Jun 17, 2013 15:01 UTC
Latest updates[?]: Pentagon details multi-year contract, says it includes orders for Turkey and the UAE.
CH-47Fs take off
DII FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record; this FOCUS Article covers the CH-47F/MH-47G Chinook helicopter programs, in the USA and abroad. These helicopters’ distinctive “flying banana” twin-rotor design stems from the brilliant work of aviation pioneer Frank Piasecki. It gives Chinooks the ability to adjust their positioning very precisely, while carrying a large airframe whose load capacity has made it the world’s most popular heavy-lift helicopter. The USA expects to be operating Chinooks in their heavy-lift role past 2030.
The CH-47F looks similar to earlier models, but offers a wide range of improvements in almost every aspect of design and performance. While the related HH-47′s $10-15 billion CSAR-X program win has been nullified by the program’s termination, delivery orders continue for CH-47Fs and for MH-47G Special Forces configuration helicopters. International orders or formal requests have also come in from Australia, Britain, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the UAE, with India and other countries expected to follow.
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Jun 16, 2013 18:33 UTC
Latest updates[?]: FY 2013 order for USA, Oman & Saudi Arabia; US Budgets 2006 - 2018; 1st powered launch from F-35; Article content & formatting improvements.
AIM-120C from F-22A
(click for test missile zoom)
Raytheon’s AIM-120 Advanced, Medium-Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) has become the world market leader for medium range air-to-air missiles, and is also beginning to make inroads within land-based defense systems. It was designed with the lessons of Vietnam in mind, and of local air combat exercises like ACEVAL and Red Flag. This DID FOCUS article covers successive generations of AMRAAM missiles, international contracts and key events from 2006 onward, and even some of its emerging competitors.
One of the key lessons learned from Vietnam was that a fighter would be likely to encounter multiple enemies, and would need to launch and guide several missiles at once in order to ensure its survival. This had not been possible with the AIM-7 Sparrow, a “semi-active radar homing” missile that required a constant radar lock on one target. To make matters worse, enemy fighters were capable of launching missiles of their own. Pilots who weren’t free to maneuver after launch would often be forced to “break lock,” or be killed – sometimes even by a short-range missile fired during the last phases of their enemy’s approach. Since fighters that could carry radar-guided missiles like the AIM-7 tended to be larger and more expensive, and the Soviets were known to have far more fighters overall, this was not a good trade…
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Jun 16, 2013 15:30 UTC
Latest updates[?]: #6 won't be the last - long-lead buy for ship #7; Keel laid for #5.
The US Coast Guard’s massive $25 billion Deepwater meta-program (really Deepwater-II given post-9/11 changes) has endured more than its share of ups and downs. Nevertheless, Congressional support has remained strong, and efforts are being made to restructure the program and get it back on track. Yet the USCG’s Island Class cutter modification program, and the Deepwater Fast Response Cutter supposed to replace it, have faced many difficulties.
The Legend Class National Security Cutters are the largest ships in the Deepwater program, and represent the program’s flagship in more ways than one. The 418 foot, 4,400 ton ships will be frigate-sized vessels with a 21 foot draughts , and are rather larger than the 379 foot, 3,250 ton Hamilton Class High Endurance Cutters (HECs) they will replace. Controversies regarding durability and potential hull fatigue, as well as significant cost overruns, have shadowed the new cutter’s construction. rhe program has survived, and is pushing toward its end in a few years – but will the number of ships bought be enough to help the USCG? This DID FOCUS Article covers the Legend Class cutters’ specifications, program history, and key events.
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