Wili Phieu's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for the ‘Aircraft’ Category

KC-390 Military Transport Plane, Brazil

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 15, 2009



Key Data:

Estimated Investment
Order Date
14th April 2009
Estimated Completion


19 tonnes


Embraer, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, obtained an order from the Brazilian Air Force for its KC-390 medium-weight military transport jet on 14 April 2009. The new high-wing aircraft is expected to fly in 2012 and enter service in 2015. With the launch of the KC-390, competition in the 20t air transport segment has intensified.

Embraer (Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica SA) has entered into a $1.3bn contract with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) to provide 23 planes over seven years. Features of the KC-390 will be in compliance with the new National Defense Strategy and meet the needs of the FAB. The new aircraft will replace 22 Lockheed Martin C-130E/H and KC-130 that are currently a part of the FAB.

Embraer president and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado said, “The launch of the KC-390 programme is a new landmark in the historical strategic partnership between the Brazilian Air Force and Embraer.”

“The KC-390 is a medium-weight military transport jet.”

He further stated that the development of the KC-390 will result in an effective cargo and tanker aircraft for the FAB, becoming another successful export platform for both Embraer and Brazil. The KC-390 is expected to change the tactical airlift landscape and will be a direct competitor to Lockheed Martin’s successful C-130J.

KC-390 technical details

The twin-turbofan-powered KC-390 can be refuelled in flight and can be used for in-flight or on-ground refuelling of other aircraft. The new 20t jet is technically advanced and has fly-by-wire technology, which optimises mission results thereby reducing pilot workload. It also helps increase the safety and capability for operating on short and rustic runways.

The military aircraft will have a cargo bay equipped with an aft ramp similar to Hercules, and capable of transporting a wide variety of cargo (weighing up to 19t), including armoured vehicles. It will be outfitted with state-of-the-art loading and unloading systems for handling cargo.

A study on the KC-390 (earlier named C-390) aircraft was presented at LAAD 2007. The research and development expenses of C-390 were $600m and shared among Embraer and various partners led by the FAB.

The twin-engine jet-powered Embraer KC-390 also integrates the technological solutions developed for Embraer 190 commercial aircraft. It is expected to carry 84 military personnel and the cargo cabin will be configured for transporting the wounded or sick, on medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions.

“The KC-390 transport jet is the largest and most complicated aircraft ever undertaken by Embraer.”

Developing the KC-390

The KC-390 is the largest and most complicated aircraft ever undertaken by Embraer. It will also be the Brazilian manufacturer’s first new military product in more than a decade. It is expected to be assembled at Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto plant in Brazil.

Considering the delays in the production of Airbus A400M military airlifter and the time taken by Lockheed Martin to achieve full operational capability with the C-130J, both Embraer and its competitors say that developing KC-390 will not be easy. Although the Brazilian government will be funding, any delay in the development would weaken Embraer’s defence growth.

In the next two years Embraer will complete definition studies, freeze the configuration, and make supplier decisions jointly with the FAB. Participation of other countries and companies in this programme is being evaluated in consultation with the FAB.

Posted in Aircraft | Leave a Comment »

EMB-314 Super Tucano / ALX Trainer / Light Attack, Brazil

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 15, 2009




Empty Weight


Super Tucano
Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-68A turboprop, 969 kW
Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-68/3 turboprop, 1,600shp
Hartzell five blade, constant speed, reversible pitch propeller.
Fuel Capacity


over 1,500km
6hrs 30mins
Cruising Speed
Maximum Speed
+7G and –3.5G
Maximum Take-off Weight, Clean
Maximum Take-off Weight Utility
Rate of Climb


Maximum External Load
Two wing-mounted 12.7mm machine guns
Other Weapons
General-purpose bombs and guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles


The EMB-314 Super Tucano is an enhanced version, with faster speed and higher altitude, of the EMB-312 Tucano trainer aircraft which is operational in the Air Forces of 17 countries. The prototype of the Super Tucano first flew in 1992. Both Tucano and Super Tucano have been developed and built by Embraer of Brazil.

In 1995, Embraer was awarded a contract to develop a variant of the Super Tucano, known as the ALX or light attack aircraft, for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), optimised for the environmental conditions of the Brazilian Amazon. The ALX is capable of operating day and night missions from remote bases and unpaved runways with minimal ground support. The first production aircraft was completed in 1999.

In August 2001, the Brazilian Air Force awarded Embraer a contract for 76 Super Tucano / ALX aircraft with options for a further 23. 51 of these aircraft are two seater versions, designated AT-29, which are stationed at the Natal Air Force Base and replace the AT-26 Xavante advanced jet trainers which are approaching the end of their operational lives. The remaining 25 aircraft are the single seat A-29 ALX version.

“The main missions of the EMB-314, in addition to basic and advanced pilot training, are border patrol and counter-insurgency operations.”

One of the main missions of the aircraft is border patrol under the sistema de vigilancia da Amazonia (SIVAM) programme.

The first aircraft was delivered in December 2003. By September 2007, 50 aircraft had entered service. Final delivery of the aircraft is scheduled for 2009.

The main missions of the aircraft, in addition to basic and advanced pilot training, are border patrol and counter-insurgency operations.

The flight envelope of the aircraft is +7g and -3.5g. The aircraft’s small size, small visual and radar signatures, together with high speed and agility give the aircraft high survivability. Additional survivability features include armour protection and critical systems redundancy.

In August 2001, Embraer announced the signing of a contract with the Dominican Republic for ten Super Tucano aircraft, to be used for pilot training, internal security, border patrol and counter-narcotics trafficking missions. The order has since been reduced to eight aircraft, which are due for delivery in 2009.

In February 2005, Venezuela selected the EMB-314 Super Tucano. 12 aircraft were to be ordered, with a further 12 planned. The sale fell through because it was thought the USA would block the transfer of US-built components.

In December 2005, the Columbian Air Force placed a contract for 25 Super Tucano aircraft. The aircraft will be used for border patrol and internal security. The first five were delivered in December 2006. Deliveries concluded in August 2008. Elbit Systems has been contracted to supply the avionics suite.

In April 2008, the Chilean Air Force selected the EMB-314 Super Tucano, with a requirement for 12 aircraft. A contract for the 12 aircraft was signed in August 2008. Deliveries are scheduled top begin in the second half of 2009.


The all-glass cockpit is fully night vision goggle compatible. Brazilian AF ALX aircraft are equipped with avionics systems from Elbit Systems Ltd of Haifa, Israel, including a head-up display (HUD), advanced mission computer, navigation system and two 6in x 8in colour liquid crystal multi-function displays.

“The pilot is protected with Kevlar armour.”

The head-up display with 24° field of view and the advanced weapon delivery system are integrated through a MIL-STD-1553B data bus. The pilot is provided with a handson throttle and stick (HOTAS) control.

The pilot is protected with Kevlar armour and provided with a zero/zero ejection seat. The clamshell canopy, hinged at the front and rear and electrically activated, is fitted with a de-icing system and features a windshield capable of withstanding, at 300kt, the impact of a 4lb bird. A Northrop Grumman onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS) is installed.


The aircraft is fitted with two central mission computers. The integrated weapon system includes software for weapon aiming, weapon management, mission planning and mission rehearsal. Onboard recording is used for post mission analysis.

The aircraft has five hardpoints for carrying weapons, and is capable of carrying a maximum external load of 1,500kg. The aircraft is armed with two wing-mounted 12.7mm machine guns with a rate of fire of 1,100 rounds a minute and is capable of carrying general-purpose bombs and guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. Brazilian AF aircraft will be armed with the MAA-1 Piranha short-range infrared guided air-to-air missile from Orbita.

The two seat AT-29 is fitted with a forward-looking infrared AN/AAQ-22 SAFIRE turret on the underside of the fuselage. The SAFIRE thermal imaging system supplied by FLIR Systems is for targeting, navigation and target tracking. The system allows the aircraft to carry out night surveillance and attack missions.


The aircraft is equipped with an advanced laser inertial navigation and attack system, a global positioning system (GPS) and a traffic alerting and collision avoidance system (TCAS).

“The Super Tucano has five hardpoints for carrying weapons.”


The EMB-314 Super Tucano is powered by a PT6A-68A turboprop engine, developing 969kW. The power plant is fitted with automatic engine monitoring and control. The ALX aircraft has a more powerful engine than the EMB-314. The ALX’s Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-68/3 turboprop engine, rated at 1,600shp, drives a Hartzell five-bladed constant speed fully feathering reversible pitch propeller.

The fuel capacity is 695l, which gives a range of over 1,500km and endurance of 6hrs 30mins. The aircraft has a cruising speed up to 530km/h with a maximum speed of 560km/h.

Posted in Aircraft | Leave a Comment »

EMB-145 Erieye Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, Brazil

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 15, 2009



The EMB-145 AEW&C is a derivative of the Embraer ERJ-145 regional jetliner airframe, modified with the integration of an airborne early warning radar and mission system.

The aircraft incorporates a reinforced airframe, new navigation and communication systems, an enhanced auxiliary power unit (APU), increased fuel capacity and a revised interior layout.

The EMB-145 AEW&C’s mission system is developed around the Ericsson ERIEYE active, phased-array pulse-Doppler radar and is integrated with an onboard command and control system. Electronic surveillance measures for monitoring communications and non-communications activities are also integrated with the system.

In 1997, Embraer was awarded a contract to develop and produce the ERIEYE-based EMB-145 AEW&C (designated R-99A) aircraft, together with another version of the same aircraft, the EMB-145 RS remote sensing (designated R-99B) variant, for the Brazilian Government’s SIVAM programme.

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) ordered five AEW&C and three EMB-145 RS aircraft. The first AEW&C aircraft was delivered to the Brazilian Air Force in July 2002 and deliveries were completed in December 2003.

The Hellenic Air Force of Greece has ordered four EMB-145 AEW&C. The first was delivered in December 2003 and deliveries completed in May 2005. Entry into service is expected in mid-2008. Mexico has ordered one aircraft for border and coastline monitoring which was delivered in June 2004. Erieye radar systems have also been ordered by Sweden. In February 2005, Embraer signed a memorandum of understanding with India for the procurement of three systems.

In July 2008, a deal was finally signed, under which Embraer will supply three ERJ-145 aircraft and perform the modifications required to carry the active array antenna unit (AAAU) AEW&C system developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2011.

A fleet of three aircraft is sufficient to sustain two airborne patrols around the clock for a limited time, or one airborne patrol with one aircraft on continuous ground alert for more than 30 days. Although capable of long endurance at normal patrol speeds, the EMB-145 has a high dash speed which contributes to survivability on patrol missions.

The EMB-145 AEW&C crew includes the pilot and co-pilot, five mission systems specialists and up to three reserve crew members. The aircraft is equipped with five or six mission operator consoles.


The all-glass cockpit is fitted with five displays – primary flight displays, multi-function displays and the engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS) – with multi-reversionary capabilities.

Avionic systems include full TACAS II (traffic alerting and collision avoidance), a ground proximity warning system (GPWS) and windshear detector. Dual digital air data computers drive the attitude and heading reference system (AHRS).

The pilot is provided with a head-up display particularly for landing guidance. The aircraft has two radio altimeters and an instrument landing system. A dual integrated computer controls the autopilot flight director (APFD), windshear detector and EICAS.


ERIEYE has been developed by Ericsson Microwave Systems. The system comprises an active, phased-array pulse-Doppler radar including integrated secondary surveillance radar and identification friend or foe (SSR/IFF), a comprehensive, modular command-and-control system, electronic support measures (ESM), communications and datalinks.

“ERIEYE comprises an active, phased-array pulse-Doppler radar.”

Rather than conventional rotodome antenna system, ERIEYE has a fixed, dual-sided and electronically scanned antenna mounted on top of the fuselage. This places much less demand on aircraft size and is designed for mounting on commuter-type aircraft. The ERIEYE is capable of 360° detection and tracking of air and sea targets over the horizon. The instrumented range is 450km and a typical detection range against a fighter aircraft size target is in excess of 350km.

The system uses advanced solid-state electronics, open-system architecture and ruggedised commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, including general-purpose programmable workstations and full-colour LCD displays. The ERIEYE radar is already in service with the Swedish Air Force and is in series production for Brazil and other customers.

SIVAM programme

The SIVAM programme is designed to survey the entire Amazon Basin, an area considerably greater than that of Western Europe. Eight aircraft, five for surveillance and three for remote sensing are used for environmental protection, natural resources survey, border surveillance and support of sustained development in the Amazon region. The aircraft are operated by FAB from the Annapolis air force base.

The EMB-145 RS remote sensing aircraft is equipped with synthetic aperture radar, forward-looking infrared / television (FLIR/TV), multi-spectral scanner, COMINT communications intelligence suite, ELINT electronics intelligence system and an on-board recording and processing system. The RS aircraft will be capable of providing updated mapping information and imagery of the area.

Posted in Aircraft | Leave a Comment »

Harrier II Plus (AV-8B)

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 14, 2009

Harrier II Plus (AV-8B)





Empty Weight
Maximum Vertical Take-Off Weight
Maximum Take-Off Weight
Internal Fuel
Maximum Externel Fuel
Maximum Payload


1 x Rolls-Royce Pegasus 11-61 (105.8kN)


Maximum Speed at Sea Level
Mach 0.9
Maximum Speed at Sea Level
Mach 0.94


Raytheon APG-65 pulse Doppler radar


Raytheon AIM-120A AMRAAM
Sea Eagle


The Harrier II Plus (AV-8B), manufactured by BAE SYSTEMS and Boeing, is a VSTOL fighter and attack aircraft operational with the US Marine Corps, the Spanish Navy and the Italian Navy.

The Harrier II Plus extends the capabilities of the Harrier with the introduction of a multi-mode radar and beyond-visual-range missile capability.

The US Marine Corps received the first AV-8B in 1993. The USMC has 215 aircraft. The Italian Navy has 18 and the Spanish Navy 17. The UK Royal Air Force has 60 Harrier GR.7 aircraft which are being upgraded to GR.9. The Harrier GR9 entered service in September 2006, with delivery of the first 24 aircraft.

First operational deployment of the GR9 was in January 2007 at Kandahar in Afghanistan as part of the NATO International Security Force (ISAF).

Since 1969, 824 Harrier variants have been delivered. Manufacture of new Harriers concluded in 1997. The last aircraft remanufactured to the Harrier II Plus configuration was delivered in December 2003. This marked the end of the Harrier production line.

The AV-8B has been deployed in Operation Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom.


The cockpit is fully integrated for day and night operability and is equipped with head-up and head-down displays, a digital moving map, an Inertial Navigation System (INS), and a Hands-On Throttle and Stick system (HOTAS).


The Harrier II Plus is capable of deploying a wide range of weapon systems, including the air-to-air AMRAAM and Sparrow missiles, air-to-surface AGM-65 Maverick missiles, anti-ship Harpoon and Sea Eagle missiles, 25mm cannon, and a range of bombs and rockets.

The AIM-120A Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) from Raytheon Missile Systems is an all-weather, fire-and-forget air-to-air missile, equipped with an active radar seeker and a high-explosive warhead. The range is over 50 miles, and the speed of the missile is 1.2km a second.

“The Harrier II Plus extends the capabilities of the Harrier with the introduction of a multi-mode radar and beyond-visual-range missile capability.”

The Maverick AGM-65 anti-tank missile is installed on the Italian Harrier II Plus. The AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range air-to-air missile, a predecessor to the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM, is held in the arms inventories of many countries, including the user countries of the Harrier II Plus aircraft. The Harrier II Plus is capable of deploying the Sea Eagle anti-ship missile from MBDA (formerly Matra BAe Dynamics), which is a fire-and-forget sea-skimming missile also carried on the Sea Harrier, and the air-launch version of Harpoon AGM-84 surface strike missile from Boeing.

USMC Harriers are being fitted with the 1,000lb Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).

AV-8B aircraft have been fitted with the Northrop Grumman Litening II targeting and reconnaissance pod. Litening II consists of a CCD TV camera for video reconnaissance and FLIR and laser spot tracker/rangefinder for targeting. These are to be replaced with the latest generation Litening AT (Advanced Targeting) pod.


The Harrier II Plus is equipped with the Raytheon APG-65 digital radar to provide day and night and adverse weather capability. The APG-65 is a jam-resistant, all-weather detection and tracking radar. In the air-to-air role, the radar operates in search, track and combat modes. Long-range interception missions use the radar’s long-range detection capability and, for the close-in air defense role, the radar uses rapid acquisition modes for the aircraft’s 25mm cannon and heat-seeking missiles.

In the air-to-surface role, the APG-65 radar provides high-resolution, long-range surface mapping and detection, and tracking of land-based and sea-based targets. The radar has the capability to locate small, fast patrol boats in high sea states and to detect large naval ships at long range.

AV-8B aircraft are being fitted with the Northrop Grumman Litening II targeting and reconnaissance pod. Litening II consists of a CCD TV camera for video reconnaissance and FLIR and laser spot tracker / rangefinder for targeting.


“The Harrier II Plus is capable of deploying a wide range of weapon systems.”

The avionics suite of the Harrier II Plus is very similar to that of the US Marine Corps’ Night Attack AV-8B, and is equipped with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, night-vision goggles (NVG) and an NVG-compatible cockpit. The image from the FLIR is projected on the wide-field-of-view head-up display or on one of the multi-purpose head-down displays to provide night-time and reduced-visibility capability.


The Pegasus engine 11-61 (F402-RR-408) from Rolls-Royce provides a high thrust-to-weight ratio and retains its performance in hot and high-altitude conditions. The significant aerodynamic features of the aircraft are large Leading-Edge Root Extensions (LERX) and under-fuselage Lift-Improvement Devices (LIDs), drooping ailerons (i.e. the control surface that forms part of the trailing edge of the wing), and the slotted flaps augmented vectored engine thrust.

Posted in Aircraft | Leave a Comment »

Harrier GR9

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 14, 2009

Harrier GR9

Harrier GR 9


Key Data:

1 pilot




GR9 Vectored Thrust Turbofan
1 × Rolls-Royce Pegasus mk105
GR9A Vectored Thrust Turbofan
1 × Rolls-Royce Pegasus mk107
Thrust (Pegasus mk107)
Thrust (Pegasus mk105)


Maximum Speed
1,065km/h (661mph)
Maximum Altitude


AIM-9 Sidewinder
Paveway II
Paveway III
Paveway IV
General Purpose Bombs
CVR-7 Rocket Pods
Cluster Bombs


The Harrier, which first entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1969, is famous as the world’s first fixed-wing VSTOL (vertical or short take-off and landing) strike aircraft, capable of operating from short landing surfaces, aircraft carriers, unprepared strips, including grass strips, and to take off and land vertically.

The Harrier II (AV-8B), manufactured by British Aerospace and McDonnell Douglas (now BAE Systems and Boeing), replaced the HS Harrier in the UK Royal Air Force and in the US Marine Corps in 1985.

“The Harrier first entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1969.”

The GR9 is an upgrade of the GR7. The GR7 has been in service since 1995 with the UK RAF and been operationally deployed in the Gulf, the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. All 69 of the RAF GR7 fleet are being upgraded by BAE Systems to the GR9 standard, which includes improved weapon-aiming systems and improved navigation, and adds new weapons to its arsenal.

The current versions of the Harrier are the single-seat GR9 and the T-12 two-seat trainer aircraft which can also be used in combat. The Harrier GR9 made its first flight in May 2003 and was accepted into service in September 2006. The in-service date (ISD) was defined as 24 operationally-capable GR9 and one T-12. The remaining 45 aircraft are to be delivered by 2009. Two GR9 were deployed to Afghanistan in January 2007, as part of the Nato International Security Force (ISAF).

The UK Royal Navy Sea Harriers were retired in March 2006. The RAF / Royal Navy Joint Force Harrier, based at RAF Cottesmore, is now operated with RAF Harrier GR7/9 aircraft.

Harrier GR9 design and roles

The GR9 is a single-seat, multi-role combat aircraft that can operate at night and at low-light levels in extreme environments, from a wide selection of locations including aircraft carriers and forward air bases.

One of the main roles of the Harrier is close air support that involves launching air attacks against hostile targets in close proximity to friendly forces. Harriers are usually employed in direct support of ground troops operating against enemy troop positions, tanks and artillery.

Harriers are also used for the air interdiction role in which the aircraft carry out low or medium-level attacks using precision-guided, freefall or retarded bombs. Harrier GR9 is also deployed on strike coordination and reconnaissance (SCAR) operations.

The BAE Military Air Solutions business group carries out the upgrade of the GR7 aircraft to GR9 standard. The upgrade activities and Harrier GR7 maintenance activities are moved together in a ten-day ‘pulse’ through a joint upgrade and maintenance programme (JUMP) at RAF Cottesmore.

GR9 avionics

The aircraft is equipped with forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and night-vision goggles. The new navigation system on the GR9 provides high-accuracy navigation and includes a ring laser gyroscope inertial navigation system coupled with a global positioning system.

“The current versions of the Harrier are the single-seat GR9 and the T-12 two-seat trainer aircraft.”

Tactical information exchange capability (TIEC) capability will be installed on the aircraft by the end of 2008. A team led by BAE with Rockwell Collins and General Dynamics is developing the TIEC capability, in order to network the RAF Tornado GR4 and Harrier GR9 jets, by installing and integrating link 16 and improved data modem (IDM) in the aircraft. The capability will integrate link 16 and IDM messages with the aircraft systems to provide the pilot and crews with enhanced situation awareness.


The GR9 is fitted with the Lockheed Martin Sniper or the Selex TIALD 500 targeting pod. The improved pod enables pilots to find and identify groups or individual hostile soldiers in difficult terrain, for example small groups of insurgents in mountainous countryside.

The TIALD 500 is an upgraded version of the TIALD 300/400 series and incorporates a Denel medium wave (three to five micron) infrared camera, with a Selex 384 × 288 staring array. The new TIALD provides enhanced performance in terms of improved ranges for detection and identification. TIALD 500 is also equipped with transfer alignment capability which allows the pod sight to be aligned with the aircraft’s weapon boresight.

An urgent operational requirement for third-generation targeting pods for the GR9 was raised by the UK Royal Air Force and the MoD invitations to tender were issued in late 2006. Lockheed Martin UK was awarded the contract in February 2007 to supply the sniper advanced targeting pod.

Sniper is a third-generation advanced targeting pod and is equipped with a full motion video downlink. The downlink enables the ground troops to see the same Sniper display as that displayed in the Harrier cockpit.

“The new navigation system on the GR9 provides high-accuracy navigation.”

The high-resolution optics in the Sniper allows pilots to detect, recognise and identify weapon caches and individuals carrying weapons while remaining beyond jet noise ranges.

The downlink provides enhanced and real-time situational awareness to the ground troops.

Deliveries began in March 2007 and full capability deployment started in June 2007.

Both TIALD 500 and the Sniper provide SCAR capability. The improved optics and infrared pointers on the Sniper provide improved capability in terms of locating, identifying and handing off targets to other assets.

Harrier weapons

The Harrier is armed with general-purpose bombs and cluster munitions, Paveway laser and GPS-guided bombs against buildings, Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick infrared guided anti-tank missiles and AIM-9 Sidewinder infrared-guided air-to-air missiles.

The Raytheon Paveway IV precision guided bomb is the latest generation of the Paveway family and entered service on Harrier GR9 aircraft deployed in Afghanistan in December 2008. Paveway IV uses dual-mode guidance with laser guidance and GPS-aided inertial navigation that incorporates anti-spoofing and anti-jamming technology. The weapon has good manoeuvrability and following launch it can turn and attack a target behind the delivery aircraft.

The GPS/IN system is supplied by Raytheon Systems at Glenrothes, Scotland. In order to attack relocatable and moving targets or fixed targets, the pilot is able to switch between guidance modes as necessary before or after weapon release. Paveway IV will be fitted with enhanced mk82 500lb warheads designed by Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson. EDO MBM Technology based in Brighton is responsible for the supply of the Paveway IV aircraft umbilical interconnect system and quad containers.

“The GR9 is a single-seat, multi-role combat aircraft that can operate at night and at low levels.”

The Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick is a man-in-the-loop, low collateral damage, anti-tank and anti-ship, close air support missile.

The Brimstone anti-armour system will be deployed on the GR9 from 2008. The MBDA UK Brimstone fire-and-forget missile has a millimetre wave seeker operating at 94GHz which provides all-weather day-and-night capability. The missile is armed with a tandem high-explosive warhead. The Harrier GR9 is not fitted with a gun but can be armed with rockets.

Turbofan engine

The aircraft is equipped with the Rolls-Royce Pegasus vectored thrust turbofan engine. The GR9 Harriers are fitted with the Pegasus mk105 engine and the GR9A Harriers are fitted with the higher-rated Pegasus mk107 engine providing 23,400lb thrust.

The aircraft with the higher rated engine have been modified to incorporate a new metal, high-fatigue rated, rear fuselage section. The T-12 combat trainers will retain the Pegasus mk105 engines.

Posted in Aircraft | Leave a Comment »

Harrier FA2

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 14, 2009

Harrier FA2

Harrier FA 2



Overall Length
Length With Nose Cone Folded
Wing Area


Maximum Take-Off Weight
Empty Weight
Internal Fuel
External Fuel Capacity
3,000l (in two 1,500l ferry tanks)


Rolls-Royce Pegasus mk 104 or mk 106 turbofan
Static Thrust


Maximum High-Altitude Speed
In excess of Mach 1.25
Maximum Low-Altitude Speed
In excess of 1,200km/h


The BAE Systems FA2 Sea Harrier fighter aircraft, which was in service with the British Royal Navy and remains in service with the Indian Navy, provided air defence for the carrier fleet, particularly against low-flying attack aircraft armed with long-range air-to-surface missiles. The FA2 first flew in 1988 and entered service in 1993. 56 aircraft were built for the Royal Navy. The Sea Harrier was retired from the UK Royal Navy in March 2006.

The design of the aircraft was optimised for air-to-air combat with secondary missions of surveillance, air-to-sea and air-to-ground attack.

“The FA2 Sea Harrier fighter aircraft is optimised for air-to-air combat with secondary missions of surveillance, air-to-sea and air-to-ground attack.”

The aircraft was able to detect and destroy threats before the launch of an attack using long range weapon systems with look-down and shoot-down tactical capability.

In February 2002, the UK Ministry of Defence announced plans that RN FA2 Sea Harriers would be retired from service by April 2006, and that the combined RAF/RN Joint Force Harrier (JFH) will be operated with RAF Harrier GR7/9 aircraft by 2007.

The first of the Royal Navy’s three Sea Harrier squadrons was decommissioned in March 2004. The final Sea Harrier squadron, 801 NAS, was decommissioned on 29 March 2006. The Harriers will be replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from 2012.

The ground attack / reconnaissance GR7s are being upgraded to GR9 standard with new systems including: mission computer, stores management system for the deployment of the Brimstone anti-armour missile and precision-guided bombs, inertial navigation system / global positioning system, ground proximity warning system, upgraded displays and secure communications. The GR9 took its maiden flight in May 2003 and entered service in September 2006.


The cockpit is fitted with Head-Down Displays (HDD) and a Head-Up Display (HUD) from Smiths Industries. Smiths Industries also supplys the air data computer, engine control computer, engine indicators, fuel management and gauging, air data indicators, radar indicator, stores management system, and the weapon aiming and display computer.

The cockpit is equipped with a Thales Optronics (Vinten) display recording system for the HDDs and HUD and a Martin Baker Mark 10H rocket-ejection seat.


A Smiths Industries weapon stores management system ensures the correct selection and release of weapons. The aircraft has five weapon stations. Weapons are mounted on Frazer-Nash rail launchers, Raytheon LAU-106A ejection-launchers and Varo LAU-7 rail launchers.

The FA2 is equipped with the Raytheon AIM-120A AMRAAM medium-range air-to-air missile, which is an all-weather, fire-and-forget missile, equipped with an active radar seeker and range of over 50 miles. The AIM-9 M/L Sidewinder air-to-air missile provides the Harrier with capability for firing close range at an approaching enemy aircraft in a dogfight. The Lockheed Martin / Raytheon Sidewinder M/L has an all-aspect active optical seeker.

“The FA2 Sea Harrier is equipped with the Raytheon AIM-120A AMRAAM air-to-air missile.”

The Sea Harrier’s anti-ship missile is the MBDA (formerly Matra Bae Dynamics) Sea Eagle, a fire-and-forget sea-skimming missile with active radar homing and a range of over 50 miles.

The Sea Harrier can carry the MBDA ALARM anti-radiation missile, which can be deployed in direct attack mode, against a radar target, or in loiter mode, where the missile is launched in the vicinity of the threat and waits for the hostile radar to emit.


Sea Harrier is equipped with the BAE SYSTEMS Sky Guardian 200 radar warning receiver and the AN/ALE-40 chaff and flare dispenser from BAE SYSTEMS and Raytheon. AN/ALE-40 is capable of launching chaff, flares and active expendable GEN-X radar decoys.


The FA2 Harrier is fitted with a BAE SYSTEMS Blue Vixen pulse Doppler all-weather radar. Blue Vixen is a multi-mode radar which performs ground mapping and surface target detection and tracking, in addition to long-range look-up and look-down detection and tracking of aircraft. The radar also interfaces to the AMRAAM missile system.

An F.95 surveillance camera is installed in the nose of the aircraft, together with a cockpit voice recorder for surveillance mission evaluation.


The Sea Harrier has an AD 2770 Tacan tactical air navigation system from BAE SYSTEMS and MADGE Microwave Airborne Digital Guidance Equipment from Thales Defence. The Royal Navy Sea Harrier FA2 update programme includes the fitting of a reversionary IPG-100F global positioning system from Rockwell-Collins (UK) Limited.

The communications suite consist of an AD120 VHF radio from BAE SYSTEMS and an AN/ARC-164 ARC radio from Raytheon. The identification friend or foe system is the Allied Signal AN/APX-100 MK12 or the PTR 446 IFF.

“The FA2 Sea Harriers will be replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from 2012.”


The single turbofan engine is the Rolls-Royce Pegasus mk 104 or mk 106, which has four rotatable cascade-type exhaust nozzles. For take-off, the nozzles are initially in the fully aft position and then are rotated partially downwards for lift-off and acceleration. Viffing (vectoring in forward flight), a form of advanced combat manoeuvre developed by V/STOL pilots, is achieved by vectoring the nozzles at high speed for sudden deceleration and very tight turns.

The Royal Navy FA2s may be fitted with the upgraded Pegasus 11-61 engines, already fitted to the Harrier II Plus and being retrofitted to some RAF GR.7 Harriers. The new engines provide more thrust, particularly in hot climates.

Posted in Aircraft | Leave a Comment »

Gripen Multirole Fighter Aircraft (Sweden)

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 14, 2009

Gripen Multirole Fighter Aircraft, Sweden



Wingspan Including Launchers
Length Including Pitot Tube
Wheel Track
Wheel Base


Take-Off Weight in Basic Fighter Configuration
Maximum Take-Off Weight


Maximum Speed


The Gripen multirole fighter aircraft, developed by Saab, was first flown in December 1988 and entered operational service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997. It is planned that the Gripen will replace all current variants of the Viggen and Draken combat aircraft.

Gripen has been developed by an industrial consortium consisting of Saab, Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson), Volvo Aero Corporation, Saab Avitronics and FFV Aerotech. A joint venture company, Gripen International, has been set up by Saab and BAE Systems to market the Gripen for export markets. BAE Systems is building the main landing gear unit and wing attachment unit.

JAS 39A is the single-seater version of the Gripen. A two-seater JAS 39B operational trainer variant of Gripen is available. The JAS 39B is equipped with the same avionics and weapons suite as the JAS 39A, with the exception of the gun.

JAS 39C is the single seat batch 3 and export standard version, which was first delivered to the Swedish Air Force in September 2002.

“Gripen is a multirole fighter aircraft.”

JAS 39C has colour cockpit displays, an on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) and in-flight refuelling capabilty. JAS 39D will be a similarly upgraded to a two seater. In September 2007, the Swedish Government approved the upgrade of 31 JAS 39A aircraft to the JAS 39C/D configuration.

The Swedish Air Force has also ordered 204 Gripen (including 28 of the two-seater version) for two operational squadrons, with deliveries continuing till 2008.

In October 2007, the Swedish government placed a contract with Saab for a Gripen demonstrator programme to develop an upgraded version of the JAS 39C. Saab has selected the GE Aviation / Volvo Aero F414G engine to power the demonstrator. The F414G has 96kN (22,000lb) thrust and will be fitted with full authority digital electronic control (FADEC). Saab Microwave Systems and Thales are developing an active electronically scanned radar (AESA) for the programme. The demonstrator, also known as Gripen NG, will be a flying testbed for further development of the Gripen and made its first flight in May 2008.

In November 1998, the South African Air Force ordered 28 Gripen multi-role aircraft (19 single-seat and nine dual-seat). Denel Aviation of South Africa will produce part of the centre fuselage. The first flight was in November 2005 and deliveries began in April 2008 and will conclude in 2012. Four aircraft were officially handed over to the SAAF in September 2008.

In November 2001, Hungary signed a memorandum of understanding for the lease of 14 aircraft – 12 JAS 39A single-seat and two JAS 39B. In February 2003, Sweden and Hungary signed an amendment to the lease contract and both the single-seated and the twin-seated aircraft will be upgraded to C and D standard. The amendment also stated that Hungary will purchase the aircraft after the lease period. The first five were delivered in March 2006 and deliveries concluded in December 2007.

In June 2004, the Czech Republic signed a leasing agreement with the Swedish Government for 14 new Gripen (12 single-seat JAS 39C and two two-seat JAS 39D) for a period of ten years. The aircraft were delivered between April and August 2005.

In October 2007, Thailand selected the Gripen, with a requirement for 12 aircraft to replace F-5B/E fighters. An agreement to buy the first six Gripen (four 39C and two 39D aircraft was signed in February 2008. The aircraft are to be delivered from 2011.

Gripen cockpit

The cockpit is equipped with a Saab Avitronics EP-17 electronic display suite, with three multifunction displays and a wide-angle, 22×28 degree diffraction head-up display. The central head-down display provides tactical data superimposed on a computer-generated map. The displays on the left and right provide the flight data and the target data from the sensor suites.

“It is planned that the Gripen multi-role fighter aircraft will replace all current variants of the Viggen and Draken combat aircraft.”

BAE Systems and Saab Aerospace, with Denel Cumulus of South Africa, have developed an integrated helmet-mounted display (IHMD) system for the Gripen, known as Cobra. The IHMD is a development of the Striker helmet developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon. Cobra will equip the Gripen for South Africa. The Swedish Air Force also placed an order for the system in October 2007.

The time-critical systems controls (for example, weapons and communications) are grouped on the throttle and control stick for hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) operation.

The flight control system is a triplex digital fly-by-wire system from BAE Astronics and Lockheed Martin.

Fighter aircraft weapons

The Gripen has seven external hardpoints for carrying payloads: one at each wingtip, two under each wing and one on the fuselage centreline.

The air-to-air missiles include MBDA (formerly Matra BAe Dynamics) MICA, Raytheon AIM-120B AMRAAM and Lockheed Martin / Raytheon Sidewinder AIM-9L (Swedish Air Force Designation RB74).

Sidewinder, mounted on the wingtips, is an all-aspect attack, short-range missile for enhanced dogfight capability. Air-to-surface missiles include the radar-guided Saab RBS15F anti-ship missile and Raytheon Maverick missile.

Later versions of the aircraft for Sweden will be armed with the short-range Diehl BGT Defence IRIS-T air-to-air missile and the MBDA Meteor beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile. Deliveries of IRIS-T began in December 2005. Meteor is due to enter service in 2010.

The Saab Bofors / MBDA Taurus KEPD 350 long-range stand-off missile, with a range of 350km, has been successfully flight tested on the Gripen.

In May 2008, South Africa placed an order for the IRIS-T air-to-air missile to equip its Gripen fleet until the indigenous Denel A Darter missile enters service.

The internally mounted 27mm Mauser high-energy gun can operate in an automatic radar-guided aiming mode. The stand-off dispenser is the DWF39 from EADS (formerly DaimlerChrysler Aerospace) and Bofors. The Bofors ARAK 70 rocket pod is cleared for carriage on the Gripen.

Countermeasures suite

Saab Avitronics is responsible for the EWS 39 electronic warfare suite, which has been ordered by the Swedish Air Force. EWS 39 is an integrated EW system that provides radar warning, electronic support measures and chaff and flare decoy dispensers.

Gripen sensors

The Ericsson PS-05 long-range multi-purpose pulse Doppler radar has air-to air operating modes covering long-range search, multi-target track-while-scan, multiple priority target tracking, air combat quick search modes, raid assessment and beyond visual range (BVR) missile mid-course updates.

The air-to-surface modes include long-range search/target identification, multiple priority target tracking, high-resolution, real beam mapping, air-to-surface ranging and Doppler beam sharpening (DBS).

The aircraft is equipped with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor and will have the Saab IR-Otis infrared search and track system (IRST).

Nine Swedish Air Force Gripens are being fitted with the Saab Avitronics modular reconnaissance pod, which includes a recon / optical CA270 infrared sensor. The system will enter service in 2006.

“The Swedish Air Force has ordered 204 Gripen (including 28 of the two-seater version) for two operational squadrons.”


The aircraft has VHF / UHF transmitters and receivers from Saab Avitronics, and a Thales TSC 2000 identification friend or foe (IFF) system. An air-to-air data link allows real-time exchange of tactical data within and between cooperating air units.

In the attack and reconnaissance role, the data link allows radar-derived surface data to be transferred from one Gripen to a group of radar-silent attacking aircraft.


The RM12engine, supplied by Volvo Aero, is a development of the GE F404 engine from General Electric. A digital engine control system automatically monitors the engine parameters and automatically switches on the back-up systems if required. A condition monitoring system registers the flight data.

The air-to-air refuelling probe is retracted into the aircraft to retain the aerodynamic profile. The longer flight times achieved by using air-to-air refuelling results in the pilot needing a larger oxygen supply, so an on-board oxygen generating system (OBOGS) has been installed.

Posted in Aircraft | Leave a Comment »

FOAS (Future Offensive Air System)

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 14, 2009



FOAS, or the Future Offensive Air System, is the name given to a number of concept options which were being examined for the UK Ministry of Defence’s requirement to replace the capabilities provided by the Tornado GR4 aircraft. The aircraft and airborne systems developed under the FOAS initiative would become operational around the year 2018 when the Tornado GR4s reach the end of their operational lives. The FOAS research program was running in parallel to two major UK defence initiatives – on the new future aircraft carrier (CVF) and on the Future Joint Combat Aircraft (FJCA), formerly known as the Future Carrier Borne Aircraft (FCBA), for which the STOVL (Short Take-Off Vertical Landing) variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was chosen in September 2002.

An “initial gate” decision to move the project into the assessment phase was not taken and the project was closed down in June 2005. The Future Combat Air Capability Programme will be looking at the force mix of aircraft and missiles already under procurement and the Strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Experiment (SUAVE) will be investigating UAV technologies in the light of the replacement of the Tornado GR4.

BAE Systems was examining the best combined force mix, comprising manned aircraft, Uninhabited Air Vehicles (UAVS) and Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missiles (CALCM).


Options being evaluated for the FOAS Manned Aircraft included variants of developed aircraft such as the Eurofighter and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), rather than dedicated new build design aircraft. The manned aircraft would operate in long range, low level missions, using stealth technologies and terrain screening. Electronic warfare research areas being examined included multisensor data fused networks, more powerful radar and countermeasures processors, and the frequency dependence of stealth technologies, sensors and decoys.

MBDA has been selected to evaluate the possibility of using the Airbus Military A400M as a platform for air-launched cruise missiles as part of the FOAS programme.


Uninhabited Air Vehicles (UAV), which are currently used for surveillance, weapon targeting, command and control as well as for electronic warfare, were being studied within the FOAS program. A range of UAVs would be deployed. Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and combat UAVs are capable of operating autonomously or in cooperation with manned aircraft to increase operational flexibility and reduce aircrew loss or capture during high-risk missions.


Conventional air-launched cruise missiles are an integral part of the FOAS force mix, through the launch of waves of stand-off weapons from positions behind the front line. Studies of fire-and-forget missile technologies are underway on propulsion, on guidance (using millimetre-wave and imaging infrared with focal plane arrays) and on robustness against countermeasures. The CALCM studies are assessing the viability of a range of concepts for the deployment of large numbers of cruise missiles launched from adapted airliners, military transporters or maritime patrol aircraft. Both internal and external carriage options are under evaluation, with launch, command, control and operational issues also playing a key part in force mix assumptions.

Two parallel studies have been contracted by the MOD, to MBDA (formerly Matra BAe Dynamics) and Aerosystems UK. MBDA, teamed with Lockheed Martin Aeronautical System, BAe Airbus and Flight Refuelling Limited, has been contracted to perform feasibility and concept studies for both the overall FOAS CALCM system and the missile itself.

Studies are considering all aspects of weapon carriage and release, ground handling, stores management, and operational analysis. MBDA is making use of advanced technologies such as synthetic environment to ensure that the current feasibility studies deliver the most technologically advanced and cost-effective solution.

MBDA studies to date have defined a FOAS-CALCM solution, which consists of a combination of advanced cruise missiles, modular carriage and release concepts, datalinking to satellites, JSTARS or other command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) assets, and real-time battle damage assessment. The output from the studies will support the forthcoming MoD combined operational effectiveness and investment appraisal (COEIA).

MBDA also maintains a key position as weapon supplier in the team developing the technology demonstrator programme, with inputs into demonstrators aligned with the new breed of cruise missile system envisaged for the future FOAS mission.

Aerosystems International, based in Yeovil and teamed with Aerostructures Hamble Limited, Frazer Nash Consultancy Limited and Flight Refuelling Limited, has been contracted to carry out concept studies of CALCM systems to generate performance parameters that will be used in the MOD’s formulation of technology demonstration and system prototype programmes.


Teams led by BAE Systems and LogicCMG have been given contracts by the UK Ministry of Defence to investigate technologies for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Information/Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting Acquisition and Reconnaissance (C4ISTAR) in support of the FOAS programme. The BAE team includes: EDS Defence, AMS, Lockheed Martin, Aerosystems International, Northrop Grumman IT Europe, Royal Military College of Science, MBDA and Astrium. LogicaCMG is teamed with Raytheon, Qinetiq and EADS Germany.

Posted in Aircraft | Leave a Comment »

F/A 18E/F

Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 14, 2009


FA 18 EF


Key Data:

F/A-18/E – 1
F/A-18/f – 2 – the pilot and co-pilot


44ft 8in
Width, Wings Folded
30ft 7in
60ft 1in


Empty Weight
Take-Off Weight With Attack Payload


Maximum Speed
In excess of Mach 1.8
Flight Ceiling
Combat Radius
Combat Endurance
135 minutes


The US Navy F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet maritime strike attack aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, flew for the first time on November 29 1995. The Super Hornet is about 25% larger than its predecessor, the F/A-18C/D, but contains 42% fewer structural parts. The single-seat F/A-18/E and the two-seat F/A-18/F fly greater ranges with heavier payloads, have more powerful engines and provide greater survivability.

The first low-rate initial production aircraft was delivered in December 1998, and all 12 of the first batch were delivered by November 1999.

In February 1999, the US Navy placed an order for 30 Super Hornets, in addition to the 12 already ordered. Following successful completion of operational evaluation, in June 2000 the USN ordered 222 fighters to be produced over the next five years.

“The Super Hornet is a maritime strike attack aircraft.”

The first full-rate production aircraft was delivered in September 2001. Over 200 aircraft have been delivered.

A second multi-year contract was signed in January 2004 for 42 aircraft to be purchased between 2005 and 2009. Total requirement is for at least 545 aircraft.

In July 2002, the F/A-18E/F began its maiden operational deployment on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). In November 2002, the aircraft made its combat entry, striking air defence sites in Southern Iraq with Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM). The aircraft was also deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.

Improvements scheduled for Block 2 aircraft include a redesigned forward fuselage which has fewer parts and changes to the aircraft’s nose to accommodate the Raytheon APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. The first aircraft was delivered in September 2003.

The aircraft is also being fitted with new mission computers, fibre-optic network, Raytheon AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR targeting pod, Boeing joint helmet-mounted cueing system and Raytheon AIM-9X next generation Sidewinder air-to-air missile.

In April 2007, Boeing announced that it had been asked by the US Navy to provide an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system for the F/A-18E/F. Boeing has selected Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control to supply the system. A contract is expected in 2009.

In February 2007, Australia requested the FMS of 24 F/A-18F Block 2 aircraft. The contract was placed in May 2007. The aircraft will begin delivery in 2010 and cover the capability gap between the retirement of the F-111s in 2010 and the delivery of the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Australia in 2013.

The US Navy has approved System Development & Demonstration (SD&D) for an electronic attack version of the Super Hornet, the EA-18G, to replace the EA-6B Prowler. The EA-18G incorporates the Improved Capability III (ICAP III) suite developed for the Prowler. Two SDD aircraft are to be delivered. First flight of the EA-18G was in August 2006. Requirement is for 90 aircraft and initial operating capability is scheduled for 2009.

Fighter cockpit

The cockpit in the F/A-18E/F is equipped with a touch-sensitive control display, a larger multi-purpose liquid crystal colour display, which shows tactical information, two monochrome displays and a new engine fuel display. The aircraft retains the mission software and a high proportion of the avionics found in the C/D models.

“The Super Hornet has 11 weapon stations.”

The cockpit also has a colour digital map and the pilots are equipped with night-vision goggles. The zero/zero ejection seat is the SJU-5/6 from Martin Baker Aircraft Company Ltd in the UK.

Super Hornet Weapons

The Super Hornet has 11 weapon stations which include two additional wing store stations and will support a full range of armaments including AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, guided air-to-ground weapons such as Harpoon, SLAM/SLAM-ER, GBU-10, GBU-51, HARM and Maverick; and free-fall air-to-ground bombs, Mk-76, BDU-48, Mk-82LD, Mk-82HD and Mk-84. The aircraft can also carry the GPS- / inertially guided JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), JSOW (joint stand-off weapon) and JASSM (joint air-to-surface stand-off missile).

Boeing is the prime contractor for the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) for the Super Hornet, to be fitted to Block 2 and retrofitted to Block 1 aircraft. Vision Systems International (jointly owned by Kaiser and Elbit) is the major subcontractor. JHMCS is currently in full-rate production. Deliveries of full-rate production systems began in 2005, although the system was deployed operationally during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The F/A-18E/F new lightweight gun system is the General Dynamics M61A2 20mm Gatling gun, which has a switchable firing rate of 4,000 or 6,000 shots a minute and a fully integrated linkless ammunition feed system.


The AN/ALQ-124 integrated defensive countermeasures system (IDECM) provides a coordinated situation awareness and manages the on-board and off-board deception countermeasures, the expendable decoys, and signal and frequency control of emissions. The system has been jointly developed by BAE Systems information & electronic warfare systems (IEWS – formerly Sanders) and ITT Electronic Systems.

The IDECM system includes the ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser, the ALE-50 towed decoy and the AN/ALR-67(V)3 radar warning receiver. IDECM began operational evaluation in December 2002 and was successfully deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The Super Hornet’s power is provided by two F414-GE-400 engines.”

The BAE Systems Integrated Defense Solutions (formerly Tracor) ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser system is capable of dispensing chaff cartridges, flares, and the POET and GEN-X active expendable decoys.

The ALE-50 Towed Decoy, from Raytheon E-Systems, provides long-range detection and extremely fast deployment against most radar-guided threats.

BAE Systems AN/ALE-55 fibre-optic towed decoy has completed development testing and will replace the ALE-50 from December 2009 when it enters service. The Raytheon AN/ALR-67(V)3 radar warning receiver intercepts, identifies and prioritises threat signals, which are characterised in terms of frequency, amplitude, direction and pulse width.


The Super Hornet is equipped with the APG-73 radar manufactured by Raytheon. The APG-73 radar has an upgraded processor with increased speed and memory capacity in comparison to the AN/APG-65, which was installed on the earlier builds of the Hornet. The modes of the APG-73 include air-to-ground tracking, air-to-air velocity search mode, range while search and track while scan.

Raytheon’s AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) fire control radar will increase the F/A-18’s air-to-air target detection and tracking range and provide higher resolution air-to-ground mapping at longer ranges. The The AN/APG-79 AESA entered Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) in September 2003 and began Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) in July 2006. It is being fitted to block 2 aircraft and retrofitted to 135 block 1 aircraft. The radar is planned to begin operational deployment on the USN F/A-18s in 2008.

The aircraft is being fitted with the Raytheon AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR (Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared) precision targeting pod. ATFLIR consists of a 3-5 micron staring focal plane array targeting FLIR, BAE Systems Avionics high-powered diode-pumped laser spot tracker, BAE Systems Avionics navigation FLIR and CCD TV camera. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) was achieved in April 2003 and the system is now in full-rate production.

US Marine Corps aircraft are being fitted with the Northrop Grumman Litening AT Advanced Targeting pod, with 540 x 512 pixel FLIR, CCD TV, laser spot tracker, infrared laser marker and infrared laser rangefinder / designator.

F/A-18F aircraft also being fitted with the Raytheon SHARP multi-function reconnaissance pod, set to replace USN Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod (TARPS), currently flown on the F-14 Tomcat. SHARP is capable of simultaneous airborne and ground reconnaissance and has sensors manufactured by Recon/Optical Inc. 16 LRIP systems have been ordered and the first was delivered in April 2003. The system is deployed on aircraft operating from USS Nimitz carriers.

“The F/A-18E/F’s maiden operational deployment was in July 2002.”


The aircraft’s power is provided by two F414-GE-400 turbofan engines from General Electric. The engines are an advanced derivative of the GE F404 engines installed on the Hornet. The air inlets have been enlarged to provide increased airflow into the engines.

The engines each provide 22,000lb thrust, with afterburn giving a maximum speed in excess of Mach 1.8.

The structural changes to the airframe on the F/E variant of the aircraft increase the internal fuel capacity by 3,600lb, a 33% higher fuel capacity than the F-18C/D variant. This extends the mission radius by up to 40%.

Posted in Aircraft | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Tra Tran Hung trên Tháng Bảy 14, 2009


F 35


Key Data:

F-35A (CTOL)
Conventional take-off and landing for US Air Force
Short take-off and landing for US Marine Corps, and the UK Navy and Air Force
F-35C (CV)
Carrier variant for US Navy


CTOL and STOVL Length
CTOL and STOVL Height
CTOL and STOVL Wingspan
CV Length
CV Height
CV Wingspan


Turbofan Engines
P&W F135


Maximum Take-Off Weight
Maximum Speed
Mach 1.8


Air-to-Air Missiles
2 x AIM-120 AMRAAM
2 x JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) 1,000lb precision air-to-surface munition
1 x 27mm (not on STOVL)


The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF), is being developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company for the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and the UK Royal Navy.

The stealthy, supersonic multi-role fighter was designated the F-35 Lightning II in July 2006. The JSF is being built in three variants: a conventional take-off and landing aircraft (CTOL) for the US Air Force; a carrier variant (CV) for the US Navy; and a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy. A 70%-90% commonality is required for all variants.

The requirement is for: USAF F-35A air-to-ground strike aircraft, replacing F-16 and A-10, complementing F-22 (1763); USMC F-35B – STOVL strike fighter to replace F/A-18B/C and AV-8B (480); UK RN F-35C – STOVL strike fighter to replace Sea Harriers (60); US Navy F-35C – first-day-of-war strike fighter to replace F/A-18B/C and A-6, complementing the F/A-18E/F (480 aircraft).

In January 2001, the UK MoD signed a memorandum of understanding to co-operate in the SDD (system development and demonstration) phase of JSF and, in September 2002, selected the STOVL variant to fulfil the future joint combat aircraft (FJCA) requirement. Following the contract award, other nations signed up to the SDD phase are: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Turkey.

Concept demonstration phase

The concept demonstration phase of the programme began in November 1996 with the award of contracts to two consortia, led by Boeing Aerospace and Lockheed Martin. The contracts involved the building of demonstrator aircraft for three different configurations of JSF, with one of the two consortia to be selected for the development and manufacture of all three variants.

In October 2001, an international team led by Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to build JSF. An initial 22 aircraft (14 flying test aircraft and eight ground-test aircraft) will be built in the programme’s system development and demonstration (SDD) phase. Flight testing will be carried out at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland.

“The F-35 concept demonstration phase of the programme began in November 1996.”

In April 2003, JSF completed a successful preliminary design review (PDR). The critical design review (CDR) for the F-35A was completed in February 2006, for the F-35B in October 2006 and for the F-35C in June 2007. The first flight of the CTOL F-35A took place on 15 December 2006. Low-rate initial production (LRIP) for the F-35A/B was approved in April 2007 with an order for two CTOL aircraft. An LRIP 2 contract for six CTOL aircraft was placed in July 2007. The STOVL F-35B was rolled out in December 2007 and made its first flight, a conventional take-off and landing, in June 2008. STOVL flights are to begin in early 2009. An LRIP contract for six F-35B STOVL aircraft was placed in July 2008.

The F-35C is scheduled for first flight in mid-2009. The F-35A fighter is expected to enter service in 2010, the F-35B in 2012.

The first flight of the F-35 powered by the GE Rolls-Royce F136 engine is scheduled for 2010 with first production engine deliveries in 2012. Critical design review was completed in February 2008.

By the end of 2006, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK had signed the MoU for the F-35 Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development (PSFD) phase.

Norway and Turkey (requirement 100 F-35A) signed in January 2007. Denmark and Italy (requirement 131 F-35A and B) signed in February 2007. In May 2008, Israel requested the sale of 25 F-35A aircraft with 50 options.

Participating nations are to sign up to the initial operation test and evaluation (IOT&E) phase by the end of February 2009. In October 2008, Italy announced that it intended not to participate in the IOT&E.

In September 2004, Lockheed Martin announced that, following concerns over the weight of the STOVL F-35B, design changes had reduced the aircraft weight by 1,225kg while increasing propulsion efficiency and reducing drag. The weight requirements will also call for a smaller internal weapons bay than on the other variants.

The Lockheed Martin JSF team includes Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Pratt and Whitney and Rolls-Royce. Final assembly of the aircraft will take place at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant in Texas.

Major subassemblies will be produced by Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems at El Segundo, California and BAE Systems at Samlesbury, Lancashire, England. BAE Systems is responsible for the design and integration of the aft fuselage, horizontal and vertical tails and the wing-fold mechanism for the CV variant, using experience from the Harrier STOVL programme. Terma of Denmark and Turkish Aerospace Industries of Turkey are supplying sub-assemblies for the centre fuselage.


In order to minimise the structural weight and complexity of assembly, the wingbox section integrates the wing and fuselage section into one piece. To minimise radar signature, sweep angles are identical for the leading and trailing edges of the wing and tail (planform alignment).

The fuselage and canopy have sloping sides. The seam of the canopy and the weapon bay doors are sawtoothed and the vertical tails are canted at an angle.

The marine variant of JSF is very similar to the air force variant, but with a slightly shorter range because some of the space used for fuel is used for the lift fan of the STOVL propulsion system.

“To minimise radar signature, sweep angles are identical for the leading and trailing edges of the wing and tail.”

The main differences between the naval variant and the other versions of JSF are associated with the carrier operations. The internal structure of the naval version is very strong to withstand the high loading of catapult-assisted launches and tailhook arrested landings.

The aircraft has larger wing and tail control surfaces for low-speed approaches for carrier landing. Larger leading edge flaps and foldable wingtip sections provide a larger wing area, which provides an increased range and payload capacity.

The canopy (supplied by GKN Aerospace), radar and most of the avionics are common to the three variants.

Cockpit and avionics systems

L-3 Display Systems is developing the panoramic cockpit display system, which will include two 10in x 8in active matrix liquid crystal displays and display management computer.

The following will also supply F-35 avionics systems:

  • BAE Systems Avionics – side stick and throttle controls
  • Vision Systems International (a partnership between Kaiser Electronics and Elbit of Israel) – advanced helmet-mounted display
  • BAE Systems Platform Solutions – alternative design helmet-mounted display, based on the binocular helmet being developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon
  • Ball Aerospace – communications, navigation and integration (CNI) integrated body antenna suite (one S-band, two UHF, two radar altimeter, three L-band antennas in each aircraft)
  • Harris Corporation – advanced avionics systems, infrastructure, image processing, digital map software, fibre optics, high-speed communications links and part of the communications, navigation and information (CNI) system
  • Honeywell – radar altimeter, inertial navigation / global positioning system (INS/GPS) and air data transducers
  • Raytheon – 24-channel GPS with digital anti-jam receiver (DAR).


Weapons are carried in two parallel bays located in front of the landing gear. Each weapons bay is fitted with two hardpoints for carrying a range of bombs and missiles.

“Weapons are carried in two bays located in front of the landing gear.”

Weapons to be cleared for internal carriage include: JDAM (joint direct attack munition), CBU-105 WCMD (wind-corrected munitions dispenser) for the sensor-fused weapon, JSOW (joint stand-off weapon), Paveway IV guided bombs, small diameter bomb (SDB), AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missile and Brimstone anti-armour missile; for external carriage: JASSM (joint air-to-surface stand-off missile), AIM-9X Sidewinder, AIM-132 ASRAAM and Storm Shadow cruise missile.

In September 2002, General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products was selected as the gun system integrator. General Dynamics was awarded a contract for the internally mounted 25mm GAU-22/A gun system for the air force CTOL variant in November 2008. General Dynamics is developing an external gun system for the carrier and marine variants.


Lockheed Martin Missile & Fire Control and Northrop Grumman Electronic Sensors and Systems are jointly responsible for the JSF electro-optical system. A Lockheed Martin electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) will provide long-range detection and precision targeting, along with the Northrop Grumman DAS (distributed aperture system) thermal imaging system.

EOTS will be based on the Sniper XL pod developed for the F-16, which incorporates a mid-wave third-generation FLIR, dual mode laser, CCD TV, laser tracker and laser marker. BAE Systems Avionics in Edinburgh, Scotland will provide the laser systems.

DAS consists of multiple infrared cameras (supplied by Indigo Systems of Goleta, California) providing 360° coverage using advanced signal conditioning algorithms. As well as situational awareness, DAS provides navigation, missile warning and infrared search and track (IRST). EOTS is embedded under the aircraft’s nose, and DAS sensors are fitted at multiple locations on the aircraft.


Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is developing the advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) AN/APG-81 multi-function radar. The AN/APG-81AESA will combine an integrated radio frequency subsystem with a multifunction array.

“A Lockheed Martin electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) will provide long-range detection and precision targeting.”

The radar system will also incorporate the agile beam steering capabilities developed for the APG-77. Northrop Grumman delivered the first radar to Lockheed Martin in March 2005 for flight testing.


BAE Systems Information & electronic warfare systems (IEWS) will be responsible for the JSF integrated electronic warfare suite, which will be installed internally and have some subsystems from Northrop Grumman. BAE is developing a new digital radar warning receiver for the F-35.


Other suppliers will include:

  • ATK Composites – upper wing skins
  • Vought Aircraft Industries – lower wing skins
  • Smiths Aerospace – electronic control systems, electrical power system (with Hamilton Sundstrand), integrated canopy frame
  • Honeywell – landing system wheels and brakes, onboard oxygen-generating system (OBOGS), engine components, power and thermal management system driven by integrated auxiliary power unit (APU)
  • Parker Aerospace – fuel system, hydraulics for lift fan, engine controls and accessories
  • Moog Inc – primary flight control electrohydrostatic actuation system (EHAS), leading edge flap drive system and wing-fold system
  • EDO Corporation – pneumatic weapon delivery system
  • Goodrich – lift-fan anti-icing system
  • Stork Aerospace – electrical wiring


Early production lots of all three variants will be powered by the Pratt and Whitney afterburning turbofan F-135 engine, a derivative of the F119 fitted on the F-22. Following production aircraft will be powered by either the F135 or the F-136 turbofan being developed by General Electric and Rolls-Royce. However, in the 2007 US Military Budget, published in February 2006, no funding was allocated for the development of the F-136 engine. The US Congress voted to restore funding for the F-136 in October 2006.

“DAS sensors are fitted at multiple locations on the joint strike fighter.”

Each engine will be fitted with two BAE Systems full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) systems. Hamilton Sundstrand is providing the gearbox.

On the F-35B, the engine is coupled with a shaft-driven lift fan system for STOVL propulsion. The counter-rotating lift fan, developed by Rolls-Royce Defence, can generate more than 20,000lb of thrust. Doors installed above and below the vertical fan open as the fin spins up to provide vertical lift.

The main engine has a three-bearing swivelling exhaust nozzle. The nozzle, which is supplemented by two roll control ducts on the inboard section of the wing, together with the vertical lift fan provide the required STOVL capability.

Posted in Aircraft, Aircrafts of America | Leave a Comment »