Category Archives: Aviation Headlines

More Russian Berievs

The Beriev BE-200ES amphibious fire-fighting and transport aircraft (Image © Beriev)
The Beriev BE-200ES amphibious fire-fighting and transport aircraft (Image © Beriev)
The Russian Ministry of Defense recently ordered an additional six Beriev BE-200 multipurpose aircraft. They will be featuring the Barcos cockpit visualization solution, according to a press release.

Over the past years, long-term Barco customers Beriev Aviation Company and the Institute of Aircraft Equipment (NIIAO) have worked to upgrade the Beriev BE-200 amphibious aircraft.

The upgraded Beriev is fitted with an EASA-compliant, full-glass cockpit solution, comprising six Barco MFD-2068 multi-function displays and two customized Barco Control Display and Management Systems (CDMS-3000).

In July 2012, the Russian Ministry of Emergencies ordered six of the new Beriev BE-200 planes. Now, barely one year later, the Defense Ministry has ordered six additional new aircraft: two factory-standard BE-200 ChS (ChS is the Russian acronym for emergency situations) and four BE-200PS search and rescue planes.

Initially designed in 1998 to fight forest fires, the Beriev BE-200 has the ability to scoop up 12 tonnes of water in 14 seconds. In addition, the multi-purpose aircraft can also be configured as a freighter or as a passenger aircraft, allowing transportation of up to 72 passengers.

Technology company Barco is registered on NYSE Euronext Brussels and is active inmore than 90 countries with 3,900 employees worldwide.

Source: Barco Press Release

Touchdown for UK’s Lightning II No. 3

The third new Lightning II fighter for the UK touches down at Eglin AFB (Image © Lockheed Martin)
The third new Lightning II fighter for the UK touches down at Eglin AFB (Image © Lockheed Martin)
The UK’s third new Lightning II fighter jet (F-35B) arrived at Eglin AFB in Florida in June to start pilot and maintainer training, reports the press department of manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

USMC Lt. Col. Roger Hardy piloted the aircraft known as BK-3 (ZM137) on its 90-minute ferry flight from the F-35 production plant at NAS Fort Worth JRB.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information and network-enabled operations.

Once delivered in several years from now the Lightning II will be deployed aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carriers. Therefore the B-version of the F-35 has special Short Take-off and Vertical Landing abilities. The US Marine Corps aims to have their F-35Bs at Initial Operational Capability in 2015.

The UK’s Lightnings are produced by Lockheed Martin in co-operation with Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, GE Aviation, Martin-Baker, SELEX, Cobham, Ultra Electronics, UTC Actuation Systems and Rolls-Royce.

Source: Lockheed Martin

Check out the Royal Air Force Orbat at

Dutch F-16s snap 3 million images of Afghanistan

RecceLite pod on a RNLAF F-16 (Image © NL Ministry of Defence)
RecceLite pod on a RNLAF F-16 (Image © NL Ministry of Defence)

A Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 fighter made the 3 millionth Dutch image of Afghanistan with the photo reconnaissance system RecceLite in mid-June.

The Koninlijke Luchtmacht (KLu) detachment has been using the recce pod in Afghanistan since 2009, making tens of thousands of photos every day. They help to detect so-called improvised explosive devices (‘home-made bombs’) that pose a threat to soldiers and civilians on the ground.

According to the Dutch Ministry of Defence F-16s of the Royal Netherlands Air Force are the only assets in northern Afghanistan to use advanced photo recon technology.

KLu F-16 also provide close air support when requested by NATO/ISAF command and have been doing that ever since the multi-role fighters were first deployed in the Asian country in 2002.

Source: Press release NL MoD

Check out the Royal Netherlands Air Force Orbat at

400th Embraer Phenom in business

The Embraer Phenom 100 and 300 (Image © Embraer)
The Embraer Phenom 100 and 300 (Image © Embraer)
Embraer recently delivered its 400th Phenom business jet. The German Hansgrohe Group got the Phenom 300 at the aircraft factory in Brazil, according to an Embraer press release.

The Phenom is a entry-level, light business jet fairly which gains popularity amongst corporate users. 60 Phenoms fly in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, most of the remaining 340 in North and South America.

The Phenom family consists of the Phenom 100 and the more advanced Phenom 300. The 300 has a range of 1,971 miles (3,650 km) with 6 occupants and reserve fuel. At sea level it needs 3,138 feet (956 m) to take-off and 2.621 feet (799 m) to land. Its regular high speed cruise is 453 knots, while it has a service ceiling of 45,000 feet.

Source: Embraer Executive Jets

German Special Forces choose most powerful EC145

The US Army has ordered 322 EC145s, dubbed UH-72A, of which 270 have been delivered by June 2013. (Image © EADS North America)
The US Army has ordered 322 EC145s, dubbed UH-72A, of which 270 have been delivered by June 2013. (Image © EADS North America)
The German Special Forces (Kommando Spezialkräfte (KSK)) have choosen the most powerful EC145 helicopter for its special ops. Fifteen so-called EC645 T2 Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) will begin to arrive late 2015. According to the Eurocopter press release final delivery is planned for mid-2017.

The LUH contract enhances the Special Forces Command’s operational capability. The day and night missions that these helicopters will perform include insertion and extraction of special ops, fire support and reconnaissance.

The EC645 T2 LUH features a modern digital cockpit with full night vision and a 4-axis autopilot. Its communication equipment including tactical radios enables interoperability among NATO forces. Special ops teams can quickly access the aircraft thanks to its spacious cabin, which has two large sliding side doors and double doors at the rear. The helicopter’s maximum take-off weight is 3.7 tons. Troop safety is improved by the Fenestron shrouded tail rotor, particularly for flight operations in confined landing sites and whenever the rotor is turning on ground.

In addition, the mission equipment packages include fast rope system, cargo hooks and hoists. The aircraft are also equipped with pintle armament and electro-optical sensors. A self-protection system and ballistic protection further increase crew safety and aircraft survivability. The EC645 T2 is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines and is equipped with dual-channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC).

The helicopter can be strategically airlifted in an Airbus A400M and quickly prepared for the mission upon arrival in a theater of operations.

The contract, worth a total of 194 million euros, includes not just the helicopters but also the related equipment packages to allow KSK to carry out its special operations missions. About 600 helicopters of the EC145 family have been delivered to more than 40 countries.

Source: Press Release Eurocopter