtailed the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, a floating missile defense sensor.
The Joint-Air-to-Ground-Missile’s funding has been reduced, with money kept in the budget to find a lower cost alternative.
The Army will cancel its effort to recapitalize its Humvee fleet and will instead focus resources on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.
News Airbus, airbus a330, Airbus A340 scale model, aircraft scale model, airplane scale model, solar airplane, solar airplane scale model, solar powered aircraft, solar powered aircraft model, solar powered airplane
On March 28-30, in Sofia Bulgaria, the world will get the first glimpse of a solar powered airplane. A scale model airplane of Solar Impulse will be displayed at the South-East European Solar PV & Thermal Exhibition (SEE Solar).
Solar Impulse will the first aircraft that can fly day and night without fuel. It aims to fly around the world with no fuel and solely powered by solar energy. The project began in 2003 and is a product of years of planning, research, simulation and testing. It aims to demonstrate that progress is possible while using clean energy. The solar-powered aircraft will take its first flight on 2014. It is currently on test missions that last for several days.
The Solar Impluse was a wing span of 63.40 meters, similar to Airbus A340. It uses four 10HP engines and weight 1600 kg. It has 11,628 solar cells located on the aircraft wings and horizontal stabilizer. It has an average flying speed of 70km/h and can reach the maximum altitude of 8,500 meters. The scale model airplane will be presented at the exhibit by Solvay Sodi, a Bulgarian company who is the main technological partner of Soalr Impluse.
Air Force, NASA, News aircraft model, airplane model, Boeing, desktop model, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, plane model, scale model, spacecraft, U.S. Air Force, United Launch Alliance Delta IV, USAF, warplanes, WGS, WGS-4, WGS-6, WGS-9, Wideband Global Satcom, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
An agreement by Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and New Zealand to become subscribers to the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) broadband communications network has prompted the U.S. Air Force to exercise an option for Boeing to build a ninth spacecraft.
With their $377 million contract, the five nations join Australia, which funded WGS-6 in 2008, as members of the Air Force WGS team.
WGS-9 is the third spacecraft in a follow-on contract series that relies on Block II technology. Block II is distinguished by its switchable radio-frequency bypass system, which enables transmission of airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery data at three times Block I rates. All of the spacecraft are derived from Boeing’s commercial 702 satellite bus.
Boeing was informed in December to proceed with WGS-8; the WGS-9 authorization means the company will have five Wideband Global Satcoms under construction at its El Segundo, Calif., factory.
The eighth and ninth spacecraft have a combined value of $673 million and are part of a $1.09 billion contract modification the Air Force announced last September.
Carriers, News A320, a330, A380, A380-900, Airbus, Airbus A320, airbus a330, Airbus A380, aircraft model, airplane model, desktop model, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, plane model, scale model, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
Airbus expects to decide soon on a plan to boost widebody output to a rate of 11 aircraft a month even as it delays ramping up narrowbody production.
Airbus had been considering a single-aisle production rate increase to 44 aircraft a month, but has decided to hold off for the moment because of bottlenecks among Tier 2 suppliers. The situation is different for the A330, making a production boost there possible, says John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers. The company expects to reach a production rate of 10 widebodies per month this year.
Airbus COO Fabrice Bregier hints that a decision on the single-aisle side could wait until a rate of 42 aircraft per month is reached, which is expected next year. “It would be premature to do it now,” he notes.
One of the reasons Airbus is keen to boost production is because of its bulging backlog. The company booked 1,419 net orders last year and made 535 deliveries. And 2012 should see order intake move ahead of deliveries, with new orders forecast to reach 600-650, while deliveries of 570 aircraft are expected. The order intake should include about 30 A380s, matching the 2012 delivery target.
Output is only one of the deliberations for Airbus this year. The other is whether to launch an A330 winglet program. Leahy says studies have begun for both forward-fit and retrofit options. A decision is likely this year.
If the devices could yield a 2% fuel burn benefit, Leahy says such a program would likely move forward.
Not on the near-term agenda is the A380-900 program, a stretched version of the aircraft now on the market. Despite occasional customer interest, such a project would not likely emerge until the second half of the decade, says Airbus CEO Tom Enders. The focus now is on ramping up production. Profit-delivering aircraft will go to customers starting in 2015.
Air Force, News Air Force, Air Force F-15, aircraft models, airplane model, f-15, F-15 fighter jet, F-15 fighters, F-15 Strike Eagle, F-15A, F-15C, F-15E aircraft, F-15E airplane, F-15E model plane, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle model plane, fighter jet model, fighter jet model planes, model planes, News, US Air Force
In the early hours of the morning of January 13, the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan is bursting with activity. Crew chiefs, support units and flyers are also busy making sure everything will go without a glitch in order to achieve the 10,000 flying-hour milestone of F-15E Strike Eagle #89-0487.
F-15E Strike Eagle #89-0487, nicknamed “487”, entered the service on 13 November 1990. Despite being younger than many F-15A or F-15C models, it is the first F-15 of any type to reach the 10,000 benchmark. The aircraft has served the country zealously being a veteran of numerous operations like Desert Storm, Deliberate Guard, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom.
This monumental achievement is shared by the entire 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The 455th EAMXS includes the 335th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit and supporting units. For more than 21 years, over 1 million hours of inspection and repair had been performed by qualified maintenance technicians to ensure that the F-15E Strike Eagle 487 is ready and capable to do its assignment. The current crew chief all agree that good maintenance and support was essential for the “487” to gain this distinction. As the squadron’s flagship aircraft, the F-15E Strike Eagle 487 is a testament of the caliber of the former and current crew who maintains, supports and flies it. This milestone is a total team effort.
As a tribute to history, Lt. Col. David Moeller, the 335th Expeditionary Flying Squadron commander chose Capt. Ryan Bodenheimer, a 335th F-15E EFS pilot, and Capt. Erin Short, a 335th EFS weapons systems officer for the honor of flying the F-15E for its 10,000th flying-hour. “It just seemed appropriate that the longest flying F-15E be flown by the youngest flyers in the unit,” he said.
The F-15E Strike Eagle #89-0487 also has the sole distinction of being aircraft of its model to record an air-to-air kill.
Carriers, News 787, 787-8, 787-9, 787s, A350, air france, Airbus, Airbus A350, aircraft model, airplane model, b-787, B787, Boeing, Boeing 787, desktop model, KLM, mahogany model, model aircraft, model airplane, model plane, plane model, scale model, warplanes, wood plane model, wooden airplane model
As Air France-KLM prepares to roll out the initial elements of a turnaround plan for Air France, the airline group confirms that it has closed its deal with Boeing for 25 787s, of which KLM will be the initial operator, starting in 2016. The airline group also has 25 787s on option.
Air France-KLM confirmed the airline group is the unidentified customer for 25 787-9s listed in Boeing’s order book when the airframer disclosed annual figures last week. Air France also will operate the 787, although at a yet-to-be-set date. An engine decision is pending.
Air France-KLM announced its intention to buy both the 787 and the Airbus A350 in September. An airline official says that talks are under way to finalize the firm order for 25 Airbus A350s. Those talks involve both Airbus and Rolls-Royce, the sole engine supplier.
The 787 order confirmation comes in what could be a pivotal week for Air France, with a board meeting likely on Thursday to set into motion the first elements of a turnaround plan under new CEO Alexandre de Juniac. The executive previously said the plan would involve a two-stage process, the first of which would focus on bolstering the existing cost-savings plan.
Decisions on a wider reorganization, aimed at reducing the airline’s debt level, boosting its short- and medium-haul performance and stepping up its overall competitiveness are not expected to emerge until June because of the need to coordinate with labor groups.
Boeing now holds 305 orders for the long-range 787-9 and 555 for the standard 787-8.
Marine Corps, News 2d-MAW, aircraft models, AV-8B, av-8b harrier, EA-6B, EA-6B Prowler, F-35, f-35 joint strike fighter, f-35 jsf, F-35 model plane, F-35B, F/A-18 Hornet, joint stroke fighter planes, military aircraft, military planes, model plane F-35B, plane model, US Marine Corps
On January 11, 2012, excitement surrounds the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida as the Marine Corps welcomes the newest member to its fleet. The F-35B is a variation of the Joint Strike Figther. It is a tactical fixed-wing aircraft that will replace the aging jets of the Marine Corps. The Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 which is the F-35 training squadron of 2d Marine Aircraft Wing based at Eglin AFB is the first squadron to receive the F-35B. The aircraft will be used for pilot and technician training.
According to Maj. Gen. Jon M. Davis, commanding general of 2d MAW, “The Marine Corps has to be ready to fight across the spectrum of war; a force that is most ready when the nation is least ready. The F-35B gives us the capability to do just that.”
The F-35B has a short take-off and vertical landing capabilities. It will reduce maintenance cost while helping the marine ensure its tactical dominance needed to dissuade potential adversaries and protect the nation’s interest. The aircraft will replace the Marine Corps’ F/A-18 Hornet, AV-8B Harrier and EA-6B Prowler.
Commanding Officer of VMFAT-501, Lt. Col. James B. Wellons added praise to the F-35B, “The STOVL capability of the F-35B will enable us to deploy with the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and ensure these fifth-generation capabilities are available when needed. Our mission is to conduct F-35B operations in coordination with our joint and coalition partners at Eglin Air Force Base in order to attain our annual pilot training requirement.”
The F-35B completed 250 vertical landings this year. It includes 72 vertical landings and shoirt takeoffs on the USS Wasp in October.