The Germans will probably cancel the Eurohawk drones programme, saidagency today.
The reason for such course of events is not the cost of the drones itself, but thes cost of adapting the drones to the European airspace standards which are set by European Aviation Safety Agency.
Image Credit: Haditechnikai Kerekasztal
The bill itself is going to be up to 600-700 million euros. And it is not certain whether that would be the final aggregate price of introducing the Euro Hawk system into service.
Currently, the Germans have only one Global Hawk drone and are planning to buy 4 more. The budget allocated to the procurement of the drones is about 1,2 billion Euro.
Nevertheless, that information would be meaningless in the light of the budget cuts that happen all over the world due to the global economic crisis. However, the NATO European strategy assumes that the drones would be used to patrol the areas of the Eastern end of NATO territorries, as TheAviationist analysed it earlier this year.
Based on Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4B Block 20 Global Hawk, Eurohawk was meant to be used as an ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) platform by the German armed forces.
Taking into account the fact that the Germans would supposedly not buy the above-mentioned drones, the whole concept of AGS (Alliance Ground Surveilance) is not as certain as it was earlier.
Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist
Poland wants new Mig-29 Fulcrum simulators April 2, 2013Posted by Jacek Siminski in : Military Aviation , add a comment
Taking into account the fact that Polish MiGs are to be in service until approximately 2030, Polish MOD Armament Inspectorate has announced a new bid to get a flight simulator for this aircraft to be placed in Minsk Mazowiecki 23rd Tactical AFB.
The simulator is going to consist of the cockpit replica, instructor panel, visualization and IT system, additional equipment and spare parts. The bid offer entry period is to end on May 6. 2013.
Besides the bid on getting the MiG-29 sim, Polish Air Force wants to get simulators for SW-4 Puszczyk training Helicopters.
The simulators would not only allow to train own pilots but also to gain additional income from sharing them with other NATO pilots (e.g. Czech Mi-8 simulators used by pilots from all around the world)
Here is a photo of the F-16 sim:
Photo Credit: Łukasz Sawicz
And here is a video of an older technology, also located in Poland: a Su-22 Fitter Sim from 33rd AFB in Powidz.
Video Credit: Łukasz Sawicz
Short but interesting.
Although the discrepancy between the visual quality of the F-16 sim and Su-22 one is evident, it must be remembered that, rather than looking good, it is most important that the simulator behaves as the real planes.
Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist.com
First Polish Avionics-Modernized MiG-29 makes maiden flight March 18, 2013Posted by Jacek Siminski in : Military Aviation , 7comments
On Mar. 15 the first Polish MiG-29 to have undergone avionics upgrade in the Military Aviation Service Facility no. 2 (Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze nr 2) in Bydgoszcz took-off on its maiden flight. The upgrade plan aims at prolonging the combat potential of ex-Soviet made aircraft still being in service within the Polish Air Force.
Image Credit: Jacek Borzyszkowski
The planes being upgraded are from the 23rd Tactical Air Force Base in Minsk Mazowiecki.
The test flying programme is carried out by three pilots from Minsk and Malbork bases. The programme schedule includes using live armament (mainly gun) on the 21st Central Aviation Range (21. Centralny Poligon Lotniczy) in Nadarzyce.
All of the MiGs undergoing modernization are said to receive the new avionics by the end of next year.
The scope of modernization includes changing the analog avionics to digital ones, including new mission planning computer and data bus, to which additional devices may be connected.
Furthermore, the mechanical gyro is replaced with a laser system. Digital map and MFD (Multi-Function Display) are features of the programme.
MiGs are said to remain in service till 2028-2030. The data bus will allow for further changes in the avionics if needed.
MiG bureau also took part in the programme extending the service life for another 20 years (the MiGs in Polish Air Force are already 20 years old).
The exploitation programme has been changed – the MiGs do not have to undergo general repairs each 800 hours they spend in the air, but they will be used according to their technical status.
The Polish MiGs have already undergone modernization couple of years earlier, aim of which was to adapt the cockpit to NATO standards (English language indicators and gauges).
Worth noting: the Polish MiGs recently received new paint-job with portraits of the aviators that took part in Battle of Britain. The portraits are located on the vertical stabilizers.
Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist.com
Poland starts own F-16 Viper Maintenance Center March 11, 2013Posted by Jacek Siminski in : Military Aviation , add a comment
Poland has the most modern set of F-16s in Europe.
48 F-16 C/D Block 52+s were purchased in order to replace the obsolete ex-Warsaw Pact MiG-21s, Mig-23s and other fighters (the only remaining jets in the Polish Air Force are Mig-29s, TS-11s of the aerobatic team, Su-22s – soon to be replaced – possibly with UCAVs).
Regardless of that fact they still had to be serviced in the US as Poland did not have qualified personnel to do that. This is going to change very soon.
Image Credit: Radomił Binek
The Military Aviation Service Facility (Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze nr 2) in Bydgoszcz has a new department – National F-16 Servicing centre.
It is the 6th facility of that kind in Europe, making Poland somewhat unique in this respect. The other countries in Europe that are able to service Vipers on their own are Greece, Belgium, Turkey, Denmark and Portugal.
Two year contract that was signed by the facility may not seem impressive, as the money involved is only 4 Million Euro, but it took 10 years to prepare the center for full scope of F-16 maintenance.
Long training programme provided by Lockheed Martin had to be executed. Nevertheless it was logistically comfortable for the Polish workers, as it took place not in the US but in Bydgoszcz, on site. This choice reduced the costs and increased the speed of training.
The scope of activity for the servicing center is to provide experience to the ground crews in the F-16 bases (Krzesiny, Łask) and to carry out any repairs that are impossible to complete on the mother-airfield.
Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist.com
NATO Patriot missiles start arriving in Turkey January 9, 2013Posted by Richard Clements in : Syria, weapons , add a comment
January 4 saw U.S forces start to arrive at Incirlik airbase, Turkey, with two of the planned six Patriot batteries along with 400 personnel.
According to the press release the U.S forces arrived by air and it will take several days for all of the personnel to be in place. The troops have come from the US Army’s 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, based at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.
The other four batteries are to be supplied by Germany and the Netherlands with two batteries apiece. These Patriots should arrive in Turkey by ship and all batteries should be in place and ready to go by the end of January.
It will take a week or so to find suitable sites to place the missile systems and also a proper set of Rules of Engagement (RoE) still has to be agreed upon.
Image credit: AFP
The Dutch ministry of defence confirmed that the missile systems had left the Dutch port of Eemshaven and are expected to arrive in Turkey on Jan. 22.
Thirty Dutch and 20 German troops will leave from Eindhoven Air Base on Jan 8. to prepare the sites for the missiles
Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com