Sikorsky tapped for Blackhawk Overhaul | Turkey advances Anka-Aksungur Development | Sweden’s new SIGINT Ship launched
Sikorsky won a $23.4 million contract to maintain and overhaul the UH-60 Blackhawk. The medium lift utility helicopter is used for a variety of roles including troop transportation. The A model of the twin-engine chopper was designed to to serve in utility, air assault, medevac, command and control, and reconnaissance roles. The UH-60A entered service with the US Army in 1979. This was followed by the fielding of electronic warfare and special operations variants of the Black Hawk. Improved UH-60L and UH-60M utility variants have also been developed. Sikorsky will complete work for the current contract until April 17, 2023.
The US Navy awarded EFW a $17.8 million contract modification to procure 132 V-22 integrated avionics processors for the Navy and Air Force. The V-22 Osprey is a joint service multirole combat aircraft that can take off, land and hover like a helicopter and, once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. Since entering service with the US Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medevac operations over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Kuwait. In 2010, Bell-Boeing designed a new integrated avionics processor that resolved electronics obsolescence issues, added new network capabilities, and increased data throughput for the Osprey’s legacy Mil-STD-1553 avionics data bus. In 2017, EFW won an $8 million contract for V-22 integrated avionics processors. Work under the current modification will take place in Israel and Texas and is scheduled to be finished in February 2021.
Middle East & Africa
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) plans to push its Anka-Aksungur medium-altitude long-endurance drone into series production early next year, Jane’s reports. The company is reportedly expanding the testing envelope of its internally funded air vehicle development. The Anka-Aksungur is a twin-engine UAV that features a twin-boom airframe design supported by a retractable undercarriage and incorporating forward-mounted PD170 twin-turbocharged engines developed by Tusa? Engine Industries with input from General Electric, followed by a set of high-mounted wings with slight dihedral and terminating in vertical stabilizers joined by a horizontal tailplane. TAI started the Anka-2 project to develop a new UAV with higher payload. The high-range drone should operate at mid-altitude and would be utilized for roles such as reconnaissance, surveillance and attack. In March it was reported that the drone had completed its maiden flight.
Polish shipbuilder Nauta Shiprepair Yard launched the hull of Swedish Navy’s new signal intelligence (SIGINT) ship. The launching ceremony took place in Gdynia, Poland on April 17. Outfitting and equipment installation will take place at Nauta Shiprepair Yard, after which the vessel will undergo harbor and sea trials. The ship will then sail to Saab’s shipyard in Karlskrona to complete outfitting of special systems. According to Saab, the ship will be 74 meters long, displace 2,200 tonnes and will replace HSwMS Orion which was launched in 1984. The new ship will be given the name HSwMS Artemis.
According to local reports, NATO for the first time launched Italian Air Force Eurofighters based at Gioia del Colle Air Base on April 9. The mission was to intercept a civilian airliner that lost communications with civilian air traffic control over Croatia and was heading south towards Montenegro and Albania. It was established that the loss of communications was related to a misunderstanding between civilian air traffic control and the airliner crew. After resuming regular contact with the civilian controllers, the airliner continued to proceed to its destination to Hurghada, Egypt. On December 16, 2005, the F-2000 Typhoon reached initial operational capability with the Italian Air Force. The Italian Air Force uses the Eurofighter Typhoon as the main nation’s asset for air defense and coalition missions.
Japan’s first F-35A stealth fighter reportedly made seven emergency landings in the months prior to crashing in the Pacific Ocean last week. The Japanese Air Force started using its fleet of 13 F35As in January. On April 9, the first plane of Mitsubishi assembly crashed. Of the 13 planes provided by the United States to Japan, five have been forced to make emergency landings in seven incidents. The plane that crashed made two of the emergency landings. Final assembly of four of the error reporting planes, including the fighter that went missing, was carried out in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. The other aircraft was built and assembled in the US. The crashed fighter reportedly had issues with its cooling and navigation systems twice. Japan grounded its fleet of 13 F-35As in the wake of the crash.
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