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  • AirAsia X to launch Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo Narita service

    Date: 08/22/2019 04:16 PM

    AirAsia X to launch Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo Narita service [email protected] Thu, 08/22/2019 - 14:16

    Malaysian LCC AirAsia X will introduce new direct service from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo Narita starting Nov. 20.

    AirAsia X Malaysia CEO Benyamin Ismail announced the route via social media, writing the new route will allow passengers the ability to access Tokyo “either through Narita Airport or Haneda Airport, giving them more flexibility on flight times and connectivity ... these new services are in response to overwhelming consumer demand and ahead of what will be a big year for Tokyo tourism in 2020.”

    The 4X-weekly Tokyo Narita flight will complement AirAsia X’s existing daily flight to Tokyo Haneda and will add 156,000 seats to the route annually. The Haneda flights depart the Malaysian capital in the afternoon while the Narita flight departs at midnight.

    “Operating from two airports in Tokyo with different flight times will also entice more fly-thru guests connecting from other cities within our global network, whilst at the same time, providing Malaysians more flight options to travel to Japan’s capital and largest city,” Benyamin added.

    The airline did not specify if the route will use the new Airbus A330-900. Its Thai affiliate AirAsia X Thailand operates 3X-daily flights to Narita, with one of the daily flights using an A330-900, of which AirAsia has 66 on order.

    “AirAsia recently took delivery of the airline’s first Airbus A330neo aircraft, which flew its maiden flight from Bangkok’s Don Mueang [International Airport] to Narita on Aug. 15,” AirAsia X told ATW. “Future deliveries of additional A330neo aircraft to be based in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur will be announced in due course.”

    Chen Chuanren, [email protected]

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  • Selected U.S. Military Contracts for the Week of March 6 - March 10, 2017

    Date: 03/15/2017 02:41 AM

    Selected U.S. Military Contracts for the Week of March 6 - March 10, 2017 [email protected] Wed, 03/15/2017 - 01:41

    Selected U.S. military contracts for March 6, 2017

    U.S. ARMY

    Blue Storm Associates Inc., doing business as Pemdas Technologies and Innovation, Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a $49,500,000 order dependent contract for the Atmospheric Sensing and Prediction System. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is the contracting activity (W911NF-17-D-0001).

    Selected U.S. military contracts for March 7, 2017

    U.S. AIR FORCE

    Kelly Aviation Center LP, San Antonio, has been awarded a $1,001,978,024 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for KC-10 engine contractor logistic support. Contractor will provide engine teardown and overhaul, on-wing support/contract field teams, and engine parts and logistics. In addition, the contractor will provide all support required to fulfill this requirement, including but not limited to labor, materials, tools, equipment, parts, and transportation. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (FA8105-17-D-0002).

    U.S. NAVY

    Avian LLC, Lexington Park, Maryland, is being awarded an $11,402,443 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide support for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s Integrated System Evaluation Experimentation and Test Department (AIR-5.1). Services provided will include flight test engineering, programmatic, administrative, design, execution, analysis, evaluation, and reporting of tests and experiments of aircraft, unmanned air systems, weapons and weapons systems. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00421-17-C-0049).

    Selected U.S. military contracts for March 8, 2017

    U.S. NAVY

    Sierra Nevada Corp., Rancho, California, is being awarded a $30,995,905 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00174-09-D-0003) to extend the ordering period and exercise Option Year 6 for the procurement and support of the transmitting set, countermeasures AN/PLT-5, to support explosive ordnance disposal personnel.  The AN/PLT-5 is a man-portable system in support of the Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare program. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division, Indian Head, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

    Vector Planning and Services Inc., San Diego, is being awarded a potential $17,910,070 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to provide cyberspace science, research, engineering, and technology integration. Support includes innovative technology assessment and development; rapid software development and prototyping; enabling capability training; security engineering; and cybersecurity risk management.  This is one of four multiple-award contracts. All awardees will have the opportunity to compete for task orders during the ordering period.  The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific, San Diego, is the contracting activity (N66001-17-D-0117).

    Selected U.S. military contracts for March 9, 2017

    U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY

    Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Sunnyvale, California, was awarded a $53,052,807 competitive cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a 36-month period with no options for the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle Technology Risk Reduction (TRR) effort. This contract represents part of the Missile Defense Agency’s technology risk reduction strategy to improve performance and reduce risk for a gimbaled seeker assembly, integrated avionics assembly, component integration and testing, and an advanced seeker. The Missile Defense Agency, Huntsville, Alabama, is the contracting activity (HQ0147-17-C-0002).

    U.S. NAVY

    ViON Corp., Herndon, California, is being awarded a $34,790,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide Capacity as a Service support to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (Spawar) Headquarters, Spawar System Center Pacific and Spawar System Center Atlantic. The Capacity as a Service acquisition model allows Spawar to more accurately scale, up and down, its information technology (IT) infrastructure to meet evolving mission requirements. Savings are realized through no up-front costs and a “pay as you go” acquisition model, reducing waste usually associated with overbuying of IT equipment to eventually meet an expectation of mission requirement. Under this contract, ViON is responsible for providing on-demand, on-premise computing, networking and storage solutions for a variety of systems and applications for the command’s research, development, testing and evaluation core infrastructures, laboratory and data center environments. This contract includes options, which if exercised, would bring the maximum contract value to $49,990,000. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, is the contracting activity (N00039-17-D-0003).

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  • Product Realization Pop Quiz

    Date: 04/18/2016 07:42 PM

    Product Realization Pop Quiz [email protected] Mon, 04/18/2016 - 17:42

    How well do you understand Product Realization?
    Aerospace and Defense companies such as yours are looking for ways to gain insight into program decisions that impact cost, timing and quality. To effectively compete and achieve program execution excellence, you need to make manufacturing a core part of the development process.

    Put your Product Realization knowledge to test with this pop quiz. Complete the short quiz and be entered to win one of two $50 Amazon gifts cards!

    To help you with the answers, please download the white paper Product realization facilitates a collaborative approach.

     

  • TAI TF-X

    Date: 01/20/2022 10:17 PM

    TAI TF-X [email protected] Thu, 01/20/2022 - 21:17

    TF-X is a prospective fifth-generation fighter under development for the Turkish air force. The program is led by state-owned Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with the cooperation of BAE Systems. In Turkish, the program is known as the Milli Muharip Uçak (MMU) – the “National Combat Aircraft.” Turkish sources also infrequently refer to the program as “F-X,” but this document will exclusively use TF-X to avoid confusion with other F-X programs such as F/A-XX, KF-X and Japan’s F-X.

     

    Program History

    Turkey’s Role in the F-35 Program

    On Dec. 12, 2006, Turkey selected the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II as its “New Generation Fighter Jet.” It signed a letter of intent with Lockheed Martin to become a partner on the U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program on Feb. 6, 2007, planning to acquire as many as 116 F-35As by 2031 (it later reduced this target to 100). These would replace its aging McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom IIs, F-4E 2020s and F-16C/D Block 30s and Block 40s. Newer F-16C/D Block 50s would remain in service into the 2030s.

    Turkish industry played a significant role in the program. The country was designated a “Level-III” partner, representing the lowest tier of partner nations directly involved in the F-35’s system development and demonstration (SDD) phase. In terms of manufacturing workshare, Turkish involvement was more substantive. TAI delivered center fuselages to F-35 final assembly and checkout (FACO) facilities in Cameri, Italy and Fort Worth, Texas. It also produced composite skins, weapon bay doors and fiber placement composite air inlet ducts for the program. Other Turkish F-35 suppliers include Alp Aviation, which manufactured structural components, landing gear components and engine parts (including titanium integrated blade rotors); Ayesas, which made the missile remote interface units and the panoramic cockpit display; Fokker Elmo, which made 40% of the electrical wiring and interconnection system for the F-35 and the F135; Havelsan, which worked on the training system; and Kale Group, which worked with TAI on aerostructures, with Heroux Devtek for landing gear lock up assemblies and with Pratt & Whitney on F135 components.

    Turkey also envisaged the inclusion of indigenous weapons on its F-35As from the start. This was to include:

    • The Precision Guidance Kit (HGK)
    • The GÖKDOĞAN (Peregrine) beyond visual range (BVR) AAM
    • The BOZDOĞAN (Merlin) short-range air-to-air missile (AAM)
    • The SOM family of air-launched cruise missiles.

    When Turkey planned to acquire the Russian S-400 surface to air missile system, the U.S. raised concerns about the impact this would have on the F-35. Under the Fiscal 2019 Consolidated Appropriations Act as signed into law in February 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) was prohibited from using funds to transfer F-35As to Turkey if the S-400 acquisition continued. Turkey consistently expressed its intent to move ahead with the S-400 acquisition anyway. On April 1, 2019, the U.S. suspended F-35A deliveries to Turkey. Deliveries of the S-400 began in July 2019.

    Shortly thereafter, on July 17, 2019, Turkey was officially ejected from the JSF program. Its removal presented immediate and serious transitional issues for the program, which would need to substitute Turkish components used in the fighter. By this time four Turkish F-35As had already been produced. Though Turkey owned the planes, the U.S. has prevented them from leaving the country. At the time the U.S. Department of Defense estimated that 900 Turkish parts would have to be substituted and that the expulsion would result in losses totaling $9 billion to Turkish industry over the life of the program. Notably this total includes 188 parts produced for a Kale Group joint venture with Pratt &Whitney for the P&W F135 turbofan engine aboard the F-35.

    Following Turkey’s ejection from the JSF program, Russia’s Rostec publicly offered the Su-35 as a replacement. On Oct. 15, 2019, President Erdogan indicated that Turkey had also received an offer for the Su-57. The Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Dimitry Shugayev later indicated that the Su-57 was not on offer and was reserved for Russia’s air force.

    TF-X

    The TF-X program was initiated on Dec. 15, 2010 to provide an indigenous replacement for Turkey’s fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16s, which are expected to begin leaving service in the 2030s. It also began with a view towards the development of Turkey’s aerospace industry, which has extensive experience manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles and upgrading or remanufacturing combat aircraft, but which has never designed a fighter.

    On Aug. 23, 2011, a contract was signed between TAI and the Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı (SSM) – “Undersecretariat for Defense Industries” – to initiate concept design for the new fighter. The concept studies were completed by Sep. 29, 2013. Three planforms were apparently evaluated and were first displayed publicly at the 2013 International Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul. Of the three, two were single engine concepts, one with a conventional arrangement (FX-5) and the other with a large V-tail and close-coupled control canards (FX-6). In this design the V-tail surfaces contribute to pitch, roll and yaw; combined with the canards they yield a highly agile fighter. A 2018 estimate indicated that the FX-5 and FX-6 designs would feature an MTOW between 50,000 lb. (22,680 kg) and 60,000 lb. (27,215 kg). This would make either configuration lighter than the F-35A by over 10,000 lb. (4,535 kg).

    The third and final design (FX-1) is a twin-engine layout with a planform resembling that of the F-22 and a conventional tail. It appears to be most optimally designed for supercruise capability and to maximize range. This design would have an MTOW between 60,000 lb. (27,215 kg) and 70,000 lb. (31,750 kg), significantly lighter than the F-22. All three feature caret inlets and standard low-observable features such as chined noses, edge alignment and sawtooth interfaces between the fuselage, access panels and the radome.

    Diagram

Description automatically generated

    The three TF-X concepts as displayed at IDEF 2013. Note the cutaway view of the twin-engine design displayed in the bottom left-hand corner of the display.

    A cutaway view of the twin-engine design appears to show S-ducting for the engine inlets as well as the location of the internal weapons bays. One small forward bay would be located between the two ducts, while another bay to the rear would be located directly under the ducts as they curve higher into the airframe.

    More recent depictions of the three concepts show textured models predictably indicative of radar absorbent material (RAM) edge treatments.

    A 2015 rendering of the three TF-X concept designs (TAI).

    An Aviation Week reproduction of a TF-X requirements slide displayed to media at an event related to the Anatolian Eagle 2021 exercise on June 30th, 2021.

    Turkey also sought to negotiate support from a foreign prime contractor for TF-X. In the early phases, it considered partnerships with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Saab. At this point, KAI’s KF-X program (which has since yielded the KF-21 Boramae design) had already been underway for over a decade. In June 2013, the SSM awarded a contract to Saab to help lay out Turkey’s development plans for KF-X. It had previously assisted in drawing up the three concept designs evaluated for the effort. The FX-6 V-tail design in particular bears a strong resemblance to the FS2020 Generic Future Fighter investigated by Saab and the Swedish Material Board (FMV) starting in 2006.

    On Aug. 5, 2016, a contract to begin development of the TF-X was signed between TAI and the SSM. The SSM became known as the Savunma Sanayii Başkanlığı (SSB) – “Presidency for Defense Industries” – in 2018. Under the contract the first TF-X prototype would fly in 2023, an ambitious schedule for any aircraft let alone a sophisticated 5th generation fighter. Around this time the SSM also selected the twin-seat FX-1 design for TF-X.

    In December 2015, TAI signed a memorandum of understanding with Britain’s BAE Systems to cooperate on the design of the TF-X. This became a firm agreement on Jan. 28, 2017, with a contract totaling more than £100 million ($147 million in 2020) following later in the year. The BAE bid won out over offers from Saab and from Airbus Defense and Space. BAE indicated at the time that its commitment would involve hundreds of British and Turkish engineers.

    Around this time, an overall acquisition objective of 250 aircraft was also publicly disclosed. This would be enough aircraft to eventually replace the entire 235-aircraft F-16 force, and the remaining 30 F-4E 2020s.

    In accord with the previously mentioned aims, Turkey also began a program to develop an indigenous engine. Until that engine becomes available Turkey intends to use a foreign engine to develop and test the TF-X. As of January 2020, TF-X was not expected to fly with a Turkish engine until 2029. Around the time of the agreement with BAE Systems, Turkey was also negotiating with Rolls-Royce for TF-X engines. Rolls-Royce offered the Eurofighter’s EJ200, and later agreed to cooperate with Turkey to design a new engine. [See the “Engines” subsection within “Features” for more details on this effort.]

    In October 2018 Turkey chose the General Electric F110 as the interim engine, though it was unclear whether it would use the F110-GE-129 or F110-GE-132. Other offerings had reportedly included the GE F414-GE-400 and the Eurojet EJ-200, the 20,200 lbf. (90 kN) engine used aboard the Eurofighter Typhoon. Among other things, the F110-GE-129 flies on Turkish F-16C/D Block 50s and has been assembled by TAI Engine Industries (TEI) since 1985, when the company was established to manufacture F110-GE-100s used on Turkish F-16C/D Block 30s. Depot level maintenance for Turkey’s F110s is also carried out by TEI. The newer F110-GE-132 is used on Block 60 F-16s delivered to the United Arab Emirates.

    In 2018 Turkey also earmarked $1.04 billion ($1.08 billion USD in 2020) for the design of the TF-X under an incentive contract.

    On May 2, 2019, TAI signed an agreement with Aiolos Engineering Corporation of Canada for the construction of a subsonic wind tunnel at the TAI complex in Ankara to support TF-X. TAI wants to have the wind tunnel operational by 2023. For supersonic work, TAI is relying on BAE Systems’ Wind Tunnel Facility, whose high-speed tunnel can operate at up to Mach 3.8.

    In June 2019, TAI unveiled a TF-X mockup at the Paris Air Show.

    The TF-X program requires extensive RCS test facilities, some of which are available at Gebze Technical University, which is partnering with TÜBİTAK BİLGEM on the program. In the long term, dedicated RCS test facilities for TF-X are being constructed. These include an anechoic test facility and a near-field RCS test facility which will be finished in 2021. A lightning test facility is also under construction and will be available in early 2022.