Sep 18, 2019 04:56 UTC
The US Navy awarded
Bell Boeing Joint Program Office a $14.5 million modification, which exercises an option to procure support to implement capability defect packages and problem reports in accordance with work package task lists in support of V-22 fleet sustainment efforts. The V-22 Osprey
is a joint service multirole combat aircraft and the world’s first production tiltrotor aircraft blending the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. The V-22 has entered service with the US Marine Corps and US Air Force, and is set to join the US Navy in the early 2020s. The company said the Osprey "has proven to be a survivable and transformational platform in the most challenging environments on the planet." The V-22 is built jointly by Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Work will take place at Ridley Park, Pennsylvania and Fort Worth, Texas. Estimated completion will be in June 2021.
In March 2008, the Bell Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, TX received a $10.4 billion modification that converted the previous N00019-07-C-0001 advance acquisition contract to a fixed-price-incentive-fee, multi-year contract. The new contract rose to $10.92 billion, and was used to buy 143 MV-22 (for USMC) and 31 CV-22 (Air Force Special Operations) Osprey aircraft, plus associated manufacturing tooling to move the aircraft into full production. A follow-on MYP-II contract covered another 99 Ospreys (92 MV-22, 7 CV-22) for $6.524 billion. Totals: $17.444 billion for 235 MV-22s and 38 CV-22s, an average of $63.9 million each.
The V-22 tilt-rotor program has been beset by controversy throughout its 20-year development period. Despite these issues, and the emergence of competitive but more conventional compound helicopter technologies like Piasecki’s X-49 Speedhawk and Sikorsky’s X2, the V-22 program continues to move forward. This DID Spotlight article looks at the V-22’s multi-year purchase contract from 2008-12 and 2013-2017, plus associated contracts for key V-22 systems, program developments, and research sources.
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Aug 13, 2019 04:56 UTC
The Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire is the first guard base to receive a next-generation KC-46A Pegasus refueling tanker plane. The refueling tanker flew into the Pease Air National Guard base late Thursday afternoon
. The Pegasus is developed from a Boeing 767 passenger plane. It is replacing KC-135 Stratotankers in the US Air Force fleet of refueling planes. The Air Base will receive three KC-46As per month for four months. The KC-46A
can refuel any fixed-wing plane, foreign or domestic made, while both planes are airborne. It can also accommodate a mix of passengers, including patients and cargo. Boeing had been three years behind schedule on the Pegasus program before deliveries began. The Air Force halted deliveries a couple of times due to debris in the plane. Last week, Lockheed received a $55.5 million contract modification for engineering work on a redesign of the plane's boom telescope actuator.
KC-135: Old as the hills…
DID’s FOCUS articles cover major weapons acquisition programs – and no program is more important to the USAF than its aerial tanker fleet renewal. In January 2007, the big question was whether there would be a competition for the USA’s KC-X proposal, covering 175 production aircraft and 4 test platforms. The total cost is now estimated at $52 billion, but America’s aerial tanker fleet demands new planes to replace its KC-135s, whose most recent new delivery was in 1965. Otherwise, unpredictable age or fatigue issues, like the ones that grounded its F-15A-D fighters in 2008, could ground its aerial tankers – and with them, a substantial slice of the USA’s total airpower.
KC-Y and KC-Z buys are supposed to follow in subsequent decades, in order to replace 530 (195 active; ANG 251; Reserve 84) active tankers, as well as the USAF’s 59 heavy KC-10 tankers that were delivered from 1979-1987. Then again, fiscal and demographic realities may mean that the 179 plane KC-X buy is “it” for the USAF. Either way, the KC-X stakes were huge for all concerned.
In the end, it was Team Boeing’s KC-767 NexGen/ KC-46A (767 derivative) vs. EADS North America’s KC-45A (Airbus KC-30/A330-200 derivative), both within the Pentagon and in the halls of Congress. The financial and employment stakes guaranteed a huge political fight no matter which side won. After Airbus won in 2008, that fight ended up sinking and restarting the entire program. Three years later, Boeing won the recompete. Now, they have to deliver their KC-46A.
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Aug 09, 2019 04:54 UTC
Germany has grounded its Tiger attack helicopter fleet due to defective material being used in a vital component in the main rotor, the German newspaper Spiegel
reports. The Bundeswehr is struggling with technical difficulties regarding the helicopter fleet. After a warning from the industry, no Tiger Helicopter
will take off for the time being. Airbus is building the Helicopters, which provide UHT multi-role fire support for the German Army. The Tiger has the distinction of being the first all-composite helicopter developed in Europe; even the earliest models also incorporate advanced features such as a glass cockpit, stealth technology, and high agility to increase its survivability. Airbus now informed all of its customers that bolts may have been installed in the rotor control, which do not meet the usual standards and could brake during flight. In order to evaluate the situation, the Bundeswehr has called an Air Safety Committee meeting.
Tiger HAP & HAC
Eurocopter’s Tiger had always had a very odd setup in that it came in two seemingly incomplete versions (HAP scout and HAC/UHT anti-tank), whose respective deficiencies severely limited multi-role flexibility and hence exports. The new Tiger HAD (Helicoptere Appui Destruction) variant fixes those deficiencies, and looks set to become the default version for new-build EC665 Tiger exports.
The HAD project began in December 2005, as the EU’s OCCAR organization for armament cooperation signed a formal contract in Bonn, Germany and set out initial procurement numbers for Spain. This was followed by the French DGA’s announcing the restructuring of its own 80-helicopter order, and each customer has made its own choices as the new variant has gone from concept to initial delivery.
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Mar 24, 2016 00:45 UTC
Active electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars offer a number of important benefits. By focusing individual elements very quickly and precisely without having to move them physically, and with little signal “leakage” outside of its focused beam, AESA radars gain improved reliability, power, and the ability to “timeshare” by switching from mode to mode fast enough to operate different modes at once. They also have potential applications in electronic warfare, and recent research indicates significant potential for secure, high-bandwidth communications. At present, the USA is the only country that has AESA radars operating on fighter aircraft, though projects are underway in Britain, and in other areas, European battlefield surveillance radars and NATO’s AGS project aim to field such radars shortly.
European countries continue to work to close the gap…
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Sep 10, 2014 16:13 UTC
Latest updates[?]: US military receiver tracks & receives Galileo signal - why does this matter?; Satellite status update from August's failed launch.
The USA’s Global Positioning System service remains free, but the European Union is spending billions to create an alternative under their own control. In addition to civilian GPS (the Open Service), services to be offered include a Safety of Life Service (SoL) for civil aviation and search and rescue, a paid Commercial Service with accuracy greater than 1 meter, plus a Public Regulated Service (PRS) for use by security authorities and governments. PRS/SoL aims to offer Open Service quality, with added robustness against jamming and the reliable detection of problems within 10 seconds.
Organizational issues and shortfalls in expected progress pushed the “Galileo” project back from its originally intended operational date of 2007 to 2014/15. After a public-private partnership model failed, the EU gained initial-stage approval for its plan to finance the program with tax dollars instead of the expected private investments. Political issues were overcome in 2007 by raiding other EU accounts for the billions required, but by 2011, it became clear that requests for billions more in public funds were on the way. Meanwhile, doubts persist in several quarters about Galileo’s touted economic model. Security concerns regarding China’s early involvement, and its potential Beidou-2/Compass projects, have been equally persistent, and there is good reason to expect that the constellation has a military purpose. On a European political and contractual level, however, Galileo is now irreversible.
This article offers background, players, developments, contracts, and in-depth research links for Galileo, as well as linked EU programs like GIOVE and EGNOS.
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Jul 22, 2013 18:56 UTC
At the end of May 2013, the German and Polish defense ministers signed a Letter of Intent on naval cooperation. What does that mean for Polish submarine plans?
Poland’s current submarine fleet includes 1 Russian Kilo Class boat, ORP Orzel, which was commissioned in 1986. Another 4 modernized U207 Kobben Class pocket submarines of German design were given to Poland by Norway, who added 1 Type 207 used for spares/ training. The tiny 435t Type 207s were commissioned in Norway from 1964 – 1967, which doesn’t leave them much of a safe lifespan.
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