Thursday, September 18, 2014
Vertical Flight
News on V-22, ARH, CSAR-X and more
DefenseAlert - 09/17/2014

The Defense Department estimates two new acquisition programs -- the Combat Rescue Helicopter and Presidential Helicopter Fleet Replacement, both awarded to Sikorsky earlier this year -- will cost a combined $15 billion to develop and acquire, lifting planned U.S. military spending on Sikorsky products from $38 billion to more than $53 billion, a 38 percent increase.

Inside the Army - 09/15/2014

A study that would assess the potential to incorporate U.S.-manufactured rotary-wing aircraft into the Afghan military has been postponed until early next year, according to the Defense Department's top acquisition official.

Inside the Navy - 09/15/2014

The first aircraft in the Marine Corps' CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter program will cost about $100 million, the program manager estimated last week, with an average per-unit acquisition cost over the program's life of about $70 million.

DefenseAlert - 09/09/2014

The Pentagon has asked Congress to move $404 million in overseas contingency operations money to pay for 21 additional AH-64E Apache attack helicopters set to replace OH-58D Kiowa Warriors, according to new Defense Department documents.

Inside the Army - 09/08/2014

The Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract potentially worth $268.9 million to supply contractor logistics support for several types of aircraft for the Afghan military, including Mi-17 helicopters from the service's most recent deal with controversial Russian state arms agency Rosoboronexport, according to a service official.

Inside the Army - 09/08/2014

The Army has awarded Boeing a two-year contract worth $234.7 million to build 24 AH-6i aircraft for Saudi Arabia, according to a notice on the Defense Department's website.

Inside the Navy - 09/08/2014

The Navy is in preliminary talks with Bell-Boeing to do a mid-life upgrade on the service's V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, with potential improvements including aerial refueling, digital interoperability and additional weapons capabilities, a service official confirmed last week.

Inside the Navy - 09/08/2014

The Navy and Marine Corps are investigating the cause of a Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft crash that occurred early on Sept. 1 at sea in the Gulf of Aden, located between Somalia and Yemen, according to a Navy statement.

Inside the Navy - 09/08/2014

The Navy is soliciting proposals from industry for an alternative engine for the V-22 Osprey that would improve the system's performance and affordability, according to a spokesman for the V-22 joint program office.

DefenseAlert - 09/05/2014

The Pentagon's timeline for the Future Vertical Lift initiative to reach initial operational capability is too far away, an Aerospace Industries Association executive fretted today -- a point agreed to by the Pentagon's FVL acquisition staff specialist.

Inside the Navy - 09/01/2014

Naval Air Systems Command is looking to outfit the V-22 Osprey with an alternate power plant and is asking industry for various solutions, according to a sources sought notice posted on Federal Business Opportunities.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

The reorganization of Air Force Global Strike Command's three UH-1N Huey helicopter squadrons is taking shape with the command standing up a helicopter operations group at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, WY, earlier this month.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

The Air Force's vice chief of staff has approved a replacement strategy for the service's 40-year-old UH-1N Huey fleet that would involve replacing the outdated aircraft with retired Army UH-60A Black Hawk utility helicopters.

Inside the Air Force - 08/29/2014

After receiving milestone B approval to commence engineering and manufacturing development, the office overseeing the Air Force's Combat Rescue Helicopter program says it plans to complete the first in a series of early program reviews in December.

Inside the Army - 08/25/2014

Congressional defense committees have signed off on the Pentagon's move to reprogram $20 million from the Army's UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter account, as well as several other transfers that will trim millions from service aircraft programs, though some requests were denied, according to new Army budget documents.

Inside the Army - 08/25/2014

Northrop Grumman has won more than $26 million in a contract to help digitize the cockpit of 760 Black Hawk L-model helicopters, according to an Army official who heads the upgrade effort.

Inside the Army - 08/25/2014

Lawmakers have approved the Army's request to reprogram $111 million to pay for 21 additional LUH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters for the service's training fleet at Ft. Rucker, AL, according to multiple sources.

Inside the Navy - 08/25/2014

Naval Air Systems Command is looking to Bell-Boeing to add a traffic collision avoidance system to the MV-22 Osprey, similar to a system installed on the Air Force's CV-22 aircraft, according to a service spokeswoman.

Inside the Pentagon - 08/14/2014

The Pentagon has waived a data link requirement to enable the Navy to obtain eight airborne video data link systems for MH-60S and HH-60H aircraft, Defense Department acquisition chief Frank Kendall told lawmakers in a recent letter.

DefenseAlert - 08/12/2014

The Army has chosen designs offered by Bell Helicopter and a Boeing-Sikorsky team for the service's Joint Multi-Role helicopter science and technology air vehicle demonstration, the companies announced on Aug. 12.

Inside the Army - 08/11/2014

The Army has decided which of the four competing vendors it will continue to invest in to develop designs for its Joint Multi-Role helicopter science and technology air vehicle demonstration, though it has pushed the date of when it will announce the winners by at least a month.

Inside the Army - 08/11/2014

The Army has awarded Cliffdale Manufacturing Inc., a contract potentially worth $8.5 million to upgrade OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters, according to a notice posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website last week.

Inside the Navy - 08/11/2014

Israel is interested in procuring the Marine Corps' new CH-53K heavy lift helicopters, a top Sikorsky official confirmed last month.

Inside the Navy - 08/11/2014

The Navy intends to designate a trainer aircraft for the presidential helicopter fleet next year in order to free up the VH-3D and VH-60N assets to conduct the primary mission of executive lift, Navy officials confirmed.

Inside the Army - 08/04/2014

The Defense Department's inspector general has found that Army Contracting Command personnel did not properly administer a contract task order, resulting in an overpayment for Mi-17 cockpit modifications, according to a July 28 summary of an unreleased "for official use only" report.

Inside the Air Force - 08/01/2014

Air Force Global Strike Command and other service organizations are determining the correct method -- and, crucially, the correct pace -- for dramatically growing the UH-1N Huey enterprise, a process likely to begin in earnest in fiscal year 2016.

Inside the Air Force - 08/01/2014

The Air Force should be open to replacing the 45-year-old UH-1N Huey helicopter with a versatile, possibly armed platform, and should consider the value of flying a single rotorcraft for all its missions, according to a service official intimately familiar with Air Force helicopter operations.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/31/2014

Citing its national security importance, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall approved the Combat Rescue Helicopter to enter the engineering and manufacturing development phase, even though it failed to meet four provisions.

Inside the Air Force - 07/25/2014

As debate over whether to terminate a Pentagon contract to supply the Afghan security forces with 30 Russian-built Mi-17 helicopters continues in Congress, there is a growing consensus among top lawmakers that such a move would be unwise, even as the situation in Ukraine worsens.

Inside the Army - 07/21/2014

The Senate Appropriations Committee, pushing back against Army plans to transfer AH-64 Apache helicopters from the National Guard into the active force and retire the OH-58 Kiowa, has approved a defense spending bill that would delay the sale of any divested aircraft until the completion of a cost analysis of the Army's proposed aviation restructure.

Inside the Army - 07/21/2014

Senate appropriators hope to plus-up several Army aviation modernization efforts with funds the service has not requested, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee's fiscal year 2015 defense spending bill.

Inside the Army - 07/21/2014

Concerned about the Army's oversight of its aviation programs, Senate appropriators have asked the service's secretary to justify what they have termed a "confusing and duplicative" management structure, according to the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee's report on the proposed fiscal year 2015 defense appropriations bill.

Inside the Navy - 07/21/2014

FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND -- The risks in developing a new presidential helicopter program will be significantly reduced by using Sikorsky's S-92 as the base aircraft, according to the president of Sikorsky's defense systems and services.

Inside the Air Force - 07/18/2014

The Air Force's UH-1N helicopter squadrons, long limited in their ability to perform demanding missions in the nuclear missile fields, look to be in line for major growth and positive change if Air Force Global Strike Command fully funds and supports a number of recommendations it is in the process of implementing.

DefenseAlert - 07/17/2014

FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND -- The first flight of the Marine Corps' CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter has been delayed until next year, Inside the Navy has learned.

DefenseAlert - 07/15/2014

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee has supported an array of Pentagon weapons programs in its $549.3 billion military spending bill for fiscal year 2015, including the Air Force's fleet of A-10 aircraft; the Army's combat vehicle industrial base; and the Navy's modernization of USS George Washington (CVN 73) and fleet of EA-18G Growlers.

DefenseAlert - 07/11/2014

The Army wants congressional permission to reprogram $111 million to pay for 21 additional LUH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters for the service's training fleet at Ft. Rucker, AL, according to the fiscal year 2014 omnibus reprogramming request obtained by

Inside the Army - 07/14/2014

The Army's Apache program office wants to gauge industry developments in cognitive decision aiding systems for the E-model variant of the helicopter, according to a June 24 request for information posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Inside the Army - 07/14/2014

President Obama's nominee to run U.S. Northern Command supports the Army's controversial aviation restructure initiative, particularly the service's plans to transfer all AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the National Guard into the active force.

Inside the Air Force - 07/11/2014

The avionics supplier and integrator for the Combat Rescue Helicopter believes it can avoid any major technical problems and keep CRH on schedule -- a desperate need for the Air Force, which struggled for years to get this acquisition program on contract.

Inside the Army - 07/07/2014

Northrop Grumman's bid to digitize the Black Hawk L-model has won a competition conducted by Redstone Defense Systems on behalf of the Army's Prototype Integration Facility, which will be responsible for building the prototype for the new cockpit, according to Army Materiel Command.

Inside the Army - 07/07/2014

The Army's second unit equipped with AH-64 Apache E-model helicopters has begun to participate in exercises in the Pacific, including the Rim of the Pacific 2014 maritime security exercise that kicked off last week, according to the U.S. Army Pacific's G-3 aviation director.

Inside the Army - 07/07/2014

With the Army negotiating this month how it will move companies designing future helicopters into the process of building and flying air vehicle demonstrators, the service's program manager for the Joint Multi-Role helicopter science and technology development effort says he is not worried that sequestration could spoil the undertaking.

Inside the Army - 07/07/2014

The Army has selected Boeing and Honeywell to help define the Joint Common Architecture standard for a digital backbone for a future helicopter as part of the service's Joint Multi-Role science and technology program, according to the JMR program manager.

Inside the Navy - 07/07/2014

The Marine Corps will fully incorporate its fleet of new UH-1Y Yankee utility helicopters by September, according to a Bell Helicopter official, with the retirement of the service's last two UH-1N Huey aircraft.

Inside the Navy - 07/07/2014

The Navy is evaluating the capability of its V-22 tilt-rotor Osprey to expand into other potential mission areas such as aerial refueling and search and rescue, according to a Navy spokeswoman.

Inside the Navy - 07/07/2014

There is a significant amount of foreign national interest in Bell Helicopter's upgraded H-1 helicopter program, according to a company official, who expressed hope that some deals could be made at the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow this summer.

Inside the Navy - 07/07/2014

The Navy is looking to industry for a new product to use while flying in low-light conditions that would be operational in fiscal year 2019 at the latest, according to a July 2 request for information.

DefenseAlert - 07/01/2014

Newly minted Combat Rescue Helicopter prime contractor Sikorsky has moved directly into the program's engineering and manufacturing development phase following last week's billion-dollar contract award and is expecting a pair of important reviews within the next six months.

Inside the Navy - 06/30/2014

The Navy's plan to keep its fleet of MH-60 Seahawk helicopters current and relevant for the remainder of their service lives will include a Service Life Extension Program, performance upgrades and software modernization, Inside the Navy has learned.