USAF chief bullish on digital design solutions for B-21, Sentinel programmes

by Gillian Rich

The B-21 Raider programme is using digital design and collaboration. (Northrop Grumman)

US Air Force (USAF) chief of staff General Charles Brown said on 22 June that he would like to see a collaborative and digital approach continue across the air force following positive results on its use with the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber and LGM-35A Sentinel next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

At a Hudson Institute talk, Gen Brown said the collaboration between airmen set to operate the platforms, acquisition officials, and industry partners, enabled by digital design and engineering, helps solve potential issues early in the design process.

“You've probably watched programmes over the years, what happens is we have another good idea. We keep adding those good ideas on, which drives cost and schedule issues versus going, ‘here's what you can really get done'”, he said.

“And if you're using a digital approach, then you can actually continue to upgrade and modify, particularly if it's software based, and make adjustments to the design before you actually start bending metal,” he continued.


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ILA 2022: War in Ukraine driving Eastern European interest in contractor-supplied helicopters

by Gareth Jennings

IDA Group displayed one of its Black Hawk helicopters at the ILA 2022 event in Berlin. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The ongoing war in Ukraine is driving Eastern European interest in acquiring contractor-supplied light attack and transport helicopters, a provider told Janes on 23 June.

Speaking at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, Lukas Hollnsteiner, International Defense and Aerospace Group (IDAG) director of sales, said that with many Eastern European countries operating Warsaw Pact-era helicopters, hostilities between Ukraine and Russia mean that it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain these helicopters in an airworthy condition.

“Ukraine has certainly changed things, with the Mi-8 and Mi-17 types flown across Eastern Europe being in limbo [in terms of their sustainment and support],” Hollnsteiner said.

Based in Titusville in the US, Budapest in Hungary, Prague in the Czech Republic, and Košice in Slovakia, IDAG is the exclusive supplier to Eastern Europe of the MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) MD 530F light helicopter, and also provides surplus US Army UH-60 Black Hawks.


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UK cancels Mosquito ‘loyal wingman'

by Gareth Jennings

An artist's impression of the Mosquito ‘loyal wingman' that has been cancelled in favour of achieving the same additive capabilities by other means. (Crown Copyright)

The United Kingdom has cancelled its Mosquito ‘loyal wingman', deciding instead on a “change of direction” for the Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) programme from which it was being developed.

Announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 24 June, the decision by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) not to take the Mosquito beyond its current design phase was decided on the basis that the desired additive capabilities can be better achieved by other means.

“The decision was informed by parallel analysis and capability experimentation conducted by the RAF and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl),” the MoD said in a statement. “The accumulation of analysis concluded that more beneficial capability and cost-effectiveness appears achievable through exploration of smaller, less costly, but still highly capable additive capabilities.”


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ILA 2022: Airbus promotes H145M D3 enhancements and pitches further improvements to international market

by Gareth Jennings

As a major operator of the H145M, the German armed forces could benefit from a raft of enhancements proposed by the manufacturer Airbus. (Airbus)

Airbus Helicopters has highlighted the latest enhancements it has rolled into the D3 standard of its H145M medium-twin rotorcraft, and is proposing a raft of additional improvements in an effort to attract new operators to the type.

Speaking to Janes and other defence media ahead of ILA 2022, Constance Pinsdorf, senior programme manager H145 governmental business, said that with the current D3 standard of the H145M providing superior capabilities over the upgraded D2 and original C2 standards,improvements that are earmarked will provide further capabilities.

“Due to the fact we are based on a civilian version, which is really successful and really mature, we have a long history [of developing this type], and I am confident that we have a mature system that is working for the customer,” Pinsdorf said. “We have come from the C2 and D2 versions to the D3 version, [and] we are now taking the D3 evolution to the next stage.”


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/industry-headlines/latest/usaf-chief-bullish-on-digital-design-solutions-for-b-21-sentinel-programmes

US Air Force (USAF) chief of staff General Charles Brown said on 22 June that he would like to see a...

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