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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Jun 16, 2013 13:28 UTC
Latest updates[?]: JHMCS II market launch at 50th Paris Air Show; Content & formatting improvements - click the bullet points button to see how it makes a difference.
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In the 1970s, fighter aircraft began to appear with Head-Up Displays (HUD) that projected key information, targeting crosshairs etc. onto a seemingly clear piece of glass. HUDs allowed pilots to keep their eyes in the sky, instead of looking down at their instruments. In the 1990s, another innovation appeared: helmet-mounted displays (HMDs) put the HUD inside the pilot’s helmet, providing this information even when the pilot wasn’t looking straight ahead. The Israelis were already pioneering a system called DASH (Display And Sight Helmet) when a set of former East German MiG-29s, equipped with Soviet HMDs, slaughtered USAF F-16s in NATO exercises. Suddenly, helmet-mounted displays became must-haves for modern fighters – and a key partnership positioned Elbit to take DASH to the next level.
This DID Spotlight article offers insights into the rocky past, successful present, and competitive future of a program that has experienced its share of snags and controversy – but went on to become the #1 helmet-mounted sight in the world. It also details the game-changing effects of Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems on air combat, its production sets and known customers, and all contracts since full-rate production began.
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Jun 10, 2013 13:40 UTC
Latest updates[?]: Russia is trying and jailing people for fraud over Algeria's MiG-29s.
A February 2006 report noted that a $4 billion arms sale was brewing between Algeria and Russia involving fighter aircraft, tanks, and air defense systems, with the possibility of additional equipment. Those options came through the following month, as a high-level Russian delegation in Algeria closed up to $7.5 billion worth of arms contracts. The Algerian package remains post-Soviet Russia’s largest single arms deal. As an instructive comparison, annual Russian weapons export orders from all customers were just $5-6 billion per year in 2004 and 2005.
Reuters South Africa quoted Rosoboronexport chief Sergei Chemezov as saying that “Practically all types of arms which we have are included, anti-missile systems, aviation, sea and land technology.” The actual contents of that deal were murky, though DID offers triangulation among several sources to help sort out the confusion. A number of these deals have evolved over time, and other public-source information has helped to sharpen the picture a bit. The subsequent crash of Algeria’s MiG-29 deal, and its ripple effects, are also discussed.
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