21.07.2008
FLUG REVUE

2008-07-21 - News in BriefNews in brief

Kurzmeldungen<br /> +++<br /> Embraer and Austria's NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH signed a contract for five EMBRAER 190 jets. The agreement was announced today at the 46th Farnborough Airshow, in England, and includes purchase rights for another five aircraft, which could be either the EMBRAER 190 or the EMBRAER 195.

The total value of the deal comes to US$ 187.5 million, and could double, if all options are confirmed for the EMBRAER 190. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the first half of 2009. "NIKI's decision to select the EMBRAER 190 to complement its existing fleet of narrowbody jets is great news, indeed," said Mauro Kern, Embraer Executive Vice President, Airline Market. "The company is true to its low-cost airline philosophy and is paying special attention to the economic advantages our jets can deliver. The decision is even more remarkable when we consider the highly competitive environment of the low-cost segment in Europe. " NIKI's aircraft will be configured with 112-seats, a layout made possible by the carrier's selection of new "slim seats", which are thinner, in terms of the amount of material used, than the seats usually installed on the E-Jets, but offer comparable comfort to passengers.
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The Pratt & Whitney F135 engine exceeded 10,000 system development and demonstration (SDD) ground test hours this week.  This achievement, in addition to the 3,600 test hours accumulated during the F-35 concept demonstration program, puts engine test program hours at more than 13,600.  Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company. "This milestone, combined with the ongoing successful F-35 Lightning II flight test programs for both the CTOL and STOVL variants, demonstrates the dependability of Pratt & Whitney's F135 propulsion system," said Bill Gostic, vice president, Pratt & Whitney F135 engine programs.
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SkyBOOKS, a Bell Helicopter and Textron company, announced that several fleet operators opted to sign multi-year service contracts for SkyBOOKS electronic based system that includes maintenance programs, flight logs, pilot logs, and other tracking systems. "SkyBOOKS provides a single source solution for the management of all flight operations data that can be applied to a single aircraft or an entire fleet," said John Willis, SkyBOOKS chief operating officer. "With the application of Skybooks electronic platforms, the future of aircraft maintenance has arrived. We anticipate this service will provide substantial benefits to the aviation community in the coming years," said Mike Blake, executive vice-president for Bell's customer solutions organization Recent orders have come from Gulf Coast Aviation based in Houston, TX where they operate an eight aircraft fleet; RVR Air Charter in Ft. Worth, TX where they operate a fleet of 12 aircraft ranging from Citation Jets to Falcon 50s; Helicopter Express, operating the largest fleet with 19 units, based in Atlanta, GA , in a mixed Bell and Eurocopter rotary wing fleet; and the Jacksonville, FL Sherriff's Office operating three Bell 206 and one Piper fixed wing.
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Two low-flying unmanned aircraft are cruising over Greenland this month to closely observe the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and its potential contribution to global sea level rise in the coming century. The flights will help scientists determine whether the ice sheet's melt rate will accelerate in the future. "We're seeing the start of a new era in Arctic exploration," said scientist Betsy Weatherhead, of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). "With unmanned aircraft systems, we can fly missions too dangerous, dirty, or dull for humans and address questions we couldn't even think of addressing before." Weatherhead is a lead scientist for the Arctic testbed of NOAA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems program, which is funding the Greenland field experiment. The project is a partnership of ESRL, CIRES, and Advanced Ceramics Research, manufacturer of the unmanned "Manta" vehicles. The two Mantas fly out of Ilulissat, half way up Greenland's west coast, for three weeks through the end of July. The Greenland Ice Sheet is shrinking at a rate of 40–50 cubic miles each year, according to NASA satellite measurements, and that rate is accelerating. The total volume of the ice sheet is 700,000 cubic miles. Scientists believe the buildup of heat-trapping gases in Earth's atmosphere is the main culprit, but the mechanisms are unclear. Better observations will shed light on the role of short-lived surface lakes and why the edges of the ice sheet are melting rapidly.
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Hot on the heels of Skycharter UK Ltd's move to nearby Biggin Hill airport, the company is using Farnborough airshow to place the first UK order for three PZL Swidnik helicopters. The long-established commercial transport company is buying three SW4 three bladed single turbine aircraft on the first day of it's appointment by the Polish manufacturer as it's only UK dealer. "Both the airport move and the appointment of the dealership are a major step forward for us as our expansion plans have finally come about " said Gary Slater (39) Managing Director and a 6,000 hour rotary pilot himself.  "We've long needed a high performance single turbine 5-seater helicopter to support and partially replace our current fleet of Bell 206 JetRangers and Long Rangers. This machine finally solves the problem. Endurance is superb at 5.6 hours, cruise speed an amazing 130 kts,  payload is high - the boot can takes four sets of golf clubs, cockpit is open-plan and three blades make it great for load-lifting. The seats are all the latest high safety specification Fisher type" he said.
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Falcon Aviation Services (FAS), a provider of helicopter charter and maintenance services based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced the signing of delivery position agreements for four S-76D helicopters for VIP/Corporate transport. FAS was formed in late 2005 under the initiative of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who attended the Farnborough Air Show and announced the signings with Sikorsky. The S-76D helicopter will be the next production model in the S-76 helicopter line that already has delivered more than 700 aircraft performing many missions including VIP and Head of State, emergency medical transport, search and rescue, civil defense, and offshore oil crew transport.  The S-76D model is on track for initial certification in late 2009. With 14 aircraft currently in service, the FAS growth strategy is underpinned by firm orders for an additional 23 new helicopters and corporate jets with a value exceeding USD $450 million. The S-76D helicopter positions, if converted to delivery contracts, would become the first Sikorsky aircraft to join the fleet, making FAS the first operator of the S-76D helicopter in the UAE.
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Boeing has signed an order with Air China, the flag carrier of the People's Republic of China, for 15 777-300ER (Extended Range) and 30 Next- Generation 737-800 jetliners. "These airplanes are the most fuel efficient in their classes," said Kong Dong, Chairman of Air China Limited. "The 777-300ER will be the backbone of our long-haul international fleet and the new 737-800 will support our hub build-up and our company's domestic strategy." Air China operates international and domestic scheduled passenger and cargo services and will use the airplanes to expand its international and domestic routes. The carrier is based in Beijing, the home of the 2008 Olympic Games, and is the only Chinese airline selected as a 2008 Beijing Olympics partner. The airline is one of the latest air carriers to become a full member of Star Alliance. The order, worth approximately $6.3 billion at average list prices, was previously posted to the Boeing Orders and Deliveries Web site and attributed to an unidentified customer.
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After three years in development and experimental testing, the first flight of Sikorsky Aircraft X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator is "within reach," James Kagdis, Program Manager, Advanced Programs, said today at the Farnborough International Air Show. The X2 TECHNOLOGY Demonstrator has accomplished more than 14 hours of ground run testing and is progressing toward first flight. "The Demonstrator has completed Phase 2 of ground run testing with blades on, and is in final build-up for first flight," Kagdis said. "Customer feedback since tells us that X2 TECHNOLOGY has the potential to be applied to a broad range of missions. We are excited at the prospects of transforming vertical flight through this innovative technology."
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Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies, has purchased the remaining 49 percent interest of REVIMA APU. This interest was held by EADS Sogerma -- a business unit of EADS -- since it entered into a joint venture agreement with Hamilton Sundstrand in 2004. REVIMA APU is now a wholly-owned Hamilton Sundstrand overhaul and repair facility, which will service aircraft Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) systems and accessories for customers worldwide. REVIMA APU is located in Caudebec-en- Caux, near Rouen, France. It employs 230 people and offers more than 35 years of turbine engine repair experience. "The APU maintenance, repair and overhaul business has a bright future and the full ownership of this business enables us to continually improve and expand services to our airline customers," said Dave Gitlin, Hamilton Sundstrand Power Systems vice president and general manager. "We thank our former partner EADS Sogerma for their contributions over the last four years and wish them success in the future."
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Hamilton Sundstrand announced nearly $350 million in new aftermarket agreements at the 2008 Farnborough Air Show. This figure covers the cumulative revenues over the expected life of the agreements. Those contracts include agreements with SR Technics, Volvo Aero Services, Japan Airlines, Saab Aerotech, ACT-Aero Technical Support and Services Inc., and the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Hamilton Sundstrand aftermarket agreements come in the form of spare parts, repair, Maintenance Service Programs, On-Site Support, and Comprehensive Asset Repair and Exchange (C.A.R.E.). "Hamilton Sundstrand is proud to offer its airline and OEM customers reliable, convenient and cost-effective support," said Mike Dumais, Hamilton Sundstrand Customer Service vice president and general manager. "Our ability to do so is evident by the amount of aftermarket support agreements we sign each year."
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Boeing and Kuala Lumpur-based Malaysia Airlines announced the airline has ordered 35 Next-Generation 737-800 airplanes. The order is valued at more than $2.6 billion at current list prices. The airline also has acquired purchase rights for an additional 20 Next-Generation 737-800s. The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Airshow by Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Scott Carson; Malaysia Airlines Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Tengku Azmil Zahruddin; and Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President, Sales, South and Southeast Asia Dinesh Keskar. The order, which brought the total number of Boeing 737s ordered past the 8,000th mark, was recently posted on the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Orders and Deliveries Web site attributed to an unidentified customer.
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Boeing has successfully conducted the first flight test of the first 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft modified by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in Ankara for Turkey's Peace Eagle program. During the 2.5-hour flight from Ankara on July 16, pilot Ron Johnston and first officer Mark Mitchell performed a series of functional tests that verified the airworthiness of the aircraft's systems and structures. The aircraft included newly installed aerial refueling capability, an advanced Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) antenna, ventral fins and mission system equipment. "This flight is a tribute to the skill and hard work of TAI while successfully executing a very complex modification effort in transforming a 737-700 into an AEW&C platform," said Mark Ellis, Boeing Peace Eagle program manager. Boeing will validate the aircraft's mission system over the next several weeks, before painting the plane with Turkish Air Force markings.
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Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is leading a groundbreaking aerospace industry-university research effort to investigate the potential use of biofuels for small and medium size engine applications. P&WC is evaluating the feasibility of using "second generation" biofuels that originate from sources that do not compete with human food sources. These could include jatropha and algae derived biofuels, as well as biobutanol to power aircraft engines. "Already a leader in green technologies for small aviation engines, we aim to have a fuel-flexible engine and to develop technologies that will allow us to offer aircraft manufacturers innovative and green power solutions," said Walter Di Bartolomeo, vice president - Engineering, P&WC. The objectives for the four-year project include identifying and assessing appropriate biofuels, studying their effect on engine components such as combustors and fuel systems, developing appropriate technologies and design changes to accommodate them, and conducting tests comparing current jet fuels with first generation ethanol, as well as second generation biofuels. The alternative fuel project is one of several initiatives announced recently by the governments of Canada and India under a joint research collaboration agreement in the field of science and technology. The Canadian portion is being funded through the International Science and Technology Partnerships Program.
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The Pratt & Whitney F100 engine family – which includes the PW-100, -200, -220 and -229 engine models – recently surpassed 22 million operational flight hours.  The F100 engine powers the F-16 and F-15 military fighter jets operated by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and air forces in 22 nations.  Morocco will become the 23rd nation to operate the F100 engine when delivery of its F100 powered F-16s begins in 2010. The F100 propulsion system has proven its reliability, dependability and exceptional performance time and time again in military forces around the world," said Warren Boley, vice president, Pratt & Whitney Military Programs and Customer Support.  "We strive to provide our customers not only the highest quality products, but an unmatched level of service and support so they can successfully accomplish their critical missions. And we're proud to celebrate 22 million hours of doing just that."
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Cobham and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems announced the creation of a Teaming Agreement to cover whole life support arrangements for UK Government GA-ASI products. This teaming arrangement will initially focus on the provision of support to the UK MoD MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft system (UAS) currently in operation with the Royal Air Force (RAF) over Afghanistan. The Team will develop support solutions that could be used by the UK MoD to offer increased flexibility and sovereignty over existing arrangements.
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Asiana Airlines of South Korea has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 30 A350 XWB aircraft, plus 10 options. Delivery of the aircraft will begin in 2016 and the airline will take a combination of all three variants of the A350. The carrier will operate the aircraft on its regional and long haul routes. "The A350 will play a key role in the Asiana fleet of the future," said Park Chan-Bup, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Asiana Airlines. "In placing this order today, we are ensuring that we will remain at the forefront of the airline industry, offering our passengers the very highest levels of comfort while operating only the most modern, fuel-efficient aircraft."
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The Heads of the International Space Station (ISS) Agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met at European Space Agency (ESA) Headquarters in Paris, France, on July 17, 2008, to review ISS cooperation. As part of their discussions, they noted the significantly expanded capability the ISS now provides for on-orbit research and technology development activities and as an engineering test-bed for flight systems and operations critical to future space exploration initiatives. These activities improve the quality of life on Earth by expanding the frontiers of human knowledge. The Heads of Agency also noted the Partners' significant accomplishments since their last meeting in January, 2007, including the delivery of Node 2 (Harmony), two new laboratories (the ESA Columbus Module and the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo), and Dextre, Canada's two-armed special purpose dexterous manipulator. In addition to the completion of six challenging ISS assembly missions with the U.S. Space Shuttle, the Heads of Agency recognised the successful maiden flight of the European Automated Transfer Vehicle, the establishment of the global ISS ground operation control centre network with the addition of new European and Japanese ISS operations centres and the successful flights of Russian Soyuz and Progress vehicles. The Partners emphasised the critical importance of expanded operations of Russian Soyuz and Progress vehicles for ISS total crew transportation, rescue and cargo delivery. 
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CFM International booked orders for 540 new CFM56-5B and CFM56-7B engines during the 2008 Farnborough Air Show, in addition to inking a materials and service agreement with ST Aerospace. These agreements are valued at more than $5 billion U.S. CFM56 engines are produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (SAFRAN Group) and General Electric Company. The company has just announced the extension of the relationship agreement through the year 2040.
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CFM International continues to be at the forefront of biofuels testing and is committed to supporting the development of sustainable biofuel sources that will have minimal or no impact on food crops or water resources, or contribute to deforestation. CFM56 engines are produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (SAFRAN Group) and General Electric Company. In the past year alone, CFM has successfully carried out two ground test programs of CFM56 engines using biofuels, as well as facilitating an aircraft flight using renewable fuels. In 2009, the company will support a second flight test program with Continental Airlines, when one of the airline's Boeing 737 aircraft powered by CFM56-7B engines will perform a biofuels demonstration flight test. The airline, along with CFM parent company GE, is working to identify sustainable fuel sources that can be produced in sufficient quantities to support extensive engine ground tests prior to the flight test while meeting the criteria for no impact on food or water resources. In 2007, CFM completed an initial test of a CFM56-7B engine using an ester-type biofuel at Snecma's Villaroche facility near Paris. The biofuel used was 30 percent vegetable oil methyl ester blended with 70 percent conventional Jet-A1 fuel.
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Aeros announced the successful demonstration of the airship ballastless flight. The Aeros 40D Sky Dragon airship was equipped with the COSH (Control of Static Heaviness) system. This system works by compressing, storing then decompressing helium within the envelope to adjust the vehicle's buoyancy. Static heaviness is the ratio of buoyancy to gravity; it is increased to land and reduced to takeoff. There has always been a dream of creating a cargo airship to alleviate the difficulties that the current transportation infrastructure is experiencing today; however the technology limitations of the lighter than air vehicles bound the usefulness of such aerial platforms. With the birth of the COSH buoyancy management system, this dream becomes possible. The COSH system is the main technology element of the Aeroscraft that is designed to control lift in all stages of air or ground operations including the ability to off-load payload without taking on-board ballast. In distinct contrast to earlier generation airships, the Aeroscraft is a heavier-than-air vehicle and generates lift through a combination of aerodynamics, thrust vectoring and gas buoyancy generation and management.
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AgustaWestland as a result of its technology investment strategy is now delivering BERP IV rotor technology to its customers to give improved operational capabilities and is also investing in active rotor technology research, where it sees the promise of significant performance and environmental benefits over current technology rotors. BERP IV technology rotor blades are now in service with the UK's Royal Air Force on six AW101 Merlin HC Mk3A helicopters. The BERP IV programme was launched in 2000 with a technology selection and integration phase which was then followed in 2002 by a design and manufacturing phase. The blades first flew in September 2006 and have now completed a flight test programme during which the AW101 was flown at speeds up to 198 knots and at altitudes of 13,000 ft. Aircraft fitted with BERP IV blades have also been flown at weights up to 16,500 kg - 1,900 kg over the normal Merlin gross weight and 900 kg over the current AW101 maximum gross weight. BERP IV blades represent the latest generation of rotor technology developed under a jointly funded AgustaWestland and UK Ministry of Defence rotor technology development and demonstration programme. The blades incorporate an improved planform, new aerofoil sections and an advanced aeroelastically tailored structure to provide reduced vibration, 10 knots additional cruise speed and 650 kg additional lift capability over the standard AW101 Merlin main rotor blades. Under an EU programme dubbed CLEANSKY, AgustaWestland has launched a number of research programmes in cooperation with other partners to investigate new technologies to make rotorcraft greener and eventually bring the new discoveries to market. The research includes testing main rotor blades with active trailing edge sections to reduce blade noise, all electric flight control, varying flight path to reduce ground noise, and many other exciting topics. 
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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems successfully completed a weeklong series of Lynx II production radar performance flight tests at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG) test range following radar improvements further boosting performance levels beyond System Development and Demonstration (SDD) requirements.  GA-ASI originally developed the synthetic aperture radar with ground moving target indicator (SAR/ GMTI) for the Army's Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) UAS Program and recently completed final delivery of SDD radars to the U.S. Army.  "The outstanding results achieved by the Army-developed Lynx II radars show that the radar exceeds SAR and GMTI requirements of the Army's SDD (radar) program and ER/MP Operational Requirements Document (ORD)," said Linden P. Blue, president, Reconnaissance Systems Group, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.
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Another of Northrop Grumman Corporation's line of airborne mine countermeasures products has successfully completed its first flight. The Airborne Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Minefield Detection System (ASTAMIDS) flew from the company's facility in Melbourne, Fla., aboard a modified U.S. Army UH-1H "Huey" helicopter. The flight occurred on April 30, validating the operability and integration of all the system components. On the first ASTAMIDS flight, all four first-flight objectives were achieved and control of the gimbal via the developmental Tactical Ground Segment software was demonstrated. Since then, the programme team has been executing flight testing of the system's reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition and counter-mine capabilities. According to the current plan, ASTAMIDS is scheduled for Low Rate Initial Production in 2009.
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Thales UK reveals the next-generation single-colour infrared threat warning system - Elix-IR- at the 2008 Farnborough International Air Show. The equipment, which is at an advanced stage of development through a Technology  Demonstrator Programme (TDP) jointly funded by Thales UK and the Ministry of  Defence (MoD), provides enhanced situational awareness and survivability for helicopters and sub-sonic fixed-wing aircraft. Elix-IR provides early warning and location of incoming hostile fire from guided missiles, machine guns, and ballistic and non-guided weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades allowing the aircrew to take effective evasive or defensive actions. Building on Thales' experience and capabilities derived from the Air Defence Alerting Device (ADAD) for the British Army and the PIRATE Infra-Red Search & Track (IRST) sensor programme to equip Eurofighter Typhoon, Elix-IR provides a superior capability against a wider spectrum of threats than any other threat warning system available.
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Raytheon, Raytheon Systems Limited and the U.K. Ministry of Defence have successfully completed capabilities assurance mission (CAM) testing of the Airborne Stand-Off Radar system. A team from Raytheon and the U.K. Royal Air Force 5 Squadron conducted six CAM tests to assess and prove the operational capabilities of the ASTOR system. The tests built on one another in complexity to demonstrate how the system would work in an actual mission scenario. "The system will provide vital information and intelligence on the modern battlefield," said Bill Chrispin, leader of the defence ministry's ASTOR integrated product team. "The results emerging from the CAM tests have boosted confidence that the system will provide the ground surveillance capability required by our commanders in the field." The team tested airborne components of the system on the ASTOR Sentinel aircraft. The team also tested tactical ground station aspects within the defence ministry infrastructure and rated the overall performance of the surveillance system.
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Alenia Aeronautica: a high-tech helmet mounted display for the C-27J Spartan. Helmet Mounted Display systems are becoming key features in the tactical airlift scenario. Situational awareness, eye-on-target, low level flight enhancement are the key concepts expanded by this leading edge technology. The HMD can be introduced on tactical transport aircraft to improve efficiency in the most demanding missions, alleviating the crew tasks in performing tactical airlift operations. Alenia Aeronautica and Elbit Systems started a collaboration to give answers to those challenging operational needs by demonstrating the Elbit Helmet Mounted Display LITE use on the Alenia C-27J aircraft. The C-27J is the only true medium military aircraft available on the market, offering superior and cost effective performances in speed, range, payload, load compartment volume and cross section, combined with the system reliability and considerable commonality of equipment. Today the C-27J is the best selling tactical transport aircraft with 117 units ordered by seven world's air forces.
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Racal Acoustics has now fully implemented its latest investment in production resources for its communication audio management systems that are fitted on BAE Systems Hawk jet trainer aircraft. These production resources include new Automatic Test Equipment (ATE) for the Hawk Communication Control System (CCS) and an improved environmental chamber. This has already significantly improved manufacturing efficiency and will result in more reliable production planning and improved on-time delivery performance.
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L-3 Advanced Products & Design (L-3 AP&D) announced the release of VideoScout software version 3.3, which provides significant new capabilities to assist users in leveraging video and metadata received from Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), common sensors and INTEL feeds. Deployed in theater today, VideoScout is an interoperable video exploitation and management system to capture, map, archive, search, retrieve and disseminate critical imagery and telemetry data to improve mission planning and execution, targeting, battle damage assessment, and post-mission analysis. 
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TheGE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has successfully completed Short Take Off, Vertical Landing (STOVL) testing on an F136 engine at the state-of-the-art GE testing facility at Peebles, Ohio. The F136 engine is the most advanced fighter aircraft engine ever developed and will be available to power all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the US military and eight partner nations. All test objectives were reached as planned in the Peebles testing as the engine was configured in a variety of modes, leading to STOVL testing with common hardware systems for the F-35. Testing also included the advanced controls architecture, which was demonstrated successfully in closed-loop mode operation. This important milestone was reached with the controls system developed under the Fighter Engine Team's ongoing System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract.
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Bell/Agusta Unveils BA609 SAR Variant. As the most advanced rotorcraft technology innovation that will revolutionize vertical flight in the forthcoming future, the BA609 Tiltrotor features an unparalleled combination of high performance and maximum flexibility which makes it a perfect platform for a variety of Government support roles such as SAR (Search and Rescue) operations, Homeland Security missions, Special Forces insertion/extraction , border and maritime patrol, vertical fleet support/patrolling, head of state transport, Emergency response,  evacuation, interdiction , disaster relief, airborne command and control, and training, etc.
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Northrop Grumman Corporation's E-2D Advanced Hawkeye System Development and Demonstration Program has successfully completed its 125th test flight, flying out of the Northrop Grumman East Coast Manufacturing and Flight Test Center in St. Augustine, Fla. Conducted by a U.S. Navy test squadron, OA is an assessment of the potential effectiveness of the E-2D in a mission environment. Successful completion of OA is one of the critical steps the program must go through prior to a U.S. Navy decision on low-rate initial production. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the next generation of airborne early warning systems while representing a two-generational leap in radar technology. Capable of providing the U.S. Navy with enhanced airborne command and control and expanded surveillance, the Advanced Hawkeye brings expanded battlespace awareness to the warfighter by concentrating battle management, theater air missile defense and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in one aircraft. This milestone is one of many accomplishments the program has achieved in 2008, including the Aviation Week Military Laureate Award, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Leroy Grumman Award and the NAVAIR Commander's Award for Program Management.
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The Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 has achieved a significant milestone, logging 100,000 flight hours powering the UK Army Air Corps' fleet of AgustaWestland Apache helicopters. The landmark comes almost exactly ten years after the RTM322 was fitted to the Apache for trials. Over 20,000 of these flight hours have been accumulated in the harsh environment of desert operations.
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Thales UK displayed the Lightweight Multi-role Missile (LMM). A complete departure from typical missile development programmes, LMM has been designed from the outset with low cost being the key driver. Based on proven technologies and off-the-shelf components, LMM has been optimised to take on a wide range of targets on the ground, in the air and at sea.
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Boeing and AgustaWestland signed an agreement for the joint manufacture of new CH-47F Chinook helicopters for the Italian Army in a ceremony held at the Farnborough Airshow. As prime contractor for the Italian CH-47F, AgustaWestland will be responsible for design and systems integration, and aircraft delivery to the Italian Army. Boeing Rotorcraft Systems will build the fuselage in Ridley Park, Pa. "This industrial agreement further expands our network of partnerships, allowing us to strengthen our long-lasting role as CH-47 Chinook supplier to the Italian Army and other operators in Europe and elsewhere," said Giuseppe Orsi, AgustaWestland CEO.
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European Aerospace group EADS and Mubadala Aerospace, a division of Mubadala Development Company of the United Arab Emirates, have signed a multi-faceted supplier agreement. The partnership will allow EADS to extend its footprint in the Middle East in terms of suppliers and production capabilities. For Mubadala the agreement is an important step in the company's commercial strategy to rapidly evolve the Emirate of Abu Dhabi's existing aerospace industry into a global aerospace hub. The cooperation is expected to generate in excess of US$1bn of revenue for Mubadala Aerospace over ten years. The agreement was signed on Monday at Farnborough Airshow. The EADS Mubadala agreement has three core components: Firstly, in cooperation with EADS, Mubadala's recently announced composites plant will develop full design-to-build capabilities, significantly leveraging and advancing Mubadala Aerospace's range of products and services. This will help the Abu Dhabi facilities to become a tier one supplier for the next generation of commercial aircraft. The plant will start operations in 2010, producing composite aerostructures for Airbus and potentially other manufacturers. Initially the plant will provide spoilers and flap track fairings for the Airbus A330, A340, A350 and A380. The planned next phase will see the manufacturing of primary structures and components.
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SELEX Galileo signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Cobham Aviation Services Australia to pursue programme opportunities worldwide. SELEX Galileo of Finmeccanica and Cobham Aviation Services Australia, part of the Cobham Group, have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further promote their already successful collaboration in the surveillance systems' market. Under this new MoU, the two companies will create a joint working group to identify, analyse and evaluate market opportunities in the surveillance sector, to be pursued on through dedicated partnership agreements. In 2007 SELEX Galileo secured a contract from Surveillance Australia, also part of the Cobham Group, to supply the airborne, land and mobile segments of the Surveillance Information Management system. The airborne segment includes 12 systems to be installed both on fixed and rotary wing aircraft of the Surveillance Australia and Australian Helicopters fleets.
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Alliant Techsystems and RUAG Aerospace of Emmen, Switzerland have signed a teaming agreement to provide full-service and upgrade support of the AIM-9P-3/4/5 Sidewinder family of infrared air-to-air missiles. The agreement will provide the international user community with a primary point of contact for upgrading and extending the service life of existing inventory of AIM-9P missiles. The new alliance will combine the existing capabilities of each company to provide expertise in upgrading the 9P's. ATK will supply new solid propellant rocket motors and RUAG will refurbish the guidance control sections and seekers. By upgrading their existing 9P's the international user community will get a product that will be useable beyond the year 2020, at a significantly lower cost than procuring new short-range air-to-air missile systems. There are approximately 10,000 AIM-9P's in active status inventory worldwide and the missile remains an integral part of the defensive air-launched inventory of numerous allied nations.
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Alliant Techsystems, Lockheed Martin and the Northrop Grumman announced that they have signed a teaming agreement to jointly pursue the emerging market for advanced capability multi-role weapons. This team provides any potential customer in this market with the product options that offer the best capabilities, schedule, and price available. This is achieved through the integration of the capabilities that the team provides across sensors, automatic target recognition, guidance navigation and control, air vehicles, propulsion, lethality, survivability, mission planning, platform integration, system engineering, and program management. As the F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, unmanned aerial systems, and future aircraft platforms are fielded over the next decade, the team believes that an advanced multi-role weapon requirement will emerge in the future that covers both the air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. This team, with its current weapon programs and demonstrated advanced technology capabilities, is confident that it will offer the customer best value options to meet this need.
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Boeing and Alenia Aeronautica are joining forces to help establish Italy's first composite recycling facility, which will be located in Southern Italy. Together with partners Milled Carbon (based in Birmingham, U.K.), Karborek (based in Puglia, Italy), and ENEA (Italian National Agency for new Technologies Energy and the Environment), the two companies have signed a letter of intent to apply their expertise and work with academia to advance industry knowledge surrounding the recycling of composite airplane parts into reusable materials for manufacturing. Financial terms were not announced.
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The Airbus Filton trade unions attended a positive and constructive meeting with senior GKN management on 16th July 2008 and can confirm that we are now in a position to support the GKN proposal for the purchase of Filton operations with the A350 facility being located at Easter Compton. Our decision to support this process is based around the commitments that we have been given for further investment/work packages that will be placed into both the Filton and Easter Compton facilities.
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Lufthansa has published a new issue of its "Balance" sustainability report giving a broad sweep of the Group's activities, the advances it has made and its future objectives in the environmental, business, societal and social fields. "Imperative as it is to achieve business success, we at Lufthansa are always aware of our special responsibility for the environment," said Lufthansa Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber. "Environmental care is and will remain in the future one of Lufthansa's uppermost corporate objectives."Since 1991, Lufthansa has steadily decoupled growth in transport performance from resultant CO2 emissions. While transport performance has increased by 232 per cent over the past 17 years, fuel consumption has grown in the same period by only 121 per cent. Thus almost half the growth in the Group's air traffic has been achieved without additionally burdening the environment. In 2007, the actually average fuel burn in the Lufthansa fleet was exactly 4.32 litres per 100 passenger kilometres. Ongoing fleet renewal has contributed notably towards reducing specific fuel consumption. An aircraft, such as a Lufthansa Airbus A340-300, today burns around only 3.5 litre per 100 passenger kilometres. Lufthansa has placed aircraft orders, worth around 14 billion euros at list price, in pursuance of fleet modernisation, which will further improve the Group's fuel efficiency. It has set its sights high in its new strategic environmental programme: Fifteen ambitious environmental objectives for sustainable development are spelt out in detail in the new issue of "Balance".
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Stratos Aircraft announced its intention to build an aircraft unlike any currently available or announced to the market. The new design, dubbed the Stratos 714, will fill a void in the light jet market by transporting four people and their baggage 1,500 nautical miles at a speed of 400 knots. No other aircraft, certified or announced, can claim to achieve the speed, range and utility that make the Stratos 714 a practical, owner-flown Very Light Personal Jet (VLPJ). The Bend, Oregon-based company is located in the heart of composite aircraft design, innovation and manufacturing country. Immediately surrounded by three successful composite aircraft manufacturers and a host of suppliers and vendors, there is no shortage of the expertise required to design, manufacture, market and support the carbon fiber, pressurized, single turbofan Stratos 714. Experienced aerospace engineer Carsten Sundin and serial entrepreneur Michael Lamaire founded Stratos with a singular focus on creating an aircraft that fills a void in the light jet market. The Stratos 714 will appeal to piston aircraft owners/pilots who demand greater speed, range, and weather capabilities than are currently available in a high-performance piston aircraft. Additionally, the Stratos 714 will be equally attractive to a segment of the turbine aircraft owner/pilot community who want to transition down from the dramatically rising operating costs of a larger turbine. Until the Stratos 714, there has been no such aircraft to meet the market need.
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AgustaWestland announced that the Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS) of South Africa has ordered four AW119 Ke single engine helicopters. These helicopters will be used for EMS and rescue tasks from bases across the country. This order marks the entrance of the AW119 Ke in the South African EMS market and further strengthens the company's presence in the Subsaharan commercial helicopter market. AgustaWestland has achieved growing success in Africa with its commercial product range in recent years and sees growing business opportunities in the region in the future. 
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Boeing and Aviation Capital Group (ACG), a subsidiary of Pacific LifeCorp, today announced that the Newport Beach, Calif.- based leasing company has ordered an additional 15 Next-Generation 737-700s. The order is worth approximately $934 million at list prices. "This supplements our order for 17 Next-Generation 737s announced in April," said R. Stephen Hannahs, group managing director and chief executive officer of ACG. "We continue to order the 737 with the latest technological improvements, including Blended Winglets and engine enhancements, as part of our long-standing strategy to have the most fuel-efficient airplanes needed by our customers."
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MBDA has been awarded a £177 million (€224 million) contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to maintain the Royal Navy's Seawolf air defence system. The SWISS (Seawolf In Service Support) contract, alongside a complementary contract awarded by the MoD to BAE Systems, will sustain the capability of the Seawolf system and ensure its readiness and availability for deployment with the Type 22 and Type 23 frigates over the next 10 years. The SWISS initiative, a project first launched in 2005 by the MoD's Maritime Gunnery and Missile Systems (now renamed Short Range Air Defence) Integrated Project Team, has developed the best value for money option to provide support for Seawolf on an availability basis. Bids from both MBDA and BAE Systems have been subject to rigorous scrutiny by the MoD to meet the required readiness and availability levels at best value for money and within the affordability targets set. The resulting contracts will enable a much more effective in-service support service whilst allowing the MoD to benefit from efficiency cost savings.  The 9 1/2 year SWISS contracts include joint incentives for MBDA and BAE Systems to meet the availability requirements and to look for continuous improvement and on-going economies.
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Boeing and partners in industry and government achieved significant reductions in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions during a recent deployment of an innovative Air Traffic Management (ATM) concept called Tailored Arrivals. From Dec. 4, 2007 to March 23, 2008, United Airlines, Air New Zealand and Japan Airlines completed 57 flights into San Francisco International Airport that utilized a continuous descent rather than a series of level segments as now required. The Tailored Arrivals approach reduced fuel consumption during descents by up to 39 percent, depending on airplane type, and total carbon emissions by more than 500,000 pounds. "Concepts like Tailored Arrivals potentially can be deployed quickly and at relatively low cost because the technology is in place today," said Kevin Brown, Boeing vice president and general manager of Air Traffic Management. "As more airlines and airports use it, we move closer toward realizing the benefits expected from the Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)." Tailored Arrivals enable aircraft to fully utilize air-to-ground data link technology to descend into an airport with minimal direct air traffic control (ATC) intervention. The project relied on key technologies supplied by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and by NASA. The FAA's Ocean 21 system delivers data to and streamlines communications between flight crews and air traffic controllers. NASA's En-route Descent Adviser (EDA) computes fuel-efficient descent solutions.
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General Electric Company and Snecma (SAFRAN Group), parent companies of CFM International, have signed an agreement that extends the 50/50 partnership to the year 2040. With this extension, the two parent companies are strongly positioning CFM for continued long-term success in developing the next-generation engine. With the new LEAP-X engine, CFM is introducing revolutionary technologies with the goal of achieving up to a 16 percent reduction in fuel burn compared to the current Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft families by 2016. In addition, the agreement also provides for integrated services offerings for these future engines. "Our industry is in the midst of perhaps the most challenging times we have ever faced," said Jean-Paul Herteman, CEO of SAFRAN Group. "In the early 1970s, the GE/Snecma partnership brought the benefits of high bypass turbofan technology to reduce fuel burn by 20 percent compared to the low-bypass engines they replaced, while introducing a new standard in reliability. We are now in a position to bring that same magnitude of improvement to the industry for the next 30 years."
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A remotely piloted aircraft carrying a NASA sensor flew over much of California earlier this week, gathering information that will be used to help fight more than 300 wildfires burning within the state. The flights by NASA's unmanned Ikhana aircraft are using a sophisticated Autonomous Modular Scanner developed at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. The flights are originating from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Ikhana's onboard sensor can detect temperature differences from less than one-half degree to approximately 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The scanner operates like a digital camera with specialized filters to detect light energy at visible, infrared and thermal wavelengths. NASA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service have partnered to obtain imagery of the wildfires in response to requests from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and the National Interagency Fire Center.
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Bombardier Aerospace welcomes the recent announcement that Nord-Flyg of Eskilstuna, Sweden has launched a Q400 PF (Package Freighter) program with two previously owned aircraft which will be re-configured by Cascade Aerospace of Abbotsford, British Columbia. Nord-Flyg said it had also signed a Letter of Intent to acquire three additional Q400 PF aircraft from a third party. The first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered to Nord-Flyg in the last quarter of 2008 for its overnight package delivery services in Europe. "The Q400 PF aircraft will fill a gap because there is no other turboprop in the freight business that offers a 360-knot (667 km/h) speed and can comfortably fly more than the 700 nautical miles (1,296 km) required for our operations" said Ulf Darenius, President, Nord-Flyg. "Based on current fuel prices, the Q400 PF aircraft will save us approximately US $1.8 million based on an annual utilization of 1,200 hours, compared to a jet of similar size. Air Navigation and weight-related charges are also anticipated to be 30 per cent less than those faced by the jet."
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SES ASTRA, an SES company announced that it awarded the construction of a new satellite, ASTRA 1N, to the European satellite manufacturer Astrium. The spacecraft is scheduled for launch in 2011 and will be positioned at ASTRA's prime orbital position 19.2 degrees East. It will mainly serve the German, French and Spanish markets, and provide customers with continuous operating and back-up satellite capacity at this key location. ASTRA 1N will have 55 transponders with pan-European coverage, and will operate in the Ku frequency band. Its expected lifetime is 15 years. ASTRA 1N will be built on a Eurostar E3000 platform, the latest version of Astrium's Eurostar series which has proven to be highly reliable in commercial service. 11 Eurostar E3000 are currently in operation in orbit, and 13 more have been ordered. After ASTRA 2B, 1M and 3B, ASTRA 1N is the fourth ASTRA satellite to be built by Astrium. SES ASTRA currently operates five satellites at 19.2 degrees East (ASTRA 1F, 1G, 1H, 1KR and 1L), operating the 120 Ku-band frequencies which are available at this orbital position. ASTRA 1KR and ASTRA 1L were launched in the last two years. ASTRA 1M is scheduled for launch during the fourth quarter of this year. With the arrival of ASTRA 1N, SES ASTRA will continue to operate all 120 frequencies and transponders at 19.2 degrees East on four satellites (ASTRA 1KR, 1L, 1M, 1N), while offering inter-satellite back up capacity. ASTRA 1N will initially replace ASTRA 1G, which will become available for use at other orbital positions within the fleet.
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Top leaders from aerospace companies in the United States and Europe agreed to close collaboration on ethical business practices as well as efforts to improve aviation's impact on the environment after meeting at the Farnborough International Airshow on Tuesday. The CEOs of some of the largest and most influential aerospace companies on both sides of the Atlantic also discussed efforts to improve the export control systems during the face-to-face meeting. The leaders agreed to use the separate business ethics regimes in place in the U.S. and Europe as a starting point for efforts to exchange good practices internationally. The two sides agreed to hold an international forum on business conduct each year to mark progress and plan strategy. The two sides reiterated their commitment to improve upon their excellent record of environmental stewardship within the industry worldwide. Building on cooperation through international bodies working on the issue of reducing carbon emissions, they agreed to organize an environmental summit in Paris this fall to coincide with an annual European industry conference. The two sides also concurred that aerospace, as a truly global industry, should support open and fair markets, and work together to achieve that goal.
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Embraer and Saudi Arabia's National Air Services (NAS) Aviation confirm options on five more EMBRAER 190 jets. The original contract, covering five firm orders and five options, was announced in November 2007, during the Dubai Airshow. The total value of the new agreement, at list price, is US$ 187.5 million, and the airline also retains purchase rights for 12 more aircraft of the same model. This deal isalready included in Embraer's 2008 second quarter firm order backlog as "undisclosed". "We are honored by the confidence NAS Aviation has placed in Embraer by choosing the EMBRAER 190, once again, to complement its narrowbody fleet," said Mauro Kern, Embraer Executive Vice President, Airline Market. "NAS's choice is especially important to us, since it will further strengthen our presence in such an outstanding region as the Middle East."
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The first group of student pilots has begun flight training as a part of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Basic Wings Course (BWC). Lockheed Martin was awarded a 20-year contract by the Singapore Defence Science and Technology Agency to support BWC in November 2006. As training system integrator, Lockheed Martin provides aircraft, maintenance, simulators, courseware and ground-based instructors to the RSAF's 130 Squadron at Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce, north of Perth in Western Australia. RSAF pilots use the Pilatus PC-21 turboprop to provide flight instruction to students. "The commencement of training is a major milestone in this exciting program," said Dale Bennett, president of Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support. "Working with the RSAF, we are delivering a training system that meets their needs today and has the capabilities to expand in the future."
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GE Aviation has launched a new engine core program, called "eCore," as the technology cornerstone for a new generation of jet engines for narrow-body, regional, and business jets. The program is designed to outpace competitive engine designs by offering aircraft operators up to 16 percent better fuel efficiency over GE's best engines in operation today. GE already produces some of the world's most fuel-efficient jet engines. For example, Boeing 777s powered by the GE90-115B are the most fuel-efficient, long-range aircraft in production. The GEnx-powered Boeing 787 will achieve even greater levels. Building on this experience, "eCore" raises the bar further for all future aircraft with 200 passengers and fewer. The fuel-efficiency targets for eCore exceed competitive engine offers being announced for new-generation commercial aircraft. "eCore is also the foundation for new regional and business jet engines now being designed by thousands of GE engineers," said David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation. "Using eCore as the basis, GE is developing and maturing technologies for new regional and business jets for a time frame of 2015 and beyond." The engine "core" – comprised of the compressor, combustor, high-pressure turbine – is the heart of any jet engine. It's where air is compressed and mixed with fuel to drive turbines, and create thrust. To this core, the fan system is attached to complete a jet engine.
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