USMC to Begin Mass Repairs on CH-53E Fleet | Israeli AF Training Helicopter Acquisition Prgm in Final Stages | AMDU Begins Mine Mapping Mission in Baltic SeaAug 16, 2016 00:58 UTC
- The USMC has announced the beginning of a mass repair effort of its CH-53E fleet following the fatal crash of one in 2014. In total, 147 of the aging heavy lift helicopters will undergo the reset over a three-year period. Each helicopter will undergo a 110 process where it will be stripped down, rebuilt, and have any high-time components switched out.
- A US Navy guided-missile destroyer has received an RQ-20B Puma UAV with a precision recovery system. Manufacturer AeroVironment stated that the recovery system enables the Puma to operate from a variety of vessels for rapid response reconnaissance. The multi-environment UAV is hand launched, and is programmed to autonomously glide back to the flight deck, but can also float; allowing for sea recovery.
Middle East North Africa
- 2016 has not been a good year for Egyptian airport security. Enter Smiths Detection who has been contracted $22 million to deliver advanced screening systems for cargo and passengers in an effort to bolster security at Egyptian airports. Included in the deal are X-ray scanners, people-screening systems and trace detectors.
- A new training helicopter acquisition competition for the Israeli Air Force is in its final stages. Remaining in the hunt are the AgustaWestland AW119, Airbus Helicopters H125, and Bell Helicopter 407GXP with a selection expected by the end of the year. Tel Aviv is hoping to secure the helicopters and basic instruction through a private finance initiative arrangement which involves a private company buying the new helicopters and selling flight hours to the air force.
- Leonardo-Finmeccanica has resumed testing of their AW609 tilt-rotor aircraft. Trials were put on hold following an October 2015 crash of their second prototype. The aircraft is now in Philadelphia but will be replaced by a recently assembled model that has been ground tested in Italy. Certification is expected for 2018.
- A mine mapping mission in the Baltic Sea is to commence next month as the first major milestone of the Allied Munitions Detection Underwater (AMDU) program. The joint German and US Navy initiative will see mine warfare experts join to classify, detect, and map bottom and buried munitions. AMDU began in 2015 as a way to develop, test and evaluate novel unmanned autonomous survey concepts through sea trials and workshops.
- It’s all systems go with Taiwan’s planned indigenous trainer development. The state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC) will be allocated $15 million next year to begin the process of developing a new aircraft based on their IDF and to have made its maiden flight by 2020. Taiwan’s new government has been extremely keen on bolstering the governments defense industry and military capabilities; so having the new trainer airborne before the next election will be a key goal.
- A US general has called on India to increase their military aid to Afghanistan. Gen. John Nicholson made the plea due to a Russian arms embargo resulting in a growing scarcity of spare parts for Russian-made weaponry used by Afghan forces. So far New Delhi has already transferred four Mi-25 attack helicopters to Kabul to help boost their hodgepodge collection of often unserviceable aircraft.
Afghanistan’s Air Force: