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South Korea selects the Embraer C-390 Millennium

South Korea selects the Embraer C-390 Millennium

C-390 is the winner of LTA-II program public tender to provide the Republic of Korea Air Force with new military transport aircraft. The country will be Asia’s first C-390 Millennium operator

Seoul, South Korea, December 04, 2023 – South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced Embraer’s C-390 Millennium as the winner of the Large Transport Aircraft (LTA) II public tender to provide the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) with new military transport aircraft. South Korea is the C-390 Millennium’s first customer in Asia.

Per the finalized contract, Embraer is set to deliver an undisclosed number of C-390 Millennium aircraft meticulously tailored to meet the specific requirements of the ROKAF. The agreement extends beyond the aircraft itself, encompassing a spectrum of services and support, including training, ground support equipment, and spare parts. The financial value associated with this contract will be integrated into Embraer’s backlog during the final quarter of 2023.

The package includes a substantial allocation of C-390 Millennium components

In addition to the aircraft delivery, Embraer is committed to providing a comprehensive consortium and offset package. This package includes a substantial allocation of C-390 Millennium components to be produced locally by Korean partner companies. Furthermore, it involves the establishment of a local Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) provider.

Bosco da Costa Jr., President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “We welcome the Republic of Korea Air Force to the growing number of air forces operating the C-390 Millennium – the most modern military tactical transport aircraft.” Da Costa emphasized the aircraft’s consistent performance in various missions, highlighting its efficiency, serviceability, and speed. He also emphasized the collaborative commitment between Brazil and South Korea to enhance the capabilities of their aerospace and defense industries.

South Korea’s decision to opt for the C-390 Millennium makes it the seventh nation to choose this aircraft, following Brazil, Portugal, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Renowned for redefining military airlift, the C-390 challenges conventional perspectives on current and future-generation platforms. Its design incorporates multi-mission capability, reliability, and interoperability.

Since its operational debut with the Brazilian Air Force in 2019 and, more recently, with the Portuguese Air Force in 2023, the C-390 has consistently demonstrated its capacity, reliability, and performance. The existing fleet has amassed over 10,800 flight hours, showcasing an operational availability of approximately 80% and mission completion rates exceeding 99%, underscoring exceptional productivity within its category.

C-390 Payload capacity of 26 tons

Distinguishing itself from medium-sized military transport aircraft, the C-390 boasts an impressive payload capacity of 26 tons and a higher flying speed at 470 knots. Its versatility enables a broad spectrum of missions, including cargo and troop transport, medical evacuation, search and rescue, firefighting, and humanitarian endeavors. Notably, the aircraft can operate on temporary or unpaved runways, such as packed earth, soil, and gravel. Additionally, the version equipped with air-to-air refueling capabilities, designated as the KC-390, has already demonstrated its prowess both as a tanker and as a receiver during aerial refueling operations.

He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

Aerospace

Airbus presents new Wingman concept at ILA Berlin Airshow

Airbus presents new Wingman concept at ILA Berlin Airshow

At the prestigious ILA aerospace trade show in Berlin, Airbus Defence and Space made waves by introducing its pioneering Wingman concept, marking a significant leap forward in military aviation technology.

Teaming up with Helsing, Europe’s leading defense AI and software company, Airbus showcased a framework cooperation agreement aimed at revolutionizing the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) in defense.

Airbus Wingman

The Wingman concept represents a paradigm shift in aerial warfare, introducing unmanned platforms equipped with advanced AI capabilities to augment the capabilities of manned combat aircraft. Pilots in command aircraft such as the Eurofighter command these autonomous drones, positioning them to undertake high-risk mission tasks that would traditionally pose a significant threat to manned-only aircraft.

Central to the Wingman concept is Manned-Unmanned Teaming, wherein manned aircraft serve as “command fighters,” retaining ultimate control over mission decisions while delegating tactical tasks to unmanned systems. This synergistic collaboration promises to enhance mission flexibility, increase combat mass, and minimize risk exposure for pilots, thereby bolstering overall operational effectiveness.

The capabilities of the Wingman extend across a diverse spectrum of mission profiles, ranging from reconnaissance and target jamming to precision strikes against both ground and aerial targets. Equipped with advanced sensors, connectivity solutions, and a diverse array of armaments, the Wingman stands poised to redefine the operational landscape of modern air forces.

While the Wingman model showcased at ILA Berlin represents the pinnacle of current technological innovation, it also serves as a catalyst for future design iterations. As with any pioneering concept, refinement and evolution are inevitable, with each generation of the Wingman poised to push the boundaries of aerial warfare even further.

MQ-28 Ghost Bat

Boeing introduced the MQ-28 Ghost Bat, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), which made its maiden flight in February 2021. Developed by Boeing Australia, the MQ-28 leverages artificial intelligence to serve as a force multiplier for manned fighter jets.

The Ghost Bat is engineered to operate in tandem with existing military aircraft, enhancing and extending the capabilities of airborne missions. This cost-effective UCAV is designed to work as an intelligent teammate, complementing and amplifying the effectiveness of manned operations in various mission profiles.

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Aerospace

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber

Take First Glimpse of USAF B-21 Raider, Latest Nuclear Stealth Bomber
Image:USAF

The United States Air Force (USAF) has unveiled the first photographs of the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber in flight.

These images were captured during test flights conducted by the B-21 Combined Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base, marking a significant milestone in the development of this sixth-generation aircraft.

Currently undergoing flight tests in California, the B-21 Raider represents the next generation of stealth bombers. With an estimated cost of around $700 million per aircraft, the B-21 Raider is poised to become a crucial component of the USAF’s arsenal for conventional Long Range Strike missions.

According to Air Force briefings, the B-21 Raider will form part of a comprehensive family of systems, encompassing Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capabilities, electronic warfare, communication systems, and more. Notably, the bomber will be nuclear-capable and adaptable for both manned and unmanned operations.

It boasts the flexibility to deploy a wide array of stand-off and direct-attack munitions, ensuring versatility in various combat scenarios. One of the B-21’s distinguishing features is its extensive integration of digital technology, as highlighted in discussions held during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Designed with an open systems architecture, the B-21 Raider is built to swiftly incorporate emerging technologies, ensuring its effectiveness against evolving threats over time. The B-21 Raider is slated to replace the aging B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers, bolstering US national security objectives and providing reassurance to allies and partners worldwide.

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Aerospace

Aurora Flight Sciences Unveils Innovative X-Plane Design

Aurora Flight Sciences Unveils Innovative X-Plane Design

Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing company, has recently completed the conceptual design review for a groundbreaking high-speed, vertical lift X-plane.

This aircraft, part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program called Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT), aims to demonstrate key technologies and integrated concepts that combine high speed with runway independence.

Aurora’s design features a low-drag, fan-in-wing demonstrator integrated into a blended wing body platform. This innovative approach merges the agility of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) with exceptional speed capabilities.

The team is focused on ensuring the program’s success by setting the stage for successful flight demonstrations, showcasing a transformative capability for air mobility and Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions.

New renderings of the fan-in-wing (FIW) demonstrator show three lift fans, a more refined composite exterior, and an uncrewed cockpit. The decision to use three lift fans simplifies the demonstrator, streamlining its path to flight testing. This FIW technology can be scaled to incorporate four or more lift fans to meet future aircraft requirements, potentially leading to a new family of systems.

Additionally, while the current demonstrator is uncrewed to facilitate testing and reduce risk, the FIW technology is fully adaptable to crewed aircraft. Aurora’s concept is designed to meet or exceed DARPA’s challenging program objectives. The blended wing body platform is capable of a 450-knot cruise speed, and the embedded lift fans with integrated covers enable a smooth transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

The design also utilizes existing engine solutions, reducing development risks and timelines. Besides VTOL, the aircraft can perform short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL), super short take-off and landing (SSTOL), and conventional take-off and landing.

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