September's top stories: Boeing stops C-17 production, Canada FWSAR project RFP

Boeing has announced plans to shut its C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft's final assembly facility in US in 2015, while Canada issued a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the national air force's FWSAR project.


Air Force

BAE to develop EW technology for DARPA's ARC programme

BAE

BAE Systems has been selected to work on the 1A and 1B phases of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) adaptive radar countermeasures (ARC) programme.

Working in collaboration with Dynetics and other industry research organisations, the company will develop technology for a next-generation electronic warfare (EW) algorithm suite, which will help current EW systems counter emerging radar threats.

The company will also demonstrate the technology in a series of increasingly complex government evaluations.

Boeing to stop C-17 production in 2015

Boeing is planning to complete C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft production and subsequently shut its final assembly facility in Long Beach, California, US, in 2015, citing ''very tough budget environments".

Announced a week after the final aircraft delivery to the US Air Force (USAF), the decision will impact around 3,000 employees supporting the C-17 production programme in Long Beach, Macon, Mesa and St. Louis.

Still under contract to manufacture 22 aircraft, the company will, however, continue after-delivery support for the global C-17 fleet, as part of the C-17 Globemaster III integrated sustainment programme (GISP) performance-based logistics (PBL) agreement.

USAF and Locata partner for new GPS technology development

US Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT)

The US Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) has entered a co-operative research and development agreement (CRADA) with Locata to develop and demonstrate the company's new technology for use in satellite-based GPS receivers.

The agreement aims to validate Locata's patented Vray switching antenna and new correlator technologies for multipath mitigation in position receivers that run at GPS frequencies.

AFIT will initially design and develop a Locata Vray patent-based GPS-frequency multi-element switching antenna prototype, and subsequently use it along with the prototype Vray for demonstrating the feasibility of using Locata technology to boost GPS receiver performance.

Netherlands makes first communication on AEHF satellite

The Netherlands has successfully connected to the US, Canadian and domestic terminals using the advanced extremely high frequency (AEHF) satellite system during testing at an undisclosed location.

The successful call makes the Netherlands the second AEHF international partner to communicate using the protected communications satellite system after Canada, which achieved the feat in May 2013.

The Netherlands-US-Canada team successfully engaged the AEHF-1 and AEHF-2 satellite, while simultaneously completing test calls between international terminals.

QinetiQ, LAE to develop enhanced capability for UK's future UAS operations

uas

QinetiQ has signed an agreement with Llanbedr Airfield Estates (LAE) to further develop enhanced capability for the future unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations in the UK.

Supported by the Welsh Government, the agreement primarily seeks development of the Wales UAS environment as a world-class UAS test and evaluation facility, through incorporation of LAE as an operating centre in north-west Wales.

Expected to serve as the catalyst for the supply of extended UK UAS operating capability in early 2014, the agreement will also enable UAS programme development in support of both defence and civil-related opportunities.

Philippine Air Force's UHI Huey acquisition fails for third time

The Philippine Air Force's (PAF) UH-1 Huey helicopter acquisition project has been stalled for the third time due to the Department of National Defense's (DND) inability to secure a qualified supplier for the aircraft.

The DND's Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) had declared the bidding for the helicopters a failure, citing that the lone bidder, the Rice Aircraft Services and Eagle Copters joint venture, failed to satisfy eligibility requirements, reported by the Manila Bulletin.

Carried out in December 2012, and February 2013, the first and second rounds of public bidding were also called a failure by the committee due to similar reasons.

Brazilian Air Force receives first upgraded A-1 fighter from Embraer

Brazilian Air Force (FAB)

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) has taken delivery of the first upgraded A-1 fighter aircraft from Embraer Defense & Security during a ceremony at the company's facility in Gaviao Peixoto, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Around 43 subsonic A-1 fighters are being modernised by the company as part of a contract awarded by FAB in January 2011.

Covering structural overhaul, repair and substitution of the aircraft's other outdated equipment, the contract complements a previous deal signed in 2003 for modernisation of its electronic systems.

Canada issues draft request for proposals for FWSAR project

The Canadian Government has issued a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the national air force's multibillion fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft replacement (FWSAR) project.

Launched in 2002, the programme aims to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) ageing six CC-115 Buffalo and 13 CC-130 Hercules search-and-rescue (SAR) aircraft fleet.

Canadian Public Works and Government Services Minister Diane Finley said the government is committed to ensuring the procurement proceeds in an open, fair and transparent way, providing the air force with its required capability, while offering best value to Canadian taxpayers.

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