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Air

What's on show?
Farnborough International
Airshow 2018
Find out more about the Air products on show this year.

1 - Eurofighter Typhoon

 
Typhoon - FIAS 2018Eurofighter Typhoon is the most advanced and flexible multi-role combat aircraft on the market today. Combining air superiority with proven air-to-surface capability, the aircraft can take on a significant range of missions.
 
It carries the largest load and widest range of U.S. and European weapons, allowing it to perform operations including close-air support, air-to-air beyond visual range and air-to-ground deep strike.
 
The battle-proven Eurofighter Typhoon has been selected by nine nations around the world, firmly establishing it as a world-leading air defence and ground attack aircraft.
 
Designed from the outset to be future proof for many decades to come, Typhoon seamlessly integrates the very latest technology as it is developed. This means it will remain at the forefront of military technology and support; delivering the bespoke capability and performing the future missions its customers need.
 
The next stage of the aircraft’s development is the Royal Air Force’s Project Centurion, the first part of which is now complete and in service. New capabilities, including the Meteor, offering extreme beyond visual range air-to-air capability and the deep attack Storm Shadow air-to-surface weapon are currently in test with the RAF. The final stage of Centurion, which includes the low-collateral, precision strike Brimstone and significant avionics enhancements, will be completed by the end of 2018.
 
These developments reinforce Typhoon’s world leading multi-role capability and help ensure it will be a crucial partner for future air forces alongside currently available and future platforms.

 


 

2 - Training and Support

 
We have proven experience in delivering integrated aircrew and ground crew training solutions comprising of aircraft, synthetic training devices, courseware, facilities and infrastructure. We help customers to achieve an optimised live/synthetic training balance to ensure the most cost effective and capable training pipeline, while sustaining and enhancing mission readiness.
 
We have developed extensive capability around modelling and synthetics, and are delivering this expertise through a multitude of training services, across all domains. In the Air sector for example, we deliver the ‘Typhoon Training Facility’ at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth. The aircrew and technician synthetic training devices, located in the facilities, feature weapon system software that is concurrent with the platform, thereby optimising the training benefit and permitting aircrew familiarisation even ahead of entry into service.

 


 

3 - Hawk®

 
Hawk - FIAS 2018Hawk® is the world’s most successful and proven military aircraft trainer with more than 1,000 aircraft ordered to date. Operators include the UK, U.S. and India where they now build their own Hawk aircraft; a great example of our industrial partnering capabilities.
 
The technology at the heart of Hawk enhances customer training pipelines for the fighter pilots of the future. Students gain experience at the controls of the latest radar, weapons systems and defensive aids simulation technology, providing a unique ‘brain training’ environment to prepare them for life in the cockpit of new and next generation combat jets like the Typhoon and F-35.
 
An advanced jet trainer with remarkable flexibility, Hawk has a proven pedigree in delivering a seamless transition from basic training to front line operations.

 


 

4 - Sceptre™  Operational Mission Support

 
SceptreSceptre™ is an advanced Mission Planning System that offers improved command, control, influence and success in the battlespace. It is a modular Windows-based application that can be used on a number of devices including tablets, PCs and touch tables.
 
With an information management and a mission planning tool, it is capable of rapidly planning complex operations while presenting information in a simple manner that is easy to manipulate. Sceptre is the mission data portal that interacts with the wider Operational Mission Support environment, enabling planners and aircrew to receive the right information in the right format, significantly reducing information overload.
 
As an integrated system, Sceptre aids enhanced situational awareness via access to information including digital planning data, intelligence, aircraft planning data and advanced aircraft and weapons data management and planning. Sceptre’s architecture and clear interface control processes enables low-risk integration with planning aids developed by third party providers e.g. weapons manufacturers.
 
The system has been in development for fast jet use since 2015. In the past 12 months, the product has been aligned to the latest Typhoon aircraft standard and is now looking to support internal flight development and test activities.

 


 

- De-Confliction Services

 
We developed the concept of web based pre-flight de-confliction for military operators in order to keep our service personnel safer. Our Centralised Aviation Data Service (CADS) provides a secure web portal which allows aircrew and ops staff to submit, compare and de-conflict routes prior to flight.
 
Pilots depart for missions with situational awareness built-in, ensuring they know where to look for conflicting traffic and how to mitigate the risk of mid-air collision. Since CADS was adopted by the UK MOD reports of military to military near collisions (Airprox reports) have reduced by 75%.
 
We have developed the ability to translate live civil air traffic data (ADSB) into Link 16 data using our patented WEnDL® (Web Enabled Data Links) product, all without having to modify aircraft. This means military operators can see civil traffic in their vicinity, further improving safety. The system is so compelling it has been adopted by our own Warton manufacturing facility to ensure our flight test crews operate in the safest way possible.

 


 

6 - Technology Development

 

›       Cockpit Development

The Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) in current cockpits are largely dominated by the physical layout of displays and controls. As new capabilities such as sensors and weapons are added to the platform, the challenge has been to manage the additional information available within the cockpit and the complexity of the decisions that have to be made.

We are working on a wearable Virtual Reality (VR) cockpit concept for future combat aircraft with limited or no hardwired controls or displays and fully exploiting the use of flexible HMI technologies such as helmet based displays and flexible multimodal control technologies including: voice, gesture, touch and eye tracking, to provide a fully upgradable, adaptable and customisable interface.

Our engineers are using VR to visualise the evolution of cockpit technology from the present day into a VR cockpit concept that will meet customers’ requirements for affordable upgradable products that deliver operational advantage.

›       PHASA-35™

A new solar electric Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which has the potential to fly for up to a year before needing maintenance, has become a step closer to reality following a new agreement between two cutting-edge British companies; ourselves and Prismatic.

Engineers from both companies will collaborate on the development of the new solar powered High Altitude, Long Endurance (HALE) UAV known as PHASA-35™ (Persistent High Altitude Solar Aircraft). Work is already underway to prepare the first aircraft to be ready for flight tests in 2019. The technology would offer a year-round, low cost persistent service for a wide range of needs including surveillance and vital communications to remote areas, using only the sun to power the aircraft during the day and recharge the batteries for overnight operation.

Solar HALE vehicles offer a significantly cheaper alternative to conventional satellite technology, with PHASA-35 being a concept solar electric UAV that uses proven, long life battery technology and ultra-lightweight solar cells to potentially maintain flight for up to 12 months.

›       Strategic University Partnerships

Through our research and technology activities we aim to influence and support product and investment decisions which will ensure our customers can maintain a military advantage in the future.

To support our ambitions in specific future technology areas, we have established strategic partnerships with a number of universities based on their capabilities and excellence which aim to be mutually beneficial, ensuring technology pull through and a collaborative approach to creating impactful research.

Areas of research currently being explored as part of our long-term collaborations with academia include advanced manufacturing, novel materials, artificial intelligence, data fusion, and flapless flight technologies.

The MAGMA airframe is one example of technology development with academia. It has been designed and developed in collaboration with The University of Manchester in order to provide an affordable, adaptable vehicle on which we can test and demonstrate new technologies in flight. In particular, we are investigating novel technologies to control an aircraft without the need for moving surfaces such as flaps and rudders.

 


 

- Advanced Manufacturing

 
UK economic contribution F-35 machiningWe aim to position our manufacturing capability to meet future product and platform demands through the development and exploitation of novel materials and advanced manufacturing technologies.
 
The development and deployment of a highly reconfigurable, data-driven manufacturing system will greatly reduce non-recurring establishment cost and lead time, and will enable an affordable manufacturing capability that is responsive to variable product volume and configuration.
 
Research, development and implementation of new technologies such as 3D Printing, industrial collaborative automation, multi-method manufacture and Industry 4.0 enabled digital manufacturing (automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution) are being undertaken.  We find ourselves in an increasingly collaborative environment with our delivery partners, original equipment manufacturers and academia to deliver a step change in our manufacturing capability.

 


 

- U.S. Programmes

 

›       U.S Programmes

By supporting programmes in the U.S. and around the world, we have established relationships with all the major U.S. prime contractors and have developed and supported aircraft such as the Harrier AV-8B , T-45 Goshawk and, most recently, the F-35 Lightning II. We continue to seek new opportunities to leverage our knowledge, experience and innovation in the support of the U.S. Armed Forces and those around the world who use U.S. products and services.

›       F-35 QEC Carrier Integration

We play a leading role integrating the F-35B with the Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carriers for the UK. Combining the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever made for the Royal Navy with the world’s first supersonic Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft, the UK will have a potent carrier strike capability when they enter service.

An integration simulator facility, established at our Warton site in Lancashire, has enabled engineers and pilots to experience operating the F-35 from the QEC carriers years in advance of entry into service. Our engineers will continue to provide support throughout the First of Class Flight Trials scheduled and will be part of the team on board the carrier later this year.

In the future our F-35 and QEC sustainment teams will work together to ensure the platforms are supported through life and continue to deliver an integrated world-class capability.

›       F-35 Lightning II

The F-35 is the largest defence programme in the world led by the U.S. with eight international participating nations: UK, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Turkey and a growing number of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.

We are a Tier 1 partner on the programme, forming an integral part of the industry team with Lockheed Martin (the prime contractor) and Northrop Grumman to collaboratively develop and now manufacture the three F-35 variants:

A - Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL)                                                                            

B - Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL)                                                                          

C - Carrier Variant (CV)   

We are responsible for around 15% of every F-35 produced from the production of the rear fuselage through to essential systems such as the Electronic Warfare suite. The F-35 rear fuselage production line is located in Samlesbury, UK with other sub-assemblies and equipment manufactured by our colleagues in the U.S. and Australia.