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Vertical Flight

September 14, 2010

Despite trimming $8 billion from the Obama administration's fiscal year 2011 defense spending request, the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee plans on fully funding many of the Army's ground and aerial vehicle platforms and providing additional funding to some programs, according to statement issued today by the subcommittee.

The subcommittee met this morning to consider the administration's FY-11 request. The full Senate Appropriations Committee will meet Thursday afternoon to consider the subcommittee's bill.

September 10, 2010
The Navy has notified Congress that it intends to spend $380.7 million on 21 Russian-built Mi-17 multipurpose transport helicopters for the Afghan military, nearly doubling its fleet, according to an Aug. 11 report by Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley.
September 10, 2010
The Navy is still undergoing an analysis of alternatives for the VXX presidential helicopter program with no request for proposals expected in the near future, and the service is still trying to determine what it will do with the Lockheed Martin-built VH-71s left over from the previous canceled program, according to Navy and industry sources.
September 10, 2010
The Navy has notified Congress that it plans to award a $1.43 billion contract to H-60 manufacturers Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin to provide performance-based logistics support over the next five years for the sea service's fleet of H-60 helicopters, according to a report submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee last month.
September 3, 2010

The Army has begun the second phase of an analysis of alternatives to the Armed Aerial Scout helicopter effort following a decision to proceed with a manned-unmanned capability requirement, according to service officials.

September 3, 2010
The prioritization of deployed V-22s in Afghanistan has improved availability rates to the point that it is generally near around 70 percent, but resulting low availability for non-deployed V-22s brings the entire fleet down into the 50th percentile range, according to Col. Greg Masiello, V-22 program manager.
September 3, 2010
The Naval Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren is asking industry for information about towing sensor arrays via helicopter.
August 20, 2010

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $260 million follow-on production contract for the Arrowhead system, a modernized sensor for the Army's fleet of AH-64D Apache helicopters.

August 20, 2010
The Marine Corps' response to apocalyptic flooding in Pakistan is not putting a strain on other operations in the region yet, but the number of helicopters being used in the relief operation is eventually going to boost the service's reset bill down the road, according to the director of operations at Marine Corps headquarters.
August 18, 2010

The Defense Department has adjusted its $1.6 trillion portfolio of major weapon systems being developed and acquired, formally ushering in 11 new programs and completing paperwork on four major efforts whose procurement runs are complete or nearly finished.

August 13, 2010
The all-quadrant belly-mounted gun system deployed to Afghanistan with the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor has seen limited use in theater due to the sacrifices in space commanders have to make to use them, so the Marines are developing a more integrated system that wouldn't make them choose between the two, officials told Inside the Navy recently.
August 13, 2010
The Naval Aviation Center for Rotorcraft Advancement could acquire another test bed, possibly an H-60, if the current UH-1N helicopter can't handle all the incoming projects, Brad Schieferdecker, NACRA associate director for technology development, told Inside the Navy recently.
August 6, 2010
While the Marine Corps is not looking to expand beyond the one squadron of nine UH-1Y utility helicopters it operates in Afghanistan, the possibility of more has been discussed, Marine Lt. Gen. George Trautman, deputy commandant of aviation, told Inside the Navy recently.
July 30, 2010
The Marine Corps will retire the CH-53D medium-lift helicopter at least two years earlier than planned due to the age of the aircraft and the savings that could come from not having to sustain it as the V-22 Osprey replaces it later this decade, Lt. Gen. George Trautman, deputy commandant for aviation, said last week.
July 14, 2010

Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin have inked a deal to compete for the Air Force's HH-60 Recapitalization program, a move that company officials say could help put desperately needed combat search-and-rescue helicopters on the ramp before 2015.