Headlines, February 2011.

Headlines from Feb, 2011, as reported by Kym Bergmann.

1st Feb 2011


Elbit Systems' Brazilian Subsidiary, Aeroeletrônica, Awarded a Contract to Supply Hermes® 450 Unmanned Aircraft Systems to the Brazilian Air Force.

Elbit announced announced on 19 January that its Brazilian subsidiary, Aeroeletrônica Ltda. ("AEL"), was awarded a contract to supply Hermes® 450 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to the Brazilian Air Force. The value of the contract has not been disclosed.


Elbit say this project is a part of the Brazilian Air Forces' objective to establish independent UAS capabilities, allowing for self-reliant operation and development of UAS in Brazil. Located in Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, AEL performs a variety of projects for the Brazilian Air Force, as well as other branches of the Brazilian Armed Forces.

Hermes® 450 is a mature UAS that has, to date, accumulated over 200,000 operational flight hours in various arenas worldwide. Its capabilities are suitable both for homeland security and anti-terror missions, and it can be equipped with a variety of advanced sensors, according to customers' requirements. As part of the development of the Brazilian Air Forces' future UAS, AEL will utilize technological capabilities of its parent company, Elbit Systems, and will also work with local Brazilian industries.

Joseph Ackerman, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, commented: "We are extremely proud of the Brazilian Air Force’s selection of Elbit Systems UAS, a decision that marks yet another significant milestone in AEL's long-time collaboration with the Air Force. The Brazilian Air Force is considered a global leader, and the selection attests to the quality and maturity of our UAS, currently operational with more than 20 customers worldwide." Ackerman added: "We hope this new project will further strengthen the cooperation between AEL and the Brazilian Air Force, as well as other Brazilian customers, and will be an incentive for future collaborations." 

 

Sagem wins contract for 1,175 JIM LR 2 new-generation long-range multifunction infrared binoculars, to be deployed by French armed forces.
 


French defense procurement agency DGA announced on January 18 that, following international competitive bidding, it had awarded a contract to Sagem for 1,175
JIM LR 2 new-generation long-range multifunction infrared binoculars, intended for the French armed forces. This contract is part of the “JIR-TTA-NG” program to acquire new-generation infrared binoculars for deployment by all services of the armed forces.

JIM LR 2 binoculars are designed for threat detection, precision target designation and intelligence gathering for front-line and command units. As an integral part of the digital battlefield, JIM LR 2 will be interoperable with the command and coordination systems used in the FELIN (1) integrated suite for dismounted soldiers.

JIM LR 2 is a portable all-in-one unit, combining day/night (thermal) vision, range- finding, laser pointer, compass, GPS and data transmission. It draws on operational feedback generated by the Sagem JIM LR (Long Range), and is directly derived from this original unit. While maintaining the same hardware and ergonomic design, the JIM LR 2 unit offers several improvements:
• increased detection and identification range;
• increased target designation range, thanks to a more powerful pointer;
• image fusion between the visible and infrared channels, to see through
camouflage during the daytime, and for all-weather vision, especially through
smoke;
• recording of videos and images via a USB port.

The contract also includes 500 remote-control tactical terminals, offering enhanced ergonomics and compact design, with a new A4 size tablet.

The deployment of these JIM LR 2 systems will be able to call on the Level 1 and 2 support network already in service for the JIM LR system. Sagem will also provide training for users and maintenance staff.

 

ROLLS-ROYCE TO POWER TEN LITTORAL COMBAT SHIPS FOR THE U.S. NAVY

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, announced on January 18 that it will supply gas turbines and waterjets for ten of the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) – the Group’s largest ever marine naval surface ship contract.


Designed to operate in combat zones close to the shore (littoral waters), each LCS will be equipped with two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines powering four large waterjets, enabling the vessels to reach speeds in excess of 40 knots. At 36 megawatts, the MT30 is the world’s most powerful marine gas turbine. Combining this power with Rolls-Royce waterjets makes the LCS highly manoeuvrable, able to operate in shallow waters and to stop and accelerate quickly. Rolls-Royce is already supplying propulsion equipment on the first two Lockheed Martin vessels and today’s announcement extends this with one firm order and options for a further nine ships of the same design. Andrew Marsh, Rolls-Royce, President - Naval said: “We are delighted that the Lockheed Martin design has been selected for an additional ten vessels in the LCS programme. We have worked closely with Lockheed Martin and other partners throughout the design, build and sea trials of the first vessel, USS Freedom, and are making good progress on the second ship, Fort Worth, which is more than 80 percent complete and remains on cost and on schedule.” “The Rolls-Royce equipment, including the MT30 gas turbines and waterjets, combine to give an effective and efficient propulsion system perfectly suited for these innovative, highly-manoeuvrable, state-of-the-art ships.”


The MT30 is derived from Rolls-Royce aero engine technology, building on over 45 million hours of operating experience and reliability. It also has the highest power density of any marine gas turbine - a key factor in naval propulsion where delivering a high power output in a compact space is essential. The MT30 is the latest development of Rolls-Royce marine gas turbines, and has also been selected for the UK Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and the U.S. Navy’s DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer programme.

 

Eurocopter reinforces its South East Asia capabilities with an expanded new facility for the company’s Singapore-based ESEA regional affiliate.

Eurocopter South East Asia (ESEA) has unveiled its new 8,200-square meter Singapore facility, which is a key element for the growth strategy of this Eurocopter regional affiliate in the dynamic South East Asia helicopter marketplace.

Located in Singapore’s redeveloped Seletar Aerospace Park, this facility provides a 25 percent increase in office space and a doubling of hangar capacity to support ESEA’s expansion in
training services; maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities; research and development; and design resources.

The inauguration, which took place on January 11, was held in the presence of Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Minister for Trade & Industry, who was joined by Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling.

“With its new and larger premises, ESEA is ready to meet the sales and services opportunities across South East Asia as the region’s economic recovery continues,” Bertling said. “ESEA has a track record of demonstrated growth during the past decade, and is well positioned to support the continued evolution of Eurocopter’s presence in this key marketplace.”

ESEA’s move into the new facility represents a return to where it was created more than 30 years ago as a company called SAMAERO. Operations began in a one-storey colonial
bungalow in Seletar West Camp with 12 staff members. The company moved in 1988 to a larger facility at Loyang Way, where it was located until the latest transfer to the new location at
Seletar Aerospace Park.

The doubling of hangar space significantly increases ESEA’s maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities, as 24 helicopters can now be accommodated – compared to 12 at the previous facility.

ESEA’s new location also offers an improved infrastructure for its training arm, the Singapore Helicopter Training Center (SHTC), which has trained some 350 pilots and technicians annually for type rating, refresher, specific mission, and on-job training courses. SHTC also provides training programs for regional college and university students as part of its talent development plan to groom a pool of future rotary-wing industry professionals.

The Seletar Aerospace Park facility will also house personnel from EADS Innovation Works – the worldwide research center network for Eurocopter’s EADS parent company – enabling them to work closely with ESEA in research and development activities, along with collaboration on promising innovation projects.

 

Defence Review Asia at a glance