LM eager to replace Czech Gripens with F-16s

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Lockheed Martin will try and sell the F-16 aircraft to the Czech Republic when the current lease for Gripen fighters expire in 2015.

The Defence Ministry asked France, the United States, Sweden and the Eurofighter consortium in December for a preliminary bid of supersonic fighters for the Czech military. Lockheed is the second arms maker to publicly announce its interest in the tender, after the Swedish Saab that would like the Czech Republic to keep Gripens, Ekonom.cz writes.

The server wrote that the concern would probably again offer F-16s that are used, for instance, in the neighbouring Poland, in Belgium and Denmark. However, they would probably not succeed in the tender.

“If we sought a new quality, we would definitely not speak about F-16,” the server quotes Czech fighter wing commander Jaroslav Mika as saying recently.

Lockheed might also offer its new stealth aircraft F-35.But they are still being developed and on top of that, they would be too expensive for the Czech Republic, the server writes.

Five companies bid for the order in 1999 preliminarily: U.S. McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing (F/A-18 plane) and Lockheed Martin (F-16), French Dassault Aviation (Mirage 2000-5), EADS (Eurofighter) consortium and the British-Swedish BAE Systems/Saab consortium (Jas-39 Gripen).

Source: praguemonitor.com

Eurofighter to get new generation E-Scan radar

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After one year of industry funding, the Eurofighter and Euroradar consortia have received renewed strong support from the Partner Nations and have agreed to continue the full scale development programme of the next generation E-Scan radar, confirming the 2015 entry into service date.

Supported by the Eurofighter partner nations: the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Spain, Eurofighter GmbH and Euroradar began full scale development of the new CAPTOR-E radar in July 2010.

The new radar will have AESA capability that far exceeds any other radar available today and in the foreseeable future and will be developed to satisfy the requirements of the Partner Nations and customers across the globe.

The new AESA array, larger than the ones available to our competitors thanks to the Typhoon’s voluminous radome, will be fitted on a repositioner that will provide a wider field of regard when compared to those installed or scheduled for introduction on other fighters.

The new radar will offer customers the freedom to retrofit their existing Typhoons when required. The radar will have significant growth potential and both existing and new customers will be able to participate in tailoring the radar to meet their individual operational requirements.

The new AESA Radar is part of the platform and systems enhancement ongoing with Eurofighter to ensure Typhoon leads the way as the world’s best new generation multi-role combat aircraft.’

Source: Air-Attack

RAF Eurofighter pilots sent home from Libya missions due to after night’s drinking

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Two RAF Eurofighter pilots were sent home in late March after they were caught drinking hours before they were to fly combat missions over Libya. The men, based at Gioia del Colle in Italy, returned to RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire at the end of March.

The disciplinary action followed a night’s drinking, but the MoD was unable to confirm whether the pilots were declared unfit to fly.

The incident at the Gioia del Colle base, where the RAF’s Typhoon and Tornado fighter jets are based, is understood to have led to a temporary alcohol ban for other RAF personnel serving in the Mediterranean.

In a statement, the MoD said: “Two RAF personnel have been returned from detachment in Gioia del Colle following inappropriate behaviour; this has not affected the RAF’s ability to sustain its current commitments.

“Individuals who are found to have fallen below the high standards of conduct demanded by the RAF can face appropriate internal action.”

Gerry Connelly, a retired Air Vice Marshal and former commander at RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire, described the news as “disappointing”.

The ex-fighter pilot said: “What’s gone on, we don’t know – but what I do know for certain is that the RAF takes a very firm view of any activities like drinking in and around flying, particularly in these sorts of conditions because clearly the two don’t mix.

Twelve of the UK’s Tornado jets and six Typhoon fighters – used to carry out bombing missions and patrol the no-fly zone – are stationed there.

The aircrafts’ pilots have so far flown more than 70 sorties, according to the MoD.

Source: BBC News