While it looks forward to accepting its first TAI/AgustaWestland T129 attack helicopter, Turkey is urgently seeking interim helicopter gunships in the face of increased terrorist actions by the PKK and other Kurdish separatist groups. The situation has become desperate as Turkey's current force of Bell AH-1W Cobras has fallen to just six operational aircraft, plus a few earlier single-engine Cobras.
Defense » Military Aircraft
News and issues relating to the defense aerospace business, with emphasis on current/in-use, in-development and prospective programs for manned military aircraft and unmanned combat aircraft vehicles (UCAVs).
Having been dogged by cost overruns, Boeing's avionics modernization program (AMP) for the C-130 Hercules has passed its Defense Acquisition Board Milestone C, allowing low-rate initial production (LRIP) to begin. The AMP provides an integrated avionics system to prolong the useful career of the U.S. Air Force's legacy Hercules fleet, and includes full night-vision-goggle compatibility, glass cockpits and digital systems.
Boeing's controversial embrace of the AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter for the revived U.S. presidential helicopter requirement could lead to more partnerships with AgustaWestland parent company Finmeccanica. Dennis Muilenberg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, said that C4ISR-cyber security, information technology and services-are other areas of potential collaboration.
The FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, N.J., forged a cooperative research and development agreement with Bingen, Wash.-based Insitu and the New Jersey Air National Guard to study unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and to address their integration into the National Airspace System (NAS).
Grob Aircraft is developing a turboprop version of its G115/G120 series of primary trainers. Elbit Systems of Israel has joined the Austrian company in a joint venture for the G120TP, which has already flown. The new version is designed to meet India's urgent requirement for 175 basic trainers.
Yesterday, Boeing licensed the rights to AgustaWestland’s AW101 for the purpose of entering it in the latest U.S. presidential helicopter competition, known as VXX. Under the deal, Boeing will have full data, intellectual property and production rights for the three-engine, medium-lift helicopter.
Lockheed Martin on May 27 announced the award of a $245 million contract covering the supply through Foreign Military Sales of three KC-130J Hercules tankers for the Kuwait Air Force (KAF). The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in late 2013, with final delivery early in 2014. Congress was notified in July 2009 of a potential sale of up to eight C-130Js to Kuwait. The sale is being managed through the Navy program office.
At the SOFEX special forces exhibition held at Amman in May, Jordan signed a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase the Boeing AH-6i light attack/reconnaissance helicopter, a modernized version of the tried and trusted Little Bird helicopter. Boeing has been showing off its demonstrator throughout the Middle and Far East since the type's first flight on September 16 and airshow debut at Dubai in November last year.
The U.S. Department of Defense's undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics on May 14 certified to Congress that the proposed third Super Hornet/Growler multiyear procurement (MYP) met statutory requirements, including substantial savings. With this certification in place, the contract should proceed to cover the purchase of 124 aircraft over Fiscal Year 2010 through 2013.
Boeing successfully flew its ScanEagle Compressed Carriage (SECC) unmanned airborne system (UAS) at a test facility in eastern Oregon on May 12, the company announced this week. The 75-minute flight evaluated the unmanned aircraft’s flight characteristics in a simulated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission.