Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Vertical Flight
News on V-22, ARH, CSAR-X and more
Inside the Army - 04/21/2014

A controversial House bill that would establish an independent commission to determine the proper size and composition of the Army is being revised to focus more on the service's contentious plan to transfer all AH-64 Apache helicopters from the National Guard into the active-duty force, according to congressional officials.

Inside the Army - 04/21/2014

Should the Navy decide to break its contract to buy 29 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters in fiscal year 2016, the production of about 80 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Army would be at risk, according to the helicopters' manufacturer.

Inside the Army - 04/21/2014

If Congress does not stop sequestration from being implemented between fiscal years 2016 and 2019, the Army would be forced to cut $2.8 billion from its helicopter procurement accounts, buying 173 fewer aircraft than planned, according to an April 15 Pentagon report.

Inside the Army - 04/21/2014

The Army's AH-64E Apache helicopter remanufacture program experienced a nearly 10 percent cost increase in 2013 due to higher labor rates and material prices, according to the Pentagon's latest selected acquisition report released April 17.

Inside the Navy - 04/21/2014

The Navy delivered its modernized Digital Rocket Launcher to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 last month for integration on board MH-60S helicopters, a Navy official said earlier this month, with plans to deploy the "smart" system on MH-60R helicopters and potentially other platforms in the future.

DefenseAlert - 04/18/2014

High-ranking Pentagon officials have been visiting Capitol Hill to make the case for shrinking the Army and to support the service's controversial aviation restructure initiative, which have put the Army at odds with the National Guard, according to congressional sources and documents obtained by InsideDefense.com.

DefenseAlert - 04/17/2014

The size of the Pentagon's major weapon system acquisition portfolio held steady over the last year at $1.6 trillion, with seven programs added and six programs removed because they are near the end of the procurement cycle.

DefenseAlert - 04/14/2014

The Navy is scrutinizing its plan to scrap MH-60R helicopter purchases in fiscal year 2016, a move that would place at risk $1.6 billion in planned Defense Department savings and breach separate major multiyear procurement deals with Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin.

Inside the Army - 04/14/2014

Army officials argued last week that a recent National Guard Bureau counter-proposal to the service's aviation restructure, which proposes keeping some Apaches in the reserve component, would cut deeper into the active component, jeopardizing its readiness.

Inside the Army - 04/14/2014

Government contractors are pushing behind the scenes on Capitol Hill for legislation that would compel the Army to hold a competition for a new trainer helicopter, which would upend the service's plan to divest its TH-67 trainers and replace them with LUH-72A Lakota helicopters.

Inside the Army - 04/14/2014

Should the Army have to break its contract with Russian arms dealer Rosoboronexport to buy Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan army, it would cost the U.S. government roughly $100 million, according to the service's new top uniformed acquisition official.

DefenseAlert - 04/09/2014

The Navy expects to announce the winner of the VXX presidential helicopter competition in May, the program manager said on Wednesday.

Inside the Army - 04/07/2014

If Congress prevents the Army from being able to execute its proposed aviation restructure, the service is likely to further cut aircraft numbers while preserving aviation science and technology investments, according to the Army's outgoing military deputy to the acquisition chief.

Inside the Army - 04/07/2014

A milestone decision on the Army's Improved Turbine Engine Program has been delayed due to funding uncertainty, providing the service additional time to bolster an analysis of alternatives, according to an annual Defense Department systems engineering report released last week.

DefenseAlert - 04/03/2014

The Marine Corps may lose two V-22 squadrons across the future years defense plan and two V-22 aircraft in fiscal year 2015 if sequestration continues, a three-star general warned a House subcommittee on Wednesday.

Inside the Army - 03/31/2014

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno told lawmakers last week that if the service was unable to execute its proposed aviation restructure and forced to keep AH-64 Apache helicopters in the Army National Guard, it would then have to cut up to four Guard brigades to find equivalent savings.

Inside the Army - 03/24/2014

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency last week launched the fist phase of its Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Experimental Plane (X-Plane) program, awarding preliminary design contracts to four companies, according to a DARPA statement.

Inside the Air Force - 03/21/2014

A proposed replacement strategy for the Air Force's decades-old UH-1N helicopters would cost about $6.5 million per airframe, according to an Army spokesman.

Inside the Navy - 03/17/2014

Procurement of 29 MH-60R Seahawk multimission helicopters in fiscal year 2016 is tied to the fate of the aircraft carrier George Washington, a top Navy official said last week, while acknowledging that a proposal to terminate an Army-Navy multiyear contract for the aircraft after FY-15 would not yield savings for the Navy.

Inside the Navy - 03/17/2014

Sikorsky Aircraft expects a contract award with the Navy for the replacement presidential helicopter program sometime in the middle of this year, a company official said last week.

Inside the Navy - 03/17/2014

The Navy's proposal to slide back procurement of the Marine Corps' CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter program by one year will increase operational risk to the new aircraft and strain the supply base, Navy and industry officials told Inside the Navy last week.

Inside the Army - 03/17/2014

While Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the newly appointed Senate Armed Services airland subcommittee chairman, has yet to take a position on the Army's controversial aviation restructure initiative expected to be hotly debated on Capitol Hill this spring, he is questioning the Navy's plans to zero out its MH-60R Seahawk procurement in fiscal year 2016, a move that could jeopardize the health of the Army's Black Hawk multiyear contract.

Inside the Army - 03/17/2014

The Army's procurement plans for AH-64E Apache helicopters were hit hard in the fiscal year 2015 budget request because the aircraft are not being purchased under a multiyear contract, according to an Army spokesman.

Inside the Army - 03/17/2014

While the Army has terminated the OH-58 helicopter's Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade program following its decision to retire the Vietnam-era fleet of Kiowa Warriors, the service is assessing whether any technologies developed as part of the program would benefit other military aircraft, according to an Army spokesman.

Inside the Air Force - 03/14/2014

Air Force Under Secretary Eric Fanning said this week that the service has yet to decide where it will pull $430 million from over the next five years to fund development of the Combat Rescue Helicopter, which was inserted into the budget extremely late in the deliberation process.

Inside the Air Force - 03/14/2014

The Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command have succeeded in their quest to procure an extra CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, using congressionally appropriated wartime funding to buy a new aircraft even though the one it will replace was destroyed in training.

DefenseAlert - 03/13/2014

The Army's plan to restructure its aviation assets -- hotly contested by Army National Guard advocates -- will work to U.S. Northern Command's advantage, its commander said today.

Inside the Navy - 03/10/2014

The Navy's decision to end procurement of the MH-60R Seahawk multimission helicopter after a 29 aircraft buy in 2015 was driven by a proportional cut in surface ships between 2015 and 2019, with the move effectively terminating an Army-Navy multiyear procurement contract with Sikorsky Aircraft, according to a Navy spokeswoman.

Inside the Navy - 03/10/2014

The Navy's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal pushes back the Marine Corps' CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter program by one year due to "affordability," Navy officials told Inside the Navy last week.

Inside the Army - 03/10/2014

The Army is requesting funds for 100 more LUH-72A helicopters in fiscal year 2015 and 2016, which will help the service avoid removing Lakotas from the Army National Guard to outfit its training fleet as part of the service's aviation restructure, according to the Army's deputy director of program analysis and evaluation.

Inside the Army - 03/10/2014

The Army's $7.5 billion list of unfunded requirements for fiscal year 2015 includes more funding for AH-64E Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, according to service officials.

Inside the Army - 03/10/2014

STRATFORD, CT -- While the Army has shelved a plan to buy a new armed aerial scout helicopter in the near future, Sikorsky is moving full steam ahead on the S-97 Raider helicopter -- the aircraft it pitched to the service for the scout mission -- and is on track to fly the aircraft by the end of this year, according to company officials.

Inside the Army - 03/10/2014

The Army awarded Boeing a $1.2 billion contract modification for full-rate production of the AH-64E Apache helicopter, according to a recent Defense Department contract announcement.

Inside the Air Force - 03/07/2014

STRATFORD, CT -- Helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky is set to propose a variety of options to the Air Force to recapitalize its UH-1N Huey fleet with the company's H-60 Black Hawk platforms, not limited to the UH-60L as recommended in a study by the RAND Corp.

Inside the Air Force - 03/07/2014

The Air Force's fiscal year 2015 budget request funds a number of modifications to the service's two aging rotorcraft platforms which will improve their safety and maintain their viability but do little to improve actual performance, especially on the UH-1N Huey.

DefenseAlert - 03/04/2014

In an unusual programmatic move, the Air Force has not requested any fiscal year 2015 funding for the Combat Rescue Helicopter but will move forward with the program anyway, reflecting a slower-paced development effort being designed in consultation with Sikorsky.

Inside the Army - 03/03/2014

The Joint Multi-Role science and technology air vehicle demonstration is not a prototyping initiative designed to build helicopters that could be turned into the Army's future vertical-lift aircraft, but rather an effort to demonstrate technologies to enable new designs, according to the service's JMR and FVL program director.

Inside the Air Force - 02/28/2014

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, MD -- The commander of the Defense Department's largest operational UH-1N Huey helicopter squadron this week put his support behind the possibility of replacing that airframe with reconfigured Army UH-60 Black Hawks, an idea circulating among Air Force and congressional leadership.

DefenseAlert - 02/26/2014

The Army, in a departure from previous plans, will seek to buy 100 more LUH-72A Lakota helicopters in the fiscal year 2015 budget request the service will send to Congress on March 4, according to defense officials and congressional sources.

DefenseAlert - 02/24/2014

A nearly complete RAND Corp. study, which has already been briefed to Air Force leaders and members of Congress, recommends that the service replace its 45-year-old UH-1N Huey helicopters with excess, reconfigured Army UH-60 Black Hawks -- an attempt to recapitalize the outdated Huey fleet more affordably than by acquiring new aircraft.

Inside the Army - 02/24/2014

The Army and Lockheed Martin kicked off flight tests of the AH-64E Apache Modernized Day Sensor Assembly technology earlier this month, according to service and company program officials.

Inside the Navy - 02/17/2014

The Pentagon's top weapons tester expressed concerns in his annual report to Congress last month about the reliability and performance of the MH-60S helicopter's airborne laser mine detection system. However, the Navy has no planned improvements to the MH-60S that will mitigate the problems with ALMDS, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) spokeswoman Kelly Burdick told Inside the Navy in a Feb. 6 email.

Inside the Navy - 02/17/2014

Sikorsky Aircraft has powered up the engines and spun the rotor head on the first prototype CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter, company officials told Inside the Navy, and plans to mount the main and tail rotor blades on the aircraft by the end of March.

Inside the Army - 02/17/2014

The Army plans to offer incentives to the contractor that can deliver a Common Infrared Countermeasure system for its helicopter fleet that is more reliable and lighter than current requirements dictate, according to a Feb. 6 draft request for proposals for CIRCM's engineering and manufacturing development phase.

Inside the Army - 02/17/2014

The Army's aviation science and technology directorate will hold industry days next month to focus on a wide variety of areas such as missions systems, platforms, sustainment and power, according to a Feb. 10 announcement posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Inside the Air Force - 02/14/2014

The Air Force has contracted with the RAND Corp. to conduct a pair of studies on its outdated fleet of UH-1N Huey utility helicopters, with an eye toward designing a sustainment or recapitalization program for the aircraft.

Inside the Army - 02/03/2014

The CH-47F Chinook helicopter's Ballistic Protection System is not meeting expectations for protection against some projectiles, and the aircraft's Cargo On-Off Loading System is not compatible with tactical forklifts, posing a danger to the crew, according to the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation.

Inside the Army - 02/03/2014

The Army is seeking software for the Joint Common Architecture demonstration that is part of its larger Joint Multi-Role helicopter mission systems development effort, according to a Jan. 27 broad agency announcement posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Inside the Army - 02/03/2014

The Army is planning to place new emphasis on affordability in its search for degraded visual environment solutions for its helicopters, according to the service's aviation systems project manager.

Inside the Army - 01/27/2014

Draft legislation that could be introduced into the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) would establish a commission to study the proper size and structure of the Army, while prohibiting the service from transferring or divesting any National Guard aircraft or reducing the reserve component's end strength beyond authorized levels in FY-15.