US Navy seeks new ‘Aggressor' training aircraft

by Gareth Jennings

Seen in USN colours as part of Boeing's pitch for the service's Undergraduate Jet Training System requirement, the T-7A Red Hawk is likely to be one of the candidate platforms put forward for the USN's recently released Tactical Surrogate Aircraft requirement. (Boeing)

The US Navy (USN) has issued a request for information (RFI) for a new Aggressor aircraft for ‘red air' combat training.

The Tactical Surrogate Aircraft (TSA) requirement released on 21 October would see a new aircraft type perform three primary pilot training missions, namely to augment flight time and training in front-line type model series aircraft, provide adversary air support, and to serve as a flight lead aircraft for fleet replacement squadrons.

“The aircraft needs to simulate and/or replicate current and future fighter aircraft systems by providing the training environment and relevant experience to build tactical skills, systems management skills, and decision-making skills required for weapon system employment actions. These actions will be influenced by environmental information, avionics outputs, sensor data, weapon-cueing, and manoeuvre elements,” the RFI said.


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AFRL pursues multispectral threat warning under EOS-DEW

by Richard Scott

The US Air Force has launched an effort to develop and demonstrate prototype advanced integrated threat warning system technologies to address multispectral guided missiles, hostile fire, and directed energy weapon systems.

Led by the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL's) Sensors Directorate, the Electro-Optic Sensing Defensive Electronic Warfare (EOS-DEW) programme is intended to mature integrated multispectral threat warning solutions combining missile sensing, laser sensing, and hostile fire sensing, while also advancing test and developmental risk reduction methodologies. The latter includes exploring new techniques for multispectrum simulation, multithreat simulation, and sensing technology evaluation, together with enhanced testing and evaluation techniques to support research and development.

According to a EOS-DEW call released on 30 November, the diverse nature of the missile threat requires exploiting various sensing techniques and early launch detection, requiring “continual improvements in missile warning sensor architectures, exploiting different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum”.

It continued, “Directed energy threat detection, on the other hand, requires laser detection schemes containing multiple discriminants. The relative fidelity of coherence, wavelength, direction-of-arrival, geolocation, fluence, and pulse processing discriminants is dictated by the threat spaces of interest and drives the complexity of warning sensor architectures to satisfy hand-off requirements for protection countermeasures.”


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Brazilian Army mulls loitering munitions and armed UAVs

by Victor Barreira

The Brazilian Army uses the hand-launched FT-100 fixed-wing ISTAR tactical UAV for different applications. (FT SISTEMAS S/A)

The Brazilian Army is seeking to adopt unmanned combat tactical effectors such as loitering munitions and armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The army is conducting preliminary studies that are expected to culminate with the publication of requirements for such systems over the next few years, Lieutenant Colonel Leonardo Gomes Saraiva, Army High-Staff supervisor of the Subprogram Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (SPrg SARP), told Janes .

Acquiring loitering munitions is planned for the short term, while the Category 0, 1, 2, or 4 armed UAVs with beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) capability are to be procured in a short to medium term.

The SPrg SARP, part of the Army Strategic Program Obtaining Full Operational Capability (Prg EE OCOP), is aimed at acquiring unmanned systems for roles such as intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR); electronic signals intelligence (ELINT); communications intelligence; logistics, fire support and command-and-control, and to support the Brazilian Defence Technological and Industrial Base. Final administrative activities to formally establish the SPrg SARP will occur in 2022, Lt Coronel Saraiva said.


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Increasing availability key to future A400M sales, Airbus official

by Gareth Jennings

Airbus notes that availability of its A400M remains an issue for current and prospective users, and that the company is committed to addressing outstanding problems. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Airbus needs to improve the availability of its A400M Atlas if it is to build on the transport aircraft's recent export successes, a senior company official said on 30 November.

Speaking at the virtual Airbus Trade Media Briefing (TMB) 2021, Michael Schoellhorn, the CEO of the Airbus Defence and Space division, said that poor availability remains an issue for the A400M, but that the issue is being addressed as the company looks to build on the first two export contracts for 15 years that it secured during recent months.

“There is still something to be done and improved around availability – we are very aware of that, and I have made this a part of my time every day to look at that,” Schoellhorn told Janes


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The US Navy (USN) has issued a request for information (RFI) for a new Aggressor aircraft for ‘red a...

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