Friday, April 22, 2011

Boeing, US Navy Mark Delivery of 500th Super Hornet/Growler

ST. LOUIS, April 21, 2011 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Navy celebrated a milestone delivery on April 20 in St. Louis: 500 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and derivative EA-18G Growlers have joined the Navy's tactical aircraft fleet.
The Super Hornet Block II is the Navy's frontline strike fighter, deploying leading-edge technology and multirole strike capability around the globe. The EA-18G is now the premier airborne electronic attack platform in the Navy's arsenal and the United States' newest tactical aircraft, providing the ability to block enemy radar and electronic systems.
"The Super Hornet and Growler, both combat-deployed, have continuously increased capability for the warfighter while reducing cost for the Navy and the taxpayer," F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs Vice President Kory Mathews said at the ceremony. "Boeing has delivered every F/A-18E/F and EA-18G to the U.S. Navy on budget and ahead of schedule."
"Today is another significant milestone for a program that has by any measure exceeded expectations for cost, schedule and performance," said Capt. Mark Darrah, F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager (PMA-265). "The PMA-265/Hornet Industry Team has consistently delivered capable and reliable aircraft to our fleet customer."
The F/A-18E/F and EA-18G will operate from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers through 2035 and beyond, with the flexibility to seamlessly operate from land-based airfields.
"These aircraft were designed with extensive growth capacity, enabling evolutionary technology to be added throughout the life of the aircraft to expand capabilities and remain well ahead of changing threats," said Mathews.
The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. The Super Hornet Block II achieved Initial Operational Capability in 2007.
Boeing is on contract to deliver 24 two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornets to the Royal Australian Air Force. The Super Hornet also is a competitor in ongoing fighter competitions in Brazil, India, Malaysia and Japan.
The Boeing EA-18G Growler is the only air combat platform that delivers full-spectrum airborne electronic attack (AEA) capability along with the targeting and self-defense capabilities derived from the Block II Super Hornet. A derivative of the two-seat F/A-18F Block II, the EA-18G's highly flexible design enables warfighters to operate either from the deck of an aircraft carrier or from land-based airfields. It is replacing the Navy's current AEA platform, the EA-6B Prowler, which has been in service since 1971. The EA-18G joined the Navy's aircraft fleet in 2008, when it was introduced to fleet training squadron VAQ-129. The EA-18G achieved Initial Operational Capability in 2009.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 66,000 employees worldwide.

Indonesian Navy successfully tests Russian anti-ship missile

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) - The Indonesian Navy has successfully tested a Russian-made anti-ship missile for the first time, the Antara national news agency reported on Thursday.
The Yakhont anti-ship missile was launched on Wednesday from the Van Speijk class frigate, Oswald Siahaan, during naval exercises in the Indian Ocean. Russian observers oversaw the drills, which involved 12 ships and over 1,000 personnel.
It took six minutes for the missile to cover 250 nautical miles and destroy a designated target.
"The target ship was hit [by the missile] and sank," Navy spokesman Rear Admiral Iskandar Sitompul said. "We bought these missiles a long time ago, and have finally tested them."
Indonesia bought an undisclosed number of Russian SS-N-26 Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles for $1.2-million apiece in 2007 to replace Harpoon missiles on its frigates.
The missile has a maximum range of 300 kilometers when cruising at high altitude. It flies at low level during the terminal phase, and between 5 and 15 meters in altitude.

Is China Developing a VSTOL Fighter?

TAIPEI - China may have test-flown the J-18 Red Eagle vertical short takeoff and landing (VSTOL) fighter earlier this month, if chatter on Chinese-language military blogs is accurate.
China's defense industry is largely opaque and it is difficult to substantiate Internet chatter. However, Chinese-language military blogs reported the first test flight of the stealthy J-20 Black Eagle fighter in January, much to the surprise of the Western media.
Now there are reports emerging of a test flight of the J-18. Tests were supposedly conducted earlier this month and the fighter is similar to the Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-based fighter.
"In 2005, a Chinese aviation industry source told me the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation was considering a F-35B-like program," said Richard Fisher, vice president of the Washington-based International Assessment and Strategy Center. "Given the PLA's naval power projection ambitions, it is probable there is VSTOL or STOVL [short takeoff and vertical landing] fighter program."
There are "many alleged programs in the Chinese blogosphere," Fisher said.
These include a J-16 built by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), which is a stealthier dedicated attack version of the J-11B (Su-27) multirole fighter with active electronically scanned array radar and an internal weapons bay, which will "reportedly emerge this summer," he said.
China is expected to begin sea trials for its first aircraft carrier this summer. Analysts believe the J-15 Flying Shark, a copy of the Sukhoi Su-33, will be China's first carrier-based fighter. SAC procured an earlier prototype of the Su-33 from the Ukraine in 2001 and the J-15 reportedly conducted its first test flight in mid-2009.
There have also been questionable Chinese-language military blogs providing sketchy reporting on J-17 and J-19 fighter programs. Reportedly, the J-17 is long-range fighter-bomber based on the Russian Sukhoi Su-34 and the J-19 is a heavy multirole fighter based on the J-11B.