Thales announced that its Scorpion helmet-mounted sight and display system (HMSD) had been selected for all new weapons systems sales and upgrades by Airbus Helicopters. The unusual sole-source selection had been made “following a full and open competition,” Thales said. The Airbus Helicopters military product line that could be sold with the HMSD consists of seven helicopters, including the Tiger attack helicopter and the Cougar transport/combat SAR machine.
The U.S. government has nearly completed revising its export controls for aerospace-related products, but it has not resolved how to manage exports of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and components, senior officials said last week at the Farnborough International Airshow.
F-35 test pilots with the U.S. Air Force’s 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, will begin using a third-generation helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) in the next few weeks. The updated HMDS incorporates fixes to the current generation system, which pilots found inadequate and the Pentagon labeled as a technical risk to the F-35 program.
Raytheon is in the final stages of preparing the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II for a system verification review to be undertaken within the coming weeks in advance of the U.S. government’s Milestone C review. If the review is passed successfully, a decision to enter the low-rate initial production (LRIP) phase is expected.
Manufacturer MBDA said its dual-mode Brimstone missile fired from an MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft scored direct hits against a range of targets during recent trials at U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, in California. The U.S. and UK militaries sponsored the trials, which were held in December and January.
Heli-Expo 2014 brings big news for Idaho-based Aviation Specialties Unlimited (Booth No. 802). On the heels of its announcement that the company has completed its 800th night vision cockpit modification, including exterior high intensity LED navigation lights and aft cabin lighting just before the show (an AW139 for Construction Helicopters), it also announced that it has a new v-p and chief technology officer, Dr. Joseph Estrera.
Civilian operators that work in combat environments now have an option to equip their helicopters with electronic warfare devices that can detect incoming missiles and launch chaff and/or flare countermeasures. Rotorcraft Services Group (RSG, Booth No. 1206) recently signed an agreement with Switzerland-based Ruag Schweiz to provide integration and qualification services for Ruag’s Integrated Self-Protection System (ISSYS) Plug-on-Device (POD) for use in the civil aviation market.
Elbit Systems is launching two new products this week at Heli-Expo: SkyVis and Clearvision Heli EVS. SkyVis combines Elbit’s helmet-mounted display with commercially certifiable line-of-sight and daytime head-up display capabilities, day or night, with or without night-vision goggles, in all phases of flight and in marginal weather. Clearvision Heli EVS is a multi-spectral enhanced vision system designed for helicopters that provides improved situational awareness. It offers a 35-degree field of view and is designed to help pilots cope with low-visibility conditions.
Saab (Booth C11) has many years of experience devising protection systems for combat aircraft, and here at Singapore 2014 it is showing its latest offering, the ESTL. Formerly known as BOH, it is a modular system that draws on several of the company’s successful missile warning and countermeasures systems to create a cost-efficient means of protecting combat aircraft against current and predicted infrared and radar-guided missile threats.
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