Friday, August 22, 2014
Vertical Flight
News on V-22, ARH, CSAR-X and more
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.

Inside the Army - 06/30/2014

The Army is projecting that the cost to operate the LUH-72A Lakota helicopter as a primary training platform will shrink due to a number of factors, according to an official responsible for crafting the service's aviation restructure initiative.

Inside the Army - 06/30/2014

Mexico intends to buy five UH-60 Mike-model Black Hawks for $225 million through a foreign military sale, according to a June 24 Defense Security Cooperation Agency notice.

DefenseAlert - 06/27/2014

The Pentagon is seeking an additional $6.1 billion for new weapons as part of a $58.6 billion fiscal year 2015 Overseas Contingency Operations spending package, hoping to replenish ammunition expended during operations in Afghanistan, replace aircraft and vehicles lost in combat and lift the administration's total FY-15 weapons modernization request from $154 billion to $160 billion.

DefenseAlert - 06/26/2014

The Air Force this afternoon announced that it has signed a formal contract initially worth more than $1 billion with helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky for development and production of the Combat Rescue Helicopter, formalizing a surprise inclusion in the service's fiscal year 2015 budget request. If all options are exercised, the company could be looking at a windfall of $7.9 billion over 15 years.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/26/2014

The Air Force is struggling to outfit its CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft with sufficiently experienced aircrews, partly due to the service's original strategy for attracting quality pilots to the platform, although it remains very pleased with its basic training agreement with the Marine Corps, according to one of the Air Force's longest-serving Osprey operators.

Inside the Navy - 06/23/2014

A Marine Corps CH-53E heavy-lift helicopter operating in Afghanistan experienced a hard landing last week, reportedly injuring two passengers and causing damage to the aircraft.

DefenseAlert - 06/20/2014

A closely held Navy assessment of the MV-22's performance during a 2013 aircraft carrier logistics exercise concludes the tilt-rotor Osprey is well suited to the carrier on-board delivery mission, a finding that could influence the shape of the service's upcoming competition to recapitalize its aging C-2A Greyhound fleet.

Inside the Army - 06/23/2014

The Army is expected to decide soon whether to continue investing in the four vendors developing designs for the Joint Multi-Role helicopter science and technology air vehicle demonstration, according to the Army's JMR program director.

DefenseAlert - 06/18/2014

The Air Force's decision to proceed with the long-delayed Combat Rescue Helicopter program was the result of a trip to Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, service Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters at a Defense Writers Group forum in Washington this week.

Inside the Army - 06/16/2014

The Army will test the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance-Infrared (ARGUS-IR) on an aviation platform in July, according to a Lockheed Martin statement.

Inside the Army - 06/16/2014

The House Appropriations Committee wants to halt the divestment of the Army's TH-67 training helicopter fleet until the Army secretary delivers a report to Congress that addresses the impact on the helicopter industrial base, according to the committee's draft version of the fiscal year 2015 defense spending bill.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/12/2014

The Pentagon's top acquisition official is scheduled to review the Air Force's Combat Rescue Helicopter program next week -- a meeting that could determine whether the service can push the program forward into the engineering and manufacturing development phase.

Inside the Air Force - 06/06/2014

Air Force Special Operations Command is not experiencing the same challenges with supply chain management and parts availability with its model of the V-22 Osprey that the Marine Corps is seeing, according to a command official, partly due to AFSOC's priority on high-demand parts.

DefenseAlert - 06/05/2014

Senate authorizers want the Army to buy 35 more LUH-72A Lakota helicopters than requested in fiscal year 2015 to replace the TH-67 training fleet, according to the Senate Armed Services Committee's report on its FY-15 defense authorization bill.

DefenseAlert - 06/04/2014

The Senate Armed Services Committee, in its mark of the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill, is urging the Navy to reconsider its plan to stop procuring MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, according to the panel's report accompanying the bill.

Inside the Navy - 06/02/2014

The German military is looking at potentially using the Marine Corps' new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter to replace its aging fleet of CH-53Gs, according to a representative from Germany's defense department.

Inside the Army - 06/02/2014

House appropriators have followed the lead of the House and Senate Armed Services committees in writing legislation that would ban the use of defense funds for any new contracts or agreements with Russian arms dealer Rosoboronexport unless the Defense Department can show the company has stopped funneling weapons to Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.

Inside the Army - 06/02/2014

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee wants to block the transfer of AH-64 Apache helicopters from the Army National Guard to the Army, according to the committee's fiscal year 2015 defense spending bill.