Issue No 8 ,
May 2018
  Published by Dar Assayad Arab Defence Journal
Highlights   المعلوماتية العسكرية تكنولوجيا الدفاع حول العالم العالم العربي تحديث السلاح الافتتاحية رسالة الناشر
The availability of commercial aircraft for business use dates back to the earliest days of civil aviation, where large corporations and wealthy individuals discovered that aircraft built for airline use could also provide a very comfortable and convenient form of point-to-point transport when fitted out with luxurious interiors, and in many cases, extra fuel tanks, allowing long-range non-stop flights. Many of these early airliners, such as the Douglas DC-3 and Lockheed Electra, also became military aircraft in the late 1930s. As airlines demanded larger aircraft with more passenger and cargo capacity, a new market emerged for smaller, specialised

aircraft, designed for VIP and business transport. The arrival of a new generation of small jet aircraft in the 1960s, led by the Rockwell Sabreliner, Hawker Siddeley DH-125 and Dassault Mercure/Falcon, opened up a whole new market that extended well beyond just the business market for flying executives between cities and included potential for new military roles.
These aircraft were designed to have small crews, to be able to use relatively short runways, allowing great flexibility in operations to smaller airfields, and offered high cruising speed above the weather, combined with long range. They transformed the aviation market and today "bizjets" are available in a very large number of alternative sizes and configurations, ranging from large converted airliners to micro-jets typically seating just four or six passengers. Nearly all of these aircraft have seen military applications, as they provide ideal platforms for a wide number of roles, and in some cases have taken on the task from older specialist military aircraft. Another major advantage is that different versions can be developed, using the same basic airframe and engine configuration allowing much commonality to be exploited in maintenance and training, but fitted out with specific systems and equipment that is tailored to individual customer"s military requirements. In some cases modular system solutions can be incorporated so that the same aircraft can carry out multiple roles, such as VIP transport or search and rescue, or maritime patrol and electronic surveillance by fitting additional sensors and displays.
These small jets also provide excellent training aircraft to prepare crews for multi-engine military aircraft. Modern flight simulators can provide very realistic training and type familiarization for student pilots, but they cannot completely replace the "hands on" flying experience of flying a real aircraft in its natural environment- in the air. As air forces re-equip their fleets of multi-engine operational aircraft they need to ensure that the crews are sufficiently prepared to handle the sophisticated digital systems that are found in today"s glass-screen cockpits, where displays and controls are heavily dependent on computers.
The US Sabreliner was ordered in great numbers by the US Air Force and US Navy for multi-engine and navigation training even before it became popular as an executive aircraft. Even here, it was soon adopted as a VIP high-speed inter-continental transport in US military service. In the UK, the Royal Air Force was one of the first operators to adopt the DH-125 as a jet-powered navigational trainer, named the Dominie, and was fitted out with trainee desks with radar and other equipment replicating what they would find in larger operational jet aircraft. These were eventually replaced by King Air turbo-prop trainers, and other King Airs also serve in the Royal Navy as trainers for radar operators. There is room for several operator stations in the cabin, plus space for instructors to access each desk. The latest Honda jet light biz jet could be suitable as a replacement in the training role for training multi-engine pilots and specialist crews. In the UK the RAF is planning to use Embraer Phenom small executive jets to replace some King Airs in this role. Large numbers of military operators use King Airs, BAE 125s and Dassault Falcons for miscellaneous training duties and also short-range VIP flights. On behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence, Cobham provides modified Falcon 20s that exercise Royal Navy warships in various electronic warfare simulations, and also carry equipment that allows these small jets to simulate low-level anti-ship missile attacks, giving ship missile air defence crews experience in reacting to such threats at sea.
Canada"s Challenger and Global Express bizjets have been adopted for military roles, including VIP transport, radar surveillance, maritime patrol and search and rescue. The UK"s Sentinel is a much modified Bombardier Global Express, fitted with an advanced Raytheon integrated moving target indication radar system, carried in a long belly housing. This can track and identify thousands of moving and stationary targets across a huge land-mass, allowing other forces to concentrate on key targets, which can then be attacked and eliminated. The radar can record patterns of life surface movements and the powerful on-board computers allow operators to identify suspect activities over a period of time, making it difficult for hostile elements to avoid detection. As the aircraft can gather this radar data flying at a considerable stand-off range, subsequent air strikes can be despatched without any warning for those who have been targeted. The USAF is considering a similar new system to replace its elderly JSTARS radar surveillance platforms and proposals based on both the Global Express and Gulfstream jets have been considered as platforms, as well as the larger Boeing 737.
Dassault has supplied VIP transport versions of its Falcon family, including for Presidential and Head of State use in export markets, and also delivered a large number of specially equipped Falcon 20s to the US Coastguard for maritime surveillance. Fitted with sea search radar and large observation windows these Falcons are used to look for drug smugglers or illegal immigrant vessels operating in the Caribbean and other coastal areas. Survival equipment can be dropped in SAR missions to help endangered mariners at sea, though their main use is searching the seas for ships in distress and acting as mission coordination platforms for seaplanes or helicopters
المواضيع الاكثر قراءة
One of the most important air assets available to force commanders in the 21st Century is the airborne electronic warfare aircraft. These modern platforms come in all shapes and sizes and can be extensively fitted out with ...
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