Category Archives: Military News

Sikorsky VH-92A Presidential Helicopters

Sikorsky Receives Contract To Build VH-92A Presidential Helicopters

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, will build six production VH-92A Presidential Helicopters under a contract from the U.S Navy. These helicopters are part of the 23 aircraft program of record for the U.S. Marine Corps. Under the terms of the contract, known as Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 1, Sikorsky will begin deliveries of six VH-92A helicopters in 2021. The remaining production aircraft will be delivered in 2022 and 2023. The contract also provides spares and training support. The contract award follows an affirmative Milestone C decision on May 30 from the U.S. Navy moving the development program into production.

Sikorsky VH-92A Presidential Helicopters

Sikorsky VH-92A Presidential Helicopters


The VH-92A test aircraft at Patuxent River, Maryland, have proven their production readiness by undergoing rigorous U.S. government testing and operational assessments, which included operating on the south lawn of the White House. The VH-92A has flown over 520 flight test hours establishing the aircraft’s technical maturity and readiness of its mission systems. This production decision validates the modifications to Sikorsky’s most successful commercial helicopter making it capable to transport the President of the United States at anytime, anywhere around the world. Sikorsky has been building and providing helicopter transportation for every U.S. President and Commander in Chief since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Sikorsky VH-92A Presidential Helicopters

Sikorsky VH-92A Presidential Helicopters


The VH-92A aircraft will provide safe, reliable and capable transportation for the President, Vice President and foreign heads of state. This program ensures long term affordability and maintainability by utilizing the FAA certified S-92 aircraft which has industry leading reliability and availability. The S-92 fleet surpassed 1.5 million flight hours in April and averages 14,600 hours of safe flight per month. Sikorsky and the U.S. Navy integrate mature mission and communication systems into the aircraft. This aircraft provides communication capability to perform the duties of Commander in Chief, Head of State and Chief Executive.
Sikorsky VH-92A Presidential Helicopters

Sikorsky VH-92A Presidential Helicopters


Lockheed Martin delivered and installed the first VH-92A training device at the Presidential Helicopter Squadron HMX-1 in Quantico, Virginia, earlier this year. Marine pilots, avionics technicians and squadron personnel are actively engaged in hands-on learning through the suite of devices. The Flight Training Device (FTD) is a replica of the VH-92A cockpit to give pilots mission-oriented flight training in a simulation-based training device. The training suite allows maintainers to hone their skills to effectively maintain the aircraft and practice troubleshooting.

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A-10 Thunderbolts perform landing on unpaved strips

A-10 Thunderbolts perform landing on unpaved strips

Two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 124th Fighter Wing out of Boise, Idaho, perform landing on unpaved landing strip at the National Training Center June 5, 2019. The Idaho Air Force National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing is supporting the Idaho Army National Guard’s 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team’s rotation at the National Training Center. The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team is completing National Training Center Rotation 19-08, a 29-day training event, which includes more than 4,000 service members comprised of units from 13 states and territories. The training simulates the modern day battlefield to train the U.S. military for global operations. The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team is the largest formation of the Idaho Army National Guard.

A-10 Thunderbolts perform landing on unpaved strips

A-10 Thunderbolts perform landing on unpaved strips


The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin turbofan engine, straight wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic for the United States Air Force (USAF). It is commonly referred to by the nicknames “Warthog” or “Hog”, although the A-10’s official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, a World War II fighter-bomber effective at attacking ground targets. The A-10 was designed for close air support (CAS) of friendly ground troops, attacking armored vehicles and tanks, and providing quick-action support against enemy ground forces. It entered service in 1976 and is the only production-built aircraft that has served in the USAF that was designed solely for CAS. Its secondary mission is to provide forward air controller – airborne support, by directing other aircraft in attacks on ground targets.
A-10 Thunderbolts perform landing on unpaved strips

A-10 Thunderbolts perform landing on unpaved strips

Elbit Systems awarded $125 M contract to provide new Israeli Self Propelled Howitzer

Elbit Systems awarded $125 M contract to provide new Israeli Self Propelled Howitzer

Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that it was awarded an approximately $125 million (NIS 460 million) contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defense to supply fully automatic self-propelled howitzer gun systems to the Israeli Defense Forces (“IDF”). The contract, which also includes the supply of training simulators, will be performed over a 12-year period. The Israeli Ministry of Defense and Elbit Systems intend that further part of the automatic howitzer gun systems program, under an additional contract to the Company in an amount that is expected to be material, will be performed by various U.S. companies including Elbit Systems of America, LLC, subject to completion of the receipt of applicable governmental approvals for the U.S. content. About half the work will be done by Elbit’s subsidiaries and partners in the United States, a sign of how Israeli defense spending has shifted since Washington restricted its ally’s ability to spend US aid on non-US products.

Elbit Systems ATMOS self-propelled howitzer

Elbit Systems ATMOS self-propelled howitzer


The new automatic howitzer gun system is based on ATMOS (Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System) and experience Elbit Systems accumulated over decades of supplying artillery systems to numerous armed forces. The new howitzer gun system will replace the aging M-109 artillery guns that have been serving the IDF for the past 40 years. The new gun system automatically selects the required projectile, propellant and fuze, loads them and lays the gun to optimally engage targets. The new howitzer gun system will enhance the effectiveness of the artillery formation of the IDF while reducing the number soldiers in each platform and significantly reduce life-cycle costs. ATMOS is a 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled gun system manufactured by Israeli military manufacturer Soltam Systems (Elbit Systems). The system is long range, fast moving, truck mounted with a high firepower and mobility, rapid deployment, short response time, operable in all terrain areas. Highly adaptable, the modular ATMOS system is compatible with any 6×6 or 8×8 high-mobility tactical truck.
Elbit Systems ATMOS self-propelled howitzer

Elbit Systems ATMOS self-propelled howitzer

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Awarded Contract for 155mm XM1113 Rocket-Assisted Projectile Round

GD-OTS awarded contract for 155mm XM1113 Rocket-Assisted Projectile (RAP) Round

The Combat Capabilities Development Command – Armaments Center (CCDC-AC) and the Joint Program Executive Office Armaments and Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal have awarded General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) a contract valued at $15 million for Prototype and Process Development for the 155mm XM1113 Rocket-Assisted Projectile (RAP) round. GD-OTS is partnered with American Ordnance, Nammo-Talley, and SAVIT in the United States; and is working with Thales Australia to expand the international Supply Chain, enabling the U.S. Government to make the system available to overseas customers.

The XM1113 RAP uses rocket technology to deliver greater thrust to the round, when compared to its predecessor, the legacy M549A1. This will enable current U.S. Field Artillery 155mm Systems to fire the XM1113 RAP to a range of 40 kilometers, a 30% increase from the M549A1. When fired from the planned future Extended Range Artillery Cannon (ERCA), the XM1113 will achieve ranges out to 70 kilometers. The XM1113 RAP round aligns with the U.S. Army’s modernization initiative under the Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF) Cross-Functional Team.

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Awarded Contract for 155mm XM1113 Rocket-Assisted Projectile Round

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Awarded Contract for 155mm XM1113 Rocket-Assisted Projectile Round


“The XM1113 RAP brings enhanced performance to the battlefield, increasing lethality and extending range for the cannon artillery warfighter. We are proud to support the U.S. Army’s modernization initiatives to provide overmatch capability to the warfighter; and look forward to meeting the operational needs of our international allies” said Jason Gaines, Vice President and General Manager of Munition Systems at General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems.

Brazilian Air Force tests Embraer KC-390 at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

Brazilian Air Force tests Embraer KC-390 at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

The U.S. Army has announced that the Brazil Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira, FAB) conducting airdrop testing certification of its new Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft at at the Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) in southwestern Arizona, U.S. approximately 70 customers from Brazil, which include maintainers, test pilots, and engineers at YPG supported Embraer in the air delivery testing for the aircraft. It was a certification process which included conducting several tests to certify the air delivery system. The Brazilian Air Force set the requirements and YPG supported Embraer in conducting every critical test. YPG’s role for this project was to rig all the payloads, pack parachutes, collect instrumentation data, photographs, video, and coordinate range support. It was a certification process which included conducting several tests to certify the system.

Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft

Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft


The Embraer KC-390 is a medium-size, twin-engine jet-powered military transport aircraft under development by Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer, able to perform aerial refuelling and to transport cargo and troops. It is the heaviest aircraft that the company has made to date, and will be able to transport up to 26 tonnes (29 tons) of cargo, including wheeled armoured fighting vehicles. It is powered by two IAE V2500-E5 turbofans generating 139.4 kN(31,330 lbf) thrust each. The plane has been in development since 2009 and is scheduled for introduction into the Brazilian Air Force in 2019, but before that happens, the KC-390 must be certified. After 1,900 flight hours in testing, the KC-390 received Brazilian civil type certification on 23 October 2018; the first production aircraft is to be delivered to the Brazilian air force in the first half 2019 and should obtain military certification by the end of 2019. The third aircraft (PT-ZNG), originally slated for the first delivery, has been redirected to complete certification.
Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft

Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft


Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) is a United States Army proving ground and one of the largest military installations in the world. It is a subordinate command of the Army Test and Evaluation Command.Located in southwestern La Paz County and western Yuma County in southwestern Arizona, U.S., about 30 miles (48 km) north-east of the city of Yuma, it encompasses 1,307.8 square miles (3,387.2 km²) in the northwestern Sonoran Desert.
The Yuma Proving Ground is the U.S.Army’s premier test center for air delivery testing. Roberto Becker, is the chief flight test engineer for Embraer, where he has worked for 30 years. While this is not his first time at YPG, it’s the first time he’s come here for this test. After the test, he is confident about the aircraft’s capabilities. “The airplane is fantastic,” he said. “The airplane is working perfectly, no malfunctions, the system is operating very well.” Becker explains that the aircraft has undergone basic certification and now YPG is supporting military mission certification. He’s been pleased with the process. “The YPG staff is really professional and they know what they are doing.”

Japan Ground Self Defense Force Howitzer first on Australian soil

Japan Ground Self Defense Force Howitzer first on Australian soil

The Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) fired its FH-70 Howitzers out to 25 kilometres for the very first time while on Exercise Southern Jackaroo with the Australian Army at Shoalwater Bay Training Area in May 2019. The JGSDF conducted the long range shoot in Australia as there isn’t a military range large enough to shoot to that distance in Japan. Australian Army soldiers from 7th Brigade helped facilitate the live fire activity and were honoured to be part of this historic moment for the JGSDF.

Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) fired its FH-70 Howitzers out to 25 kilometres

Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) fired its FH-70 Howitzers out to 25 kilometres


The exercise also saw integration opportunities between Japanese artillery soldiers and 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery during live fire practices. Exercise Southern Jackaroo is a trilateral field training activity between the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade, Japan Ground Self Defense Force and the United States Marine Rotation Force – Darwin, which aims to enhance interoperability, increase rapport and improve joint tactical, administrative and logistical operations.
Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) fired its FH-70 Howitzers out to 25 kilometres

Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) fired its FH-70 Howitzers out to 25 kilometres


The FH70 (field howitzer for the 1970s) is a towed howitzer in use with several nations. The barrel was 39 calibres long, giving 827 m/s standard maximum muzzle velocity. It had a muzzle brake giving 32% efficiency. The shell with the same shape and dimensions as the US M549 rocket-assisted projectile. The standard HE shell is a thin wall design weighing 43.5 kg and containing 11.3 kg of HE. The propellant system comprises three different bagged cartridges with triple-base propellant. The Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) FH-70 Howitzers Built under license with the ordnance by Japan Steel Works, also used in a Japanese SPG design.

Naval Air Systems Command Awards Kratos a $25.4 Million Contract for the BQM-177A Aerial Target

Naval Air Systems Command Awards Kratos a $25.4 Million Contract for the BQM-177A Aerial Target

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading National Security Solutions provider and industry leading provider of high performance jet powered unmanned aerial target and tactical drone systems, announced today that Kratos has received a $25,413,946 contract for Lot 3 of Low Rate Initial Production for the BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT) from the US Navy as reflected in the US Navy’s May 28, 2019 announcement: “Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc., Sacramento, California, is awarded a $25,413,946 firm-fixed-price contract to procure 34 low-rate initial production Lot 3 BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Targets and technical data. Work will be performed in Sacramento, California, and is expected to be completed March 2021. Fiscal 2019 weapons procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $25,413,946 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-19-C-1024).”

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)


Steve Fendley, Kratos Unmanned Systems Division President, commented, “This LRIP III award following the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) achievement announced earlier this year, represents the final milestone prior to the expected Full Rate Production start for Kratos’ BQM-177A SSAT. Once in full rate production, these programs have historically been decades long both in operations and production. The recapitalization of strategic weapon systems by the U.S. and its allies to address peer-level threats is driving the need for new and additional threat representative target drones to exercise our forces and defensive systems. We are proud to be the sole source provider well into the future for this crucial high performance system that emulates anti-ship cruise missiles for the US Navy and our allies.”
Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)


The BQM-177A is the US Navy’s next-generation Sub-Sonic Aerial Target (SSAT). While it provides formidable threat emulation for air-to-air engagements, the BQM-177A’s aerodynamic design and unmatched performance capabilities make it the world’s best choice for highly-dynamic, high-subsonic, sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile threat emulation. Capable of speeds in excess of 0.95 Mach and a sea-skimming altitude as low as 10 feet, the BQM-177A has no equal when it comes to delivering realistic anti-ship missile threat emulation. This highly-versatile aerial target supports a variety of mission requirements by carrying a wide array of internal and external payloads including proximity scoring, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), passive and active RF augmentation, electronic counter-measures, infrared (IR) augmentation (plume pods), chaff and flare dispensers, and towed targets.
Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

Kratos Unmanned Systems BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)


Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:KTOS) develops and fields transformative, affordable technology, platforms and systems for United States National Security related customers, allies and commercial enterprises. Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology for these industries are rapidly brought to market through proven commercial and venture capital backed approaches, including proactive research and streamlined development processes. Kratos specializes in unmanned systems, satellite communications, cyber security/warfare, microwave electronics, missile defense, hypersonic systems, training, combat systems and next generation turbo jet and turbo fan engine development. For more information go to http://www.KratosDefense.com