CH-53K Lot 5 Deal For 9 Aircraft Awarded | Kenyan Mi-171E Crashed | DoS Approved $2.9B FMS To Philippines
Sikorsky won a $735.9 million modification, which increases the scope for nine Lot Five low rate initial production CH-53K heavy-lift aircraft and associated aircraft, programmatic and logistical support. The Lot 5 contract contains an option for Lot 6 award for another nine helicopters. While each helicopter cost $97.6 million under the Lot 5 contract, the price will decrease to $94.7 under Lot 6. Work will take place in Connecticut, Kansas, Utah, Missouri, West Virginia, Washington, Canada, the UK, Wisconsin and Florida. Estimated completion date will be in December 2024.
A Canadian board of inquiry has released its report into the crash of a CH-148 off Greece in April 2020. Six onboard the helicopter died. The pilot was performing a turning maneuver called “return to target” when the helicopter’s autopilot took control of the aircraft at the end of the turn. The pilot realized too late that the autopilot was flying the aircraft into the sea and pulled back the cyclic. He had overridden the autopilot for an extended period of time while executing the maneuver. The board of inquiry found that the autopilot software accumulates commands when it is not turn off. This could reduce pilot’s control of the helicopter in special cases. During the certification of the CH-148, this scenario whereby the autopilot was overridden for extended time was not tested.
Middle East & Africa
A Kenya Air Force Mi-171E helicopter has crashed twenty minutes after it took off from Moi airbase at 8.10 am local time on June 24. A number of people onboard did not survive.
Two MiG-31Ks, which can carry the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missile, have been deployed to Syria. The deployment was made possible due to the availability of a second runway at Khmeimim airbase.
The State Department has approved the potential sale of F-16 jets, AGM-84 Harpoon missiles, and AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, along with other equipment, to the Philippines, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced June 24. All told, the sales would total up to nearly $2.9 billion, with the majority of those funds going to the sale of a dozen F-16 aircraft and accompanying weaponry and equipment. Two of the jets will be two-seat F-16Ds, and 10 will be F-16Cs. However, one day after the DoS. cleared the sale of 12 F-16s to Philippines, the country’s Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the price of the foreign military sales package is too high. Lorenzana told media that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) “is evaluating others.” He had previously said the two options are under consideration, the F-16 and the Saab JAS29.
India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired extended range version of indigenously developed Pinaka rocket from a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL). The tests were conducted on 24-25 June 2021 at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha in Eastern India, a Ministry of Defence release said. Twenty-five Enhanced Pinaka Rockets were launched in quick succession against targets at different ranges. All the mission objectives were met during the launches. The enhanced range version of Pinaka Rocket System can destroy targets up to a distances of 45 kms.
Watch: India’s DRDO Tests Extended Pinaka MRBL Rocket