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S-97 Raider Flies | Heaviest Heavy Lift Copter Ever Upgraded, Produced Again | Bell to Let Russian Firm Build 407GXP

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Americas * Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider helicopter prototype has made its maiden flight, with this likely to be a welcome distraction from the firm’s current ailing business situation. The coaxial helicopter’s core X2 technologies will be at the heart of the Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant, a finalist for the Army’s Joint Multi-Role, Future Vertical Lift (JMR – FVL) […]
Americas

* Sikorsky’s S-97 Raider helicopter prototype has made its maiden flight, with this likely to be a welcome distraction from the firm’s current ailing business situation. The coaxial helicopter’s core X2 technologies will be at the heart of the Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant, a finalist for the Army’s Joint Multi-Role, Future Vertical Lift (JMR – FVL) competition.

* BAE Systems has submitted a bid for the USMC’s Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) competition, with the company teaming with Italian firm Iveco Defence to develop the ACV 1.1 design.

* Lockheed Martin has been handed a $27.3 million option for seven TB-37 multi-function towed array (MFTA) production units, as well as auxiliary equipment and support services. The work and production will be split between the US Navy and Japan under a previous Foreign Military Sale. The TB-37 is a potent anti-submarine warfare sensor, with the system offering several enhancements to the AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array System which it replaces. The TB-37 Multi-Function Towed Array is the first new surface ship array to be built for the US Navy in 25 years and is configured as a long array that can be towed behind surface ships for ASW mission sets.

Europe

* Russian Helicopters has begun series production of the company’s new Mi-26T2 model, a modernized version of the Mi-26T. The model is the most powerful heavy-lift series production helicopter ever, capable of lifting 15 metric tons, with recent reports indicating that Russia and China may have recently signed a joint construction deal for a large heavy-lift helicopter, thought to be the upgraded Mi-26T.

* Russia’s Sputnik News is reporting that US firm Bell Helicopter has signed a contract with Russian firm Urals Civil Aviation Plant (UZGA) for the licensed assembly of the former’s latest 407GXP single-engine helicopter. Bell Helicopter is a Textron company, which was recently awarded another sole-source contract from the Canadian Coast Guard.

* Polish and German defense companies are collaborating to develop a new 6×6 amphibious armored personnel carrier. Two Polish firms – Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (Polish Armament Group) and the OBRUM company will partner with Germany’s Rheinmetall Man Military Vehicles on the new vehicle, intended to form a potential option to replace the Polish fleet of Soviet-era BRDM-2 APCs.

* Poland has also released a tender for 200 “revolver-type” 40mm grenade launchers, with five firms having completed the technical dialogue with the government’s armaments directorate earlier in the year, including South African and Turkish, as well as domestic companies.

Middle East

* Egypt is reportedly ordering 46 MiG-29 fighters, according to Russian media. Two Russian industry sources leaked details of the deal on Monday to Russian newspaper Vedomosti [Russian], indicating that the deal could be worth up to $2 billion in the highest single order of MiG-29s since the end of the Soviet Union. The Egyptians have mulled purchasing Russian MiGs before – both the -29 and more advanced -35 models. The Air Force possesses a diversified fleet, including US, French and Russian aircraft, partially a result of the US’s decision to suspend military aim to the country following the overthrow of the government in July 2013.

Asia

* In addition to the recent order of 145 M777 howitzers, the Indian Army is to receive 114 upgraded Dhanush guns, based on the Swedish Bofors 155mm guns bought by the country in the 1980s. The initial $252 million contract comes on the heels of a set of successful trials, with the upgraded guns mostly (80%) Indian-manufactured. India’s attempts to both recover from the Bofors scandal and plug operational gaps previously led to a messy and ambiguous competition. A follow-on order for up to 481 guns is expected following the delivery of these 114 guns within a three-year time frame.

Today’s Video

* The above mentioned Sikorsky S-97 Raider’s first flight…

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