Apr 25, 2012 14:46 UTC
Latest updates: DOT&E test report; Contract for IDWS improvements.
RGS for V-22
In the past specific and detailed allegations were made concerning the V-22 Osprey‘s performance, testing flaws, and survivability issues in anything beyond low-threat situations like the Anbar deployment in Iraq. Despite direct offers, US NAVAIR chose not to respond or address any of those allegations. One of the flaws that appeared headed for correction, however, was the issue of 360 degree covering fire. This capability is useful for fire support. It is especially helpful when entering or covering landing zones, where rotary aircraft are most vulnerable.
The Osprey’s huge propellers and the positioning of its engines had created obstruction issues for normal machine gun mounting locations, but AUSA 2007 saw BAE Systems promoting a retractable belly turret solution based on a 3-barrel 7.62mm GAU-17 minigun. Special Operations Command has ordered some, and now the US Marines have deployed with them.
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Apr 25, 2012 12:14 UTC
C-9B Skytrain II
In April 2012, King Aerospace, Inc. in Addison, TX receives a not-to-exceed $11.1 million indefinite-delivery requirements contract to support 6 C-9B aircraft. This effort includes base site operations, depot planned maintenance interval inspections, and engine shop visits. Funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders, as they are issued. Work will be performed in Addison, TX (38.5%); Ardmore, OK (35%); Whidbey Island, WA (14%); Cherry Point, NC (8%); and Miami, FL (4.5%), and will run until May 2013. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals, and 2 offers were received by US Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD (N00019-12-D-0014).
The C-9Bs are military variants of the Super 30 stretched DC-9 short-haul passenger jet, and were built from the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s. The C-9A Nightingales that once performed aeromedical evacuation have been retired, and the remaining C-9s serve as VIP transports and cargo aircraft. Even so, age is catching up with them. Their Pratt and Whitney JT8-D-9 engines are noisy and inefficient by modern standards, their airframes have many flight-hours on them, and their older cockpit layout and equipment remain a drawback. Many of the C-9s are being replaced by modern, 737-derived C-40s, and there had been plans to retire the C-9s by 2010, but there haven’t been enough C-40s bought to fully replace them.