Category Archives: Aerial Warfare

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers

Lockheed Martin has launched the latest version of RELY3D®, an advanced visualization and training tool for Apache AH-64 sensor system maintainers. RELY3D originated from an employee idea to improve maintenance efficiency through interactive training content. The tool leverages capabilities from popular commercial gaming technology to transform training into advanced visualization modules, reducing training time by up to 60 percent. “RELY3D is an invaluable tool for our new employees who are just learning about our sensors, as well as field maintainers. With this tool, maintainers can troubleshoot and perform maintenance on the flight line, dramatically reducing cost and increasing system availability,” Lockheed Martin Apache Fire Control Program Director Matt Hoffman said. “As the industry pushes to advance training capabilities, we continue to innovate advanced technology and deliver affordable solutions for the Apache aviation community.”

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers


RELY3D reduces maintenance and repair time through its intuitive interface on the Apache Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight and Pilotage Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) and LONGBOW® Fire Control Radar (FCR) systems by placing high fidelity, technically accurate 3-D models into the hands of maintainers via a mobile tablet or laptop. The tool is also being developed for use on other rotary and fixed-wing aircraft sensors and weapons systems. M-TADS/PNVS provides Apache helicopter pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for mission success and flight safety during day and night, and in adverse weather conditions. To date, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 1,400 M-TADS/PNVS systems and spares to the U.S. Army and 16 international customers in 15 nations.
Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers


LONGBOW® FCR, developed by the LONGBOW Limited Liability Company (LBL) – a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman – automatically searches, detects, locates, classifies and prioritizes multiple moving targets to 16km, or stationary targets, on land, on the water, or in the air, in clear or adverse weather, and in obscured battlefields – giving commanders the precision engagement capabilities necessary to win the battle. LONGBOW has delivered nearly 500 systems to the U.S. Army and 13 international customers in 12 nations. Lockheed Martin also provides training and simulation systems for aircraft maintainers supporting numerous U.S. and international platforms including the C-130J, F-16, F-35, and basic flight training courses in countries such as Australia and the U.K.

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582nd Helicopter Group

582nd Helicopter Group

The 582d Helicopter Group was activated in January 2015 at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming to provide a unified headquarters for the helicopter squadrons located on the intercontinental ballistic missile bases of Air Force Global Strike Command. The group was first activated in 1943 as the 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron at Hamilton Field, and after training, moved to the South Pacific Theater, where it served until the end of World War II, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations and a Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation for combat search and rescue and special operations missions. Following the end of the war, the squadron served as part of the occupation forces at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa from 1947 until 1950. In May 1950 the squadron, now designated the 2d Rescue Squadron moved to Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

Air Rescue Service SH-19

Air Rescue Service SH-19


Although combat search and rescue during the Korean War was the responsibility of the 3d Air Rescue Squadron, the 2d Air Rescue Squadron was tasked with providing escort coverage with its SB-29s for bombers based in Okinawa striking targets in North Korea. In 1952, the unit was expanded to group level as the 2d Air Rescue Group and its lettered flights became air rescue squadrons. The group provided rescue support for units of Thirteenth Air Force and the southwest Pacific until 1955, when it moved to Wheeler Air Force Base, where it became the headquarters for all rescue units in the Pacific. The group was inactivated at Wheeler in June 1958 and its component squadrons were assigned directly to Air Rescue Service.
582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey

582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey


On 1 August 2014, the 20th Air Force Helicopter Operations Group (Provisional) stood up at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming to support the three USAF intercontinental ballistic missile wings. Prior to the activation of the provisional group, helicopter units supporting Minuteman missile wings were assigned to the missile wing’s operations group; the 37th Helicopter Squadron at F. E. Warren to the 90th Operations Group, the 40th Helicopter Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana to the 341st Operations Group, and the 54th Helicopter Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota to the 91st Operations Group.
582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey

582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey


The formation of the group followed a recommendation from the Air Force Global Strike Command Force Improvement Program. It created an aviation-focused headquarters to support the missile mission for the first time. One hoped-for side effect was to improve morale in the helicopter crews that have been performing the nuclear support mission with the Bell UH-1 Huey since 1969. UH-1s would be used for by missile support units for the foreseeable future due to the cancellation of the Common Vertical Lift Support Platform in 2013. In 2015, the 2d Group was redesignated to its current name and activated at F. E. Warren, and the 37th, 40th, and 54th Helicopter Squadrons were relieved of attachment to the provisional group and became the new group’s first units.

Diamond Aircraft DA62 MPP Special Mission Aircraft

Diamond Aircraft DA62 MPP Special Mission Aircraft

The DA62 MPP (multipurpose platform) is a new special mission aircraft developed by Diamond Aircraft Industries. Based on the DA62 twin-engine light aircraft, the DA62 MPP is an ideal platform for law enforcement, search-and-rescue (SAR), land and coastal surveillance, disaster management, infrastructure and environmental monitoring missions. Like no other special mission aircraft supplier, Diamond Aircraft has taken its special mission concept into a 360° turnkey solution: one single point of contact. Although aimed primarily towards the civil/commercial market, an MPP version of the DA62 is under development as an ISR platform offering a comprehensive range of sensors, communications and datalink installations. The special mission turnkey solutions comprise a cost-efficient fixed wing remote sensing Diamond Aircraft platform, airborne sensors, data-links, ground stations, global support, spare parts, tooling, transport as well as the corresponding pilot, operator and maintenance training.

Diamond Aircraft DA62 MPP Special Mission Aircraft

Diamond Aircraft DA62 MPP Special Mission Aircraft


Powered by two standard 134kW (180hp) Austro Engine AE330 diesel engines with duel-channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and a single lever operation electronic engine controller unit (EECU), these are fitted with an on-top exhaust system to reduce noise and the heat signature making the aircraft virtually invisible to surface-to-air missiles (SAM), while the composite airframe reduces the radar cross section (RCS). Flown at 80% power with an average ground speed of 315km/h (170kt), the DA62 burns only 15gal/hr. Holding station at 185km/hr (100kt) this reduces to less than 9gal/hr. With a maximum speed of 352km/h (190kt) and service ceiling of 6,100m (20,000ft) it has exceptional range and endurance capable of flying up to 10-hour non-stop missions. It has a payload of up to 710kg (1,565lbs) for crew, mission equipment and fuel while the field proven composite technology allows corrosion-free unlimited airframe lifetime.
Diamond Aircraft DA62 MPP Special Mission Aircraft

Diamond Aircraft DA62 MPP Special Mission Aircraft


The production DA62 MPP will be equipped with Garmin G1000Nxi avionics with fully integrated three-axis GFC700 autopilot. With 10in primary flight and multifunction displays, G1000Nxi incorporates features such as wireless cockpit connectivity, including wireless database updates using Garmin Flight Stream, enhanced situational awareness with SurfaceWatch, visual approaches, and map overlay on the HSI. The DA62 is equipped with the lightweight FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE 380 HD camera, digital line of sight (LOS) bi-directional datalink and beyond line of sight (BLOS) Ku-band SATCOM. It is fitted with the compact Garmin GWX 70 weather radar, UHF and VHF voice communication systems and the observer station is equipped with a Diamond in-house designed ABACUS 2.0 mission computer with a 17in full HD screen. The Carte Nav AIMS-HD situational awareness system is installed on the ABACUS 2.0 with integrated, on-board mission data recording.
Diamond Aircraft DA62 MPP Special Mission Aircraft

Diamond Aircraft DA62 MPP Special Mission Aircraft


The Diamond DA62 is a five to seven seat, twin-engined light aircraft produced by Diamond Aircraft Industries and first announced in March 2012. The prototype, designated as the DA52, first flew on 3 April 2012 after six months of development. In June 2014 it was announced the production aircraft would be designated the DA62. The aircraft is available in two weight versions. The “European” version has five seats and a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 1,999 kilograms (4,407 lb), the “US” version has seven seats and a MTOW of 2,300 kilograms (5,071 lb). The lower MTOW of the “European” version is to allow operators to avoid higher weight-based air traffic control user charges. The third row of seating and increased MTOW of the “US” version are available as factory options at extra cost. By April 2019 more than 120 DA62s had been delivered. Diamond Aircraft is now one of Europe’s leading aircraft manufacturers.

Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24)

Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24)

Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) is a United States Marine Corps aviation unit based at Marine Corps Air Facility Kaneohe Bay. MAG-24 is subordinate to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and the III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF). Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) was activated on 1 March 1942 at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on Oahu, Hawaii. During World War II, MAG-24 saw extensive action throughout the Pacific theater, most notably in the campaigns to liberate the Philippines. Following the war, MAG-24 was deployed as part of III Amphibious Corps to Peiping in Northern China to take part in the occupation that lasted from October 1945 until April 1947. In April 1947, MAG-24 was relocated to Guam. In 1949, MAG-24 moved to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina where it remained for the next twenty years. In April 1968, MAG-24 relocated back to the Pacific in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii where it became the Marine Corps’ largest and only permanent composite Marine Aircraft Group. Starting in 1978, the MAG provided both fixed and rotary wing squadrons for six-month unit deployments to the Western Pacific. From 1 October 1986 through 30 September 1994, MAG-24 served as the Aviation Combat Element for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 CH-53E Super Stallion

Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 CH-53E Super Stallion


In September 2004 a detachment of CH-53Ds from HMH-363 and HMH-463 chopped to HMM-265 to provide the 31st MEU ACE with heavy lift capability. This MEU detachment marked the return of the CH-53D to combat operations in the Middle East. The squadron forward deployed to Al Asad Airbase in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF). Beginning in 2006, MAG-24 began sourcing a complete squadron deployment to Al Asad Airbase, Iraq in support of OIF. HMH-463 began what became a seven-month deployment rotation to Iraq for all MAG-24 squadrons that lasted over three years. In 2009, HMH-362 upgraded 11 CH-53D’s to the T64-GE-416 engines and transitioned from the flat sands of Iraq to the mountainous, rocky deserts of Afghanistan to begin support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM(OEF). MAG-24 heavy lift squadrons were in constant OIF/OEF combat rotations from 2006 through 2012.
Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 AH-1Z Viper Helicopter

Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 AH-1Z Viper Helicopter


MAG-24 is presently experiencing an exciting period of growth and transition that started in 2011 with HMH-463’s last OEF deployment ending September 2011. At the conclusion of HMH-463’s tour they completely transitioned all of their aircraft to the CH-53E from the CH-53D. HMH-363 would continue the transition of MAG-24 upon its return from combat operations in March of 2012, when they were re-designated Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Squadron 363 (VMM-363) and moved to MAG-16 in Miramar, CA. In the summer of 2012, the entire USMC inventory of active duty CH-53D “Sea Stallions” was retired with the exception of the aircraft forward deployed to Afghanistan with the “Ugly Angels” of HMH-362. Upon completion of that deployment in the Fall of 2012, HMH-362 was deactivated and the remaining aircraft were retired. The summer of 2012, also marked another historic occasion; MAG-24 becoming a composite MAG with the arrival of Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367) from Camp Pendleton and the stand up of Marine Wing Support Detachment 24.
Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 MV-22B Osprey Medium Tiltrotor

Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24 MV-22B Osprey Medium Tiltrotor


MAG-24 conducts operations and exercises throughout the Pacific. Regular support is provided to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Marine Rotational Force Darwin. within the Hawaiian island chain, MAG-24 supports 3d Marine Regiment and exercises like Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC). In March 2015, MAG-24 was approved for its current nickname “Pacific Eagles”. The genesis for this nickname was the 15th February 2002 unit insignia which shows the following: blue, which represents the Pacific Ocean; the Hawaii island chain; the gold wings with Eagle, Globe, and Anchor which represents Marine Aviation; the Roman numeral I which signifies the MAG is part of 1st MAW. The nickname “Pacific Eagles” remind us of both our legacy and our current mission. The eagle represents our great nation which deploys MAG-24 with its talons wherever needed, and the term Pacific highlights MAG-24’s illustrious history during the World War II Pacific Campaign.

IAI Rotem L Loitering Munition

IAI Rotem L Loitering Munition

The IAI Rotem L or IAI Rotem – Light is a tactical, loitering munition based on a light multi-rotor platform that delivers excellent capabilities against low signature enemy systems in complex environments developed by the Israel Aerospace Industries. The ROTEM is a tactical, loitering munition based on a light multi-rotor platform that delivers excellent capabilities against low signature enemy systems in complex environments. It can perform squad level ISR and attack missions with a minimal planning and operational focus from the operator. The Rotem weighs only 4.5 kg, packing an impressive array of sensors, The drone is a quadcopter that can loiter for 30–45 minutes with the maximum range of 10 km. It can carry 1 kg warhead that could be two fragmentation grenades.

IAI Rotem L Loitering Munition

IAI Rotem L Loitering Munition


This lightweight and compact Aerial Vehicle (AV) can be operated by a single soldier. The backpacked system is a tactical kit of two AVs with all peripherals to allow an operational unit to use it organically as a part of their standard gear. The exceptional capability to hover allows the VTOL platform to see targets and engage within seconds, which makes the ROTEM a game changer for its operators Unlike many other loitering drones, Rotem has the significant feature that it can be reused once aborts the mission, and safely lands in a safe location. The AV is capable of lethal precision strikes on stationary and mobile targets and is recoverable.
IAI Rotem L Loitering Munition

IAI Rotem L Loitering Munition


The Rotem is operated by a single soldier using simple point and click commands on a tablet controller. The vehicle takes off vertically, and ascends toward the area of interest, where the operator can scan and observe the area using its forward looking slanted camera. From a distance of few hundreds of meters ROTEM is practically inaudible and can loiter silently for the entire mission. When a target is located and verified the operator can switch to attack mode, the drone responds and quickly accelerates to a high speed dive, closing in on its prey, with the target maintained in view throughout the flight, enabling the manned operator to monitor the attack and abort anytime if necessary. Using on-board sensors, ROTEM effectively avoids obstacles, enter windows at low or high levels, or maneuver around fences. The operator directs the ROTEM to its target – horizontally, vertically or slanted as necessary
IAI Rotem L Loitering Munition

IAI Rotem L Loitering Munition


Fixed-wing drones have problems in cities. They cannot easily fly down narrow streets and alleys, and certainly not inside buildings. Trees and overhead power lines are real hazards, so these drone may have to remain hundreds of feet above the action. But a quadrotor munition is a very different type of aerial vehicle. A quadrotor like ROTEM, by contrast, can operate at low altitudes and follow the same path a foot patrol might take. The ROTEM has a sonar-type obstacle avoidance system that lets it fly through narrow spaces and navigate inside buildings.

Rafael adds synthetic aperture radar capability for its Litening and Reccelite EO Pods

Rafael adds synthetic aperture radar capability for its Litening and Reccelite EO Pods

Rafael Advanced Defence Systems teamed with Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI’s) Elta Systems to equip the Litening 5 and Reccelite XR all-weather stand-off airborne electro-optic (EO) targeting pods with a powerful SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), adding significant capabilities to the Litenings’s EO, multi-spectral, stand-off pod, significantly expanded wide area coverage and true day/night, all-weather operation. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. is unveiling it has upgraded its fifth generation Litening and Reccelite systems, effectively transforming them from traditional EO pods into EO+, with the addition of a unique SAR feature and the optional application of additional EO+ features, such as (EW, Comm, IRST). This constitutes a revolutionary quantum leap in all-weather, stand-off targeting and reconnaissance pods.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for Rafael Litening and Reccelite EO Pods

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for Rafael Litening and Reccelite EO Pods


Litening 5 is Rafael Advanced Defence Systems latest-generation high-resolution multi-sensor targeting pod, incorporating an upgraded 1.2K × 1.2K large aperture forward-looking mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and a short-wave infrared (SWIR). The MWIR/SWIR sensor package is complemented by a large aperture colour charge-coupled device (CCD) containing a 1.2K × 1.6K visible radiation sensor, a laser designator, ground moving target indicator, and advanced image processing and digital video output. Litening is the most popular pod in the world, with over 1,900 units already in service. They are deployed by 27 Air Forces around the world. Litening is integrated and operational on over 25 types of aircraft ‒ including the F-16, F-15, AV8B, F-18, F-4, F-5, A-10, B-2, Jaguar, LCA, AMX, Mirage 2000, Tornado, Typhoon, MiG-21, MiG-27, M346, KC390, Gripen, and Sukhoi 27 & 30.
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for Rafael Litening and Reccelite EO Pods

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for Rafael Litening and Reccelite EO Pods


Weighing 250 kg, the Reccelite XR turret incorporates a multispectral sensor package, using red, green, blue, NIR, and MWIR sensors for vertical scanning, and MWIR and SWIR sensors with a large common aperture for stand-off persistent wide-area scanning. The turret features separate wide-band (Ku band) and close air support (C band) digital communications channels, full motion video, and a ground exploitation system with automatic real time processing. The Reccelite XR’s mission plan can be uploaded prior to take off or uplinked during flight, and either performed automatically or manually for targets of opportunity. Reccelite is deployed by more than 10 Air Forces around the world. The system is integrated and operational on multiple aircraft types, including the AMX, F-16, F-18, Gripen, Heron 1, Jaguar, Reaper, Tornado, and Typhoon.
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for Rafael Litening and Reccelite EO Pods

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for Rafael Litening and Reccelite EO Pods


Reccelite + SAR is one of Rafael’s latest game-changers, with the addition of ELTA’s powerful SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) to the, stand-off Reccelite ISR pod. A SAR is a coherent, mostly airborne, sidelooking radar system that utilises the flight path of the platform to electronically simulate an extremely large antenna or aperture and generate high-resolution remote sensing imagery. Over time, individual transmit/receive cycles (PRT’s) are completed with the data from each cycle being stored electronically. The GMTI capability enables the radar to discriminate a specific target against clutter. The addition of the SAR payload – where the EO and radar sensors in the SAR upgraded Litening 5 and RecceLite XR pods are operated autonomously – is a quantum leap both in terms of capability and flexibility, according to Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.

Swiss Air Force Meiringen Air Base

Swiss Air Force Meiringen Air Base

Meiringen air base, also known as the Unterbach military airfield, is a Swiss military airbase located near the hamlet of Unterbach and the town of Meiringen, in the canton of Bern. It is one of the Swiss Air Force’s three fighter aircraft bases, and home to Fighter Squadron 11. The airfield is situated in the steep-sided alpine valley of the Aar river, with its single runway parallel to the river. It is flanked to the north by the main road to Meiringen, the river, and the Brünig railway line. To the south, taxiways connect the airfield to aircraft caverns built within the valley side. In 2004, militia Squadron 8 “Destructors”, equipped with the F-5E Tiger, moved to Meiringen from Buochs Airport. In 2007, professional Squadron 11 “Tiger”, equipped with the F/A-18, moved from Dübendorf Air Base.

Swiss Air Force Meiringen Air Base

Swiss Air Force Meiringen Air Base


Shortly after World War II and the beginning of the Cold War with the possible escalation between the nuclear superpowers of the Eastern and Western blocks, the Swiss Air Force began to develop concepts for defending their neutrality in the case of a conflict. In the 1940s, the Swiss army had already built so-called retablierstollen (re-equipping caves) at some airfields. These retablierstollen consisted of 100m long straight tunnels excavated in the rock, making it possible to store and eventually re-arm small Swiss fighter aircraft such as the then used Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Morane-Saulnier M.S.406. The dimensions of these tunnels are comparable to an autobahn tunnel. The airfields chosen were Alpnach, Buochs, Meiringen, St.Stephan and Saanen, all located in the Alps with a lot of cover in the vicinity of the runway so that the aircraft could be out of sight within minutes after touchdown.
Swiss Air Force Meiringen Air Base

Swiss Air Force Meiringen Air Base


The Meiringen Air Base started operations on 1 December 1941. The base played an important role in the 1946 C-53 Skytrooper crash on the Gauli Glacier: the rescue operation was launched and coordinated by the Meiringen air base. After World War 2, an aircraft cavern was built in Meiringen. Aircraft cavern, a calque of the German word Flugzeugkaverne, is an underground hangar amongst others used by the Swiss Air Force. In the 1970 years the construction of another cavern tunnel was started for the A-7G Corsair II, but because the A-7G was not bought, this construction was completed as an ammunition storage cavern. With the introduction of the F/A-18 the aircraft cavern was rebuilt again and received another tunnel so the aircraft can go straight in and out at the same time. In the inside maneuvering without crane is now possible.
Swiss Air Force Meiringen Air Base

Swiss Air Force Meiringen Air Base


The airfield of Meiringen is still important for the Air Force. With the closure of Sion Air Base in 2016, it will be one of only three fighter bases, along with Payerne Air Base and Emmen Air Base. It is the home base to two fighter squadrons, militia Squadron 8 “Destructors”, equipped with the Northrop F-5E Tiger, and professional Squadron 11 “Tiger”, equipped with the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. Meiringen is the only Swiss airbase that uses an aircraft cavern in daily operations. The runway is equipped with retractable arresting gear devices at both ends. The operation of the aerodrome has for the region and the town of Meiringen, both positive and negative effects: noise emissions by the military jets is for the affected population as well as for tourism businesses. The airfield is, however, with some 190 labor and 25 training places an important economic factor for the region. The airfield has a small museum that is open on Wednesday afternoons from May to October; different pieces of equipment are exhibited as well as an Aérospatiale Alouette III and an F-5 Tiger.