Boeing won a $57.7 million order, which provides for the procurement of various initial spares and repair equipment in support of the MQ-25A Stingray air vehicle for the Navy. Work will take place in Missouri and Indiana. Expected completion is in July 2025.
Four Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16s have flown for the last time in the United States on July 29. The flights took place at Morris Air National Guard (ANG) Base and it also marks the end of Dutch F-16 training in the United States.
Middle East & Africa
Dyncorp International LLC won a $56 million contract modification for maintenance support services for the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command Aviation Program. Work will take place in Saudi Arabia. Estimated completion date is January 31, 2024.
The UAE sent one of its C-17 cargo plane, #1228, to Amarillo, Texas on July 26 to help Bahrain bring two of its new AH-1Z attack helicopters home. The jet landed at Rick Husband International Airport and KVII news station was there to report the event. Bell was awarded a $240 million contract to supply 12 Lot 16 AH-1Z attack helicopters to Bahrain in 2019.
The US State Department has approved a potential sale of over $8 billion worth of F-35 aircraft to Germany, moving closer to providing Berlin with new fighter aircraft for nuclear deterrence missions. The State Department on Thursday announced the approval of a foreign military sale of up to 35 F-35A aircraft, along with munitions and related equipment, for a total estimated cost of $8.4 billion.
Bangladesh is set to be the latest operator of the Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle. Turkey’s Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Tufan confirmed that an agreement has been signed. In 2021, Mosud Mannan, the Bangladeshi envoy in Turkey, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that his country was considering purchasing Turkish drones.
Two MH-60R naval helicopters ordered by India have reached home after being ferried to Cochin by a US Air Force C-17 aircraft. A third rotorcraft will be delivered in August and 21 more helicopters are expected to arrive home later.
WATCH: MH-60R Seahawk Best Anti Submarine Helicopter
The idea of UAVs with full stealth and combat capabilities has come a long way, quickly. Air forces around the world are pursuing R&D programs, but in the USA, progress is being led by the US Navy.
Their interest is well-founded. A May 2007 non-partisan report discussed the lengthening reach of ship-killers. Meanwhile, the US Navy’s carrier fleet sees its strike range shrinking to 1950s distances, and prepares for a future with fewer carrier air wings than operational carriers. Could UCAV/UCAS vehicles with longer ranges, and indefinite flight time limits via aerial refueling, solve these problems? Some people in the Navy seem to think that they might. Hence UCAS-D/ N-UCAS, which received a major push in the FY 2010 defense review. Now, Northrop Grumman is improving its X-47 UCAS-D under contract, even as emerging privately-developed options expand the Navy’s future choices as it works on its new RFP.
Latest updates[?]: The UAE sent one of its C-17 cargo plane, #1228, to Amarillo, Texas on July 26 to help Bahrain bring two of its new AH-1Z attack helicopters home. The jet landed at Rick Husband International Airport and KVII news station was there to report the event. Bell was awarded a $240 million contract to supply 12 Lot 16 AH-1Z attack helicopters to Bahrain in 2019.
UH-1Y and AH-1Z
by Neville Dawson
The US Marines’ helicopter force is aging at all levels, from banana-shaped CH-46 Sea Knight transports that are far older than their pilots, to the 1980s-era UH-1N Hueys and AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters that make up the Corps’ helicopter assault force. While the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey program has staggered along for almost 2 decades under accidents, technical delays, and cost issues, replacement of the USMC’s backbone helicopter assets has languished. Given the high-demand scenarios inherent in the current war, other efforts are clearly required.
Enter the H-1 program, the USMC’s plan to remanufacture older helicopters into new and improved UH-1Y utility and AH-1Z attack helicopters. The new versions would discard the signature 2-bladed rotors for modern 4-bladed improvements, redo the aircraft’s electronics, and add improved engines and weapons to offer a new level of performance. It seemed simple, but hasn’t quite worked out that way. The H-1 program has encountered its share of delays and issues, but the program survived its review, and continued on into production and deployment.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This article covers the H-1 helicopter programs’ rationales and changes, the upgrades involved in each model, program developments and annual budgets, the full timeline of contracts and key program developments, and related research sources.
Latest updates[?]: Two MH-60R naval helicopters ordered by India have reached home after being ferried to Cochin by a US Air Force C-17 aircraft. A third rotorcraft will be delivered in August and 21 more helicopters are expected to arrive home later.
US Army HH-60Ms
In July 2012, the US military signed another huge contract with Sikorsky. With production of the Army’s HH/UH-60M, and the Navy’s MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters, all in full swing, there’s no question about the need for future orders. In that environment, multi-year contracts allow efficiencies in purchasing, and security of staffing, throughout Sikorsky’s supply chain. These new helicopter types are also available to Foreign Military Sales class customers, under the American contract’s advantageous pricing and terms. The UH-60M, MH-60S and MH-60R models have already inked export deals, and official requests indicate that more deals are in the pipeline.
The new multi-year 2013-2017 contract could be worth up to $11.7 billion, and follows a 5-year, multi-service “MYP-VII” contract in December 2007. Like its predecessor, it covers UH-60M Black Hawk troop transport and light cargo helicopters, Army HH-60M SAR (Search And Rescue) / MEDEVAC (MEDical EVACuation) helicopters, and the US Navy’s MH-60S and MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.