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Eurofighter companies add on to Belgian contract bid
by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Oct 27, 2017

Saab details Gripen E smart fighter's first supersonic flight
Washington (UPI) Oct 27, 2017 - Saab has announced its new Gripen E smart fighter flew at supersonic speed and performed maneuvers to demonstrate its aerodynamic design and powerful engine.

The feat was accomplished earlier this month over the Baltic Sea when the aircraft first broke the sound barrier, which takes place at about 767 miles per hour, the Swedish company said in a news release Friday.

"Gripen E smart fighter flew at speeds greater than the speed of sound, at over Mach 1, as part of the ongoing flight trials program." Saab said. "The purpose was to collect data from the aircraft as it achieved and sustained supersonic speed."

The Gripen E, the fighter's newest variant, made its first flight on June 15 and has logged 20 hours of flight since then.

Eurofighter consortium companies will try to develop national innovation centers in Belgium if Eurofighter is chosen to replace Belgium's F-16 aircraft.

The commitment by BAE Systems, Airbus Defense and Space, Leonardo and missile systems company MBDA came in the form of endorsements signed in Brussels during British Minister for Defense Procurement Harriett Baldwin's visit to the office of Eurofighter companies.


A Eurofighter release: "",nw} said the endorsements are for two innovation centers, one in Flanders and one in Wallonia.

"With the support of our partner companies across Europe, we are delighted to sign these endorsements which form a key component of our industrial offer to Belgium," said Anthony Gregory, Campaign Director for Belgium at BAE Systems. "These centers in Flanders and Wallonia could not only build on Belgium's existing capabilities, but also play an essential role in positioning Belgium's industry for work on future combat aircraft programs in Europe with key European partners."

The two centers would focus on advanced manufacturing and additive layer manufacturing. Eurofighter partner companies would invest in the development of research agendas by the centers.

BAE Systems, as part of the Eurofighter contract bid, is also also proposing to establish the infrastructure, technology and training to accommodate and run a Belgian National Network Cyber Center in partnership with the UK and Belgian Governments.

Belgium plans to replace more than 50 F-16s and issued a Request for Government Proposals last March. Britain has proposed the Eurofighter Typhoon. Other planes offered include the Boeing Super Hornet (US), Dassault's Rafale (France), Lockheed Martin's F-35 (United States) and the Gripen by Sweden's Saab.

Bulgarian pilots refuse to fly MiG-29s over safety concerns
Sofia (AFP) Oct 24, 2017
Bulgarian air force pilots refused to fly their Soviet-built MiG-29 jets for planned training on Wednesday, blaming safety concerns and a lack of flight preparation. "Some of the pilots from Graf Ignatievo air base will not perform training flights because of insecurity," deputy defence minister Atanas Zapryanov confirmed after a report by specialist website Aero about the boycott. The p ... read more

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