The United States navy has just awarded a contract to Bell Helicopter worth north of $170 million dollars for the manufacture and delivery of nine AH-1Z aircraft along with nine auxiliary fuel kits to Pakistan. The US Department of Defense released a statement that the combat helicopters are expected to be manufactured and delivered to Pakistan under the Foreign Military Sales Program. September of 2018 is the expected date for the competing of this contract.

In another statement issued by the Defense Department, the Naval Air System Command, Patuxent River, Maryland is recognized as the contracting activity for Pakistan with more than $170 million dollars of foreign military sales funds obligated at the time of award while none of it is assured to expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The US Department of State has already approved the possible sale of 15 AH-1Z Vipers to Pakistan back in April of 2015. The AH-1Zs came with Hellfire missiles and support with an expected worth up to $925 million dollars.

The contract included the costs for the manufacture and delivery of 19 Lot 12 AH-1Zs, 15 Lot 12 UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters, 21 auxiliary fuel kits and one Lot 13 UH-1Y for the Pakistan government. Following that approval, the US government has approved the sale of up to eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan by Lockheed Martin Corp. The approval which came in February of this year includes radar and other equipment with a valuation of nearly $700 million dollars. The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine combat chopper based on a previous SuperCobra model that was developed for the US Marine Corps and boasts a top speed of 420 kilometres per hour and an impressive range of 610 kilometres.

The Pentagon Defense Security Cooperation Agency which oversees foreign arm sales has stated that the F-16s would bolster Pakistan’s Air Forces’ ability to conduct counter-insurgency/terrorism operations while allowing it to operate at night and in all-weather environments. Lawmakers have been notified about the US Government’s approval for the sale of these AH-1Zs.

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Sydney J. Freeberg Jr. released an article on Breaking Defense discussing how the marines are pushing to have Jammers available on every plane. Due to the surge in high tech threats from China and Russia, the Marine Corps are making a huge effort in order to allocate forces specifically for the role of jamming, deceiving, and hacking enemies.

Jammers are also known as electronic countermeasures. This is essentially an electronic device that is used in order to deceive tracking and detection systems such as radar and sonar devices. This also includes electronics devices such as infrared and lasers.

According to Freeberg, this includes attaching new jammers and sensors in all different types of armory. This includes drones, KC-130 transports, ground units, and tiltrotors. Not only this, but the Marine Corps plan to add an additional 1,000 to 3,000 more personnel from other departments of the Marine Corps. There are only 182,000 active duty troops that the Marine Corps has availability to use. In addition, the Marine Corps will be combining different disciplines into one, under the Information Warfare. This includes electronic warfare, offensive cyber warfare, psychological operations, and military deception. All of these will be done despite the very tight budget the Marine Corps has access to.

The US Army seems to be getting left behind they left electronic warfare capabilities in the 1990s whereas the Marine Corps decided to keep in that field. Here’s what Col. Jeffery Church, the director of EW on the Army’s Pentagon staff, has to say.

They’re ahead of us because the Marine Corps never got out of the electronic warfare business. So why doesn’t the Army just buy Marine Corps EW gear? There’s tremendous institutional inertia in the way.

Church then goes on and talks about the little differences in the two.

We always go back to this one, ‘well, their requirements are different from our requirements. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The spectrum works the same for the Marines as it does for the Army. The adversary’s capabilities are no different for the Marines than they are for the Army.

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The United States Air Force has recently awarded Northrop Grumman, the American global defense and aerospace technology company, a $30.3 million modification contract in order to have eight Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) modified from Block 30 I into Block M variants. Under this contract, experts at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems division in San Diego, California will be upgrading and modernizing eight RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk long-range surveillance UAVs into the Global Hawk Block M versions.

The Global Hawk aircraft is a long-range, high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle which is capable of offering close to real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) over vast areas. The Block 30 Global Hawk is equipped with complex and sophisticated electronic and imaging signals sensors for missions which can last up to 32 hours.

Officials at Northrop Grumman have stated that the Block 30M Global Hawk is designed to accommodate Northrop Grumman’s Airborne Signals Intelligence Payloads (ASIP) as well as Raytheon’s Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite (EISS) for gathering of intelligence and situational awareness spanning across large areas of land. With its ISR capabilities, the Block 30 Global Hawk is intended to augment or replace the Air Force’s current-serving U-2 high-altitude manned reconnaissance aircraft.

Raytheon’s EISS allows the Global Hawk to scan over large geographic regions with high quality imagery that can identify and distinguish a variety of types of people, vehicles, aircraft, and missiles, no matter the weather, day or night. The EISS offers reconnaissance imagery through the use of a high-resolution elector-optical (EO) digital camera, an all-weather aperture radar/moving target indicator (SAR/MTI), as well as a third-generation infrared (IR) sensor, all of which operate through a common signal processor. This enables the EISS to position information and transmit imagery from altitudes up to 60,000 feet with close to real-time speed with radar detection capabilities as well as night vision capabilities.

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Pegasus Airlines, the Turkish low-cost airline headquartered near the Kurtköy region of Pendik, Istanbul, has recently finalized an order with the Boeing Company for five Next-Generation 737-800 aircrafts. These five airplanes are estimated to be valued at around $505 million, based upon anticipated list prices during the scheduled delivery time frame.

Pegasus Airlines, alongside its subsidiaries Izair and Air Manas, currently operates an aircraft fleet consisting of 69 total aircraft, 58 of which are Boeing 737-800s. The airline carrier operates an extensive network of regional and domestic services, as the company is based out of Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport.

The performance of the 737-800 has proven reliability, fantastic operating economics and popularity with our customers.
said the CEO of Pegasus Airlines, Mehmet Nane.
I am pleased that we will be continuing with this long-standing relationship that stretches back 20 years, adding more Boeing airplanes to our fleet. The 737-800 continues to be the best selling version of the very successful Next-Generation 737 family, accumulating over 7,000 orders worldwide.
said the vice president of European sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Monty Oliver.
We are proud that Pegasus has again selected Boeing to meet its fleet requirements.

Serving as Turkey’s leading low-cost carrier, Pegasus Airlines is a privately owned airline. The company debuted their first charter flights in 1990 and has been operating scheduled flights since 2005. Pegasus Airlines flies to 41 different countries with 103 total destinations, which scheduled services to 70 international destinations as well as 33 destinations in Turkey.

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Lufthansa’s Technik AG is opening up a Cyclean Engine Wash Service Station in Australia, making it the fifth continent to have one. The Melbourne facility will join other that are spread across the world, including locations such as Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and the Middle East. The cleaning mechanism is attached to a vehicle, making it mobile if it's necessary to move to other airports. The station has already been tested, and is now ready for all types of customers to use.

We have already successfully carried out the first Cyclean washes on IAE V2500 engines from an Airbus A320. But, essentially, we cater for all common models of engine. We are currently offering our engine cleaning to various Australian airline customers for demonstration purposes.

stated Head of Engine Life Cycle Services at Lufthansa Technik Oliver C. Winter.

Stationed at the Melbourne Airport, the washing process can be done as maintenance work, during the transitional period in between flights, or even overnight. It does not require any electrical power or water from outside sources, which makes it very convenient for transport and use at any time.

The manufacturer one day hopes to make the product even more useful, offering it to multiple international airlines that have long enough layovers at the Melbourne airport. With so many carriers demanding a more efficient way to clean engines, this type of cleaning station looks like it will keep on expanding. As for now, they will work on getting one in other parts of the country, such as Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane.

Over 40,000 engine washing have been done around the world since they were first opened. Over forty different airlines have used the service during that time period. The system’s efficiency is unmatched; it boasts a seventy percent quicker wash than standard cleaning methods, with minimal restrictions.

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Airbus recently announced its plan to build a pilot and maintenance training center in Delhi which is planned to open by the year 2018. This is intended to support the Indian government’s “Skill India” campaign as well as the predicted continuing growth of India’s airline industry over the next 20 years.

The training center will be equipped with four A320 full-flight simulators, and staffed with Airbus’ own instructors. According to Kiran Rao, the Airbus executive vice president of strategy and marketing, the center will allow pilots and engineers to acquire greater flying and maintenance skills to be able to operate current and future Airbus aircraft models.

Once the Airbus center is built, it is expected to surpass the amount of maintenance engineers that have been trained in their center in Bangalore since 2007. The new facility is anticipated to train more than 2,000 maintenance engineers and 8,000 pilots over the first ten years.

Airbus predicts it will deliver one aircraft to India per week during the next ten years, which explains the high demand for top quality training.

As of now, Airbus is yet to pick the site where the center will be built. By 2017, the plans should be finalized and construction will begin.

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On March 14, 2016, Santanu Choudhury published an article on talking about how Airbus might have Panther work from India. According to the article, Airbus Group SE made an offer to more Panther helicopters from France to India this earlier today. Not only did Airbus Group SE propose this offer, the also suggested that a whole separate assembly line be created for the C295 military transport plane.

In order for this to be approved, Airbus Group SE would have to win orders from the Indian government. This was said by president and managing director of Airbus, Pierre de Bausset, at a news conference in India.

Here is what Bausset has to say about the topic,

We are proposing to transfer technology and shift the Panther assembly line from France to India if there is an interest from the Indian government. He also adds how he wants India to be the centralized location. “We want to make India a global hub for [manufacturing] the Panthers.

Panther plans to purchase over 100 utility helicopters for its Navy. Panther is planning to work with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. in India to move the C295 into production. There were over 50 C295 planes that were considered a bid to sell last year in order to replace old planes that were around during the Soviet war.

Sixteen of these planes have been scheduled to be supplied from an existing facility located in Spain while the rest are planned to be made with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd.

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Dassault Aviation, the international French aircraft manufacturer, will be showcasing their fleet of Falcon long cabin, long range business jets in India’s largest civilian aviation exhibition, India Aviation. This will be the fifth occurrence of India Aviation and will open at Hyderabad Begumpet Airport, on March 16. At the prestigious event, Dassault Aviation will be presenting their popular Falcon 2000LXS widebody twinjet.

Dassault leads the Indian market for long range, large cabin aircrafts, as they currently have 22 aircrafts in services with plenty more on order. Their position as the Indian market leader is due in part to the Indian Air Force’s previous experience with Dassault fighters, which have served as the basis for the Falcon 7X.

We expect the country’s accelerating economic growth to translate into rising Falcon sales going forward. No other business jet line is more suited to local requirements, whether it be in terms of cabin design, flying performance, fuel economy or versatility, than Falcon.

said Eric Trappier, the Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.

The largest portion of the current Indian fleet is comprised of the Dassault’s Falcon 2000 twinjet. This popular aircraft is near approaching its 600th production mark, as sales are presently being pushed for the latest edition in the 2000 line, the Falcon 2000LXS. This new aircraft provides short-field capabilities similar to smaller midsize and super midsize business jets, while also offering a comfort level and range far more superior than these other aircrafts. Certification for Dassault’s FalconEye Combined Vision System option on the Falcon 2000 line will take place this summer.

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Street Insider released a news article about United Airlines and how it is planning to order some new Boeing 737-700 aircrafts. United Airlines is working to order 25 of these aircrafts. It is important to note that these 25 aircrafts are in addition to the 40 737-700’s previously purchased earlier. United Airlines plans to take delivery of these aircrafts sometime during the end of 2017. Because of this new purchase, United Airlines will be able to utilize these more efficient aircrafts. In doing so, the company will also be able decrease the size of its fleet. In total, United Airlines plans to have less than 100 aircrafts in its fleet of 50 seats by the tail end of 2019. Street-insider talks about the newest 737-700s features.
The next-generation 737-700s provide a superior customer experience by featuring cabin enhancements including larger overhead bins that can accommodate additional carry-on bags.
Additionally, the Boeing Sky Interior uses LED lights in the cabin in order to mimic the sky and sunset colors to give off the impression that the interior space is bigger than it really is. On top of purchasing these additional 25 Boeing 737-700s, United Airlines is also planning to throw in the towel for its 747 fleet. However, the United is pushing for its four 777-300ERs and five 787-9s for the beginning of 2017 instead of the anticipated delivery in 2020. Street-insider tell of the other aircrafts United is expecting as well.
In addition to this announcement, United currently has firm orders for 35 Airbus A350-1000s, 153 aircraft from the Boeing 737 family, 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, and 27 Boeing 787s.
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Embraer, the Brazilian aerospace conglomerate, has recently recorded a $101 million provision in their fourth quarter results. This reporting comes after the bankruptcy of Republic Airways on February 25, which resulted in a fourth quarter profit which did not meet the estimates of analysts. The commercial aviation business of Embraer established a 10.4 percent operating margin for the quarter. Not including the Republic Airways bankruptcy provision, the company produced a 13.4 percent margin.

Embraer CFO Jose Filippo and CEO Frederico Curado seem to be unfazed by the company’s exposure to the bankruptcy, as they suggested during the company’s year-end earnings call that all 24 of the undelivered E175 regional jets on Republic Airway’s books will eventually find homes with other operators if Republic Airways is unable to accept them. Filippo stated that nine E175s will be delivered between August and December, with the remaining 15 aircraft to be delivered next year; this is all in association with a capacity purchase agreement with United Airlines.

“United has a big need for these aircraft,” Filippo said. “So be it Republic or be it another regional airline, we believe that we will deliver these aircraft. It’s still a little bit early to say what will be the structure or the format because of the Chapter 11 [filing], but we are working on this now and as the next delivery is in August we have time to structure something.”

“We do not see airplanes exiting the Republic fleet,” Curado said. “Actually we don’t see them even waiving deliveries they have in backlog. So we believe those airplanes will be delivered, hopefully to Republic, but if not I think other alternatives will show up.”

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