24.12.2007
FLUG REVUE

2007-12-23 - News in BriefNews in Brief

KURZMELDUNGEN<br /> +++<br /> On Friday evening, December 21, Arianespace boosted two communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO): RASCOM-QAF1, built by Thales Alenia Space for pan-African operator RASCOMSTAR-QAF, and Horizons-2, built by Orbital Sciences Corporation for the operator Horizons 2 Satellite LLC, a joint venture of Intelsat and JSAT.

The latest successful launch of an Ariane 5, its sixth in 2007, confirms that Arianespace's launch Service & Solutions continues to set the standard for all telecom operators worldwide. Arianespace is particularly proud of launching the first pan-African satellite, RASCOM-QAF1. Operator RASCOMSTAR-QAF will use this satellite to offer a broad array of dedicated communications services to all of Africa, on behalf of the inter-governmental organization RASCOM, grouping 46 African countries. The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 GS launcher from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Friday, December 21, at 6:42 pm local time in Kourou (21:42 UT, 10:42 pm in Paris, 4:42 pm in Washington, DC, and on Saturday, December 22 at 6:42 am in Tokyo).
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The airline insurance market looks set to make its first loss since 2000, according to preliminary data collected by the Aviation & Aerospace division of Aon Corporation. With more than 85% of the year's activity now completed, forecasts suggest that the total hull and liability premium in the market will be approximately $1.46 billion for the whole of 2007, but the level of losses will mean that claims will be at least $1.53 billion. Despite aviation being a catastrophe market, the high level of claims is the result of a fairly consistent level of losses throughout 2007, rather than a single major loss. This has come after a number of years where the frequency of claims has been relatively low globally, a factor that has attracted a great deal of insurance capacity to the airline markets as global underwriters have looked to diversify their portfolios. As a result of the imbalance between premium and claims, Aon expects there to be additional focus on airline insurance portfolios within the market during 2008. There is unlikely to be a rapid reduction in underwriting capacity as a result of one poor year, but if the trend extends into a second year, it may become a significantly tougher market in 2009.
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Rockwell Collins announced that it has completed the purchase of the SKYLink broadband terminal product line from ARINC. Rockwell Collins will sell and support the product line to large business jets under the eXchange brand, and ARINC will continue to provide the SKYLink Ku-band satellite service. ViaSat Inc. developed the SKYLink broadband terminal based on its ArcLight spread spectrum technology and will continue to manufacture the broadband terminal hardware and provide gateway and network operations services to ARINC. "Through the conclusion of this purchase, Rockwell Collins will be able to offer passengers true broadband connectivity at the lowest service price available for high speed data," said Tommy Dodson, vice president and general manager, Cabin Systems for Rockwell Collins. "We look forward to providing customers around the world with similar connectivity in the sky to what they experience on the ground."
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The Spain's Interior Ministry has ordered two EADS CASA CN-235 aircraft in Maritime Patrol version that will be operated by the "Servicio Aéreo de la Guardia Civil." These are the first fix-wing aircraft in service with these forces, which already have a fleet of helicopters in their inventory. One aircraft will be based in the Canary Islands and the other one in the south of the Spanish Peninsula and will be performing missions against drug trafficking, illegal immigration, border patrol missions, maritime search and rescue, etc.
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Lufthansa is continuing to extend its route network to growth markets in Africa. On 1 April 2008, following the introduction of the summer timetable, a new service will be launched between Frankfurt and the Angolan capital, Luanda. The non-stop route will be operated once a week by an Airbus 340-300 with 221 seats. "With this new service in our timetable we count already 15 destinations in Africa," says Dr. Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, Lufthansa's Senior Vice President Hub Management Frankfurt. "The non-stop connection to Angola will provide much better connectivity to this region, which is of key importance for the petroleum and raw materials industry".
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The U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems have tested new propulsion technologies for strategic missiles at Naval Air Weapons Center China Lake, Calif. A static test fire was conducted of the Third-Stage Application Program-3 (TSAP-3) motor, a modified Trident II D5 motor that incorporates cost-saving technologies. Under the Strategic Missile Technologies contract for U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs, prime contractor Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company led the development of theTSAP-3 motor, with ATK as the propulsion provider. The advanced technology motorincorporates new components and materials that enhance efficiency in the production and operation of strategic-sized booster motors powered by high-performance class 1.1 solid fuel. The motor features a new low-cost, low-erosion ceramic rocket nozzle throat, a new low-cost, high-performance propellant, and a lighter weight motor case and insulator to increase missile range. "The Navy's Strategic Systems Programs organization never rests in seeking to improve upon an already excellent record of efficient, cost-effective performance," said Joe Woo, Strategic Missile Technologies program manager, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "This test supports our customer by showing the potential of new technologies to increase motor performance while reducing cost."
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ATG, with the help from a Wall Street banking institution, has been seeking funding to continue its Javelin high performance business jet and military trainer for the past 12 months. Due to circumstances beyond ATG's control, it is unlikely that adequate funding can be secured in a timely manner.  ATG has therefore decided to halt development of the Javelin at this time.  Further action will be decided upon after proper communication with our strategic business partner.
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United Industrial Corporation announced that its AAI Corporation subsidiary has received an order from the U.S. Army for production of 14 additional Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS). The value of the not-to-exceed contract is $153.4 million and includes immediate funding of $75.2 million. Worldwide, Shadow systems have flown more than 61,000 missions in excess of 259,000 flight hours – more than 90 percent in support of U.S. and allied operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
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GuestLogix, the leading provider of on-board retail technology and solutions to the airline industry, today announced that Germany's leading no-frills airline, Germanwings of Cologne/Bonn Germany, will be using GuestLogix' Mobile Virtual Store to process on-board cash, credit and debit card purchases on flights to over 66 destinations in Europe. The deal was secured by GuestLogix' global business partner LSG Sky Chefs. "No frills operators have been the first to recognize the strategic value of on-board retailing to their overall flight operations and hence today lead the airline industry in non-ticket revenue innovation," said Tom Douramakos, President & CEO, GuestLogix. "We are pleased to be on-board with Germanwings to maximize their revenue and profitability opportunities." According to the ARAC Conference 2007 held recently in Frankfurt, Germany, Europe's top four low cost carriers generated US $593 million from non-ticked sales, with an increasing contribution year-over-year from in-flight sales. The list of players includes Ryanair, easyJet, TUIfly, Germanwings and SkyEurope, many of whom are implementing GuestLogix' solution.
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Alain Leroy, Head of Product Department, handed over the type-certificate to Hélicoptères Guimbal for the "Cabri G2" and the associated Design Organisation Approval (DOA) on Saturday, 15 December 2007. The "Cabri G2" is the first Part-27 piston engine helicopter certified in Europe since decades. In order to meet the Agency's demanding certification requirements, Hélicoptères Guimbal performed 300 flight test hours and many ground tests, over a period of two and a half years. At the same time, a comprehensive assessment of the organisation has been done, allowing the issue of a DOA, which is required for this kind of type-certification.
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The second E-2D Advanced Hawkeye development aircraft, known as Delta Two, built for the U.S. Navy by prime contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation, completed its first flight in just over two hours from the company's Florida manufacturing and flight test center Nov. 29 followed by a second flight Dec. 4. "The first flight of our second development aircraft signals another major program performance milestone for the E-2 program and for Team Hawkeye. It's clear by our consistent team effort that we're focused on delivering to the Navy its arsenal of 21st century network-centric warfare and battle management capabilities when we said we would," said Tom Vice, vice president of Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control Programs - Navy for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. Piloting the test aircraft was Mike Holton, an 18-year Northrop Grumman experimental test pilot veteran with 25 years of E-2 test pilot experience. Co-piloting Delta Two was 21-year veteran and the Airborne Early Warnings program's Chief Test Pilot Les Ryan, who has tested E-2s for over 26 years. Joining them in the flight was Wyle Weapon System Operator Ray Collazo, an experimental test weapon system expert with 17 years of test experience. All three are Naval Academy graduates and flew with Navy E-2 squadrons during their military careers. Collazo and Holton flew together in VAW-112 and Ryan flew for VAW-114.
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The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Switzerland of the F/A-18C/D Upgrade 25 Program as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $535 million. The Government of Switzerland has requested a possible sale of "Upgrade 25 Program" equipment to enhance survivability and communications connectivity and to extend the useful life of 33 Swiss Air Force (SAF) F/A-18C/D aircraft. This phase of the F/A-18C/D "Upgrade 25 Program" will include: (20) AN/ASQ-228A(V) Advanced Tactical Forward Looking Infrared Radar (ATFLIR) Pods; (44) AN/ALR-67(V)3 Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Receiving Sets. The proposed sale also includes improvements to the cockpit display systems, image, capture, handling, transmit, and receipt capability, Global Positioning System (GPS), and voice/data/video recording. Aircraft modifications will include integration of the AN/AAQ-228 LITENING Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Pod. Operational support for these modifications will be provided through upgrades to the mission data system through the purchase of the Joint Mission Planning System. Also included: engineering change proposals, system integration and testing, software development, integration, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical data, personnel training and equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering support services, and other related elements of logistics and program management support. The estimated cost is $535 million.
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The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of T-6B Texan aircraft as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $200 million. The Government of Morocco has requested a possible sale of 24 T-6B Texan aircraft, Global Positioning System (GPS) with CMA-4124 GNSSA card and Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation System (INS) spares, ferry maintenance, tanker support, aircraft ferry services, site survey, unit level trainer, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $200 million.
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The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco of F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $2.4 billion. Associated support equipment, software development/integration, tanker support, ferry services, CAD/PAD, repair and return, modification kits, spares and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $2.4 billion.
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CAE has signed contracts to design and manufacture eight full-flight simulators (FFSs) and associated CAE SimfinityTM training devices. The contracts with Continental, US Airways, Etihad, Air Algerie and Alteon Training have a total list price value of more than C$126 million and bring the total FFS sales that CAE has announced so far in fiscal 2008 to 29.
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A GBP62 million contract with Boeing to convert eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters to a support helicopter role was announced by the UK MoD. Des Browne, Secretary of State for Defence, said:
"Helicopters play a vital role in supporting our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is why we are taking measures to make more helicopters available to operations as quickly as possible." These helicopters will deliver a significant boost to the UK's operational heavy lift helicopter fleet. Chinooks are a key battle winning capability. The first helicopters are expected to be operational in 2009.
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NASA has awarded a contract to Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, Calif., for two satellites that will replenish the NASA communication relay network that provides telecommunications links between low Earth orbiting spacecraft and the ground. Boeing will design, develop, fabricate, integrate, test, ship, provide launch support, conduct in-orbit checkout operations and provide sustaining engineering support for the new Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, known as TDRS-K and TDRS-L. Boeing also will design, assemble, test, install and verify modifications that are necessary to make the ground terminals at NASA's White Sands Complex in New Mexico fully compatible with the new TDRS-K and -L spacecraft design. This is a fixed price incentive fee contract with a basic period of performance beginning in December 2007 and extending through April 2025, if options are exercised. The contract includes options for two additional spacecraft, TDRS-M and -N. The maximum target value for this contract is $1,224,102,439.
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Boeing and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) intended to bring more than US$1 billion of new aerospace manufacturing work to India. The agreement, signed in New Delhi by Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and Ashok K. Baweja, chairman of HAL, also includes sharing key Boeing business and manufacturing tools with HAL. Under the agreement, Boeing and HAL will explore business opportunities aimed at transferring work packages to India with an initial value of US$10-$20 million annually, increasing in size and complexity as business opportunities develop. Boeing also will support HAL in developing manufacturing processes and capabilities needed for the production of hardware for Boeing and/or its subcontractors. Boeing also will support the training and transfer of Boeing best practices for Lean principles and Supplier and Program Management to the extent allowed by U. S. government and Boeing Corporate policy. Initial training in Lean began in 2006 and will continue through 2008.
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Boeing and Qantas Airways announced a final agreement for the order of 31 Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 jetliners. The order is valued at US$2.3 billion at Boeing list prices. This is the largest single 737 order placed by Qantas for the Next-Generation 737. The airline previously ordered 38 737-800s in increments over the past six years. The order brings the airline's order total with Boeing to 51 airplanes during 2007, including an order posted last month in which Qantas contracted for 20 787-9 Dreamliners, which the airline initially announced in July.
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The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract valued at $849 million for fiscal year 2008 production and deployed system support for the Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) program. Work under the contract includes D5 production support, including reentry system hardware, and operations and maintenance to support the readiness and reliability of missile systems deployed aboard FBM submarines and at on-shore facilities. The contract also continues D5 Life Extension development work. Deliveries under the original D5 contract, which called for production of 425 missiles, began in 1989 and concluded in 2007. D5 Life Extension missile deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2011, with a minimum of 108 additional missiles being delivered by 2017. The D5 Life Extension program will support the service life of the Navy's Trident II Ohio-class submarines, which has been extended to 2042.
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Boeing announced that it has formed a new Intelligence and Security Systems (I&SS) division that will provide ground-based and other integrated intelligence and security solutions for a variety of U.S. government customers. Steve Oswald, a retired U.S. Naval Reserve rear admiral and former astronaut, was named vice president and general manager of the new I&SS division, reporting to Roger Krone, president of the Network and Space Systems business of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. Oswald brings to the assignment extensive experience in national security and the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) field. I&SS will be based in the Washington, D.C. area. I&SS has a workforce of approximately 2,000 people at nine locations nationwide and will be comprised of four program areas: Advanced Information Systems, Mission Systems, Security Solutions, which includes SBInet, and Advanced I&SS.
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Eurocopter is pleased to deliver the first 2 EC 225s in China to the Ministry of Communications (MOC) in Zhuhai on the 18th December 07, in the presence of Captain Jiahui SONG, Director General of the Rescue and Salvage Bureau (MOC) and Mr. Philippe Harache, Senior Executive Vice-President of Eurocopter. This handing-over ceremony marks an on-time delivery and is proof of Eurocopter's commitment to its customers worldwide.
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AgustaWestland announced that the Netherlands Police Agency has signed a contract for two AW139 medium twin turbine engine helicopters. These two helicopters will be used by the Dutch Police KLPD (Korps landelijke politiediensten) for law enforcement and homeland security purposes.
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Debut at MTU Aero Engines: Germany's leading engine manufacturer is the first company worldwide to repair a component by patching, hand it over to the customer and obtain EASA approval for the innovative repair technique. In December, a repaired blisk from a low-pressure turbine of the Eurofighter's EJ200 engine was delivered to the National Quality Assurance Office for aviation equipment. The blisk needed repairing on account of foreign object damage to two engine blades. Earlier, MTU had been commissioned by the German Air Force to develop a repair solution for such cases. The new technique, dubbed patching, provides for cutting off the damaged portion of the blade and in its stead joining a replacement, the "patch", to the blade using a welding process that had specifically been developed for the purpose. The final step of the repair is adaptive milling to restore the engine blade to its original contour. "This again witnesses our repair expertise," explained Dr. Rainer Martens, MTU senior vice president and COO. "We're the first company able to perform and offer this blisk repair technique on a production basis." In high-tech repairs, MTU has for decades been setting the pace worldwide, venturing to successfully repair worn parts where others would have long resorted to replacement parts.
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Ryanair announced new routes from 7 British Airports, Birmingham, Durham Tees Valley, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newquay as part of its biggest ever European expansion which sees 50 new European routes in 2008, including 3 new airports, Angouleme (France), Arad and Constanta (Romania). This brings Ryanair's network to over 600 routes for summer 2008. Announcing this expansion, Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary said: "Next year almost 60 million passengers will enjoy Ryanair's guaranteed lowest fares across Europe. Passengers at 15 of our European bases are already set to benefit from this expansion, with a total of 50 new routes already announced for 2008. We look forward in 2008 to guaranteeing the lowest fares for even more European consumers as they save €6bn with Ryanair compared to the high fares and fuel surcharges levied by Europe's flag carriers.
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Two Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration aircraft were recently transferred from the U.S. Air Force to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. Initial research activities beginning in 2009 will support NASA's Airborne Science Program. The ability of the unmanned Global Hawk aircraft to autonomously fly long distances and remain aloft for extended periods brings a new capability to the science community for measuring, monitoring and observing remote locations of the Earth. The two Global Hawks were the first and sixth aircraft built under the original development program sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and were made available to NASA when the Air Force had no further need for them.
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Vietnam Airlines has signed a contract for 10 A350-900 XWBs, as well as for 10 additional A321s. This announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the aircraft on 1st October 2007 in the presence of Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Vietnam during his state visit to France. An additional ten A321s covered under the MOU have now been confirmed as firm orders for the new Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company, in which Vietnam Airlines is a major shareholder. The respective contracts were signed in Hanoi today by Mr Pham Ngoc Minh, Chief Executive Officer of Vietnam Airlines, and Mr Tran Long, Chief Executive Officer of Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company, with John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers.
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China Eastern Airlines has selected Rockwell Collins dPAVES in-flight entertainment system for six new Boeing 737-800, and 30 A320 aircraft. This selection marks the debut of Rockwell Collins' dPAVES on Boeing aircraft. The first hardware deliveries will be made in 2008 and continue through 2010. dPAVES, which was introduced in September 2006, is the digital version of Rockwell Collins' PAVES programmable audio video entertainment system. "With dPAVES, we equip airlines to take their IFE products to the next level. The digital enhancement of our widely regarded PAVES system offers solutions tailored to the diverse needs of today's single aisle IFE products," said Tommy Dodson, vice president and general manager, Cabin Systems for Rockwell Collins. "Reductions in size, weight and power, coupled with one of the most reliable systems in the industry, ensure lower lifecycle costs and more operational benefits than existing analog systems."
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A U.S. Air Force modernized Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR-M) satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, was launched successfully on 20 December from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II launch vehicle. Designated GPS IIR-18M, the satellite is the fifth in a series of eight Block IIR-M spacecraft that Lockheed Martin Navigation Systems has modernized for its customer, the Global Positioning Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The Block IIR-M series includes new features that enhance operations and navigation signal performance for military and civilian GPS users around the globe. Representing the second successful GPS IIR-M mission in just two months, the satellite launched today joins four IIR-M satellites and 12 other operational Block IIR satellites within the current 30-spacecraft constellation. Each IIR-M satellite includes a modernized antenna panel that provides increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal that will provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.
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Tests have been performed successfully on the first-stage propulsion system for the Angara launch vehicle configured with a flight hydraulic system and steering actuators. Khrunichev Space Center is developing the Angara launch vehicle family, a new generation of environmentally clean vehicles, based on a core booster module with liquid oxygen/kerosene propulsion. NPO Energomash is developing the state-of-the art single-chamber RD-191 engine for Angara's first stage. During the tests, conducted at the Energomash Glushko facility, engineers tested the steering drive and plumbing in near-flight conditions. The next propulsion system test is scheduled in about a week and will include sine tests of the steering actuators. Angara flight tests are scheduled for 2011. By that time standard systems, including launch pads, will be in place for the entire family of Angara boosters. The Russian Federation government signed a decree on Aug. 26, 1995, to create the Angara rocket system. Implementation of the Angara project will enable Russia to launch all types of spacecraft from its own territory and secure independent access to space. This will make Angara all the more indispensable for Russia's space programs.  
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The US Naval Air Systems Command issued an Air Frame Bulletin today announcing the grounding of 39 P-3C Orion aircraft due to structural fatigue concerns. The concerns are the result of continuing P-3 fatigue life analysis and validation by physical findings. Program officials determined that these aircraft are beyond known structural limits on the lower section of the P-3 wing. Analysis and corrective measures are expected to take between 18 to 24 months per aircraft to complete. The Navy has a total of 161 P-3C aircraft in its inventory. Of the 39 aircraft being grounded, ten are currently deployed. A plan is being developed to address operational impacts.  
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Saab has developed and, in an advanced test, launched three hypersonic missiles to demonstrate how these can be designed for controlled flight at extreme speeds. Saab Bofors Dynamics has developed an experimental missile, in a technology program financed by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV). The missile, three of which were built, has now been test launched at a maximum velocity exceeding Mach 5.5, corresponding to 6500 km/h. The test was successful, and Saab thereby becomes the first to demonstrate that it is possible to manoeuvre a missile at hypersonic speed. Moreover, the test successfully shows how a missile can be designed regarding materials, aerodynamics and guidance systems to enable controlled flight at hypersonic speeds.
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Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa Technik signed the wide-ranging cooperation agreement in Vienna, thus setting the seal on their long-term collaboration. The key issues to be covered by an operational and strategic alliance between Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa Technik were set out in a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2007 and subsequently fixed in a term sheet in July 2007. The cooperation agreement should lead to improved utilization and efficiency in the maintenance and workshop areas. Lufthansa Technik will ensure that utilization is maintained at a high level in the C check, maintenance and aircraft components areas at Austrian Airlines. This will allow Lufthansa Technik to expand its offerings in Europe, especially as regards base maintenance services for the Boeing 777. The aim of this deeper cooperative arrangement is to enable Austrian Airlines to successful reduce its overall engineering costs by about EUR 15 million per year starting in 2009 and thus to safeguard the long-term future of Austrian Airlines' engineering operations in Vienna.
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The first H-92 helicopter to feature fly-by-wire technology has completed its first successful flight, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced The historic first flight took place on Dec. 20 at 9 a.m. from the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. The new fly-by-wire technology is designed to significantly improve aircraft maneuverability, safety and effectiveness. Sikorsky currently has two development programs which will feature the FBW technology, the X-2 Technology demonstrator, and the newest model of the BLACK HAWK helicopter, the UH-60M. "This successful flight of the first H-92 helicopter to feature state-of-the-art fly-by-wire technology ushers in a new era for the H-92 product line," said Stephen B. Estill, Sikorsky vice president & chief marketing officer. "This aircraft was the first of a new generation of helicopters designed to new and more demanding standards for safety and reliability, and with fly-by-wire, it sets course for the path ahead and the next phase of flight testing in 2008."
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Embraer has received confirmation from U.S.-based Republic Airways Holdings of 11 options for the EMBRAER 175 jet. The aircraft will be operated by its subsidiary Shuttle America and will fly under the Delta Connection brand name. First delivery is scheduled for July 2008. The value of the deal, at list price, is US$ 341 million, based on January 2007 economic conditions. "We are honored, once again, to be a part of the further expansion of Republic's fleet," said Mauro Kern, Embraer's Executive Vice President, Airline Market. "This additional order from our largest customer confirms that our approach for the E-Jets family in offering the right aircraft size for different airline applications meets market demands."
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NASA announced that the next mission in the Mars Scout program, originally planned for launch in 2011, is now targeted for launch in 2013. The schedule slip is because of an organizational conflict of interest that was discovered in one of the mission proposal team's Phase A Concept Study. This was the shortest delay for the mission possible because opportunities to send spacecraft to Mars occur only once every 26 months. NASA will fund current proposals to meet a new launch date in 2013. Revised proposals will be due in August 2008, and the evaluation and selection will take place in December 2008.
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NASA has signed a $465.7 million contract modification with Lockheed Martin, New Orleans, for space shuttle external tanks. The modification aligns and extends all activities associated with the production contract for the tanks to the launch schedule for the space shuttle's retirement date of 2010. The modification supports the agency's priorities of safely flying the space shuttle, completing construction of the International Space Station and NASA's long-term plan to return astronauts to the moon and beyond. The cost plus award fee/incentive fee contract will conclude Sept. 30, 2010, and brings the total value of the contract, awarded October 2000, to $2.94 billion. The contract calls for the delivery of 17 external tanks to NASA. Work under the contract will be performed at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. and NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
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Cessna delivered the 8,000th single-engine piston aircraft since resuming production in Independence, Kan., some 10 years ago. The customer for the 8,000th aircraft was the U.S. Civil Air Patrol (CAP), Cessna's largest and one of the company's oldest customers. "The significance of this milestone delivery is to mark the successful partnership between Cessna, the Civil Air Patrol, and our friends at Yingling Aviation who incorporate special modifications to the Garmin avionics required for the CAP mission," said Roger Whyte, Cessna senior vice president, Sales & Marketing. Cessna produces the Skyhawk, Skylane, Stationair and Citation Mustang at its facility in Independence, located southeast of the company's headquarters in Wichita. The Independence facility was built when Cessna reentered the single-engine piston aircraft market following a 10-year absence. The first Independence-made SEP was delivered in 1996.
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Boeing announced that the U.S. Air Force has exercised an option for a sixth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite and has authorized Boeing to begin construction. The Commonwealth of Australia is funding the procurement as part of a cooperative agreement between the U.S. and Australian governments. The satellite is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2012. "This is a unique, win-win arrangement between the Australian and U.S. governments, and Boeing is honored to support it," said Howard Chambers, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "A sixth WGS satellite adds to the system's overall capacity and flexibility and will benefit both U.S. armed forces and our allies."

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