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Turkey, US to modify the SOM cruise missile for use with F-35

October 23, 2014 by · Comment
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Continued strikes in Syria draw coalition air power from Iraq

October 21, 2014 by · Comment
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Global Hotspots Report – 8/2014

August 9, 2014 by · Comment
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Turkey Delays missile defense decision to August 30

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Turkish Army inducts first T129 recce/attack helicopter unit

May 2, 2014 by · Comment
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Turkey distancing from missile deal with China

March 11, 2014 by · Comment
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Turkey Extends Deadline for European/US Missile Defense Proposals

January 30, 2014 by · Comment
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Turkey Orders 10 Anka UAVs

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Updated: China’s CPMIEC Selected for Turkish Missile Defense program

September 29, 2013 by · Comment
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Syrian Conflict Could Win Ankara a Saudi Order for Altay Main Battle Tanks

May 31, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Saudi Arabia, Syndicated Industry News, Turkey 

Turkish new main battle tank Altai is expected to enter production in 2015Turkey’s defense industry may sell hundreds of new generation Altay battle tanks (video) to Saudi Arabia, as the two countries show a common understanding on the civil war in Syria – Defense-Update reports. The rift between Sunni and Shiite...

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F-35 Continued Production Lands P&W Engine Contract

The F-35 will continue production in FY12 and FY13. The Pentagon has gone ahead and ordered the FY12 buy from Lockheed Martin (LMT) for another 30 or so aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Marines and Navy as well as various foreign partners. This contract was awarded in December. The full production buy follows the advance procurement purchase made last year to support the long lead items for the latest production batch of the advanced fighter. The future of the program may get more interesting depending on how big a cut the Pentagon needs to make in the FY13 and out. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the biggest acquisition program in history if all parts of it are executed coming in at well over a trillion dollars for production and support over the program’s lifetime. In order to save funding cuts to this total investment might become easy.

As part of the F-35 production there has to be engines and now that the fight between the F-135 manufactured by Pratt & Whitney, part of United Technologies (UTX), and the alternate engine from General Electric (GE) and Rolls-Royce (RR:LSE) is over those orders need to go to Pratt.

This means that last week as part of the upcoming advanced procurement for future aircraft P&W received a contract worth almost $200 million to support the engine production for 37 F-35 for the U.S., Italy and Australia.

The F-35 despite the fact that the budget wars about to affect the Pentagon may seriously change the program has had a few good weeks. First, Japan decided to buy it to replace some of their F-15 aircraft. Turkey also decided to buy two of the aircraft from a potential order of 100.

The contracts could be worth billions to Lockheed Martin and its supporting contractors as well aid the U.S. by decreasing the price of their aircraft. Every F-35 sold to another country will help keep production quantities up and prices down.

Overall the F-35 forms the core of the U.S. plans to modernize its aircraft fleets. Cuts in its quantities will only mean a requirement for older aircraft to fly longer at greater cost or reduced capability for the United States. This means despite the potential for reductions in U.S. defense spending the F-35 will remain a large part of the budget for the next several years.

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Turkey Buys Sikorsky

Foreign countries wanting to acquire United States weapon systems or technology have different avenues available to them. They may do a strait Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case where they contract through the U.S. Department of Defense with suppliers to provide the same or similar equipment that the U.S. is buying. Another option is to directly contract with a company to get a unique piece of equipment that in some cases has never been used by the U.S. military. Turkey has chosen this route with the announcement that they will buy over one hundred S-70 Black Hawk aircraft from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (SAC). SAC is a subsidiary of United Technologies (UTX) and is based in Connecticut.

The S-70 is the commercial market version of the UH-60 Black Hawk aircraft which is the core medium lift system for the U.S. Army while also being used by the Navy, Air Force and other U.S. government agencies. The Black Hawk has also seen robust FMS sales across the globe including users like Australia, various Gulf States and most recently Sweden.

Turkey’s contract is initially valued at about $3.5 billion. Like many Turkish defense programs the aircraft will have substantial portions of it built in Turkey in this case by Tusas Aerospace Industries. This will allow rapid expansion of the contract if Turkey decides as well as an option for them to make the aircraft for foreign sales themselves. SAC will provide parts, assemblies and technical assistance to help the Turkish production and assembly facility.

The S-70 has seen some sales to other countries as well as U.S. agencies. The T-70 will be equipped with specific Turkish equipment and modifications most likely to include the radio suite, armament and other equipment. By doing it this way Turkey does not necessarily limit itself to equipment that has been used on the UH-60 and qualified by the American government. At the same time, though, they lose some of the efficiencies of the large U.S. production contract with SAC.

Italy’s Augusta Westland, part of Finnemechanica (FNC:MI) , was also bidding on this contract.

Photo form David Jackmason’s flickr photostream.

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Turkey and Taiwan Buy Attack Helicopters

Yesterday both Turkey and Taiwan announced new buys of attack helicopters. These type of aircraft have demonstrated their capabilities in Iraq and Afghanistan by providing precision fire support for ground troops as well as engaging high value targets from safe, standoff distances. The U.S., United Kingdom and the Netherlands have all deployed their Boeing (BA) AH-64 Apache aircraft to Afghanistan for example.

Turkey increased their planned purchase of the Augusta Westland (AW) T129 helicopter by nine with a further order worth about $200 million. This will bring the total number of aircraft purchased to sixty. The aircraft will be assembled at the Turkish Aerospace Industries plant in Turkey. The aircraft is still being designed and initial delivery is expected in 2012.

Taiwan went with its U.S. allies’ product the AH-64 by placing an order for at least thirty of the D model. These are part of an arms sale agreement from 2008. The contract also pay for two trainers. The AH-64D Longbow has a millimeter radar and carries Hellfire anti-tank missiles and a 30 mm cannon. It will also be one of the primary platforms for the new Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) in development by the U.S. Army for its own use and the Air Force’s. The advanced procurement part of this contract is worth a little over $140 million.

The U.S. especially has invested several billion dollars since 2001 in improving and expanding their rotary wing fleet. This includes the UH-60M, CH-47F and the AH-64 Block IIID which just entered production. Other nations have also done this with Boeing, Sikorsky, Eurocopter and Augusta Westland benefiting. The purchase of new helicopters for use by the Iraqi and Afghan governments has also led to orders for the Kazakh based manufacturer of the Mi-17 Hip heavily used by the Russian military and former Soviet Union aligned countries.

Photo from jensen_chua flickr photostream.

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Northrop Grumman Expands Composites Manufacturing Training for Major Turkish F-35 Supplier — Press Release

Northrop Grumman Expands Composites Manufacturing Training for Major Turkish F-35 Supplier
Hands-on training helps Turkish Aerospace Industries prepare for its role as a second source supplier for jet’s center fuselage

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) is adding momentum to Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc.’s (TAI) readiness to build complete center fuselages for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft by teaching its engineers how to build the complex composite structures used in the jet.

From Jan. 18 to Feb. 12, the company conducted rigorous classroom and hands-on training at its Advanced Composites Center in El Segundo for more than a dozen engineers and manufacturing specialists from TAI. The training was the third in a planned series of classes designed to teach TAI employees, ultimately, how to build a complete F-35 center fuselage.

“To date, TAI has made great progress in learning the tools and techniques of composites manufacturing,” said Mark Tucker, vice president and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “The recent training helped solidify their understanding of how to successfully produce and handle the actual composite inlet ducts used in the F-35.”

TAI is a second source supplier of F-35 center fuselages to Northrop Grumman, a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team. The Turkish company is slated to produce 400 center fuselages for the program beginning in the low rate initial production phases.

Guided by Northrop Grumman F-35 subject matter experts, the training engaged the TAI employees actively in the production of forward and aft inlet ducts for the jet. It included learning how to use the complex fiber placement mandrels that define the shape of the ducts; operating the machines that perform the actual fiber placement process; preparing the ducts for curing; performing post cure processing; and machining and conducting a final inspection of the completed parts.

According to Tucker, one of the parts that the TAI team helped produce – a forward inlet duct – will be integrated into one of the first major structural assemblies to be produced at TAI’s new F-35 assembly facilities in Ankara, Turkey later this year.

For Turker Dolek, a senior member of the TAI group, the benefits of the training extended far beyond simply refining and maturing their F-35 composite manufacturing skills.

“What we are also learning from Northrop Grumman is how to handle and manage manufacturing problems,” explains Dolek. “We’re very impressed that the company is encouraging all of its suppliers to bring their best effort to the program. All of the Northrop Grumman employees on the program are doing their best. We’re very honored to be part of this project.”

The TAI training is part of Northrop Grumman’s on-going commitment to help expand international participation in the F-35 program, build a reliable global supply chain, and help Lockheed Martin transition the program successfully from its current system development and demonstration phase into the LRIP and full-rate production phases.

Northrop Grumman is responsible for designing and producing the center fuselage for all three variants of the F-35. The company also designed and produces the aircraft’s radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team’s development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team’s use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

Source: Northrop Grumman Corporation

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Turkey To Go Ahead With Israeli UAV Deal

The Turkish Government announced yesterday that they are willing to take delivery of six of the ten Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) reconnaissance systems purchased from Israeli companies. The six systems passed performance tests and this will allow Israel to ship them to Turkey. Another four systems that were part of the contract will have to pass similar tests to be delivered.

Israel has been progressively trying to sell equipment to foreign customers and has had some success with Turkey and India. This contract was let five years ago and was a major coup for Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) when they won it. Some development issues have led to the long delivery period. Israel’s defense establishment hopes to garner further sales of such equipment as these UAV demonstrate their capabilities for Turkey.

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Turkey To Buy Targeting Pods

The Turkish government awarded Lockheed Martin (LMT) a contract to provide Snyper targeting and navigation pods for use on their F-16 aircraft. The contract is wroth over $100 million. The U.S. military and many allies that operate the F-16 have ordered the system. It has also been outfitted on aircraft such as the F-15E, A-10, Harriers and the CF-18.

The pod provides targeting and imaging equipment that integrates with the aircraft and its weapons to help make attacks more precise. The pod contains various sensors such as Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) and a laser targeting system. The pod is stabilized to improve the quality of the picture and the targeting information. Of course the aircraft must give up a hard point when using this system trading off payload for a more precision strike.

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A400M Talks Continue

With the Paris Airshow coming up there is a great deal of pressure on EADS to be able to announce some good news at the premier showcase for their products. The company is looking at some severe issues on the military side with their major program the A400M facing push back from its customers.

This medium transport program is at a critical juncture as the nations looking to buy it have the right to end their deals and demand several million dollars worth of payments back from the company. England has been the most negative on the project as their budget problems overall are forcing an entire re-look at military procurement. Some of the other smaller countries such as Spain and Turkey have been more positive.

Now it is reported that talks between EADS and its customers have been extended once again to try and work something out. The hope is that more defense work will be able to balance off the decline in the civil aviation market driven by the world’s recession. Unfortunately like Boeing is facing EADS may have to deal with some major cuts to plans for U.S. defense spending. The FY 2011 budget may continue the large cuts to defense programs that Obama’s first one did.

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Support for the A400M from Spain and Turkey

The Guardian is reporting that these two countries have affirmed their support for their orders from EADS for the new transports. Unlike France, the UK and Germany who have openly discussed canceling or modifying their orders Spain and Turkey have said that they still want the new aircraft. The A400M will be assembled in Spain. There two orders make up about 25% of the planned fleet of the aircraft. It has been decided that the seven NATO countries who have bought the plane will talk every two weeks or so to review the status of the program. The decision on whether EADS would have to pay back the customers due to the two year delay in the program has been extended to May 1st. EADS feels that they need relief both in time and price and really need to renegotiate the contract to account for this long delay. Either canceling the contract or making EADS pay the penalties would be a great blow to the company.

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Lockheed to Begin Producing Turkish F-16 Aircraft

The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed a contract worth almost $800 million to produced thirty F-16 aircraft for Turkey. Reuters reports that this is an option on a $2.9 billion contract awarded in 2007 for the aircraft. Previous action on the contract was to purchase long lead materials for the aircraft, and this option begins the actual manufacturing of the fighters. The F-16 aircraft will help modernize the Turkish forces and help with NATO standardization.

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