AIR International – June 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1 | 15


helicopter is very expensive and
may be too rich for the Germans’
blood. Bundeswehr personnel AIR
International spoke to expressed a
clear preference for Chinook, which
has been extensively used in Europe
and beyond for decades. Among
other considerations that seemed to
sway the soldiers and air crew were
that the same pot of money would
buy more CH-47s than CH-53Ks
and the former can be carried in
Germany’s A400M tactical airlifters.
Many do not believe the added cost
of the Sikorsky product over the
Boeing one for what they expect to
be rarely needed capabilities could
be justified.
Germany’s Ministry of Defence
expects to issue a request for
information in the second half
of 2018 after completing a fleet
capability study, with a contract
award in mid-2020. Of course,
Lockheed Martin would be
happy to sell the system to other
countries and demonstrated it
to interested parties at the show.
Israel, which needs to replace
its Yasur version of the H-53, is
expected to need 20 of the type.

Japanese debut
Although Kawasaki’s P-1 maritime
patrol aircraft made its debut in
Europe at the Royal International
Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in England
in 2015, this year’s ILA saw the
first demonstration in mainland
Europe. Two aircraft from the Japan
Maritime Self-Defense Force’s
3rd Kokutai (Squadron) based at
Atsugi Naval Air Station south of
Tokyo made the trip to Germany.
The fact that the two Japanese
aircraft made their first landfall
in Germany at the nation’s sole
Naval Air Station at Nordholz was
significant. Germany’s fleet of eight
P-3C Orions were nearly a quarter
of a century old when they were
obtained from the Netherlands,
their former owner, in 2006 and
they are presently the subject of an
extensive upgrade programme. The
type is expected to serve until 2035,
but the number of off-the-shelf

replacements is limited, comprising
Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon and the
P-1 at the top end and adapted
transport aircraft at the lower.
Although on the face of it
the two machines perform the
same role of maritime patrol and
reconnaissance, they are radically
different in their concept, design
and realisation of those two factors.
Boeing’s product is an adaptation of
the 737-800ERX airliner, Kawasaki’s
was designed from scratch for
its intended role. The American
offering is optimised to operate
from medium to high level, making
it harder for submarines to detect
from under water. Famously, it is
not fitted with a magnetic anomaly
detector (MAD) extending from the
back of the aircraft. This is because
from the 2020s it will attack
submarines using the new High
Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare
Weapon Capability, a torpedo
upgrade that adds an air-launched
accessory kit that includes a GPS
guidance system and folding
wings to NATO’s standard torpedo,
the Mk54. The weapon can be
deployed from altitudes of 30,000ft
(9,144m) and above, obviating the
need to fly low and slow looking for
submarines, although it can do that
if needed. The P-1, on the other
hand, does have a MAD boom
and will operate at low level in the
anti-submarine role. Essentially
it is a P-3 on steroids with more
of everything fitted to the legacy
platform, as well as other systems,
like its Toshiba HPS-106 AESA radar
with a 360% field of view. As ever,
cost is an important factor when
purchasing a weapons system and
it is thought that P-1 may come in
cheaper than P-8, but there is no
definitive answer to the question
of how much it costs. It is reported
that India paid the equivalent of
$250 million for each of its P-8Is.
Speaking to AIR International at
ILA, Kawasaki executives suggested
a unit price of $150 million per
aircraft. However, fellow NATO
member and near neighbours
Britain and Norway have already

ordered P-8s and the Japanese
aircraft has yet to achieve an
overseas sale.

The air show
The static display was split into
two main areas, the Bundeswehr
section and another for
international participants. The
German public could get up close
to an example of nearly every type
of aircraft used by its armed forces.
One noticeable absence was the
NH90NTH Sea Lion, which first
flew in 2016. The German Navy will
receive 18 aircraft from the end of
next year to replace the veteran
Sea Kings of the first flight of
Marinefliegergeschwader 5 (Naval
Air Squadron 5).
The two Luftwaffe Tornados
on display, an IDS and an ECR
version, had benefited from the
(Avionics System Software Tornado
Ada (ASTTA) upgrade in its 3.
and 3.1 format respectively. Each
Luftwaffe Tornado destined to
remain in service until Germany
retires the type is being upgraded
under the ASTTA programme. Ada
is an object-oriented high-level
computer programming language.
As well as conventional fixed
and rotary-wing aircraft, several
drones were displayed. Some were
represented by full size models,
such as the EMT Aladin (Abbildende
Luftgestützte Aufklärungsdrohne
im Nächstbereich/airborne

reconnaissance drone for close
area imaging) a small, man-portable
light reconnaissance miniature UAV,
Non-Bundeswehr aircraft
constituted the rest of the static
park and, and some of the aircraft
presented also took part in the
flying display. France provided two
Armée de l’Air Rafale B swing-role
aircraft, Hungary two Saab JAS
39C Gripens, Poland a twin-seat
MiG-29UB Fulcrum and a Leonardo
T-346A advanced trainer and a
Eurofighter F-2000A from Italy.
The flying display varied from
day to day featuring many historic
aircraft at the weekend, perhaps the
best was one of only two survivors
of the most produced aircraft in
history. Including its successor, the
Il-10, 42,330 were built. The aircraft
at ILA, Il-2 Sturmovik RA-2783G
(c/n 1872462) crash landed on the
frozen lake Krivoe near Murmansk
in November 1943 after suffering
damage attacking an enemy airfield.
It was being flown by Valentin
Skopintsev, who was assigned to
the 46th Assault Aviation Regiment
of the Soviet Navy’s Northern Fleet
Air Force. It was recovered from
the lake bed 40 years later and was
restored in Novosibirsk, making its
first flight after restoration on June
16, 2017.
All in all, the Berlin Air Show is
going from strength to strength and
is a must-do event for anyone with
an interest in aviation.

Lockheed Martin displayed the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion, with an eye to
obtaining an order from Germany. Timm Ziegenthaler

Each day featured an aerial demonstration of Bundeswehr aircraft and
helicopters. Timm Ziegenthaler

Two H145Ms from the Luftwaffe’s Hubschraubergeschwader 64 based at
Holzdorf formed part of the Bundeswehr flying demo. Timm Ziegenthaler
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