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There is widespread agreement that military forces must be modernised to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. The critical need to upgrade aircraft to meet evolving changes in threats, missions, and peacetime is becoming a high priority. Military airplanes have to accommodate new weapons, deal with new threats, respond to new mandates, and adjust to the rapidly changing electronic environments. 

SMi's 4th Annual Military Aircraft Upgrades and Retrofits conference will address the key issue in the upgrades market, the expectation that military aircraft will endure far beyond their originally planned life spans. Driven by cut-backs in defence budgets, the fast pace of evolving technology and commercial needs, new aircraft are becoming obsolete before they are even fielded.

Military Aircraft Upgrades and Retrofits will examine the true potential of military aircraft upgrades and retrofits. Country specific visions for aircraft upgrade and retrofit policy will be identified, demonstrating lessons learned through past programs and developments.

The conference will assess the potential of upgrading aircraft from an operational viewpoint, showing how technological advances offer world governments the ability to upgrade their military aircraft capabilities. It will illustrate the most cost-effective means of modernisation and show how you can establish older aircraft as force multipliers.

The acclaimed international line-up of participants includes...

  • Colonel Peter O’Neil, Director, 330th Fighter Sustainment Group, F-15, US Air Force
  • Commander Brenda Scheufele, Chief Engineer, F/A-18 Program Office, US Navy
  • Wing Commander Trevor Burke, Support Manager, C-17 IPT, Defence Procurement Agency, Ministry of Defence, UK
  • Chris Frayser, F-14 Program Manager, PEO Tactical Aircraft Programs, PMA 241, US Navy
  • Commandant Franck Mollard, Mirage 2000-5 Programme Officer, French Air Force
  • Peter Staehr, Joint Strike Fighter Program Manager, Business Area Fighter Aircraft, Fighter Replacement Branch, Royal Danish Air Force
  • Flight Lieutenant Matt Nicholson, Joint Upgrade and Maintenance Programme Contract Manager, Harrier IPT, Defence Logistics Organisation, Ministry of Defence, UK
  • Thomas Withington, Research Associate, Centre for Defence Studies, King's College London
  • Michael J Gething, AMRAeS, MCIJ, Upgrades Editor, Jane’s International Defence Review

Benefits of attending Military Aircraft Upgrades and Retrofits include:

  • IDENTIFY the operational demands and specific requirements for military aircraft upgrades and retrofits
  • HEAR lessons learned from the battlefield, identifying both the challenges and solutions
  • DISCOVER how to ensure feasibility and cost effectiveness in your upgrade programme
  • LEARN the latest technological solutions to the increasing problem of interoperability
  • MAXIMISE networking opportunities in an internationally attended forum and raise the profile of your organisation and its activities

Conference programme

8:30 Registration & Coffee

9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

Michael J Gething

Michael J Gething, AMRAeS, MCIJ, Upgrades Editor, Jane’s International Defence Review

9:10 OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR UPGRADES AND RETROFITS

Michael J Gething

Michael J Gething, AMRAeS, MCIJ, Upgrades Editor, Jane’s International Defence Review

  • Mission diversification vs budgetary restraints
  • Integrating advanced avionics and weapons systems
  • Operating beyond service life when no new platforms are available
  • The implications of procuring new equipment
    - is existing infrastructure/equipment interoperable?
    - financial considerations of re-training
  • Platform advances vs perceived threat: do we need new programmes if retrofits will suffice?
  • 9:50 C-17A CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT

    Wing Commander Trevor Burke

    Wing Commander Trevor Burke, UK C-17 Support Manager, Defence Procurement Agency

  • Guiding philosophy
  • Obsolescence management
  • Reliability and maintainability management
  • Capability growth management
  • Programme output
  • 10:30 Morning Coffee

    11:00 EXTENDING FIGHTER OPERATIONAL LIFESPAN

    Commander Brenda Scheufele

    Commander Brenda Scheufele, F/A-18 Chief Engineer, US Navy, US Navy

  • Making the oldest Hornet as capable as the Super Hornet
    - Learning from mistakes – evolving into a safer aircraft
    - Upgrading avionics
    - Adding new weapons
    - Increasing interoperability
  • Stretching the service life of the aircraft
    - Increasing number of CTL
    - Longer life – deciding on the right number of flight hours
    - Looking to the future with the Super Hornet
  • 11:40 THE GREEK F4 UPGRADE

    Rainer Hankowiak

    Rainer Hankowiak, Senior Military Advisor & Liason to German Airforce, EADS Military Aircraft

  • Program overview
  • Avionics upgrade package
  • New capabilities
  • Co-operation
  • Program status
  • 12:20 Networking Lunch

    13:50 DANISH FIGHTER UPGRADES

    Peter Staehr

    Peter Staehr, Joint Strike Fighter Program Manager, Business Area Fighter Aircraft, Fighter Replacement Branch, Royal Danish Air Force

  • F-16 upgrade program history
  • RDAF fighter aircraft requirements
  • The mid life update
    - basic program
    - follow-on updates
  • Lessons learned
  • 14:30 FIGHTER UPGRADES

    Commandant Franck Mollard

    Commandant Franck Mollard, Mirage 2000-5 Programme Officer , French Air Force

  • Technological advancements
    - RDY multi-target radar
    - defensive avionics
    - MICA
  • The ‘glass cockpit’ and multi-function displays
  • The 2000-5/9 in service
  • Further upgrades:
    - GPS
    - JTIDS
    - Helmet Mounted sight
  • 15:10 Afternoon Tea

    15:40 ENHANCING MISSION RECORDING CAPABILITY

    Kjell Jonasson

    Kjell Jonasson, Director, Airborne Recording Systems, Saab

  • Mission recording and data transfer
  • Enhanced mission capability
  • Aircraft data management
  • Integration issues
  • Case studies
  • 16:20 CASE STUDY: QUICK REACTION TO MILITARY NEEDS

    Major General Ole Fogh (Ret'd)

    Major General Ole Fogh (Ret'd), Director, Electronic Warfare Solutions, Terma

  • Background: the military need for upgrading
  • Ensuring a common understanding
  • Apache Modular Aircraft Survivability Equipment
    - AN/ALQ-213 (V)
  • Benefits of the upgrade
  • Achieving a 4 month delivery cycle: lessons learned
  • Operational benefits achieved
  • 17:00 Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day One

    8:30 Re-registration & Coffee

    9:00 Chairman's Opening Remarks

    Michael J Gething

    Michael J Gething, AMRAeS, MCIJ, Upgrades Editor, Jane’s International Defence Review

    9:10 THE F-15E STRIKE EAGLE

  • Radar Modernization Program
  • Advanced display core processor
  • Fighter data link
  • Sniper/Litening pods
  • Small diameter bomb
  • Russell Bone

    Russell Bone, Deputy Director, 330th Fighter Sustainment Group, USAF

    9:50 PROVIDING NEW ROLES FOR AIRCRAFT

    Chris Frayser

    Chris Frayser, F-14 Program Manager, US Navy

  • The change to a swing role, fighter-bomber platform
    - The LANTIRN pod system
    - PGMs/JDAM
  • Upgrade vs new acquisition
  • The advantages and benefits of COTS cockpit upgrades
  • Reducing maintenance costs
  • The last upgrade and the Tomcat today
  • 10:30 Morning Coffee

    11:00 ACHIEVING SUCCESSFUL UPGRADE PROJECTS

    David Peck

    David Peck, Program Director, BAE SYSTEMS IEWS

  • Operational limitations resulting from current and future threats
  • Adaptable EW/DAS approaches
  • Interim solution with planned growth
  • Medium/long term capabilities
  • A new acquisition approach to enhanced protection
  • The future challenge
  • 11:40 INTERACTIVE PANEL DISCUSSION

    Chaired by Michael J Gething, AMRAeS, MCIJ, Upgrades Editor, Jane’s International Defence Review
    Andrew Radley

    Andrew Radley, Managing Consultant, IBM Business Consulting

    Kjell Jonasson

    Kjell Jonasson, Director, Airborne Recording Systems, Saab

    David Peck

    David Peck, Program Director, BAE SYSTEMS IEWS

    Michael J Gething

    Michael J Gething, AMRAeS, MCIJ, Upgrades Editor, Jane’s International Defence Review

    12:20 Networking Lunch

    14:00 AFFORDABLE CAPABILITY INSERTION

    Flight Lieutenant Matt Nicholson

    Flight Lieutenant Matt Nicholson, Joint Upgrade and Maintenance Programme Contract Manager, RAF

  • Harrier GR9/T12 embodiment upgrade programme
  • Impact of LEAN activities and the DLO End to End study
  • The Joint Upgrade and Maintenance Programme
  • Programme drivers
  • Creating a joint cohesive organisation
  • Benefits to time, cost and performance
  • 14:40 GETTING THE PROJECT APPROVED BY MOD

    Andrew Radley

    Andrew Radley, Managing Consultant, IBM Business Consulting

  • In the current environment, satisfying cost and value considerations are key to gaining approval by MOD
  • Approvers have complex and evolving needs, the process needs careful management to yield a positive result
  • How to build a soundly based benefits case with a through life perspective is an important consideration
  • Tools and techniques have been evolved which can support project teams and industry allowing focus on the project specific issues
  • Examples of good practice in this area show that focus on managing the benefits case provides the best chance of success in approvals
  • 15:20 Chairman's Closing Remarks followed by Afternoon Tea

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    WHAT IS CPD?

    CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development’. It is essentially a philosophy, which maintains that in order to be effective, learning should be organised and structured. The most common definition is:

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