Category AIRCRAFT

Lockheed Martin 0130 Specials

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The AC-130H Spectre gunship has undergone the SOFl upgrade, adding a new mission computer, FUR, HUD, EW fit, GPS and other systems.

 

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he versatility of the basic C-130 transport has led to conversions for specialised missions. The initial AC-130A Spectre ginship version introduced specialised sensors, including a searchlight, ignition sensors, a FUR and an LLLTV camera. Successive AC-130E and AC-130H variants ntroduced improved armour, avionics, engines and armament (a 105-mn howitzer and 40-mm Bofors cannon). The current AC-130U Spectre version, developed by Rockwell, has a single GAU-12 25-mm cannon replacing the two 20-mm M6′-s of previous aircraft. Sensors include APG-180 radar, AAQ-117 FUR, all-light – evel TV and ALQ-172 jammer package, The USAF Special Operations Command has acquired 13 AC-130Us, to replace the AC-130A and allow the AC-1 ЗОН to be transferred to the Reserve

Several in-service variants carry the designation EC-130. These include the; EC-130E (ABCCC) Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center; the EC-130E(CL) ‘Senior Scout’ Elint platform; the EC-130E(RR) ‘Rivet Rider’ TV and radio rebroad cast ‘psy-war’ aircraft; and the EC-130H ‘Compass Call’ stard-off communications jamming duties.

Long-range SAR var’ants include the HC-130H, with a large radar above the forward fuselage, the similar HC-130H-7 for the USCG, and the HC-130N and HC-130P (HDU-euuipped and used to refuel rescue helicopters). The HC-130H(N) has mod­ernised avionics and lacks Fulton gear, but is equipped with underwing HDUs. Dedicatee tankers
inc ude the KC-130B KC-130F and KC-130T and the stretched KC-130T-30H (a I acquired by ‘.he US Navy and Marine Corps) Not in US service, the KC-130H (similar to the KC-130R) has oeen widely exported.

The *irst MC-130E special forces insertion air­craft served in Vietnam, equipped with Fulton STAR recovery gear for retrieval of downec aircrew/recce troops. Currently there are 13 MC-130E Combat Talon I variants in service with AFSOC including; the MC-130E-C (with Fulton fitted), MC-130E-S and MC-130E-Y (no Fulton). The C-130H was used to produce 24 MC-130H Combat Talon lls, all with a distinctive long nose housing the APQ-170 terrain-following radar, and an AAQ-15 FLIR turret underneath. The first MC-130Hs arrived in 1991

AFSOC has taken on the HC-130N and HC-13QP aircraft and transferred them to the special ^orces rcle, as the Combat Shadow. They have been ungraded to SOFl standard by the removai of the large dorsal housing that once contained the Cook aerial tracker system, and adding an undernose FUR and other specialist mission systems.

The EC-130(RR) carries large podded antennas on its tail and underwing for its role as a flying TV and radio station, conducting ‘psychological operations’.


Specification: Lockheed AC-130U Spectre Powerplant: four 3362-kW (4,503-ho) Allison T56-A-I5 turtmprops

Dimensions: wing span 40.41 m 1132 ft 7 in}; length 29.7Э tn (97 ft 9 in); neiofu 1′ .55 m 138 ft 3 ir)

Weights: operating empty 34356 kg (75,743 lb); normal take-off 7C3’0 kg (155.303 lb); maximum іакн-nlf 79350 kg (175,030 lb} Performance: maximum cruising speed 602 h rh (374 Tiph); service ceiling 13050 rn (33,000 h); range 78/6 km (4.894 miles) with maximum luel

Armament: one 135-rnm main gLn, nne Bnfnrs 40-mm cannon, one GAU-12U 25-mm five – tiarelle:: cannon

 

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Transall С. 160

France/Germany Tactical transport and special missions aircraft

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The C.160G is the only tactical transport aircraft in service with the Luftwaffe. They will be replaced by the Airbus A400M airlifter now under development.

 

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he Franco-German Transall C.160 was originally conceived as a Nord Noratias replacement and was one of the first successful joint European aerospace ventures. Of similar configuration to the C-130 Hercules, albet rather smaller and powered by a pair of Rods Royce Tynes, the Transall is robust, reliable anc enjoys excellent performance characteristics. Initial procurement comprised 50 C.160F aircraft for France anc HO C.160D aircraft for West Germany, The first of three prototypes made its maiden flight on 25 February 1963. Production-configured C.160s were delivered from 1967-72. Exports comprised nine C,160Zs for South Africa (now retired) and 20 C.160Ts (former Luftwaffe C.160Ds} for Turkey.

The production line was reopened in France in the late 1970s. The Armee de I’Air ordered 29 C.160IMG (Nouvelle Generation) aircraft which introduced additional fuel capacity, improved avionics and an IFR probe above the cockpit. Maximum payload is 16000 kg (35,275 lb), while 93 troops or 88 paratroops can be accommodated. Ten aircraft were completed with a hose-and-drum air-to-air tanking system in the port undercarriage sponson for refuelling tactical aircraft, and five more have provision for this feature so that they can be rapidly

France has converted some C. IGONGs to act has supplemental air-to-air tankers. These Transalls carry a HDU in a modified undercarriage fairing.

re-roled as tankers. France’s 77 C.160s serve in the transport role with four transport squadrons, various test units and overseas detachments. The French Transall fleet underwent an upgrade to C.160 Remove standards from 1993, gaining a multi-screen EFIS cockpit, a HUD and a new inte­grated defensive suite.

France operaies six NG-standard aircraft that have been assigned to two forms of special duties. Two have been converted to C.160 GABRIEL (C.160G) Elintand jamming configuration and these entered service with EE54 ‘Dunkerque’ in 1988. They are distinguished by wingtip pods with blade antennas, five fuselage blade antennas, a blister fairing on each side of the rear fuselage and a retractable ventral dome. Both retain IFR probes and HDUs.

Four C.160NGs were were converted to C.160FI ASTARTE standards, being adapted to carry TACAMO VLF radio transmission equipment (also used by the US Navy’s Boeing E-6A). This takes the form of a long trailing-wire aerial which enables underwater communication with the ballistic missile-armed nuclear submarines of the Force Oceanique Stratdgique The ASTARTE entered service in January 1988.

image230Specification: Transall C.160F/G Powerplant: two 4548-kW (6,1 DO-hp) Rolls – Royce Tyne RTy.20 Mk 22 turboprops Dimensions: wing span 40.00 m (131 ft 3 in); length 32.40 m (106 ft 3/ in); height 11.65 m (38 ft 5 in)

Weights: empty eqi pped 28258 <g (63,430 lb); maximum take-off 491 DO kg (1D8.245 lb); maximum payload 130D0 kg (35,273 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 536 kmh (333 mph); maximum rata of climb at sea level 44-0 m (1.444 ft) per minute; service celling 85-30 m (27,885 ft); take-off distance to 10.7 m (35 ft) 1100m(3.609 ft); landing distance from 15 m (50 ft) 640 m (2,100 ft); range 4500 km (2,796 miles) with an 8000-ky (17,637-lb) load

t їх – • Soviet Union (Russia)

Bell AH-1 Cobra

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The AH-IW SuperCobra is the US Marine Corps’ standard attack helicopter. Most surviving aircraft will be upgraded to the advanced AH-1Z standard.

 

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ppearing in 1965 as an ‘interim’ armed helicopter escort, the Bell Model 209 HueyCobra was

derived from the UH-1, retaining its powerplant, transmission and rotor, but introducing a new. slimmer fuselage with the now-standard ‘gunship’ configuration of stepped tandem cockpits, Bell produced some 1,100 AH-IGs for US Army service in Vietnam The US Army’s Cobra fleet underwent several upgrades over its service life. In 1989 the designation AH-1F was adopted for the final production-stan­dard aircraft, grouping together the changes and ‘improvements adopted by the preceding AH-1P, AH-lE and Modernised AH-lS Cobras These aircraft have a ‘flat-plate’ canopy, TOW sighting system nose turret, exhaust suppressor and composite main rotor blades with tapered tips. Primary armament is four BGM-71 TOW missiles and a chin-mounted M-197 20-mm cannon. Some AH-1 Fs were upgraded with the NTS/CTlite sight, in place of the earlier day­time-only M65 system.

The AH-1 has been largely replaced by the AH-64 in US service, but some are still active with ANG and Reserve units. The AH-1 F was built under licence in Japan by Fuji, anc Bell AH-IF/Ss have been exported to Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, South Korea, and Thailand and Turkey,

Bell went on to develop a twin-engined version of the AH-1, chiefly for :he US Navy and Marine Corps, The first example, the AH-1J of 1970 led to 1977’s АН-IT and then to the AH-IW SuperCobra

which the the only currently active variant. A total of 19A AH-1Ws were convened for the USMC from exist’ng AH-1T airframes, between 1986 and ;998. The ‘Whisky Cobra’ is powered by two T700-GE-401 turooshafts, has a stretched fuselage and tail, and distinct ve bulged cheek fairings to accommodate updated avionics. The AH-1VV is the primary assault helicopter in Marine Corps service and has oeen exported to Taiwan (63) and Turkey (nine). Bell is now offering an affordaole ‘multi-role’ version of the AH-1W with all guided weapons capability removed, as the MH-1W,

The US Marines plan to upgrade 180 AH-IVVs to AH-1Z standard, by fitting a four-bladed main rotor, uprated T700-GE-401 engines, digital cockpit systems, integrated helmet-mounted sight, AGM-114 HeHfire missiles and an all-new Lockheed Martin Target Sight System (with a laser designator). The first AH-1Z flew on 7 December 2000. Turkey plans to acquire up to 145 similar aircraft, known as AH-1W KingCobras, while another version of the AH-1Z has been offered to Australia as the ARH-1Z.

Подпись: The Japan Ground Self-Defence Force acquired SO AH-1S Cobras (equivalent to the US AH-1F) which were built under licence by Fuji. Specification: Bell Helicopter AH-IW Powerplant: two 1285-kW(1,723-shp>

General Electric T70O-GE 401 terboshafts Dimensions: main rotor diameter U. B3 m {48 ft); ength overall, rotors turning 17.68 m |58ft| and fuselage 13.87 m (45 ft Б in); height ovcral 4 44 Ti(14 ft 7 inj Weights: empty 4353 kg (10,920 lb|; maximum take-eff 6691 kg (14,750 lb)

Performance: maximum Isve spaed ‘clean’ a: see level 282 kmh (175 mph); service ceiling 4270 m (14,000 ft); mnge 518 km (322 miles) with standard fuel

Armament: arm chin-mounted M 197 three – barrelled 20-mm cannon; maximum ordnarr. e 790 kg(1,741 lb)

Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet

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An elaborate tiger scheme marks this Portuguese Alpha Jet as an aircraft of 301 Esguadra, a unit that belongs to the NATO Tiger Squadron Association.

 

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n July 1969 France’s Dassault ana’ Germany’s Dornier agreed to jointly develop and produce a new advanced trainer. The resultant Alpha Jet had swept shoulder-mounted wings, two Larzac turbo­fans and stepped tandem cockpits. French and German equipment fits varied considerably. Because the Luftwaffe decided to continue its military pilot training in the US, its requirement for the Alpha Jet moved on to a light grojnd-attack replacement for its Fiat G91R/3s. This necessitated advanced nav/attack systems, ‘nciuding a twin-gyro INS, Doppler navigation radar, HUD, and a beily- mounted 27-mm Mauser cannon pod (instead of the 30-rr. m DEFA pod found on French Alphas). The initial order for 200 aircraft for each country was ultimately reduced to 175.

Alpha Jet development was finally approved in February 1972, and two prototypes were fiown in France ano Germany in 1973 and 1974 respectively French production Alpha Jet Es (Ecole) began flying in November 1977 and service trials commenced in 1978. German production started with the first Alpha Jet A (Appui Tactique) flying in April 1978. In 1993 Germany retired ah but 20 German Alphas (for lead-in training for Tornado crews) and a total of 50 Surplus aircraft was transferred to Portugal Initial exports were mace to Belgium (33). Egypt (30 including 26 locally-assembled Alpha Jet MS 1 trainers). Ivory Coast (12). Morocco (24), Nigeria (24), Qatar (six) and Togo (five).

In addition to Portugal refurbished former – Luftwaffe Alpha Jet As have been sold to Thailand and the LJK. In Thailand 25 aircraft will serve as lead-in fighter trainers while12 were acquired by Britain’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency

For lead-in fighter training and light ground – attack, Dassault launched the Alpha Jet IMGEA (Nouvelle Generation Appui/Ecole) or Alpha Jet MS2 programme in 1980. It featured unrated engines and new avionics including an INS, CRT HUD and laser rangefinder, plus provision for Magic AAMs. Customers included Cameroon (seven) and Egypt (15).

In the early 1990s Dassault proposed an MS2- derived Alpha Jet 3 Advanced Training System, or Lancier, with twin multi-function cockpit displays for mission training with such sensors as AGAVE or Anemone radar, FUR, laser, video ano ECM systems, plus advanced weapons. This version may form the basis for a possible upgrade now being considered for the Alpha Jet Es still :n Armee de Г Air service.

The blunt-nosed Alpha Jet E is still the standard jet trainer for France’s Armee de /’Air, but it will have to be upgraded to function in the Rafale era.


Specification: Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet E

Powerplant: two 13.24-kN (2,976-lb) SNECMA/T urbomdea Larzac 04-C6 turbofans Dimensions: wing span 9.11 m!?S ft 10 34 in); length 11.75 m (38 ft 54 in): height 4’9 m (13 ft 9 in)

Weights: empty equipped 3345 kg (7,374 lb), maximum take-oil 8000 kg (17.637 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 1000 kmh (621 mph). service ceiling 14630 m (48,000 ft): operational radius 361 nm [670 km, 416 miles) on a lo-lo It) mission with two drop tanks Armament: one ventral cannon ood (27-mm Mauser or 30-mm DEFA), four indenting stations for up to 2500 kg (5,511 lb) of stores

 

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Lockheed Martin F-16A/B

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Belgium is one of the four European Partner Air Forces currently upgrading all its early-model F16s under the European MLU programme.

 

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he F-16 Fighting Falcon is the benchmark modern combat aircraft. It was conceived as a lightweight ‘no frills’ fignter for air-to-air combat. The first YF-16 service-tes: prototype was rolled out in December 1973 ard first Hew on 2 February 1974. In 1975 it won a competitive USAF evaluation against the Northrop YF-17 (later developed into the F/A-18 Hornet). The production-standard F-16A (which was preceded by six full scale development aircraft) was very similar to the YF-16, though it had an enlarged wing, greater fuel capacity and a deeper nose to house the APG-66 radar The F-16 was the first ‘fly-by-wire’ fighter, introducing a revolutionary computer-driven flight control system, commanded by a sidestick in the cockpit.

The first F-16A deliveries to the USAF, along with the two-seat F-16B trainer, began in 1979. These 94 aircraft were built to F-16 Block 1 standard, powered by the F100-PW-200 engine. They were followed by 197 F-16 Block 5s, fitted with the full-standard grey di-electric radome. The F-16 Block 10 introduced minor aircraft changes and 312 were delivered to the USAF. Most Block 1 and Block 5 aircraft were brought up to this standard. Block 5 and 10 F-16A/Bs were exported to Belgium, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands and Norway.

Portugal operates the F-16A/B Block 15 OCU, built to the same standard as the F-16 Block 15ADF and powered by the F100-PW-220E engine.

The F-16A/B Block 15 introduced the larger ‘big tail’ hn and wider tailplanes, The APG-66 ‘adar was improved and new EW and іFF systems were fitted. Earlier F-16s could be updated to Block 15 standard under the MSIP I (Multi Staged Improvement Programme) Export sales were made to Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway Pakistan and Venezuela

A specialist USAF interceptor version, armed with the AIM-7 missile, was developed as the F-16 Block 15 ADF (air defense fighter). These aircraft had four distinctive antennas for the APX-109 IFF system in front of the cockpit. The F-16 Block 15 OCU added some features of the F-16C/D, including the F100-PW-220E engine and ALQ-131 ECM pod. OCUs have been delivered to Belgium, Denmark, Indonesia, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal and Thailand,

The European F-16s are now undergoing the F-16 MLU (Mid-Life Update) bringing them up to Block 50 standard, through the add tion of AIM-120 AMRAAM, AN/APG-66fV)2 radar, colour cockpit MFDs, and precision weapons capability.

The final F-16A/B variant was the F-16 Block 20, delivered to Taiwan, which is also virtually identical to the F-16C Block 50.

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Specification: Lockheed F-16A Powerplant: one 106-kN (23.830-lbl Prar & Whitrey FiOO-P-10O afterburning turbiulan Dimensions: wing span 1D m (32 ft 9.4 n) with tip-mounted AAlvts, length 15.33 m (49 ft 4 in), height 5,01 m(16 ft 52 in) Weights: operational empty 6507 kg (14,567 lb); maximum take-off 14963 kg (33,003 lb) Performance: maximum level speed more Thar 2124 kmh (1,320 mph); maximum rate of climb at sea evel more than 15240 гп (50.030 ft| per minute, service ceiling more than 15240 m (50,000 ft), combat radius 547 km (340 miles! Armament: one M51A1 Vi. can 20-mrn cannon with 515 rounds, maximum ordnance 15,200 !b (6894 kg), including two AIM-9s

 

Tupolev Tu-22IVi Backfire Sub-strategic strike/attack bomber

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The final production version of the Tu-22M was the Tu-22M3 Backfire-C which introduced the improved NK-25 engine and superior weapons.

 

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evelopment of the Tu-22M began in 1962, concurrently with the variable-geometry Su-17 programme (with which it shared a very similar wing plan-form). The first of about nine Tu-22IVl-0 prototypes made its maiden flight on 30 August 1969. Nine pre-production Tu-22M-1s were used for test and evaluation, and the first of 211 production Tu-22M-2 ‘Backfire-B’ bombers made ts fret flight in 1975. This introduced a longer-span wing, з redesigned forward fuselage for four crew and a revised undercarriage, retracting inwards. The tail armament was increased to two remotely – controlled NR-23 23-mm cannons, controlled by the new ‘Fan Tail’ radar.

Initially, Tu-22Ms were usually seen carrying a single AS-4 ‘Kitchen’ ASM on the centreline, semi – recessed, but today a more usual load seems to be two underwing missiles. In the later Tu-22M-3 ‘Backfire-C’, these bays can accommodate the rotary launchers for the RKV-500B (AS-16 ‘Kick-back’) short-range attack missile, used mainly for defence suppression, with two more of these missiles under each wing. Defensive armament is reduced to a single cannon.

The new variant also introduced completely new wedge-type engine intakes, a recontoured upturned nose possibly housing a new attack radar and TFR. ‘Backfire-C’ is believed to have entered service during 1985. and 268 were built at Kazan, A Tu-245 upgrade configuration is planned, with new
radar and avionics. A handful of Tu-22MP EW/escort jammers were produced but are not believed to have entered service, although 12 Tu-22MR recce aircraft with Shompol SLAR are in service wi;h the AV-MF, Production continued at a rate of 30 per year until 1992, when about 497 had been completed.

With its wings fully swept back (to 65°), the Tu-22M is capable of a Mach 2 dash at high altitude, and of speeds up to Mach 0.9 at low level. Unrefuelled combat radius of the Tu-22M-2 ’Backfire-B’ is quoted as 4000 km (2,485 miles), and the radius of action of ‘Backfire-C may be even better. The Tu-22M continues to play a vital role in the Russian air forces (with 68 in use), and with Russian nava aviation (82 in service), and between 54 and 70 more are in service in the Ukraine. The Tu-22M-3 has been offered for export on several occasions, with customers such as Iran, Libya and Syria all expressing an interest. India is understood to have agreed a Teasing deal with Russia for the supply of Tu-22M3s

Подпись:Specification: Tupolev Tu-22M-2 Backfire-B"

Powerplant: two 196.13-kN(44,092-lbl KKBM (Kuznetsov) NK-2? turbo fans Dimensions: wing span 34.30 m (112 ft 6/ ir) spread and 23.40 m (/6 It 9/ in) swept; length 39.80 in 1129 ft 11 in); height 10.80 m (35 ft 54 in)

Weights: basic empty 54000 kg [113.048 lb): maximum take-off 130000 kg (286.5Э6 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 2125 kmh (1,320 mph); service ceiling 18000 m (59,055 It); ferry range 12000 km (7,457 miles), combat radius 2.159 nm (4000 km; 2,486 miles] Armament: one GSh-23 23-mm cannon in tad turret; normal load 12000 kg (26.455 lb!

Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey

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Under current plans the US Marine Corps hopes to acquire 30 MV-22B Ospreys per year, from 2006/07 onwards, replacing elderly CH-46E helicopters.

 

Подпись: Specification; Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey Powerplant: two Allison T406-AD-400 turboshafts each rated at 4bB6 kW 16,150 shp) Dimensions: rolor diameter, each 11.61 m (38 ft 11n); wing span 1b 57 m (50 ft 1' in) incl. nacelles; length, fuselage excl. probe 17.47 m (57 ft 4 in); height over fins 5.38 m (17 ft 7K in) Weights: empty equipped 14463 kg (31,886 lb); max uika-uff 27442 kc (50,500 lb); max ini. payload 9072 kg (20.000 lb); max ext. payload 6804 kg (15,000 lb) Performance: maximum cruising speed 185 kmh (115 mph) in helicopter mode and 509 kmh (316 mph) in aeroplane mode; service ceiling 792b m (26.000 ft), assault range 953 km (592 milesl
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ell Helicopter Textron and Boeing Vertol joined forces in the early 1980s to develop a larger derivative of the XV-15 tilt-rotor demonstrator for the Joint Services Advanced Vertical Lift Aircraft

(formerly JVX) programme. This effort was launched by the US Army and then transferred to the Navy in 1983. Combining the vertical lift capabilities of з helicopter with the faster forward flight efficiencies of a fixed-wing aircraft, the resulting V-22 Osprey (Bell Boeing Model 901) was awarded a full-scale development contract in May 1986. It is powered by two Allison T406 turboshafts driving three-b aded ‘proprotors through interconnected drive shafts. The wingtip-mounted engines, transmissions and proprotors can tilt Through 97° 30’ between forward flight and steep-descent or hovering flight. The blades and wings can also be quickly folded for stowage aboard aircraft carriers.

The first of five EMD prototypes flew on 19 March 1989 and the Osprey successfully demon­strated airborne transition from helicopter to wing- borne flight in September 1989. The fifth and final prototype flew on 11 June 1991.

Initial requirements called for 913 Ospreys; 552 MV-22A assault transports for the USMC; 231 similar variants for the US Army; 80 USAF CV-22As for long-range special forces transport; and 50 HV-22As for US Navy combat SAR_special warfare and fleet logistic support missions. The US Navy also foresaw a need for up to 300 SV-22A ASW versions.

During the 1990s plans for the Osprey changed dramatically as the programme was cut-back, can­celled, re-instated and cut back again. The USMC requirement has dropped to 360 MV-22Bs, whiie t. oe Navy plans to acquire 48 C-SAR-configured HV-22Bs in around 2010. All plans for US Army Ospreys have been dropped and while the USAF still has a notional requirement for 50 CV-22Bs, these aircraft may yet be cancelled,

In May 1997 assembly began of the first production – standard MV-22B. Thirty Ospreys have been ordered into low-rate initial production and deliveries began to the USMC in mid-1999. Marine Corps evaluation of the Osprey (conducted by VMMT-204) was blighted by several crashes. Two aircraft were lost on 8 April 2000 (killing 19 Marines) while a third crashed in December. The Nos 4 and 5 prototypes were involved in earlier accidents in 1991/92. While the crashes were not attributable to any inherent design flaws all Ospreys were grounded, and the future of the expensive and controversial aircraft has been called into question once more.

The V-22 has the ability to transition from vertical to horizontal flight, thanks to its revolutionary, but controversial, tilt-wing technology.


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aving unsuccessfully pursued their individual programmes for an advanced successor to the RAF’s Harrier GR. Mk 3 and the USMC’s AV-8A Harrier British Aerospace (now 13AE Systems) and McDonne I Douglas (now Boeing) began to work on the joint Harrier II design. This radically revised aircraft featured a new, larger-ar&a carbon-fibre supercritical wing, a comp ete у redesigned, ralsed cockpit, and advanced aerodynamic lift-enhancing devices including LERXes and underfuselage lift – increasing ‘dams’. I he new wng was first flown on 9 November 1978, fitted to the 11th AV-8A (which became the first of two prototype YAV-8Bs>. The US Marine Corps took delivery of the first production AV-8B Harrier Ms in 1983,

From September 1989 (the 167th airframe on), all USMC AV-8Bs were made night-attack capable with the installation of a prominent FUR housing above the nose, a colour moving map and an improved HUD The term AV-8B (Night Attack) is often applied to these aircraft. For training, McDonnell Douglas developed the TAV-8B with a new forward fuselage, accommodating stepped tandem cockpits. Infernal fuel is reduced and to offset the reduced stability caused by the longer fuselage, the vertical fin is increased in area.

The distinctive FUR (Forward-Looking infra-Red) sensor above the nose is what gives the Night Attack AV-8B its 24-hour operational capability


The radar-equipped AV-8B Harrier II Plus is the ultimate evolution of the basic AV-8 Hairier design, which first flew (as the AV-8A) in November 1970

in 1987 McDonne! Douglas announced plans to develop з racar oquipped versior of tne AV-8B, the AV-8B Harrier II Plus In 1990 the US Navy authorised the development of a prototype and 24 product on aircraft. The first fully-equipped true prototype flew on?’? September 1992, The Hamer II Plus is fitted with the APG-65 multi-mode radar, giving it the capability to use radar-guided missiles, such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM, for the first time,

In 1992 the USA, Spain and Italy signed an agreement covering the joint development of the Harrier II Plus. The US Marine Corps has acquired a total of 27 new-build Harrier II Pluses, and a further 72 examples converted from existing AV-8Bs. The first Harrier II Plus was delivered to the Marines in July 1993, and the first remanufactured Harrier II Plus followed in January 1996. The Spanish navy purchased 18 aircraft to supplement its existing EAV-8B Harriers, while Italy bought 16 Harrier II Pluses, and two TAV-8Bs. The last Harrier II Pluses were delivered to Spain and Italy in July and December 1999, respectively.

In May 2000 Spain signed a deal to remanufacture two of its nine EAV-8Bs to Harrier II Plus standard, and plans to bring all its Harriers to this level. The first two rebuilt aircraft will be handed over in 2003.

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Specification: Boeing AV-8B Harrier II Powerplant: one 105.87 kN (23,800 lb)

Rolls-Royce F402-RR-408 turboran _ Dimensions; span 9.25 m (30 ft 4 in); length 14 ;2 in (46 ft 4 in): 3.55 m height (11 ft 8 in) Weights: operating empty Б336 kg [13,968 lb); normal take-cr 10410 kg [22,950 lb); maximum take-nff 14061 kg f31.0G3 b) for 405-m(1,330-ft) STD or 8596 kg (18.950 lb) for VT0 Performance: max-mum level speed 10S5 kmb 1662 mph|; maximum rate of climb 4485 m (14,715 ft) per minute; combat radios 167 km 1103 miles)

Armament; one GAU-12A 25-mm cannon (optional) with 300 rounds; maximum ordnance 6003 kg (13.235 lb)

 

DeneK AH-2A Rooivalk

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DeneTs Rooivalk attack helicopter has so far only entered service with one squadron (No. 16Sqn) of the South African Air Force.

 

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outh Africa’s Rooivalk (red kestrel) helicopter was designed to meet a 1981 SAAF require­ment for an indigenously-designed attack heli­copter. The Atlas Aircraft Corporation (renamed Denel Aviation in 1996) began work on a number of technology development aircraft, including the XH-1 weapons testbed (based on an Alouette III air­frame) and the XTP-1 (a modified Puma). Experience with these aircraft fed directly into the Rooivalk prototype, the XH-2 (Experimental Helicopter 2), which made its maiden flight in 1990.

The Rooivalk follows the well-proven attack helicopter layout of stepped, twin-tandem seating in a narrow fuselage, with stub wings for weapons carriage, nose-mounted sensors and an undernose cannon. Drawing on South Africa’s substantial combat experience from the ‘Bush War’ conflicts in Namibia and Angola, Atlas designed the Rooivalk as a highly-survivable aircraft able to absorb battle damage while protecting its crew and remaining operational on the battlefield.

Several elements of the Aerospatiale (Eurocopter) Puma design found their way into the Rooivalk – hardly surprising as the Puma was an important type in the SAAF inventory and many were modified and upgraded by Atlas to improved Oryx standard. The

This is the first production-standard AH-2A Rooivalk, seen carrying a load of eight ZT6 Mokopa anti-tank missiles and two 68-mm rocket pods.

Rooivalk has the Puma’s Tudoomeca Turmo IV engine (licence-built as the Topaz in the XDM and ADM) and the same rotor system, The Rooivalk is designed to carry up to 16 Denel ZT6 Mokopa anti­tank missiles, in addition to rocket pods and Mistral IR-guided anti-aircraft missiles. The 20-mm under­nose cannon is linked to a helmet-mounted sight The XH-2 prototype was refined to serve as the XDM (Experimental Development Model) which first flew on 11 February 1990. A second prototype was built as the ADM (Advanced Demonstration Model), and it first flew in 1992. A third pre-production Rooivalk, the EDM (Engineering Development Model! flew on 17 November 1996. In 1996 the South African Air Force signed an order for 12 Rooivalks, with the service designation AFI-2A (previously CSH-2). The first deliveries were made in January 1999, and the SAAF has a requirement for up to 36 additional aircraft.

An export version of the Rooivalk was a strong contender for the British Army’s attack helicopter requirement in 1993/94 and a version dubbed the RedFlawk was offered for Australia’s Air 87 com petition in 2000/01. Malaysia announced an initial deal for eight Rooivalks in 1998, but a firm order remains as yet unsigned

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Specification: Denel Rooivalk Powerplant: two 1420-kW |1r904-hp| Turbomaca Makila 1K2 rurbcshafts Dimensions: rotor diameter 15.58 m (51 ft 12 in), length 1673 m (61 ft 52 in), including rotors: height 5.185 m (17 ft У in)

Weights: empty 5730 kg 112.63? lb); maximum take-off 8.750 kg (19.290 lb)

Performance: maximum cruising speed 278 kmh (1 /3 mpht hovering ceiling, IGE 5850 m (19.200 ft). 0GE 5455 m (17.900 ft); maximum range 1335 km (829 miles) with external tanks Armament: one 20-mm Arm SCO r F2 carnon with 700 rounds of ammunition, four underwing stations lor up to 2032 kg (4.470 lb) of stores

 

Lockheed Martin F-16C/D

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These 35th Fighter Wing F-16CJs are carrying the AGM’88 HARM missiles and ASQ-213 HARM Targeting System specific to the Block 50/52 F-16.

 

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ockheed Martin’s F-16C/D Fighting Falcon

(Lockheed acqu red General Dynamics in 1992 and became Lockheed Martin in 1995) is a develop­ment of the F-16A/B with structural, avionics and systems modifications. F-16C/Ds are distinguished oy an enlarged vertical fin base Cockpit changes irtc cde a wde-angle HUD_and an improved data display for HQTAS flying. The new APG-68 multi­mode radar brought increased range, sharper reso­lution and expanded operating modes, and a weapons interface for AGM-66D and AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.

The first F-16C flew on 19 June 1984 and the initial production-standard F-16 Block 25 aircraft was acquired solely by the USAF. The Block 25 was first fitted with the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 – later replaced by the more powerful -22Q/E engine.

The F-16C/D Block 30, which first flew in June 1986, introduced the General Electric F110-GE-100 engine as an alternative powerplant, and nearly all aircraft were fitted with the enlarged ‘oig mouth’ engine mlet. Weapons capability was expanded with the integration of the AGM-45 Shrike and AIM-120 AMRAAM, while new systems included the ALE-40 RWR and ALE-47 chaff/flare dispenser. Block 30 exports went to Greece, Israel and Turkey. The F-16C/D Block 32, also introduced in 1986, was powered by an uprated F100-PW-220 engine. The USAF’s Thunderbirds display team flies Block 32s and aircraft were delivered to Egypt, Korea.

The F-16C/D Block 40 Night Falcon mtmduced an all-weather precision attack capabi ity using the LANTIRN system. The Ft 10-GF-1 00-powered Block 40 has a w de-angle holographic HUD, improved APG-68(V) radar and avionics and GPS. The other­wise identical F-16C/D Block 42 s cowered by the F100-PW-220. The first USAF Block 40/42 aircraft were delivered in 1989. The Block 40 has been exported, to Bahrain, Egypt, Israel and Turkey.

The Block 50/52 F-16C/D incorporates all the improvements of the Block 40. more powerful engines, and integrates tne AGIvl-88 HARM missile and HARM Targeting System. Export customers include Korea, Singapore and Turkey.

Israel has developed a ‘big spine’ version of the Block 30/40 F-16D, which is believed to have a dedicated SEAD combat role. Similar aircraft have been delivered to Singapore. The designation F-16CG nas been applied to USAF Block 40/42 aircraft, and F-16CJ to Block 50/52s. The Block 60 is an enhanced systems next-generation F-16 variant now under development for the UAE.

Подпись: Israel and Singapore operate these specially modified F-16Ds which are believed to have a sophisticated EW system in their enlarged spines.image135"Specification: Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 52

Powerplant: one 129.4-kN(29,1G0-lbl General ElECtric F110-GE-123 IPE afterburr ng turbofan Dimensions: wingspan, over aunchers 3.45 rn 131 ft): length 15.03 m (43 ft 4 ini; height 5.09 m (16 ft 8/ inj

Weights: empty 8581 kg (18,917 lb); maximum take-off 1229? kg (27.099 lb)

Performance: maximum level speed Ivlach 2 p. is: service ceiling 15240 m (50.030 ft); ferry range 4215 km (2,619 miles); combat radius 1485 km (923 miles!

Armament: one internal №61 Vulcan 20-nnm cannon with 511 rounds of ammunition; maximum ordnance 7072 kg (15,591 lb|

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esigned as an ‘Air Dominance Fighter’, The F-22 began from studies during the 1970s into low observable (LO} technologies, or ‘stealth’,and progressed to the ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter)

programme launched by the USAF in April 1980. This was spurred by Soviet fighter developments that threatened to out-perform the F-15 Eagle and the outline requirement was for 750 new aircraft. After an evaluation of seven manufacturer’s propos­als, Lockheed’s YF-22 and Northrop’s YF-23 designs were selected for competitive evaluation (demonstration/validation, or dem/val) in October 1986. Lockheed teamed with Boeing and General Dynamics to refine fin fact completely redesign) the aircraft and to share development cost and expertise. The revised YF-22 first flew on 29 September 1990. A second prototype aircraft flew on 30 October, but was damaged beyond repair after a flight control system failure in April 1992.

The Lockheed/Boeing team won the dem/val competition in April 1991. The F-22 team was awarded an engineering and manufacturing (EMD) contract to build nine pre-production aircraft. The first of These EMD F-22A Raptors (Raptor 4001) flew on 7 September 1997 and the second (Raptor 4002) followed on 26 June 1998.

Once it is fu/ly operational the F-22 will be the most capable combat aircraft in the world by far, but budget restrictions may hamper the programme.


One key element of the F-22’s ‘stealthy1 design is the need to carry all weapons internally to eliminate the huge effect they have on overall radar cross-section.

Many fundamental aspects of the F-22’s design, such as its same-plane wing and tailplane, and internal weapons bays are intended to minimise its radar cross-section, and make it ’stealthy’. Radar absorbent materials are used throughout. The lower weapons bay can carry up to six АІІУІ-120С AMRAAMs, with two AIM-9X Sidewinders in the side bay. A pair of GBU-32 JDAM bombs can be fitted in place of four of the AMRAAMs. A 20-mm Vulcan cannon fires from a ‘shoulder’ compartment on the right-hand upper fuselage. The F-22 is the first aircraft to be designed from the outset for vectored-thrusi control and for ‘supercruise’ (sustained supersonic flight without afterburner).

The APG-77 active array radar combines with sensors mounted around the airframe to create ‘sensor fusion’, presenting the pilot with an all- around ‘big picture’ of the air battle. A powerful datalink allows information to be passed between members of a flight and AWACS platforms.

Plans to acquire 648 F-22s have been cut back to 339. A lack of funds halted plans for a two-seat F-22B trainer in 1996. The F-22 is scheduled to enter service in 2005, but this date is sure to be delayed as ihe programme struggles with continuing funding cut-backs and technical hitches.

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Specification: Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22A Raptor

Powerplant: two 156-kN (ЗБ. СОО-ІЬ) Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofans Dimensions: wing spar ‘З. Б6 m (44ft Б in): length 18.30 m (62’ fit height b.02 m 116 ft 5 in) Weights: operating empty 14365 kg (31,673 lb); maximum take-off 27216 kg (60,000 lb) Performance: design target maximum level speed 1482 kmh (921 mph); demonstrated maximum speed (YF-22) Mach 1.7 at 9150 m (50,000 ft), and Mach 1.58 in supercruise: demonstrated ceiling (YF-22) 3150 m (50,000 ft) Armament: one M61A1 Vulcan 20-mm cannon with 480 rounds, three internal weapons bays

 

United States ‘Stealthy’ tactical bomber

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ith the lessons of the Vietnam and Yom Kippur Wars in mind, in 1974 the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began to look for ways to build a ‘stealthy’ aircraft. Using a mix of radar absorbent materials and a radar reflective internal/externa structure it was possible to dramatically decrease an aircraft’s radar cross-section (RCS). Lockheed demonstrated its expertise in this field (which began with the SR-71) when the ‘Skunk Works’ classified projects development centre built two sub-scale ‘Have Blue’ Technology demonstrators, which flew in 1977. They utilised a unique faceted structure to reduce RCS and, although both aircraft crashed during tests, the experience gained was sufficient to win Lockheed a contract to develop a full-scale operational tactical fighter. This was signed on 16 November 1978 and, under the ‘Senior Trend’ codename, Lockheed built five F-117 FSD prototypes, with a revised outboard-canted tail configuration. The first example flew on 18 June 1981 and the entire development programme and entry into service was conducted in total secrecy.

As production of 59 F-117As continued at a low rate, the USAF began establishing a base at Tonopah Test Range in Nevada. In October 1983, the first unit was declared operational, undertaking only night flights until November 1988, when the F-117 was publicly unveiled. The F-117 is commonly referred to as the ‘Stealth Fighter’, even though it


The F-117 is a key USAF asset, offering a combat- proven survivable precision-attack capability that is unique – apart from the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

is purely an attack aircraft. The official name Nighthawk has been adopted, but it is also wideiy referred to simply as The Black Jet’.

The F-117’s 1989 unspectacular combat debut in Operation Just Cause in Panama was overshadowed by its crucial contribution to Operation Desert Storm, when an eventual total of 42 aircraft flew from Saudi Arabia on nightly precision-attack missions destroying the most important targets Iraq and occupied Kuwait. The F-117 repeated this role during Operation Allied Force in 1999, when the F-117 suffered its only combat loss.

The F-117 is used for attacks against ’highly leveraged’ targets such as communications and command centres, air defence centres, bridges and airfields. It uses a system of two FLIR sensors to select Targets before dropping laser-guided bombs from its internal weapons bay. A post-Gulf War Offensive Capability Improvement Program (OCIP) has added two colour MFDs, a moving map display and auto-throttles. Further improvements will add a new IR acquisition and designation sensor.

From this angle it is easy to see why one of the less flattering nick-names that has been applied to the F-117 is the rcockroach


Specification: Lockheed Martin F-117A Powerplant two 4E?.C4-kN (10.BQC-fb) General Electric F404-GE-F1D? npn – afterbuming turbofans Dimensions: wing span 13.20 rn (43 ft 4 in}; lenatli 20.08 m (05 ft 11 in); height 3.78 m (12 ft 5 ini

Weights: empty about I360B ig{3C. OOO Ibl; maximum take-off 23814 ;<g (52,500 lb) Performance: maximum level speed 1040 kmh (S46 mph); normal maximum operating speed at optimum altitude Mach 0.9; combat radius about 1112 km (691 miles) with maximum ordnance

Armament maximum ordnance 2268 kg (5.000 lb), carried internally

 

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Tupolev Tu-95, Tu-142 ‘Bear’

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For many years the Tu-95R was the most commonly encountered version of the Bear’, as it routinely shadowed Western naval forces.

 

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he first Tu-95/1 prototype of Tupolev’s extraor­dinary ‘Bear’ made its maiden flight on 12 November 1952. The swept-wing bomber had unheard of performance for a turboprop-powered aircraft. All of the early variants have now been retired, including the original Tu-95 and Tu-95M ‘Bear-А’ Tee-fall nuclear bombers (some of them converted as Tu-95U trainers). Various missile­carrying variants have also been retired, including the Tu-95K-20r and the refuelling-probe equipped Tu-95KD ‘Bear-B’, and the TU-95KM ‘Bear-C’ with an ECM tailcone. These variants had a broad under­nose radome housing ‘Crown Drum’ guidance radar and carried AS-3 ‘Kangaroo1 missiles. The Tu-95K – 22 ‘Bear-G’ was externally similar but had a new "Down Beat’ radar and K-22 (NATO AS-4 ‘Kitchen’) missiles. The AV-MF’s Tu-95RT ‘Bear-D’ mid­course missile guidance/maritime radar recce plat­form has also been withdrawn, along with the long – range reconnaissance Tu-95R ‘Bear-EsT

The dedicated maritime reconnaissance/ASW Tu-142 ‘Bear-F’ incorporated several significant improvements, including a strengthened wing, a redesigned undercarriage, a fuselage plug, uprated NK-12MV engines and redesigned weapons bays. Four sub-variants had detail differences, but most
had a new cockpit with a raised roofline, and fea­tured a new ventral radome housing a maritime search radar, About 55 ‘Bear-Fs’ remain in AV-MF (Russian naval aviation) service.

The sole export customer was the Indian Navy, which received eight Tu-142Ms. The Tu-142M ‘Bear-F’ also formed the basis of the Tu-142MR ‘Bear-Jr communications relay variant, which had an underfuseiage tracing wire antenna pod but no search radar, A total of 24 of these aircraft are in service.

The ‘Bear’ production line re-opened in 1983 to build 33 Tu-95MS-6 ‘Bear-H’ strategic bombers. This version was developed specifically to carry the new FSK-55 (AS-15 ‘Kent’) cruise missile. This was based on a shortened version of the Tu-142 airframe, but with a deeper, shorter radome and a new weapons bay accommodating a rotary launch­er for six RK-55 missiles. Some 56 later aircraft (known as Tu-95 MS-16s) carry an add tional 10 RK-55s on underwing pylons, but these pylons were removed to comply with the provisions of the SALT and START treaties. The Tu-95MS remains in service with Kazakhstan (six aircraft) and Russia (68 deployed, 64 declared as missile carriers), but Ukraine’s aircraft are being scrapped.

Подпись: The Bear-F’ is the most up-to-date of the 1Bear1 maritime reconnaissance variants and it uses the modernised and improved Tu-142 airframe. Specification: Tupolev TU-142M ‘Bear-F Mod 3’

Powerplant: four 11033-kW |H,795-hp) KKBM (Kuznetsov) NK-12MV turbopreps _ Dimensions: wing span 51.10 m (167 ft Т/ in); length 47.50 m (155 ft 10 in) excluding IFfi probe and 49.50 m (’02 ft 4.8 in) including IFR probe; height 12.12 m (39 ft 9.2 in)

Weights: empty «quipped 86000 kg (189,594 lb); maximum take-off 185000 kg |407,84B lb) Performance: maximum level speed 925 knh (575 mph); climb to 5000 m (16,405 ft) in 13 minutes, service ceiling 12000 m (39,370 ft); combat radius 5400 km (3.977 miles) Armament: twin NR-23 23-mm cannon in ‘ail turret; maximum ordnance 11340 kg (25.003 lb)