German aerospace research center DLR has completed a series of flight simulator trials with a new helmet-mounted display. The testing program enlisted helicopter pilots from the German federal police, ADAC (the German Automobile Association) and German armed forces. Aimed at easing landings in poor visibility, such as brown-out or white-out conditions, the information displayed includes altitude, speed, course, attitude and obstacle situation. The device eliminates the need for pilots to constantly switch between looking outside the helicopter and checking the instrument panel.
Despite a current mission that calls for preventing terrorism and enhancing security, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proceeding with plans to cut funding in half—from $25.1 million to $12.5 million—for the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program.
NATO officials expect to sign the long-awaited contract to provide an Allied Ground Surveillance (AGS) capability within the next three months. Northrop Grumman will provide five Global Hawk Block 40 UAVs, while a consortium of European companies that includes EADS Cassidian and Selex Galileo will provide transportable and mobile ground stations. Initial operating capability (IOC) is slated for 2017-18.
A UTAir crew will be honored on Monday with the Sikorsky Humanitarian Award for rescuing UN peacekeepers from enemy fire in the Congo. The honor is “presented to the person(s) who best demonstrate(s) the value of helicopters to society by saving lives, protecting property and aiding those in distress.”
A five-year contract between Eurocopter’s Helibras subsidiary and the Brazilian armed forces details support for the force’s new fleet of 50 EC725 helicopters. Helibras will supply and manage all spare parts and stocks and provide related technical support, including inspection, overhaul and deployment of teams to provide on-site services for the Brazilian armed forces’ EC725s. It is the first agreement involving all three branches of the military and is valued at approximately $79.3 million.
With concern mounting over Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. and allies in the region are adding bunker-busting bombs designed to penetrate hardened targets from the air. In a television interview on December 19, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta noticeably toughened his previous stance.
The government of Iraq has requested a second batch of 18 Lockheed Martin F-16IQs to help rebuild its air force as the final U.S. troops withdraw from the country after nearly nine years of occupation. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the possible foreign military sale on December 12, a day that saw President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appear together in Washington, D.C., to mark the imminent end of the Iraq conflict.
The U.S. Air Force has apparently chosen the Embraer Super Tucano to meet the Light Air Support (LAS) requirement.
Eurocopter has entered into an agreement with Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL) as part of the airframer’s continuing effort to strengthen its profile and customer support services in the United Arab Emirates. The move is aimed specifically at enhancing the company’s capability to serve the UAE Armed Forces.
Lockheed Martin’s Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system successfully undertook a sophisticated “two versus two” trial-firing last month, and the air defense system has just completed a final review regarding the possible sale to the United Arab Emirates, which could be announced imminently.